Dear Yaw

Can A Christian Masturbate?

Dear Yaw

I’ve been friends with this girl in my Christian youth group since I was 17. Over the years we have grown closer and are in courtship. We both decided to wait to have sex until we are married as our religion prohibits premarital sex. It has become so difficult because anytime I’m alone with her, I think of having sex with her. My feelings for her is so strong its hard to control myself. I don’t want to tell her for fear she won’t see me again. I’m suffering and I want to know if it’s a sin to masturbate as its the one option that can relieve me from this pressure?

-Adam S


Hi Adam

Based on my long-term research into psychology and violence, it is clear to me that suppressing our feelings is the fundamental cause of violence. Whether we inflict that violence on ourselves, on those we love or those we do not know, or even the natural environment, we only do it because we are unable to feel and to behave powerfully in response to those feelings.

Sexual feelings are part of our evolutionary inheritance; a gift from God, if you want to see it in that way. And they are vitally important. In some traditions, Christianity included, the sexual feelings between a man and a woman are supposed to be put aside until marriage. If people choose to accept this limitation on their behaviour because of their faith/beliefs, then the natural feelings should be given another outlet for the important reason that suppressing feelings is always dysfunctional.

In short, if you and your girlfriend have agreed not to have sex yet, then I encourage you to masturbate as often as you feel that you need to do so. No harm will come from this and it is an appropriate behavioural release for the feelings. I also encourage your girlfriend to do the same, if she feels the urge to do so.


Robert J Burrowes

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes (Yaw) has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence. He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981. He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’ His email address is and his website is here.

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