So today we are talking about “dirty” words, sexually explicit material, and masturbation. One of the things in marriage is we always need to change it up sometimes. The items that we are going over today are commonly looked over and thought of as sinful at the core. Gods word does not say that these certain things are sinful. When these become sinful is when they are hurtful, dishonoring the other person, adding other people into the play, or doing them out of selfish reasons. Me and my husband incorporate many things into our bedroom experience. Gods word says, “ 12I am allowed to do all things, but not everything is good for me to do! Even if I am free to do all things, I will not do them if I think it would be hard for me to stop when I know I should.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 So many things we encounter these days in out marriage are things that we need communicate to each other about. So I hope this information comes to you well and that this answers some questions about these issues.
Can we use slang terms to refer to sex organs and acts? What about words that have both a sexual and profane meaning? The Bible certainly warns us about the words we use, but is that warning about the word, or the meaning of the word? Many words that we use in everyday communication have alternative meanings that are rude, gross, or profane. If some group starts using the word “baptize” to refer to an orgy in a pool, must we abandon that word because someone has given it a meaning we do not like?
It seems to us that it is the meaning of our words that is important, not the sound the words make and what others may mean by the same sound. Because those around us cannot know what we mean when we use a word, we must be careful not to offend; but in our marriage, we can discuss various words and know what they mean to us. If a couple agrees that a word is simply a reference to a part of the body or a sex act, and if neither person finds the word offensive, then we see no harm in the words, no matter what they are.
Some will ask, “why not just use the ‘proper words’”? Unfortunately, the proper words we have to communicate about sex tend to be cold and clinical. Trying to express the emotion and desire of sex with these words is difficult to impossible. Do phrases like, “Please initiate coitus immediately” or “My sexual climax is imminent,” communicate the thoughts and feelings as well as a more “colorful” phrase would?
Ultimately, this is a very personal issue, and one which each couple must work out for their marriage. Please don’t use terms that make either of you feel uncomfortable.
Sexually explicit material
We have used this term instead of erotica or pornography, because sexually explicit material covers a broad spectrum of material. Some want to reject anything which has any hint of sexuality in it, but in the original Hebrew the Song of Songs is extremely erotic, and very explicit. A truly accurate translation of the Song would be so sexual you could not broadcast it over the radio in the United States!
This makes the issue much less clear than we would like it to be. Any attempt to define a “line” for sexually explicit material could cause some to walk into sin, by encouraging them to do what they do not have the ability to do without sin. A line could also be a source of condemnation for some who are not in sin. Check here for a more complete discussion of the dangers of pornography from The Marriage Bed. In this article we will limit ourselves to giving some parameters each couple should apply when deciding what is and is not acceptable for them as a couple.
- The Bible tells us not to do anything that will offend the “weaker brother” (Romans 14:1-23). If your spouse thinks it’s a sin to eat meat, then you are not to eat it in their presence, even though you know it’s not a sin. Surely, we need to apply this same thinking to any sexual materials we may read or view. If it troubles your spouse even a little bit, that is enough of a reason to not own the material in question – even if it’s a Christian book with nothing more than sketches, or this web site!
- Everything a couple includes in their sex life should build them up, and direct them towards each other. Sexually explicit material can easily cause unrealistic or impossible expectations, cause doubt about how we look, or make us feel inadequate. Obviously, these things are destructive, and any material that causes such feelings needs to be excluded.
- God is concerned with our hearts, not just our actions. If what we read or view causes us to desire or fantasize about sinful sexual activities, then we have sinned in our hearts.
- Finally, we are told that there are things which are not sinful, but are also not profitable. We must decide if there is any good to come from something, and weigh that against any bad that could come from it.
Please understand that we are not trying to provide cover here for those who wish to make porn a part of their marriage: we are not. Sexually explicit material is a major cause of sexual problems in marriages, and “better safe than sorry” would be a wise course of action if there is any doubt. On the other hand, we do not want to encourage legalism, or suggest that one couple’s “liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience?” (1 Corinthians 10:29) Seek God on this, and He will guide you. If you have any doubt, don’t do it, “for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)
It is our belief that masturbation is not inherently wrong, but there do seem to be some very valid concerns about masturbation by married folks. We are commanded to meet our spouse’s sexual needs, and any masturbation which limits our ability to do this is wrong. Additionally, if we feel a need to masturbate, that may well be a sign our spouse is not meeting our needs. However, what if one person has a much stronger sex drive? It seems to us that this does not “relieve” the less-interested person of responsibility for meeting their spouse’s sexual needs. If masturbation is needed more than occasionally, it may well be a sign of a problem. It is especially a concern if a person’s spouse is unaware of masturbation, or is unaware of how frequent masturbation occurs.
What if one spouse in unable to have sex because of sickness or physical limitations? In this situation, masturbation seems a reasonable option, but we would suggest it is best done in the presence of the spouse. This significantly reduces the chances of wrong thoughts, and allows the partner to be a part of the activity by holding the one masturbating, offering some form of stimulation, or describing what they could be doing if they were both able to have sex.
A different issue is mutual masturbation: a couple watching each other masturbate. Most men, and many women, find this very arousing, and it can be informative as well. As a frequent alternative to more interactive sex, mutual masturbation could be a problem, but we know of no biblical or medical reasons why it would be wrong or unwise to do this from time to time.
Blessings today as you go through these issues and we hope that questions have been somewhat answered on these subjects. If you want more info on any of these subjects then just leave a comment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next up: #5 Public Nudity, Public Sex, Role-play, and Photos/Videos
Thank you to The Marriage Bed for these insightful subjects.
- What’s ok in our marriage?
- Whats Ok In Our Marriage? Day 2: Manual Sex, Oral Sex, Menstruation Sex
- Whats Ok In Our Marriage? Day 3: Anal Intercourse and Stimulation, Sex Toys and Phone Sex
Items worth looking into