About the author, Matt Fradd

Matt Fradd is the author of Delivered: True Stories of Men and Woman Who Turned from Porn to Purity. After experiencing a profound conversion at World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, Matt has worked through full-time lay ministry in Australia, Ireland, Canada, and Texas. He has served as an apologist for Catholic Answers and has traveled all over the world, speaking to tens of thousands of teens and young adults. He and his wife Cameron have four children and live in North Georgia.

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The Porn Circuit

Parenting the Internet Generation Ebook Cover

Science shows us why porn is highly addictive. Learn how our neurochemistry is easily hijacked by porn to create compulsive behaviors, and discover how the brain can be rewired to escape porn's allure.

22 thoughts on “The Health Benefits of Masturbation

  1. There seems to be a concerted effort to brand masturbation as evil. For a widower/widow or a person who never married like myself at age 61, it is the only sexual outlet there is. I’m not saying masturbate to porn or images of your neighbor as that would be sin, but, imaginary women are okay if the content of the fantasy is not in itself pornographic which would be sin. I don’t currently masturbate except to porn which is a sin and have not attempted to masturbate to a controlled sexual fantasy with a made up person. If the practice is in itself sin, why is the Bible silent on the subject. In Exekiel 22-24, you find evidence that petting is sin but with masturbation, not a word.

    • Hi Thomas – the Bible is silent on the specific issue of masturbation, but it is not silent on the original design of sex. In Genesis 1-2 there are some clues….that sex is meant as an outward “selfless” act towards another person which is clear based on the original design of men and women; that is is meant for pleasure with that person based in the chemical cocktail released during intercourse; that it creates oneness with that person in a Divine way that I cannot explain; and that it can create more life through pregnancy under the right circumstances. Is the act of masturbation sinful? I think it’s necessary to ask hard questions about the intent behind the act: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/01/14/masturbate-without-lusting/ I’m saying these things without any judgment, and truly want to just provide you things to consider, since I am a fellow man who has struggled mightily with this issue in my past. For years I believed the lie that I was created as a sexual being who would explode without an outlet, when instead, I’m created in His image as a spiritual being. I’m discovering that I’m more conformed to the image of Jesus if I’m a man who doesn’t masturbate.

      -Peace, Chris
      Covenant Eyes

    • I may be the only atheist or agnostic that uses covenant eyes, so my motivations in this area have more to do with pornography and masturbation and their effects on the brain. The behavior of masturbation is part of a dynamic cycle of how we as sex addicts process our pain in an ineffective manner. I think that when there is a lack of self-care, the tendency to masturbate will increase. It is far more healthy to be aware of oneself and their emotions rather than to try to use a neuro-chemical drug to make us feel better.

  2. I apologize for, as Mom would say, “flying off the handle” with my comment. I did not read the full article either. I just got steamed over the subject matter.
    I don’t willingly masturbate these days and when I do, it’s because of my porn addiction.
    I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever be free of it. Going five days without porn masturbation seems like an accomplishment but I always end up returning to Internet porn.
    I do not like the person I turn into when I view porn. It is Dr. Jekyl becoming Mr. Hyde.
    I agree that there are no health benefits to masturbation and I don’t know about any health problems concerning the practice. I am just tired of my personal sin with masturbation to porn. Losing week after week, month after month is demoralizing.
    Next time I’ll read the whole article before engaging keyboard.

    • I want to interject here that May is mental illness awareness month and it seems to be a secret among Christians. As a mentally ill Christian myself, the stigma is so great that some pastors won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. However, in my rural area, the county MH program reached out to pastors and happily, a number were willing to talk about the subject. Being a mentally ill Christian who also has pornography addiction/sin, it is doubly hard to live a life that is what life should be. My friends have all been or are mentally ill and are also Christians. It’s time the Church woke up and smelled the coffee.
      There are millions of us who are not ministered to by the Church because of stigma. I wish that someday that would change. As for myself, I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder, schizoaffective disorder and avoidant personality disorder plus panic attacks and self harm and suicidal thoughts. My OCD caused me to become a religious fanatic and completely messed up my image of God and our relationship. OCD Scrupulosity is hell on earth. That is over and I finally surrendered my life to God and that has taken 44 years to be able to trust Him with my life. I urge the Church to take note of the mentally ill who are in pain, dump the stigma and began helping all of it’s mentally ill members who suffer enough in silence while the secular county MH does dare to minister to us. I thank God that my two female current pastors, who minister to the mentally retarded, are willing to deal with mental illness, learn about it and help. We should not suffer in silence anymore. My email is Sciquest2525@gmail.com if anyone is interested in learning more about MH you can contact me.

    • Thomas,

      Just wanted to encourage you in your struggle. You are not alone with the feelings of discouragement and hopelessness with this issue. Be gentle with yourself and know that despite your mistakes you are not defined by them. That the desire that you have to fight this addiction is counter-cultural and takes serious bravery to face. It can be demoralizing to “lose” week after week. Remember that we only do these things out of our own pain. When we are hurting, we act out. Hang in there man….

  3. I have masturbated a lot and when I watch the video it has made me tell myself not to do it and quit doing other things.

  4. Thank you for this great article! I have not looked at porn since November 2014, however I still struggle with masturbation, fantasy and lust. It is helpful to read articles like this one addressing the issues of masturbation and lust, not just porn. I’m the type of person that likes to know reasons I shouldn’t be doing something instead of just being told not to do it. Articles like this giving what I feel are valid points as to why I shouldn’t masturbate, lust or fantasize. If possible more articles addressing the topic such as this one would be welcomed.

  5. Thanks Matt. Another God created method of ejection, in addition to nocturnal emmissions, is through squating to go to the bathroom. God designed this position, in my opinion, as the primary ejection method for single men, before nocturnal emmissions. Unfortunate the modern sit down toilet has made us forget this. I’ve never heard this mentioned before but for me, a single guy, (addicted to masterbation and porn for 15 years) now free for almost three years, this is much easier than the instability of mind/spirit produced the next day after a nocturnal emmission.

  6. What about for the teenager? I’m in college, would rather refrain from having sex before marriage because its God’s moral law to NOT have sex before marriage. Its meant for the bedroom. My case here is I think families back then ( old testament) were started a little earlier or at least younger in age. I’m 19 and a virgin. Masturbation for me is something that helps me keep my head on straight so i’m not constantly looking at girls as sexual objects. God designed us to be sexual beings right so its natural to have the urge. I do it for the release from that urge and temptation. That way i’m not tempted to “chase some tail” as some people might say. I need to finish college before I can even consider a relationship, otherwise how else could I support a family? I’m not trying to disprove the article or poke holes in it. To me there is a lot of truth here. I feel as though this pertains to married men though. I would like an answer that pertains to me. Like i said, I’m single, in college so I can get my degree to try and get a good job so I can support a family. I have sexual urges as a hormonal teenager but I masturbate instead of trying to have sex with someone outside of marriage. Is this still sinful? is this going to harm me? I thought it would be okay if i wasn’t having intercourse outside of marriage and if it kept me focused in school. Does anyone have an answer for me?

    • Hi Austin, thanks for your honest sharing. It’s tough, tough work navigating purity as a single Christian. I wondered if I could challenge something you shared. It’s this, “God designed us to be sexual beings right so its natural to have the urge.” No doubt that God designed us to experience intimacy and sex with a spouse. The very design of our bodies teaches us that sex is intended to be experienced between a man and woman. But, what if you changed your belief? I would argue that we are primarily spiritual beings. Sex is not ultimate. It is not a need. None of us is required to act out sexually. What if instead of living a miserable life of urge suppression, you redirected that energy into Kingdom building activity?

      Even St. Paul recognized the fact that simply oppressing sinful behavior is pointless. In Ephesians 4:28, “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.” It’s just coincidental that the verse references something with the hands :)

      I commend you for wanting to stay pure! In my experience, whenever I have to ask the question, “is this still sinful,” it usually means I know the answer, but I’m looking for someone to take my side. What does your heart tell you?

      Here’s an amazing e-book we wrote specifically for singles, if you’re interested in digesting a bit more: http://www.covenanteyes.com/singles-guide/

      Peace, Chris
      Covenant Eyes

  7. Chria, I am a gay Christian in recovery for two years now for sex addiction, including masturbation to fantasy. I no longer act out with others, and God has graciously restored me in many ways from my old life. Masturbation is where I still repeatedly fail. I once had 35 days, then relapsed.
    Recovery has challenged me to be very open about my struggles, and I have no shortage of advice from my pastor, brothers, sponsor and accountability partners. None agree. Your article is interestin but in no way new to me. From your article, I am reminded of the importance of being reminded over and over again about spiritual things.
    However I must emphasize that your arguests about what is healthy about sex all necessarily refer to benefits in a healthy marriage. No one has provided any argument for us who suffer as singles, whether gay or not, who will never marry. To this day, and much to my frustration, I have no solution as one who will always burn but never marry. Yet I am expected to be stronger than all the weak men (as Paul described them) who can and do marry. I am still waiting for a relevant spiritual and scriptural basis for my suffering, and for my expectations. Knowing all the while my expectations are not my own, they are imposed upon me.

    • Much love to you, Keith, and thank you so much for being willing to speak up.

      I agree with you that the conservative evangelical church does not provide relevant spiritual or scriptural basis for the suffering of singles when it comes to sexuality, and in particular the suffering of gay singles. It seems like you’re just supposed to get straight-married, and if you don’t, well, pretend your sexuality doesn’t exist.

      I think the conservative evangelical church is terrified of sex, and when you’re afraid, you say dumb things. A lot of dumb things have been said by straight married men to single people, gay and straight, when in fact I think straight married men and women should probably shut up, sit down, and let our single ADULT brothers and sisters sort out their sexuality before God in a way that honors who they are.

      Here’s what I know.

      God loves you with an everlasting love, just as you are.

      You are precious to him, valuable, and beloved.

      Your sexuality is a part of you, and God loves you fully and completely.

      The church may not be able to answer the cry of your heart with proof-texts about ‘waht the bible clearly says’ but I encourage you to follow God’s heart of Love for you. I believe you will find every answer that you need there.

      I myself am straight and married, so with that I will sit down, shut up, and listen. Press on, and please tell us what you learn.

      Peace to you, Kay

  8. You mentioned research. I’m interested in reading and referencing the research. Could you share the source(s)? With Thanks & God Bless!

    • Hi John – I’ve sent you an email with a response. Hope that helps!

      Covenant Eyes

  9. This is all very healthy topics for discussion but I would like to suggest that you separate these discussions into different subject areas as: 1. Is masturbation risky or beneficial for the human body and the mind? 2. What types of sexual acts are a sin? 3. What is a human being to do to control their sexual urges and impulses? 4. What resources/web sites/support groups/books are there to help men or women control their sexual urges and impulses?

  10. I highly recommend these books:
    Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldredge
    Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul, Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge

  11. Most men masturbate because of sexual fantasy.

    I don’t disagree with that, but there’s another reason why most men masturbate: to relieve sexual tension and in this case, I don’t think it should be discouraged. There are many single men like me who have extremely high (and unbearable) sex drive and since we don’t have access to sexual partners, masturbation is the only recourse. Abstinence is not an option nor should be encouraged since it would only prolong and worsen sexual frustration. I believe masturbation can provides a healthy sexual outlet for single men, as long as it is done in moderation.

    Note: I accidentally posted duplicate comments. Please delete them.

  12. This article on masturbation was very good. I happen to agree that masturbation does in fact have a very one sided appeal to it and destructively damaging to ones relationship with GOD and other people. I am married 31 years. Before marriage I had been very involved with pornography and masturbation and I desired to live as a Christian. You would think that once you were married all those feelings and emotions that run threw your mind and body would have gone away. Well I will tell that is nothing but a myth and lie. I actually thought I was being broad minded and progressive in my sexual thinking. In short I almost lost my marriage. The only positive thing I did was not to bring anything home. Mainly because I did not want my two sons to get involved with this (garbage). So am I cured have I been set free and released from this bondage. The answer is both Yes and No. You ask why? Simply GOD through JESUS has set me Free. On the cross CHRIST nailed every sin from the fall of the human race. No because (I) keep trying to pull the nails out. The only answer is to keep looking into GOD’s Holy Word that can wash our minds like water washing our hands of dirt. Here is some of what I have discovered over the past 40 plus years from the word of GOD. From James 1:13-15 When tempted , no one should say,GOD is tempting me. For GOD cannot be tempted by evil , nor does he tempt anyone; But Each One Is Tempted When,By His Own Evil Desire he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. The key here is verse 14 we know GOD will not tempt us (note) it does not talk about Satan or any demonic being tempting us, But our own desire. I know this is hard to grasp but why? For me I have to admit it was because I enjoyed it and kept the pain I was associating with masturbation at bay. Guess what I was wrong. I will talk more at another time. GOD most HOLY bless each and everyone who struggles as I have and who will over come these issues through GOD’s amazing Grace and Love. Michael John

  13. i’v masturbated for six years since i was 14 and now im 19 and i wanna put an end to it.what should i do? For i hoped for an upright life no to which im living in no,it will be help if you provide me with steps to let go off this prison,thank you

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