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Frank Answers Some Personal Issues Regarding Masturbation

Pastor Frank Senn originally posted these responses to questions he received on his website Frank Answers.  In my opinion, he offers some of the most balanced answers to real-life questions.

From His Site:

All men masturbate from an early age. You would think its a natural thing to do and should not cause problems. But body issues are not just biological. Biological needs, such as expelling excess semen, interacts with one’s environment (e.g., privacy), experiences (e.g., the trauma of being caught in the act), social norms (e.g., religious teaching), and cultural expectations (e.g., not after marriage). So all sorts of issues are raised about masturbation at different stages in one’s life. Here are seven issues about masturbation for which I gave brief answers on the old blog. I collect them together here because they may be of more general interest. The questions asked include such issues as: catching your 13-year-old son masturbating to porn, masturbating with a buddy with your wife’s approval, getting a “happy ending” to your massage, dealing with a college roommate who likes to be nude and jerks off in front of you while watching porn, how often one should ejaculate, whether masturbation can become addictive, and how to masturbate mindfully. To these I add a question and answer about oral sex since the two often go together.

The Father-Son Talk

June 8, 2021


Dear Pastor Frank: My wife walked into our thirteen-year old son’s bedroom and interrupted him masturbating with his computer screen open in front of him. She quickly retreated as he closed the screen. She assumes he was looking at porn. She informed me of this encounter and suggested that perhaps it is time for me to have “The Talk” with my son. I see from your blog that you are open about discussing masturbation and pornography. Do you have any suggestions for how I might approach my son about these issues?

Dear Dad,

My father never had “the talk” with me and perhaps your father didn’t have “the talk” with you either. But it’s time to break the tradition of silence around sexual issues such as masturbation, and pornography also. If you have “the talk” with your son it will not be easy for either of you. He will suspect that his mother saw what he was doing and told you about it and will be embarrassed. But this situation could be the ice breaker to begin the conversation.

You should ask to see him in his room, since it’s his private space within the household. Sit down on his bed and just tell him that his mother is sorry that she interrupted him and that his parents weren’t aware that he had discovered masturbation. Admit to him, “My God, you’ve reached puberty and we should have paid more attention to the changes taking place in your body.” But also affirm that he’s of an age when all boys discover this pleasurable exertion with their penis, and the family members will have to adjust by knocking before coming into his room to respect his privacy.

If you had a personal experience of being discovered while “jerking off” (use the colloquial term also), tell him about it. This lets him know that you also masturbated when you were a kid and you can identify with his embarrassment. (Did a family member ever walk in on you while you were doing it?) You might ask him if he has any questions about what he has been experiencing physically. Point out that sometimes when we’re just getting started with masturbation the mystery of sex can be scary as well as pleasurable because at first we don’t know what’s happening down there. If he has questions, answer them as honestly as you can. If he doesn’t have questions, tell him that if questions come to him, he should be free to ask them. It’s not necessary at this point to give a sex education talk. Too much information can be overwhelming. He’s already overwhelmed that you’re openly talking with him about his secret sex. You might just cover a few practical issues, like the cum squirts all over the place (which he may have already experienced) and he should try to keep it contained. He could keep a Kleenex boor a roll of toilet paper under his bed so he can wipe off his hands and other body parts and squeeze the residue out of his penis.

As for the chat about porn, your wife assumed that’s what your son was watching. I wouldn’t accuse him of that. But you might tell him that you’d also like to have a discussion with him about the use of pornography. Admit to him that you didn’t have the internet to supply you with porn when you were his age (if you didn’t), but that boys were not lacking it in girly magazines that they used for the same purpose as those who look at internet porn: to masturbate. (That may whet his appetite to hear more.)

Your son has to realize that what he’s watching may not be real (unless its in chat rooms, which he shouldn’t be entering). It’s entertainment, and our own sexual practices may not be that acrobatic, just like we probably wouldn’t be able to do the things done in action films. Point out that there are good reasons why age limits are placed on entering porn sites. Young teens may not be mature enough for pornographic sex, just as they aren’t mature enough for actual sex. There’s some kinky and nasty stuff on the internet that we shouldn’t get into. The internet can be a dangerous place. There are bound to be pop up ads, and it would not be safe for your son to click on those ads.

Point out that we often fantasize when we are masturbating. Fantasizing is a creative mental activity. We do it all the time, and not just about sex. We don’t need stimulating images in order to fantasize. We should also just enjoy our bodies and the pleasures we experience when we touch ourselves all over. Encourage him to explore his body and experiment with different ways of reaching orgasm (use the word). (See my Frank Answer About Sexual Fantasizing.)

If you are a religious family, I would tell your son that we should be thankful for the gift of our body and its sexuality. We should honor the bodies God has created. If he’s interested in looking at beautiful bodies, introduce him to great works of nude art. (I’m serious!) There’s nothing shameful about the nude body and your son should not be ashamed of his body.

These are my thoughts about how to proceed. The main thing is that you want to be able to keep open channels of communication with your son as he grows into the complexities of the later teenage years. Maybe a good discussion about sex will open the possibilities for good conversation about other topics. I hope it works for you and your son.

Pastor Frank

Shot of a happy father spending time with his son

Man Masturbates With Wife’s Approval

May 21, 2021

During the pandemic, sex has slowed down with me and my wife. She hit menopause mid-pandemic, and sex really slowed down. I masturbate regularly, and she is fine with it. I also have masturbated occasionally with another male friend, just for fun. My spouse is fine with it, just thinks we are silly. But I wonder if that is a sin. And then the guilt takes over. I have enough guilt masturbating solo, but now with a friend? It gets bad, even though my wife just laughs it off. What do you think of it all?

Frank answers: I don’t think masturbation in and of itself is a sin. There’s nothing about it in the Bible. Masturbation has sometimes been called Onanism, with reference to Onan spilling his seed in Genesis 38. But the sin of Onan had nothing to do with masturbation. His sexual act was coitus interruptus so that he wouldn’t have to fulfill the Levirate law and provide offspring for his deceased brother by inseminating his brother’s wife. For this violation of his responsibility toward his deceased brother he was stoned to death.

The sin involved with most sexual acts has to do with relationships, not with sexual practices and techniques. Many men think they have to cease masturbating when they’re married. But your wife seems to be okay with you masturbating while she is “indisposed.” She even laughs off your scruples. She doesn’t want you feeling guilty about masturbating when she can’t have sex. It’s not adultery, like consorting with prostitutes or having a mistress on the side (although some wives have tolerated their husband’s sexual dalliances).

Most couples think that masturbation should end with marriage because you should be having sex with each other. But masturbating when married actually happens a lot. For example, during pregnancies and after child birth, as well as during and after menopause, men might practice solo sex simply because they need a sexual release that their wife can’t provide. There are times when intercourse is painful for the wife, especially after menopause because of the lower level of estrogen being produced by the body. The wife might be willing to help the husband “get off” by masturbating him when she isn’t up for sex.

Masturbating with a buddy would stretch the marital relationship for a lot of couples. Adolescent boys often masturbate together, and even in groups, when they’re exploring sexuality. Buddies have been known to do this even in adulthood, although usually before marriage. In recent years, however, men’s circle jerks have increased among both gay and straight men.

You say your wife just thinks it’s “silly,” which suggests she doesn’t take your buddy-buddy masturbation seriously. It’s probably not easy for you to explain your desire to do this. But you need to honestly come to terms with your own reason for doing this. What need is being met by masturbating with a buddy? Masturbation is a release of sexual tension, and doing it with someone else can heighten the intensity of the ejaculation (and maybe also overcome inhibitions).

You don’t say whether your male friend is gay or straight. It shouldn’t matter as long as it doesn’t lead to an entangling relationship such as a bromance, which is a close relationship between two men that goes beyond ordinary friendship because of its strong bonds of emotional intimacy. But if the male friendship doesn’t lead you away from your wife, there’s nothing wrong with close male friendship. Women often have their own close female friendships. Men also need buddies with whom to share intimate details about their lives. Some buddy relationships from youth last into adulthood, even when one or both of them are married.

The important thing is to be open with your wife about your friendships and activities. You seem to have her permission for you to have a jerk-off buddy, just as you have her permission when masturbating alone to satisfy your sexual needs. That’s nice for you. But I would also recommend being intimate with your wife in ways that are acceptable to her, including kissing, hugging, cuddling in bed at night, being naked with her if she is comfortable with that. You should show her that you are still committed to her as your wife and help her to feel better about herself. If you give her a lot of hugging and kissing and get turned on, she would know that your marital lovemaking led to your arousal.

Pastor Frank

What About a Massage with a Happy Ending?

May 6, 2021

Question: As a young gay guy I really appreciated your encouragement to get a nude massage. Having someone’s hands on my body during this pandemic sounds really inviting. I’ve read about massages with a happy ending and, I admit, watched videos. Is it okay to ask for one?

“Just relax. I’ll take care of you,” says the massage therapist.

Frank answers: A “happy ending” is having the massage therapist bring the male client to ejaculation and orgasm, usually by masturbation. No, it’s not okay to ask for a “happy ending.” Technically, in the U.S. the “happy ending” is illegal and most licensed massage therapists will not offer it. But many private male massage therapists who advertise a sensuous or erotic massage on masseurfinder will provide it as an organic part of the massage. it is illegal only if you pay extra for the sex. Sex for pay is prostitution. The massage therapist will not offer you a happy ending. That would be solicitation for sex. So don’t ask for a happy ending. But you can indicate your interest by the way you respond to his touch. The therapist will understand. If the “happy ending” is simply part of the massage, it is not illegal; it would be construed as consensual sex. But you may show your appreciation by adding to your tip.

“Ah, yes,” thinks the client.

The U.S. and many Western nations have laws against sex as part of a massage. However, I want to argue that a genital massage is actually therapeutic and it’s too bad that Western laws do not allow it to be a part of a full body massage. The penis is a muscle that needs work just like the rest of the body to help with blood circulation and loosening connective tissue. Many tissues and nerves come together in the pelvic and genital area that are neglected in the typical Western massage. A genital massage, which includes the surrounding area, is actually offered in men’s spas in Singapore and Malaysia under the category of men’s health. It’s called urut batin, which means something like “inner energy massage,” and uses acupressure points intended to keep the sexual organs healthy for reproduction and even quality sex.

Malaysian/Singaporean “manhood” massage

Prostate massage is also healthy for men, especially older men. At one time, years ago, you could routinely receive a prostate massage from your family medical practitioner. Maybe if that continued to be done today more instances of prostate cancer would be detected early. Access to the prostrate is through the anus, and some massage therapists know how to give it. But it does involve fingers going into the anus, which many men experience as pleasurable, even if a bit painful at first (like any rectal exam). And it might cause ejaculation. You could ask a massage therapist if he knows how to give a prostate massage.

Anything that happens between the massage therapist and client is by mutual consent and develops over a period of time with repeated visits. I enjoy a hug before or after a massage. This is also a healing touch. I told my male massage therapist that the Austrian woman massage therapist I had before him used to give me a hug. He said, “That can be arranged.”

Pastor Frank

Nude Roommate Masturbates to Porn

August 25, 2021

Question: I am 18 and just moved into the dormitory. My roommate is open about nudity and he seldom wears anything when in the room. One morning I woke up and he was jerking off on porn on his bunk. I felt a bit embarrassed but on the other hand I felt aroused. What should I do?

Frank answers: If you’ve not lived in a dorm before, you’ll find that it is a unique experience. At age 18 you are undoubtedly away from home for the first time and now you need to develop a relationship with a guy you didn’t know previously and in a tight living space. You say you were embarrassed by the fact that he masturbated while watching porn while you are present in the next bunk. You also may not be used to someone who enjoys nudity.

First, let’s deal with the fact that your roommate is uninhibited about being naked. The degree to which domestic nudity is accepted differs from one family to another. You are under no obligation to join him in his preference to be unclothed. But I think it’s not possible to be living in close quarters with someone and not see each other naked at some point. I mean, you change clothes and take a shower every day and your roommate is likely to be in the room. Even in the 1960s when I lived in dorms, some roommates were more modest than others; some seemed to have no modesty at all and would just walk around naked. You will have to figure out to what degree you want to be nude in the room and the two of you will have to accept each other’s preferences.

Second, there is the issue of masturbation. All men do it, and young men do it a lot. I presume you do also. But you’ve probably not seen someone else do it. Again, in close quarters it’s hard to be coy about this. Even if he were jerking off under the covers you would still know what he’s doing. What do you do when you want to jerk off if you don’t want to be seen by your roommate?

There’s a lot of tension to being away from home in college during a pandemic. Masturbation is a form of safe sex that is also tension-relieving and helps one to sleep better at night. One could even regard it as therapeutic in our present pandemic situation. It’s been recommended by health authorities like Mayo Clinic and the New York City Health Department.

You could have a discussion with your roommate about this and work out an arrangement whereby one leaves the room when the other has an urge to relieve himself. Or, you could also just ignore him when he is doing it, perhaps by rolling over in your bed so you are not facing him, or burying yourself in a book (as if you would be able to concentrate with your roommate jerking off!). A degree of tolerance would be the best recommendation for getting along.

Most young people also watch porn. Guys have probably always jerked off to porn. Back in my college dorm days we had Playboy and other girlie magazines. This should be considered private viewing unless you want to share something on the screen with each other. You are under no obligation to participate in this pass time with him.

You said that you were aroused by your roommate’s activity. What aroused you? The sight of him masturbating or the porn he was watching or your roommate’s nude body? All three together could be a powerful arousal combination. Maybe you wanted to join him in masturbating at that moment and that’s what created your conflicting feelings. You need to sort out these feelings and discern what turned you on. Maybe it was just his sense of freedom to do these things. So maybe you could summon the same sense of freedom to masturbate when the urge comes to you. You could also ask him to respect the fact that two people are living in a small space and that you think solo sex, like any sex, ought to be private. Those are your options.

Best of luck in navigating these issues with your roommate and getting to know him better. I hope you have a successful term in college. If you have further questions, please ask.

Pastor Frank

Looks like naked roomie is taking a photo of his erection. The other roomier is doing his best to ignore this.

To Ejaculate or Not to Ejaculate; That is the Question

August 1, 2020

Question: I’ve been reading online about the benefits of frequent masturbation, since I do it a lot. There are studies that suggest that frequent masturbation (21+ days per month) can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. But there are also articles that claim that by masturbating frequently you actually lower your sexual energy. Do you know about these conflicting claims and do you have any words of wisdom about them?

Answer: As a matter of fact, I am aware of the major study about the relationship of ejaculation (not only by masturbation) to prostate cancer, and I also know of Chinese/Tibetan/Indian ideas about the value of semen retention. I am not an authority on either, but I have an interest in both. I am a colon cancer survivor since 2006 and the causes of cancer, especially in the lower part of the body, became matters of interest to me. I am also a yogi and have studied Indian yoga philosophy, Tibetan Tantra’s interest in managing the body’s energy (pranayama), and related theories of the body’s energy in Taoism (chi).  

The major study is reported in an article by Michael Leitzmann and colleagues in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2004, titled “Ejaculation frequency and risk of prostate cancer.” The data and this report have since been analyzed and discussed in other journal articles. Leitzman et al. reported on a study of over 29,000 male health professionals whose health was followed for a period of 18 years. The data collected included the question of frequency of ejaculation. Several thousand reported incidents of prostrate cancer at the end of the study. By comparing the frequency of ejaculation all the men in the study had reported, the Leitzmann report concluded that high ejaculation frequency was associated with a lower incidence of prostate cancer. Averaged across a lifetime, those men with higher frequency of ejaculation (21 or more times per month) lowered by 33% the risk of developing prostate cancer. Those with a lower frequency of ejaculation (4 to 7 times per month) lowered the risk by 11%. So the headlines in the news feed proclaim that frequent ejaculation reduces prostate cancer risk. It’s a remedy many are happy to undertake.

But before you get too excited, let me note several problems with this study. It does not distinguish between types of ejaculation (masturbation, sexual intercourse, or wet dreams). Also, the subjects self-reported. A problem with many self-reported studies is that subjects are asked to remember things that occurred over a period of years. Most importantly, the study of health professionals was a select group (cohort) who might be more concerned about leading a healthy life than the average man. So this was not a study of the general male population.

Moreover, the problem with cancer is that it’s hard to pinpoint the cause. We all have cancer cells in the body. What factors cause them to metastasize?  In my family my father had rectal cancer, a sister had breast cancer, my brother had pelvic cancer, and I had colon cancer. In my case it looks like genes were a major cause. Genetics can also be associated with prostate cancer. Life style choices (e.g. alcohol, smoking, diet, drugs) and quality of environment (like working conditions) can also be contributing factors to various cancers.

The correlation between frequency of ejaculation and prostate cancer should concern all men, but especially older men who ejaculate less frequently since incidents of prostrate cancer usually occur most frequently in older men.

Prostate massage (also known as “prostate milking”) was adopted in the late 19th century as a medical procedure to address such conditions as enlarged prostate, prostate inflammation, difficulty in urinating, and erectile dysfunction. An examination of the prostate requires inserting the finger into the anus to feel the prostate glands. Relief is provided by massaging the glands, resulting in the expulsion of seminal. General family medical practitioners used to do this, but don’t any more. Prostate massage might be done by a urologist, who will check out your prostate anyway if you go in for an exam.

Prostate massage was adopted as a therapeutic technique by the Royal Institute of Massage at Stockholm at the beginning of the 20th century. But because feeling the prostate is associated with anal sex (which, in fact, it is!), I would be cautious in asking an American licensed massage therapist about prostate milking unless you know that LMT pretty well because, ethically, it’s a “touchy” subject. That’s too bad because prostate massage for routine maintenance could probably help a lot of men. But the MT needs to know what he’s doing and use lots of oil.

The bottom line is that frequent ejaculation is associated with less risk of prostate cancer. But why that is the case remains a matter of speculation, not scientific study. Frequent ejaculation is no guarantee of not getting prostrate cancer, nor is infrequent ejaculation a guarantee of getting prostate cancer, since cancer can be caused by various factors.

And now about Asian practices of semen retention.

Drawing from an ancient Chinese sex manual

Why practice semen retention? In practical-minded Taoism, it was to have better sex! As strange as it may sound, semen retention improves your sex life. One of the common issues men have is premature ejaculation in intercourse. Sexual gratification usually takes longer for a woman to achieve. If a man is able to maintain sexual arousal for as long as he desires, it not only allows the woman to reach climax, it heightens the climaxes for both when they come together.

There are techniques that can be learned to do this, but they all involve retaining the semen. In medieval Tantra the techniques enabled adepts to have orgasms without ejaculation, thus conserving the body’s energy. The practices were esoteric and ritualized and required initiation. In Taoism the techniques are more ordinary, such as moving toward the edge and then pulling back. The point is to hold back orgasm while in coitus until you sense that your partner is coming. The sex is more intense if the partners can achieve orgasm simultaneously.  

In non-western medical traditions such as Indian Ayurveda, Chinese or Tibetan medicine, it is widely believed that retention of semen is a source of health, strength, vitality, and general well-being. We can know in our own bodies the drain of energy that is felt after orgasm. We often have sex or masturbate in bed at night precisely so we can fall asleep afterward. If it was an intense sex session we are spent. Orgasm depletes enormous energy from the endocrine and nervous systems, leaving the body weak and lethargic until the energies are gradually created again. The ancient Chinese had this all figured out. I recommend The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity: A Modern Practical Guide to the Ancient Way by Daniel P. Reid (New York: Touchstone, 1989), Part II: The Tao of Sex, especially Chapter 7: Ejaculation Control (pp. 254-72).

Ancient Greek physicians and philosophers such as Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Galen, and Aristotle were horrified by the waste of semen. In their view semen should be retained for procreation. As philosophers, they were also concerned about how the saved energy in the body should be used in a productive life. This was all before Christianity came along and embraced similar ideas, although unfortunately Catholicism enforced them as moral law through the confessional rather than as wisdom for life.

Paying attention to the body’s wisdom is always important. It is commonly known among athletes and martial artists that avoiding sex, including masturbation, before a competition or a game gives you more energy for the event since expelling  the sexual energy results in a depletion of strength and concentration.

Bottom line: holding the charge until you’re ready to fire will produce better results. Even young couples who have sex frequently will improve their experience by taking a night off once in a while to replenish their sexual energy. This also applies to masturbation. If you give it an occasional rest you can build up energy for a bigger orgasm, maybe at a time when you really need it or would enjoy it more. Moreover, don’t masturbate while watching porn. Your energy goes where your attention is. If your attention is on the porn your energy will go into the computer screen. You want it to go into your body, focus on your body. That’s where your sexual energy is and that’s where your attention should go.


Photo by Stefano Cavoretto

Can Masturbation Become Addictive?

August 20, 2020

Question: Thanks for answering my question about if one can ejaculate too much. My follow-up question is whether one can become addicted to masturbation. I masturbate a lot—almost daily for the past seven years since I began doing it at age thirteen. I’ve read some stuff online that says masturbation can become addictive. Do you think it’s possible to become addicted to masturbation?

Frank answers: So, from your timetable, it would seem that you are a twenty-year old wondering if you should back off the frequency of teenage masturbation. There’s some disagreement among psychologists about whether masturbation can really be considered an addiction like addictions to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, porn, or even sex (with partners). Unlike these other addictions, masturbation does no harm to the body or to relationships (unless you prefer satisfying yourself more than your marital partner). So if masturbation is considered an addiction it would be for psychological reasons.

People masturbate because it is a safe form of sex that gives pleasure and releases tension in the body. These are biochemical reactions. Masturbation releases the chemical dopamine into the body, which is associated with pleasure. This makes you feel better and puts you in a good mood after you’ve had sex. In addition, the hormone oxytocin is released during orgasm (usually with ejaculation in men) and lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is a main stress hormone, and is usually present in high levels in stressed out people. Touching your genitals and coming to a climax can boost dopamine and oxytocins and help you feel more relaxed. Masturbation or any sex at night will also help you sleep better because you are more relaxed in mind and body.

I think there is a correlation between stress and the urge to masturbate, especially in teenagers. Hormones in teens are ragging, and teens are under a lot of stress from school (learning expectations, conflicts with parents or teachers, relationships with peers, etc.). It’s not surprising that teens masturbate daily, maybe even twice a day. The same psychological pressures are present when a young person goes off to college or begins a job. At the present time there is undoubtedly a lot of stress building up in our bodies due to dealing daily with the COVID-19 threat. Under these conditions masturbation can function as a release valve and bring a sense of calm and peace to the mind and body. It’s a safer way to relieve the body and mind of stress than using addictive substances or engaging in aggressive behavior. Mayo Clinic even recommends it as the safest form of sex during the COVID-19 pandemic. So it comes highly recommended by the health experts.

The body itself shows its need for rest after sex. There is what’s called a refractory period after sex during which time the penis can’t get erect. We have probably all had this experience. For teens it could be a matter of minutes. But as you get older the period may last hours and even days. Experiment on yourself. After you’ve masturbated, how long does it take before you have an arousal and a solid hard erection? That hormone Oxytocin which is released in ejaculation is the main driver of the refactory period. If you masturbate daily you’re building up higher levels of oxytocin in your body that may affect the length of each refractory period. Boys and men who try to push through anyway will be functioning with sub-optimal energy levels. Periodic abstention for at least three days would allow the body to recover physiologically and give you better orgasm and sex the next time.

“No, I’m abstaining for a week.”

Having said all this, there is a value in giving it a rest. What you can do about masturbation that you can’t do with other addictions is just stop doing it. I don’t mean stop forever, but for a day or two or three or even a week. One of the reasons given in Asian (Chinese, Indian) cultures for semen retention, that you reference, is to use the body’s built up energy for other purposes. They believe that loss of semen means loss of the life force. There’s no doubt that ejaculation drains a man of energy. Some men who have engaged in periodic abstention from ejaculation report a sharper energy directed to other tasks and even to thinking. Maybe this is why primitive societies connected the brain with the penis.

A century ago health professionals were trying to ween boys off of masturbation (which they did think was addictive!) by engaging them in sports or exercise. We know that adults today still engage in physical exercise or sports to relieve tensions from work or home. Those who are involved in creative projects that require intense concentration are usually not thinking about sex at that moment. In these activities the body’s energy is being channeled in other directions. Test yourself to see how long you can resist the urge. There can be benefits to periodic abstinence. At least the next time you masturbate you will have a bigger and better orgasm. Read about the wisdom from the East on this matter in the previous question and answer.


Masturbating Mindfully

March 22, 2022

Question? I’ve heard about meditating while masturbating. Is this possible? What would be the benefit?

Yes, it is possible to meditate not so much while masturbating but meditating on masturbation. More commonly this is called mindfulness masturbation or masturbating mindfully. It’s not surprising that this developed during the pandemic since solo sex was recommended by the health authorities in lieu of having close sex with a partner. Mindfulness masturbation has been recommended by sex experts as a way to improve one’s masturbation techniques while calming anxieties and relaxing the whole body.

The point of mindfulness meditation is to focus on or be present to one thing. This might be the breath or a candle or one’s body. It could very well be the act of self-pleasuring. The basic points of mindfulness meditation are:

  • be more focused in the moment
  • notice when your mind wanders
  • bring your mind back to the present moment

Your mind finds it difficult to remain focused. If the focus of our meditation is sensing the pleasuring of your whole body, it’s more likely that the sensual stimulation you are giving yourself will keep you focused.

Mindfulness masturbation is recommended for women as well as men. Women are more likely to focus on their body as a whole than men are.

It’s important to be present to your body. This mean that you are not masturbating while watching porn. If you are watching porn your focus is on what you see on the screen. In meditating on masturbation your attention is exclusively on your body.

You should proceed slowly and deliberately. You might begin by slowly undressing and gently rubbing those parts of the body that are being released from the confines of clothing.

Once you are totally naked, give yourself a mental body scan, moving slowly from head to toes. You could touch those parts of the body you are noticing and that are within reach. At this point avoid touching your genitals. As you go down the totality of your body, each side, you will finally circle in on the genitals. Touch your body lightly, perhaps making circles around the pelvic area and closing in our your sex organs. Men may already be getting an erection by this point. You might find that stimulating your nipples while massaging your genitals helps with arousal. Study your penis. Notice its size when its flaccid and when its erect. Notice its color. Is the color of the penis’ skin the same color as the rest of the body? Don’t judge. Marvel at its versatility.

When you begin to edge toward an orgasm, back off and let it subside. This will allow you to prolong the pleasure by building up to an orgasm, maybe even a few more times. When you finally decide to climax, let your semen shoot as it will. Finally notice the quality of the ejaculation and the texture and color of the semen. Again, don’t judge. Marvel at your uniqueness.

This tensing of your whole body should be followed by a total relaxation. As you lie on your bed reflect on what you have experienced and what you feel now in your body. Remember: you are staying present to the moment. You may even fall asleep. But when you wake up, resume your meditation from where you left off. You may conclude with an expression of gratitude.

Best wishes.


About Oral Sex

October 19, 2019

Question: Any thoughts on oral sex and if it’s wrong?  I appreciate your insight on masturbation.  I began to experiment with oral sex with a couple of buddies when we discovered masturbation, but didn’t know how shameful i should feel….

Frank answers: Yes, masturbation and oral sex often go together, but usually in reverse order. Ejaculation can come from either mouth action or hand action. So you’ve begun to experiment with oral sex with your buddies after discovering masturbation and you’re wondering whether you should feel shame. It seems that you’re a young guy engaged in sexual experimentation and are “feeling your way,” as it were, both sexually and morally. So let me try to cover both issues.

If you read my Frank Answers about masturbation and anal sex, you know that I don’t think the Bible says anything about masturbation and it is ambiguous about anal sex. It definitely says nothing about oral sex. Early Christianity identified the purpose of sex in the Bible as having to do with procreation. Sexual pleasure was a consequence of that, but not something to be sought for its own sake. In fact, the Catholic Church regarded any sex apart from the possibility of procreation as a venial sin (as opposed to a grave sin). Yet the fact that an erotic love song is included in the Bible — the Song of Solomon — suggests that pleasure should not be excluded as a part of sex.

The sexual revolution of the 1960s (and contraception) put an end to the link between sex and procreation (although Pope Paul VI raised issues about that development in his encyclical Humanae vitae). Some modern Catholic and Evangelical ethicists have opined that anal and oral sex might be part of sexual foreplay leading to coitus. That would suggest that they think there’s nothing morally wrong about anal and oral sex in and of themselves. Their concern would be substituting these practices for coitus.

Women have long been known to pleasure men by giving them oral sex. Fellatio was featured as something of an issue in the 1990 film, White Palace. Susan Sarandan gave a blow job to James Spader, although it was only simulated, not explicitly shown.

Of course, fellatio is also practiced by men on men, like you have been experimenting with on your buddies. While much of the oral sex teenagers engage in is between boys and girls, since it is considered a safe alternative to intercourse, it’s not unusual for boys to experience giving it to or receiving it from a male friend or a team mate or a college roommate. Some of those boys and men are straight, some may be gay. Stories I have heard indicate that many gay men had not come out as gay during their teenage years. They were still struggling with their sexual orientation in their teens.

But like anal sex, oral sex is often associated with gay men. The only difference between straight men and gay men on this score (although it is all the difference in the world) is that straight men are attracted primarily to the opposite sex and gay men are attracted to the same sex.

“We two boys together clinging,” photo by Giovanni_Dall Orto

This tongue action can move down to the torso to the genital area. Because of the nerve endings around the genitalia and the anus, those areas are especially aroused when kissed or tongued. When men (and Lesbian women) lick the woman’s genital area (called cunnilingus) and women (and gay men) lick the anal area (called rimming), it is very erotic. Of course, not everyone is turned on by this because of the “ick” factor. These are the areas of urination and defecation. [Full disclosure: this doesn’t appeal to me.]


This leads me to advocate giving attention to bodily cleanliness, especially in those areas. When properly washed and evacuated, those who practice these forms of oral sex claim that these areas are no more “dirty” than other parts of the body. But there’s always the risk of exposure to fecal pathogens, hepatitis, dysentery, and amoebic diseases, as well as the ever-present threat of AIDS and the development of mouth cancer. The failure of the counterculture of the 1960s to observe basic bodily hygiene contributed to the spread of these horrible diseases — and to a renewed appreciation for monogamy in sexual relations.

A further issue is swallowing vaginal fluid and semen if your partner ejaculates into your mouth. These body fluids are not harmful if consumed. In fact, in the ancient Indian practice of Tantra, the whole purpose of the ritualized sex was to receive the partner’s body fluids. Tantra reacted to orthodox Hinduism by focusing on the body and its needs, like food and sex. The five “Ms,” as they were called, were things forbidden to the orthodox Hindu diet (fish, meat, parched grain, and wine). The fifth “M”, maithuna, is sometimes called sexual intercourse, but it was really about the consumption of sexual fluids, which could only be received by means of oral sex, as these figures on an ancient Indian temple demonstrate.

So is there any benefit to oral sex? Well, the girl or woman won’t get pregnant from engaging in it. Many teenage couples engage in oral sex not only for that reason but also because they can claim that they are still “technically virgins.” Yes, they haven’t engaged in sexual penetration. But they are still engaged in sexual activities. Oral sex is real sex.

teen sex play

Finally, is there anything about oral sex with your buddies that you should be ashamed of? Not necessarily. But you should ask yourself: What’s the purpose of sex? Certainly procreation, but not exclusively. Hopefully pleasure, but not just for oneself. Partners want to pleasure each other. What about love? Sex is an expression of intimacy with another. A bonding occurs that changes you and your regard for the sexual partner. I wouldn’t be ashamed of what you are doing, but I would look forward to being able to use the gift of sexuality for a higher purpose in your life, like experiencing intimacy with one’s life partner. Oral sex could also play a role in that if it is agreeable to both partners. Marital sex should be pleasurable for both partners.

Pastor Frank Senn