Debunking “Your Brain on Porn”

The website “Your Brain on Porn” or YBOP it is sometimes referred to has attempted to convince people that Porn use actually changes and warps the brain in a negative way. This is of course just one of many sites that attempt to use brain science to convince people that porn use hurts the brain.

As I have said many times on this site, anything can be abused including food, alcohol and even things like video games and gambling. So just as someone can have an addiction to food they can also become addicted to porn. But just because something has the potential for abuse or addiction does not make that thing wrong in and of itself. It is the abuse of these things that is wrong.

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” – I Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)

So even though it is lawful for us to play video games, watch TV, eat food and drink alcohol if we come under the power of these things (become addicted to them where they control our lives) then the abuse of it becomes sin.

Sexual Imagination is NOT Lust

Biblically speaking there is nothing wrong with a man having sexual imaginations or looking at sexual imaginations on film (porn). This is not lust. Lust is not sexual arousal or sexual imagination – Lust is covetousness.

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” – Romans 7:7 (KJV)

Some would point to Matthew 5:28 to say that looking at porn is lust and therefore sin.

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 5:28 (KJV)

Rather than spend a lengthy amount of time here on that passage when others have handled it well I will refer you to a recent post by BiblicalGenderRoles.com author Larry Solomon entitled “The Church Women and Barbeques” where he dives deep into Matthew 5:28 and its actual meaning.

The point here is looking at a woman and being aroused by her or having a sexual imagination of her is not sin or lust or wrong in anyway. It is when we begin to have covetous thoughts of how we can actually possess a woman outside of marriage that our thoughts turn to sin.

Two other Christian authors have written some great posts about why it is not sin for Christians to enjoy erotica and porn. So again rather than me just repeating what they have said – I will let them say it in their own words.

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

http://genesis2twentyfive.com/erotica/introduction.html

I actually agree more with the position of restoringchristiansexuality.com on this subject of porn than genesis2twentyfive.com but they both make some similar points. The big difference between the two sites is that restoringchristansexuality.com believes we can redeem the word “porn” and use to refer to imagery that does not violate God’s laws regarding sexuality.

Psychology Today takes on “Your Brain on Porn”

I don’t agree with Psychology Today in everything they write as they are not a Christian website. But that does not mean there is no truth in anything they write. They do have some well researched and well written articles.

In an article entitled “Your Brain on Porn – It’s NOT Addictive”, David J Ley Ph.D. writes:

“There has been a tremendous amount of hyperbole about porn use, with many authors and doomsayers claiming that viewing porn triggers dangerous neurochemical changes in the brain. But, groundbreaking new research says that it just ain’t so, and that people who are problem users of porn are actually people with high libidos, NOT people whose brains have been warped sex and porn.

Popular antiporn advocates such as YourBrainonPorn and the group called Fight The New Drug , argue that porn use is a public health issue, not a free speech issue. These advocates often assert that if people and society only knew the damage that porn use was causing to our brains, that we would regulate it, in ourselves, and in the access that is allowed…

Fascinating, rigorous new research has now been done, which actually examined the brains of alleged sex addicts, and guess what? The results are a bit different than the rhetoric. In fact, the results don’t support that sex addiction is real, or reflects any unique brain-related issues at all.”

New research, according to this article, demonstrates that the different and higher reactions to porn and other sexual stimuli are not due to changes that porn causes to the brain – but simply differences in libido between different people.

In other words – if you have a higher libido you are going to have a larger reaction in your brain than someone with a lower libido – porn use does not make you have a higher libido.

This is the same argument people have tried to use regarding violent video games. Violent video games do make kids violent, the kids that are violent already had violent tendencies BEFORE they ever played those games.

In fact it could be argued that violent video games actually give people with more aggressive tendencies a virtual outlet so they don’t feel as compelled to act these things out in real life. In the same way I would argue that porn use rather than increasing actual sexual immorality (use of prostitutes or engaging in other sexually immoral acts) decreases these things because it gives men a virtual outlet for their natural sexual desires.

You can read the full post from Psychology today here:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201307/your-brain-porn-its-not-addictive

Here are some more resources on this issue.

Porn is not the Problem – You Are

Five reasons you need to watch porn

Ten Reason porn is actually good for you

http://www.webmd.com/men/guide/male-masturbation-5-things-you-didnt-know?page=2

The difference between good porn and bad porn

Is “Christian Porn” an oxymoron?

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

How to overcome porn and masturbation addiction

Porn addiction and masturbation addictions/habits are just as real as alcohol and drug addictions/habits.   Do you feel that porn and masturbation have become the central focus of your life? Do you have trouble finding or keeping intimate relationships with women because you would rather look at porn and masturbate? If you answered yes to either of these questions you might have a porn and masturbation addiction.

Typically an “addiction” is distinguished from a “bad habit” in that with a habit there is usually not a physical or chemical dependency involved. Some define an addiction as something you have no voluntary control over, that you are compelled to do that action because of a chemical reaction in your brain.

Before I continue, I want to be clear that this post is going to address the issues of porn and masturbation addiction from a male perspective, but this is not to deny that there are women that are also deal with porn and masturbation addiction, but I think women who struggle with this issue are a fraction of the amount of men that struggle with this issue.

Here at the TheGiftOfSex we advocate for men to use porn(good porn that does not violate God’s design of sex) so it might seem like an contradiction that we offering help with masturbation and porn addiction.

The reason that you might think this it is a contradiction we are offering advice on porn addiction is because you think porn and masturbation are the enemy you are fighting.

The truth is…

Porn and Masturbation are not the enemy – Addiction is!

Think about this for a second. Is food the enemy of a food addict? Of course not. It is his addiction to food that his enemy. It is his overuse of a good thing that is his enemy. His compulsion to eat at every hour of the day is his enemy.

Men and Women’s brains work differently

If you were to take the brain from a deceased dead woman and a deceased dead man you might not be able to tell the difference from a quick glance. They might be similar in size and if you cut them open they would have all the same parts.

The difference in male and female brains is found more in things that cannot be seen from a simple physical examination. These differences are rather seen from observing nerve impulses and chemical differences between male and female brains.

So while both male and female brains have an amygdala and hypothalamus which play big roles in us enjoying food and sex, the chemical and nerve activity in these areas are very different in men and women when it comes to sex because of a hormone called Testosterone.

Even though testosterone is often associated with masculinity and estrogen is associated with femininity – men and women have both these hormones. But what makes a man a man and a woman a woman is all about proportion.

Men on average have 20 times more Testosterone than women! This is what makes men have more body hair, thicker skin and more muscle mass than women. But it also makes men think and perceive their world very differently than woman. Testosterone is what makes men think about and desire sex more than women.

Men and women have different sexual natures

While men and women both have sexual natures – the driving mechanisms of these natures are radically different. A woman’s sexual nature is intricately interwoven with her emotions. While a woman can have sex with no emotional connection, most women will receive little to no enjoyment from such an interaction.

A man on the other hand can very easily have pleasurable sex with a woman he just met and knows nothing about.

We see this in the Bible in the story of Isaac and Rebekah:

“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)

In this story – Isaac has sent his servant off to get him a wife from his clan, and here his servant comes with a woman he has just met – they barely say two words(absolutely no time for emotional connection or getting to know one another) and he has her in his deceased mother’s tent having sex with her.

This is because a man’s sexual nature is primarily driven by his visual arousal and physical need to release his semen. Most men have a drive and a push to release their semen every couple days. For many men if they have gone as long as a week without a release this can become grueling and cause irritability (similar to a woman’s PMS symptoms).

These differences between the male and female sexual natures are by the design of God and neither is wrong. A man’s visual and physically based sex drive makes sure that married couples are regularly having sex – regardless of the emotional status of either party. A woman’s emotionally driven sex drive forces men to have to verbally and emotionally connect to have the best sexual experience possible.

Another way of saying this is – sometimes a man will just take sex no matter how it is, he just needs a physical release. But most men have a natural desire to strive for the “best” sexual experience they can with their wives – where their wives are emotionally and physically connected with them and enjoying sex as much as them. So they have to work to connect emotionally with their wife and put them in the mood. For these reasons God made the male and female sexual natures very different.

The Brain chemistry of Porn and Masturbation

Compulsive porn and masturbation habits are usually referred to as an addiction because of the chemical high that men get from looking at porn and masturbating.

When a man views porn his brain releases a hormone called dopamine – this a “reward” type of hormone that makes us feel a type of high.  But  dopamine gets a bad wrap in many anti-porn circles as if it is a bad hormone or as if it is related only to sex.  Others wrongly think that dopamine is only related to addictive behavior like drug use, alcohol use.

The truth is that we experience dopamine rushes in many pleasurable experiences in our lives.

When you first start dating someone you get a rush of dopamine every time they call, or every time you get a text from them or whenever you are about to meet them for a date.

When you watch your bride walk down that aisle towards you – you get a dopamine rush.

When you are thinking about your favorite dinner that your wife makes, and when you come in the door and smell it being cooked – you get a dopamine rush.

When you go into your bosses office to find out how much of a raise you are getting you get a dopamine rush.

When you are anticipating watching your favorite TV show or listening to your favorite music you get a dopamine rush.

When you proudly watch as your child graduates from high school or college, you get a dopamine rush.

You get the point – dopamine is not just about sex, or addiction.  It is a hormone that God gave us to help us enjoy life – to get pleasure from things in our lives.

So when you see all these articles attacking porn because of the dopamine rush it gives us – keep in mind that many other activities in our lives give us dopamine rush and you won’t here the anti-porn advocates criticizing those activities.

Men receive more physical pleasure from their sexuality than women

Men literally receive more physical pleasure from sexual arousal(viewing women), sexual intercourse and orgasms than women do.  While women also experience physical pleasure during sexual foreplay, sex and orgasms  they receive much more emotional pleasure from sex than men do.

For more detail on this see my post-  “Men and women experience orgasms differently”

Sex is a need, not just a want

Human beings, both men and women need sex. The way we approach sex as men and women may be very different, but sex is a need regardless.

Read more about this in my post “Sex is a need, not just a want”

Masturbation is given as a method of sexual release

I think very few people would argue masturbation is as sexually fulfilling as having sexual intercourse with a person you love in the act of marriage. But just as we mentioned above, most men would say that just having sexual intercourse with their wife(as in when she is not really in mood but just letting him do it) is not as good as when she is in the mood and there is a full emotional and physical connection.

But that does not mean lesser forms of sexual release between a husband and wife (such as just for physical release) or even masturbation are wrong.

God regulates the cleanup after masturbation in the book of Leviticus:

“16 ‘Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. 17 As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening.

18 If a man lies with a woman so that there is a seminal emission, they shall both bathe in water and be unclean until evening.

19 ‘When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.” – Leviticus 15:16-19 (NASB)

There are three normal bodily functions described here. A man having an emission of semen by himself (which would cover masturbation or nocturnal emissions), a man having sex with his wife, and a woman having her period.

None of these things are considered sinful, they simply had regulations for the cleanup after these normal activities.

Are sexual arousal and sexual imagination (sexual fantasy) sinful for a Christian?

From a Christian perspective many Christians have been wrongly taught that viewing porn and masturbating are sins before God. This is a rather lengthy topic so I will just refer you to some articles that are dedicated to these subjects and examine this from a Scriptural perspective:

What does the Bible say about Lust?

Why Masturbation is not wrong for a Christian

To sum up what you will read in those posts Lust is not sexual arousal, it is not even sexual fantasy (sexual imagination) rather it is covetousness. Covetousness is the desire to actually take possession of something or someone that does not belong to you, or that you would have no right to try and possess.

For example, a young man who sees a single young lady is not coveting after her if he desires to date her, marry her and then have sex with her. Even though he does not yet possess her, the desire to possess her is pure and there is no sin in that. However if that same man looks at a married woman with the intent of possessing her either through an illicit affair or getting her to leave her husband for him then that is the very definition of covetousness (which is also lust).

But if this same man sees a married woman and is simply sexually aroused by her beauty, or even imagines her naked or has a sexual fantasy about her, but does not allow it to go into covetous thoughts there is no sin in this either. One of the ways a man can tell that his normal sexual arousal from a beautiful married woman has turned to covetousness is if he begins to flirt with her or tries to become emotionally intimate with her.

Why can’t men just stay away from Porn and Masturbation?

Many people wrongly reason that since we advise drug addicts and alcoholics to stay away from drugs and alcohol completely that we can and should take the same approach to men looking at porn and masturbation.

Staying away from Porn and masturbation is like going on a liquid diet. You can do it if you have to but you will eventually be miserable in the process. You might even learn to suppress that misery – you might tell yourself that you feel better now that you don’t look at porn or masturbate anymore.

You tell yourself you are better off for two reasons.

The first is you have been taught either from a religious perspective or even a secular feminist perspective that viewing porn is wrong so you feel an enormous sense of guilt after each time you view it and now that you no longer view porn or masturbate you don’t have to feel that post-porn viewing/masturbation guilt.

If you want to overcome the guilt of masturbation, and be able to enjoy masturbation as the gift God as given as part of your sexuality I suggest you read my article “How to overcome the guilt of masturbation”.

The second is because you are scared of that person you were – the man who sat in front of his computer for 8 hours at a time watching porn and masturbating and in the process you were wasting your life away.

But the truth is you are like the person who loses a spouse in death and feels guilty about wanting to be with someone else. So they suppress that desire to want another spouse or be with someone else, they keep themselves busy and direct all that sexual energy toward other things only to hide or suppress their natural sexual hunger.

If you are being honest with yourself – as a man you naturally desire to view the female form in all its wonderful varieties, you naturally think about sex and desire to have a sexual release (either through masturbation or sex with a woman). But while God restricts sexual relations with a woman to the covenant of marriage – he has given us the gift of masturbation as a way to experience and enjoy our sexuality before we are married and even while we are married as long as we use it properly and in balance.

So what is the answer to Porn and Masturbation addiction?

I think I have shown here that trying to get a man to stop receiving pleasure from viewing women(whether fully clothed live women) or nude women in pictures as well as masturbating is the equivalent of a food addict moving to a liquid diet. Yes we can do it but it simply suppresses the sexual hunger that God has put in us.  God did not mean for us to suppress our sexuality but rather to channel it in healthy ways that do not violate his Word.

The better way to handle porn and masturbation addiction is to treat it like food addiction.  It must be balanced and regulated. These are steps I recommend for overcoming porn and masturbation addiction:

Recognize that this is an imbalance in your life

The Bible says

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” – I Corinthians 6:12 (KJV)

While God created our sexuality – including our natural ability to be sexually aroused, to sexually imagine and to masturbate he did not intend for us to spend all or most of our time doing these things. They were intended to be a “part” of our life, but not the “whole” of our life.

Set a reasonable amount of time each week to look at porn or masturbate

For each person this might be different. For younger men in their late teens or early 20’s they may need to masturbate daily. For older men it may only be a couple times a week. Set time limits for how long you will look at porn or other erotic material – set an alarm that goes off that tells you time is up.  This is similar to how a food addict must measure the portions of food they eat.

One way to know if you are looking at too much porn or masturbating too much is if you have little desire to do anything else but that. If you find yourself not wanting to read your Bible or talk about the things of God or engage in other hobbies or not doing things with your friends or spouse, not wanting to seek out a girlfriend(if you are single man) or not wanting to have sex with your wife(if you are a married man) then you may be looking at porn and masturbating too much.

Find an accountability partner

Find another man (do not use your wife for this as she will not understand this from a female point of view). Find a man who believes as you do that God does not call us to suppress our sexuality, but rather to channel it in healthy and measured ways. This way if you slip up one week and “binge” by looking at porn too much or masturbating too much you have someone to talk to.

When you slip up – get back up and start over again

After you have a binge day– confess your sin that you have allowed a lawful thing(viewing porn and masturbating) to gain power over you.  Resolve to get back in balance on this new day. Talk to your accountability partner and let them know too so they can pray for you.

Below are some links from another Christian site that talks more on the issues of Porn and how to distinguish between good porn and bad porn.

The difference between good porn and bad porn

Is “Christian Porn” an oxymoron?

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

 

My change on images of unmarried couples having sex

I have made it clear on this site in several places that I hold to the Biblical belief that sexual relations between a man and woman is strictly reserved for marriage.

The Bible says:

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”

The Bible places sexual relations between a man and woman into one of three categories – marriage, whore-mongering or adultery.  There is no fourth acceptable category of sexual relations between persons who are “in a loving and committed relationship” as so many Christians wrongly believe today.

But if you have read some posts on this site where I talk about masturbation and erotica you will know that I do not believe it is wrong for a Christian to enjoy viewing images of sex.  The only things I believed were wrong to view was homosexual sex, group sex, underage minors, bestiality, rape or violent types of sex and unmarried couples having sex.

The reason I believed it was wrong to view pictures or videos of unmarried people having sex was because I felt I was taking pleasure in their fornication.

But after reading the post below from RestoringChristianSexuality.com, and prayerfully looking at the evidence he presents I came to the same conclusion he did.

What we are seeing when we see a man and woman have sex in some photo or movie is NOT an actual man and woman having sex.

I know that you are scratching your head right now.   But hear me out.

What you are viewing when view such sexual imagery is just that  – imagery!.  It is an image or depiction of a man and woman having sex. Before the days of photography artists had to capture these kinds of things in their mind and spend many hours or even days and weeks painting or sculpting these things.  So in the sense of sexual imagery yes sometimes the “artist’s inspiration” may have been an unmarried man and woman having sex. But once the image has been made it is just that – an imagination put to paper, or canvas or film or a digital file.

Today they are doing fascinating things with computerized photo programs. Graphic artists are literally “painting” with pixels in a file.  Some of these portraits of actors and others you could not tell are a graphic painting they are done so well.

My point is while we would love it if all the “inspirations” for the photos and movies out there with sexual imagery were in fact of married couples having sex this is simply not the world we live in.  But we don’t have to play this “guilt by association” game that Christians so often play.

When we appreciate and are aroused by the images of a man and woman  having sex we are not taking pleasure in fornication but rather we are taking pleasure in imagery of heterosexual sex between a man and woman.  We are designed by God to do so.

But this does not mean we are advocating for or condoning sex between unmarried couples.

See these two posts from RestoringChristianSexuality.com – I hope all my readers will look at these with an open mind and open heart.

Why I will now allow pictures of unmarried couples having sex

The difference between Good and Bad Porn

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

 

Masturbation can help to keep your sexual purity

group of casual people smiling isolated over a white background

I realize the idea that masturbation can help keep your sexual purity seems like an oxymoron. In fact at most churches Christians are taught just the opposite, that masturbation causes them to have impure thoughts and the act itself is a sin. But masturbation is not a sin, and it can help keep you sexually pure.

I am a born again Christian, a Bible believing Christian. I am married, and I have a wife to have sex with. I wrongly thought when I was a young Christian teen that all this sexual temptation would go away as soon as I was married. Let me tell you Christian friends, it does not. In fact after you have had the real thing (sex with a woman), it can get worse.

I agree with other Christians that we do face a battle against sexual temptation. Where we disagree is where that battle is and what tools God has given us to wage that battle.

I agree with anti-masturbation Christians that we must war against thoughts of having premarital sex or adulterous sex. That means if I even think of how I could get a single woman into bed, or a married woman into bed (that I am not married to) that is what Jesus Christ called “lusting after a woman” in Matthew chapter 5. From this point forward I will refer to anti-masturbation Christians as AMCs.

Where the disagreement comes in is about sexual arousal, sexual fantasy and masturbation. AMCs believe all three of these things are the enemy, and we must war against them. I believe these are a tool, to keep us from truly sinning.

If we understand God’s boundaries that we cannot think of luring someone into premarital or adulterous sex then we need a tool to get rid of the sexual tension that most people face. The only people who do not face sexual tension are those whom God has given the gift of celibacy, they are basically asexual and do not have a sex drive, but this is a very small percentage of the population.

Your body needs a physical sexual release

Your body needs a natural sexual release, especially if you are a male (but many women do as well). Approximately every 72 your sperm ducts fill up and hormones are sent through your body tell you need a release. Anti-masturbation advocates will tell you God’s tool for release is nocturnal emissions, otherwise known as wet dreams. So somehow it is ok for your mind to subconsciously think about having sex with a woman, which causes you to ejaculate in your sleep, but if you consciously had the same thoughts about her that would be sin? I don’t think that AMCs have clearly thought this out.

While women do not have sperm ducts that fill up like men, they do have hormones that release once a month around the time they ovulate. These hormones in essence make them horny, so that if they were married they would want to have sex with their husband when they are fertile. This is the only reason the human race has survived.  So while a woman may not need to masturbate every other day like a man, she may only need to masturbate one week a month around the time of her ovulation.

You mind needs sexual release too

I have seen some well-meaning Christian web sites that recognize the fact that human beings need regular sexual release, whether they are married or single. But because they cannot let go of church tradition, and actually see that lust is more than being sexually aroused or having sexual fantasy, they must still condemn that. So basically they tell people that they have to masturbate with no sexual thoughts whatsoever.

Let me tell you, I tried this a few times when I used to believe the way they did, and man is it brutal to try and masturbate without any sexual images in your head, or in front of you. You seriously feel like you are only partially relieved when you are done.

The reason is that our sexual release is supposed to be both a physical AND mental release for it truly give us relief. I am not sure what a woman needs to think about(since I am not a woman), but I know for sure that a man needs to think of a hot naked woman while he masturbates to truly relieve both his mind and his body of the sexual tension that has built up.

How AMCs brutalize young single men with their teachings

I remember what it was like to be a young single Christian person (20 years ago) and I understand the great sexual stress these people face. In fact I think the doctrines of AMCs are the most brutal when it comes to Christian singles.

You are told as Christian single to just concentrate on other things, put your sexual frustrations out of your mind. As young men, you are told to “bounce your eyes” anytime an attractive woman walks by. Basically if Christian men truly followed these teachings they would have to walk around everywhere looking at the ground. This is utterly ridiculous.

Other times Christian men are taught that they need to train their minds not look at women as sexual objects. Then they can look at women with no sexual arousal because they see them as a “person” and not as a “sex object”. Again if any single Christian man is reading this, if he is being honest with himself, he knows this a bunch of bologna.

I teach my teenage sons not to look at woman as ONLY objects of sexual pleasure. What that means is, there is nothing wrong with my sons accepting the fact that God wired their brains to receive sexual pleasure from just the site of a beautiful woman. She does not have to touch them, talk to them or even know they exist. Just the sight of a beautiful woman sends off pleasurable signals in a man’s mind.

It just so happens that for men, the same part of the brain that gives them pleasure from smelling their favorite foods or makes them hungry from seeing a food commercial on TV is the part that gives them pleasure from seeing a beautiful woman, whether on TV, in a magazine, or in real life.

If you are a woman – you don’t have that wiring so it will be hard for you to understand, you sexual wiring is completely different than a man’s. But if you want to roughly understand how many get pleasure just from the sight or scent of a woman, then imagine how you receive pleasure from smelling your favorite foods, or seeing a commercial for your favorite food and you partially understand how men work in this area.

But what I teach my son’s is that women are both people and objects of sexual pleasure for a man. I realize that may be very hard for many Christians, especially women to understand. Women don’t understand that many times men are objects for them as well, but men are a different kind of object for women.

For women, men are objects of physical and financial security. Women want a man who will be able to protect them and provide for them, it is built into their nature. A man’s intelligence, his ambition, his strength and assertiveness is what attracts a woman to him.

The only difference with a woman objectifying a man is that usually she has to get to know him a bit to discover if he has the qualities she desires. This is why women typically are not attracted to weak willed, unintelligent and unsuccessful men. It is true that there are many more things to a man’s personality, but these things are minimum things most women look for.

So with my daughter, I would teach her there is nothing wrong with her seeing men as objects of physical and financial security, but that she also needs to see them as people too.

So in summary – I don’t want my son’s to be whoremongers who ONLY see women as objects of sexual pleasure and I don’t want my daughter to be a gold digger who only sees men as a paycheck. But there is nothing wrong with my son’s seeing women BOTH as objects of sexual pleasure and as people, and there is nothing wrong with my daughter seeing men as BOTH objects of physical and financial security and as people as well.

Your sexual nature has no off switch

But what AMCs do, is ask you to reprogram your mind from how God designed you as a young man to be. They treat your sexual nature as one and the same with your sin nature and that is not Biblically true. God gave you a sexual nature, and he did not design you with an off switch until you get married, it only has an on switch and it turns on during puberty and never turns off for the rest of your life.

There are only two ways to relieve sexual tension

The only two ways to truly relieve sexual tension both physically and mentally is masturbation or sex with another person. Married sex (between a man and woman) is the only kind of sex between persons that God honors.

How a Single Christian person can keep themselves sexually pure by masturbating

At the end of this post I will supply a link to an article I wrote with refuting all the arguments that people try and use (even with Bible verses) against masturbation. I highly encourage you to read it. But once you read the Bible and understand there is not guilt, or shame in masturbating this is how masturbation can keep you sexually pure.

Feel free to appreciate the women around you. God made your mind able to get pleasure from women’s beauty in the same way he made your nose able to get pleasure from smelling your favorite foods. The boundary that God has set for you is that you do not start fantasying in your head about how you could approach this woman to have sex with you outside of marriage.

When you need to, masturbate to images of beautiful women whether only in your mind or pictures you have found. I wrote an entire article on Christians and nudity as well. Please see that at the end of this post. The boundary God has placed on you viewing nudity is that you cannot derive pleasure by looking at “bad porn”.

Bad porn is any photo, or film of people engaged in homosexual sex, group sex, rape sex or bestiality as all these things violate God’s design of heterosexual sex.

But there is absolutely no sin in you as a man enjoying paintings or pictures of nude women or even couples engaged in normal heterosexual sex as God designed it. You were wired by God to think about and appreciate the female form, and to think about and appreciate the thought of heterosexual sex.  This is why photos of heterosexual sex bring you so much pleasure – they are a thought put to paper – its like an instant lifelike painting.

As a man, when you look at images of beautiful women, or imagine that beautiful woman walking down the street, you relieve BOTH you mind and body of the sexual tension that has naturally built up. You will then be able to go about your normal life’s business (school, college or work) and not have to deal with this sexual stress.

Another way masturbation can keep you sexually pure as a single Christian is in your dating life. You may be finding yourself tempted to have premarital sex with your girlfriend or fiancé, and the best way to avoid this temptation is through masturbation. You can even masturbate with images of your girlfriend or fiancé in your head, or maybe you have a picture of her in a swim suit.

How a married Christian person can keep themselves sexually pure by masturbating

Single people might ask – why would you ever have to masturbate when you have an actual person that you can legally have sex with?

Well there are many reasons. Sometimes because of health reasons a couple may go long periods of time without being have to have sex. This is common for women with high risk pregnancies where the doctor may forbid sexual intercourse for a time (of course there are alternatives to intercourse). Other times a husband may be in the military and away from his wife for many months at a time.

Then there are sex drive differences between men and women. Sometimes masturbation can be a great equalizing tool to take the edge off.

Masturbation can keep married people sexually pure by allowing them to release that sexual tension before they would go and do something truly sinful. Perhaps a woman rarely has orgasms through intercourse with her husband and they have tried everything else, masturbation can keep her in check and keep her from be tempted to stray.

The same goes for a man. Maybe his wife routinely sexually denies him (which she should not do) and he is being tempted to seek out a woman at work or a prostitute for sexual relief. Masturbation can keep him in check when these thoughts and feelings arise.

Conclusion

Contrary to the teachings of AMCs, masturbation is not the enemy of Christians. It is an ally to keep them from truly sinning. It can help Christians to remain sexually pure.

Related Posts

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/04/25/is-masturbation-wrong-for-a-christian/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/04/18/what-does-the-bible-say-about-lust/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/05/03/what-is-the-biblical-view-of-nudity/

https://thegiftofsex.com/2014/05/12/the-false-teachings-of-every-mans-battle/

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

The false teachings of Every Man’s Battle

Every Mans Battle1

Every Man’s Battle, while preaching freedom from “the slavery of sexual sin” actually enslaves men to traditions and teachings of men. It treats “maleness” as the enemy and tries to make a false contrast between “maleness” and “true manhood”. The authors of this of this book, rather than calling men to war against their sin nature, calls them to war against the male nature that God designed them with.

Every Man’ Battle was originally published in 2000 but has since spawned more books and workbooks and has been taught in churches across the country and around the world. Its authors Steven Arterburn and Fred Stoeker first convey their struggles with lust in great detail.

In fact most negative reviews of the this book come from Christians who scorn them for going into so much detail as they may be causing people to have “impure thoughts” by just describing their experiences.

A little about me

I am a born again Christian, I have been saved for over 30 years and have studied the Bible for over 20 years as an adult. I have taught Sunday school classes and filled pulpits for friends of mine (in Baptist Churches). I say all this to let you know a little of my background. I am not a preacher, but I have taught in churches and filled pulpits for Pastors.

I don’t teach in churches anymore and I don’t preach anymore because over the years I have come to have many differences with church traditions and church teachings that I have found have no scriptural support whatsoever. I won’t hijack a Pastor’s pulpit or teach his Sunday school having the differences I have (and they are more than on the topic of sex).

But there are times and places to take a stand against false teaching, even by good Christian men who have nothing but good intentions in their hearts, which I am sure Mr. Arterburn and Mr. Stoeker have. If the Apostle Paul withstood the Apostle Peter to his face over his wrong behavior, I think it is ok if I take these author’s to task in the main ideas of their book.

Church traditions and teachings are not always right, the Protestant reformation showed us that. But even the leaders of the reformation did not tear down all the false traditions, they left some intact. Even the radical reformers who were the forerunners of modern Baptists still left some false church traditions intact.

My purpose has always been to try and remove all the ruble and tradition and our cultural biases, and get down to the pure Word of God, to truly follow the noble idea of the reformers of “Sola Scriptora”, or Scripture alone.

So with that said as a backdrop on the Christian Brother who is correcting his brothers in Christ, let’s begin.

From this point forward I will refer to Every Man’s Battle by the acronym EMB.

Lust and Impure thoughts

I and other Christians who are challenging EMB’s approach to sexual temptation agree that the Bible talks a lot about Christians avoiding lust. We just don’t agree with how they have expanded the meaning of words like “lust” and “impure thoughts”. Let’s take a look now at some Biblical passages on purity and lust.

Here are some passages on Biblical purity:

“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.”

Titus 1:15(KJV)

Here are some passages on Biblical lust:

24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26 For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.

Proverbs 6:24-26(KJV)

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 5:28(KJV)

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 6:12(KJV)

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Romans 13:14(KJV)

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16(KJV)

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

1 Corinthians 10:6(KJV)

Any surface reading of these passages would tell us as believers that God wants us to have pure thoughts and fight against the lusts of the flesh. But what does it mean to lust? What does it mean to have a pure thoughts, and a pure heart?

Biblically speaking, keeping your heart and mind pure means thinking on things that God considers to be good, honest, just and lovely. It means not thinking on things that God considers to be evil.

EMB, and many Christians from the early church on have loaded purity and lust with expanded definitions that the Bible never does. They say lust means not only thinking about luring a woman who is not married to you into having sex with you, but even the mere arousal at the sight of her form, or sexual thoughts about her(like imagining what she looks like naked) is also lust.

EMB says “impure thoughts” are any thoughts about the sexually pleasing form of a woman who is not your wife. EMB says lust is not only thinking about how you can lure a woman who is not your wife in having sex with you(whether she is married or single), but it is also thinking and deriving pleasure from the form of any woman who is not your wife.

But what does the Bible say about purity and lust?

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8(KJV)

Philippians 4:8 is one of the greatest passages in all the Bible dealing with the thought life of a Christian. God wants our thoughts to pure, he wants us to think on things which he considers to be good. But often times we read things into a Scripture passage that is not there.

Some have taken from Philippians 4 that Christians are always supposed to be thinking of rainbows, flowers and waterfalls (all beautiful things). But what about the commander in the battle field who is thinking of how to defeat his enemy and save his men? Is this also a pure thought? I would submit to you that the answer is yes. It is a virtuous thought, one of honor. Saving his men and defeating his nation’s enemy is a good thing

What if a man is a hunter, and he is thinking of the best way to catch a deer. Is this an impure thought? Of course not.

Let’s now bring this into the sexual arena. If a man is thinking of how beautiful some woman was that he saw on TV, or in the mall, or at work is this an impure thought? The answer is no. It is completely natural for a man to scan women’s forms and derive pleasure from them. EMB based on their expanded definition of lust says this is also wrong.

But does the Bible say what lust is?

Actually it does.

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Romans 7:7(KJV)

Lust is covetousness. It is a common misconception in modern times that lust only applies to sexuality. Lust (which is covetousness as the Apostle Paul states) applies to desiring to possess or do anything that would be sinful to do.

If you derive pleasure from the form of a woman’s body, or even have a sexual fantasy of what it would be like to be with her, you have not lusted after her. If however, after having the fantasy about her you begin to fantasize about how you can actually take her, how you can lure her into having sex with you outside of marriage, then you have lusted after her. It really is that simple.

So in this context, an “impure thought” would be thinking about how you can get a woman into bed with you without first being married to her (that covers single women, prostitutes, and women married to other men).

The Bible’s definition of sexual immorality

The authors of this book use the term “sexual immorality” or various forms of the phrase multiple times on almost every page of the book. The definition of sexual immorality is the entire foundation of the doctrines they espouse in this book so I think we need to deal with that now. We will first compare how the Bible defines sexual immorality and then we will compare it to EMB’s definition to contrast and show the differences.

In the King James Version the word now translated as “sexual immorality” was “fornication”. This was an old English word that meant sex outside of marriage, whether that was incest, adultery, use of harlots or prostitutes and premarital sex. Some people get confused when we talk about adultery and fornication. Adultery is always fornication (it is one type of fornication), but fornication is not always adultery. Biblically speaking, Adultery only occurs when a married or single man sleeps with a married woman – that is the most literal definition of the term.

In the original Hebrew the most common word that is translated as fornication was “zanah”, or literally harlotry. In the New Testament the Greek term for sexual sin was “pornia” or a form of that word, and yes this is where we get our modern word “porn” from. Pornia was much the same as the Hebrew word in that it referred to harlotry and incest.

Some to my left have wrongly tried to argue that none of the Bible’s terms for sexual immorality forbid premarital sex. They error though in the fact that the Bible always present the only kind of sex between a man and woman that God honors is within the bounds of marriage. In fact in the Old Testament if you had premarital sex with a virgin who was not pledged to be married – you were forced to marry her and pay her father the bride price. God never looked positively on premarital sex.

I agree with the authors of EMB based upon Ezekiel 23 that God does condemn sexual foreplay between non-married persons. Some have tried to argue that God only condemns intercourse, but he does truly condemn any blatantly sexual touching of the erogenous zones by non-married people.

This is how the Bible defines fornication (or as it is now translated “sexual immorality”):

  1. Unlawful physical sexual contact – Any physical sexual contact between a non-married man and woman is forbidden in the Scriptures. This would obviously include fondling of breasts or genitals, oral sex and intercourse. Any other physical contact that is not sexual foreplay would not be forbidden.
  2. Lustful (covetous) thoughts – Any thought about getting a person you are not married to, to have sex with you outside of marriage is sin. Just the thought, just the fantasy of trying to lure them into having sex with you outside of marriage is a sin, even if you never act on it.

Now in contrast to how the Bible defines sexual immorality, let’s see how EMB broadens and expands God’s definition.

EMB’s expanded definition of sexual immorality

EMBs authors, much like the Jewish religious teachers who came before Christ, have sought to broaden God’s definition of sexual immorality.

They would add a third type of sexual immorality to the two items I shown above.

EMB says that if you become sexually aroused simply by the visual sight of any woman you are not married to then you have sinned. They would also say any sexual fantasizing about any woman other than your wife is also sin. EMB also condemns masturbation.

Now I will give a few quotes to illustrate their broadening of God’s definition of sexual immorality:

For males, impurity of the eyes is sexual foreplay

EMB – pg.66

Masturbation while fantasizing about another woman besides your wife or “fantasy intercourse” while dreaming is the same doing it. Remember the standard Jesus set? “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit ‘adultery’. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.(Matthew 5:27-28)…

Impurity of the eyes provides definite sexual gratification. Isn’t that foreplay? When you see a hot movie scene, is there a twitch below your belt…No doubt about it, Visual sexual gratification is a form of sex for men. As males we draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes.

EMB – pg. 68

So as you can see, the authors here have expanded God’s definition of sexual immorality from the two points I gave above. Specifically they have expanded the definition of Biblical lust. I will say in their defense that they are following church tradition. The early church father’s fell into the error of teaching that sex was a necessary evil only for reproductive purposes.

Our author’s probably feel enlightened compared to them by telling people that sexual desire is not bad within the confines of marriage.

I will stand firm in telling you, challenging you, to find any Scripture passage that says sexual arousal, desire or fantasy in and of themselves are wrong. Sexual covetousness is wrong, but arousal and fantasy in and of themselves are not wrong.

A word on what is, and what is not Sexual foreplay

EMB expands sexual foreplay to having any pleasurable thoughts or sexual fantasies about a woman who is not your wife. As I said earlier I agree that foreplay is forbidden, but having thoughts about someone’s form or what it would be like to have sex with them is NOT foreplay.

Sexual Foreplay requires the interaction of two people, either through visual flirtation, physical flirtation, or audio flirtation sexually trying to arouse one another. It is a two person activity.  So yes this would by definition, make phone sex, or web cam sex with anyone other than your spouse, sinful sexual foreplay even though you are not actually touching them.

It is impossible to have sexual foreplay with inanimate objects(like pictures and movies), or even with an actual person without their express interaction with you.

But someone might say “Ah wait, a man can make unwanted sexual advances toward a woman can’t he?” Yes he can, he might grab a woman inappropriately or brush against her giving himself sexual pleasure by doing so.  He may say sexual things to her, or comment on her body.  But if she is not positively receiving these actions, but either ignores them or acts negatively towards them, this is not by definition sexual foreplay – it is actually sexual harassment – which is completely different(and is also sinful).

It is absolutely ridiculous to assert that a man is having sexual foreplay when he is aroused by(or even fantasizes about) a picture of a woman, a movie of with a woman, or the sight of an actual woman who is not actually engaging with him.

What about Matthew 5 and Job 31?

The authors of EMB address these two famous passages in the Bible about a man lusting after a woman, in an attempt to broaden God’s definition of sexual immorality. There is a great article on these two passages that you should look into:

What does the Bible say about Lust?

I will summarize it by saying this. When Jesus talked about lusting after a woman, the word lust is talking about a sinful covetousness. The sinful desire was him fantasying about getting a married woman to sleep with him – that is what sexual lust is in the Bible.

Job 31 deals with lust as it relates to single people. Job was saying he made a covenant with his eyes not to “think” on maid. In other words, he would not look at a young single woman and fantasize about how he could have sex with her outside of marriage, this would include looking at prostitutes and thinking about he might hire them. So yes I agree with the authors of EMB that both Matthew 5 and Job 31 both talk about sexual sin in the mind. But the sexual sin is that of sexual covetousness, or of desiring to get someone to have sexual contact with you outside of marriage. Just the thought of that, even if it is never acted on, is sin.

Being aroused by the sight of a woman who is not your wife is stealing?

This is not new to EMB. I heard this all growing up in church during youth group.

Though saved and free to walk purely, I had still chosen to look at women in dishonor.

Oh don’t be so hard yourself, one might say. It’s natural for a male to look. That’s part of or nature. It’s natural for a male to look. But what you’re doing is stealing. The impure thought life is the life of a thief. You’re stealing images that aren’t yours. When you had premarital sex, you touched someone who didn’t belong to you. When you looked down the blouse of a woman who isn’t you wife, you were stealing something that isn’t yours to take. It’s just like walking down Main Street behind someone who drops a one-hundred-dollar bill out of his pocket, and you pick it up….

Similarly, if a woman’s blouse falls open, you can’t say “Hey, that’s in my sight line, I get to have that” No, you have look away. Otherwise you’re a thief. You need to leave that valuable creation in the hands of God and her husband or her future husband.

EMB – pg.72

Are they kidding? Let me be clear on something – looking at a woman, whether fully clothed, partially clothed or nude is NOT stealing anything! If I go into a restaurant and I enjoy the smell and look of the food on various people’s plates as I walk to my booth is that the same as if I picked up their plate off the table and started eating their food? The answer is no.

The beauty of women belongs to world, in the same way that the beauty of a tree belongs to all of us.

Group of Women

If I drive down the street and see a beautiful apple tree in my neighbor’s yard am I stealing from him if I look at the beauty of his tree, or even if it makes me hungry for an apple? The answer is no. If I go and grab an apple off his tree, then I have stolen.

Now when I say a woman’s beauty belongs to the world that does not mean I think women should be walking around nude all the time (although I do think there is a place for nudity in art and photography). See my article on Christians and nudity for more on that.

What is the Biblical View of Nudity?

What it does mean is that I have no problem with my wife or my daughter wearing attractive clothing. I just don’t want them dressing like prostitutes or whores. But unlike many Muslim men, and also some Christian men, I don’t expect every inch of wife and daughter’s skin to be covered.

The Bible says to everything there is a time and a season. So in the summer time, I don’t have a problem with my daughter wearing shorts. When my daughter goes in swimming pools when we go to hotels I don’t have a problem with her wearing bathing suits, even two piece bathing suits. I believe everything father has to decide where the line is and my daughter understands my line.

But to force a woman to completely cover her body from head to toe at all times is like having a beautiful rose garden and then building a 20 foot wall all around it so no one else can enjoy its beauty besides you.

A woman’s body belongs to her husband or future husband alone, but her beauty belongs to the world.

Is Masturbation a sin?

The authors of EMB make several broad attacks on masturbation to include it in their broadened definition of sexual immorality. It is kind of funny that the authors acknowledge the Scriptures are silent on masturbation, but then they turn around say for us to be holy we need to stop masturbating.

“Scripture is silent on the topic of masturbation. Some might even make a case that isolated instances of masturbation to relieve sexual tension are okay, if you’re focusing on your wife, not some supermodel, during periods of separation and illness. Wanton masturbation, tied to pornography or whatever gets your motor running, is always sin, putting distance between you and God. If you desire holiness, you must stop masturbating.”

EMB – pg.105

So let’s get this straight, the Scriptures are silent on masturbation, but if we want to be holy we have to stop masturbating? Sounds like the authors are preaching the commands of men as the commands of God.

But in all fairness to the authors of EMB, as well as a host of Christian teachers who teach against masturbation – here is the real issue. Because of how they define Biblical “lust”, masturbation must be wrong. I agree with them that most masturbation would involve some sexual fantasy with someone of the opposite sex.

Masturbation while trying to clear all sexual imagery from one’s mind may be possible, but it is grueling. It is like trying to eat food without tasting it or enjoying it, just quickly swallowing it before it can touch your taste buds.

I honestly think that many of these anti-masturbation advocates sit up at night wondering why God did not just give them a law against masturbation so we could get rid of this pesky issue once and for all. What they don’t realize is, the silence of the Scriptures on masturbation actually speaks against their expanded definition of Biblical lust.

If it were truly sin to be aroused by, or derive sexual pleasure from just seeing a woman’s form (whether fully clothed, partially clothed or fully nude) and this gratification naturally leads to a desire to masturbate, why would God have not addressed such an important sin of masturbation? The silence on the subject speaks volumes.

I wrote a lengthy article subject of Christians and masturbation here:

Is masturbation wrong for a Christian?

To summarize what I wrote, masturbation in and of itself is not wrong for a Christian. The authors of EMB are correct that the scriptures are silent on this issue. I wrote that masturbation can become wrong when it becomes obsessive to the point that it interferes in our work, church, marriage or other interpersonal relationships.

The ultimate purpose of our sex drive and sexual natures is to help provide oneness in our marriage and for procreation. However while these are the ultimate purposes for our sex drives, it is not the only reason. Orgasms provide mental relief from various stresses. It also provides an invaluable way to release sexual tension, especially for single people so they will not fall into actual sexual sin.

This brings me to the next subject of singles and sex.

Single men

EMB and Sexuality for Single people

“..the question for singles remains: What are you going to do with the sexual pressure you sometimes feel? First of all, you have to take by faith that once you get your eyes and mind under control, the sexual pressure will drop off dramatically. You bring most of the pressure onto yourself through visual sensual stimulation and mental fantasy.

Even so, there remains the male seventy-two-hour cycle of sperm production. Without the impurity of the eyes, the pressure generated by lust is gone, but there’s still a natural physical pressure for release, though much weaker. “What am I going to do about that?” you might ask. “How will I get release?”

God has supplied the way of release, something with which you’re familiar. Clinically it’s called “nocturnal emissions”.

EMB – Pg.109-110

There is very little research on nocturnal emissions. What we do know is that it is caused by having an orgasm or ejaculation during sleep from what many would call a “wet dream”. EMB actually tries to say your dreams will be “purer” by their definition of purity during these times.

Let me just be as straight as I can on this. This is one of the biggest bunches of bologna in EMB. Nocturnal emissions are not going to solve your need for sexual release (orgasm). Your body has to have sexual releases, whether from conscious stimuli (both mental and physical) while you are awake, or from unconscious stimuli while you sleep – that’s it plain and simple.

EMB talks about people who claimed to have not masturbated for years whether with their techniques or others. Of course they claim this is not just a matter of will power, but also the power of God. They say that as you starve your mind of all sexual imagery and learn to bounce your eyes, the pressure just gradually goes away. All of this is utterly and completely unprovable! Do they have people following these people around everywhere, 24 hours a day to make sure they never masturbate? Do they have people reading their minds to make sure they are not having erotic thoughts?

Maleness vs Manhood

Maleness vs Manhood is a major theme in this book. But what the author’s do is to ask men to go to war with their male tendencies as if they are part of the sinful nature.

The author’s after attacking the natural male ability to receive pleasure from visually stimulating women or images of women, then try and reign in their comments with these words:

“If we get into sexual sin naturally-just by being male-then how do we get out? We can’t eliminate our maleness, and we’re sure we don’t want to.

For instance, we want to look at our wives and desire them. They’re beautiful to us, and we’re sexually gratified when we gaze at them, often daydreaming about the night ahead and what bedtime will bring. In its proper place, maleness is wonderful.

We must choose to be more than male. We must choose manhood.”

EMB – Pg.71

Sin is not caused by our “maleness”, it is caused by our sin nature. Our sin nature tempts us to go beyond God’s limits, just as Adam and Eve went beyond the limits God set for them in the Garden of Eden.

For instance, men have a tendency to more aggressive than women. It is what makes men better in sports, business and combat than woman. God built this natural aggressiveness into man to make him a good hunter and provider. But a man’s God given, naturally aggressive nature can lead him into trouble when he uses his aggression in a negative way that goes outside the boundaries God has established.

For instance when my son played basketball his coach got on him for not being more aggressive. He needed to dig into his natural male aggression to fight to get that ball. However other team mates of his were too aggressive and breaking the rules of the game and getting foul calls all the time, and the coach had to have them pull back on their over-aggressiveness.

In the same way our male sexuality is not a sinful thing. Our appreciation of the female form and the chemical pleasure fireworks that go off in our head form seeing the female form are not sinful.

We get into sinful behavior when we begin to lust after(covet) a woman in the sense that we begin to think about how we can get a single woman to have sex outside of marriage with us, or how we can get a married woman to cheat on her husband and have sex with us. Simply being aroused by and enjoying a woman’s female form is not sin.

The author’s here try to put a much smaller boundary around our male sexuality than God does. The authors of EMB falsely tell us that the only woman we can receive sexual pleasure from seeing is our wife. That is a box that God NEVER put around male sexuality.

I agree with EMB authors about sexual addiction

While there may a few disagreements over how we define sexual addition, I agree with the authors that sexual addiction can be a problem for some people. Just like there are food addicts, there are sex addicts. It is when we take a good thing that God created for our benefit, and we over use it and become obsessed with it to the neglect of other areas of our life.

As I have pointed out here and many other places on my blog, I do not see any problem from a Biblical standpoint with being visually sexually aroused and masturbating. But where it can become wrong is if you start to look at women as only sexual objects. If it interferes with your intimacy with your wife then you need to get your masturbation back under control. If it interferes with your job where you looking at nude images where you work then it is a problem.

If you are food addict, you don’t stop eating, you start controlling how much you eat. If you are sex addict, you don’t stop having sex, or even masturbating, you simply control how often you do those things. If you are beginning to see women as nothing more than sex objects, then you need to get some counseling to help you with that.

Women are objects of sexual desire for men, to say otherwise would be a lie. In the same way that women are objects of sexual desire for men, men are objects of physical and financial security for many women. But for men to see women as ONLY objects of sexual desire, and not also as people with their own feelings, wants and desires is wrong. We cannot separate a woman’s sexual appeal from her humanity.

The teachings of EMB as well as majority of Christian churches causes people to fall into sexual sin

Because of their adding extra rules to God’s boundaries around sex, EMB and other likeminded Christian teachers have actually caused many Christian men and women to fall into sin. The reason is that they are not allowing people to have any normal sexual release outside of sex within marriage, when God does allow it.

When people are completely denied any sexual release, sometimes it leads to very perverted behavior. The Catholic Priest sex scandals are a perfect example of this. I truly believe that if these priests were allowed to be married and have normal outlets for sexual release many of these things would not have occurred.

I have pointed out in my article on masturbation, and in my article on Christians and nudity that it is not wrong for a man (or a woman) to look at a nude image. It is wrong for someone to look at pornography because those are photos or movies of actual people committing actual fornication.

What happens with many Christians is because they have been taught all nudity and all sexual fantasy is wrong, they go right to the hard stuff, right to the pornography. The reason is they figure, if all of it is sin, then you might as well go big. I used to be in that camp when I struggled with my highly sexual nature.

I have stated this many times on this blog. My wife has many health problems and there been many periods of time where we could not have sex. This used to be a horrible struggle for me as I thought every time I masturbated or fantasized sexually I was sinning. I lived under a cloud of guilt constantly asking God to forgive me.

As I was studying biology (specifically brain structure and chemistry differences between men and women) for a different subject (gender roles) I came to the realization – we are built as sexual beings. Sexuality is even bigger in most men than most women. Our visual drive, and need for variety is hardwired into the male brain. We can no more stop appreciating the beauty of a woman, than appreciating that sugar is sweet.

So you have a choice. You can follow EMBs teachings that add to the Bible. You can try to “bounce your eyes” and “starve” yourself of any visual sexual pleasure, other than your wife if you are married. You can walk around with your head staring at the ground everywhere you go, you can get rid of your TV so you will never see another sexy woman on a commercial or TV program. If you believe EMB’s expanded definition of Biblical lust than this is what you must do.

You must declare war on your maleness, until you have squeezed into the tight little box they would have you put it in, only then will you be in their eyes, a true man.

Or you can try a different path, one where you can have sexual release without sinning, and without guilt.

So if EMB is wrong, how should men handle the battle against sexual temptation?

At end of this review, I now want to offer a positive plan for Christians who want to keep from having premarital sex and also stay away from pornography.

You must first overcome your guilt about masturbation

One of the major themes in EMB is the guilt that is associated with masturbation. They say this is one of the indicators that tells us masturbation is wrong. I would submit to you that the only reason many men feel guilt when they masturbate is because they have been told it was wrong either by their parents or by their church.

When men and women realize that masturbation is not much different than having a bowl movement or urinating the guilt goes away. Masturbation releases pressure in the mind and body. But just like bowel movements and urinating, we don’t need to go around talking about it. I don’t tell people how many bowel movements I had last week, any more than I tell people how many times I masturbated last week. But we all know we need to have bowel movements, and we all know we need to have orgasms, whether through sex with our spouse when we are married, or by ourselves in the act of masturbation.

As a Christian you need to have faith that masturbation is a natural tool for sexual release that God has given you to keep you pure for marriage. It is also a tool that he has given married people to equalize out the differences in sex drives as well as help during times when one spouse cannot have sex.

Sexy brunette in black lingerie

You need to overcome issues with nudity

Another thing that many Christians, and even non-Christians have been taught is that viewing nude images of women, or sexually fantasizing about women is wrong. Christians like the authors of EMB teach that this a violation of the Bible’s command for people not lust. Non-Christians(mostly feminists) say if you are receiving sexual gratification from looking at someone you are “objectifying them”.

Regarding looking at other women EMB states:

“You don’t even know this woman; who are you to be attracted to her?”

EMB – pg. 151

This reminds me of a woman I was talking to in a Christian forum a while back. She said a man has no right to be attracted to a woman he does not know anything about. She said the shallowest thing a man can do is walk up to a woman at party or gathering and ask for her phone number, real attraction must be more than that. She said that is an example of “objectifying women”. While I agree you would not want to marry someone on looks alone, the act of simply being drawn to someone and asking them out because they are attractive is not shallow, it is how men are designed by God.

As a man, you must realize that you can look at women as both people with thoughts, feelings and desires and as objects of sexual pleasure. Many feminists and Christians will try to tell you must choose between seeing women as people or objects of sexual pleasure, but that is a false dichotomy, because they are both. Sexual deviants, molesters and rapists come to see women as ONLY objects of sexual pleasure and that is why they do the horribly wicked things they do.

But for the health of your mind, you have to see them as both people and objects of sexual pleasure. If you try to deny either, you will have problems. If you deny a woman’s personhood, you will become a sexual deviant. If you deny that women are also objects of sexual pleasure, you will cause your body and mind to become overwhelmed because you convince yourself you cannot look at women and derive pleasure from them. You will become like someone who is constipated walking around but never able to get any relief.

It is no more a sin for you to see a Victoria Secret commercial and feel horny than it is for you to see a pizza commercial and feel hungry. The issue comes in what you do when you are hungry or horny.

If I see a commercial for pizza, get hungry, order a pizza and then when the delivery guy comes I knock him out and steal the pizza I have sinned. If however I pay for the pizza after being made hungry by the commercial no sin has occurred.

If I am married and see a Victoria Secret commercial, get horny and then go have sex with my wife no sin has occurred. If I am single or married, see a Victoria Secret commercial, get horny, and then go masturbate to those images in my mind, I have not sinned.

The difference in marriage is, you need to be careful that your masturbation does interfere with your ability to have regular relations with your wife. It should be used as a supplement to sexual intercourse with your wife, but it should never replace it or interfere with it.

If as a single or married person, I get horny from a Victoria Secret commercial, and then go and look up pornography, and masturbate to it – I have sinned. Why? Because I am receiving pleasure from watching other people fornicate.

If as a single or married person, I look up pictures of nude women (not images of pornography) and I masturbate to those images, no sin has occurred.

Freedom

Conclusion

I have presented two choices to you. The first choice is to believe that EMB’s and many other Christians expanded definition is what lust actually is. You will be at war with your natural male urges to receive pleasure from looking at beautiful women, and you will spend most of your life looking at the ground.

Your other choice is to embrace the freedom that God has given you, and the natural tools he has given you for sexual release. As a man, realize that the most natural thing in the world is for you to derive pleasure from viewing a woman’s form, it is no different than deriving pleasure from a beautiful field of flowers.   Your need to for sexual release, for orgasms, is no different than your need to have bowel movements or to urinate.

Something I did not address in this is post is, as a man you also have a need for variety. Men are naturally polygynous. Just because we are living in a modern Western culture that treats polygamy as perverted does not make it so. Study the Old Testament and you will find many of the Old Testament patriarchs were polygamists. The Bible NEVER condemns this and the Mosaic Law actually regulates how polygamy is to occur.

Just recognize that while God has given you a natural mechanism for sexual release, and the gift of sexual arousal, he has also placed boundaries on how far you may go. You cannot get involved in sexual foreplay, oral sex or intercourse until you are married. You cannot look at pornography because that is deriving pleasure from real people committing fornication.

But you can feel free to walk through a mall or store, or any other gathering of people and see a beautiful woman and derive pleasure from her form. One of the purest things in the world is a man admiring the form of a beautiful woman. When you are feeling the need for sexual release, imagine a gorgeous woman and give your mind and body the release it needs through masturbation.

If you are single person and dating, masturbation can be your best friend. Masturbating before you go on dates can keep you from getting into sexual foreplay and premarital sex. Just honor God’s boundaries, and accept the freedom he has given you.

Yes every man does face a battle.  But it is not a battle against his God given “maleness”, but against the sin of covetousness. His battle is against thinking about trying to lure women he is not married to into bed, whether they are single or married to other women. He battle is against engaging in premarital sexual foreplay, oral sex or intercourse.  His battle is not against his God given design, or the natural mechanisms by which God has given him the ability to receive pleasure and have sexual release before and even during marriage.

 

 

My husband never performs oral sex on me

Detail_of_Édouard-Henri_Avril_(23)

You’re frustrated and upset. Why would he not do something that is so easy to do and gives you so much pleasure?

What you are asking for is natural and normal

Let me first start off by saying there is nothing unnatural, or perverted or selfish about you wanting your husband to perform oral sex on you. Men have been performing oral sex on their wives for thousands of years. The image below is an ancient drawing in Pompeii.

Pompeii_-_Terme_Suburbane_-_Apodyterium_-_Scene_IV

So now that you understand your need for your husband to perform oral sex on you is completely normal, let’s look at the reasons why he might not be doing it.

These are a few of the reasons men either stop performing oral sex (otherwise known as Cunnilingus).

  1. You don’t perform oral sex on him (otherwise known as Fellatio).
  2. You don’t keep yourself clean down there.
  3. You have never told him you would like it.
  4. You have stopped him from going down there when you are near your period.
  5. You don’t have sex with him as often as he would like.
  6. He doesn’t want to because he thinks it is unmanly
  7. He thinks you should be completely satisfied with his penis in intercourse.
  8. Some men have been taught oral sex is unchristian

You don’t perform oral sex on him

You can’t expect someone to do something for you, that you are not willingly to do for them. It is the height of hypocrisy. So if you realize that you are not doing this for him, then you need to.

You don’t keep yourself clean down there

When it comes to sex, and ESPECIALLY oral sex, cleanliness truly is next to Godliness. Ladies make sure you are regularly making sure your vulva is clean. Ask him if he likes it better shaved or unshaved. I personally like public hair on my wife. It is sexy and natural and it is the mark of a woman. Realize though that keeping yourself clean does not mean you need to wipe out your female scent, for many men that is turn on.

You never told him you would like it

This is one a lot of women miss. They just assume their husbands should know they want oral sex performed on them. Well some guys are just dumb. For me personally it is a big turn on, and I wish my wife would let me perform oral sex on her more often. I know you are frustrated, but you need to keep your composure.

The first method of communication I would suggest is talking to your husband outside the bedroom in a kind and unthreatening way. Many men take great pride in their love making ability, and this can come as a great punch to the gut. So make sure you tread lightly.

The second method of communication I would suggest is in the bedroom. While you are having sex, tell him you would love him to “eat my pussy”. You could use nonverbal communication and try to gently push him down there.

You have stopped him from going down there when you are near your period.

Perhaps your husband used to perform oral sex on you, but there were a few times that you stopped him because you were near your period or on your period and you were worried about not being so fresh down there. That is a perfectly acceptable reason to stop him.

But you need to do it gently, and just give him a brief explanation that you are near or on your period. When you are done with your period you need to go out of your way to make sure he knows you are “open for business”.

You don’t have sex with him as often as he would like

Often times a man will pull back on the special things when you don’t have sex with him as often as he likes. Some women only get horny a few times a month, and on those few times they want all the stops pulled out. But they may not realize that they have been denying their husband, or just phoning it when he has needed more often than them.

Some men may consciously, or unconsciously withhold oral sex and other foreplay and go straight to intercourse with their wife to protest the lack of quantity of sex. You need to make sure you are meeting his needs for quantity, so that in turn maybe your need for quality will be met better.

He doesn’t want to because he thinks it is unmanly

This is one as a man I just don’t get. Pleasing your woman is bed is as manly as it gets. Short of a woman using a strap on and performing anal sex on her husband, I can’t really think of any other sex acts that a man should consider to be unmanly.

I will talk about how to handle situations like this shortly as my answer will be the same for these last few items.

He thinks you should be completely satisfied with his penis in intercourse.

This is simply a pride issue, nothing more, nothing less. He is not thinking what will really satisfy you or give you pleasure, he is thinking of what he wants you to feel.

Some men have been taught oral sex is unchristian

There are some churches, as well as some Christian families that teach their sons and daughters that oral sex is a sin. This is one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. It is not easy to ask someone to do something against their conscious.

Conclusion and Suggestions

The first five reasons your husband might not be performing oral sex on you have to do with you. You need to make sure you are doing right, and clearly communicating to your husband what your needs are. You need to meet his sexual needs for frequency or oral sex before you can come to him with your needs.

But many women reading this post will be saying “But I have done EVERYTHING you have said, and he still does not do it!” So what do you do now?

You need to pray hard about what you do next. This is an issue I struggle with my wife about. These are your choices on how to handle this situation when it is clearly a problem in his court:

  1. If he likes oral sex and you have been performing it, then stop doing it. See how long it takes him to notice and when he asks tell him that if he is not willing to perform it on you, you are unwilling to perform it on him. I realize some may say this is an unloving act, but it is an act of tough love.
  2. If this is a religious conviction for him where he won’t let you even perform oral sex on him, then you may need to take a different approach. I would suggest trying take him to a Christian counselor who does not believe oral sex is wrong, and let them explain from the Scriptures why it is not wrong. If he is unwilling to go to a counselor, the use the verses on this site to go through and show him that oral sex is in fact in the book of Song of Solomon.
  3. If neither of the first two methods work just continue to pray for him. Believe me I know how frustrating this is, as I said I face the same issue with my wife. But as Christians this is not a legitimate grounds for divorce, as horribly frustrating as it may be.

The reality is that some of us are just sexually mismatched with the person we are married to. Some men and women have a much greater need for high quality, toe curling sex, while others just want to go in and do the deed and be done. We simply need to pray, pray, pray.

But then there is the sexual fantasy arena…

I have written on this site extensively on the subjects of nudity, masturbation and sexual fantasy. There is nothing wrong with you masturbating and imagining your husband performing oral sex on you, or looking at drawings or paintings of men performing oral sex on women. Looking at actual people can be pornography(which would be wrong), but there are a few sites that have married people performing oral sex so that would not be sin. I will be trying to post links to images I think would be ok for Christians in the coming months. Also there is nothing wrong with reading erotic novels that may describe oral sex and then masturbating to those things you are imagining.

I realize sexual fantasy is a far cry from the real thing, and it should never become something that makes you give up on trying to make your sex life better with your husband. But it can act as supplement, or band aid of sorts, for what is lacking in your sexual relationship with your husband.

Before you completely dismiss what I am saying about masturbation and fantasy and nudity please read this articles where I wrote extensively on these subjects:

What is the Biblical view of nudity

Is masturbation wrong for a Christian?

What is the Biblical view of nudity?

Caillebotte_Gustave_Femme_Nue_Etendue_Sur_Un_Divan2

There are two extremes when it comes to Christians viewing nudity. One extreme says it is ok for all ages and all people to be naked at all times. The other extreme says that nudity is forbidden except in the case of parents with caring for children, adult children caring for parents, medical attention and of course marriage.

In this page I will present Biblical evidence for why I believe it is not always wrong for a Christian to view nudity. But let me be clear though, that this paper is not a defense of Christian nudism. The Bible says:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”.

Ecclesiastes 3:1(KJV)

Shouldn’t we wear clothes so we won’t cause others to lust?

For most Christians the issue of lust would be the first concern with people being unclothed in front of strangers. They say that if everyone walked around naked then we would constantly be lusting after each other and the Bible clearly condemns lust.

Here is a great article about what Biblical lust is:

http://biblicalgenderroles.com/what-does-the-bible-say-about-lust/

In summary, Biblical lust is not simply being turned on by viewing a person’s body, whether fully clothed, partially clothed or completely nude. It is not even having a sexual fantasy or dream about that person. Biblical lust, is covetousness. To lust after someone, is to covet them, to fantasize about how you can possess that person.

There are two main Biblical passages that talk about lusting after someone (yes there are only two) and each one deals with a different kind of lust.

Lusting after a single woman

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

Job 31:1(KJV)

This passage from Job describes the first type of Biblical lust, which is lusting after a single woman. This is talking about a man looking at an unmarried woman (a virgin in most cases) and thinking about how he can entice her into having sex with him outside of marriage. In no way is this saying Job never looked at any single woman – that is a ridiculous assumption.

It is also equally ridiculous in my understanding of this passage, to say that Job was never turned on or sexually attracted to a young single woman (even after being married). He was simply saying he had made a covenant with his eyes not to look on a single woman and think about how he could get her into bed without marrying her, this is the plain and simple truth of this passage. But in no way does Job 31:1 condemn sexual arousal or sexual fantasy toward someone of the opposite sex that you are not married to. It can become wrong, if it becomes obsessive or affects relationships or leads to covetous (lustful) thoughts, but sexual arousal and the pleasure from enjoying the view of a single woman’s body is not sinful.

Lusting after a married woman

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

28 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)

This passage from Matthew 5 is from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. This passage describes the second type of Biblical lust, lusting after a married woman. The context is clearly talking about a man looking at a married woman because the word adultery only applies to married women. The word fornication most of the time refers to unmarried people, but sometimes it can apply to married persons as well.

What Christ is saying here is that if a man looks on a woman and lusts after her that he has sinned. But again lust is here is covetousness, and covetousness is the desire to possess something in a sinful way.

When it comes to a married woman, it is not wrong for a man to look on her and appreciate her form. It is not wrong that her form and face give him pleasure, it not even wrong for him to have some sexual thought or fantasy about her. Where it becomes wrong is when his thoughts turn to covetousness (or lust), and he begins to think about how he can entice her into cheating on her husband, or leaving her husband.

Summary of the two types of Biblical Lust

So let me try and summarize how the two types of Biblical lust work. Say for instance that my neighbor has this cool classic car he has rebuilt. I love looking at that car through my front window. The simple fact that I love his car, or fantasize about driving it down the highway is not sin. The sin comes in when I think about how I may steal his car, how I can take it in an illegal or unethical way. But if I offer him a fair amount and purchase the car that would not be wrong. So I desired the car, I thought about the car, and then I purchased the car, no sin has been committed.

If the car symbolized a single woman, then the car’s owner would be her father. If I have thoughts and fantasizes about how I can entice a single girl into having sex with me without us first being married I am lusting after another man’s daughter. But if I were to date the man’s daughter, and then eventually ask for her hand in marriage and marry her – no sin has been committed. I looked at her, desired her, and married her.

If the car symbolized a married woman then the car’s owner would be her husband. If I have thoughts and fantasizes about how I can entice his wife to cheat on her husband, or leave him for me then I am lusting after another man’s wife. Unlike the single woman analogy, I can never have this married woman so that is why a little more caution needs to take place so that our normal sexual desire, and pleasure from appreciating the form of a married woman, does not turn into lust(covetousness).

But doesn’t the Bible say women should dress modestly?

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

I Timothy 2:8-12(KJV)

The context of this famous “modesty” passage is that of worship. It is talking about how people are to behave and act when they assemble for worship and instruction in the Word of God. Today when people hear “modest” they think of one of two things, either something small and simple (like a “modest salary”) or something not too revealing or sexy.

Paul’s meaning is probably a little of both. He is saying women should wear clothes that cover them appropriately and are not too costly when they came to worship together. Paul did not want the church turning into a fashion show. The Greek word that we translate in English as “apparel” is “Katastole”. Katastole actually comes from two Greek words, Kata and Stole which literally refers to a “complete stola”. A stola in New Testament times was a one piece robe with holes for the head and arms. Often times a strap would be worn around the middle below the breasts to give the stola some form around the body. Sometimes a stola had sleeves, other times it was sleeveless.

Keep in mind though, that the wealthier a roman was, the more clothing they wore. The poor men and women wore very simple stolas. These images will give you an idea of the clothing during the New Testament time. But the clothing depicted below would have been that of wealthier citizens. Poorer people or servants would have worn thinner and simpler clothing.

ClothingInAncientRome

The image above shows a lot of different dress styles for both men and women. Some of the men have more clothing than others, one of the women is wearing a short sleeve stola and the other a long sleeve.

Statue_of_a_young_Roman_woman

The statue above shows another stola

Roman_school

The picture above shows an ancient Roman school. Notice how the clothing these men are wearing is much simpler than what was shown of men above. This indicates people had more dressy clothing as simpler clothing just as we have dress clothing and simpler clothing today.

But women also wore less at times as illustrated in this ancient roman painting of women playing sports in their version of bikinis:

Ancient_Romans_Wearing_Bikinis_in_sport

I showed all this to put in context what Paul was saying. Paul was saying that women should wear appropriate clothing for worship and yes the stola probably would have covered most their bodies, unless they were sleeveless as many stola’s were. Basically Paul was saying that women should not be coming to worship dressed like these athletes, or even in work attire which would be smaller less fancy stolas. But this was for worship only. He was not saying they had to wear all these layers of clothing all the time, or that there might not be appropriate times for shorter stolas or less clothes like these women above where wearing as the played sports.

In this section we proved two points. For worship we should wear, complete, appropriate and modest clothing. We don’t want church to look like a brothel, or like a fashion show.   We also showed that in Roman times women did wear less clothing in some circumstances, and Paul does not extend his clothing standards beyond the assembly of the church for worship.

So why should we wear clothes?

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Adam and Eve

As a general rule we should wear clothes because God clothed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as well as the fact that in the new heaven and new earth people are seen wearing clothes.

9 And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Genesis 1:9-11 & 21(KJV)

Christian nudist and others try to claim the only reason Adam and Eve needed clothing was because of their sin. I believe that God would have clothed them at some point anyway. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil gave them the insight that clothing represented dignity and honor. Men and women being clothed is an outward symbol that separates man from every other creature on this planet.

Think about it – every animal on this planet has a natural clothing that protects them from the elements, man had no such natural protection. I believe it was inevitable, whether man or woman sinned that God would have eventually clothed Adam and Eve.

Look in Revelation where there is no sin anymore and the saints are clothed in white:

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Revelation 7:9(KJV)

So yes as a general rule, people should wear clothing.

Nakedness in the scriptures is often associated with poverty and shame

21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Genesis 9:21-26(KJV)

Right after the flood when civilization is just beginning to be rebuilt, one of Noah’s three sons, Ham, does something that causes his father to curse him. This issue was not that he saw his father’s nakedness, the fact was he went out making fun of his father’s nakedness to his brothers.

In the Law of Moses, he states several commands about “uncovering nakedness”:

 None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 18:6(KJV)

The phrase “to uncover their nakedness”, literally is to have sex with them. This passage lists several close family relations that are forbidden, parents with children, as well as forbidding men to marry a woman and her daughter, or a woman and her sister. These are all about sex, and marriage.

In fact the same “uncover nakedness” language is talked about with a man and his wife:

Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.

Leviticus 18:19(KJV)

This was one of the many cleanliness laws of Israel (which of course we are no longer any more) which forbid men from having sex with their wives when they were on their periods.

Nakedness was also associated with the shame of slavery as slaves were stripped naked for inspection when being sold.

SlaveMarketInAncientRome

A positive display of nakedness

So it is clear that clothing represents dignity and honor, while nakedness MOST of the time, represents shame. But an event with King David tells us nakedness is not always a shame:

14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.

15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart…

20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord.

22 And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.

23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

II Samuel 2:14-16 & 20-23(KJV)

Basically David was excited for all the Lord had done for Israel and stripped down to his underwear and danced with all his might before the Lord. His wife Michal thought his actions were undignified but God caused her to barren because of her attitude toward her husband’s behavior.

Voluntary temporary nakedness for a purpose is not wrong

Why was David’s nakedness not dishonorable, yet most every other instance of nakedness in the Bible is associated with shame?

This is the key question. The answer is that under certain conditions, nakedness is honorable and acceptable, rather than being a shame.

Within marriage nakedness is a beautiful thing – the Song of Solomon spends most of the book using symbolic imagery to convey the beauty of both the male and female bodies.

The other time is when the nakedness is not forced, but clothing is voluntarily taken off for a specific temporary purpose. When David took his clothes off for worship, it was for a specific, temporary purpose. David did not walk around the rest of his life naked, eventually he put his clothes back on.

Doctors and paramedics must remove people’s clothes to give them medical attention.   When children care for their elderly parents, or when parents care for disabled adult children they will sometimes have to see them naked – there is no shame in this, and no sin in this.

Medical students must examine naked bodies.

I would argue that a male or female model stripping to be painted is nakedness with a purpose.

François_Barraud_-_La_seance_de_peinture

When people swim or bath whether in the nude that is nudity for a purpose, and it is temporary. (So no I would not be opposed to nude beaches, although I don’t ever plan on going to one).

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_bathes007

But swimming nude, and walking around nude all the time like in nudist colonies are two very different things. We should be wearing clothing, unless there is a specific and temporary reason why we are not.

I don’t agree with nude dancing in topless bars because this has physical contact between the dancers and the men and definitely leads to covetousness and fornication.

But what about some plays or shows where dancers are sometimes half naked or completely naked? I don’t see an issue in these types of dancing because it does not have naked women interacting with men in the audience, it is a show of the beauty of the body, and nothing more.

Musicians_and_dancers_on_fresco_at_Tomb_of_Nebamun

Ancient Egyptian painting of nude dancers

Even if the men are aroused by the female bodies, or women by the male bodies it is highly unlikely they are going to try and find a dancer and try to have sex with them.

What about people taking nude pictures of themselves?

I don’t believe it is always wrong for a Christian to take nude pictures of themselves, or allow themselves to be filmed naked.  I also do not believe if they allow nude pictures of themselves to be made public that it is wrong to do so.  I think there needs to be discretion here, and I am not advocating for child pornography or the breaking of any laws in doing this.

I believe that while a woman’s body belongs to her husband(in reference to the physical acts of touching and sex), her beauty belongs to world. If a woman enjoys displaying her beauty, under the right conditions(like her husband is allowing it if she is married) then I don’t see an issue. Obviously there is a time and place for everything, I don’t think a woman should show up to her church, or her job naked(unless of course she is a nude model).

If a man or woman want to put a picture of themselves on some website, as long as they do it with some discretion, realizing they can never get that picture off the web, then that is their right to do so, and nothing Biblically forbids them from doing it.

Conclusion and Application

I realize we have gone over a lot of information, and you can see by the images I have displayed in this paper that I do not believe it is wrong for a Christian to view nudity.

It is not wrong to view nudity, whether in paintings or in photographs, or even certain kinds of pornography.  See these links from RestoringChristianSexuality.com on the subject of Christian Porn.

The difference between Good Porn and Bad Porn

Why Porn is not bad for Christians or anybody else

If someone becomes voluntarily naked, temporarily and for a legitimate purpose that does not involve sinful behavior, there is nothing wrong that. So there would be nothing wrong with a Christian being a nude model, or a Christian photographing or painting nude models.

The sin comes when covetous thoughts come as we talked about earlier.

All images in this paper were taken from Wikipedia or wiki commons common domain images.

Why did my Christian husband look at porn?

Surfing the internet for pornography

So you are a good Christian wife and you have caught your husband looking at pornography, or perhaps he felt guilty and admitted it to you.

Either way as a wife this can be devastating to you. Here are some thoughts that might go through your mind:

  1. Does he not love me anymore?
  2. Does he not think I am attractive anymore?
  3. Is he some kind of pervert?

Let me quickly answer these three concerns.

  1. Looking at porn by itself, is not an indicator that he does not love you. Your husband could still deeply love you but also look at porn.
  2. Your husband could still find you very attractive, yet look at porn.
  3. It would probably be safe to say that all perverts look at porn, but not all people who look at porn are perverts.

Contrary to what our feminist world teaches, men and women come to sexuality from very different places. The vast majority of women look at sex as just one part of the greater whole of a relationship. Men actually separate sex and relationship.

I have seen some Christian sights claiming that women are just as drawn to pornography as men. The facts say otherwise. The vast majority of internet porn, movies and strip clubs are frequented by men. While women do these things too, they represent a small fraction of the people involved in pornography or strip clubs.

Before I explain the reasons why your husband may have looked at pornography let me give you an illustration of how most men’s sexuality works.

Have you ever been to new restaurant with your husband? You come into the restaurant and even if you were not hungry before you came in, you will be hungry as soon as you smell all that great food.

You sit down with your husband and look over this great menu. Almost everything in it looks delicious, except for a few dishes that have things you know you don’t typically like. You narrow the dishes on the menu down to your top three, based on what favorite things you normally like. Then the final decision is made and you order.

When your food comes, the dish tastes just a great as you imagined. Your taste buds are singing and the part of your brain that gets pleasure from eating your favorite food is firing. After you have had your fill, you sit back satisfied and content.

You and your husband sit and talk for an hour, just having a good time together. Then you see the woman across from you order one of the other dishes you had your eye on but did not pick. It smells delicious. You almost wish you could put try a bite of it. Then the man at the table next to you orders another of the dishes you thought about trying. Talk about torture!

Ladies that is EXACTLY how men come to sexuality. We notice other women, we smell their perfumes, and we notice their figures. Very similar to the pleasure you received from smelling and seeing that dish on the other persons table, is the way men receive pleasure from viewing other women.

the average man’s brain is sexually stimulated by visual cues and is built for variety…

Using functional MRI scans, researchers examined the brains of young men as they looked at pictures of beautiful women. They found that feminine beauty affects a man’s brain at a very primal level – similar to what a hungry person gets from a good meal or addict gets from a fix. One of the researchers said, “This is hard core circuitry. This is not a conditioned response.” Another concluded, “Men apparently cannot do anything about their pleasurable feelings [in the presence of beauty]”

Dr. Walt Larimore, MD – pg. 99 “His Brain, Her Brain”

Do some men look at porn because they have fallen out of love with their wife? Yes. Here are some reasons your husband might look at porn that have to do with your relationship:

  1. You turn him down for sex often. Most men don’t like to be turned away, and if a wife does it all the time, the porn becomes an easy outlet for his sexual needs.
  2. There is no sexual variety in your relationship. You never wear lingerie, he rarely sees you naked, or you always have sex in the same position and in the same place.
  3. You emasculate him. You are always nagging him, telling him how he fails all the time or how he does not make enough money, or how other men are better than him. You disrespect him or call him a child.

But what if none of the above things are an issue in your relationship. You have sex often, don’t turn him down, wear lingerie and there is variety in your sex life. You love him and respect him and don’t cut him down with your words. Why would any man under these circumstances look at porn?

These are the reasons why Christian men (and non-Christian men) look at pornography even when they have a great relationship with their wife:

  1. Men are visually wired for nudity. It has been proven in study after study that both heterosexual and homosexual men are visually wired. The only difference is that homosexual men are turned on my male bodies, while the vast majority of men that are heterosexual are wired to react to the female form. The same part of the brain that causes us to be hungry when we see our favorite food, or gives us pleasure from smelling our favorite foods is the part of the brain that gives men pleasure from viewing a woman’s body, whether clothed or unclothed.
  2. Men are naturally polygynous. Most men are wired for polygyny, while most women are wired for monogamy. While our modern society has laws against polygyny, God placed no such restriction on marriage. Many of the great Biblical Patriarchs had multiple wives and the Bible never condemns it. In fact in the Law of Moses he prescribes how polygynous relationships may occur. The Bible only condemned Kings from taking multiple wives from heathen nations, as they would lead the king’s heart astray. This happened with King Solomon.

So am I saying it is OK that your husband has looked at pornography?

It depends on what he was looking at.  If he was just looking at pictures of naked women – that is not wrong.  Even if he was just looking at pictures of a man and woman engaged in normal heterosexual sex – that is not sinful behavior.

It is a sin for a man or a woman to look at photographs or film of people having sex outside God’s design for sex(homosexual sex, group sex, rape, bestiality). We are to derive pleasure from imagining these kinds of acts, and we should not be deriving pleasure from photos or movies with these kinds of acts in them.

Please don’t misunderstand me – I am not saying that it is wrong for a Christian to watch a movie or TV show that has a rape scene or a homosexual couple engage in sex.  If this just a small part of a larger story there is no issue with that. The question is are we watching this movie to get pleasure from seeing someone raped? Are we watching this movie to get pleasure from seeing a couple engaged in homosexual acts? If not then it can be acceptable to view these films.

Even if a man or woman does look at pornography as I have defined it above this is not mental adultery or mental unfaithfulness. Mental adultery is when a man covets (that is what the Biblical word lust is translating in English) another man’s wife, or if a married woman covets any man other than her husband. Coveting is not the same as being sexually attracted to, or aroused by someone of the opposite sex. Coveting in the heart, or lusting in the heart, is the fantasy to possess that other person. Thinking about ways to get them to have sex with you, whether you act on it or not.

Every person that has ever committed the adultery, coveted (lusted after) the person first. They entertained thoughts of how they would do it, and then they did the deed. That is what Jesus was addressing in Matthew 5.

So what should I do about my husband looking at porn?

I have explained the reasons why your husband may have looked at porn and why looking at porn as I defined it earlier is sin. But shaming your husband is the worst thing you can do. Calling him a pervert will do nothing to help your marriage.

Gently helping your husband to understand that it is a sin to watch films that depict sexually immoral acts is wrong. You also need to humbly ask if there is anything you could do to help improve your sex life.

But realize, you could have the best sex life in the world and your husband may still be drawn to look at other women.

He can meet this need for a variety of women by looking at nude photos of women and erotic films that do not depict people engaging in sexual activity that is outside God’s design for sex.

Let’s take the restaurant analogy again and apply this to men. You and your husband just had the greatest sex you have had in a long time. After a while you and your husband decide to go out to dinner. Just after you sit down, two beautiful women sit down across from your table. Then a beautiful woman and her husband sit on the other side of you.

You may not realize it, but your husband is fighting not to check out those women, he will sneak a glance when he can. With every glance he sneaks, he receives pleasure. Chemicals(dopamine) are firing in his head. It makes no sense to you, because he just had great sex so why would he still be drawn to look?

But your husband getting pleasure from checking out those other women is EXACTLY like the pleasure you get from looking at other people’s plates of food, and enjoying the aroma of those wonderful foods, even after just eating a great meal.

I totally realize that many Christian women (and non-Christian women) at this point are throwing things at the computer screen as I say these things.

But everything I have said is the truth of how men work. It also true that the Bible does not condemn a man looking at women other than his wife, and it does not condemn people looking at nudity or allowing themselves to have sexual fantasies and sexual imagination as long as they are not imagining evil things like homosexuality, group sex, rape and bestiality.

I am not advocating that it is ok to go around nude everywhere (that is a separate subject), but there is a time and place for nudity and erotica. Check out Song of Solomon, and lookup the symbolism of many of the words that are there in the word of God. If someone drew on paper what is being described in Song of Solomon, you would have some very erotic pictures.

Conclusion and Application

There are two choices before you:

Choice 1

You recognize your hurt, but realize that you were probably mistaken about your husband. He still loves you, he still thinks you’re hot. He is man, and as man God wired him for sexual variety. He just needs to get away from the porn and into something that is not sinful, but yet still lets him feed his need for variety.

Ask him how you could improve your sex life, and what things he would like to do different and do it!

Choice 2

You reject everything I have said here. You reject that men are wired for variety. You remain angry at your husband forever wanting to look at or be turned on by the sight of any other woman than you.

You may even get him to make a commitment to not look at any images of other women. But instead, he will just lie to you to get you off his back, and then he will find better ways to hide it.

He may even feel guilty because of how it makes you feel, and because of the lies that have been told about what lusting is in the Bible for centuries. But in the end, every man is drawn to the female form (unless he is a homosexual). Eventually he will gravitate back towards it. The question is will he ever find out there is a better way, that he can view naked women, just not people fornicating.

The choice is yours ladies.

Related Resources

What does the Bible say about Lust?

Is Sexual arousal lust?