Is it wrong for a Christian to have cybersex? Is this a sinful activity for a Christian? What does the Word of God say about Cybersex?
What is Cybersex?
Before we can determine if Cybersex is a sin for a Christian we need to first define what it is.
Webster’s Online dictionary defines cybersex as:
“activity in which people become sexually excited by sending messages about sex to each other over the Internet”
Examples of cybersex would be people using webcams to watch each other masturbate or sending each other sexually explicit instant messages.
Another way of defining cybersex would be live sexual communication over the internet between two persons for the purposes of sexual arousal and/or orgasm.
Before we can understand whether cybersex violates God’s we need to see why God created sex and what his rules and purposes for it were.
Six principles about God’s purposes for sex
Biblical Sex Principle #1 – Sex is only allowed between a man and a woman
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them…
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” – Romans 1:18-19 & 26-27 (KJV)
Biblical Sex Principle #2 – Sex is allowed only in Marriage
“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)
Biblical Sex Principle #3 – Sexual foreplay is allowed only in Marriage
“Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother; and they played the harlot in Egypt. They played the harlot in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and there their virgin bosom was handled.” – Ezekiel 23:2-3(NASB)
Biblical Sex Principle #4 – Sex is not only allowed in marriage, it is also required
“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” – I Corinthians 7:3-5(KJV)
Biblical Sex Principle #5 – Sex in marriage is given us to us as a gift for our pleasure and comfort
“Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:” – Genesis 49:25
“Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” – Proverbs 5:18-19 (KJV)
“And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.” – Genesis 24:67(KJV)
“How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs are like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. Thy navel is like a round goblet, which wanteth not liquor: thy belly is like an heap of wheat set about with lilies… This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof…” – Song of Solomon 7:1-2 & 7-8 (KJV)
Biblical Sex Principle #6 – Sex in marriage is not only given to us for pleasure, but also for procreation
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply…” – Genesis 1:28 (KJV)
Sexuality vs Sex
A key distinction to understand is the difference between Sex and Sexuality.
Sex is the act of two persons mentally and/or physically sexually arousing one another usually culminating in an orgasm by one or both persons. But sex can be had sometimes with no orgasm from either person (e.g. when a couple has to stop having sex before orgasm – maybe because they get interrupted by kids.).
When we refer to a person’s sexuality, we are talking about a person’s ability to be aroused by thoughts of sex, smells of sex, the sight of other persons or the touch of other persons and the ability to feel pleasure in certain erogenous zones of one’s body as well as experience an orgasm.
While God limits the exercise of sex to be only within the bounds of marriage, he places no such bounds on sexuality itself.
In other words – a young teenage boy or girl do not have to be ashamed of the fact that they can become sexually aroused many years before they might get married.
One note on the issue of sexual arousal. Because we are sinful and have corrupted natures it is possible for some teenagers to be aroused and attracted sexually to the same sex. Without getting into the larger topic of homosexuality – Christian teens should not entertain or allow these thoughts as they are a corruption of God’s pure design of sexuality. If a teen continues to struggle with this, they should tell their parents so that they can get into a Christian counseling program that works with individuals that are tempted by homosexuality.
Having said that – if a teen is experiencing normal heterosexual arousal this should not be shamed, but rather encouraged by parents.
This the fine line that Christian parents must walk. Christian parents must not present sex as some dirty thing, or something not to be talked about. They ought not to teach their teens that they must repress their sexuality until marriage. But instead, Christian parents need to help their teens channel their sexuality in healthy ways.
They need to teach their children that while sex is reserved for marriage(including all sexual touching, oral and intercourse) this does not mean that their sexuality must be repressed until they are married. A teenage boy should be free to express how he feels about certain women that he finds attractive and why he finds them attractive. The same goes for a teenage girl in why she finds certain men attractive.
Of course parents need to teach their children about the appropriate times and places for sexual talk, as well as boundaries of language that are in good taste. For instance it is normal and healthy for teenage boys to discuss girls they find attractive and for teenage girls to discuss boys they find attractive. Usually the teenage boy conversation will be more about physical attributes of girls, while the teenage girl conversations might be much less physical. Teenage boys should be taught how to be gentlemen and not gawk at girls or make lewd and suggestive comments to girls. The same should be taught to teenage girls.
As part of our human sexuality that God has gifted us with, he has given human beings the ability to act on their sexual arousal or sexual tension that builds up with the gift of masturbation. This gift of masturbation is helpful in many ways. It can help teenagers to learn about their bodies and prepare them to have better sex lives in their future marriages. It can also help with adults who have not yet found the person they will marry, or even with engaged couples that are trying to remain sexually pure for marriage. Masturbation can help make up for libido differences between husbands and wives.
Masturbation is a lengthy topic so I will refer you to some other posts where I have gone through the Scriptures on this topic. But the fact remains, no in Scripture does God forbid masturbation, in fact in the Old Testament he regulated the cleanup of masturbation in the cleanliness laws he gave to Israel.
Can masturbation be abused – Yes and I reference in this several of my posts. Just like people can abuse their nature God given hunger for food, others can abuse their God given gift of sexuality. Some men sit for hours each and every day looking at erotic imagery (whether it is immoral imagery or not) and they are constantly masturbating and it effects every part of their lives.
Some people masturbate so much that they cause themselves mental issues that affect their ability to have normal sex in marriage and they have difficulty reaching orgasm through normal sexual intercourse.
But if we treat masturbation the same way we treat food, as a normal human need then it can be done in a healthy and safe way. We need not fear that because we masturbate that this means will somehow cripple ourselves from enjoying normal sex with our current or future spouse.
Now that we have shown what Cybersex is and why God gave us the gifts of our sexuality and sex itself – now we can compare Cybersex to God’s view of sex and determine whether it is sinful or not.
Is Cybersex a sin for married couples?
Since God has gifted sex to marriage – there is no sin in married couples engaging in cybersex. In fact this should be encouraged for couples that may be separated by long distances due to military deployments or other work related issues. It helps the couples to connect even while apart. The Scriptures do not require that every orgasm a Christian husband or wife has must be experienced through physical sexual intercourse. Some Church leaders have wrongly taught this with no Scriptural backing whatsoever.
Is Cybersex a sin for unmarried Christians?
Cybersex is a violation of God’s Word and his boundaries on sex for unmarried persons. Usually Cybersex involves one or both people masturbating but that is NOT why it is wrong as masturbation is allowable within God’s law. Cybersex many times involves looking at nudity of some sort(like images of another person masturbating but this is NOT why Cybersex is wrong as God’s law does not forbid sexual arousal from looking at nudity.
The reason that Cybersex is wrong is because the only type of sexual activity between two persons that God honors is that which occurs within the covenant of marriage. So that means dating couples or even engaged couples may not engage in Cybersex before they are married. Obviously it means that strangers may not engage in Cybersex online with each other either.
Some might ask – “but there is nothing physical so how can it be wrong?” The reason is that sex is both a mental and a physical activity. If two persons are interacting with one another and they are sexually arousing each other, whether it be by using web cams, or instant messages and whether or not they have an orgasm they are in essence having sex with one another. It is just mental sex, as opposed to physical sex, but it is still sex.
But what about looking at pictures or sexual recordings of people, or just imagining sex with someone?
If you have read any amount of posts on this site you will see that I show there is no sin in Christian looking at nude image, or video as long it does not feature unmarried person’s having sex or other sinful sexual activities. So how can Cybersex be wrong, but looking at a picture of a nude woman, or even married couple having sex be ok for a Christian?
The difference is this – it is impossible for you to have sex with an inanimate object. Sex requires two persons interacting with each other, whether physically or mentally. If you are imagining having sex with a beautiful woman – does she have any idea that you are imagining that? Is she interacting with you in some way? If the answer is no, then you are NOT having sex with her (even mentally speaking).
But what about people sending nude pictures or videos to one another?
Again I have said many times on this sight that there is no sin in a man viewing nude images of women, or just imagining them in his head – then being aroused and even masturbating to such imagery. But in the context of Cybersex, this then begs the question – what if a man and woman (who are not married to each other) are sending recorded images of themselves to each other but they are not live and interactive? Would this still be Cybersex? Strictly speaking it would not be Cybersex, but it could be trying to entice someone into cybersex or actual sex.
For instance if you(as a man or woman) take nude pictures of yourself and send them into some image sharing websites for others to appreciate and view there is no Cybersex happening. If however you as a man or woman send images directly to another person with the express and intent purpose of tempting them into having Cybersex or actual sex with you outside of marriage then in this case even the exchange of such imagery can become sinful, because the intent is sinful.
But what about the mental adultery Christ spoke of in the Gospels?
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV)
Christ says here that if a man looks on a woman – to do what? “To lust after her” that he “hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” But notice some key things about this passage.
First – adultery refers to a specific type of fornication that only occurs in relation to marriage. Also adultery always has at it center a married woman, the marital status of the man pursing her is irrelevant. If a married man has sex with a single woman outside of marriage, that technically speaking is not adultery – it is what the Bible calls ”Whoremongering”.
Second – Paul tells us what Lust is when he wrote “for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Romans 7:7 (KJV) So to lust, is to covet. Covetousness is the not simply looking at someone or something and getting pleasure from the sight of that thing. Covetousness is the strong desire to actually take possession of something that belongs to someone else. It is fantasizing about how one might actually take possession of something that they cannot possess.
So when we understand these two truths then this what Christ was actually saying:
“If you look at a married woman and you being to have covetous thoughts about how you can get her to cheat on her husband with you, then you just by your covetous thoughts you have committed adultery with her in your heart.”
That is the most literal understanding of what Christ was saying in there. So “mental adultery”, but Christ’s definition is when man looks on a woman with covetous thoughts of how he might possess her outside of marriage. Notice that for a man to simply look at woman, even a married woman in the context of this passage – is not sin. It is when a man looks at a woman with covetous thoughts, then and only then does sin enter the picture.
While looking at nudity and masturbation are not sinful – Cybersex is a sin even though it usually involves both nudity and masturbation. Cybersex is more than viewing nudity, becoming aroused and masturbating – it involves an illegitimate sexual relationship between two people who are not married and it is not something any Christian should be involved in.