Sex and Masturbation
One goal of this site has been to try to undo some of the effect that the church councils and translators have done to the English scriptures considering the very strong influence of Asceticism and Gnosticism. Feel free to write with your thoughts. If you have objections you must back it up with scripture. Thanks.
We use the term sex to include pretty much anything one or more people can do together that involves enjoying what our genitalia can provide for us. When it comes to scripture however the more accurate term that is most important is intercourse.
Because we do not know God's law as we should we sometimes make assumptions that are not scriptural. In Genesis 38:9 Onan spilled his seed on the ground. He was not masturbating. He was in the act of intercourse to fulfill a public promise to raise up seed to his dead brother. His greed concerning inheritance ruled his action and rather than fulfilling his promise he pulled out of Tamar and spilled his seed on the ground. God used this entire event to His end by having Tamar become pregnant by Judah and thus preserve the seed line of Judah. Judah had sinned by taking a Canaanite woman for wife. Canaanites are on the no-marry list for Israel.
Genesis 38:9 is the verse quoted by those who love asceticism attempting to make a gift of God into a sin. As you can see the verse has nothing to do with the self pleasure of masturbation. Proper self pleasure is not prohibited in scripture. In fact there are some verses that promote pleasure although in a different area. Read Deuteronomy 14:23-26.
Here is a quote from a writing that I saw years ago, but unfortunately it is all too common. "I was brought up in a [religious] family and I am still a little inhibited. Mother taught my sister and I, "Never touch down there, except to attend to hygiene!" and I didn't experience my first orgasm until I was [so many years old]". To me this is so very sad. In my mind her mother should have taught her and her sister how to masturbate. Parents are supposed to teach their children about life. Families are supposed to learn together. There is no sin nor should there be any awkwardness about this. Our society has corrupted nearly everything that is good and wholesome. Is it any surprise that this concept might be difficult for someone to imagine or accept? For ninety nine percent of what goes on in a family there probably should not need to be any secrets or even closed doors. This is a part of learning respect. Parents, it is your responsibility to prepare your children for real life, not the pretend one that the world and religions want to promote.
Masturbation is not just a gift for pleasure. It is an answer to a biological need. There are times when clear thinking is restored after the release of masturbation. Sometimes one can not think clearly once the need arises. I remember years ago being moody and being a bit hard to get along with until I learned that "getting some relief" could restore my normal good natured attitude. I use the terms, "feeling good" or "getting relief". I am aware that there are a few of you ladies that may have figured out how much easier it was to get along with a male friend or relation after they were helped or encouraged to get some relief. I am also convinced that early aid in this area could prevent some guys from going to the extreme in behavior in their future that might get them on an offender's list.
So masturbate as you need and as you enjoy. I'll even suggest that it is fine to share with your best friend. Like any thing else in life one should not let it control your life and do not let it replace your need for a mate if you desire one. Regardless of how good it might be it can not replace the love and intimacy of a mate. Masturbation is not for the single only. Ideally each person would have someone with whom they could share intercourse or masturbation. In a monogamous marriage this would not always be possible of course. In a monogamous marriage a couple can have intercourse, masturbate together or separately as needed or desired. If one spouse is unavailable then the other person is on their own.
In a scriptural plural marriage(1) a couple or any arrangement with which all parties are comfortable can have intercourse or masturbate together or separately as needed or desired or as are able to do so. There is no sin in a plural marriage for any party to that marriage to enjoy the company of any other member of that marriage as long as no party involved is forced to participate.
Let's add another aspect. Think about the woman dancer in the Song of Solomon. Based on the language we know she only wore shoes. So let's consider that you and some friends are out camping. There are women with you who know the guys need relief. So they get up and start dancing. Each guy is able to get relief while watching the women dance. Now before you get upset realize that this is what was going on at Solomon's party. Solomon and his guests were watching his woman dance. There was no touching and no improper desire to take her from Solomon. Each person watching did so appreciating the beauty that God had provided and was able to get relief, nothing more. That is what went on in the Song of Solomon. So can that type of activity be sinful? Can a group of friends do that together?
So what about oral activity. In Song of Solomon 2:3 the Shulamite talks about enjoying the taste of the fruit of her lover as she sits in his shadow at his feet. I have to say that this does sound like she masturbated him and swallowed his seed. If it were not for this verse I would suggest that the act of swallowing be avoided as the food laws are for our health. So this is my conflict as to whether one should enjoy with or with out swallowing the seed of man. There is nothing wrong with oral activity although I again advise one to avoid any anal contact. There is much disease that can be avoided by simply avoiding oral and penile anal contact. If one desires to use a finger or toy do so with proper precautions.
If the reader does not mind I would like to get into a little bit of an area that might be nothing more than a guess on my part. I have no one scripture to support this, but perhaps in a time and place when our ancestors were in good standing with God this was considered normal? I have often considered how unprepared for marriage most people are or were in the past. There are some today who still do not even kiss their prospective mate until after they are married. That may not be the worst thing, but most children are taught nothing by their parents except that everything is sin until you're married and then they are taught nothing except to be ashamed or afraid of something being sin if it is fun. Most of that is learned indirectly unless challenged and then some parents cause irreparable damage to their children.
So in a day and age when one might just see their neighbor bathing on her roof next door as David did, what was considered normal inside the home? I have considered that young women were instructed as to the ways to please their future husband. I have also considered that young men were instructed as to the ways to please the women in their future. Intercourse was of course reserved for marriage as that was to protect the future progeny of the husband, but what else was commonly accepted behavior inside the home? It is just something I have considered over the years. I have no real conclusions, but a society that has the full blessings of God has more than just good crops and health. They are a happy people and enjoy the pursuit of happiness and life. Have you ever considered Luke 11:7 where the man says that all of his children are in bed with him and he can not get up. Please try to remove the instant connotations that we in this day and age might improperly add into that situation.
I never thought to look up a history of beds or sleeping habits of the past. So when I saw a post about the subject I read it. It was a history of the bed. It was an interesting article and it confirmed what I suggested above about the man and his family in Luke 11:7. Sleeping together was very common until the Victorian age when homes began to have many separate rooms. According to the article many things that we might be shocked about today were common place and not considered abnormal in the past. Now you know why scripture says absolutely nothing about such things. There was no prohibition and there is no sin. So in the past I wondered when the man had time alone with his woman to have intercourse with all the children there? The answer may not be as we would imagine for today. Just a thought for one to consider. Perhaps masturbation was a normal way to relax together before sleep?
Note: 1. A scriptural plural marriage includes one man and two or more women.
More as it is needed.