Is masturbation okay with or without your spouse?

Is it ok to masturbate with or without your spouse?

Our Answer:
The Bible does not specifically mention masturbation. There are some Christians who believe that the biblical reference to Onanism (Genesis 38:9) is masturbation—and of course, it can’t be—since Onan was not masturbating! In fact, he was having intercourse with his dead brother’s wife but pulled out before ejaculating in order to prevent pregnancy.

Any commentary from a Christian perspective, then, has to be with issues related to masturbation—like entertaining lustful thoughts, for example. Masturbation often happens while someone views lewd or pornographic material. This is obviously sin, since Jesus told us not to look on a woman to lust after her. (Matthew 5:28). The feelings of shame that arise from this are detrimental to intimacy in any marriage. For more information about pornography, read the articles on its dangers:

For married couples, as long as you are not fantasizing about other people during your lovemaking, there are few biblical restrictions to your sexuality within your marriage. We suggest you and your spouse read the article: Christian Views on Sex. Here we summarize God’s explicit commands, and the 5 implicit Scriptural Principles in God’s Word.

Remember, sexuality in marriage is about intimacy growing between husband and wife within a deepening, sexual relationship. Therefore, clear communication of desires, hesitations, and feelings about all sexual issues between you and your spouse is necessary so that you avoid anything that draws you apart from each other. Everything you do should be drawing you closer to your spouse.

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