Can Masturbation in Marriage Be Intimate?


masturbation-in-lovemakingI imagine a headline with a question like that has caught your attention, right?!

My abbreviated answer to the question is a simple yes. Yes, masturbation in marriage can be intimate. But I’m thinking you want the long answer. It can be a touchy topic for sure. Pun intended.

I should start with the disclaimer that I’m not here to convince you of whether masturbation is acceptable for a Christian. The longer I speak and write about sex in marriage, the more at peace I am that we aren’t going to agree on everything. We’re a finicky bunch, us Christians. I am so cool with that.

The older I get, the less inclination I have to battle. Please feel free to click away if you’d like. No harm no foul as we go our separate ways on this topic. And certainly feel free to keep reading and sift through my meanderings to arrive at your own conclusion.

I’m good with whatever works for you. Hang around here long enough and you’ll find I’m fairly easy going. I’m the type of person you’d want to have coffee or a beer with even if we don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of subjects.

I know there are Christians who think masturbation is wrong no matter what, regardless of whether someone is single or married and regardless of the circumstances. I know other Christians who are in the camp that certain parameters make it okay.

Clearly, I fall in that latter camp.

For this post, I want to concentrate specifically on masturbation that happens within a couple’s sexual intimacy. I know it may sound surprising that masturbation could be part of a married couple’s lovemaking, but for some couples, it definitely is! So for today, let’s talk about that.

Can masturbation in marriage be intimate? Absolutely! But what makes it intimate rather than selfish? A few insights…

1. Is it mutually agreed upon?

This is a great topic to talk about as a couple. Do you want to explore incorporating masturbation into your lovemaking?

My encouragement to you is that if your spouse brings this subject up, don’t be so quick to dismiss their interest. It takes courage to broach such a topic, so respond with grace and a willingness to at least listen.

For some husbands and wives, they want to bring masturbation in because they think it would be arousing to watch their spouse masturbate, either as part of foreplay or even to completion. For some couples, it’s arousing to masturbate at the same time.

A wife in particular may find masturbation helpful if she is having a hard time climaxing. She may desire to use her hand on her clitoris while her husband is thrusting within her or after he has climaxed.

In other circumstances, a husband or a wife may want to masturbate as a way to show their spouse the kind of pressure and rhythm needed to bring about an incredible orgasm.

My point with all of the above scenarios is that as a couple, you need to be on the same page about whether masturbation has a role in your sexual intimacy. If one spouse wants to incorporate masturbation and the other spouse has extreme reservations about it, then it isn’t something that has a place in your intimacy, at least not at that time. Maybe revisit it down the road.

One caveat I would offer to any husband who has reservations about his wife masturbating because she is having a hard time having an orgasm. Are your reservations rooted in your ego, meaning do you feel it makes you less than a man if your wife needs to stimulate herself?

If you feel that way, let me assure you that a woman’s sexual response can be complex. It’s not a reflection on your manhood. Intercourse alone often isn’t enough to bring her to orgasm. Ultimately, my hope would be that you want your wife to experience the extreme pleasure of an orgasm. You likely could learn a lot about what kind of stimulation she needs by watching her stimulate herself, if this is something she wants to try.

Long story short, have a conversation about whether masturbation has a role in your lovemaking. It may or may not, but you won’t likely know unless you have an honest and open conversation.

2. What is your motive?

The heart won’t lie. What is your motive with masturbation in your intimacy? If your motive isn’t to draw the two of you closer, then that’s a concern. Sexual intimacy is about oneness and transparency and incredible pleasure with the person you love.

So check your motive. If you want to masturbate because you’re inpatient that your spouse isn’t pleasuring you quickly enough during lovemaking, then that’s not a fair motive. It just isn’t. Authentic sexual intimacy requires patience, growth and a willingness to learn.

The foundation of marriage and of sexual intimacy within marriage needs to be love. Make sure any masturbation within your lovemaking is coming from a place of love.

3. Where is your thought life?

If masturbation is part of your lovemaking, your thought life has to remain pure—meaning you can’t be thinking of anyone other than your spouse and you can’t incorporate pornography to aid in the stimulation.

Keep your thought life in check. Always.

The Lord gives a husband and wife tremendous freedom within the exclusivity of their lovemaking to explore sexual pleasure. For some married couples, masturbation very much has a role in that pleasure.

If you as a couple want to include self pleasure in your intimacy, consider using this post as a conversation starter.

For more reading, you can cruise through my list of past posts, as well as my page with a bunch of posts on orgasm.

And I have a 5 video series available on building better sex in your marriage. Great way to invest in your marriage!  You can find out all about it at this link:  Better Sex in Your Christian Marriage.

Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.

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4 thoughts on “Can Masturbation in Marriage Be Intimate?

  1. Keith and Joann says:

    Yes, masturbation can be very intimate! Both the wife and I have health problems that make intercourse impossible, we haven’t had sex in 3 or 4 years. But, we masturbate together frequently. We love on each other, kiss and feel each other just like before, but instead of full sex, we each take care of ourselves at the same time, never alone. We each wait until we both are ready, just like regular sex.

  2. Eric says:

    My wife has medical issues so we very rarely have sex. I masturbate in her front of her. I f I am alone I think of her.

  3. Scott says:

    My wife has had breast cancer and 12 surgery’s over the last 2 years and deals with pain all the time. We have masterbated together at times and took turns watching. My question is there has been many times she can see I’m in the mood and she is not or in pain. As I go to bed way before she does each night sometimes she will tell me if I need to or want to take care of myself when I go to Bed solo I can. I guess giving me permission. In a Christian marriage of doing things together is it wrong for me to go solo or should I stay in there with her and not alone. She knows what I’m in there doing and told me to go for it.

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