This is a difficult post to write. Mostly because my Mom might be reading this. But, also because I don’t take a subject like sex or masturbation lightly and feel some good research and a good amount of effort be had to make sure thoughts are properly communicated. So, here is my best first attempt…
Last night we were watching The Next Food Network Star competition when a commercial came on for Trojan’s Fingertip Massager/Personal Vibrator. There was something that struck me very peculiar about this ad.
First, I couldn’t help but think that this was kind of a landmark moment in American history. Has there ever been a commercial on such a mainstream network peddling sex toys? KY comes close. This seemed a little strange though, it could have been produced by the same people that produce commercials for Toy R Us. Only, instead of wide-eyed kids exuberantly giving testimonials on how much fun they are having with play-doh, you had young and old ladies alike giving their testimonials of how much better it was to masturbate now. Maybe I’ve had my head buried underground, but to my best knowledge, female masturbation has never been a tea-time topic. But, I’m not a woman, so what do I know. I do know that the sexual revolution is far from over.
My second thought was, ‘Ok, this is the world I’m going to have to raise my daughters in. A world where girls are going to start sharing their penchant towards their favorite self stimulator. Lord, help me to communicate clearly and effectively with my daughters about love and sex and self-esteem and serving others.’ Not that I hadn’t thought about all this before, but something about viewing this commercial placed an urgency in my heart to truly find my face on this matter. (Incidently, when we were on vacation last week, a group of girls, none old enough to drive, entered the hot tub where my sister- in- law was. She said she had to leave because all those girls were talking about was birth control and having sex. These were 14(maybe) year olds. My daughter is 8.)
Where do I start? Here’s my world view…God tells us that people tend to satisfy their thirst not by drinking from HIS life giving fountain but by going to man-made toilets (Jer 2:13). It seems to me, our culture, has turned men into thinking that women are man-made toilets (a place for men to drop off their fluids). I don’t say this just because of what we see and hear in the music and movies our kids are listening to, but this is a popular saying by radio talk show host Tom Leykis (syndicated by CBS, coincidentally the owners of Food Network).
But, how did we get here? The place where I’m watching somebody bake a cake one minute, and being interrupted by, well, talk about giving yourself a climax. It’s complicated, obviously, but most signs point to the the fact that something broke in the sixties. We have always been self-first people, but until the sixties we continued to make great sacrifices for our kids. During the sixties, there seems to have been a ‘me-first’ shift in parenting views. In his book, No Perfect People Allowed, emerging pastor John Burke surveys this recent history, “Many learned early that parents’ things are always more important. In the book, Ourselves and Our Children (note the title’s word order), Silent Generation (pre-Boomer) authors insisted that ‘consider yourself’ be the first principle of good parenting…Beginning in 1962 with the mass marketing of the birth-control pill, the media everywhere hailed the age of ‘free love.’ The Postmodern Experiment with sexuality turned out to have a high price tag…The idealism of the ’60s and ’70s morphed right into the ‘Material World’ of the coming ’80s ‘Me Generation.'” And surely we are currently living in an hedonistic, me-first generational culture. (As a side note, this is the problem I have with the abortion debate. Abortion Dr.’s, many pro-choicers, and our current President will tell you that they are taking a life, but also, that the greater evil for them would be to deny a woman from what she wants to happen. Abortion should be illegal because we need to protect ourselves from our own cannibalistic desires.)
All of this from one little TV commercial…why do I torture myself! I’ll keep going…So the greater issue is realizing and moving from… ‘It’s all about me.’ to …’It’s not about me at all.’ That is what I need to get my kids to learn. And that will keep them from a lot of heartache.
But, what about the issue at hand (no pun intended)? What does God say about masturbation? The bible seems to be silent on this issue. In other words, it doesn’t specifically say to keep your hands off your own junk in that way, nor does it say it is a great way to alleviate tension. (Side note: the bible is not silent on masturbation between a married man and woman, either orally or with their hands, Song of Solomon 2:3,6 and 4:12) Mark Driscoll offers 5 helpful questions to consider when wrestling with this topic…
1. Can you masturbate without lusting (Job 31:1)?
2. Can you masturbate in a way that builds oneness with your spouse, pulling you together more intimately through the act (Gen 2:24)?
3. Can you masturbate without experiencing shame (Gen2)?
4. Can you masturbate with a clear conscience (Titus 1:15)?
5. Can you masturbate without capitulating to the cravings of your sinful desires and thoughts (Eph 2:3)?
It seems to me, that, maybe the reason we are seeing commercials on TV for fingertip massagers, is because men aren’t being taught to be masculine anymore and women aren’t taught to let men be masculine without feeling threatened. Men, we need to be masculine by thinking about others before we think of ourselves. Women, maybe you can help by trusting us a little to do so, and not retreat into your own strength when we mess that up. I don’t know. These are just some thoughts. I’ve tried to put some effort into thinking about this and I’ve definately been frank. It’s just an attempt, but hopefully a helpful one.