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The Real Problem With Female Masturbation

Apr 23 2014
Call it what it is: Ladies who lust.

We need a strategy that recognizes the sin of lust and calls it by its name, rather than pretending that women have no agency beyond reacting to environmental stressors or psychological difficulties. We must treat lust like other sins—not a way we act out as a consequence of other problems in our lives—but as a sin requiring us to learn the discipline of self-control that we must master if we ever hope to be the women God made us to be.

It's just not enough to say that women struggle because they "want to be wanted." Wanting to be wanted wrecks your self-esteem, it makes you dress immodestly to attract attention, it makes you reach out to any man who will affirm even a smidgen of value about you. Masturbating because you "fantasize about being wanted" means that you find the act of being wanted sexually arousing.

While there may be psychological issues that contribute to a woman feeling this way, it's also human nature to want to be wanted. It's normal for that desire to manifest in a desire for sex. The problem is that there is no good moral outlet for these natural desires before marriage, and our sex-laden society has done a wonderful job of causing most folks, men and women, to stir up and awaken love before it pleases.

Fortunately, men seem to grasp simultaneously that their desires are natural (and in some sense good) while requiring taming and discipline to master. Thus their resources on involve not simply addressing relational issues, but rather on becoming a more Christ-centered, self-controlled person. Take John Piper's suggested mnemonic ANTHEM:

A - Avoid tempting situations as much as possible.

N - Say no to lustful thoughts in five seconds.

T - Turn the mind toward Christ as a superior satisfaction.

H - Hold the promise and pleasure of Jesus in your mind to drive other thoughts out.

E - Enjoy a superior satisfaction in Christ.

M - Move into a useful activity away from idleness and other vulnerable situations.

While I'm certain the triggers for men are often different than for women, adapting this biblical method to fit the particular nature of women offers more promise than a psychological approach to masturbation. For example, most women find, when equipped with patience and a good method of fertility awareness, that their lust generally increases around the time of ovulation. This awareness can be a helpful reminder that time alone when you're approaching peak fertility will be more tempting than at other times in your cycle. It can remind you that your need to avoid tempting situations will be greater some days more than others. The biological basis of this alone should indicate that what's required to combat masturbation is more an issue of learning to tame one's lust rather than simply dealing with repressed issues.

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