Question:

I am a 27 year old Christian virgin male who wants to wait for marriage for sex. I have struggled with maintaining sexual purity, however. I have struggled and been addictedto porn off and on since I was maybe 12 years old. I remember the first time I ever masturbated to completion, I felt so guilty, and I felt like I lost my virginity to an image I was lusting after.

This struggle lead me to webcam sites in which I have viewed women doing sexual things on camera. I have shown myself to them on camera as well.

I am still waiting for my first kiss, which I want to have with my future wife. I desire to regain purity, and I fully acknowledge these acts as adulterous, sinful acts.

I guess my question is: Am I still a virgin? I don't want to play with semantics, but I have never physically touched a girl in a sexual way. I'm repenting daily and fighting daily for purity. I'm almost done reading a book called Every Young Man's Battle. I haven't anyone to really talk to about these things so I would please need your thoughts on this. There is more I wish to share, but I will wait for now.

God bless.


Answer:

Masturbation is extremely common. One survey that Dr. James Dobson quoted said that 95% of all men masturbated. Dobson went on to say that he thought the remaining 5% were lying.

The Bible alludes to masturbation. It would have fallen under the category of uncleanness because of the ejaculation (Leviticus 15:16-18), the same as sex (in verse 18) or touching a dead body or a woman's menstrual flow. It wasn't called a sin, just unclean. For details see: Is masturbation sinful or not?

The guilty feeling some boys feel after ejaculating has to do with a combination of assuming that anything pleasurable must be sinful; since it is private, it must be wrong; and the change in hormones that come after ejaculating. For details see: Why do I feel guilty after ejaculating?

This doesn't mean you weren't sinning; rather, you focused on the wrong element that was sinful. Like most people, it is easier to focus on the tangible than the intangible. The sin you have been involved in is pornography. "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). "Passion of lust" refers to lustful things that are designed to arouse passion in a person, which pornography would definitely fall under that category. Though you understand it is wrong, I would like you to read Lies Pornography Tells Men and also A Look at Pornography.

What you did with your webcam is create your own pornography in real time. But it also illustrates what Paul discussed: "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them" (Ephesians 5:3-7). Even though you were not committing the actual act of fornication, you were involved in talking about doing it and showing off your nakedness. You were definitely involved in lust and behaving in a lewd manner. "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Romans 13:13-14).

You've been trying to get out of these sins, but failing often, and I believe I can guess why. Like most young men, you've strongly associated pornography with ejaculating; therefore, you try to quit pornography by stopping all ejaculations. However, for males this cannot work because the male body has to ejaculate semen once in a while. See: I want to stop masturbating but the temptation keeps getting to me and How do I stop masturbating?

You are still a virgin because you have not had sex with another person. That doesn't mean you haven't sin or that you don't need to do something about your sins.