Talking to Children about Masturbation

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Plumpurple
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

Post by Plumpurple »

Tantalum wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:29 am Quite frankly, the idea of “enjoy masturbating but avoid thinking about specific girls as you are doing it” is just not realistic. A healthy young man will almost definitely fantasize about Chloe or Zoe or Jessy or whoever he fancies.
I think we have to make allowances for human nature.
How would you explain how to go about masturbating but not becoming indulgent of lust? Where would you suggest the line be drawn?
(Genuine question, not trying to sound oppositional)
newwifenewlife
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

Post by newwifenewlife »

IndyDad wrote: Tue Apr 02, 2024 10:29 pm .... The trick is at what age to talk to your kids and how much. Of course, early on parents have the "good touch/bad touch" talk – which actually may only confuse real young kids or scare them.
FYI, yesterday a fellow staff member who had worked as a social worker said that kids who have been sexual abused usually don't use proper medical terms for private parts. She said that it is important for parents to teach & use proper medical terms with their children (like penis, vulva, vagina, breasts, anus) because child predators/sex offenders typically don't. This helps kids in communication and trust with their parents, potentially helps identify when someone teaches them other nicknames for them, and may scare away sexual predators when kids demonstrate proper language and terms. IOW, get comfortable and properly educate one's kids, you never know what you may have done to save your kid and stop a predator.
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

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Plumpurple wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 7:48 am
Tantalum wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:29 am Quite frankly, the idea of “enjoy masturbating but avoid thinking about specific girls as you are doing it” is just not realistic. A healthy young man will almost definitely fantasize about Chloe or Zoe or Jessy or whoever he fancies.
I think we have to make allowances for human nature.
How would you explain how to go about masturbating but not becoming indulgent of lust? Where would you suggest the line be drawn?
(Genuine question, not trying to sound oppositional)
Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure that I would be able to explain the difference between normal sex drive and indulging in lust.
I can only really go by my own experience: I fantasized about girls when I was a teenager and to be honest with you, I don’t feel it damaged me. Or if it did, I am not aware of it. So I’m not sure what advice I could give to a teenage boy that would not sound hypocritical or pontificating.
But, to turn the question round: where would you draw the line? I’m totally open to people’s ideas and have no illusions that I get things right.
garyb
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

Post by garyb »

As a young adolescent, doing what ‘felt good’, then discovering the resulting orgasm/ejaculation (I don’t even think I knew those terms as a 12-13 yo), was enough for me. There was no fantasizing about anyone. I just learned when I do this, in addition to feeling good, the end result felt great. I didn’t start dating until I was 16 and only had 2 gfs. There was no sexual intimacy with them first one and some with the second one. (i.e. hjs, bjs, heavy petting). I just don’t remember fantasizing whenever I masturbated. I married then second one over 43 years ago and as they say, the rest is history.

** Updated Years Married -- How can I forget :lol: **
Last edited by garyb on Thu Apr 04, 2024 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mike smith
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

Post by Mike smith »

As I’ve stated before, I solved that issue before by having imaginary sex with my “wife”, she just didn’t have a face or name. I don’t even know it would have mattered if she had also had an imaginary face.
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

Post by Plumpurple »

Tantalum wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 8:14 am Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure that I would be able to explain the difference between normal sex drive and indulging in lust.
I can only really go by my own experience: I fantasized about girls when I was a teenager and to be honest with you, I don’t feel it damaged me. Or if it did, I am not aware of it. So I’m not sure what advice I could give to a teenage boy that would not sound hypocritical or pontificating.
But, to turn the question round: where would you draw the line? I’m totally open to people’s ideas and have no illusions that I get things right.
It's something I'm trying to work through myself. I don't think the reason for not lusting has to do with whether or not it causes us harm, but respecting God's creation as his rather than thinking highly of our own possession of it. I have not had the experience of fantasizing about others while masturbating and just went with the physical feelings moreso. Now I still don't usually think about anything in particular other than focusing on the sensations, or if I do it might be an encounter with my husband or imagining him offering the stimulus. But more often I don't imagine anything for masturbation. Or I experienced some stimulus that got me in a state of arousal, but didn't really dwell on it exactly as fuel. I have read "tame" erotica (saying that because after looking more into it I realized I've not read the "hard" stuff, but moreso romance novels with depictions of fairly normal sexual encounters that include a lot of the relational/romantic aspect. I've been in a process of discerning if that's wrong or not or how to express good judgment in those cases.

The tenants I hold pretty highly are 1) respecting God's creation as belonging to him, rather than free to be used however I please for my own desires. Therefore I should treat them and think about them with that respect, caring for something given to me rather than as something for my own use. 2) respecting others free will. 3) respecting my marital relationship as a gift from God through which to experience emotional, sexual and relational "oneness." By relational I mean that emotional and sexual are largely "experience" that are more based in feeling, whereas relational oneness is something we choose to enter into and intentionally cultivate. I shouldn't do things that violate the oneness intended for us in marriage, as marriage is supposed to be a reflection of God's relationship with the church through Christ and we shouldn't be allowing ourselves or encouraging ourselves to seek ways to be outside of it.

For me, fantasizing about a person other than my husband intentionally would be against my conscience (I'm not saying I find it a "sin" to get turned on by passing thoughts or noticing someone attractive). Watching porn would be against my conscience. Continuing thinking about what a relationship would look like with someone else emotionally or sexually would be against my conscience.
As far as the "tame" erotica, I have confusion in discerning as I have posted about before. At this point it isn't something I seek out to indulge in, nor something I feel is missing from my life to live vicariously through literature, it's moreso just an arousing experience and I think much more about my husband than I do any specific act, person or visual. So it moreso begs the question to me: is it wrong to experience arousal or see/read something we know will arouse us? I don't necessarily think so, it's moreso about those other aspects of respecting our spouse and respecting God's created people as his own, and their own people, rather than for our own use, and honoring our spouse.

I also don't think I have everything right, so I'm open to other perspectives and I like the discussions.
Last edited by Plumpurple on Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

Post by LovHer »

Tantalum wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:29 am Quite frankly, the idea of “enjoy masturbating but avoid thinking about specific girls as you are doing it” is just not realistic. A healthy young man will almost definitely fantasize about Chloe or Zoe or Jessy or whoever he fancies.
I think we have to make allowances for human nature.
Yes, exactly. It was an example of what I wouldn't say.
It was easier for me to just not mention anything to my son about the fantasizing aspect. I'm wrestling with whether that was the right approach or not. I do believe that as a married man I need to be very careful about where I let my mind wander (whether while masturbating or not). Not sure I feel the same way for young boys who are just experimenting with things. I remember as a kid feeling like my thoughts were dirty because I fantasized while masturbating about having sex with one of the women I found hot. I remember feeling like God was not pleased with this. I had made a commitment to following Christ by then. I had read in the Bible that lustful thoughts are wrong. But I did it anyway and would often try to not put a face/name to the visual images – feeling that maybe that made it a bit better.
newwifenewlife
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

Post by newwifenewlife »

Tantalum wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:29 am Quite frankly, the idea of “enjoy masturbating but avoid thinking about specific girls as you are doing it” is just not realistic. A healthy young man will almost definitely fantasize about Chloe or Zoe or Jessy or whoever he fancies.
I think we have to make allowances for human nature.
Does that sound like wise, Scriptural advice? Or is it humanity trying to justify our own behavior rather than being challenged to raise the bar as God calls us to? I think PlumPurple says it well...

"The tenants I hold pretty highly are 1) respecting God's creation as belonging to him, rather that free to be used however I please for my own desires. Therefore I should treat them and thing about them with that respect, caring for something given to me rather than as something for my own use. 2) respecting others free will. 3) respecting my marital relationship as a gift from God through which to experience emotional, sexual and relational "oneness."

I think here's where a significant portion of the problem lies, we individually, and as culture, have equated our sexuality as only a physical need and drive that is to be fulfilled at any cost whenever we want. Have you heard all the stories about women being taken advantage of? All the "Me too" abuses by men? I would submit it start with the attitude suggested, "The standard is too high so let's make allowances" which in turn devalues God's creation and objectifies the opposite sex "for my sexual needs so I'll take whatever I want and when I want". This is what is the basic message of porn and why it's so addicting. I can get what I want, when I want, and if it's not enough, I can and will get someone/thing else to "meet my needs".

But let me ask this, is this the message we want to teach our children? More importantly, is this the message God intends for us to pass on to our children and churches: "Go ahead and masturbate and it's ok to fantasize about whoever you want while doing it because that's how your mind works". As a man, is that what we want for our wives, daughters, sisters? And lest we leave the other sex out, for our husbands, brothers, and sons? Does that seem to align with Romans 12? Phil 4? 2 Corinthians 10? Colossians 3? Galatians 5? and so many more Scriptures I won't even go any farther?

Getting back to the original question, I think we need to have more frank discussions with our children not only about the basic physical terms, drives and desires, we need to educate and communicate God's design and purpose...which probably means we need to continue to grow ourselves and our families in grace and truth about God's full purpose and creation in gender and sexuality as a whole.
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

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newwifenewlife wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 10:19 am
Tantalum wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 1:29 am Quite frankly, the idea of “enjoy masturbating but avoid thinking about specific girls as you are doing it” is just not realistic. A healthy young man will almost definitely fantasize about Chloe or Zoe or Jessy or whoever he fancies.
I think we have to make allowances for human nature.
Does that sound like wise, Scriptural advice? Or is it humanity trying to justify our own behavior rather than being challenged to raise the bar as God calls us to?
No, I don’t think I have any grounds to say that it’s wise, Scriptural advice. But the problem is that I have done things that disqualify me from saying to my son “don’t do this”, knowing all very well that, at his age, I did those things myself. It’s just hypocritical.
Also, if anyone asked me “ahem, mister, have you ever looked at a woman, other than your wife, with desire?”, I would have to admit that yes, I have even though, fortunately, thanks to God, those thoughts remained only thoughts.
So, quite frankly, don’t know how I could say to a young man “don’t you think of girls while you’re doing this or that”.
newwifenewlife
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Re: Talking to Children about Masturbation

Post by newwifenewlife »

Tantalum wrote: Wed Apr 03, 2024 12:41 pm ...

No, I don’t think I have any grounds to say that it’s wise, Scriptural advice. But the problem is that I have done things that disqualify me from saying to my son “don’t do this”, knowing all very well that, at his age, I did those things myself. It’s just hypocritical.
Also, if anyone asked me “ahem, mister, have you ever looked at a woman, other than your wife, with desire?”, I would have to admit that yes, I have even though, fortunately, thanks to God, those thoughts remained only thoughts.
So, quite frankly, don’t know how I could say to a young man “don’t you think of girls while you’re doing this or that”.
I think you and Scripture have excellent grounds to say that to your son. First, admit your shortfalls and what you learned and second, point to Scripture, God’s design and plan and the protections it gives us who obey.

The Bible is full of stories of imperfect people of faith who failed and that's the beauty of the Gospel and God's grace and mercy so I'd say you're in good company to share. It's not you, it's God. It's not you, it's His Word. If that's not good enough to share, then I'm not sure what we're supposed to do and our faith isn't worth anything.
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