Is it Wrong to Masturbate in Marriage?

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The other day, Austin and I had a reader ask us if it is wrong to masturbate in marriage. They even asked if it would be considered to be cheating for them to do this. It was apparent that they needed to have sex more often than their spouse was willing.

We decided to tackle this topic on Facebook Live. You can watch it, but this is basically what we said.

Is Masturbating in Marriage Wrong?

We started with clarifying what the Bible has to say about masturbating- and here’s the thing, it doesn’t address it. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other Biblical principles that we can point to in order to decide if we are doing something wrong.

There are two reasons that we could think of where masturbating in marriage could lead to sin for you.

Watching Porn

Many times, this sex act is done alone while watching porn. There are scriptures that talk about not looking at others in their nakedness. Viewing porn is a sin and if you are looking at it, then this is where you are wrong.

Take Care of Yourself in Secret

The other thing that happens in marriage, is that one spouse will sneak off to masturbate. Keeping secrets and lying to your spouse is wrong. Going off and taking care of yourself in secret, even if porn isn’t involved is sin.

Masturbating Isn’t The Problem

Masturbating itself is not the problem. In fact, mutual masturbation can be a great thing to add into your sex life with your spouse. When you are both together and pleasing yourselves in front of the other as a way of building intimacy, that can be great.

If you are using a new toy and trying to teach your spouse, or want to add to the visuals, this can be a really exciting act.

The problem with masturbating is when it replaces intimacy in your marriage. Even, if your spouse is ok with you taking care of yourself so they don’t have to, it’s not a good idea.

Relieving the Pressure Can Harm Your Marriage

preserve your marriage

Many times in marriage, you have one spouse that is high drive and one that is lower drive. If the higher drive spouse takes care of themselves, they will not have the motivation to work through the intimacy issues in their marriage.

I hear many heartbreaking stories from men and women that are in sexless marriages. My heart goes out to them. Many have resigned themselves to taking care of themselves for the sake of their sanity. I get that.

What I encourage you to do, instead, is to continue to go to your spouse and share your needs. Be sure that you present them the problem you are having and ask them in earnest to help you figure out the solution. Also, you have to be willing to admit where you are failing them on meeting their needs.

What About Masturbating While Away From Each Other?

This is not a question that I can answer for your marriage. If you and your spouse are separated for whatever the reason, the two of you guys need to decide how you will handle it. Have the conversation, no matter how uncomfortable you feel about it.

If you decide that taking care of your needs while away from one another is ok in your marriage, you need to come up with ground rules. Be clear that no porn is to be involved. You may decide that these sessions are to be done while on the phone. Or you may want to have some other form of accountability with one another.

What Will Add To Your Intimacy In Marriage?

The real question to ask in marriage is, “What will add to the intimacy between us?”. Many times, we focus on right and wrong too much. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t ever put down hard lines on what is right and wrong.

What I am saying, is that there is more to life than just being right or wrong. The real focus needs to be on fostering intimacy in your relationship.

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