They Do Exist.

Ask A Married Woman: How Did You Go From Virgin To Sexy & Seductive?

IMPORTANT Editor’s Note: This month we are answering our readers’ questions to married women! We realize that sex is an enormous topic and absolutely cannot be addressed in whole in a single place. Please give us grace and the benefit of the doubt as we seek to share the wisdom and experience of multiple married women in our community on the topic, and do not take it as rules, formulas, or “right vs wrong” that Good Women Project is trying to give you for your personal sex life. We never want to instruct you, assume too much about your personal life, or compromise your personal beliefs. We realize and respect that some of our readers’ views and preferences may differ, and our CHIEF reason for opening dialogue on the topic is to rid our lives of shame, fear, and guilt from the places it does not belong. We also ask you to ask questions in our comments to the authors to clarify instead of being quick to anger or condemnation. The topic is easily misunderstood, and it must be an open conversation. Thank you. – Lauren

QUESTION: How did you go from virgin to sexy and seductive towards your husband if that side has been switched off your entire life?! – asked by a 22-year-old single woman

Renee Fisher: I was the girl who dreamed of the day I could finally have sex. I hated reading books by “Christian” men that said women don’t desire sex. I am proud to say that I was a virgin when I got married. That’s 29 long years of crazy sexy ideas for seducing my future husband. Tip #1 – Don’t take it personal. Every time you have sex, it’s different — and there will be times when you or your partner won’t finish or doesn’t want to have sex at that very moment. Don’t let that freak you out. Tip #2 – Buy lingerie and lots of it. Tip #3 – Sexy is good. Sexy is good. Sexy is good. Growing up as a Christian taught me one thing about sex: it’s bad. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to just get married and be expected to flip the switch from bad to good. Even though I was super eager to try — and have only been married for 9 months — it takes practice. Tip #4 – What may be seductive to you may not be seductive to your partner. THIS IS OKAY. Find out what that is and teach it to each other. :)

Valerie Bryant: Trial and error plus a sense of humor. Trust your husband to support you in all your efforts at sexiness, and don’t be afraid to try something that sounds wacky or terrifying — it just might be the very thing that makes you feel amazing and vixenish! Some things may not work at all, but don’t forget to laugh about it together — there is very little that is sexier than a genuine, shared smile between lovers.

Elora Nicole: My husband and I didn’t have sex until we were married, and we were both each other’s firsts. I can’t stress this enough: have fun. Know your own limits. Communicate beforehand so your husband knows what you will or won’t do, and you know what he will or won’t do. Also, embrace your feminine side. A little make up, some perfume, and lotion makes me feel sexy.

Lauren Dubinsky: I wasn’t a virgin when I got married, but “having sex before marriage” doesn’t inherently give you confidence in the bedroom. Regardless of when it is that you first have sex, no one, male or female, is 100% confident immediately. So be encouraged that if you’ve waited for marriage, you’re getting more confident in the presence of a man who loves you no matter what. “Sexiness” is an aspect of my nature, and it hinges upon MANY things. Trust, safety, comfort, emotional connection, and the absence of shame/fear/guilt/incorrect expectations. That means that our ability to be sexy or seductive relies primarily on our relationship with the guy, and our perception of ourself — NOT on our experience or “skill.” A lot of it comes naturally, but if you have hangups or issues (like 95% of people I know), counseling is definitely the first step. Don’t ignore your struggle. Don’t keep it to yourself. I don’t know how any married couples make it without counseling, honestly, and it’s been a massive help to me in letting go of insecurities, crazy things in my head, and fear —which in turn is giving me permission to be sexxyyy.

Prudy: Ask him what he finds sexy; it may be a lacy little number or it may be one of his button down work shirts. Leave notes hidden for him or sext him [texting dirty things]! And create a playlist of “in-the-mood music” just for YOU.

Katy Hill: For me, it just took time to get comfortable with that switch. I waited for myself, not for what anyone else expected of me. I didn’t come from a super conservative household, but it was still tough to realize it was okay to be sexy and seductive toward my husband. Don’t be hard on yourself if it takes longer than you expected!

Alyssa Agee: Your sexy and seductive side should NOT be “turned off” until the moment you say “I do!” Do things on your own time to feel sexy for yourself. And once you’re married? Take a deep breath and let go of your inhibitions. Turn the lights on. Laugh a lot. Ditch the lingerie if it makes you feel uncomfortable and glory in your own skin. That’s sexy.

Lindsay Satterfield: No one I know has gotten married and instantly became a sex kitten.

Shelly DeVore: It really wasn’t that difficult for me once I realized that it is a GOOD desire. In a strange way, it’s kinda like getting a drivers license; something you’ve wanted to do for a long time and now all the sudden it’s not only ok, but right and good. SO MUCH FREEDOM. I didn’t find that I had to “work” at it, and I was a virgin when we got married.

Carley Lollie: For me, it came really naturally since we were both learning each other at the same time. Sex gets better with time (and you’ve got a lot of it now!). It’s an adventure, and it’s what you were designed as a woman to be. Just being open to the idea of sex is the biggest step.

Sarah Bessey: Well, I didn’t start off too virginal, so it wasn’t a problem. I was a sexually active teenager, and although that brings its own baggage, I was very comfortable with my own sexuality and needs. I don’t think that it’s too healthy to live “switched off.”

Second Note: Below, we’ve brought in Cherry from Married Spice to give more detail and some important perspective! She’s the sweetest Christian woman who gives tons of sex advice to married women dealing with issues in the bedroom. We wanted to share her very raw and honest thoughts at risk of starting a comment-war! Again, don’t take this as right and wrong, but simply something to add into the discussion. Have fun, and read with an open mind. Feel free to ask her questions in the comments, or send her an email at marriedspice[at]hotmail.com

Cherry: I wasn’t a virgin, but I will say as advice to the virgin bride goes: get to know yourself, your body, before the wedding.  You really need to explore your sexuality. You are a sexual being. God made us to experience this in a very real way!  Buy lingerie EARLY, and then (gulp) you need to touch yourself… in a sexual way.* Try to NOT be on the pill, if you can. Your hormones are your best friend here.  If you ovulate, you will feel sexier. Use that to your advantage. Nothing wrong with your new husband using condoms for awhile.  Get to know your body while you can have orgasm and enjoy it.  Feeling sexy is a state of mind. For us girls it is HUGE. Think about sex, think about your beautiful body and how it was made for pleasure. Half the battle to sexiness is won in the mind!

I realize there is a dividing line here for some Christian women, but the issue still remains that many Christian women are NOT in touch with their sexuality. Therefore, they’ve never had an orgasm, do not think sex is ”necessary” after kids, and do it just to please their husbands.  Some do it to be obedient to God, but since they have NEVER gotten to know their body personally, they have missed out on pleasure. And yes, physical pleasure is something that God created for both men and women.

Look at how males grow up. They get to know their penis from infancy. Diaper comes off, and BAM, they are grabbing it and playing with it. It is external, so obviously  they’ll grab it, but it also feels good to them. They are intimate with their sex organ from the get go while girls have no idea what their vulva is.  Let alone a clitoris.  But this has been and still is the biggest disservice we are doing to our little girls.  They grow up, never looking, never playing with, never considering this as the fun zone.  It’s usually, the ”no no zone.” And we wonder why women have such fickle, un-interested sexual appetites for their spouses. If they grow up thinking it’s dirty, this becomes such a mental battle after the wedding night.

*Earlier, when I mentioned touching yourself sexually? Everyone has differing opinions on this, but it’s important to note that shame has no place in your life, regardless of what you have or have not done. Once you are engaged, and “if” up to this point (because of beliefs or whatnot) you haven’t touched yourself to get to know what feels good, NOW IS THE TIME!

The funny thing is, EVERY woman’s man has given in to self-pleasure. YES, EVERY SINGLE ONE.  Whether they used porn is a whole other matter.  What matters here is the fact that, all by themselves, their man HAS masturbated. Not just once, but a lot.  And he knows his body, he knows what feels good… because he’s had lots of practice.  What he isn’t going to know is how to please you. And how can you expect another person to know your body better than you know yourself? So, as an engaged woman, this is an important time to get to know the wonderful body God gave you, and to explore, look in a mirror, find your spots, and think about your guy. This way, on her wedding night (after more likely) you can show him and he can show you what feels good.

If you are worried about your thought-life in all of this, think about your husband and the pleasure you can bring to him.  The rest of your thought life is between you and God.  If you believe you are the center of your soon-to-be husband’s desire, then feeling sexy is cake, and your focus will be on the right place.  The confidence comes when we get to know our bodies for what God created them to be.

How do you learn your body without it resulting in an addiction to pleasure? It’s a bridge to cross as needed. (If you deal with addiction, I HIGHLY recommend licensed counseling, no matter what it costs you.) As an example, I love chocolate.  I can eat it with pleasure without gorging myself. Some people cannot.  Should I tell people that if they eat chocolate, they better eat it slowly and only one or two pieces, so that they don’t over do it and become addicted?  Not necessarily. This is why it’s important for you to know that your body is ultimately your responsibility, and to pay close attention to your heart.

Anything God created can be abused and turn sinful. So, to caution too much about self-pleasuring then causes one to hesitate and think of it as evil, bringing us back to square one. So again, it’s between you and God if you are concerned with your behavior being pleasing to Him. Don’t be afraid to start looking for a woman you respect and trust to discuss this with personally.


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170 Responses

  1. Katherine

    I find it interesting that it is usually considered the wife's duty to be the sexy one and arouse her partner. It seems unfair to put all of the pressure on the wife. What would it look like for the husband to take on some of this as well? Maybe he doesn't need to go all "Magic Mike" but I imagine that having a partner that reciprocates the sexiness can only be a plus.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    • Greatest comment ever.

      July 9, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    • I don't think it's the wife's "duty"; sexiness is something that both the husband and wife get to share. I absolutely agree that husbands should be sexy too. I hate the idea that the wife should get all dressed/dolled up (lingerie and whatnot) and the husband just whips off his khakis and he's ready to go, dress socks and tight-whiteys and all. Screw whoever says woman aren't visual. I love getting sexy for my wife, be that jeans or a tight shirt or whatever. Yes, I have jeans that I keep for "bedroom only", because they're no longer decent for public use. Also, I'm hitting the gym now every day, and it has nothing to do with being healthy and everything to do with getting ripped so that I'm more attractive to my wife. If people think that the only thing that's attractive to a wife is a dude washing dishes or something boring of that nature, I think they don't know my wife.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      • LOVE this. Thank you Micah for bringing this up–because women ARE turned on by visual stimuli just as much as the physical. I personally think it's absurd to expect that only the women should be dressed up and in good shape. That idea comes from a sexist view of women and their sexuality, that they couldn't possibly be just as attractive and desirable without make up and greasy hair, that they MUST get dolled up in order for a man to want them. And that's just so wrong! BOTH partners should be concerned with feeling comfortable and confident, and if you want to dress up (or down) for your partner, then go for it! But don't do it because you think it's the ONLY way to be sexy, ladies. Do what makes you feel wonderful, what helps you connect to your partner. And appreciate that your man may want to put on a show for you, too.

        July 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  2. Amelia

    Great post. A lot of different ideas and opinions represented here! Lots to consider. As a…pre-engaged? (intending to marry but not officially engaged yet) person, this is definitely something I think and wonder about. Having grown up in a very conservative household, sex was never mentioned. Ever. And I mean EVER. I mean like finding-out-about-sex-from-internet-porn-and-feeling-too-ashamed-ask ever. It’s very comforting hearing what other people’s fears were beforehand, as they are similar to my own, and that –it’s okay–. Sex isn’t a bad thing. Now for my head to be able to actually grasp that concept may turn out to be another thing altogether.

    July 9, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    • Totally understand. Sex was very vaguely explained to me by my parents, but after that one conversation, even the word "sex" was a dirty word, and never ever talked about. Porn was my first experience with it, as was masturbation, and it was by far the biggest source of guilt and shame for me growing up. I will never forget the day I learned that other human beings masturbated, and that it doesn't "send you to hell." Don't worry though, your emotions are a bit slower than your head, but the way you feel about sex in general WILL catch up (to my experience) as you have more and more positive experiences with it throughout your life. :)

      July 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      • Amelia

        Mm yeah. As far as my parents are concerned, I am still 8 years old and still have no idea sex exists. It hasn’t been mentioned in any capacity since I was 4 and was told not to touch myself besides “don’t look, we’re skipping a scene” on DVDs. My mom didn’t even tell me about menstruation. So that being said, GWP is kind of a lifeline of sane communication about the real world that I’m still not fully a part of. I’m still a little bit in the weird uber-conservative homeschool bubble. I worked Ina restaurant last year and didn’t realize that TV actually can be accurate. It is possible for people to have sex outside of marriage and not be terrible evil people like I was lead to believe. Might not be the best idea for numerous reasons, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a whore, either. I feel like I’ve been fed this giant lie/conspiracy that people who may do the things Christians say are “wrong” are terrible, horrible people who must be avoided at all costs. This is shit. I know more real, honest, caring, and upfront atheists than I do Christians. This makes me very sad. Anyway. Thanks. :)

        July 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

        • Abigail Coleman

          Oh Ameila, you are a girl after my own heart. I just escaped "the bubble" myself and am learning so much about life and love and sex and the real world. GWP and Lauren have been a lifeline for me as well! I encourage you to keep loving and asking questions and reading good books and explore the great little things in life like expensive underwear :) it has changed my perception of myself, made me feel more beautiful, and developed a better world view in me. It's so nice to know that you're not the only one who feels crazy for leaving that little circle of intense homeschooling, eh?

          July 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

          • Yes yes yes. Sometimes I swear I'm going crazy! I have questions and frustrations and it's hard and confusing. But I think it's getting easier. Or at least, I'm coming more to terms with the fact that I have questions, and that everything I know about God doesn't have to fit into the little box of "okay" that I've been sold. And that is good. :)

            July 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

        • "My mom didn't even tell me about menstruation." This breaks my heart.

          "I feel like I've been fed this giant lie/conspiracy that people who may do the things Christians say are "wrong" are terrible, horrible people who must be avoided at all costs." Welcome to my life for the entire six years. It's been an unbelievable journey learning that everyone is human first, and their beliefs/religion second. Yes, Jesus makes us brand new people, but it still doesn't make us one ounce "better" than anyone else on this planet. We are all created equal and unbelievably loved by God.

          July 9, 2012 at 9:57 pm

          • Mhm. It makes things really complicated, having basically grown up believing that, or at least, submitting to it. But even though things have been so crazy messed up, I finally have some fingers on what some of my questions are, and it makes it easier to finally go to God WITH them. It's hard to ask a question you don't know what it is.

            July 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

    • it definitely takes time! be patient, talk to your fiance openly about expectations (we did this the week before our wedding and it was SO helpful. albeit a little awkward), and give both of yourselves grace. as Cherry said, guys are a lot more in tune with their sexual needs than us 'conservative Christian women' are (as a generality. not saying that about everyone!). i also found it helpful to read books (we both really enjoyed Sheet Music), but if that's not your thing, figure out what is and seek out information! we've condemned this topic to off-limits in Christian circles and done SUCH a disfavor to marriage. i'm sure most of the women here would definitely be willing to have open dialogue if that's what you need (myself included).

      July 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    • Joseph Lengacher

      When sex is amazing
      How many times did you have sex

      November 3, 2012 at 7:32 am

  3. MrsP

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to ALL the women who offered their insights here. 17 years ago when I married my first husband, it was so difficult to turn that switch from "bad" to "good." Even though he fell off the morality train and I had to suffer a divorce, I am so grateful that God blessed me with my current husband, who was willing to teach me my own sexuality! My heart for my daughter, when she reaches that point, is to have open conversation with Godly women about the truth…that God created sex for women too! That yes, women DO desire sex, and that this is GOOD and GODLY!! Thank you, Good Women Project, for existing…and for being willing to tackle difficult subjects.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm

  4. Hanna

    I've been gobbling up GWP this month. As someone who's getting married in a few months, I LOVE married women and they have evolved in my mind into golden springs of knowledge. THANK YOU.

    One thing I keep hearing that surprises me is advice to not be on the pill! I'm on it because otherwise I'd be missing work and the rest of my life for a couple days every month. I've been raised a conservative Christian girl, so I usually don't feel sexy and I'm afraid my libido is already the weakest one EVER. How much of a difference does the pill actually make? Fret fret fret.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    • Kate

      I've been married a year and have been on the pill for a few months longer. Every woman is different and every woman's body reacts differently to the medication. I personally didn't feel like my drive was low. I notice that my drive is lower during the last week of active pills, but I also notice that it is higher during the second week. Also, even if my drive is not high enough to initiate sex, if he does, I still respond.

      If you are still worried. Consider asking your doctor. Maybe a different pill with different hormone levels would be a better fit for you. Your Gynecologist is your friend and if she/he isn't accessible to you, find a new one.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    • I'm on a birth control that is low-estrogen and my sex drive is UP AND UP. haha. i used to be on one with a regular dosage of estrogen and i felt like my libido was long gone. not to mention i felt like a crazy person. haha. but this one is a completely different story. i'm getting married in a few months, so i can't speak for how it'll hold up once i'm sexually active again, but for now i really really really like it compared to how i felt before. definitely just talk to your doctor — mine helped me find one that works perfect for me! :)

      July 9, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    • Don't let it be a major source of worry for you! The pill affects every single woman differently. Do a lot of research on it though, as it does affect your hormones, your reproductive system, etc. There are some definite repercussions of being on the pill long term (like 10 years) and can make pregnancy more difficult if/when you try, but being on it for a few years isn't going to "ruin" you. I personally have had a very bad experience with birth control and will never be going back on it, but I do know women who take the pill for medical reasons and it hasn't affected their sex drive at all! So don't worry too much, and don't freak out about your libido until you need to. But, high five to you for recognizing that your libido IS affected by physical things and not just "emotional issues" between you and your husband. Many people forget to look at their physical health when they have issues!!

      xoxo

      July 9, 2012 at 9:59 pm

  5. In regards to masturbation I know that a lot of people have been hurt by the church not discussing it and instead sending the message that it, as you say Lauren "sends you to hell" I certainly do not agree with that. What I do agree with though is that lust is a sin, and you cannot masturbate without lusting. I'm not trying to start a debate, or to tell anyone that they are wrong, but when it comes to biblical truths and testing what we are doing against what scripture says, that is where we land. When my husband and I were engaged we both attempted to not engage in this sin, because just like any other sin it creates separation from God, and allows the enemy a foothold. Of course I was not 100% successful, and while I strived to be, I didn't expect it of myself. Just like a sin such a pride or idolatry, these are things we as humans will struggle with. Thankfully the blood of Christ covers all sins.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    • Kate

      My fiance & I have experienced that masturbation opens doors that shouldn't be opened and create distance between us and the Lord. but we have both struggled with it for years & experienced freedom from it. I think what Cherry's saying is that most girls do not know a thing about their bodies and is speaking to the ones who have never let their hands wander "down there." I think that these girls may benefit from touching themselves a few weeks before their wedding for the purpose of preparing for sex with her husband. The problem with me and for other girls is that masturbation reopens old sin patterns and does a lot of damage. But this type of masturbation is different, and in a way could be loving to one's future husband. I really don't know where I land on this and I'm not trying to debate or argue either!

      July 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      • Hi Kate,

        I can see what you mean with Cherry's intent, but as Crystal from dirtygirlministries wrote so perfectly below, "Saving pleasure for him to satisfy is one of the greatest gifts you can offer your husband." Explore together once you're married… it's pretty fun! I know for a fact that I can satisfy myself faster and easier myself than to have my husband do it, but that strips away all that is holy when it comes to sex. It is not meant to be something taken without giving. It is not meant to be instant gratification. That's what masturbation teaches us. It's sex, but so very backwards.

        July 9, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      • Agreed. It's a hard "balance" to describe in words, but I'm personally on the same page as you. I think regular masturbation does create separation and distance between you and someone you love.

        July 10, 2012 at 12:19 am

    • Anonymous

      Masturbation without lust is entirely possible.

      July 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      • Anonygon

        Truth. I don't need Magic Mike. All I need is to think about how good it feels and… done and done.

        July 10, 2012 at 10:59 am

    • Anastacia

      I'm going to second what Anonymous said and say that is certainly IS possible to masturbate without lusting, at least for some people. It may be the case that you're one of those people who must be mentally stimulated by lustful thoughts in order to masturbate, but that is not the case for every woman. I can masturbate without even really thinking much of anything. I've orgasmed in the past while thinking of my "to-do" list for the week–seriously. It's important to not make the assumption that all masturbation is a sin (after all, young children can masturbate without even really understanding what they're doing), because that is just not necessarily the case.

      July 9, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      • Just seconding this. I've heard it's impossible for men to masturbate without lust, but I'm hearing (and agree personally) that some women can.

        July 10, 2012 at 12:19 am

        • Anon

          To be honest though, isn't it self-seeking and you become worshipping yourself?

          July 10, 2012 at 4:25 am

          • Well, we have to be careful with that too, because if we decide that all pleasure is "self-worship," then getting dessert, watching movies, and buying nail polish is "self-worship" too because we're choosing to seek things we don't "need" in order for pleasure. See what I mean? Staying within the realm of sex, as well, that would mean wanting to have sex with your husband because it feels good would be self-worship. (Yeah, think about it.) Pleasure is only a negative thing when we put it above God in our lives, or we sacrifice other healthy things in order to have it.

            July 10, 2012 at 9:54 am

          • Anonymous

            I agree. And I found that it made sex with my husband a less pleasurable experience, because I was left disappointed when I didn't achieve the same pleasure and high that was guaranteed if I did it myself. It even made me angry because I wanted that orgasmic sensation. Now masturbation is a thing of the past for me, and my husband and I enjoy a much better sex life – one based on mutual sacrifice whereby we to experience mutual satisfaction. It feels so much better and I feel freer.

            July 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      • Anonygon

        um, LOL @ the "to-do" list. Seriously, Anastacia, you need to write a book.

        July 10, 2012 at 11:00 am

    • Kayla

      I was crippled by guilt over masturbation as a teen and lived in fear that I would be judged for what I now believe is a healthy, normal bodily function. My husband and I were virgins when we married, but self pleasure was my main outlet. We didn't have sex until 2 months after our wedding day, because I was so anxious about sex that my body literally shut itself off. I now realize that I felt that I got the wrong message about sex. I think that deep down I thought it was sinful. I couldn't break that connection. I feel it's important to encourage people to wait for marriage, but my wedding night and honeymoon (and almost my marriage) were ruined. I know this was not God's intention, and that there were other factors. However, I sometimes think it would have been better if I had not waited for marriage. Yes, I know it was worth it, but it definitely didn't feel like it.

      I no longer feel guilt or anxiety about sex, and now I wish I had not wasted so many years torturing myself with guilt over such a natural, and minor thing.

      July 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

  6. Sarah

    I just celebrated my first wedding anniversary. I was a virgin on the night of my wedding.. and even the next day! Ha. No, we didn't "do the deed" on the first night, and I've learned that that's actually not so uncommon. We were exhausted and inexperienced, without the energy to figure things out so we just enjoyed intimacy, finally seeing one another naked, showering together, reveling in guiltless spooning and messing around. And a little over a year later I look back and can honestly say that the sex, for us, didn't start to get good until about 8 months in (I could go much further on reasons why and our experiences etc. but that's too much for a comment box) and it's still getting better! Don't expect to be an expert, feel sexy and know all the "right moves" as soon as the *magical ring* slips on your finger. It's impossible, and I'll explain why; 1. What you, the media, world, movies, ex-boyfriends and others perceive as "sexy" or "seductive" may not be what turns your husband on. 2. You most likely won't know what turns him on and makes him happy (in other words what's sexy to HIM) instantly, actually it'll probably take a few trial runs, a few weeks, long talks and walks. This is why I believe their are a couple foundational elements to helping you feel sexy and confident: open, honesty communication about your sex, AND becoming a STUDENT of your partner. Learn from him through open communication about what he likes so you can do those things, wear that outfit, smell that way and touch that spot. Doing that will make him real happy which in turn make you feel sexy and boost your confidence! The important thing to remember is that this takes time. It takes trial and error and that is why I echo what many of the women above said; LAUGH. Have fun together. Maybe something you try will be a total flop, but you never know until you try. I also agree with what Cherry said because the better you know yourself the more comfortable you'll be. BUT that cannot be the end of it. Just because you try to communicate to your husband what you know to feel good, doesn't mean their won't be other things that he discovers, or that you discover together when you're exploring and experimenting in those first few months of marriage. I hope this helps someone. I realize it's a long comment and goes beyond the question at hand.. but basically I'm saying the way I have found to feel sexy and confident in the bedroom is to learn what my husband likes, learn what I like and go with it. Also, very important to remember; part of experiencing intimacy together means being VULNERABLE to each other. If your husband truely loves you, he will at the very least think your efforts at being sexy are "cute."

    PS. don't be afraid to read up on a lot of books and ask for advice from married women on tips and tricks for in the bedroom. A couple real quick; lingerie and lube are your friends, "Sexytime" playlists are great, and hollywood lies about what sex looks like… but that's okay because REAL, INTIMATE sex with your husband is better than any steamy scripted movie scene will ever be.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  7. Kate

    As I read this post, I kept thinking, "Right on!" but there is one thing I've found to be important wasn't mentioned here. We as women do ourselves a great disservice when we look at other women and compare ourselves to them. We view ourselves as less attractive than others and therefore less desirable/sexy than they are. As I am recovering from an Eating Disorder, I have devoted years of my life to loving my body. I've stood in front of the mirror and hated my stomach. When I do that, I become ashamed of the fat rolls that live there and am unwilling to show them to my husband. It's hard to be sexy when you are ashamed of your body. I'm not trying to say that you shouldn't try to lose those few pounds or work out. I'm trying to say that you need to love your body where it is today. Embrace your sexuality, and thank God for every part of your body from the parts you love to the parts you hate.

    July 9, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    • Emelina

      Love this, Kate! Thank you so much for speaking up about this. I'm so proud of you for working on loving every part of your body!

      July 9, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    • Amen to this. I still am shocked all the time by how my husband never seems to notice my "flaws." We are so much harder on ourselves than 1) men 2) someone that loves us.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm

  8. Lily

    Something I wish was covered in this post was I have a problem thinking about Christian men in a sexual way. I have no problem with that when I am with men that I know aren't in Christ. I have no problem feeling sexy around them at all, just when I'm dating a Christian guy.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    • Like that whole "brothers in Christ" thing? Yeah. It really is kind of a turn off, isn't it? When I think in those terms, it gives me the same icky feeling, like when my younger brother uses the term "sexy." Like, that's okay, dude, but please. Be sexy somewhere else. You're my brother. I find that in order to be, eh, romantic-ly, I can't even think about my boyfriend like that. We're best friends, but that means it's super easy to slip into a brother-sister sort of behavior, which opens up all kinds of weird for us.

      July 9, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      • Lily

        Exactly! I think thats why I never end up staying with a good Christian guy! I always go back to guys I know aren't good for me just because it isn't awkward to be around them in that way. I know that sounds twisted and like it will end up bad, but its the truth for me right now.

        July 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm

        • Claire

          I tend to relate to certain types of guys as “brothers”, and it took me awhile to figure out that that’s what it was, and not, for instance, being unable to relate to guys sexually, period. It’s also very easy for me to put guys in that role, just because I’m so used to that proximity (I was very close to my real brother growing up.)

          One day a few years ago, though, I met someone who was of a very different type and whom I instantly found attractive – and there it was, that reflex to just put him in the brother category instead of trying to relate to him differently. The difference this time around was that I made a conscious decision to resist that. It never worked out, but meeting him definitely taught me loads about what to aspire to in a relationship.

          Long story short: I think the brother-sister vibe shouldn’t be the dominant vibe in a relationship.

          July 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    • Lily,

      First, I want to remind you of something. That if you are God's child, your worth is what HE says of you. You are precious, loved, forgiven, redeemed, and valued. A Christian guy should know this and respond to you in light of it. He should be treating you with the utmost respect and purity, as 1 Timothy 5:2 instructs. Likewise, how are we supposed to treat our Christian brothers? In the same way. But viewing a Christian guy as your "brother" does not necessarily mean you punch each other in the shoulder and give each other noogies all the time.

      Maybe you didn't mean to phrase it this way, but I'm wondering why you think you should be thinking about Christian men in a sexual way, when they are not your husband? Before I started dating my boyfriend, I wasn't actually that physically attracted to him. I admired his character, and his heart for the Lord, and he pursued me in a very romantic, intentional, yet respectful way. Even during the first couple of months of our relationship, I still wasn't that physically attracted to him. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't repulsed by his appearance, but he wasn't someone that I would have done a double-take over. Ya get me? However, his godly character and his respect for me made him all the more attractive, and now I can honestly say that I find him very attractive, and we haven't even kissed yet (4 months and still going… rare for me, since all of my other relationships have started with a make-out session)! Why am I telling you all this? Because I fear you are viewing men differently than you should. I am wondering if you are going about dating relationships asking yourself: what can I get out of this person? As a Christian, your goal in any relationship – romantic or not – should be striving to portray Christ to them in every way that you possibly can. In service, respect, love, and purity.

      There is a lot more I want to say and ask, but I don't want to overwhelm, overstep my bounds, or misunderstand you. I hope you find truth in my words, and a solid foundation in the Bible to navigate this hurting and broken world of messy relationships. Feel free to reply, I welcome your comments!

      August 8, 2012 at 9:16 pm

  9. Emily

    Question. I am currently (contentedly) single and a virgin, but I'm discovering in this my 22nd year the beauty and inherent sexiness of my female body, and with it the desire to embrace the sexual side of myself. At the moment, I'm thanking God for my sex drive and I'm telling him I'm giving it to him to hold in safe-keeping until I need it again! I know this is slightly off-topic, but how have other singles found ways of staying pure as a single and not suppressing these God-given desires and feelings; of handling this firecracker inside?

    July 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    • If you haven't read it yet, a GWP post several months ago deals with this a bit: http://goodwomenproject.com/sex/what-do-i-do-with

      July 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      • Emily

        I had read it, found it incredibly helpful to know other women had the same thoughts, but I thought the post just asked the question rather than offering any advice. However, the comments I'm reading through look really interesting and add greatly to the the conversation!

        July 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm

        • Join the club! I'm pretty sure no one has "the answer." It's a daily or weekly part of our life that we have to learn to handle on our own, from what I can tell. But, how we feel about it shows us a lot about what we believe about ourselves, our bodies, relationships, God, marriage, etc. Pay attention to the thoughts that go through your head! <3

          July 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    • Lauren Terveen

      Emily I am also struggling with this. I guess for me I thank God for it also and pray that it goes away. I would love to have more insight also into this! Thank goodness there are other Christian women out there who struggle with it!

      July 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm

  10. Claire

    Ohhhhhhh, a Christian blog post that talks about sex in a positive way. YES. MORE OF.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    • francine

      +1!!!!!

      August 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm

  11. Lauren Terveen

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! I am a 22 year old who never ever got the sex talk from my parents.I have some amazing Christians in my life though who have talked to me about it, yet all i hear is SEX IS BAD! Being sexy is bad, that in order to be sexy you have to be modest. I get that being modest is good as a women of the Lord, but I'm sorry at times I want to let my hair down wear a low cut top with some red lipstick and go out and have fun. Is that sinful no, but do I feel judgment from these friends yes! I also have lost 100 lbs and am trying to figure out what being sexy is. Why as Christians do we say that we as women shouldn't know are body. I think that what she talked about towards feeling ourselves is amazing! Thank you for this blog. It has brought a lot of truth into my life. That as a Christian women Its okay to be sexy. SEXY IS GOOD! Thank you again.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    • Saradav

      There is a difference, though, between being sexy for your husband or yourself, and for the general public. It is not wrong to want to learn how to dress or act to feel sexy; but it can be wrong if we are dressing or acting in a way that can tempt or hurt others. We don't want to cause someone else to 'stumble'.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    • Hey Lauren! (awesome name haha) I wrote a post about modesty over on my blog, laurennicolelove.com/blog. This is a big topic to unpack, but, if I were your friend having coffee with you, I'd tell you to put on that lipstick, wear an amazing top that makes you feel beautiful and confident, and go have a fun evening. :) Don't suffocate the life inside you that's just DYING to get out (literally), by being too afraid of what someone will think about you. He has set us free, we are free indeed. <3

      July 10, 2012 at 3:09 pm

  12. Angie

    As a woman who has been married for over four years now I can say that it only gets better. I know that I am still a "newly" wed but have found there to be many ups and downs. When we got married I thought that the switch was to take place the first night. Go from Virgin to sexy wife right then and there. I had not been told that if you did not "do the deed" that first night there was nothing wrong. Our first months were full of stress and tears when it came to this and I hope so much to help my girls avoid it. (We were pregnant after the first three months of marriage with our first girl, pregnancy being a whole 'nother story in this department). Another thing I have learned is that we are always learning. This last year we discovered some new things and it has changed things again for the better. Life is full of ups and downs in every way and this is just another one of them. To be open to each other is most important. If reading on these things helps you than go for it. I know for me it does not help as it often sets me up for false expectations that are not fulfilled and the disappointment ruins it for me. I imagine it going one way and when it doesn't I think something is wrong. So I don't read up on it. I just spend time with my husband and we learn it together.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    • I really love this comment. I personally haven't read any books on sex [yet] because I find the more I read, the more 'stuck in my head' I get, and the less present I am with my husband. I'm a huge advocate of taking time and eliminating pressure in order to experiment and have fun on our own.

      July 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm

  13. Anon

    It frustrates me massively that this condones masturbation. As someone who has struggled with addiction in this area (and who is, technically, still struggling) I don't think it's healthy at all. If a woman is getting sexually aroused, alone, is there not a high chance she'll turn to pornography, which just leads to numerous other problems, personally and further into society (e.g. degradation of women, sex trafficking, etc.)? This definitely puts me off this whole website, if you can condone that. You can't compare sexual addiction to liking chocolate a bit too much. I'm literally sat her crying, this angers me so much.

    July 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    • Emma

      YES AMEN GET IT

      July 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    • Laurie

      I am a love addict, and part of my version of the addiction includes compulsive masturbation. For a long time, I believed just the way you did, Anon. I didn’t feel like there was a possible way for masturbation to exist without fantasy or intensity. I still haven’t experienced that for myself, but part of my and, I believe, any love or sex addict’s addiction, is an addiction to intensity. I know for myself I like the intense feelings I have when I masturbate. It’s a massive high. But – after a time of celibacy and abstaining from any triggers, I think there might be a way to masturbate without fantasy or intensity. As I said, haven’t experienced it, but my sponsor tells me that this is true, and within what I’m learning in my recovery so far (I’m in SLAA) I am starting to believe it can be.
      So I have to respectfully disagree while still stating that it is VERY important to watch yourself – if you start getting attached to the high and the intensity, it’s time to stop and get some counseling. EVEN if you’ve only masturbated once. That high and your desire for it is telling you something about pain that you’re hiding from yourself. At least that is what has been true in my experience.

      July 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    • Dear Anon,

      I just wanted to thank you personally for sharing your experience and being willing to participate in such a personal, touchy subject. We wholly respect your views and opinions, and believe they are valuable. We are striving to walk a delicate balance of beginning an open conversation on the countless facets of sex and sexuality, and provide a place of honest discussion from MANY people, rather than taking the [easy/dangerous] route of declaring one particular set of sexual choices as "right." That being said, we do believe in seeking what promotes a healthy sex life, healthy relational life, and a God-honoring life.

      Again, thank you, and much love to you.

      - lauren

      July 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    • Jane

      Hi Anon,
      First I wanted to apologize for the tears that were brought on in this conversation. I may not know all these gals personally but I’m confident in my speculation it was never the intention to upset you that way. There are verses in scripture that really address this saying that should “the strong” not care for “the weak” when it comes to issues of abstinence (scripturally specific, with food, but I think the point really was with all things that we can hinder each other with). We all have our weak areas. In your case, should you masturbate if it’s been a struggle and hurt for so long? I’d say no, I think you’re wise, and agree with you it is not something you should do. You obviously were already quite in touch with your sexuality and I’d say that Cherry’s point of exploration was aimed at those that have kept it entirely taboo or ignored that part of the way their made. Also, we each have our tendencies, and so for some turning to pornography may be a concern but perhaps not for all. I believe Lauren made a point about that when she mentioned addictions and chocolate-and you noted it… it’s not about THE TYPE of addiction, it’s about the propensity toward addiction, or having “addictive personality traits”. Should someone with a genetic history of alcholism (my fiance) go to a bar? Probably not. Because though one drink isn’t wrong it’s really hard for him to say no to drunkenness following that.
      You also made a mention of those who have been abused in some form of exploitation or sex trafficking, and the trend of female degradation in our society. Speaking as one that was raped, then fell into abusive relationships because I had been deceived in thinking my sexuality was to merely be at the mercy of a man, trying to think of pleasure “down south” in connection to my fiance was tough! And it was a huge step for me to try and find any pleasure there. Damage has been done and I’m finding it to be something important my fiance will need informing of as we move toward our wedding. He needs to know that I have scars (in more ways than one), and to be intimate is going to require a little creativity. So now I’ve laid the foundation to help show him how to gently, kindly, lovingly, please him, without turning our first experience into a nightmare of my trying to behave under the old expectations other men have given me.
      As a final note though, in the department of lust, I do limit myself. There’s a difference between finding your trigger spots and touches that are pleasant and having a full on session of “solo-sex”. I think the goal here is that we prepare to present ourselves to our husbands as ready to celebrate intimacy TOGETHER. If you’re not close to being hitched, put it off, “don’t awaken love until it so desires”. Finally, and as so many have noted, the relationship we have with our spouse is first and enduring “turn on”. That can never really be experienced in stimulating yourself, so keeping the mindset in any exploration that you are preparing for what you will practice in love with your husband, may*** (***again, depending upon your personal personality and the risks associated with an addiction) stave off the desire for pornography, and help keep you from anything impure.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:59 pm

      • 100% agree. Jane, thank you so much for your grace and clarity and wisdom. You full represented my heart.

        July 10, 2012 at 12:22 am

    • Tammy

      Hi, I can relate to you so much. I was told through a Christian person who wrote for a youth magazine that masturbation was healthy. It never set well with me, I found it to be so wrong. It is something I am overcoming. God has really helped me through this. I ended up in masturbation without knowing what it was. I entered puberty and didn't know what I was getting into. I don't even know how I knew to do it! I was 10! Although I agree that you should have some understanding of your sexuality, mastubation is NOT the way to do it. It became a way for me to get a high, a place of comfort, there were nights where I couldn't go to sleep without doing it. I walked away many times crying, lonely, frustrated, trying to get over condemnation from the Devil. Like any other addiction it can be a way to cover up other issues. What if your engagement dissolves? (that happened to me). Trust God to bring healing and to remove shame. Thank you for sharing this with others so they would come into truth as masturbation involves lust, fantasy, and it is just not beneficial.

      July 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    • Jill

      Oh, relax Anon. I am a single, God fearing, Jesus obsessed woman. And masturbation is small potatoes in my book. Going to far in a non marital relationship (even PG making out) is the big deal. That's intimacy not in it's proper place.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm

  14. Well. I have received several comments today in regard to this post and while I am generally all aboard the Good Women Project bandwagon, this particular post has me filled with some concerns. I am not even all that sure where to begin. I love that the married women are speaking about their experiences. I too will marry one day and will seek the advice of married women before my wedding night. However, in regard to Cherry's advice, I think it is strongly misguided.

    I am not a proponent of shame and guilt when it comes to sexuality, particularly masturbation. But I do not think it is good advice to tell an engaged woman to masturbate in order to know her body. Not only is that giving permission for other girls to do it, but it's telling her that she can always turn to self-pleasure if her husband can't satisfy. It's setting a precedent that no Christian (male or female) should live by.

    Just because your future husband has masturbated and has done so "a lot" does not mean that you should. If you're worried about not being able to satisfy one another or that you're not able to be satisfied by your future husband, I would hope that you love each other enough to TALK about it as opposed to taking thing into your own hands. No pun intended. Part of premarital counseling and the engagement process is to talk about the things that scare you or concern you about marriage – and I can imagine that for the virgin bride or even the re-virginized bride, sex is going to be on the top of that list.

    We were not created for self-pleasure.

    If that were the case, God wouldn't have even created Eve. Adam needed her. Eve needed him. Men and women can teach other about what they like and what they don't like in the marriage bed without self-pleasuring beforehand or even during marriage, if your needs aren't being met. Like Kate commented above, masturbation created distance between her and her husband and can open old sin patterns. Why give the enemy ANY foothold?

    You will learn what you like and you don't like, and you'll learn together. That is part of the beautiful creation of sex. It's two bodies coming together in worship – of God and each other. It's not a solo-act and it is never supposed to be. Regardless of your husband's premarital extracurricular activities. Saving pleasure for him to satisfy is one of the greatest gifts you can offer your husband. Don't settle for less than that.

    Crystal Renaud
    Founder, http://www.dirtygirlsministries.com

    July 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    • Anon

      Very glad to see this response.

      July 9, 2012 at 6:19 pm

      • As am I. Thank you Crystal.

        July 9, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    • Lindsay Cochrum

      Those were my thoughts exactly! As a copy editor for GWP, this post really challenged me as I edited. While I agreed with and appreciated the married women's responses, I didn't agree with Cherry's advice at all. Crystal's response summed my opinion up nicely!

      July 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    • Emelina

      I'm grateful for your thoughtful response, Crystal. Thank you for expressing your strong concern and valuable opinions without judgment or argument. You communicate your position well, and that's a tough thing to do!

      Thank you to every woman who helps make this space honest and diverse. No matter how we disagree on these issues (and we should handle them carefully and with attention to the Holy Spirit), we are all on the same team.

      July 9, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    • Anonymous

      When I was younger somehow (I'm guessing it was thoughts from the devil) I figured out how to pleasure myself… I didn't know what it was called or what an orgasm was. The only thing doing that ever did for me was cause me shame and guilt. I knew it was wrong even though I had no clue what it was or why it felt like that.

      Thank you for your comment.

      July 9, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    • addy

      Yes and amen. Thank you, Crystal.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    • I have read so many different positions on masturbation, it's roles in marriage and single-hood, whether it is Biblical, etc. And in just a few paragraphs, you were able to make it so clear to me why it's so dangerous and how the way and context in which God has created sex and pleasure within marriage is perfect and good.

      Thank you.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    • Bravo Crystal. Thanks for speaking out!

      July 9, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    • Anon

      I thought it'd be worth sharing this link from xxxchurch -> http://www.xxxchurch.com/extras/kittens.html

      July 10, 2012 at 4:29 am

    • Stacie

      ABSOLUTELY AGREED! I am EXTREMELY burdened because this is supposedly a site to encourage women to live Godly lives. I am desperately praying for the influencers.

      July 10, 2012 at 10:54 am

    • Dana Wise

      Amen, amen, amen, and AMEN, Crystal!!!! Thank you for your comment. They are my thoughts exactly.

      The part of Cherry’s comment that really upset me was the part about every single man having masturbated. The fact is NOT EVERY. SINGLE. MAN. has masturbated…I should know because I’m married to a man who never has. And no, he isn’t lying to me, or telling me what I want to hear. He didn’t know my thoughts about it before we’d talked about it. He just never felt right about the thought of doing that, and so he never has. Period. I know that is a rare thing, but I can’t really believe that he is the ONLY man in the whole entire world who has abstained from self-gratification.

      I think we should be encouraging and seeking a deeper, different form of purity from ourselves, our generation, and especially the next generation. The attitude of “understand your body because everyone else understands theirs” I believe can be very damaging, as is evidenced by some of the comments. I am proud of the fact that the first time I ever experienced anything sexual was with and from my husband, and I fall on my face and thank God that the first time he experienced anything sexual was with and from me as well.

      Dannah Gresh has some inspiring, beautiful, and profound thoughts on the topic of sex (and has written a book about it called “What Are You Waiting For?”), and she said in an interview one time that if you’re asking “How far is too far?”, then you’re asking the wrong question…the question should be, “How far can I stay away?” Or, as I would put it, how much can I save for my spouse? And I think the idea of self-pleasure or “learning what you like” or “understanding your body” is taking it too far. It also seems to give sex a selfish focus. I enjoy the way my husband touches and makes love to me, because it’s the way HE touches and makes love to me. I don’t need him to do what I want…I want to enjoy what he does. Not that some guidance isn’t necessary or helpful sometimes (how hard or soft, how slow or fast, etc.), but I don’t want to be using him to do what I would do to myself.

      July 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      • Anonymous

        My husband has never masturbated, too. And I know he also is not lying to me or telling me what I wanted to hear; I trust him completely. So I don't believe every man has masturbated, or needs to.

        July 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    • hollywood

      Thanks Crystal, I agree.
      There are better ways to know yourself, to become confident in who you are… and they all involve Jesus.
      Who has ever said, "gosh I wish I had touched myself more". Let the self-discovery take place WITH your spouse. Then the two of you can learn together what pleases each one – two flesh becoming one. If only I could take every session back, mostly for my future spouse but also because you're right – "We were not created for self-pleasure". I refuse to settle for less than God's best because he did not hold back his best for me. Don't be afraid, your God is a Big God.

      - a man

      I love GWP, and I've referred the blog a dozen times. This makes me think twice about what GWP is focused on.

      July 11, 2012 at 1:35 am

    • Aubree

      I've been torn while reading this post from Cherry and the responses regarding it. I'm 21 years old and i am engaged to the love of my life. I had never masturbated in my life. I never knew anything about my body in that regards. I was always scared of sex, but knew it had to be fun because it was a gift from God. I was lucky enough to be surrounded by wonderful women of God who mentored me all through high school when i didn't get any sort of sex talk growing up from my parents. I had no physical experience with me (by myself) or any boy till college. A year after i had been dating the man i am with now, he told me about his addiction to porn. It broke my heart. But through MANY tears and a lot of serious prayer, we are moving forward. But becoming physically active with him, caused me to look at my body differently. He taught me about my body. We discovered it together. It was a beautiful way to go. I do wish we waited, because physical temptation is something we definitely struggle with now, but our discoveries were so intimate and beautiful and i wouldn't change that. After he told me about his porn addiction though, i got curious about myself. No, i didn't look at porn, but i did think, well, if he can play with himself, why can't I? At first, it was completely innocent in my thoughts, but i began to notice i would masturbate whenever i felt lonely. Or whenever he told me he had done it. I was under the impression that masturbation is okay when there are no other intentions behind it. If its just for pleasure. But i honestly don't think we should give satan such an EASY foothold. Sex isn't meant to be by yourself. It's meant to be intimate and lovely between two people who love each other. As a couple, i can tell you we moved too fast in the physical department because taking steps back is so hard. But I can't tell you how beautiful it is when two people discover each others bodies together. I wish i hadn't masturbated as much as i had because the more i did it, the more i started trying to tell him what to do, or i wouldn't be as satisfied because i wanted him to do it the way I had discovered. I've stopped and focused on actually LETTING him discover me and letting him discover what makes me tick. When i let him do that, it's better than what i could've told him. And i mean, tell him what HE does that feels good, encourage him. but be careful with the expectations you let yourself have when it comes to pleasure. Let him learn your body. Let him discover you. Laugh and enjoy it

      July 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

      • aubree

        Also, i do VERY much appreciate the post though. It is different for every woman. I think it just takes knowing your heart and being able to listen to yourself in this. It's tricky business for sure. Discretion is just needed, but i think that goes without saying. Maybe if someone DOES decide that masturbating/simply exploring down there, pray about it. Ask God to guard your heart from satan's lies that are so easily listened to.
        Thank you to the Good Women Project for posting this. It is something we NEED to talk about as women. :)

        July 11, 2012 at 11:33 am

  15. Married Spice

    I have to chime in here for a few reasons.

    First, this post is a very loaded topic. Some of my post was edited for length and focus reasons, but did leave out a few key points. Lauren did her best to keep it concise and on point.

    One question I did ask was "What do we do AFTER we are married?" I answered it by saying that your HUSBAND should be the one giving you pleasure, not yourself. You both have a ton of learning to do.

    Second, You can also have self discovery WITHOUT orgasm and without masturbation. The question I was answering wasn't about right or wrong and Lauren clarified that in terms of every ones beliefs.

    But, this question about being ''sexy'' is about being comfortable with your sexual organs.

    This is NOT about bringing porn, addictions, or other men into the discussion, or masturbating SOLO without your husband present.

    This is about learning all your body parts so you can love your self and bring that to the marriage.
    This is what was meant by touching yourself.

    Boys for the most part are very comfortable with their body parts. Girls, hardly at all. Why is it okay for them to have free reign to discover and yet girls are not?

    As some have mentioned lust and masturbation are hard to separate. This can be an issue if you are thinking of others while discovering your pleasure zones.

    Crystal, we love your ministry and I respect you highly. We understand the problems that this culture and especially men, but more so now, the women are facing in regards to porn. So please understand that my disagreeing with you is not saying I don't agree with your stand and ministry. Please keep up the great work, it is much needed.
    In no way do we advocate porn or lustful thoughts.
    What we do advocate because we've seen so many marriages have these problems due to a woman NOT learning with her husband, (or before) is a healthy body image as well as knowing what feels good sexually.
    It sounds good and biblical when we talk about how we are to learn together, but in reality it doesn't always translate in the marriage bed that way. What happens too often is it gets ignored until one spouse or the other is completely frustrated.

    Women who are not comfortable with even naming their body parts correctly are not going to be so open with their spouse once married. Many are full of shame and guilt from all sorts of avenues. There is a stigma surrounding this topic especially for women.
    The more we argue about being able to explore our bodies in order to learn what they can do, the more confused and in the closet women will be.
    Lets agree that lust, porn, addictions, hiding, selfishness and guilt is what we don't want to bring to a marriage.
    I encourage every girl, to pray and seek God alone on her journey towards marriage and what she wants to bring to her marriage bed.
    Cherry

    July 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    • Hannah

      This is not intended to disrespect. I am posting as someone who would take this post as a door to temptation (and it did tempt me). I think this post would have to come from someone who says that in the eyes of God, and in complete light, they can say for themselves that this has been successful. I have struggled with masturbation and this opens a mindset that makes it sound ok. It is that God designed the husband for the wife and vice versa. While it may be easier in sex to have explored what you like, it is not necessarily beneficial. This would lead to an increased sex drive for women anyway, and make them more lustful toward their fiance. To begin to add in a new temptation is to bring darkness, and 1 John 1 says that the darkness and light CANNOT live together. Coming from someone who had tainted purity and is embarking on engagement, there is no way that masturbating could make me any more confident, it only builds expectations and twists my notions of what sex should be like within the marriage covenant. Knowing guys who admit to this addiction, they would not say that they are better off for masturbating but that this breaks the respect the body of their wife and that its impure before God – that whole sexual immorality thing in the bible… its talked about a lot, and I have found it true in my own life that masturbation falls into this category. Why would guilt and shame come from something that pleases God? That is not of the Spirit.

      July 9, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    • I'd love to read your original post to perhaps see more of your perspective that may have been edited out. Could you email it to info@dirtygirlsministries.com? Thanks! :D

      July 10, 2012 at 2:26 am

    • Anonymous Guest

      I'm going to share a stance from XXX church too -> http://www.xxxchurch.com/extras/kittens.html

      July 10, 2012 at 4:31 am

    • era

      Hey Cherry! I waited to comment on your blog post until I spoke with my husband. From your comment here, I am wondering if you actually just trying to say that we should try to learn where our pleasure points are? And all men are well aware of that?
      Your blog post you state that all men masturbate & they do it a lot. "Some Dude" on here has said that is not true. After talking to my husband, he confirmed that it was not true of him, either. Why must you paint with such broad strokes? How do you know this about the private lives of all men? You may think my husband is not being honest with me. But, I as his sex partner, have seen pretty good proof that he is being truthful. (Not too mention that he has proven himself honest & truthful to me in many other things.) In our own exploring & learning of each other, years ago I had casually asked him how I should touch his penis manually for his pleasure, figuring he may have personal experience. He, in fact, had no advice. So (poor, poor me) I had to be an active participant in figuring all that out.
      Even though we were both virgins when we got married, I myself had masturbated in the past (& I don't recommend it. It was wrapped up in desire for something that wasn't mine, i.e. lust). So, I did know my own pleasure button. But my husband wanted to find it himself. Surprise – he wanted to touch me & have a hands on learning experience, rather than me telling him all about it myself.
      If a spouse can't find "the spot", direct their hand. Feel yourself. Tell them when you think they are getting close, yes. All that. But I don't know why that means it is "wise" to masturbate prior to marriage. We aren't supposed to be sex experts. We are supposed to grow in all this together. That is what intimacy is.

      July 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm

      • Ray

        Right on, Era! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this!! I'm not married and I am still a virgin… but sex the way you describe it just sounds like so much more fun than selfish masturbation… which i have done my fair share of. I wish I had never started. Ladies, listen up. If you haven't masturbated, DON'T START DOING IT. Like someone in an earlier comment said, it is not beneficial. The only thing i've gained from it has been guilt and shame and compulsion. Once you start masturbating you will want to keep masturbating… especially when you are feeling lonely or tired or aroused. This is HORRIBLE for single ladies, because we feel those things quite often… or at least I do. I pray that i will never masturbate again… but of course, I can't say that I won't. I just ask God for His grace and help for each day. I want to have learn with MY HUSBAND, not by myself. Not fun. Not helpful. Just more baggage to deal with…

        July 12, 2012 at 12:57 am

    • Hey Cherry! I waited to comment on your blog post until I spoke with my husband. From your comment here, I am wondering if you actually just trying to say that we should try to learn where our pleasure points are? And all men are well aware of that?
      Your blog post you state that all men masturbate & they do it a lot. "Some Dude" on here has said that is not true. After talking to my husband, he confirmed that it was not true of him, either. Why must you paint with such broad strokes? How do you know this about the private lives of all men? You may think my husband is not being honest with me. But, I as his sex partner, have seen pretty good proof that he is being truthful. (Not too mention that he has proven himself honest & truthful to me in many other things.) In our own exploring & learning of each other, years ago I had casually asked him how I should touch his penis manually for his pleasure, figuring he may have personal experience. He, in fact, had no advice. So (poor, poor me) I had to be an active participant in figuring all that out.
      Even though we were both virgins when we got married, I myself had masturbated in the past (& I don't recommend it. It was wrapped up in desire for something that wasn't mine, i.e. lust). So, I did know my own pleasure button. But my husband wanted to find it himself. Surprise, surprise – he wanted to touch me & have a hands on learning experience, rather than me telling him all about it myself!
      If a spouse can't find "the spot", direct their hand. Feel yourself. Tell them when you think they are getting close, yes. All that. But I don't know why that means it is "wise" to masturbate prior to marriage. We aren't supposed to be sex experts. We are supposed to grow in all this together. That is what intimacy is.

      July 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      • Ray

        Right on, Erin! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this!! I'm not married and I am still a virgin… but sex the way you describe it just sounds like so much more fun than selfish masturbation… which i have done my fair share of. I wish I had never started. Ladies, listen up. If you haven't masturbated i would encourage you to, NOT START DOING IT. Like someone in an earlier comment said, it is not beneficial… even though there may not be definitive proof that it is a "sin". The only thing i've gained from it has been guilt and shame and compulsion… Praise God for forgiveness, grace and freedom!! My experience has been that, once you start masturbating you will want to keep masturbating… especially when you are feeling lonely or tired or aroused. I think this is HORRIBLE for single ladies, because we feel those things quite often… or at least I do. I pray that i will never masturbate again… but of course, I can't say that I won't. I just ask God for His grace and help for each day. I want to learn with MY HUSBAND, not by myself. I know it will be more fun that way for both of us. Women, just be wise and really pray and seek the Lord for HIS heart on masturbation before you open up that door. I really would implore you, with tears even, not to masturbate. I thought it would help, and it does relieve sexual tension… but the other things that it adds and the implications it can have in a marriage in the future are not worth that relief to me. I so respect everyone who has commented on this. Thank you for your transparency. It has helped me. And thank you Lauren, for this forum on this topic. It is about time Christian women started getting real. :)

        July 12, 2012 at 1:37 am

  16. Emily Kate

    Yes, keep speaking truth.

    July 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    • Emily Kate

      This comment is in regards to Crystal's post and was misplaced.

      July 9, 2012 at 8:35 pm

  17. addy

    What a disheartening, disappointing and totally unexpected post by the GWP. After all the precious and beautiful stories of redemption from sexual sin (namely masturbation) shared on this forum, how could GWP post advice to young women to begin masturbating?

    I, as someone graciously freed from the sin of solo sex for over four years, am truly horrified that this advice is being given. Yes, women need to know their bodies. Yes, women should have a strong voice in what pleases them in their marriage bed. But not only allowing but ENCOURAGING masturbation is leading women down a path of deceit. "Once you are engaged, and “if” up to this point (because of beliefs or whatnot) you haven’t touched yourself to get to know what feels good, NOW IS THE TIME!"-this is just false.. The temptation to self-please and to turn to one's own means for pleasure is contrary to the Gospel. Jesus didn't live a life of pleasing Himself, He gave Himself up for us and came as a servant. Sex is intended to picture the way Jesus loves the Church…He does not "love on" Himself and seek His own pleasure while leaving the church to fend for herself. He was also sinless, and willfully arousing oneself outside of marriage is pretty clearly outlined as sin in the Bible–anything sexual at all outside the one-man, one-woman lifelong covenant is called "porneia," the root of the word pornography. I want nothing of my life or other Christians' lives to be categorized as porneia.

    Please, please consider recanting this advice. Masturbation, self-pleasing, and "figuring it all out" before the wedding night are completely out of line. The glory of sex is in imaging God together, as one, in His fullness. Me pleasing myself is only tainting the precious, holy intentions of sex within the bounds of marriage. Yes, God intends sex to be pleasing to both partners, bonding in beautiful and deeply mysterious ways, and meaningful. That's the very reason why sexual exploration of one's body should begin on the wedding night. Together, husband and wife can discover how to please one another. He may very well learn how to please her better than she can herself, that's kind of the point.

    July 9, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    • Hi Addy!

      Thank you so much for reading GWP and being willing to participate in the conversation. We truly appreciate and respect your opinion and insight. Please know that we are striving with this topic to openly share varying opinions and views, rather than say "this is right" or "this is wrong." We do believe this is a very intricate, delicate topic and we merely want to encourage discussion and the ability to speak about sex openly. Good Women Project has opted to not take take an cut and dry stance on these varying facets of sexuality, but rather to bring many married women together to share from their personal experience and experience with friends!

      Much love!

      - lauren

      July 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      • Katherine

        I would tend to agree with Addy. However, I would be interested in hearing from a married woman who started to masturbate before her wedding to prepare/explore/get comfortable. It's a perspective I have not heard of before, so I am willing to consider Cherry's viewpoint. Maybe someone would be willing to share their story during the month of August?

        July 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm

        • I'd love to have a married woman share her experience with this. Every engaged/married woman I know personally has already had experience with masturbation for many years, and I honestly don't know of a single girl who hasn't. Anyone out there?

          July 9, 2012 at 10:37 pm

          • Charleigh

            Lauren,
            I am currently engaged and will be married in about three months. I have never struggled or experimented with masturbation and honestly have no desire to. I am so excited to begin life with my fiancé and to be able to share everything with him. I am a virgin and I cannot emphasize how good it feels to know that I am the object of his desire and that I can fully give myself to him. Masturbation is very-much-so a “solo” sexual act. I’ve had this conversation with my fiancé who struggled with the addiction of years. I told him that if he was able to pleasure himself so easily without any help from me then it almost cheapened the real thing, if that makes sense. He agreed and acknowledged that he would feel the same towards me. Sex is something beautiful, create to be shared within the saftiness and love of marriage. I can feel sexy and comfortable with myself without touching myself. I’ve inserted a tampon enough times and learned enough through A&P classes to know what is going on down there. Staying physically and mentally pure are extremely difficult and so rare in the world of today. To encourage women to explore their bodies in a sexual way is very dangerous and could definitely create a stumbling block for those with enough curiosity or those who already have a weakness in that area. With such a touchy topic (pardon the pun), it’s important to strongly caution readers… Like many believe that marijuana is a gateway to heavier drugs, so touching oneself could be a gateway to sin.
            I didn’t mean for this to get so long, but I felt like I had to share!
            I love that sex can be openly discussed in a safe way by Christian women, what a blessing!

            July 10, 2012 at 1:26 am

          • Hi Charleigh! Thank you so much for the comment and being SO open about your personal sex life! I wholly respect and value everything you've just said, and fully agree that the decision you've come to with your fiancé (high five for having that convo!!!!) is amazing and super beneficial for your relationship. :) I absolutely love it.

            July 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

          • Lydia

            I am a single 23 year old woman and I have never even had a thought to masturbate much less have I ever tried to. Although once I had a friend who struggled with it and I remember not even really thinking this was something women did- I thought it was a guy thing. It is something I have never struggled with or explored personally- I have no desire too. On the flip side there are things I struggle with that other girls don't as well. Just wanted to let you know there are those of us out there!!

            July 10, 2012 at 11:07 am

      • addy

        Hello, Lauren-

        While I definitely hear what you are saying about openly sharing, it is dangerous to take a stance of choosing to publish a post on your website and then to take no Biblical responsibility for it. Knowing how many readers pass through this website daily, surely you wonder what will be taken to heart, what messages will be passed on and how they will affect the women who read them. I fear this is one message that should not have been shared, as there are some significant issues with it, namely its lack of Biblical backing or any semblance of Truth in place of mere opinions or experiences.

        There are, indeed, things that are right and wrong within sexuality, and that should not be brushed over as something insignificant. It feels like a sharp slap in the face to have read faithfully and loved all the community, sharing, honesty, and stories of redemption on this page over the past year or so, and then to have a post chosen and published that absolutely, without a doubt, flies in the face of numerous stories of women being healed from sexual sin, often masturbation. I am one of these stories, and to think that sharing that struggle in a public forum would be brushed over because you don't want to take a stand, to me says that those stories are worthless. I don't believe that's the case, and I really don't think that's your heart or the heart of anyone else sharing here, including Cherry's. But to argue that it's okay and actually PLEASING to God to explore an area of sexual sin is both a lie and incredibly disheartening.

        I implore you to rethink the decision to allow a free-for-all of any and all opinions on sexuality on GWP if you are intent on this being a God-honoring blog, as I know you are. One of the things I most value about GWP is that it is a beautifully vulnerable and honest forum, but most importantly that it points to a God who redeems us from our sin, not a God who encourages us to play in sin like it isn't a matter of life and death. Sex is supposed to be awesome, pleasing, and holy, when it's used in the right context. God did not intend us to engage with it alone or in any context outside of marriage. "Personal experience and experience with friends" definitely has a place in healthy and open discourse but should never replace Biblical truth. This is not a matter of individual conviction, it is matter of truth. I thought you held this stance, too, based on the fact that so many GWP posts have been testimonies of being freed from sexual sin.

        I respect your desire to remain neutral but cannot value the choice you have made by publishing this post. I pray that no one is misled by the lie that you need to learn to please your own body to have great sex one day-God will provide perfectly, even in our sex lives, and He honors our intent to be pure first for Him and secondly for a husband.

        With love and a broken heart,
        Addy

        July 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      • Disagree

        Lauren, sometimes the Bible is clear and straight to the point too… let's go back to Scripture please! Otherwise, everything is justiable and acceptable within means…

        July 10, 2012 at 4:32 am

  18. Michelle

    Unbelievable! I am appauled at the advice Cherry gave.

    2 Timothy 3:2 says " in the last days men will be lovers of themselves…" I Thessalonians 4:3-5 …that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor…" Romans 13:14 "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to gratify its desires."

    As far as wanting to know how to turn the switch on in the bedroom…I would pray and ask God to show you how to be sexy to your husband. God will show you what your husband thinks and what will glorify the Lord when you are making love.

    I am very unhappy with most of these comments in regards to this topic and wonder if I should unsubscribe. I've worked to hard and long to get to where I am now read WORLDY advice that encourages masturbation, sexual immorality and pornography…don't even get me started with on that subject.

    Cherry your out of line and question your moral integerity and your "Godly wisdom."

    July 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    • Jane

      Michelle, I'd like to gently point out that in your call to Cherry to consider her "integrity" and "Godly wisdom" that you misiterpreted the scripture of 2 Timothy 3:2. Selfishness is the root that scripture is warning us of, and anything is sin if it is done ultimately for the glory of our selves. Let us consider the logs in our own eyes before we try to pick a spec from our sister's. That being said, you did get to that great point, that I would even bet Cherry agrees with… it should not be about ourselves, or gratifying sinful (the literal interpretation for "fleshly") desires. God made sex. And it was brought about when Adam was in need of a partner, and a helper. So clearly there is a godliness to our partnering our bodies to our husband's, it is something holy-set apart for the Lord- and it is about much more than pleasure. When we (for failure of another term) "masturbate" in order to please ourselves, or think, or view, or do, anything sexual for that matter, for oursleves, it's wrong. It becomes addictive, relationship hindering, and takes us out of right fellowship with our Lord. We each know our own heart, and if a touch to ourselves can be innocent, or evil. I'm gonna bet you wouldn't condemn me that I looked up a medical diagram of my pelvis and all it's parts because I'm really that uneducated and want to know where the nerves are at and how things will react on my wedding night. All I wanted was to understand a little of what's going to happen as I travel through the emotional and physical reactions…and embrace them… in intimacy with my husband. And for the record: intimacy is so much else than physical. Did I dwell on it? Nope. Did I obsess about myself and the fact not all my "business" is as even or perfect as that little black and white line line drawing? Nope. Did I think of my fiance and coupling with him? Yes. But I chose not to picture, not to imagine, and not to allow myself to be too arroused in process. Because I want to save all that for discovering with him. I think the lines are fine, and we must test our own hearts, know our own intentions, and know what we are or are not capable of so that we can avoid sin. Your heart is clearly to avoid sin, and I commend you for that! And thank you for the heart you show for guarding other women from sinning also.

      July 9, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    • Bible Friend

      Check out the book of Jude….

      July 10, 2012 at 4:35 am

      • Jane

        Yes, I reread Jude this morning. And I think we can find we actually agree here. The key is the verse "we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." That's actually from Ephesians 2, because the language is very similar to that in Jude and 2nd Timothy 2 (and I like to see what the Bible says on whole on subjects, to ensure I"m not reading a particular chapter or verse or book out of the context of God's whole revelatory spirit). If we are "indulging lust" or "flesh", then it is wrong. But if we are not, it is not. I would nver call the word of God relative, but I think the context and heart is something we continually must pursue. There are instances in which what is very wrong (say cutting someone with a knife) becomes very right (in life saving surgery).

        July 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      • Jane

        Sorry, #2 here, I'm long winded…. So back to masturbation, or as I'd prefer to call it, self exploration, is it wrong when you're after pleasure and putting the relationship with your future husband out of the picture? When all you're after is to feel good by your own efforts? YES. That's wrong. That's indulging the flesh and can easily prompt lust or turning to other evil things. BUT, is a little curiousity, with intention of reserving the pleasure for when your husband is there to discover it with you, wrong. NOPE. I think it's the heart, after all, that is what the Lord judges, and He knows us better than ourselves. Keep your intentions pure and, I dare to say it, you can glority the Lord even in this.

        July 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm

        • Hi Jane! I would absolutely love to have a conversation with you. Send me an email if you're interested? lauren[at]goodwomenproject.com

          July 12, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    • Jill

      All your verses, Michelle, are totally taken out of context.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm

  19. Thank you so much for this post! Also, I have to say that I truly admire all of you. You handle people's criticisms, hurts, concerns, comments, etc in such an awesome and positive way. SO MUCH better than I ever would have. From what I can tell you aren't offended when people disagree and you respond in a way that is very open and honest and respectful.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:04 pm

  20. Married Spice

    I'm sorry. But not once did I condone pornography or sexual immorality. As I stated further in my comment above, discovering your body parts and how they work is not condoning sexual deviance. What you do with your thoughts and heart are the problem . A perversion of what God has created is the problem. A generation who is bombarded by sexual images even unintentionally is the problem. But, to say that masturbation or self pleasure is a sin, is taking this too far. Yes, there are girls who struggle with these addictions,just like food, drugs etc.. and not to make light of them at all, but the question asked was about how to feel sexy when your switch has been turned OFF for so long. It wasn't meant for someone struggling with what they think is wrong or an addictive person. Questioning my moral integrity based on a debatable topic when giving an honest answer is ridiculous just because you disagree.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    • Emily

      I'm wondering why you're condoning masturbation or self pleasure though? I definitely dont think it's fair that your integrity is being called into question, but what is your basis for that stance, which is in itself a controversial one? I think people are upset because it's not really explained and could be misleading.

      July 9, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      • Cherry/Married Spice and I have been chatting about this on and off all day. It's a fascinating conversation with so many aspects.

        I think it's important for me to clarify that I don't view masturbation as a "solution" to an issue or problem. Rather, the way that Cherry has framed it, exploring your own body can be a tool in restoring or discovering sexuality in a healthy way, with the intent of pleasing and being pleased by your husband. It does get exponentially messier when we talk about the lines before/after marriage, and I believe this post is more beneficial for married women who are struggling to be comfortable in their sexuality with their husbands. It's definitely not meant as, "hey masturbation is awesome if you're single so that you can be ready for marriage whenever it happens!" I know that some Christians are completely okay with masturbation, and that is 100% between them and God, but for me personally, I've found that prolonged masturbation while in relationship with someone does separates and distances you from them a bit.

        Just some additional thoughts!

        July 10, 2012 at 12:31 am

    • Erin

      I've struggled with the topic of self-pleasuring for awhile because my religion tells me it's "disordered," but honestly, I don't think there's any harm in exploring your body and figuring out what it can do. I do agree that too much of it might be harmful and can lead to sexual addiction, a rift in relationships, etc. But I applaud the women who shared their experiences on here. I don't feel like they're encouraging deviance, nor are they saying, "hey masturbation is AWESOME and you can totally do it whenever you want!" But that's just me. This is obviously a trickier topic than I thought. Thank you for your honesty!

      July 10, 2012 at 12:48 am

    • Lorael

      Wow, wow, wow! I clicked onto GWP to hear some fascinating advice about sex-life post-marriage and the like. As one who just wanted to "explore" my body in my teens to figure out what people were talking about "that high" aka orgasm – it started off "innocent" at first. Then I kept wanting the feeling back, then it paired with sexual arousal and I started seeing that my sex appetite was higher and I wanted to PUSH my boundaries due to my "new-found" sexuality – this is UTTERLY misguided advice. I'm quite "liberal" when it comes to sexuality because in a group of Christian women – I would be the one to bring it up, confess horniness, and all types of crazy candor of how it is to live a celibate life with a RAGING sex drive which I found out after 14 years can be tamed in a good way.

      Women should be comfortable with their bodies! Absolutely! Insert a tampon, feel our uterine canal yes..and see what it all is ..especially after a trip to the gyno – you are QUITE in touch that you have a sexual organ but advising women to masturabate is a slippery slope. It started out innocent and developed over a decode into slippery slope of "self-exploration", eventual addiction, dabbling in porn, and sexual activity. GASP>..OO NO..totally didn't see that coming right??? !! I'm Just saying – it is easier to CROSS boundaries once you have pushed some already.

      It has taken a lot of GRACE, Patience, mercy from God to climb out of that darkness. Am I perfect, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Do I still have challenges absolutely! But I REALLY discovered the meaning of NOT AWAKENING LOVE before it's time. When we leave that for God's time, He will do it in an amazing way. Do I think masturbation is a sin??…hmm..I asked myself that so many times after… and God lately showed me this…does it raise a wall of separation in your heart? Yes… Do you feel that something isn't quite right? Yes… then if you are doing something AGAINST your conscience though you may say you don't feel guilty…you do somewhere..then it is sinning for you. It states clearly in the Bible that if we our conscience reprimands us or if something brings separation between us and God at that moment it is sin.

      This is not a be all- end all. I do say yes take a mirror – check yourself out, see what it looks like. But masturbating is a slippery slope that leads to many places that need not be explored. Maybe that's why it's such an EXPLOSIVE topic.

      July 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    • Jill

      Married Spice, I am totally on board with you and your advice. I think you're a totally awesome, God fearing woman. Don't let the comments of some of these women discourage you. I have been refreshed by what you have said here.

      November 1, 2012 at 9:41 pm

  21. Yeah I think this topic can get controversial really fast. Thank you for speaking up and saying what you were really trying to say. Would you recommend the book "Intended For Pleasure?" I remember reading that when I was engaged thinking "what in the world?" It is really hard to go from zero to 60 but thank God for a loving husband who I can trust and we can figure out together.

    July 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    • I haven't read this! Cherry, have you? Has anyone else?

      July 10, 2012 at 12:32 am

      • I actually read through some of it and was really encouraged. Some parts I rolled my eyes because it's so old, but it's written by someone in the same profession as Cherry! So yes, I want to know :)

        July 10, 2012 at 12:34 am

        • Married Spice

          Yes, I did mention this book earlier to you Lauren in my post, it must of been mixed with our twitter convo's. Intended for Pleasure is a great book for beginner's! The Wheat's don't address self pleasure as such, but want the bride to be comfortable with her body, and that is the point. They suggest weeks before the wedding night for the bride to stretch out her hymen. And then to have her husband do more of it when they come together if needed.

          July 10, 2012 at 7:31 am

  22. BTW Thanks to Lauren for allowing Christian women to talk about sex in a positive light. SOOO AWESOME! XOXO

    July 9, 2012 at 11:22 pm

  23. sarah

    Cherry, thank you for your boldness and honesty. I understand that your intent is for freedom, openness, and joyful vulnerability in the married bedroom and that is a wonderful thing. As a single 21-year-old virgin, my personal struggle with masturbation has lasted for over a decade, and I have come to the point of understanding that I cannot engage in this without becoming a slave to it. I think many women react so strongly against your advice because they are in the same boat, or know people who are. It's a lot easier to outlaw a physical act than to bear the responsibility of freedom and self-control. 1 Corinthians 6 says "All things are permissible, but not all are beneficial, and I will not be mastered by anything." God judges the motives of the heart. Some may use it to explore, relieve stress, or celebrate God-given sexuality, while for others is is an addictive response to loneliness or frustration that only perpetuates the cycle. I believe that masturbation may be harmless for some (I disagree with the comment that masturbation always involves lust), but for me personally, the next time I orgasm should be with my husband.
    What we all need to keep in mind is the humility that Scripture is not explicitly clear on this issue. Our God is intentional and wouldn't leave room for interpretation by accident. One thing is clear: whatever is not done in faith is sin. (Romans 14). We are to hate what is evil, cling to what is good. We are under the Spirit who gives freedom, and we all must decide how we are to respond.

    July 10, 2012 at 1:54 am

    • I really love this comment, Sarah. Thank you so much for reading and for being willing to share a little bit about your experience. You're right, it is such a difficult topic because it affects all of us so strongly. It's a difficult one for me, because I've had so many negative experiences with it and believes it separates me from the man that I am with, but I was just chatting with a close friend last night and she was sharing with me about one of her friends who was sexually abused as a very young girl, and as a result she had completely shut off her sexuality and was unable to experience pleasure at all. Her counselor advised her to masturbate in order to re-learn to feel pleasure in a 100% safe environment, and as soon as she accomplished that and began to feel safe again, she stopped. This, to me, is such a beautiful reminder that not all in life is either "sin" or "great for everybody!" but rather that our bodies are intricate creations and God is faithful to give us many avenues for finding life again.

      July 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

      • Genevieve Simpson

        Sarah,
        Your comment was so filled with grace and maturity. It brings so much peace.
        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I love that you brought up 1 Cor 6.
        Well said. Some of these comments have been absolutely ridiculous, emotional, and condemning.
        I am grateful for your grace and I admire your words of wisdom.

        July 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm

  24. I appreciate the open discussion this post has inspired. I am glad to read so many ladies express and acknowledge differing viewpoints with candor and grace.

    I was homeschooled like some other commenters and I consider my family relatively conservative, however I think our sex/sexiness education was pretty good. My parents viewed it as a long-term process that begins in childhood (to some extent). My free-spirited scientist mom (odd combination, I know) matter-of-factly included reproduction in science instruction along with other biological processes like circulation and digestion. My parents also made it a habit to let us see a bit of the romantic side of their relationship. They happily kissed and flirted and said mushy things and playfully teased each other around us (they just passed their 32nd anniversary and I love that they still act this way!). Much as my brothers sometimes got grossed out or embarassed, I think we all got the message that the romantic and sexual parts of a relationship are fun and enjoyable for married couples and that those parts are biologically, naturally the way God made us.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:48 am

    • This is amazing. It encourages me so much to know that some parents are really giving their kids an accurate view of love and physical affection in their relationship. <3 Praise God that you know sex is a good thing in it's proper place. :)

      July 10, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    • walkingbarefootblog

      LOVE THIS!! I'd love to raise my future younguns in this similar fashion!!

      July 12, 2012 at 8:55 pm

  25. Some dude

    Hey,

    I'm a man. I won't weigh in on what is right or wrong with regards to women's sexuality because I have no right. Even if we were all men here I would have no right to judge other peoples' behavior–Christ says that God alone is judge. What I can say, from being a man, is this:

    A Christian man who truly loves you will not expect you to switch from "virgin" to "sexy" in an instant. If he really loves you, then he'll be happy to experience you in the marriage bed just as you are. Granted, I myself am a virgin, so I'm probably approaching this from a naive perspective. What I can say is that when I get married, I don't expect her to dress up a certain way or smell a certain way or behave a certain way (though I hold no grudge or judgment against others' sexual relationships that do have mandates in those areas) in sex–I just want her.

    I will not say anything about whether Cherry's statement is right or wrong. I will however throw a mental bomb here:

    Where Cherry says this: "EVERY woman’s man has given in to self-pleasure. YES, EVERY SINGLE ONE. Whether they used porn is a whole other matter. What matters here is the fact that, all by themselves, their man HAS masturbated. Not just once, but a lot."

    While I did have a long struggle with porn, for which I am now ashamed, but also redeemed from… I have in fact never masturbated. I do not take offense to Cherry saying that every man has, but I will point that it is not necessarily accurate. It may be possible to say that most men have, but not "every single one". I am not saying that I am special or above other men for not masturbating–we are all equally under sin, and all those in Christ are equally under grace. What I am saying is quite simply that there are some of us men out there who choose not to masturbate. I am not weighing in on the right or wrong of it. I am merely stating a simple fact.

    July 10, 2012 at 10:55 am

    • THANK YOU for saying this. As a woman, when I hear that "every man has masturbated" or that they all just want sex and don't respect women, all those warnings they give girls about how your boyfriend is totally going to try to manipulate you into having sex, I just don't know how much is real and how much is hyperbole. How am I supposed to know- I'm not a guy.

      I'm glad you added your own perspective/experience to this discussion- with factual information and not huge generalizations.

      July 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      • Some dude

        Well, I hope it is God-pleasing and not just saying my opinion. I am glad it was helpful to you.

        What I will say is this… some guys *will* try to manipulate their girlfriends into having sex. Even some of the best guys out there. Even some of the best Christian guys. But at the same time, not all.

        The thing is that us men do have very strong sexual appetites. It's like a million fireants running through your brain and your heart all at once. It truly is a desire based in both physiology and psychology–our brains are basically wired to want sex. And at the same time, we want it out of curiosity to see what she looks like, and to get the amazing feeling of it.

        A lot of men give straight in to these desires because they're very powerful and feel good. Others go to the opposite extreme and just stay away from women altogether, thinking that's the only way to avoid those desires. Inbetween you have every dimension imaginable, usually involving some personal code where some sexual behaviors are permitted under certain rationalizations and others are not. Me, personally, I believe simply this (keep in mind this next part is just my opinion):

        Sex is good and God-given and meant to be enjoyed. However, I don't see any gain in having it before its time. The interesting thing is that the Bible does not explicitly condemn premarital sex–it says do not commit adultery, but adultery in its most basic form is defined as sex between a married person and someone other than their spouse. The definition is often interpreted to include "premarital sex", but one could argue that that's really just interpretation–the most basic definition is about marital unfaithfulness, not premarital sex. Paul advises strongly against pre-marital sex, but he doesn't all-out say "don't do it". He says "you really really shouldn't". And I think he had good reason for it. Sex even in marriage can be distracting from God and life, and so how much more pre-marital sex?

        Me personally, I want my relationship with my wife to be based on love, companionship, trust, and holding each other–even hugs and kisses!–but not sex. Sex will be a fun extra, a reeeaaalllly fun extra, but just an extra. It is with that in mind that I personally choose not to have sex prior to marriage…. I want a relationship built up on so much more than that. I want something stable, rock-hard, and based on real love. That's not to say I don't still have struggles with lust–I do all the time, and it's entirely my own fault. But the thing is that in the end I do have the God-given ability to choose what to do with my lust and sexuality, and I choose to save them for the right time and the right person. The real beauty of this choice is that it frees me to

        A) not be focused on sex

        B) Not have to be afraid of sex

        C ) have pure, deep non-romantic friendships with girls.

        But all that is just my opinion. The facts of it are that yes, all men in some fashion have or have had sexual desires… but what he does with them is his choice, and he can even choose to no longer desire them, or to save them for certain situations. It is also a fact that many men either let themselves be consumed by their sex desires or try to pretend they don't exist–the latter of which is just a masked version of the former. If you keep running, it just catches up and hurts you even more than if you embraced it from the first. My personal opinion is that is best for a man neither to play around with sex nor put his blinders on about it, but rather it suits him best to be fully aware of his desires and then change them into something more pure and healthy–namely, change them into a desire for marriage and love and a real companionship. And many men do just that. The thing is in order to that, a man has to be honest with himself about his desires rather than repressing them. But being honest about them doesn't mean indulging them–it just means acknowledging them. Once they're acknowledged, he has the power to change them. I'm not saying I am always the best at this–but with God, I get better at it day by day.

        July 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm

        • Ray

          Wow. Thanks for sharing, 'some dude'. Your post gives me, a single Christian 29 year old virgin girl, hope that there are more guys out there like you. I pray when the time is right, that God blesses you with a lovely wife. And by the way i believe pre-marital sex is classified as fornication in the Bible. Fornication is any type of sex outside of marriage, while adultery is sex that interrupts a marriage, if you will.

          July 12, 2012 at 1:21 am

      • Hello perfectnumber628! I really hope that you didn't take any part of our post here as saying that all men want is sex and that men don't respect women. We take huge strides to be pro-men and have even featured submissions from awesome men for a whole month! There are men who use women for sex, and there are women who use men for sex. And there are men who do not use women for sex, and there are women who do not use men for sex. This is something that is based the individual, and not as the gender. :)

        July 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    • Anon

      You really watched porn for a long time and never once masturbated in your entire life? I call bluff on this.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      • Some dude

        In all honesty I never did masturbate. The porn I looked at was still images, not videos. I still was mentally eating it to satisfy my sex appetite, and at times I envisioned fantasies in my head, but I never actually did the physical act of masturbating. I honestly didn't even know how, I didn't even know there was such a thing until much later. I was pretty sheltered growing up, in part by my parents and in part by my choice to lay low during the social fiasco known as high school.

        But even so, looking and imagining was just as bad, even if there wasn't anything physical involved. I don't think I'm any better than anyone just because I didn't masturbate–looking at porn and having mental fantasies was equally unhealthy for me. I also don't think that I'm any better than anyone else now for having overcome porn and fantasies–we are all equally under sin, we all make mistakes, we're all human. My intent behind my messages here was not to exalt myself, nor condemn those who do masturbate, but merely to provide perspective and to dismantle the notion that "every single man has masturbated". I'm not saying that man who don't are better, or that those who do are evil. I am saying merely that, for one reason or another, the fact is that not all men have. Where there's one, there's more.

        July 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm

  26. I loved this post and the comments, ESP the ones explaining the post by cherry and by Lauren. Our God is so sweet and I pray for the women who have been hurt by this post. It’s been a confirmation to me of what God has done in my life. He has made me who I am today and I praise Him for other women finding freedom in Him and who He’s made us to be. It is a touchy topic, but if I can add: talk to God about it all. I have found the sweetest fellowship with Him as I find myself talking about what I want or don’t want someday in marriage. It’s surprising where He meets us sometimes, and alot of times, it’s in places we were never taught to pray, or in ways the church would be mortified by. But thank God He loves our hearts and the way to love Him heart mind and soul is to say everything to Him in the safety of our hearts and minds. He purifies and changes us just like that when we brig ourselves to Him like this. If you talk to Him about all this, He will do amazing things in your heart and mind as a result.

    Blessings and thank you for sharing!!! This is one post I’m saving!! 

    July 10, 2012 at 11:27 am

  27. Alissa

    Hey, thank you for the honest posts!

    I think it is GREAT these topics are being discussed! We shouldn't be ashamed we all struggle with these questions. However, even though I appreciate the insights, I strongly disagree with the views on masturbation Cherry shares. I struggled with masturbation and I can certainly say it IS a sin and, from my point of view, there is NO way a person can engage in this without wanting more, and more. Of course we were created to find and enjoy pleasure, but I believe God intended sexual pleasure as something meant to be SHARED with our husbands/wives. There is nothing, nothing wrong with learning to know your body with the help of your spouse! It can be actually fun! Sexual pleasure was NOT meant to be a solitary experience. What can be more awesome (in terms of earthly relationships) than two spouses wanting to provide pleasure to each other?

    With all due respect to different opinions, I do believe masturbation IS a sin that may open the door for other sins. I would not advise single/engaged women to try it (why not wait and build a unique sexual relation with your husband?). It just creates anxiety, eagerness for more, at the wrong time.

    That's been my own experience and I wanted to share it. Now that God has helped me overcome it, I cannot wait until I'm married to enjoy sexual pleasure in the way He intended it :)

    July 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    • Hi Alissa!

      I just wanted to make sure you knew I read your comment and really appreciate and value your perspective! I definitely agree that if masturbation has caused pain/struggle/sin in your life, it is certainly something we do not advocate for you. And we never want to see masturbation or addiction of any form negatively affect women in our community. It's such a painful thing to go through. :(

      I personally believe that it's very healthy to keep an open mind on the topic when discussing it for *others* (as on most open-handed things like this that don't directly affect core gospel issues), so that we don't end up judging or thinking less of people that we disagree with. For example, I've always been pretty anti-masturbation, even though I've "participated" greatly, therefore I've never personally advocated it or wanted to take a stance stating that it's a beneficial thing. There are countless ways I've seen it cause hurt. But just last night I was chatting with a friend who told me the story of her friend who was abused sexually as a young girl and therefore completely shut off her sexuality because she was so damaged from sex. Her counselor advised her to masturbate as a way to re-introduce her body to pleasure in complete safety, and now it's made it possible for her to have sex with the man she wants to. SO, in light of that, I see masturbation less as a "good thing" or "bad thing" and much more of a body function that either brings us closer to the life we desire to live in Christ, or further from it. And it's always up to us to trust and listen to the Holy Spirit. :)

      Again, thank you so much! I just wanted to share a little bit of my process in thinking about this, as a friend. <3

      - lauren

      July 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      • Alissa

        Thank you for your answer Lauren!

        A wider perspective is definitely helpful to consider regarding these issues. Maybe, for me it has to do with the fact that masturbation brought so much pain and confusion (and, also, because of my wrong decisions) lead me to sin with/against my body. And I know I opened a door when I struggled with masturbation. In no way I think we should judge a woman or a man going through this, I just think it is risky, and that the line between 'knowing your body' and getting addicted to that kind of pleasure can be very narrow.

        I cannot express how thankful I am you guys opened this discussion. Sex is something that is still treated as a tabu, instead of understood from a Biblical perspective. Thank you, thank you all for speaking up. If debates like this one were more common among us, Christians, I bet we could save a lot of tears and regrets :)

        July 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

  28. I loved this post, and I wish I had been able to read more things while I was engaged. I feel like my sexual relationship with my husband has definitely been affected by the decisions I/we made regarding sexuality before we got married (both in our relationship and in others), but I'm not sure if I'll ever know what choices I would have made differently. I think this post and all the comments really proves that each person needs to turn to their personal relationship with God (or whatever spirituality looks like for you) and find out what is right for them. We can argue all day long about wrong and right, but the truth is that what's ok will never be exactly the same for two people. I love the fact that GWP is a forum for honesty, vulnerability and discussion. It's so desperately needed these days. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Cherry!

    July 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm

  29. My first thoughts in reading the question were, if you are marrying a man who totally love YOU, then you aren't going to have to seduce him, honey. And, I'll bet everything that you are already sexy to him. Knowing that your husband desires you (as you) is a big way to feel sexy.
    And do not believe that sex is all about super crazy stuff. I just wrote a post on my blog about this – sex is about relating to one another. So, your wedding night is about learning trust & vulnerability. Exploring, learning & loving.
    Don't make a big deal about what your lingerie looks like & all that stuff. He'll think you are sexy. The lingerie I took on my honeymoon all looks frumpy to me now. I don't wear it anymore. The stuff I like now, would've felt too crazy to me then. But that is okay. In his memory, they were all smokin' hot. (I had to show them to him, so he could see why I didn't think they were as great as his memory was telling him. He agreed, that they weren't that hot, looking at them now. But, it was who was in the "frumpy" lingerie that he found irresistible.)
    I was a virgin & so was my husband. I will admit that part of me not feeling scared or intimated was the fact that he was a virgin, too. I think it could feel totally different, if your new husband is not. In that case, I would communicate your fears directly to him. Let him make you know how much he wants you.

    July 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    • Ray

      I LOVE your comments, Erin!! So real and encouraging! Thank you for taking the time to share. :)

      July 12, 2012 at 1:45 am

    • Amen! beautiful, Erin.
      My husband doesn't really get seduced by lingerie and all the other things I thought he would like, though he appreciates them if I've gone to an effort to buy it. We really connect and see each other as sexy because we are so comfortable and emotionally close; I feel sexy because he encourages me and doesn't put pressure on me to look or act a certain way. It's not about a sudden switching on of a sexy button, but a gradual process of developing healthy intimacy – it's so beatiful to grow together.

      July 16, 2012 at 11:13 am

  30. Anonymous

    I love this post, it is so interesting and thoughtful. Thanks Cherry and Lauren!

    July 10, 2012 at 7:22 pm

  31. Victoria

    Thank you for writing this. Through my adolescene i have always questioned why i had sexual feelings if sex was wrong. I wondered why God didnt keep those desires locked up until i was married. I was confused by verses that said God would never tempt me and yet there i am horny and no amount of prayer would take it away.I eventual learned through prayer and guidance from other Christian women, married and single that it was God’s perfect design to make me/us this way. My sexuality does not function apart from my walk with God but with my walk with God. Whether a woman chooses to masturbate or not is no one’s business besides her’s and God in my opinion. It is our own responsibility to monitor ourselves. I know i have an addictive personality which means its my responsibility to guard myself against my triggers. When i am married though i will experience and discover what i like with my husband, I do not think God intended for me to burn through my panties as a single. And to view my desires as sinful and masturbation as a foothold for the devil. That is giving the devil too much power/credit that he doesnt deserve.

    I know some people struggle with the addictions of the sexual nature. To them the same standards apply as it does with other addictions, stay away from your vice if you know it isnt good for you. But that does not mean everyone needs to follow suit because of another’s weakness in this area. God made us all unique and different and though His standard of premarital sex is clear; just say no. Masturbation is not. Empowering a young woman to know her body is not a sin. It is her body first before any man comes into the picture and then they share each other once they are married. To shun a female’s self awareness is to express to her that their sexuality is not vaild without a husband to please her; making her incomplete before marriage. We all know that is a lie since God is who makes us whole entirely and solely. As a single, God may never bring a man into my life, no woman is guarenteed a husband. Which leaves me to maintain my sexual appetite and purity. God does not take these desires away just because a woman doesnt get married. So to those who feel masturbation is wrong, what comfort do you give the single and potentially virgin 27 years old who may not want to marry or has no potential mates lined up? Do you tell her to put some ice down there to cool off? Pray harder, read more scriptures?

    A woman’s worth and sexuality is her own to govern with the Lord. If a husband is ever presented then it is theirs to share. Its time we teach our girls that life doesnt begin after you gain a husband but that self love begins long before that. Also, there were a few comments about masturbating taking away from martial sex and causing a gap between couples and God. I can guarantee a sexually frustrated wife who saved herself for marriage and is not recieving the pleasure she waited for is just as damaging to a marriage and can cause the same gap between the couple and God. If not more due to th disappointment she may feel, especially if her husband doesnt take the time to do his job in bringing pleasure to her as much as she is him.As well as a sense of betrayal towards for God for not making her wait worth it. In an ideal world both would invest in learning how to please each other but as stated earlier in the comments that isnt always the case. Knowing what she likes can help curve some of those expectations. Ive come across women my age and older who are still not aware of what the heck their clitoris is. They lay there during sex never recieving the pleasure they expected partly due to their own ignorance about THEIR own body. How can we tell someone what we like if we dont know ourselves? This applies to alot of different situations not just with sex. I wouldnt know i detest romcoms if i never watched one. I wouldnt know i wanted to be counselor if I didnt go through it and see it myself. I wouldnt know what God wants me to do next if i didnt seek and ask. Alot of this goes back to personal responsibility to ourselves and God first. Which should happen long before someone says I do.

    Thank you again for writing this. It truly blessed my year.

    July 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    • Addy

      What comfort you give to "the single and potentially virgin 27 year old who may not want to marry" is that Jesus led a perfect life, entirely fulfilled by the Father, without sexual sin. I'm not dismissing the claim or the circumstances or the struggle-I have lived it. God is fully capable of taking those feelings and desires away, even if just for a season-I am living proof of His mercy in that regard. Using desire as an excuse for sin is allowing Satan to deceive you-God doesn't tell us it's okay to play with sin if we REALLY want it, even if the "want" is not sinful. Our desires are usually wrong, anyways–just because you want something doesn't mean it's right for you, or at least the right context. Sexual desire is a gift, yes. But it is not an excuse to turn to self-pleasing. Where in the Bible do you see God encouraging His children to seek their own pleasure? His intents are of us to glorify Him and to seek His glory and pleasure, not our own. It depends on what you view the purpose of sex as, I suppose. It was intended to mirror the fullness of God and the union between Christ and the church. There is no union if you are having sex with yourself.

      Doesn't make it easy but it is most certainly possible. No temptation overtakes us except what is common to man…but that doesn't make that sin acceptable to God.

      And as for "personal responsibility" in knowing what you like/prefer? If you can give Biblical backing for that, I'll concede. Don't let culture and "feel-good" philosophy fool you into believing lies. What God tells us in His word is Truth, everything else has to be weighed in light of Truth, not in light of our opinions or preferences. I say all this because I know this fight well, know the grace and mercy of God in this area, and truly do have compassion for you. I would hate to see you deceived into believing pleasing yourself is the "right" thing to do. Hold fast to the Word-if anything I've said is out of line with Scripture, absolutely disregard it. But please take the time to seek out that information.

      July 11, 2012 at 11:18 pm

      • Hi Addy,

        You seem to be thinking that the act of masturbation itself is inherently a sin, rather than the condition of the heart/it's purpose being the sin. Sin is, at it's rawest definition, "missing the mark." In Christian context, we use this word to describe what it is to live or be or experience something that is less than what God desires for us. It is by this rule of thumb that we learn to perceive which actions for us are bringing us closer to or taking us away from God. This is beautiful, because it allows us to operate in relationship with Jesus, instead of by a "rule book." But it also can scare us as a community, because we lose the ability to know exactly what is in someone else's heart, or what is going on in their most intimate places.

        To give you an additional perspective, I'd love to share with you the story of a girl who, at a very early age was sexually abused, and shut herself off sexually. Totally unable to be intimate with her husband because of the past trauma, her counselor recommended that she attempt masturbation in effort to re-awaken her body to pleasure and sex, in a totally safe place, with no man present. After accomplishing this, she was able to have sex with her husband without everything that comes along with heavy sexual trauma.

        I bring this up to suggest to you that masturbation is not inherently sinful in and of itself, as are VERY few things on this earth, but rather it is what we do with things like this, how we use them, what they communicate to us, and what we use them to hide in our own lives. I also hope that you don't think Good Women Project was embracing masturbation as the "cure" for any sexual issue, or that they are making a public statement that "masturbation is completely fine."

        In grace,

        - lauren

        July 12, 2012 at 12:45 pm

        • addy

          Thank you for grace and a continued conversation, Lauren.

          I do think that any willful sexual arousal and/or action outside of marriage is a sin. Masturbation falls in that category pretty clearly, in my eyes. The entire experience of masturbation is intended to seek your own pleasure, by yourself. I wouldn't be willing to make a general statement about the godliness of masturbating after abuse, but that particular example also happened within marriage, with the husband's support and approval. That is generally not the context people are talking about in reference to masturbation. None of the women in my life who have struggled with masturbation have struggled because of abuse, nor has healing from that been the reason they have engaged in that act. That's also not the context that masturbation was encouraged in this article, in Cherry's advice. She stated that every woman, once she gets engaged, NEEDS to masturbate, in order to discover what pleases her. This general advice was given to every reader of GWP. It was not targeted to women who are sexually shut down within marriage because of an abuse history. the sheer vastness of the audience to which GWP has allowed this message of encouraging sexual exploration for self pleasure and self-knowledge so that you're "prepared" for marriage is truly horrifying.

          And I do think that GWP did, by publishing this advice, embrace masturbation as the "cure" for a lack of sexual knowledge about one's own body. That sexual knowledge, literally a man and woman Biblically "knowing" each other, is supposed to come within the bounds of marriage in unity with one's spouse, not alone during engagement. This article also does indeed make the claim that "masturbation is completely fine"-if you read Cherry's statements , comments, and responses to comments, you will see that she very clearly upholds self-exploration and masturbation as "completely fine." I am uncertain as to how you don't think that is the message that's being sent.

          This kind of advice also sows seeds of fear, that if you don't know how to please yourself or don't have enough experience, you will not have a blessed or wholesome sex life with your husband. That is simply not true. I admit that I do not speak from marital experience, but I have been openly and authentically counseled by enough women to know that you don't need to take things into your own hands to ensure pleasure. Sex is not supposed to be a solitary activity-that's not why it was given.

          Please do respond-I write not to be divisive but because I am genuinely confused and concerned about what is actually being encouraged through this post. It seems like the post tends far more toward an "if it works for you…" mindset than one that intends to point one another to the Word, our only measure of Truth. I have attempted to keep from merely stating opinions and to explain why I believe what I believe about this issue Biblically.

          Addy

          July 14, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    • "Ive come across women my age and older who are still not aware of what the heck their clitoris is. They lay there during sex never recieving the pleasure they expected partly due to their own ignorance about THEIR own body. How can we tell someone what we like if we dont know ourselves?"

      LOVE your entire comment, particularly this section. Thank you so much for sharing so clearly and graciously. Much love.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm

  32. Rebecca

    I really wanted to comment but didn't have much say that hasn't already been said and then repeated several times. I think this is a great post merely because it causes women to be open and honest with themselves, think about the topic at hand, dive into the word and make a descion for themselves. For so long I thought part of being a christian meant agreeing with my pastor 100% of the time… well now that I'm in college I have a two pastors so who do I believe? Because they are different have different experiences and therefore differ on some topics. It made me stop and think and make a descion instead of blindly following someone. Thats what I love about GWP. They make me think and make descions about who I am in Christ and what I believe. Like Lauren kept repeating it is not about what is right and what is wrong, it's about open honest discussion where women can make informed descions for themselves.

    July 11, 2012 at 12:50 am

  33. Tiffany

    As a married woman who did struggle with masturbation pre-marriage, I would echo those who are wary of the advice given. I felt like masturbation allowed me to be MORE frustrated when sex was hard/awkward/confusing because I already knew how to get myself to a level of pleasure that my husband did not. But I couldn’t exactly enumerate to him how to help me get there. I echo also those who said “be patient” because sex was not at all like the world tells you it is.

    On the birth control topic, I would say my libido decreased significantly. But the thing is, I married a wonderful husband who has worked with me through it. I’m still on birth control and we’ve been fine.

    Lastly, Lauren, will there be any posts from older married women on how to still feel sexy when well, you’re not so young and “perky” anymore? ;) I just feel like this post is directed at younger women, but sometimes I’d just really like to know how the getting older has affected women’s sex lives in marriage. And that’s a question I feel weird asking even older female mentors in person.

    July 11, 2012 at 1:12 am

    • Hi Tiffany!

      Well, after the outrage on this post, we'll see how much we can attempt to talk about sex in the future haha. We are considering doing a second month of Ask A Married Woman later on in the year, and I'd love to see if we can find a couple older women to discuss this publicly. :) In the meantime, you should email Cherry! She's a sweetheart and does primarily mentor women who have been married for years.

      July 12, 2012 at 12:48 pm

  34. Anonymous

    After reading the comments I am more encouraged about the reaction to this post but after reading the post itself I was seriously concerned. I have really loved GWP to this point and I still believe you all always handle these topics with such grace and compassion and I've really appreciated it. However, I am a little disappointed that it seems that we've allowed the idea of grace to mean that we can't have a healthy shame or understanding of right and wrong. I know that a lot of things are not as black and white as we tend to think they are but that doesn't mean that there isn't a universal truth at the base of it all and that if you decide to ignore that universal truth that you can feel shame over what you've done. That shame is healthy and important because it usually illuminates a part of our lives that we need to correct or rethink.
    I'm one that has struggled with masturbation for a while now. It started innocently touching myself when I was little, not knowing why I was feeling so much pleasure but just knew that it felt good. However, you can't be ignorant forever and the feelings started to arouse curiosity and while for a while i was not lusting, it did cause me to start to make up fantasies in my head. It was always done in the confines of marriage in these fantasies (kind of funny) but soon I wanted to know more about sex and how things "worked" in the bedroom and started turning to sites and things that I just shouldn't have been looking at in high school. Luckily my parents had protective browsing on our family computer so my curiosity was prolonged, but as soon as I had my own laptop, I was more and more bold about "understanding" things, and that was my rational. However, I am ashamed to say that I have turned to porn several times. I am UNASHAMED to say that I was shamed at doing that act because I should feel that shame. I didn't need to know all that or see pictures of that or have porn as my idea of what sex is really like. Instead I should have turned to Christ with my temptation and asked him to strengthen me, but I wanted it and I wanted to know.
    See while I have grown up in a very conservative home, I was explained that sex is wonderful and great even as long as it is in the confines of marriage. It was not a stuffy Christian household, like unfortunately many Christians tend to grow up in. I am extremely grateful to this day however for my parents strict ideas of media we watched and listened to, because I've experienced first hand how even without those triggers you can still stumble upon something like masturbation. My shame is not a product of my upbringing and the idea in a Christian home that if you sin you are going to hell because that is not Christianity and THANK GOD we are covered by His grace. This is still a struggle for me and as many times as I make an effort to take Paul's advice and use self control, if I am not praying hourly and taking each minute by minute I tend quickly forget my prayers of the morning in the darkness of the night. I have encountered people that have told me both sides; that it is wrong and you shouldn't do it to it's just like an appetite and as long as you aren't being glutenous about it then you're fine. I have to say that while that second answer would really help my situation it isn't the answer. I can't ignore the healthy shame I feel after I please myself, especially the fact that I have to lust and create fantasies in my head in order to get the feeling. I really wish I could have the opportunity later to "figure out" what makes me feel good down there with my future husband; I mean you're both learning how to please each other other anyways so why do we need to figure out what makes us feel good down there before we are with the person that we should be doing it with. I guess what I'm saying is that if you want to get in touch with your sexy side then go to a salsa club or take belly dancing classes, get yourself cute lingerie and spend time getting all dolled up. You don't have to have it all figured all out before you're with the one you love.

    July 11, 2012 at 7:59 am

  35. Kimberly

    I am a married woman. Our sex life has been challenged tremendously at times, our sex life has been amazing at times. I cannot imagine any healthy Christian advocating women to not know their body, to know what a clitoris is, or how and orgasm works (for both men and women), and ALSO having a fundamental understanding of intimacy. This post has many extremes, even in the comments. All these things should exist together.

    Knowledge of body = good
    Knowledge of reproduction = good
    Knowledge of orgasm = good
    Submitting it all to its proper place = good

    I am in the camp of those who understand that sexual intimacy is not made for personal pleasure. There is a lot of cultural baggage throughout this post, including that women have to be sexy for their husbands all the time. Ladies: HEAR ME – if you want to GO FOR IT! And love every minute. If you don't – DON'T! If your husband wants something that you are not up for (or vice versa! – I have been there!) talk it out. This entire thing is about intimacy, not simply a good orgasm (though awesome they are!).

    Learning one another sexually (in marriage) is not a problem or something to "get through" until it gets good…THAT IS THE GOOD! We are learning to communicate and love and be intimate in a way no one else is with us. And that calls for vulnerability and honest communication (including knowing your body parts and saying the words clitoris and vagina to your spouse). So if that is difficult for you, don't just start masturbating…start with understanding, and possibly counseling. Use a mirror if you need to, know yourself! That is a good idea. But consider that intimacy cannot be simply used for your self, and consider the damage it can do within a partnership of two people who are trying to learn to please one another (but cannot compete with self stimulation).

    It is true that this topic is semantically silent in the Bible (you can't find the word "masturbate"). But, there is plenty about intimacy with each other and with God. All of us are sexual beings, that is what makes us able to have relationship with one another. Sexual is the capacity for intimacy, and sexual is not just intercourse. My sexuality makes it possible for me to breastfeed my daughter. There are many aspects to sexuality. Let's broaden our understanding of intimacy and long for the REAL thing.

    Pleasure is not THE THING in this topic, intimacy is. And we are all created for that.

    July 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    • So much wisdom here Kimberly! Bravo!!

      July 11, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    • Ray

      Awesome post, Kimberly!! Great wisdom here!

      July 12, 2012 at 2:02 am

    • "Learning one another sexually (in marriage) is not a problem or something to "get through" until it gets good…THAT IS THE GOOD!" Love, love love this line. And am definitely wrestling through this in the first year of marriage. Thank you. :)

      July 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

  36. meganleiann

    I'm a bit confused about the "self-exploration" thing. While I would agree that it's not necessarily wrong, I'm not sure why it's advised. Isn't the whole point of this post that no woman NEEDS to be a sex kitten walking into the bedroom the first night? Wouldn't that be something fun for a bride and her husband to do in their first few nights together? In my experience asking your husband to do something specific is often more difficult than asking him to play around and explore.

    July 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm

  37. I don't know exactly where I land yet, as far as my thoughts on all of this goes; but dang… do I LOVE that it's all being said. And being said well.

    Just ripping off shame, one day at a time.

    GWP, I am abundantly glad you exist.

    July 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm

  38. Traci

    Thank you thank you thank you for saying this Crystal. Thank you for sharing Biblical truth!

    July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    • addy

      But the thing is, it's not Biblical. it's opinion. be careful what you take to heart-Proverbs 4:23 "above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

      July 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

  39. Pingback: Ask A Married Woman: When Sex Physically Hurts - Good Women Project

  40. Ray

    Wow, Anonymous. That's my story. Thanks for sharing.

    July 12, 2012 at 1:58 am

  41. Anna

    Thank you so much. As a 22 year old, single virgin, thank you. This has been something I have been giving much thought to lately. Reading this created a deep peace in me.

    July 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  42. John

    CS Lewis on masturbation:

    "For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an
    appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to
    complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and
    finally in children and grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the
    man into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary
    brides. This harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out
    and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always
    accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or
    adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological
    attractions which no woman can rival." Finally, among these fantasies
    the man "is always adored, always the perfect lover; no demand is made
    on his unselfishness, no mortification ever imposed on his vanity. In
    the end, they become merely the medium through which he increasingly
    adores himself."

    "And it is not only the faculty of love which is thus sterilized,
    forced back on itself, but also the faculty of imagination. The true
    exercise of imagination in my view, is (a) To help us understand other
    people, (b) To respond to, and, some of us, to produce art. But is has
    also a bad use: to provide for us, in shadowy form, a substitute for
    virtues, successes, distinctions, etc. which ought to be sought
    outside in the real world-e.g., picturing all I'd do if I were rich
    instead of earning and saving. Masturbation involves this abuse of
    imagination in erotic matters (which I think bad in itself) and
    thereby encourages a similar abuse of it in all spheres. After all,
    almost the main work of life is to come out of our selves, out of the
    little dark prison we are all born in. Masturbation is to be avoided
    as all things are to be avoided which retard this process. The danger
    is that of coming to love the prison."

    July 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm

  43. walkingbarefootblog

    I seriously wasn't going to comment again. I really liked the post, and the spirit of it all: helping women go from one extreme to the other and that it's ok when you're married. I understand what was being said, and how it could be easily misinterpreted to say one thing: it's ok to participate in "sin", when it says another. I really appreciated it.

    But I have to say, I also LOVED the quote from C.S.Lewis. It totally gives a good picture of what the spirit of pornography and sexual sin have done to society and individuals. And rather than say I agree or disagree with the post or the comments, I'm going to throw this out there. C.S. Lewis' thoughts are right on, and so are Cherry and Lauren's. And they are not talking about the same thing. AT. ALL. One is talking about sin and the other two are talking about figuring out how your body works. One misses God's mark, and the other- in and of itself- isn't sin when you are walking and talking steadily with your Creator. So, maybe I am saying whether I agree or disagree……haha……the hearts and spirits of helping women walk away from guilt is amazing. Blessings to you both. And again, my heart is with those who struggle with this kind of topic and I pray for your freedom and all God's sweetest blessings on you.

    July 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm

  44. Emily

    I struggled with an addiction to masturbation…until I realized it wasn't "sending me to hell." Once I figured out it was nothing to be ashamed of, it became less of a taboo and I no longer rely on it as a crutch. Now it is a celebration…I rejoice in my sexuality! Because my fantasies aren't focused around actual people (they are more "ideas" based around a vague future partner), I do not lust after anyone and therefore I'm not led into sin. This discovery pulled me from depression and other forms of self-mutilation (yes, I considered my habits self-mutilating!)

    Anything can be bad in excess. Sex has not been devalued for me – if anything, this experience in delicately nurturing my sexy side has taught me to value it instead of thinking of it as "disgusting" or "sinful." I am no longer a slave to my sexuality! And I thank God for that.

    July 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    • Emily, well said! Without clear instruction or warning in the Bible, it is my personal opinion that masturbation is a scruple, or matter of conscience, in a similar sense that some issues in the Bible are literally considered "conscience-dependant"—i.e. to some believers extremely offensive, and yet to others perfectly acceptable. One such example is found in Romans 14:5-8. What is clear is that it should never include lust as Matthew 5:28 clearly states.

      Nor should it be more important than God in our lives (i.e. a form of idolatry), or become an addiction that controls us. Is it possible that lust or fantasy about a particular person are the impetus for it? Yes, and that is clearly sin. But it is also possible to masturbate without lust when the focus is genuinely on the sensations and for the purpose of release rather than fantasizing about a particular person. Providing that lust isn't part of it (and that requires each person to be 100% honest with themselves and God), masturbation provides a means of relief and release from ongoing sexual tension that is otherwise a very real challenge and frustration for the single person. For some people (and I suspect this is a greater challenge for women) fantasy is much harder to wrest from masturbation, and so it becomes a sinful temptation. I understand that many Christians disagree with this viewpoint, and I respectfully agree to disagree with them.

      Contrary to what some may believe about men, nocturnal emissions (or "wet dreams") do not serve as a "natural" release for sexual tension, because for many men, they are very rare and unpredictable.

      What about its impact on marital intimacy? Being a virgin, I obviously have no idea what it's like to make love with a spouse, but it's obvious that, on its own merit, masturbation drastically pales in comparison to all that sexual and emotional intimacy in marriage entail and provide. It is obviously no competition (and should be no threat) for marital intimacy, because it is unnecessary when frequent, mutual intimacy is the reality between husband and wife. If it is impeding intimacy in marriage, it is because there are deeper relational issues between husband and wife that need to be addressed.

      Ultimately, God is looking at the heart of the person as to how and why it is used, and each of us are accountable to Him for our thoughts and actions.

      April 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm

  45. Pingback: Turn Your Sexy On! | Simply Sex(uality)

  46. Amaya

    Haha, honestly, the look on my face when I read, "and then (gulp) you need to touch yourself… in a sexual way.*" my jaw about dropped. I've grown up in a very conservative home, so I would have never imagined someone advising that on a website filled with women I admire very much.

    I do appreciate the comment though, I instantly questioned my beliefs. The world had said "play with yourself" and well… I try to ignore the world's advice because it isn't right often enough, and I've made mistakes. But I do love a good test to my opinions and beliefs and a new thing to research in the Bible about and talk to God about… I LOVE having that opportunity.

    When I was younger my conservative background didn't stop me from "touching myself". Unfortunately, that also involved phone conversations with my pervert of a boyfriend at the time. After he was gone I still had to break the addiction. I was young and I do regret it. I feel like playing with yourself is like finding out what gift you are getting before you are allowed to open it. You haven't necessarily played with or owned the toy yet, but you you kinda have an idea of what it is… it ruins the surprise!

    I am a virgin ( I know, that means I have less experience and could very well not have a clue what I am talking about); I have worried about sex before. I was home schooled much of my life, thus I don't know as much about sex as a lot of people do…. But I am choosing to be confident in myself. My first kiss, at 19 years old, was da-bomb and I rocked it. Wasn't awkward at all! (Though it would have been cooler if I had saved that for my future husband..)

    It occurred to me, why should I care? If my husband loves me for who I am it doesn't matter! We can figure it out together. Laugh at the awkward moments and sex hopefully wont be something that is focused only on MY release or to satisfy MY my needs or MY desires, or only his, (I understand we do have those..But had I not played with myself he woudn't be expected to accomplish something I know I can do by myself) but it would be something fun we could learn together. It would and will be an adventure, just for the two of us.

    Besides, the more I fuss about preparing and the more I worry about how sexy I need to be, the more awkward I know I will make it.

    On a side note: My friends and I do talk about how we can't wait to buy sexy things to wear for our husbands. Dressing sexy sounds so fun! I'm not engaged, so I'm going to wait until I am to buy things like that… to avoid temptation.

    I hate this phrase… but talking about how much we worry when we really shouldn't I would like to say: YOLO!!!

    November 12, 2012 at 9:55 pm

  47. TSa

    I was a virgin when I got married. My wedding night was awful. I hated my honeymoon. But I did what a Christian wife was suppose to do. Nine years later I still hate it. Nothing is promised even if you do the so called right thing and wait till your married to have sex. I'm living proof. I feel like I was cheated.

    December 17, 2012 at 2:36 am

  48. Faith

    The animosity shown in several comments to the post that proposed the idea that women have freedom to release sexual tension and to feel pure in their hearts about the pleasure that comes from their body is an example of why many women have to learn to manage their sex drives outside of the church. A proper, fair debate would give people space to be open to explore the interpration of scripture and the spirit of God on this subject. The shaming, “I’m so disappointed in you”, “makes me never want to come back to the site again” does not give women the space to ask the questions, suggest ideas, and to figure out why a particular decision would be profitable or not for them in the long-run. Critical thinking builds wise spiritual and sexual decisions, not closing down the discussion before it has a chance to unfold. As a young girl, home-schooled in a conservative christian family — I received the whole warning as soon as I asked about my body and why it responded to my touch, “Don’t touch yourself, that’s not ok.” I had a calling on my life to follow God in my teens from a personal experience from a meaningful encounter in High School. At a young age I was what most people would consider devout. I helped out at purity retreats in college. I am the only virgin in my family, made up of a complete list of siblings and parents who did not make it to their wedding night a virgin. Very similar to the statistics of how most Americans do not find it possible to wait until marriage, 27 years being the average age of marriage, to first have sex. So I do understand a thing or two about living abstinent for long periods of time as a lifestyle. I am now 27 years old and still going strong for keeping myself a virgin for the wedding day. There is nothing that will break up a person’s faith faster than the idea that God cares very little for their sorrows and troubles they are faced with in this world. The church can preach “God loves you” out of its ears but when it comes down to it…do they lead the way for the hungry to get fed, and for the people out in the cold to get invited into a warm place? When it comes to sex God is compassionate, and he is far more active in helping people and compassionate than people who put burdens on the shoulders of people they can never be expected to carry. There is a sex drive problem. Moralizing it, demonizing it, avoiding it and stuffing it are a short term fix for a LONG term problem. Every growing young person with a robust body (excluding perhaps people with low sex drive like a natural eunuch) will encounter a non-negotiable problem they must resolve on how to deal with their natural, persistent sexual hunger. To people who say God should be the end all solution for sex drive, why did Christ not reprimand Adam when he saw that he was sad in the garden? A perfect relationship with God, yet God in his compassion made Eve, because sexual expression is something the human body and spirit are designed to express. God will help people find solutions to their sexual problems, not judge them or accuse them of loving him any less. That being said, in the context of my journey for the first 22 years of my life I never experimented with myself because of the enormous prohibitions and taboos which surrounded my body. It literally, and I do not say this lightly, was driving me crazy. As a young woman with a healthy or high sex drive, not channeling my sexual needs or having any way to ease them was actually making more vulnerable to addictions (persistant thoughts of sex) because there was no self care permissable. It was out of absolute physical starvation and growing neuroticism that I struggled on my own with no guidance to try to learn to do something. Anything to put me back in touch with my body and sanity. So for the first time ever I tried to masturbate at the age of 23 and even then I felt embaressed and wicked for giving myself a chance to be down there. What followed was such a simple physical and mental release that for the first time I could go about my day with the sex problem out of my mind and body, finally dealt with in a responsible manner. Now at the age of 27 I occasionally masturbate, perhaps once or twice a month. I do not lust or think of other people while I’m doing it — that is entirely unnecessary. I simply give my mind and body release when it reaches the point that it is hurting my thought life more NOT to masturbate, then to masturbate to deal with my physical needs. I usually do thank God near the end because I am at last able to deal with in 3 minutes what would otherwise be a stumbling block to my body for days or weeks. Absolute prohibition tends to make sin more attractive, but a balanced freedom to choose what is profitable makes sin less of a temptation and allows people to meet their needs without condemnation. The burden of God is easy and light, much less complicated than people make it out to be who have no mercy for struggling singles. The average age of marriage is now 27 years old. I personally know it would have been far less likely I would have been able to survive as a virgin for 27 years if I hadn’t found a way to co-exist with my sex drive. At the age of 23 I literally could not take it any more and if I had not masturbated I would have forced myself into a quick and poorly set marriage, or premarital sex if there had been no merciful alternative. As I get older I feel like the mercy of God is far greater than the mercy of men. Having three brothers, it is common knowledge to me that they knew how to masturbate because they chatted about it among themselves. Even in christian groups, I heard once of a topic at men’s bible study from a pastor the young men received a guidance training on how to masturbate without thinking lustful thoughts or viewing pornographic material so they can deal with their needs without sinning. Men were given the means to deal with their sexual energy in a practical fashion, while women were invisible in they might need coaching for this same concern. For example within the same organization such advice was never brought up at a girls purity retreat. The fact that some men claim on this thread they never masturbate, they are the exception and it does not change the fact that men in society are expected to have and to deal with sex drive (wet dreams, etc), while women are told to make Jesus their lover and have him fill all their needs (whatever that means; absolute nonsense since God will not come down and perform the physical duties of a husband). It is dehumanzing to women to be given, pardon my language, bullshit answers and so little assistance to deal with physical problems posed to their bodies when they have no permission to manage and live sensibly with their sexual drive. As for the apologetics that God only wants women to experience anything while it is within marriage — so all masturbation must be justified only by leading up to marriage. God not only considers the happiness of a couple important, he also cares about the hearts and minds of individuals. If going without release is hurting individuals, a compassionate God will have room for intervention. Problems posed in this country include: later marriage age, numbers problem–there are far more christian women than men available for a godly marriage, and any kind of obvious disadvantage (ugliness, disability, etc.) that can make it difficult for some people to compete in the marriage market. Many people who want to be in a godly marriage have never been able to find such union or spouse depsite their great need. Not because Christ would not bring them one, but the times are so dark, and there are so many forces working against singles — especially christian singles — it is getting harder and harder to match up at a reasonable age. This means there are MANY people who are trying to live a celibate life who are NOT physically and mentally built for celibacy. I have no tolerance for people who will not lift a finger to suggest grace to help singles fighting to survive with sanity, and peace in their heart by reconciling with their body in an imperfect situation. Struggling singles are already in so much pain who are trying to measure up, they do not need shame being added to the small amount of bread they take out to reach because they are at times physically starving. I’m sure God is not as cruel as some people are in ignoring the heart’s desire of young people, which will include practical methods to surivive the in between stage before marriage. Lauren and Cherie are some of the few voices that suggest women have hearts and feelings and I dare say bodies that God cares about independently and desires their wellbeing regardless if it manifests as needs while they are still single: since there is always that if, BIG IF they ever get the luxury to be married. In the meantime he will allow them what they need to keep their mind and body in health, which will occasionally and most likely include for many people having a periodic release and grace for their sex drive. This has to be a part of how God loves us in giving us grace to manage because he is the one who provided us with the body that poses the problem of having to live inside it and manage it. For some periodic masturbation will be profitable and healing to their heart as a kindness to their body. When other people judge such reasonable cases and pour on the guilt it will make it more difficult to take a hold of this relief without feeling isolated and ostracized. That is the response of people and not God, it also is not a small thing to put a stumbling block in front of someone. Many young men leave the church, or many young people period just ignore the teachings of the church and just end up practicing premarital sex. If there is no gracious answer for the in betweens, what can the church expect for singles to do except search outside it in for some source of light? Helping and counseling people to get married earlier, hosting dances, and matching up christian singles are some ways pastors can try to speed along the process of meeting people’s needs. Which I might add churches often do poorly if at all and by and large are failing young people who need help to live up to the standards. However, ultimately for those who do continue to faithfully wait they are few and far between. The churches should be at the forefront of compassionate christianity that allows young people to be loved by God and still be given the tools and space to remain sexual creatures while they are waiting for marriage or wish to survive celibacy while they serve christ in ministry.

    December 24, 2012 at 4:34 am

    • Faith, so very well said!

      April 12, 2013 at 10:56 pm

  49. anon

    Masturbation is a GRAVE sin! Please don’t encourage Christians to engage in it. There is a reason that many who start with “natural” and “harmless” masturbation end up graduating to porn to scratch the same itch. It’s wrong period. Read Theology of the Body which talks about the Christian perspective if sex. No it isn’t dirty or bad but it is only for within marriage. I am really shocked and disappointed to read this post endorsing sexting and masturbation. Lord help us!

    January 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm

  50. Pingback: Should I Masturbate Before Marriage? | Beggars Daughter

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  53. Great article!

    December 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm

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