Lust & FantasySex & Singleness

Should I Masturbate Before Marriage?

I know.  This is one of those gray areas that everyone has a black-and-white opinion on, but hear me out.  I get asked this question a lot, and while I’ve touched on it before, I want to stand up in the face of a new trend I am sensing.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there is a bit of a revolution amongst the “True Love Waits” generation.  See, we’re getting married, and our lovely ladies are finding out they haven’t the foggiest idea about sex.

From where I stand, “True Love Waits” while a fantastic idea, was grossly mismanaged.  It resulted in this bizarre fracture of the church.  A very big fat line was drawn in the sand, and either you were for True Love Waits or you were a heathen. No one intended it to be that way, but in the wake of “Make Love; Not War” it seemed like a great alternative.  Tell young people not to touch each other, date each other, talk about sex, ask about sex, think about sex, or have sex.

Since those young people are now themselves divided, I’d say this plan backfired badly.  On one hand, you have Christian young adults who are now living together, because, frankly, if 50% of couples get divorced anyway, what’s the point?  Save the paperwork.  Then, you have a generation of men and women addicted to pornography and lust because it ‘technically’ isn’t sex (and if we’re defining sex as getting in bed with someone, then no, it isn’t sex).  On the other hand (that’s three hands, isn’t it?), you have Christian virgins marrying and wondering how on earth this whole sex thing works.

So, to counteract such a divide, you have people giving advice like this:

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.

Taken from this post on The Good Women Project

First off, I want to say I have every bit of respect for Lauren and what she does at the GWP.  She has a great Christian feminist (yes, it exists) approach to life and has challenged me in many areas.

That being said, it is very possible to respectfully disagree with someone.  In this case, I disagree with Lauren and the author of this content, Cherry.  The gist of this segment is that engaged women need to experiment with their sexuality that way they know what they are doing on their wedding night.  Cherry instructs women, even commands them, to masturbate as long as they are thinking about their future husbands.  Around here, we call that lust.

Excusing sin just because everyone else does it is wrong.  Just because you believe that every man in the world has masturbated does not, under any circumstances, make it standard, acceptable, and Godly for women to masturbate.

In fact, I recently read this article (warning: it’s a little crude) about how masturbation isn’t even present in a tribal setting where sex is very open.  So, Cherry’s point is overshadowed by the truth, that every man in the world actually doesn’t masturbate.  In fact, it might seem that intentional masturbation is the side effect of stifled sexual desires.  The problem is not that women should be masturbating.  The problem is that we need to be openly discussing sex.

That, not masturbation, is the issue.  Does a woman need to know her body?  Yes.  Is her body dirty?  Absolutely not.  But to tell a woman to masturbate in order to prepare for marriage is equivalent to telling her to go have sex in order to gain experience.  That’s what Cherry is getting at here.

I am all for Christian women understanding and accepting that they are sexual beings.  I am all for them knowing their bodies and how God made us as women.  I am all for that, but I am all against bringing pleasure to myself without my husband.

And addiction?  Well, if you think you might fall to addiction, masturbate anyway, just get counseling.

Did I mention that I strongly disagree?


(To be continued.  Up Next: Part 2… Getting to Know Your Body)



  1. I agree with you 100%. As a married man who had problems with porn and masturbation while single, I can say without hesitation that masturbation doesn’t lead to great marital sex. Instead, it leads to lack of self-control. Self-control is one of the keys to great marital sex, especially for men, whose sexual response is naturally much faster than a woman’s. So even if every man has masturbated (and I agree with you that’s not true), that doesn’t mean that that’s a positive thing.

  2. Very good. And I’ll point out that your reply to the quoted article was tactful and respectful. I can see the love of Christ in your response.

    Your wisdom and your life give me so much hope. God is so good.

  3. The way I see it is that God created sex so we could become one with our husbands. Godly sex is about pleasing the other person, putting their needs first.
    Masturbation is completely self focused. Who are we becoming one with? Who’s needs are we putting first? A godly life isn’t a selfish one.

    That being said, I recently did have an amazing revelation about how beautiful we are as women. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, that means EVERY PART OF US, including our privates. There is nothing shameful about those parts of us that we cover up. God made that part of us as well, and said it was good!
    So I’m not going to despise my sexuality, or despise my sexual desires, because they are part of who God made me to be! Instead I’m going to thank God that my body works properly, and thank God that one day in marriage I will be able to enjoy sex with my husband, and in the meantime I’m going to surrender to God these desires, and trust him.

  4. I overwhelmingly agree with what Cherry said, except I wouldn’t try to tell someone they have to wait until they’re engaged before they get to know their own sexual response and are comfortable feeling sexy. It isn’t lust. Lust is not sexual arousal, it’s desiring something forbidden. Sex is commanded not forbidden.

    The “exception” article regarding male masturbation only goes to prove the point. Tribal societies, as in the Old Testament, became sexually active just after puberty and sex was more common knowledge given the lesser degree of privacy… {comment edited for appropriate content.}

    1. You are free to agree, and being that I’m pretty sure you are a man, it doesn’t surprise me that you do agree with what she says. There are many women who agree with what she says, and many of us who don’t.

      To clarify some of your points.

      I encourage you to read through other blog posts and understand that here, at Beggar’s Daughter, lust is defined as the misuse of sexual desire. I defined pornography as “anything that takes you into a bedroom where you don’t belong.” I have no problem with sexual desire, and agree that it is commanded, between a husband and wife. Therefore, consummation is not a command for a single person. So, while sexual desire is not wrong, attempting to fulfill that desire outside of how God intended it to be fulfilled, would be.

      Also, I don’t see how the article can prove the point you are making. Under the opinion you express, men masturbate frequently as part of life, this would by necessity include married men. In the culture in the article, even the married men did not seem to know what it was. So, the choices are: all males got married right after puberty so they never had a need to masturbate (which would imply that married men do not masturbate- also not true), or not all men masturbate.

  5. Was the last line where you reference masturbating anyway just get counseling after you do so sarcasm? Please explain because that threw me off

    1. Yes, which is why I followed it up by saying I strongly disagree. Sorry that it wasn’t clear.