Is it acceptable for married couples to masturbate? What if they’re separated by distance due to work or family obligations? We get variations on this question pretty frequently, like the two below.
Wife “NS” asks:
Hello! And thank you for having a discreet place where we can come ask questions and not be judged, but receive honest, faith-based answers to help us have a sex life that’s pleasing in God’s eyes.
I grew up in a Christian home (I’m a Pastor’s Kid), but we did not talk about sex (other than, don’t do it outside of marriage). So it’s not like I can talk to my parents about questions I have.
My hubs and I have been very happily married for 15yrs now. What are your thoughts on masturbation and sex toys? I can’t find anything in God’s Word that specifically speaks to this. We often travel and are apart for a week or more. We assume sexting is permissible since it’s strictly between us. But at times we have dreams and awake pleasuring ourselves when we’re apart.
And Wife “EB” asks:
Hi y’all, I’m curious as to your thoughts on solo masturbation due to distance. My husband is currently deployed and while sexting and phone sex are great, the opportunities are rare.
We’ve both done it but sometimes I feel guilty afterward, even though I only picture him.
I don’t see anything wrong with masturbation or sex toys in-and-of-themselves. The Bible doesn’t mention either one. I think if the focus of your sexual pleasure is on your spouse, then go for it! I do use sex toys — in fact a vibrator is the best way for me to orgasm through intercourse, which has brought incredible intimacy to our marriage.
I don’t personally masturbate, but we receive emails from women who do (particularly military wives). I can imagine that being separated from your spouse for long periods of time would be difficult. The Bible gives us spiritual freedom in gray areas like this (see 1 Corinthians 8) where we should be guided by the Holy Spirit and our own conscience. I don’t see anything wrong with masturbation as long as your spouse is your source of intimacy. I tell these wives that if it strengthens their marriage and doesn’t violate their conscience then I think it’s acceptable.
Please refer to the post Can we *blank*? for some deeper thinking on these questions. Obey the Bible, pray, talk with your spouse, and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.