Question:

I am a female, Christian, and a young adult who has some questionsabout the topic of masturbation:

1. Is masturbation wrong for women? (It seems as if God doesn't talk about women, he seems to just mention "semen").

2. Is masturbation wrong, if you are thinking aboutsex inthe boundaries of marriage (not fornication)? (For example, thinking about and enacting out yourwedding night, or thinking about what your future spouse will be like when you are married?)

3. In regard to question #2, what if while one masturbates (whenfantasizing within the context of marriage)you're not only thinking about lust (which isnatural to feel during sex, even when your married) but true, caring, feelings are involved and you really love the person and not just viewing them as a sexual object?


Answer:

Far fewer women experiment with masturbation than men, for the obvious reason that the sexual parts are not as readily available to the touch. Masturbation is not directly spoken of in the Scriptures. I have been able to infer some things about the topic because men release semen when they masturbate, but that route is unavailable with female masturbation.

First, unlike male masturbation, there is no driving physical cause that leads a female to need masturbation. Men will masturbate to get rid of excess semen, to cut down on sexual desire which builds as semen accumulates in the body, or will experience nocturnal emissions, which is involuntary masturbation in their sleep. But because of the intense sexual pleasure that results, many men pursue masturbation beyond simple need. Female masturbation is fully of the later type; the only driving cause is the sexual pleasure that results from it.

In order to enhance the effect of masturbation, men and women will think of sexual situations as they stimulate themselves. It is here that danger arises as most allow their thoughts to stray into sinful sexual relations. Christians are warned, "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy" (Romans 13:13). Even in your case, imagining what your wedding night will be like is simply imagination. Since you don't know fully what to expect, your imagination will supply more that reality will supply. Unfortunately you will likely establish expectations that won't come true. You may end up disappointed -- not because of what actually happens but because it wasn't what you imagined.

In the Song of Solomon, the heroine found herself daydreaming at times about what sex would be like when she was married. Each time her thoughts headed in that direction, she stopped herself. "I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field, do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 2:7 -- also Song of Solomon 3:5). Daydreams of this nature is an attempt to rush the natural development of love. Love doesn't develop well when it is pushed. It has to be left to grow at its own pace. The heroine was wise enough to realize that she did not want to impose impractical expectations on her relationship.

Plus there is a danger that too much dwelling on thoughts of sex will leave a person more vulnerable to sexual temptation when it arises. It can become a corrupting influence. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5). Or, as Peter warned, "Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul" (I Peter 2:11).

An interesting side note that your third question touches upon. Men and women approach a sexual relation in very different ways. Sex to a man is something that is done. It gives him relief from tensions building up in his body, but in his mind it is also a way of expressing that he loves and cares for the one with whom he is having sex. To a woman, sex doesn't start with the action, but with the relationship. Sex is an outgrowth of her feelings for another person. That is why romance novels are popular with women, but men gravitate toward sexual images. Both are wrong because they focus on people with whom you are not married.