Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Masturbation for Porn Addicts is Just Like Methadone for Drug Addicts
If there’s one topic that freaks Christians out the most, it’s masturbation.
When you tune into the discussion, it can get alarmingly serious.
There are believers who stand on either side of the fence on this topic, but overwhelmingly within the Church, masturbation is considered off-limits.
In a world of passionate forbiddance, I’d like to stand up and ask…
What if masturbation could heal us?
What if there are people and situations being overlooked in the debate?
What if masturbation is more of a grey area that we ever anticipated?
You’ve probably heard that porn is like a drug. It affects your brain in the same way heroin or cocaine can. Both behavior and substance can become addictive, and users may become dependent, requiring heavier doses to experience the chemical ‘rush’. With both sexual behaviors and drug use, withdrawals are a common struggle when beginning the recovery journey. The suffering associated with withdrawals often leads to relapse.
The solution for heroin or other opioid addicts is Methadone. It is a prescription drug which eases withdrawal symptoms to make the transition to sobriety possible in those first few weeks or months. It is a controlled and safer substance, but is still addictive in itself and carries risk. It has been used successfully to treat recovering addicts and is a method accepted within society.
The sex or porn addict on the other hand, is expected to make a full recovery by going ‘cold turkey’ overnight. Assuming they are unmarried, the addict is encouraged to remove every sexual outlet in their life. Why do we expect success if we know other addictions are so difficult to recover from without a pseudo-drug or at least a gradual weaning process?
What if instead of eliminating absolutely everything sexual, which like a starvation diet, encourages relapse or bingeing, the addict could work on individual struggles one at a time? Masturbation may be the final frontier to conquer. What if it helped them to truly find freedom?
Perhaps masturbation could be Methadone for the recovering sex addict.
If you’re burning with rage, or are already scheduling in a handy little marathon, hold up. This is not a free for all. Let’s talk accountability.
How would you feel about allowing masturbation in your life…under supervision? I don’t mean your accountability partner needs to watch you do the deed. But, in your ongoing accountability journey, take two simple steps. Firstly, determine your personal boundaries. Within a Christian worldview, perhaps masturbation could be helpful if it’s private, safe, not compulsive, not being used to withhold marital intimacy or bury emotion, is free from lustful thoughts or is part of a therapeutic program (I know, makes it difficult doesn’t it?). Next, commit to being open with your accountability partner about when you do masturbate, and why.
Whether you feel convicted to pursue a life with or without masturbation, accountability is key. Orgasms are powerful. Once you start experiencing them, you’ll think having sex with anything and everything is a great idea. Both lifestyles open themselves to bingeing or relapsing. You need someone to keep you on track.
What if allowing masturbation and removing the shame could actually break the cycle of addiction?
— Alice Taylor, XXXchurch, What if Masturbation Could Heal Us? March 20, 2018