Q&A: “I’m scared to touch myself”

We received a question from a young woman engaged to be married. Here is an excerpt:

My problem is the article on masturbation… (I think you are referring to this article) or, more specifically, touching myself period. I grew up in a very conservative Christian home and was told that I shouldn’t touch myself and that girls didn’t masturbate – they just didn’t. I guess I didn’t really put two and two together that when I randomly get wet I masturbate until I read this site (so thanks!). So here’s the truth… I’M SCARED TO TOUCH MYSELF AND I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START!!!!! I’ve looked all over the Internet trying to find a simple diagram of my body parts… I’m slightly freaked out about the white stuff that comes out when I masturbate with my guy (it smells funny… what the heck is it called anyway!?!?!?)…. I can masturbate to orgasms when I’m making out with my guy… and masturbate a bit on my own… but not much… I really want to masturbate to orgasm on my own! I want to know how to touch my body… and what’s what… and so I won’t be afraid and all that stuff… I’m thinking a good first step might be shaving my [pubic hair] so that I can see what’s down there.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I am sure that you have all kinds of preparations that you are making and it’s nice to see that you are also preparing yourselves for a healthy sex life.

I will answer some of your questions and interact with some of your thoughts, but need to first establish some clarity on something. From what you wrote, it sounds like you and your future husband may be masturbating together and that you are experiencing an orgasm with him in some matter. I may have misunderstood, but if that is the case I would encourage you to consider whether you have overstepped an appropriate line in purity. I think I understand correctly that you haven’t had intercourse, but it’s possible that you are more physically involved with one another than you should be. The following articles may help you discern this.

Premarital Sex: How Far Is Too Far?

Lust: What To Keep In Mind

Regarding some of the questions that you asked, “the white stuff” I think that you are referring to is your lubrication. When you become aroused your body produces a natural lubricant that allows for intercourse to happen. At certain times of the month it can range from thick and white to watery and clear depending on how close you are to ovulation. The reason for it becoming thick and white is that during ovulation, that will allow for the sperm to reach the egg more easily, allowing a woman to become pregnant. So “the white stuff” is very normal and very necessary in order for sex to occur.

I am not sure how much detail you want in a diagram of your genitals, but I can point you to two pages at The Marriage Bed that might be helpful for you. The first one is a description of the female genitals without a diagram and the other is a description with a diagram. You can view whichever one you find most helpful. You will also find a description of male genitalia on the site in the the Biology section if you would like information on that.

A lot of Christians grow up being taught that masturbation is wrong so you are not alone in that. The position we take at Christian Nymphos is that it is a neutral activity that can become sin in certain situations, not by what you do, but by what is happening in your heart when you do it. You can view an article on this at greater length here.

There is no wrong way to masturbate so it’s okay if you don’t know where to start. The purpose of masturbation, besides controlling your sex drive before you are married, is to learn what you enjoy and how your body responds to stimulation. Spend a few minutes in the shower or bath exploring what feels good. If you want to shave or closely trim your pubic hair, that is a good idea. Use a mirror and look at your body to understand where your clitoris is and take the time to learn its role in arousal. Using the diagram or description in the link I provided, see how your own genitals compare as we are all a little bit different. The more comfortable and educated you are about your body, the better off you will be when you are married and become sexually active.

You may also find this article helpful as you prepare for your honeymoon.

Fantastic Honeymoon Sex Guide for the Virgin

Thank you for your question and feel free to ask if you would like more information.

16 Comments

  1. I used to feel that masturbation was wrong even in marriage. I was always taught that it was a sin. I was scared that God would look at me as if I was some dirty nasty creature that He didn’t want anything to do with if I touched myself. I no longer have that problem. I know my boundaries and how far to take it. My husband is always at the center of my thoughts. Now the situation of masturbating in front of a future husband is not something I would not recommend. Things can get carried away too far, too fast, very quickly. Sex is an awesome thing especially with your husband. Anything done beforehand just spoils it somehow. I wish I had waited to give myself to my husband. It’s the most wonderful gift that you can give someone… yourself.

  2. I wish more people would realize this. It is so important to be comfortable with yourself and with your partner.

  3. I did not grow up in a particulary Christian environment. I never heard some of the rules about our bodies and behavior that is often mentioned here. I was never very bashful or shy about my body. There was some generic conversation as a preteen regarding waiting until marriage for sex, but it was followed up with ..but if you do, you need to get on the pill type rhetoric.

    One thing I have learned and that is so profound in my Christian walk is that we should not live in the past. We all have a past. It could be good, bad, or in between. You live in your life and marriage now and from here on out. We have all had some sort of misinformation in the past. Your tool is knowledge. Once you have been informed and have knowledge of something, reverting back to the former knowledge is looking back. That is not what Christians do.

    By all means cherish your Christian upbringing, it has made you the strong, good men and women that you are today. Just as you have left your childhood family and entered into a marriage, along with that comes a new and adult perspective. You are no longer a child, the things taught to you were in good fatih and were to keep you happy, safe and healthy. As an adult in the blessed covenant of a marriage, you hold a wonderful key. It can lock a door on old misconceptions or misinterpreted rules and open a new door on your life together, a life uniquely your own with your rules as Christian followers. The only way we will continue to survive as a Faith is to be happy in it and not shackled by it.

    God loves us for who we are. He wants His children happy and productive, not frustrated and guilt ridden.

  4. A friend and I where reading this and we came up with a question. We agree that you should not MB with your guy when your not married. But we were wondering about MBing while on the phone with each other. We have not done this but some of our friends have. what is your opinion?

  5. IMO this is a dangerous activity that can lead down a very slippery slope. You are basically talking about having phone sex, and that should be tabled until you say your vows.

  6. that is what we thought. thank you.
    I asked because some of my christian friends dont c it as wrong.
    Thanks again.

  7. masturbation is basically the only way that I can climax. I cannot have an orgasm by vaginal stimulation as many other women cannot. I am with my husband and thinking of him when this happens so there is no guilt. I cannot go throughout my life not climaxing while my husband does and not end up feeling resentful about that. He likes this and loves to watch me. It actually gets him “all fired up” and he’s ready to pounce,lol.

    I really don’t see anything wrong with it as long as it’s done with your partner.

  8. While I agree with most of what you have stated, there are some points I would like to address.

    First off, in other articles it has been made clear that kissing isn’t something that this site worries too much over, unless there is a person who feels strongly against this before marriage. This is a perfectly acceptable notion. The reason I bring this up is I do believe kissing is a form of expressing one’s affection to their partner.

    Along that note, when people are close to marriage, or have been dating for a while, and have a healthy relationship with themselves, they may masturbate. And perhaps while doing so, they may think of their spouse-to-be. This is also a form of affection to their spouse, albeit not in the partner’s presence.

    It has also been stated numerous times “a slippery slope” that can happen when things get too hot and heavy. Again, I completely agree. And you tell people to make specific guidelines to stick by in order to not go too far before marriage, to which is again a brilliant point.

    Where I fail to see the arguments validity is the fact that you are not impressed with premarital masturbation due to this “slippery slope” factor. One could argue the very same thing with kissing above the shoulders, as that can get quite passionate and may lead to an accidental orgasm (perhaps more with men, due to the physiology?) even with strict guidelines and not any “petting” as it were.

    Masturbation in front of a partner, is a self-induced orgasm with the object of your affection in front of you. If the other person respects the guidelines, there will be no touching by that partner. The other partner may reciprocate after, or during. Of course there is a chance that things could fall by the wayside, but by this logic, one could argue this could be a form of affection to your partner that enhances the relationship.

    The point of this post is that it should be more of a judgment call rather than a flat-out no. It depends on the individual. Some people (myself included) gets way more “fired up” to a kiss, rather than a quick jot down the self-pleasure road. Some people it’s the other way. Some people become quite aroused with feet. Where do they fall in this spectrum? One could argue that masturbation is solely about the genitalia, so it’s not a sin to become all hot and bothered with a foot rub by their fiancee.

    I’m not trying to be a pest, just a liberal Christian giving her point of view :).

  9. It’s my opinion that each person needs to learn how to manage their own purity. People establish boundaries based on their own weaknesses. Whatever the gateways are in your life to lust, those are the things that you need to manage. Kissing, feet, mutual masturbation, dozens of other turn ons. It doesn’t matter. If your argument includes that you can masturbate in front of someone you are not married to without sinning, I think that is inaccurate. We don’t have the right to take delight in the sexuality of someone we are not married to, as I understand scripture.

  10. I see and respect your point of view, but I disagree.

    You make a good argument, but on that logic, those that derive sexual arousal from a pretty face should not be allowed in public. It’s a weakness that leads to sin.

    We all know that what I stated above is ludicrous, and it is up to the person with a weakness for faces to use their judgment when going out in public. Why is the other logic morally unacceptable?

    It’s an exchange of love by a committed monogamous couple that involves no touching of the other partner. It could very well be on par with a love note that could mention a kiss. The note itself could “delight in the sexuality” (the definition of sexuality I’m using is ‘The condition of being characterized and distinguished by sex’) of their partner, yet not deemed bad.

  11. So touching is all that matters? That doesn’t sound liberating at all. What is in our hearts and minds is far more important than what we do.

    I don’t expect to convince you out of your opinion, but it sounds like you are trying to establish a rule to fit everyone (“It’s an exchange of love by a committed monogamous couple that involves no touching of the other partner”) and I just can’t see us coming to an agreement on this. I’d far rather take on the responsibility for purity in my heart than simply make a random no touching rule.

    Thanks for participating anyway.

  12. Fornication is sex outside of marriage, and adultery is sex with someone other than one’s spouse.
    Matthew 5:28 tells us “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
    If one can commit adultery in their heart, then fornication can just as easily be committed the same way, in the mind and heart. Even if someone is engaged to be married, that does not mean that they ARE married yet. I personally was engaged to be married to someone (before my DH). We engaged in such things as you (Anna) are advocating, thinking that it was fine because we were going to get married soon. We ended up breaking off the engagement and going our separate ways. I struggled with terrible guilt over my sexual sins for years in my marriage before I repented and accepted the Lord’s wonderful forgiveness. It affected my sex life with my DH terribly, knowing in my heart that I had mentally and physically done things with and in front of someone besides my DH. And the memories, well they don’t just *poof*, go away. I prayerfully ask God every day to remove those thoughts from my mind.
    Masturbation with another person is not just cute and special and a kind loving thing to do with them…. It is an act of sex with that other person. I promise you, the man that is doing it with you is not thinking “aw, how sweet of her.” he’s mentally having sex with you.
    Hebrews 13:4 says: “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
    ONLY in marriage is sex (any type of sex) honorable.
    I don’t believe that we should justify ourselves sinning in our hearts just to get around the Bible. It’s pretty cut and dry to me. Why try and bend the truth to suit our needs at the cost of God’s judement?

  13. religion motivates people by guilt. rules rules and more rules. rules to bend and interpret to suit ones needs. it was created by men, for men to provide some sort of artificial measure of superiority over one another. we are all sexual beings and we should learn to enjoy our bodies to the fullest without all of this self imposed repression. get over it. you only live once. when you are gone, you’re gone.

  14. It seems by your statement, freedom that you are not saved by grace. I believe this blog or website is for chritian women.erin is correct, we love Jesus and if we do we must obey his commands. The book of John is clear. Sex is great but only with your spouse. Its lile driving a car without a license or no insurance. Trust me you are bound to the laws of the land then how much more not our heavenly father. You see them as rules but in Gods eyes it is his way of protecting us from harm. If you have children, do you let them do whatever they feel like doing because they want to or it feels good. Of course not, and God is the same way. His word is here to guide,protect, and bless us and yes when we do wrong because we are human correct us. Only parents who love their children correct them and God corrects us because we are His children and not orphans. What a wnderful god we serve that he cares about everything in our lives. Girls keep the faith in His word and His holiness

  15. My husband as been requesting this for years. I so badly want to do anything that he would desire so much, but when it comes down to it I really am repulsed by the thought of me self pleasuring. During any kind of sexual encounter, it is all about him. I feel like doing this to myself is taking away from my intimacy with him. I cant mentally get myself to the point where I am able to do this for him. I want to so badly but it is so embarrasing for me. If anyone has any advice to help me overcome this I would so appreciate it.

  16. Wow, I guess I would say to start with a prayer and start small. Maybe when you and he are making love you in a position that doesn’t give clitoral stimulation you can try touching yourself with a lubed up finger. That way it is part of what you are doing together.

    It sounds like you picked up somewhere that it is wrong. Try visualizing yourself facing whomever gave you that message and telling him/her/them that they are wrong. Do it often and pray for help in overcoming your repulsion. Maybe you should ask your H to pray for/with you about this too. That way he sees that you are trying to work it out so that you can give him the pleasure of watching you give yourself pleasure

    He wants you to do it so on some level you have to know that it would not be interfering with your intimacy but enhancing it.

    Praying about sex is something that has helped me and I never thought to do it until I found CN. I urge you to take the plunge. Good luck!


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