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Christianity Today on Female Masturbation

Christianity Today has a whole section dedicated to women. It’s called Her.meneutics. Get it? That’s hilarious. And they’re letting all the women folk know the real reason they feel compelled to masturbate (because apparently “it feels good” is too obvious an explanation).

When men talk about masturbation (or at least what I have heard and read), everyone pretty much settles on the basics: It’s hard to practice self-control. It’s hard to resist indulging in lust. Really hard. Few men try to psychoanalyze the process, explaining masturbation away by realizing that they secretly have underlying issues relating to real women.

Really? What man explains masturbation that way? No one I know does. And why would it need to be explained in the first place?

Men realize that even if they do resolve those relational issues with women or somehow meet their “unmet needs,” that won’t solve their real problem. Their real problem is lust.

Is it? And why would this be a problem even if it was?

To fully address female masturbation, we don’t need more psychoanalysis about sex that implicitly negates female sexuality. We need a biblical approach that recognizes both the immense pleasure of the female orgasm and the inherent goodness of sexual desire while reserving its proper place for within marriage.

We need a strategy that recognizes the sin of lust and calls it by its name, rather than pretending that women have no agency beyond reacting to environmental stressors or psychological difficulties. We must treat lust like other sins—not a way we act out as a consequence of other problems in our lives—but as a sin requiring us to learn the discipline of self-control that we must master if we ever hope to be the women God made us to be.

It’s just not enough to say that women struggle because they “want to be wanted.” Wanting to be wanted wrecks your self-esteem, it makes you dress immodestly to attract attention, it makes you reach out to any man who will affirm even a smidgen of value about you. Masturbating because you “fantasize about being wanted” means that you find the act of being wanted sexually arousing.

This is all quite baffling. They really do think that masturbation is a bad thing that must be eliminated through “discipline” and “self-control.” Well okay, if you feel the need to masturbate on the bus, that might require a bit of self-control. But if you’re doing it privately, what on earth is the problem?

For example, most women find, when equipped with patience and a good method of fertility awareness, that their lust generally increases around the time of ovulation. This awareness can be a helpful reminder that time alone when you’re approaching peak fertility will be more tempting than at other times in your cycle. It can remind you that your need to avoid tempting situations will be greater some days more than others. The biological basis of this alone should indicate that what’s required to combat masturbation is more an issue of learning to tame one’s lust rather than simply dealing with repressed issues.

Again, baffled. Why is there any need to combat masturbation? Fluff your kitty and rough up the suspect all you want, for crying out loud. This idea that having orgasms is some shameful act is perverse and poisonous. It’s time to end the war on orgasms.

Comments

  1. says

    My favorite part in the article is where the women in that religion have to argue that they have enough agency to be considered sinning for the same reasons men do.

    How fucked up is that?

  2. says

    “To fully address female masturbation, we don’t need more psychoanalysis about sex that implicitly negates female sexuality. We need a biblical approach that recognizes both the immense pleasure of the female orgasm and the inherent goodness of sexual desire while reserving its proper place for within marriage.”

    Bwhahahahahahahahhahahahahaha!!!!!!!

    Oh wait, you’re serious?

  3. alanb says

    We need a biblical approach that recognizes both the immense pleasure of the female orgasm and the inherent goodness of sexual desire while reserving its proper place for within marriage.

    That must be why Christians are such strong advocates of sex education so that there will be no inept husbands who don’t know how to give orgasms to their wives.

  4. D. C. Sessions says

    Translation:

    A) Unmarried women need more pressure to marry.
    B) Married women who aren’t getting satisfaction with their husbands need to try harder to please him, because that’s the only game in town.
    C) Hubby’s tenderest feelings [1] might be hurt if there’s even the slightest clue that wifey isn’t totally about him.

    Executive summary: if it’s good for her, it’s bad for the patriarchy.

    [1] Not for her, doofus. For the head that does the real thinking.

  5. says

    How fucked up is that?

    It’s hard to tell how fucked up it is because the “discussion” is nothing but a confused mishmash of word-salad and meaningless abstractions, written by someone who has no idea what he’s talking about, whose first and only priority is making everything about his own notions of God and Jesus and sin. That’s how fucked up it is.

  6. sigurd jorsalfar says

    The article doesn’t come right out and say it, but read betweent the lines – we masturbate because of Satan. And to that I say “Thank you, Satan!”

  7. says

    Fundamentalism has a core problem with people being happy. If they’re happy now, in this life, then they don’t need the promise of a better “hereafter” and the fundies lose the carrot part of the carrot-and-stick that they use to keep people in line.

  8. sigurd jorsalfar says

    Is it just me, or does anyone else here find it a little creepy that God is watching these women masturbate?

  9. marcus says

    “Few men try to psychoanalyze the process, explaining masturbation away by realizing that they secretly have underlying issues relating to real women.
    I’m with Raging Bee here. What the fuck does that even mean?

    Men realize that even if they do resolve those relational issues with women or somehow meet their “unmet needs,” that won’t solve their real problem. Their real problem is lust.”
    Yes, long were the days in my adolescent summers that I sat by the lake, penis in hand, contemplating my “relational issues” with women (none of them would sit by me in the lunchroom) realizing that stroking said penis would likely not resolve my real problem of lust, but willing to accept a brief surcease from the hormones raging like a brushfire throughout my body. It was a small consolation but it eased my existential worries. (Plus it was free and I had all the necessary equipment to meet my, so far, “unmet needs”.)

  10. sigurd jorsalfar says

    Marcus @13, I had a hard time making sense of it too. On the one hand ‘explaining … away’ seems to mean that men have a rationalization for why they masturbate, instead of being honest to themselves about why they do it. But then the phrase ‘by realizing’ suggests that men ARE being honest with themselves about why they masturbate. The best sense I can make of it is this – ‘Men all have underlying issues with women and they are aware of this. So they blame this for why they masturbate, but they really masturbate because they can’t resist the temptation to sin, masturbation being a sin’. It definitely leaves a lot unsaid about what these ‘underlying issues relating to real women’ are.

  11. says

    Is it just me, or does anyone else here find it a little creepy that God is watching these women masturbate?

    He’s just another guy looking at porn in the privacy of his own…um…Universe. What’s so creepy about that?

  12. sigurd jorsalfar says

    @modusoperandi: Masturbation is still a sin in marriage unless your spouse watches while you do it.

  13. Trebuchet says

    We need a biblical approach that recognizes both the immense pleasure of the female orgasm…

    Wait, females can have orgasms? That’s not in the bible! And it’s gotta be sinful because it’s not required for procreation!

  14. otrame says

    No masturbation? Ah, I think I am beginning to understand why they all walk around with that stick up their asses.

  15. says

    We need a biblical approach that recognizes both the immense pleasure of the female orgasm and the inherent goodness of sexual desire while reserving its proper place for within marriage.

    Say the magic words and dirty and bad becomes clean and good.

    My take on the underlying problem.

  16. caseloweraz says

    A Paul Simon song:

    In my little town
    I grew up believing
    God keeps his eye on us all.
    He used to lean upon me
    As I pledged allegiance to the wall…

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting that, but based on some of his other songs I think I’m right. Not that it matters much now, or would have back then — except to certain people.

    Who are those people, and why do they think it matters? Perhaps we should ask Jocelyn Elders.

  17. Pierce R. Butler says

    … they secretly have underlying issues relating to real women.

    Yeah, because the women are somewhere else when needed.

  18. dingojack says

    Masturbation? Really?!? Are they still flogging this dead horse (or merely ‘spanking the pony’) ?
    Dingo

  19. dingojack says

    sigurd jorsalfar (#12) – How else could one ‘see the glory of the commin’ of the lawd’?
    (Sorry, couldn’t resist. [Slinks away])
    Dingo

  20. Nemo says

    What a weird mix of modern psychobabble and Christian cliché.

    Anyway, Ed, I believe their answer to your question is “Because God said so.”

  21. busterggi says

    i notice that their article has zero quotes from the bible in it – something that is not normal for them. Apparently not being able to find something mentioned in the bible does not mean the bible isn’t still against it.

  22. says

    busterggi “i notice that their article has zero quotes from the bible in it – something that is not normal for them. Apparently not being able to find something mentioned in the bible does not mean the bible isn’t still against it.”
    Book of Judging 5:12-13 “‘Lo, though it may tingle, thou shalt not rub thine cooter, for as in the days of Adam, thou garden is thine husband’s to tend.’, saith the LORD.”

  23. says

    We need a biblical approach that recognizes both the immense pleasure of the female orgasm and the inherent goodness of sexual desire while reserving its proper place for within marriage.

    No, “we” don’t.

    If all of the people who say things like this would just go fuck themselves, instead of trying to prevent others from doing so, the world would be such a better place.

  24. justsomeguy says

    I once got into a frustrating argument with a catholic over this subject. He did an admirable job of keeping god out of it; all his arguments were entirely secular. That tactic didn’t work out too well for him, though, as the distillation of his argument was “sex for pleasure is bad just because.” I repeatedly pointed out that it’s harmless, victimless, and undertaken entirely voluntarily. His response: none of that matters, it’s still evil because reasons.

  25. sigurd jorsalfar says

    @justsomeguy Sounds like he kept god out of as well as intelligent design proponents keep god out of it.

  26. says

    .I repeatedly pointed out that it’s harmless, victimless, and undertaken entirely voluntarily. His response: none of that matters, it’s still evil because reasons.

    I suppose that it’s still evil because reasons is slightly more benign than Catholic moral theology of sexuality. A lot of Catholics hang their hats on The Theology of the Body, a series of obsurantist lectures by JPII, the newly minted patron saint of child rapists. His lectures are thick, heady, pseudo-intellectual manifestations of obsessive compulsiveness with the whole thing ultimately hanging on the is-ought fallacy. I completely reject is-ought except when it comes to dimes. Dimes were meant to purchase things. It’s a grave moral offense to use them as a substitute for a screwdriver.

  27. felidae says

    George Carlin said: It shows how mean spirited and nasty Christians are when they call something as pleasurable and harmless as masturbation “self abuse”

  28. lofgren says

    I find it interesting that both Christianity Today and modern sex-positive feminists have come to the same conclusion that female masturbation threatens the social order by making women less dependent on men.

  29. says

    @lofgren:

    I find it interesting that both Christianity Today and modern sex-positive feminists have come to the same conclusion that female masturbation threatens the social order by making women less dependent on men.

    heh… I’ve got to save that observation along with another I read today: conservatives who hate the US government are appalled by people in foreign countries who hate the US government.

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