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Defeat Lust & Pornography 2 minute read

Why I’m Sharing About My Masturbation Struggle

Last Updated: May 18, 2021

A little over 12 years ago I read an amazing book by Joshua Harris called Not Even a Hint. The title was based off Ephesians 5:3, which reads, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality…” (NIV). In the book, Harris opened up about his previous struggle with masturbation. He shared that many people masturbate, but hardly anyone talks about it. He then joked how most of his readers, upon seeing his open confession of masturbating, likely thought, “Better you than me!”

I also struggled with masturbation, and I began weeping as I wondered why no one was willing to be brave and open up about this subject. I decided that if God set me free, I would be willing to share the truth about this bondage so others could step into freedom too. So, today is the day that you get to read about my struggle and think, “Better you than me!”

I was exposed to pornography at a young age, and masturbation and a fantasy life developed from there. It soon became a compulsive and addictive activity for me. I often engaged in this several times a day and became enslaved. I tried to break free many times, and even after becoming a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit, I was still trapped. I went back and forth as to whether or not this behavior was wrong, although I really did know deep down this was not God’s plan for me.

Related: Porn and the Desire Dilemma

One day the Lord dealt with me regarding my sin through the following Scripture, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…” (Col. 3:17). Now to be honest with you, I’ve always prided myself in being an intelligent person. But even with all my smarts, I still couldn’t figure out a way to masturbate “in the name of the Lord Jesus.” That wasn’t the end for me, but it was the beginning of the end.

I knew my actions were a coping mechanism, and the Lord spoke to me from Jeremiah 2:13.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

Wow! God showed me I was trying to meet my needs in my own way instead of allowing Him to meet them. This was another step on my journey to freedom. Lasting freedom came as I began to relate with God and others; true healing from any type of sexually addictive behavior comes when we learn to be intimate.

I can honestly say it has been over ten years since I have masturbated. Yep, I’m currently single and haven’t physically been with anyone–so that means ten orgasm-free years. Our society values orgasm as the pearl of great price, but I’ve survived to tell my story nonetheless. Much to the shock of society, I didn’t die or kill anyone from not having an orgasm. It really is possible!

Related: 3 Steps to Kick the Habit of Masturbation

There is hope for anyone struggling with this issue! I was bound for 23 years, and Jesus set me free–He desires you to experience this freedom too!

  1. Imperfect_but_Loved

    There are no words to express how grateful I am to God and to you for this testimony. I’ve began to mastrubate after… getting married. And keep in mind I got married being a virgin (though just technically). 6 years into marriage I still struggling with this sin. But during last months I’ve been thinking that I should stop do it completely, because it’s the same thing as adultery, I guess (taking into consideration that I watch porn while doing this as well)

    • Imperfect but loved, What an appropriate title we all could go by! I pray that you will reach out to others for help and accountability. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, If I can be of service please reach out at kimberly@divineid.org

  2. Kimberly-

    2 thoughts; 1 is that it’s AWESOME that you are a woman and sharing this kind of story. It’s not just guys who struggle with this addiction! Thank you so much for your openness and honestly.

    And 2, I laughed out loud when you said “I didn’t die or kill anyone from not having an orgasm. It really is possible!” Yes, it’s funny but I also think people really do believe that it’s not possible and unhealthy to not orgasm for any long period of time. I work with men who are on the road to recovery from sexual addiction after I broke free from mine but I also come into contact with women who are struggling as well or who have deep feelings of betrayal from what their husbands have done. I will look myself also but do you have a website with resources for women that I can point these ladies to?

    Thanks for your ministry! I will pray God continues to bless it and you also.

    Paul Zunker
    https://paulzunker.wordpress.com

    • Never mind. I clicked on the “Divine Identity” link above. Looks like a good amount of resources there. :)

    • Looking forward to touching base, Paul.

  3. Hang in there Mark. Thanks for your comment. Yes, there is definitely hope for you! I often felt hopeless in this struggle. Yet, here I am (by God’s grace) almost at 11 years of freedom. If you can get yourself some accountability that would be a big help. Also, please feel free to reach out to me via my website contact or email. God bless you! It is for freedom that Christ set you free! Galatians 5:1.

    • Victor Olatunji

      Pls pray for me and my siblings. I personally I’ve been struggling for 16 years plus now.. our curiosity and exposure by my brother to porn. Since then I’ve been struggling. I’ve prayed, cried, and worried about it but it’s not gone yet. My parents are late and I’m in a new land where I know a few people I can share personal issues with. I also work from home now so it’s a bit tough for me. Pls pray for me. I promise God that I will set up a team of believers who will help young people struggling like me too. God help me.

    • Moriah Bowman

      Victor,

      We are praying for you! Be strong! Setting up a team of believers with whom you can walk in accountability is an amazing next step to finding freedom.

      Blessings,
      Moriah

  4. Janique

    I do have struggled for 23years and was introduced to porn/masterbation as a child. Your story gives me hope. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you in your journey and please pray for us strugglers!

    • Janique,

      Just said a prayer for you. There certainly is hope in Jesus. I was so bound… and you too can walk in the freedom He won for us on Calvary. God bless you and if I can be of service please reach out kimberly@divineid.org

  5. Thomas

    Thank you for the work you do. I am currently having major victories in the areas of porn and masturbation and God has blessed me tremendously as a result. Unfortunately, my wife has grown bitter over this and other things and as it stands now, divorce papers are in the works at her insistence. I am praising God for his victory and praying that He give my wife a heart of forgiveness for the sake of our marriage. Please, pray for me and my wife, rachael, that God would restore our family and bring healing. I’m heartbroken over what my porn addiction has done and I hope that God can restore us. Thanks.

    • Thomas, I am so sorry for all that the addiction has cost you with your wife. I just prayed for you and Racahel. Please continue to hold onto hope… the same God that delivered you can heal your wife’s heart. Hold onto Jesus, brother. If I can serve you or your wife please reach out at Kimberly@divineid.org. Also, purecommunity.org has a directory and in it is included a directory with coaching for spouses. You may want to have her reach out for the sake of her own healing. Keep holding to Jesus brother, and thank you for your kind comment,

  6. Anonymous and grateful

    [typo — “actually bee able” should be “actually been able”]

    also: I would change “that you continued to struggle while a believer” to “that you admitted that you continued to struggle while a believer”

  7. Anonymous and grateful

    Kimberly, thank you for this very helpful article. I am especially grateful that you continued to struggle while a believer. I am a life-long masturbation addict but find hope in your having actually bee able to stop completely. I would so very much like to be set free from it.

    Regarding your observation that sex is about intimacy, and that we can learn to be intimate with God and others without sex, I once heard a phrase that shocked me: masturbation is “having sex with yourself.” Seen in that light, it is ridiculous to think that the foundational intimacy is present, or if it is then it’s a very foolish kind of selfishness taken to the extreme. But to know and believe this has not been enough to tip the scales for me. I am seeing the need to lean on the Lord for help. He is able.

    • A and G,

      Thanks for reaching out. There certainly is freedom for you in Christ. Jesus has already set us free, we just need to walk in our reality of freedom. Yes, masturbation is certainly a false form of self intimacy. The Lord certainly is able. Too, I encourage you to reach out to fellow believers for help ~ I’ve worked with hundreds and walked thru my own journey and have found this really is the only way. If I can be of further help please feel free to contact me thru my website. God bless.

  8. Lydia

    Your article is truly an inspiration! I myself have struggled with masturbation since the age of 4. Yes people it’s possible to start at such a young age!! I’m now 24 and still struggle immensely with this sin. I recently accepted Jesus as my lord and saviour and was baptized. I know that thru God, I can do all things! Christ already has defeated all my sins so I’m no longer a slave but I still live like one :-( I still give in to masturbation even though I know it’s not glorifying to God. I was feeling tempted to act out so I grabbed my phone and went on this website bc I know I can always find encouragement here. Thank y’all for all the work u guys do!! I hope someday I can say that I’ve gone ten yrs without masturbation

    • Thank you for your kind words, Lydia. Yes, I have heard of people who have began struggling at age of 2 or 3 years! Often when someone begins struggling as young as you it can indicate sexual abuse or a lack of being nurtured. I’m sorry for the difficulty you’ve had in this area. I am praying for you as a type. If I can help please feel free to reach out to me via my website. Jesus bless you on your journey!

    • Steph

      This is great stuff! I want to be free too! But what about married women? When I make love to my husband isn’t it natural then since we don’t work the same way, and he enjoys knowing we both enjoyed it?

  9. gideon

    it is possible to lead a righteous iife

    • kevin otieno

      I am truly touched by this story.I am going through the same.I always try to free myself but it’s not working out for me…I just got saved buh this sin is pulling me back … but now I know someone out their was able to overcome this so will I….

  10. There is yet hope because I’m in the midst of the battle hoping to see the light of day SOON.

    • Hang in there Mark. Thanks for your comment. Yes, there is definitely hope for you! I often felt hopeless in this struggle. Yet, here I am (by God’s grace) almost at 11 years of freedom. If you can get yourself some accountability that would be a big help. Also, please feel free to reach out to me via my website contact or email. God bless you! It is for freedom that Christ set you free! Galatians 5:1.

    • D

      I have been set free from this sin for approximately 4 years now. I have generally had an overall freedom from sexual sin for that long as well, though there have been occasional lapses. I became a believer my junior year of college and was convicted and freed from many forms of bondage to sin, yet sexual sin by far was the sin that kept me in the most bondage for the longest period of time. I gained freedom by attending a men’s group at my local church at the time in which the facilitator of the group had been set free from bondage to sexual sin himself. We used resources from Pure Life Ministries which were highly instrumental in helping me achieve eventual freedom from this sin in addition to prayer and meditation upon the Word regularly. My biggest regret is that I gave so many key years of my life to sexual sin of any sort, yet I do appreciate the freedom I have in Christ from this sin. If anyone out there is doubting the LORD’S ability to TRULY free you from sexual sin (or any other for that matter), then take my word for it that this is a lie from Satan and not the truth. There is a huge difference between having occasional lapses into sexual sin (masturbation, porn, fantasy, etc.) versus being completely given over to these sins as a lifestyle of sin. Paul encourages believers that if we walk in the Spirit that we can be set free from ANY sin that would have dominion over us. I would be lying if I said I don’t have occasional lapses, but I am not lying when I write that I have truly been set free from sexual sin in having dominion over me. Kim, I commend you for your courage in sharing your former struggles with this sin as a single woman, as the church often has this false notion that only men struggle with sexual sin (particularly masturbation). In many ways I can relate to your story, as I was bound by this sin from late adolescence throughout my 20s and well into my 30s. Thank the LORD that He mercifully freed me (including you and many others) from this bondage! May we continue to walk in the light as He is in the light!

    • Stefani

      This is also my story. I can honestly say that I ‘believe’ God has truly delivered me of this finally. He was always willing, of course. It was me who wasn’t. I’m so happy to read your story to know I was not alone in this struggle. God bless you for being brave to share. I will do the same as He leads me. <3

    • Courtney Chupp

      Thank you for sharing your struggle about masturbation I currently struggle with masturbating a lot so I know there’s other people that struggle as well. I’m 30 and I’m single I will make it God bless you

    • Bobbie

      I’m a wife married 40 yrs to a man I met in bible school I knew two yrs in the married he didn’t love me he was suppose to be a pastor .Anyway he first started looking and by ten years he did talk to me any more and not to many yrs later started ponography and masturbation and now fourty yrs and he still doing it .He tells me he’s thinking about me .He says Im the reason .well I’m in bed alone I’ve heard I’m sorry so many times and don’t forget I love you it comes after I say I can’t take anymore .He really hates me the mean controlling maxing my credit cards and leaving me in collections .My mind and heart has been so hurt I can’t trust anyone .I went to someone for the first time in all these years The wife of the pastor who also is a pastor .She told me I needed to pickup my cross and to finally let God do the work .When the Pastor called me he talked down to me he used to be a boys pastor for many years .He asked me if I knew what James Dobson taught .I got a sick stomach .yes I knew I don’t ok what has been done .I still believe in the Ten Commandments and what Jesus says in Matthew 5 .You must understand I was 18 and now I’m 58 .There was many times I wanted some sex and love and comfort but he was getting else where . I’m going to get a divorce now but over the years I talked to him about one over and over but he’s very good at looking to be that perfect guy .Everyone tells me in front of him That I have the most wounderful husband .Hes so kind and attentive loving you get it He’s been abusive right after we married but he would say he never hit me .Sometime I wish he would have . I question my faith now .The last thing he did was give the scripture of adutery . By the way he took phycology And theology and was a paper from receiving his masters in theology .He has used my religion to keep me on the path .So I’m off the strait and narrow . Lost

    • Kay Bruner

      Bobbie, I am so, so, so sorry for the abuse you have suffered at the hands of this man and the church. It is very common for abusers to be deceptively charming to the outside world while abusing their spouses. Here is the Power and Control Wheel–it sounds to me like you’ve endured a lot of the behaviors listed here.

      What most people don’t understand is that domestic abuse is a SYSTEM and not just the behaviors we might identify, like hitting. Unfortunately, domestic abuse is all too often unrecognized by the church, and abusers are protected rather than victims. Of course you question that faith: it’s a terrible, toxic faith that tells victims to stay and suffer. That is the furthest possible thing from Jesus that I can imagine. Jesus was way more into millstones.

      It’s really common for women to say exactly what you said here:”I wish he would hit me; then I would know I could leave” and it’s also really common for abusers to understand the lines that they can’t cross without losing their victim and being outed as an abuser.

      I hope you will contact your local women’s shelter. Even if you don’t actually need shelter, those agencies have all the resources that you will need as you leave this abusive man, and begin to walk in freedom.

      You are strong and courageous. Making a new life for yourself after all these years of abuse is not an easy path to follow, but I applaud your wisdom. Thank you for sharing your story with us here. May other women be inspired to follow your lead into new life and freedom!

      Peace, grace, and healing to you,
      Kay

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