One of my hobbies is to engage with Christian bloggers on issues of sexuality. I have always been fascinated by religion’s ability to both love and hate so strongly, and I find that many of the bloggers, while holding very different views that I hop don sexuality, are pretty good folks and interesting to speak with. So, lately there has been lots of chatter on the sinfulness of masturbation. I was asked how I knew masturbation was not a sin (I argue that it is a hobby much like any other self-indulgent hobby). I thought I would share my answer:
That’s a fair question XXX. I am not a religious person, so I try to allow logic and basic moral tenants to guide me (many of which I draw from the bible). I have a 2-step logic on this:
Step 1: We all engage in activities that we find pleasurable, and when we do this we are not doing other things that are serious and important in our lives. So whether we are masturbating or watching a mindless sitcom on TV, we are engaging our mind in something pleasurable but, really, useless. We could be doing things that are more important, such as parenting, worshiping God, helping in the community.
Step 2: By engaging in this pleasurable but time-wasting activity, are we harming others or ourselves. As long as your partner is OK with you pleasuring yourself, I don’t think masturbating hurts anyone (as long as you do not become compulsive in it and allow it to distract you form more important responsibilities – like any other hobby). I also don’t think it hurts your soul. I obviously cannot prove this but it seems unlikely that masturbating is any more repellant to God than some of the ridiculous things you see on TV. In all seriousness, if God is all about love and compassion, I would think he would like masturbation much more than many of these mean-spirited, demeaning reality TV shows that seem to consume hours of many peoples time these days.
So I guess I can’t prove it and, to some extent, have to take it on faith. Isn’t this what you guys are good at?