Defeat Lust & Pornography Two women having a Bible study.
Defeat Lust & Pornography 8 minute read

Women and Masturbation: Talking About It Openly

Last Updated: October 17, 2023

Lust is not a guy problem–it’s a human problem. If you’re a woman who has struggled with any sort of lustful sin habit, including masturbation, you’re not alone. Millions of Christian women (single and married) are facing similar temptations every day. We, as women, are not immune to lustful sins any more than men are.

I am going to be very open and transparent in this post because I want you to know that Christ has the power to help us overcome our sin and to find lasting victory. Then we’ll dig into what the Bible has to say about masturbation and why I believe masturbation is a sin.

My Own Sin-Struggle With Masturbation

Jump back in time with me.

As a single girl in my mid-teens, I remember crying out to God one night in desperation. My desire for sexual intimacy was so strong that I felt like I couldn’t bear it anymore! I honestly wasn’t sure how I would survive until marriage with such strong sexual desires. “How is this a gift?!” I questioned God through my tears.

I knew how much God valued purity and holiness, but it seemed impossible to stay consistent for any length of time. I tried to control my lustful thoughts, but they seemed to overpower me more regularly than not. Masturbation had become a common theme in my life.

I didn’t know for a fact if it was wrong or not–but something deep in my heart told me it wasn’t God’s best. The guilt I felt after satisfying my lust was like a heavy dark cloud that lingered until morning.

My struggle with lust and masturbation became a constant companion throughout high school. I was on a roller coaster of winning the “battle” one week and losing it the next.

I was growing sick and tired of it.

As I entered my junior year of high school, I came across a little book that changed my life forever. It’s Joshua Harris’ well-known, little hardback book titled, Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is.

For the first time, a lightbulb went off in my heart. After devouring that book, I gained a biblical understanding of my God-given sexual desires.

I realized that my sexual “drive” wasn’t the enemy. My sinful heart was.

God created our bodies with the capacity to enjoy pleasure and there is nothing wrong with that in and of itself. The problem comes when we allow natural urges to drive our hearts and actions to sinful places.

My eyes were slowly opened to how holy God was and how weak and needy I was. Instead of trying to muster up good behavior, I fell on my knees and cried out to a Holy God in humble desperation. I confessed my heart of pride and selfishness and asked God to forgive me of my lustful sins and for worshipping idols above my worship of Him.

For the first time, I felt free. Free!

My battle with lust wasn’t over, but I was more victorious than I had ever been before.

Masturbation was no longer a normal part of my life.

In fact, from that point on until I got married (seven years later), I only gave in to masturbation a handful of times. Now, don’t get me wrong–I still fought against lustful thoughts in my mind on a regular basis, but they weren’t the theme of my life anymore.

I share my story with you to let you know that victory in Christ is possible. You are not alone in your sexual struggles. We serve a powerful God and no sin is too great for the Cross of our Savior to conquer.

We Aren’t Victims of Our Sexual Desires

Now, let’s talk about women, masturbation, and what the Bible has to say about the topic.

Our modern culture tells us that our sexual urges are like balloons on the verge of popping, and we need to release the intense pressure every now and then.

Although it might feel that way sometimes, God has given us the power through His Holy Spirit to say no to the flesh and yes to righteousness. We are not victims of our sexual desires.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).

The truth is, the more we give in to our sinful desires, the more we fall prey to their grip.

We continue to crave but are never satisfied (James 1:14-15). That’s how sin works. It promises satisfaction but always leaves us empty and hungry.

Regardless of how strong our sexual urges may be, as Christian women, we are commanded to live pure and holy lives for God’s glory and our greatest joy. “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-­5).

God will give us the strength we need to walk in righteousness–we just have to make the choice to strive after it wholeheartedly.

3 Reasons Why I Believe Masturbation Is Sin

Is it a sin to masturbate? What does the Bible have to say about masturbation? While the Bible never explicitly mentions masturbation, it does talk a lot about related topics. Here are three reasons I believe masturbation is a problem for Christians:

1. Masturbation is usually fueled by lust.

While engaging in masturbation, it is very common for pornographic images (whether imagined or seen) and erotica to be used to fuel the act. From what I’ve experienced and researched, it seems that sexual fantasies accompany masturbation around 99% of the time. Masturbation isn’t a solo act, but one that is often fueled by lust.

Although the Bible never addresses masturbation directly, it addresses sexual immorality and lust many times. Lustful thoughts are toxic to our mind and heart.

Related: Can you masturbate without lusting?

1 Corinthians 6:18 says, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”

Galatians 5:19 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality…”

Rather than seeing how close we can get to the line of compromise without going over, we should do everything within our power to stay as far away from the line of sin as possible.

Even if you claim to masturbate without lusting, why go there? Why allow yourself to be vulnerable to sin?

As long as lust is allowed to grow in one’s heart, the temptation to masturbate will probably always be present. We find lasting freedom only when we attack our lustful sin at its root and do everything within our power to destroy it.

2. The Bible teaches that sex is relational.

The Bible clearly teaches us that God created sex to be enjoyed between one man and one woman within the context of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:9). God created sex to be an expression of our love for our spouse and a way to create intimate bonds with one another.

Within marriage, sex should always be about loving and serving the other person, not about getting what we want.

When sexual intimacy is ripped out of its God-ordained context, it is no longer about loving and serving someone else, but about serving self. Masturbation fuels selfishness.

As Tim Challies says, “Masturbation is inherently self-centered. An act meant to be shared toward two people is completely and exclusively about one person, all alone.”

Outside of marriage, sexual pleasure is isolated from “community.” It is isolated from serving another. It is isolated from loving another. God never intended sexual pleasure to be enjoyed as a solo act, but as a gift to be shared and given within marriage.

3. Masturbation can be a form of self-worship.

As Christian women, our goal in life should be to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind” (Luke 10:27). We cannot fully serve God and serve self at the same time.

We can’t worship a holy God and satisfy our lust simultaneously. We can only do one or the other. Either we’ll choose to deny self and worship Christ, or we’ll choose to deny Christ and worship self.

Masturbation elevates self to be the center of our worship–the center of our heart’s affections.

Galatians 6:7-8 is a sobering reminder, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

We cannot worship God and worship self at the same time.

Winning the Battle Over Masturbation

Regardless of how often or little you struggle with sexual sin (namely masturbation), you are not out of reach of God’s conquering power. Christ died on the cross so we would no longer be slaves to sin.

“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin,” (Romans 6:6).

If you desire to conquer your struggle with masturbation, there is no better time than now to humble yourself and confess your sin to the Father. Freedom begins today.

This post is the first half of a two-part series. In the second half, we’ll continue chatting openly about how we, as Christian women, can find lasting freedom from masturbation.

  1. Emily

    This is wrong on so many levels. we are created from sexual energy. To block it is to deny God. I grew up christian. I have an illness that im healing through tantra and connecting with myself intimately. It is helping me heal to heal the sexual shame that i was conditioned to believe is true through religion. It is not a sin to touch yourself, your body is not shameful for desiring pleasure. God wants us to have pleasure. The bible was rewritten and translated to fit a patriarchal paradigm. To opress you. To opress the feminine. God never wanted that, that was the men trying to gain power and manipulate the masses. Dont you think feeling shame is more of a sin then feeling pleasure? Feeling shame about something God creates of you?? The problem is that when people are told sex is bad they dont know how to make boundaries for themselves, and can end up attracting horrible sexual experiences from that. Consent is a huge part of that. Pleasure with intentional love and lust are different. Please if you feel like masterbation is a sin because you’re worshipping yourself, just remember God created you. And to love and nurture your needs is actually an act of love.

  2. Ruth

    From birth, I have been brought up surrounded by the Word of God and careful study of it. Something I craved before I was old enough to crave sexual pleasure. Thanks be to God, for I was sexually abused in early childhood. I have also experienced a great deal of life in isolation. I’m 47 and I’ve never had a shared, as in consensual (which requires two adults), sexual experience due to never having married a man (so far!). I discovered orgasm around age 20, by accident while fantasizing about two different people – one male, one female. Not my first fantasizing, which started many years earlier – but my first orgasm.

    I will not tell you my whole life story – at least not in this comment! – but I just wanted to say that I have come back again and again to the conviction that masturbation comes from a place of self-centeredness or other dark places. I can’t believe that it’s ever something that can bring light to darkness. Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light, Jesus said.

    I have read and understand from experience that every time you masturbate, you are weakened against stopping yourself from doing it again. The longer you go without it, the longer you run away from it, the stronger your body will naturally be against it. The more you indulge, the stronger your flesh desires it again. The same is true of sex in any context – premarital and also marital. The more you have sex with your husband, connecting as God designed our bodies, the more you both will desire each other in that bond – theoretically for me! My friend told me about this with her husband, whose struggles with emotional disconnection (also not part of giving God glory) were helped by their consensual project to “have sex in a new position EVERY DAY for one week.”

    Sexual pleasure in any setting has an emotional connection. When I indulge, the pattern is most often that I’m feeling extra lonely. Not necessarily for a husband, but I long for an intimate friend. I have had very few opportunities, especially as I’ve grown older and friends marry and have children, or they move away. When I find myself loving a friend, wishing for a connection with them the way I IMAGINE they have with others or with their husband, I have an inappropriate sexual connection to the feeling of love as a result of being abused. I have an extra measure of loneliness in fantasizing about utterly unavailable experiences.

    So, I have learned that my loneliness leads me to masturbation, as a substitute for the emotional or intimate connection I desire. I can “feel” it in my fantasy. But it is not real nor is it realistic. I will never have a perfect fulfillment of my fantasies and desires, even if I marry a man who is my best friend. I may get to live with a best friend, as I dream of, as I covet in others (another sin). But then other consequences of his flesh, my flesh, the world, and so forth, will compete against a pure and satisfying intimacy. So I will still have the same loneliness problem to deal with. It is a battle against my natural tendency to be self-centered. I suspect I am not alone in this.

    I find comfort in knowing Jesus had his human flesh to contend with, yet he never sinned (Hebrews 4).

  3. SFD

    “Lust is not a guy problem–it’s a human problem.”

    No, lust is not a problem by itself; it’s a normal human and in fact even healthy experience.
    It`s people with their attitudes that make a problem out of it.

  4. Ezekiel gindiri

    Which steps should I take

    • Moriah Bowman

      Hi Ezekiel?

      Are you wondering what steps to take to quit porn? If so, I would recommend you start with this blog post!

      Blessings,
      Moriah

  5. Ezekiel gindiri

    Thank for sharing your honest story only God will blessed you I love you bye I too also face that challenge pray for me please

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