Women do other things too…

It has been a long time. Two years, right?

I am so thankful for the blessing this blog has been to those of you reading and pray that it will continue to bless others. The things that I wrote are still just as true today as they were when written. But here’s the thing. My life is extremely different now that I have been married for several years, and not just sexually! So while I still have some to say on the topic of sex and masturbation, it’s not quite enough material to sustain this blog as is.

That being said, will you go on this journey with me to explore the things that women (at least this woman) do other than masturbate? For those of you who have actually read my blog posts, don’t worry. That’s not something I still indulge in. My husband is far too good at what he does! 😉

This blog may undergo a merge, a title change, or stay the same other than the content being a little more varied. We’ll play it by ear, but I’m glad to say that after a very intensive two years of God rooting out some sin in my life, I’m back! And if you want to know what that sin could be, you’ll just have to keep reading won’t you?

Masturbation – Wesley Hill

John Piper posted this on facebook the other day and I thought I would share it as well. 

Obviously, he is writing this for the benefit of men, but I think it could be applicable for women as well. He definitely has some interesting ideas that many would probably find intolerant, but I tend to agree with most all of what he has to say on the subject.

http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2014/02/escaping-the-prison-of-the-self

A Change of Pace

I have been writing this blog for nearly a year now. Almost every single Sunday, I have posted something that I hope has been beneficial to my readers and glorifying to God. But I have hit a wall. I have prayed about it and sat staring at the computer screen trying to think of something to write. And I end up with nothing. I mean I have thoughts, but none that seem significant enough to put out there. I feel like I am in danger of writing things just to write, of being repetitive, of trying to do this without the Lord.

I know there are plenty of things to be said in regards to pornography and masturbation. Both topics are equally unique but a huge part of who I am today. They have both caused me endless hours of frustration and anguish, and at the same time have given me perspective and understanding in a culture that becomes more and more sexualized with each new day. I desire to write about these topics, but I feel like God is telling me to wait and to dig deeper.

But I don’t want to let my readers down! Even the few that have been helped by this blog are important to me. Are you really finished with me concerning this topic, Lord?”

I don’t think He is finished. I think this may just be the beginning, or at least I am praying it is. But I may not have posts every Sunday like before. I may have to enter a season of research and talking to others. I need to gather data and stories and in turn share them with the world.

I know some of you reading this have your own stories and your own thoughts. I encourage you to take the opportunity I am presenting right now. I want you to write for this blog. Of course, I would have to approve of your writing, because let’s be honest here, I am trying to reflect Christ and can’t allow anything that would be dishonoring to Him. But I want to have different perspectives and other girls, teens, and women who just need to get some things off their chest and out in the open. I want this to be a place where you can release the pain that porn may have caused you. The frustration and confusion masturbation has granted you.

All I can do is ask. It’s up to you whether or not you answer. Until then, I will be seeking out what God would have for me with this blog. I am praying it will be far better than anything I could have dreamed of. I push on not because of my own strength, but because of Him who saved me from my sin and gave me a new name and a pure heart. I can never repay Him and I never have to. So I will press on until he would have me finish.

Modesty in a Sex-Saturated Culture

I think it is safe to say that the topic of modesty is a difficult one. There are people with all kinds of different opinions on it and most people cannot come to an agreement on what the guidelines should be for girls and women of this day and age.

I have heard so many different arguments as to why women should be able to wear whatever they want. “Guys should be able to control themselves” and “Women in other countries don’t always even wear clothing, so I am actually doing pretty well.” I understand if you are someone who is tired of being judged for what you wear, but could you at least come up with some better arguments? Or maybe it is just that there really aren’t any good arguments for your selfish desire to get what you want regardless of the consequences to others.

I don’t know if everyone else realizes it, but our culture is sex crazy. I don’t just mean we encourage sex, we worship sex. It is in every aspect of our culture from seemingly innocent television ads to easily accessible hardcore porn. Now before you get all defensive, I am not saying that you personally, as a Christian, are sex crazy, but the culture you live in is. You have to accept that to understand the rest of what I have to say.

There are tribes around the world that do have a vastly different dress code than we do. It is perfectly ok for Himba women to walk around shirtless. Nothing is odd about it. It sounds quite freeing doesn’t it ladies? I would love to not have to worry about what bra or shirt I am going to wear that day. But there is something else that they don’t have either. They don’t have the billboards that are encouraging men (or women) to go see these topless wonders. It is not often that they have time to just sit and watch a movie where the camera lingers on a woman’s cleavage and lets you watch as she slowly, seductively peels off her top. So to see a woman’s breast in that kind of culture isn’t quite as titillating to the everyday viewer.

Jump back into your own culture and the same thing can’t be said. Everywhere you turn, the world is telling you that certain parts of your body are tantalizing. That you can control a man with them and that every man wants to see them. So, is that why you want to show yourself off? Because regardless of the real reasons for why you want to show off your body, that is what everyone else will think you want. You can whine and complain that it just isn’t fair and everyone else is judgmental and guys should have more self-control, but it won’t do you any good. The truth will still be the same. The more you show, the less you are in control.

I will delve more into this in future posts, but if you haven’t heard this from me already, here it is. Porn is an addiction. Porn is everywhere in our culture and very easy to access. Porn is something that nearly every single man in your life has seen. Porn rewires people’s brain to view women as objects to use instead of people to share life with. So, the closer you are to being naked, the more you reveal your body to the world, the more you become like an object.

Let’s take it one step farther. Christian guys are no exception to the porn statistics. Once they decide to fight their desire for porn, it is no picnic. God gives them a way out when they are tempted, but you do not make it any easier for them when you flaunt yourself the way you do. It may not be your intention to make your brothers in Christ’s struggles even harder than they already are, but intentions hardly matter in this case.

You want to be intentional about something? Be intentional about dressing in a way that is above reproach. Be intentional about not asking how much skin is too much, but asking the Father in heaven who created you if what you are wearing is beautiful in His sight. Be intentional about wearing clothes that make you feel beautiful, but don’t have you obsessing over what other people think about your body.

Do guys need to have self-control regardless? Absolutely. I actually read an interesting blog post on this very thing. You can read it here if you would like. He is a little bit harsh (and I hope he wouldn’t actually talk this way to his young son), but the point is clear. Guys have to control themselves. But Christian women need to control themselves too.

You might be wondering what my specific guidelines are when it comes to modesty. I won’t share them with you, because that is not the point. The point is that if you aren’t willing to sacrifice your choice of clothing to help the men and women around you fight their battles with this sex-saturated world, then you are not laying down your cross daily and giving your body as a living sacrifice. And if you don’t even know what your clothing choices should be, maybe you should start asking the one who created you and not the world who would love to claim you.

“Then he [Jesus] said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.”

Luke 9:23

Search Terms That Make You Wonder…

I don’t have posts that are super light-hearted very often. Actually, make that never. But I can’t resist any longer, so here it goes.

As I am sure you have noticed, the title of my blog is pretty simple, could be considered controversial, and can also be misunderstood. To be honest, that is how I want it. I don’t want this to be a place that only Christians come across (although Christians are probably the main ones that are even contemplating the pros v. cons of masturbation). I want my blog to be something that anyone could happen upon regardless of their religion. I want people to know Jesus.

But now that I have been running this blog for more than six months, I have a good picture of what kind of person is viewing my blog when looking at their search terms. Sometimes, it is too good of an idea.

By now, most of you probably know my stance on pornography (it is pretty negative). If not, I will do a post on it sometime in the future I am sure. So, when I see some of these search terms I can’t help but laugh inside sometimes. For instance, a search term like “women who masturbate porn sex” makes me think that they were probably looking for something other than a Christian blog. And the fact that their search was interrupted by clicking on my blog kind of makes me sad and delighted at the same time.

I said I wasn’t going to get too deep in this blog, so I am just going to leave you with my top most ridiculous, disturbing, and hilarious search terms so far. Here it goes!

  1. “Women masturbation honeymoon” has actually come up quite a bit.
  2. “Women masturbate for cash” That is really sad.
  3. “Women are unhelpful” I literally laughed about that one.
  4. “Homeless people and health care” Haha! I did write a post kind of on this topic once, but I bet this person was a little shocked that my blog came up for it.
  5. “Masturbating with sheep heart” I really just don’t understand.
  6. “How to masturbate a goat” If someone wants to explain why anyone would be searching this, feel free (I may or may not allow your comment). This was searched several times. It is disturbing.

Those were the most outrageous so far. When I look through my search terms I am encouraged by all of the search terms that indicate people really are looking for answers and some are hopefully finding them through this blog. But there are also a lot of search terms that make me remember how sick this world really is and it reminds me of why we all need Jesus.

Testimonies

So, this post is going to be short, sweet, and to the point.

I just added a page called testimonies where I will be posting people’s testimonies about their struggles with pornography and/or masturbation. Sometimes, knowing that there are others out there who have a similar story as you do (especially in the church) can help you get to the other side. We are all unique in the way God made us, but many people share similar life stories that are meant to be shared to uplift and encourage one another.

If you are interested in having your own story posted, please contact me at my email: mtorik89@gmail.com and I will respect your anonymity.

Visions From Above

All I could see was a hand reaching out of the impenetrable darkness. The people that were with me all stood around looking at the hand, but no one seemed inclined to reach for it. None of us were really sure what to do. All of the sudden, I was looking beneath the darkness that the hand was reaching from. I could make out a vague form, but didn’t know who it was. This person was holding on to some sort of light source, but was covering it so that none of it could shine to reveal who was beneath the darkness…

This was a vision I had after asking God to speak to me. I felt strongly that He wanted me to share this with my small group from church and so I obeyed his commands. Even though it has been a week after I shared this particular vision, it has still been on my mind when I have asked God if there is anything He wants to speak to me. Specifically, when I asked him what I should write about for this blog, that vision came to mind once again. So, I am writing about it. I hope God uses it to speak to one or many of you.

I would not consider prophecy to be one of my key spiritual gifts. If you were to ask me what my spiritual gifts are, I would tell you words of wisdom and that I am a shepherd. My go to has never been healing, visions, or anything that people might consider “out of the ordinary”.

Something my pastor said a while ago changed my ability to be used by God in ways I would have never thought possible. He told us that the spiritual gifts were something to be desired by all. Well, I suppose that Paul originally said that in 1 Corinthians, but I actually began to understand it after the words my pastor spoke. Paul really meant what he said: everyone should desire and ask for the gift of prophecy. And most would say that visions of the kind that I got fall under that category.

I think the key to receiving this vision is simple. I asked. I don’t think it is my strength, but I do believe that I should always be willing to allow God to use me in this way. I should be willing to build up and edify the body of believers around me. I don’t know if this is something God will make me strong in, but I do know that if I never try, if I never step out in faith, if I never make myself available, I will never prophecy.

Paul says, “Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing?…But eagerly desire the greater gifts.” I think in that series of rhetorical questions the answer is “no” to all of them. But it doesn’t mean we can’t be used in ways that we aren’t comfortable with. If we are to eagerly desire these gifts, wouldn’t you think that there would be some benefit? Would God tell us to desire something that is completely unattainable? I don’t think so.

This means that not only should I continue to ask God to speak to me in visions for prophesying, but I should be asking God to use me in the other greater gifts as well. And the ones I listed aren’t even all of them! This doesn’t leave me feeling overwhelmed and helpless, but rather expectant and joyous!

We each have our part in the body of Christ. We each have our strength and our place, but sometimes God needs us to step out and desire something greater. Sometimes He needs us to fill in where others might be unwilling. Sometimes we may be used to do things greater than we could ever comprehend.

I am willing. Are you?

P.S. My husband told me I was stepping into a hornet’s nest by posting this. We shall see…

5 Reasons to Read “Sex Is Not The Problem, Lust Is”

I recently decided to read the book by Joshua Harris called “Sex Is Not The Problem, Lust Is.” I actually really appreciated the things he wrote and agreed with nearly everything he said in it.

I was surprised that we were in such agreement seeing as Josh also wrote the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” which got a lot of negative feedback from people I know and love. After reading his other book, I might reconsider reading his opinions on dating just to decide for myself whether or not they are worthwhile.  If any of you have read his dating book and have opinions on it, I would love to hear what you thought!

I hope to be writing more and have several ideas, but as you all know life sometimes gets crazy busy. I do have several ideas though and plan on posting more in the weeks to come! And, of course, if any of you have ideas or questions, I would really appreciate it if you would let me know! It gives me more to think on even if you happen to disagree!

For now, I would really recommend that any of you who may have questions regarding masturbation or an addiction to pornography read this book about lust. Joshua Harris makes extremely good points and here are a few of the things that I really appreciated about it:

1. He never gets too graphic when describing scenarios. Authors that give more detail than necessary often cause those of us who already struggle with lust to use what is supposed to be helpful to fuel lustful desires.

2. There is a whole chapter on masturbation, and it is extremely helpful. Again, not too graphic but enough detail to know exactly what he is talking about. It is not often that I have been able to find books that dedicate a whole chapter to this topic and I actually agree with everything that is said and the way it is discussed.

3. Everything he says points you back to Jesus and to His Word. There is a whole section in the book that has key scripture verses specific to dealing with lust for you to quote and store up in your heart for times of temptation.

4. It is not extremely long (192 pages) and is a very easy read. I have found that a lot of spiritual books will be longer than necessary and just repeating the same concept over and over with nothing new added in the mix. Joshua Harris repeats the gospel and the need for Jesus often, but adds something in every chapter.

5. It is so worth it for anyone who deals with lust in their lives, whether single, dating, or married (so, basically everyone).

The only thing that I found myself disagreeing  with Josh on was the small section about how guys and girls should interact in male/female relationships. He encouraged everyone to engage more in more in relationships with the opposite sex in order to be good brothers and sisters to one another, but didn’t specify what that would look like. I just think it could be dangerous for those who don’t have good boundaries with the opposite sex and it could encourage lust rather than prevent it. It definitely doesn’t detract from the book in its entirety though, and that is just my personal view on that.

I hope you will consider purchasing or borrowing this book from a friend or the library. Trust me, it will be worth the read!

If you want to purchase it you can get it either on Amazon or Christianbook.com.

Images II

I recently talked about the importance of choosing the images that you focus on during sex with your husband. Translation for those who are single: don’t focus on any images now that you would not want in your mind then.

But that is not why I am writing this follow-up post. In my last point, I talked about how it is difficult to visualize my husband and I while we are having sex.

Some might point out that it makes sense and it would be difficult, you can’t see yourselves! Well, as you all know, this is the day and age of technology that makes all of your wildest dreams come true!

You could record or take sexy pictures to help you get turned on easily enough. And really, there is nothing wrong with this. But my husband and I won’t be doing this. Why?

Don’t get me wrong. We like to have a visual aspect of our experiences together, but we get that through other means that are not permanent.

The trap that I see lying in wait is this: placing our desires into something that is not only inanimate, but an image of who we once were sets us up for dissatisfaction in the future.

You both will gain and lose weight as the years go by. You both will become more wrinkled, less flexible, and the list could go on, but I really don’t want to depress you. If you allow yourself to focus on a younger version or a “better” version of yourself, you will struggle with feelings of discontent and longing for what once was. Perhaps you are that person who is completely confident in how you look and this is not a problem, but I know I am not that person and I believe there are many others who would feel the same.

I don’t want to give myself any more reasons to doubt my husband’s love for me and the desire he has for who I am now. He is satisfied with me. And I choose to believe him, even after gaining a few pounds and becoming less toned than I was in the beginning. I choose to believe him.

But if I were to find him looking at the pictures I could have given him at the beginning of our marriage more often than he looked at the body I have currently, I know that would affect me negatively. What would I do? Force him to throw them away? Allow him to continue, lowering my confidence along the way?

Instead, we chose to avoid that unpleasant decision making. We chose to be delighted in each other’s bodies as they are. Through the consistencies and changes of life, through joys and tragedies, we will learn to love and desire what is true in one another. I, for one, am excited to take this journey with my husband.

Communication is the Key

I had some feedback on a recent post that got me thinking about how masturbation has affected my marriage.

I won’t lie to you, my past struggles haven’t damaged my marriage significantly. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I was able to explain the things that I like more easily to my husband. To put it bluntly, we have a great sex life.

But I don’t think the real reason for our great sex life is because of my experiences with masturbation.

A friend told me a few weeks before she got married that she had never masturbated. I wasn’t too surprised, but did wonder how that would change their sex life. Apparently, not much at all. According to her and her husband, they have a fantastic sex life and it was great from day one. If masturbation was the key to having a great sex life, then how could this be the case?

Communication will drastically change a woman’s ability to enjoy a sexual experience with another person. If you communicate well, things typically go well. If there is miscommunication or a lack thereof, things come to a screeching halt.

Masturbation cannot fix a person’s inability to communicate. In fact, it will probably cause you to enjoy your own touch more than your husband’s. Let’s face it, masturbation is easier than communicating to a man that doesn’t always understand the female mind.

This friend of mine probably didn’t know much about her body and how it worked sexually, but before she got married and started having sex, she asked questions; lots of questions. She became informed and she learned how to communicate well with her spouse. If you can’t communicate, it doesn’t matter how much you masturbate as a woman, you probably won’t enjoy sex like you could.

I hear it said a lot that masturbation is necessary for people to explore their sexuality and to be ready to have a sexual partner. It just isn’t true. Putting aside what you believe about how right or wrong it is, masturbation is not a necessity for a woman to have a good sex life. However, good communication skills are.

As a married, Christian woman, I will be completely honest: although masturbation didn’t ruin my marriage or even cause many issues, it could have. My husband didn’t know exactly how I would like things from the very beginning. Sex has always been good because of communication, but it has gotten better as time goes by because he knows me, not because I know me. Like everything else in marriage, sex is better when you’re both being selfless, not selfish.