Home Made Porn

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We received a question for our Ask Doug video feature, and I thought it might be wiser to answer it here. The question has to do with what a husband and wife may do sexually when they are separated for an extended period of time. Military deployments provide a good case in point.

It is quite possible that some regular readers of this blog might feel like both the question and the answer fall under the TMI category, as in, Too Much Information. If you are likely to fall into such a category, I will put a discrete “read more” break here, and you may walk away and pretend as though you didn’t even read this far.

Here are the questions:

Q1:  Is it necessarily sinful for a man to masturbate to “porn” of his own wife when away for long time?  Obviously, the masturbation is the main issue… one can easily close his eyes and imagine memories.

And the second question is like unto it:

Q2:  Should receiving nude pictures of your wife by “secure means” (when you know you two will be geographically separated for long periods of time) ever be encouraged with a large motivation of having the man be detracted from the temptation of other women a husband may encounter?

The question would involve things like phone sex, nude pictures, cheesecake photos, homemade porn, and so forth.

I would like to break the answer into three sections. The first has to do with wisdom and discretion, the second has to do with the lawfulness of marital masturbation under such circumstances, and the third, has to do with lawfulness of things like homemade porn.

First, there is no such thing as “secure means.” Do you really want to have phone sex between you and your true love and some mouth-breathing functionary at the NSA? Has no one ever heard of lost phones? Or messages sent to the wrong address, whoops? Hackers? Even if you are a cyber-security ninja, there is still the human element. We have even had court cases already involving “revenge porn” — where a jilted lover posts sex tapes online as a way of getting back even.

This means that to use such devices increases the risk of an occurrence of voyeurism drastically. If the wife is nervous about such things, and the husband pressures her for it anyway, this means he is not sacrificing himself on her behalf at all. And if a wife is aware of such dangers and is willing for it, then perhaps she should check her heart — the thrill of a risked exhibitionism might be part of the equation, and that would not be a healthy impulse for her. But most likely, both the husband and wife just have a higher opinion of their abilities at keeping such things under wraps than they do. If you have homemade DVDs in your closet, does this mean that you and your wife are going to live forever? Is no one going to go through your closet when you die? Do you really want to leave that kind of surprise for the grandkids?

The second point has to do with the lawfulness of masturbation when a couple is separated for an extended period of time. There are lawful memories available, right? I address this whole topic in greater detail in my book Fidelity, but here it is in short form.

The Bible never says that such behavior is unlawful, and so we ought not go beyond what is written. We may not condemn what the Scriptures do not condemn. But we are allowed to be wary of things that the Bible doesn’t condemn by name. I would encourage husbands who are away from their wives for long periods of time not to simply assume that masturbation is their only recourse against temptation. It may not be.

And last, I want to address the pornification of modern life — and assume in the thought experiment that “secure means” really is possible. If it were possible to guard against voyeurism with the same degree of security that your bedroom lock and curtains provide, would it be lawful then? I don’t think it is possible, but what if it were? I would want to answer the same way I did in the second category above. It is wise to be wary.

As we should have learned decades ago, better than we did, the medium is the message. We should therefore not assume that a husband’s devotion to one digital image of his wife, as opposed to the other men in his unit, who all have a digital harem, is really different in kind. Is it all that different? If the medium is the message, then I suspect not.

As with all forms of human behavior, there can be a range. Some things might strike us as relatively innocent — a wife who is being seductive on Skype the night before her husband gets home, say. But then other forms of the same thing (technically) should strike us as seriously messed up. Suppose a husband masturbates to images of his wife of thirty years before. Something is demented there, and it rhymes with whatever his name is. A Christian husband ought to be sure to ask himself how this will help him honor his wife in such a way that his prayers will not be hindered (1 Pet. 3:7). Reducing her to same level as the residents of one-handed magazines doesn’t fit that bill.

So before rushing in with the sexual supplements that technological can provide, we really ought to think it through a bit more carefully. Otherwise, we are all just prisoners here of our own device.

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Roy
Roy
7 years ago

Interesting thoughts.
Prisoners perhaps, but many prefer life in the fast lane.

Linda French
Linda French
7 years ago

Christians are often called to do hard things, and when they are, they need to keep reminding themselves that they want their first goal to be honoring Christ and asking God to help them understand how to do that in each kind of circumstance.  Christian wives of military, I think, can help their husbands by talking about missing them physically without being graphic in an arousing way, while also agreeing with them before the husband even leaves home that talking sex over the phone or internet is probably only going to frustrate him.  Yes, sex is part of marriage, but… Read more »

Ben Bowman
7 years ago

A Hotel California reference, clever one. 

Robert
Robert
7 years ago

That revenge porn thing is no joke. I stumbled across one of those accidentally a couple of weeks ago. There were threats affiliated with the pics and I called the cops who took the whole situation very seriously. That website I was looking at was not supposed to be pornographic.

Tim H.
Tim H.
7 years ago

Both the patient and the doctor are real sickos.
 

Moor
Moor
7 years ago

Thanks for addressing this Doug.  You have managed to respectfully tackle the issue without using language or innuendo that might otherwise, especially with this topic, have taken away from the central theme.  To my mind, you have found a way to balance freedom and wisdom in your response.

Wayne Irby
Wayne Irby
7 years ago

Maybe the longing that results from the physical separation of a husband and his wife is a positive thing.  For me, it serves as a constant reminder that marriage is a picture of Christ and his Church, in the New Testament, and of God and his People, in the Old (both are really one in the same).  In at least one very real way, we are separated from our groom in this world.  We have seen the beauty of Christ and long for more (as a deer pants for water, so my soul pants for thee).  This keeps up watching,… Read more »

Roy
Roy
7 years ago

Wayne, that strikes me as a solid post. On a related note, did we lose the prior comment?

Wayne Irby
Wayne Irby
7 years ago

Roy,
before my post reads…. Your comment is awaiting moderation…
Wayne

John Barry
John Barry
7 years ago

It seems God designed into a man release in his sleep. Is God’s provision not sufficient?

John Barry
John Barry
7 years ago

Is the Holy Spirit in us constrained by a hormone?

DScully
DScully
7 years ago

TMI

Shake
7 years ago

what?

Bea
Bea
7 years ago

I don’t understand what is wrong with a husband looking at photos of his God-given wife from years before? For example: It is not uncommon for women, including christian women, on their wedding day, while they have a professional photographer or friend taking photos there already, to snap some ‘husband photos’ of them in their lingerie before they put on their wedding dress. I did. I hope my husband looks at them with joy and gratitude for the rest of our lives! 

Dr Alex De Jesus
Dr Alex De Jesus
7 years ago

Yopu did not address the questions, the answer is not why not to do what he suggests but what is it you can do given the scenario….abstinence, complete denial of erotic thoughts in the absence of the spouse, complete denial of the initiative of the spouse if it is she that starts the erotic interchange, pray together and masturbate alone only with her memories…come on this is an awesome rabbit whole….go down into it
with appreciation
Alex

Brooklyn
7 years ago

I appreciate how you covered the porn issue but  I was wondering if you have any advice for a chronically ill women and the inability, most of the time, to fulfill her husbands sexual desires.  Also, how to address his anger/bitterness at me when I am too sick to perform.  He has me out in the work field, high stress doctor’s office.  Many days I am sick when I leave, at work and come home.  Many nights I go straight to bed in severe pain but not before trying put some sort of good meal on the table.  I have… Read more »

Raymond
Raymond
7 years ago

“We are all just prisoners here, of our own device” … [breaks out into a solo]
Classic. I have never read this blog before, but I will be coming back for sure. :)

Raymond
Raymond
7 years ago

Brooklyn, that sounds really hard. I am a single male, and I am unlikely to understand your problem well! A couple of things I CAN say: The way you want to submit, or the way you want to submit sounds really admirable to me. An excellent quality, and a quality of Christ Himself as He submitted to His Father!! To submit to your husband is an imitation of Christ Himself, and it seems to me that this is what you have been doing, I am happy to hear of such people as yourself. It is also a husbands duty to… Read more »

Raymond
Raymond
7 years ago

In case people are wondering why I am reading this post as a single guy, I do think it is important to me to understand some things about marriage, I have found it necessary to look into a couple of things in order to try to correct/balance some things I’ve heard from/about Driscoll. My current understanding is that in marriage you aim to make the other person happy, you should not think of marriage(of which sex is sometimes, hopefully usually a part) as primarily a satisfaction of your own needs, but an opportunity to build up another person in grace,… Read more »

Raymond
Raymond
7 years ago

I wish there was an opportunity to edit posts. Change my 3rd post to:

That isn’t a rhetorical question, maybe yes ? maybe no? I don’t know. I think that it COULD POSSIBLY depend on whether the media was PERSONAL or not.

Valerie (Kyriosity)
7 years ago

Brooklyn — Have you talked with your pastor about this? I would recommend seeking spiritual counsel from someone close enough to really be able to see your situation.