#56: Dealing with Sexual Urges: Masturbation Temptation

forever love podcast Jan 06, 2022

Is masturbation a sin? 



Dealing with sexual urges as a single woman can feel extremely challenging. For one thing, these urges can be very strong and demanding. Plus, it's a hard topic to discuss, especially when it comes to masturbation.

I frequently get asked these 2 questions;

  1. Is masturbation a sin? 
  2. How do I stop masturbating? 

In today's episode, I want to begin to address this issue and by helping us get clear and honest about what's going on so that you can decide what to do about it.

We are going to focus on sexual temptation for single women throughout the month, so be sure to subscribe. 

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Episode #56: Dealing with Sexual Urges: Masturbation Temptation |Rough Transcript 

Welcome to the Forever Love Podcast, I'm your host and relationship coach, Lily Mtongwiza. Today we're talking about masturbation. 

Is Masturbation a Sin?

And, what if you’re a woman?

What if you’re a single woman & you’re trying to save sex for marriage?

Masturbation is a major temptation for everyone.

But, female masturbation can be especially challenging because even just discussing it is extremely taboo, so most pastors, women’s groups, bible studies etc tend to ignore the issue. And that’s a problem.

if it’s causing you shame or regret, then I want to help you deal with that.

Because, if you’re asking; “is masturbation a sin?” 

I don’t think it’s enough for leaders of the church to say “Masturbation is wrong, just don’t do it”.


Because, here’s the thing; Orgasms are addictive!

Orgasms Are Addictive

Your brain considers an orgasm just as good as heroin, cigarettes, dark chocolate or coffee. And trying to quit any of those things is really hard.

I mean, think about it. Quitting Heroin usually takes a team of professionals, a detox center and many months of therapy.  And the average addict has to try about 7 times before he/she is truly free.

Cigarettes; there are hundreds of programs, dozens of products and people will rally around you with support. 

Coffee and chocolate; we just pretend that there they’re not a problem. Cause no one wants to give up their coffee or chocolate until you’re morbidly obese and/or staying up past 3:30 am and replacing sleep with caffeine. And even then the advice is; “you might want to think about cutting back a little bit”

But with masturbation, it’s so deeply personal and embarrassing that we just pretend it’s not happening. 

After all, there are few things as humiliating as getting caught with your hands down your pants. 


In Other Words

What ever you’re calling it:

  • engaging in safe sex
  • rubbing the pearl 
  • exercising ones rights
  • feeling your way around
  • knee trembler
  • making my girl happy
  • rub the nub
  • tick the taco
  • brushing up on your typing skills
  • doing handiwork
  • getting to know yourself
  • palm the calm
  • playing it safe
  • playing Uno
  • safest sex
  • scratch the itch
  • sex with someone you really love
  • solo flight
  • taking matters into your own hands
  • taming the shrew
  • tending to your own affairs
  • breaking the alabaster box
  • working things out
  • working up a foamy lather
  • playing a piano solo
  • throw a party for one

To be clear, for the purposes of this article, I’m talking about female masturbation. As in, a woman, alone by herself.

I’m not talking about mutual masturbation between a couple, whether you’re married or not.

In short, if you’re married and mutual masturbation is part of your routine. GO FOR IT! 

But, if you’re NOT married and you ARE a Christian, then you shouldn’t be engaging in any sexual activity before marriage. This would include all forms of heavy petting and above. 


Female Masturbation

Female masturbation is stimulating yourself sexually. It can take many forms from, direct clitoral stimulation, hands, toys, vibrators, humping things, and, there are some extrodinary women out there who can get off without touching anything.

But is masturbation a sin?

Is it wrong to get yourself all worked up? 

Because I know that there are many women out there who are thinking;

I’m not hurting anyone. I’m trying to save myself for marriage. I don’t want to fall into the temptation to have sex with someone. So why can’t I just have a little party for one?

And I get it.

You’re not married and you’re trying to keep your hands to yourself.

And you’re struggling with the urge to call that guy and “just cuddle”. But you know what that will lead to.

So you’ve got all this pent up sexual energy, and you’re wondering;

What’s a girl to do?

Why Women Masturbate

Let’s begin by talking about some of the reasons why women masturbate. 

My research has shown that female masturbation occurs for a variety of different reasons. And those reasons are very unique to women and different from the men. 

19 Reasons Why Women Masturbate

  1. feel powerful
  2. feel sexy 
  3. sexual frustration
  4. sex dream
  5. helps with headaches
  6. helps go to sleep
  7. relieves cramps
  8. boost self-confidence
  9. watching porn
  10. watching sexy movie / tv
  11. thinking about someone you like
  12. thinking about something you’ve done before
  13. stress
  14. horny 
  15. sexting
  16. improve mood
  17. get your mind off something else
  18. reduce anxiety
  19. Focus on yourself

Clearly,  women choose masturbation for a variety of reason.

3 Common Themes.

  • Avoiding Temptation
  • Improving their state of being 
  • Reducing sexual energy 

Avoiding Temptation

The number one reason Christian women give for indulging in the act of masturbation is that they are trying to avoid fornication. 

But this is problematic. 

Because even though it sounds really good on the surface it doesn’t address the real problem. 

You can’t avoid sin with sin. 

It may be the lesser of two evils, but it’s still a sin. 

Yes, masturbation is a sin, and we will get into the details about why below. 

When you choose masturbation in place of sex with someone you’re not married to, you’re certainly reducing the physical consequences. But you’re not avoiding the spiritual ramifications of masturbation.

Plus, this reasoning is problematic, because sexual energy increases with use. The more you use it, the more you want it. The stronger the desire gets. Sin begets sin. 

So you might successfully avoid a booty call tonight, but you’ll be more likely to fall for one tomorrow. Because you’re increasing your sexual appetite. 

Improving Their State of Being

Another group of women use masturbation as a way to relieve stress, fall asleep faster, and reduce pain.

In the world, these are all great reasons to “palm the calm”. But we must avoid calming techniques that rely on sin. 

I’m not going to argue over the effectiveness of masturbation in dealing with these issues. In the moment they are highly effective. 

But what about the long term effects? 

And is there any thing else that could be equally if not more effective?

Reducing Sexual Energy

The third group of women are using masturbation as a way to release sexual energy. 

They’re aroused, horny and turned on. 

And like the first group, they’re taking matters into their own hands. 

What’s different is that they’re not trying to avoid fornication. They didn’t want to have sex with anyone. But their mind is busy and full of erotic imaginations. 

This group identifies strongly with the idea of using masturbation to feel strong, powerful and sexy. 

The problem is that these feelings are fleeting. As soon as the moment is over they tend to feel an awful sense of conviction, and shame. 

Good Advice

Whether it was a good friend, a well-meaning Autie, an internet article or a movie. Masturbation is promoted as a safe, healthy, natural activity, with tremendous benefits. 

Women will encourage one another, saying things like, ” You won’t enjoy the journey unless you know how to get there” And suggesting that single women get to know themselves before marriage so that they will enjoy a healthy sex life with their husband. 

Even doctors say it’s good for you.

I got these 4 reasons from WEB MD

  1. Increases blood flow
  2. Decreases stress
  3. mproves your sex life
  4. Reduces discomfort in sex

And the final line reads


Don’t worry whether it will lead to sex problems later down the line, Prause says. “Put simply, if it feels good, go for it.”


WebMD Feature Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH

But I think we should be concerned, especially if it does lead to sex problems later down the line. 

And more importantly, if it gets in the way of our relationship with God. 

Is Masturbation a Sin?


Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field:

Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.

-Song of Solomon 3:5

The problem with masturbation is that it’s almost impossible to separate it from lust. 

It’s like trying to describe water without using the word wet. 

I love the verse from Song of Solomon because I think it really speaks to the Biblical truth that we shouldn’t be waking up certain desires within ourselves until we are ready to fully express them. 

I believe that there is a period of time in our physical and mental development when masturbation is purely a physical reaction to a pleasant sensation. 

Very young children will innocently touch themselves because it simply feels good. 

But, You’re Not a Child. 


When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.

1 Corinthians 13:11

But as we grow and we become aware of what we are doing, physically and spiritually, we can’t rely on childish excuses to defend our behavior.

Because at the heart of this masturbation is an indication that lust is present in the heart. 


Above all else, guard your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.

-Proverbs 4:23

Sexual desire is safe and healthy within the context of marriage. Where it can be awake and fulfilled. 

But outside of that context sexual desire leads to lust. And we don’t need to debate whether or not lust is a sin. 

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

-1 John 2:16

We know that lust is a sin that occurs in the mind. And masturbation is the physical expression of that sin. 

Is it a sin if you play with yourself?

Q: What if I’m only half awake, or in the shower, and things just start to feel good down there. I’m not thinking about anything. It’s purely physical. 

A: It’s a spiritual thing, and if it were to be purely physical I wouldn’t worry about it any more than I would for scratching my elbow or rubbing my eyes. 

But the truth is that it rarely stays purely physical. Somewhere along the way our brain kicks in and starts to imagine things. And we have to stop and make a choice. 

Is it a sin to fantasize about your spouse?

Q: What if I’m married and I am only thinking about my husband. And I’m only doing it because he is away. What if it’s phone sex?

A: Within the context of marriage I believe that masturbation can be used, so long as it is being used to bring the two of you closer together. 

In this case, where the couple is separated, but are trying to enjoy an intimate moment together, I don’t see anything wrong with this. 

However, I would caution women from masturbating when their husbands are away because let’s be honest. It’s really hard to keep your mind where you want to.

You might start out by thinking about your husband, but it can quickly wander and begin imagining all kinds of other things. And then you’re in lust. 

Where in the bible does it say not to touch yourself?

Technically it doesn’t. 

But that doesn’t mean the Bible is silent on the issue. 

Just because masturbation isn’t included in the ten commandments, and it’s not explicitly discussed in the Bible, doesn’t mean that we can justify doing it. 

Is it a sin to masturbate when single?

Yes, because masturbation is the physical expression of lust. Since we know that lust is a sin than masturbation is also a sin. 

I feel your frustration. 

You’re trying your best to avoid sex before marriage, but at the same time, your body is going through some major cravings.

Your imagination runs wild, your body reacts.

The Holy Spirit whispers; “don’t do it”. But it’s too late.

When you hear about married women who can’t orgasm you’re honestly confused. Because you can’t help it.

Unlike men who can get sucked into hours of internet porn, you’re not at this for hours, you’re good after the first 45 seconds.

But then the shame arrives. Guilt moves in and you swear that next time you’ll be stronger.

Next time you’ll get on your knees and pray. Or you’ll go take a cold shower and recite bible verses about purity.

But that never seems to go as planned. And so, the vicious cycle repeats. Over and over again.

Masturbation is a sin

Masturbation is a sin and sins have consequences. So what do we do about it?

Effects of Masturbation

Sexual desire is healthy and important part of the marriage contract between a husband and wife. Within the context of marriage, they can express, act out and fulfill their passions. 

But outside of that marriage, sexual desire gets in the way of our relationship with God.

Lust causes you to take your eyes off of Jesus and focus your energy on wanting something that goes against the will of God.  

The Question is; What Do You Do About It?

How do you stop a masturbation habit?

Have you become addicted to masturbation?

What are you trying to get out of masturbation?

And, is there another way to achieve those things without falling victim to sin?

Is There Another Way

Many women who masturbate do so right before bed, as a way to relieve tension. Fall asleep faster and generally relax. In this context, it is seen as an act of self-care. They often feel overwhelmed by the circumstances around them and are looking for a quick form of release.

Such women are not looking at pornography, they often have a little tape that plays out in their heads. It’s almost like stretching before sleeping.

I help Christian women overcome this habit by addressing the underlying causes. Book a free Coaching Call with me to find out more.

Book Coaching Session

You don’t have to struggle with this on your own.

Often these women feel a lot of shame and guilt about their actions when they reflect upon them. They have every desire to honor God in their bodies. But, with no alternative course of action, they rely on this shortcut because in many cases they have convinced themselves that this helps make them a better person overall. – I will do this quickly, go to sleep faster, be less stressed, not sleep with the sexy co-worker. The end justifies the means.


The problem with this is; you’re creating a pattern of behavior that goes against God.

Patterns of Behavior

This pattern is often firmly estalished during the early stages of puberty- sometimes much earlier. We discover that this action gives us pleasure. When a child is exploring their body in this way, there is very little difference between masturbation and nose picking.

It’s just something we do.

But as we grow, masturbation become more clearly linked with sexuality. And the mind becomes the devil’s playground.

Something that started so innocently now proves to be a real challenge. And most parents do not include this topic in conversations about the birds and the bees.

But eventually, we grow to learn, that our actions are sinful and Satan wastes no time confirming it.

A time comes where some form of sexual stimulation gets lodged in our minds and from there it is an uphill battle.

We quickly learn that touching, paired with lustful thoughts is a highly rewarding past time. But we have the good sense to keep such facts to ourselves.

Over the years as a woman develops this habit often becomes a firmly established routine.

But many get to a point where they want to stop and they can’t.

Can’t Stop

Perhaps they are growing in maturity as a Christian and want to surrender to God’s will and keep their bodies as pure as possible.

Maybe they get married or into a sexual relationship and are surprised to discover that sexual intercourse is not as satisfying as they had imagined.

Now that they have a sex partner, many women are embarrassed that sexual intercourse doesn’t stimulate them the way they imagined it would. This can cause some women to begin secretly masturbating away from their partner.

Many women discover the deep dark pit of online pornography, and as much as it disturbs them to see other women used and abused, they can’t find the strength to turn away.

What you think about matters

It’s very hard to think about the goodness and righteousness of God, and the truth is most women let their minds wonder to some pretty dark places. 

They begin to imagine rape, and other non consensual activities.  

It’s a vicious cycle.

The question is: how do you break it?

Masturbation Myth

It’s just for now. Once I’m married it won’t be an issue any more!

Wrong. If it’s become a habit, you might experience a reduction because some times you’ll just have sex instead. But the truth is that many married women masturbate by themselves for a lot of different reasons. 

If you don’t know how you work you won’t be able to explain it to your husband latter. 

Masturbation Addiction

How do you break a daily habit that is as addictive as heroin?

Studies show that an orgasm is as powerful a drug as heroin.

We know that heroin addicts suffer greatly when they try to quit, but we naively assume that we should be able to will ourselves not to masturbate by our own power.

Unfortunately, as many women who have tried to stop know, it’s not that simple.

And this increases the guilt. We really believe that we should be able to do this.

And we can, but not on our own strength.

We must rely on a higher power. And it’s always good to have a plan.

Just like every other addiction, destroying this stronghold in our lives will require a solid action plan.

How To Stop Masturbating

You can begin by asking yourself this question.

Why do I need to stop this behavior?

Write down your answer.

It may be a simple answer: I know it’s a sin, or something more complex: I want to establish intimacy with my husband.

Whatever your answer is, it must be honest and authentic. Because if you don’t believe it is valid you won’t hold yourself to it.

Next, you have to think about why you do it.

Is it to relax? Fall asleep? Avoid a problem? Change your thought pattern?

Be honest with yourself. You’re clearly doing it for a reason. Once you know what that reason is, you can begin to find healthy alternatives.

You also need to know the truth.

Arm yourself with scripture that you can use to fight the temptation when it occurs. It’s best to memorize them during the day because you’re not going to feel the urge to open your bible when the urge hits at night.

Here are a couple to get you started. 


I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

-Romans 6:19


And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.

-Isaiah 35:8

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

-2 Corinthians 7:1


Next week, we will talk about how to break the habit of masturbation and we will continue to talk about sexual urges and tempation and what to do about them throughout the month. 

Be sure to subscribe on Spotify or Apple Podcasts so that you don't miss out. 

Until next time, God Bless You!


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