Guest Post: The “M” Word
Our guest post today is from the fabulous Kait Wright. She has a way of speaking truth with some much needed humor… ’cause sometimes we just have to laugh at ourselves. I hope her words, her vulnerability, and her delightful candidness speak to your heart. – Lauren
I’m going to talk about something severely uncomfortable today if not a bit risqué, so here is your warning in advance. It is a secret discomfort we ache for. A seduction we shove under the covers and pretend doesn’t exist, where it continues to lure us, to ensnare us, to deliver what we oh so often think we need or deserve.
Masturbation. I’ve said it.
(If anyone has been struck by lightning, please contact the nearest emergency center immediately)
I find it interesting and nauseatingly hypocritical that men in the church maintain this unspoken liberty to confess their addiction to playing with themselves, while the women bury it with layers of frilly chatter and vague innuendos. I can only recall once in my past discussions when another chick openly stated, “I have a problem with masturbating”.
I thought she had been heroic. In six words, she unfolded the exact compulsion that called to me night after night. Had there been freedom within our gender circle for such a confession to begin with, perhaps she wouldn’t have seemed so brave- just honest.
So lets talk about it. We are done running to the sink to wash our hands clean and pretend it never happens.
I can’t remember when I first produced a curiosity about masturbation. That’s where it begins for many of us. For others, it is taught by an entitled adult who can’t keep their hands or their thoughts to themselves. Some learn it from a screen late at night. Whenever the story began, today that is not the priority, however essential reflection on it may be. It seems that now, we have an ever increasing number of sisters who are not only addicted to a behavior they do not fully understand, but are terrified to step into the light about it.
If that number includes you, then I long for you to know this: You are not alone. You are not filthy. You are still valued.
For years the temptation was an ever present companion. There was never anyone to hold me accountable for it was an undisclosed addiction, after all. I fully believed and still do, that sex is an experience designed for marriage alone. But my faith in that truth didn’t keep the habit at bay any more than my belief in Christ did.
I’ve come to realize that I am a creature of self-justification. And like many other unsightly choices in my past, masturbating was no exception. “I deserved to”. Do you know how hard it is to keep your hands to yourself while dating? What was I supposed to do with all that pent up energy after a freaking awesome and reasonably chaste make-out session?!
I once read that when a woman creates a habit of touching herself, she teaches herself what she likes, and therefore how to easily reach orgasm. Sounds pleasant, but unfortunately the ramification is that when this is learned, she then robs her husband of that very experience. Whatever he does until he figures it out will result in loss of patience, irritation, disappointment, and distance.
My early marriage was no exception- Sex became about what he wasn’t doing, instead of it being him who was doing it.
My ritualistic use of masturbation as a crutch for my own lack of self-discipline acted as an unseen and destructive wedge in our bed. The very man I had saved myself for was the person I became the most exasperated with.
So did I apologize and share with him all my tricks?
Of course not, that would require being kinky and authentic.
I stepped into the arms of other men, whose beds existed in the safe seclusion of novels. If my husband couldn’t catch on in a timely fashion, my own imagination could suffice. At first I thought I could contain myself to the freedom within my own mind… it would be enough. I had promised myself as well as the Lord, that I wouldn’t masturbate anymore once I was married. I told myself I wouldn’t need to; it was a tool to tide me over until my wedding night.
Wrong again. Novels and mind games are never enough. Eventually the need to take matters into my own hands returned and with it, a renewed division between myself and the man who was supposed to be my only lover.
Turns out the only lover I really had was myself.
And what a cruel and lonely relationship that is to be in, because Sex was never designed to just encompass the pleasure it can deliver. It isn’t a means to an end.
Sex requires two people to go on a journey of awkward exploration. A bond isn’t merely formed from a release of endorphins, but from a common purpose. A partnership dedicated to discomfort and silliness, vulnerability and acceptance.
God never crafted us to be without desire. Most of us are horny as all get out but are just too embarrassed to admit it. Have you ever read bits of Song of Solomon? It’s pretty dirty… but that book was inspired by the same God who created you and I. The problem isn’t that we want; it is how we choose to remedy the wanting.
There is nothing wrong with the chemical ratio pounding through your veins. There is nothing wrong with your hands. What is wrong is when we opt to combine those two very powerful resources for instant gratification instead of trusting His promises will be worthwhile later on.
Paul puts it so clearly in 1 Corinthians:
“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” (1 Corinthians 6:18)
Sexual sin, not an annoying libido, is an injustice against our own bodies… especially when brought about through masturbation. Because masturbation is a choice that only offers self-pleasure while withholding it from our partner, present or future. It is selfishness come to fruition through our sexuality. It turns something ravishing, originally intended to be shared, into a twisted parasitic treasure. You are too intoxicating to remain caged away by your own remedies. When masturbation and its deep rooted hooks are brought into a sacred commitment, it doesn’t help to unlock us- it chains us to a decaying shadow of who we are and what could be discovered with our spouse.
So what do we do about it? I’ve been too honest to start lying to you now. I don’t have a perfect answer. But I do know the simplest one: “Run from sexual sin” (1 Corinth. 6:18)
Literally Flee from it.
For me, it was eradicating all of the books that seduced me more than my husband did. I physically threw them out, or deleted them. It was taking a fast from music that didn’t encourage thoughts regarding my marriage. It was refusing to go to bed without him there beside me, or the door wide open.
I can’t free you from the hold masturbation might have in one blog post, but I can try to offer another path. A road that doesn’t lead to shame and bondage. One that doesn’t involve hiding the mistakes you’ve made, or how lonely they can be. I want to offer a picture painted with honesty and grace; security amidst arousal.
God gave you that incredible appetite for one very lucky man. Don’t blow it on secrecy and denial. Because there is one thing an open door can offer that a closed one never will: Freedom.
As in freedom to one day be as wonderfully freaky as He made you to be.
Kait Wright is an educator stylist by day in Nashville TN, but after some much needed heartbreak, she launched ALF a couple years ago (around late 2010). A Lovely Forgotten’s mission is to become a community of women who persistently inspire the discovery of our identities in Christ, challenging each other to live it out, especially in the darkest corners of life.