Christianity --Youth Issues/Rubber Fetish
QUESTION: Hello there, Carl. I have decided to talk to you about something that's been bugging me. You see, I'm a teenage guy. I would call myself a faithful Christian who believes the gospel and as Jesus Christ as my Savior.
And I have a rubber fetish. You should know that I don't enjoy porn of any sort, rubber or otherwise. I find it morally objectionable, and contradictory to what Jesus said about 'lusting after women' in the Bible.
However, I can't explain what started my fetish exactly, but I just... happened upon it one day. Now, I've already come out to my parents about this, and they were OK with it. They felt that it was normal at my age to pick something up like that. They said it wasn't sinful.
But despite being told this, I still get these occassional feelings of guilt. I can safely say my fetish isn't obsessive. By that I mean, I can still focus on my life, get school work done, etc.
It's odd. I want to embrace it, not reject it, and yet I don't want it to command and control my life. I know you've talked to many people about this already, but I still need an answer. How can I embrace it, without having to feel guilty for what I believe ISN'T sinful?
I just want to get another opinion on this, and you seem to have been in the game for a while.
I think your parents are wise by telling you it wasn't sinful. But what I want to know is this - how do you manifest your fetish? Handling rubber? Masturbating? Wearing it? If it's not sexual, then what is it?
You can embrace any hobby, fetish, or habit, so long as YOU control it, not the other way around. I'm overweight. I have to eat, but need not eat so much. I have a jar of mixed nuts on my desk - even though they are allowed on my low-carb diet, sometimes I eat too many of them and they begin to control me. I just have to tell myself to stop. The whole problem with a fetish is that it becomes obsessive, and you begin to focus on it more than you're focusing on God. what God wants is ALL of us, not just part. We never really are able to focus entirely on God until we die, but we need to be progressing toward that goal. Fetishes and bad habits can slow that progression down.
You may possibly just grow out of this, or not. When it becomes more of an obsession, then "just say no" is the best advice I can give you. That, and prayer.
Hope this helps. Thanks for writing, and please take the time to rate my answer.
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QUESTION: Thank you for your advice. I can confidently say that I do have it under control. God is still first in my life. That's probably why I worry about this so much! And my worry is that I don't want to lose that control. My issue that I don't want to reject it or block it out, because repressing something like that isn't good for your mental health. Yet at the same time, I want to embrace it without taking it too far. I do have a few definite lines that I won't cross (gay rubber porn, for example). I will say that it's not obsessive, but I do have that occassional worry about 'is this sinful or not?'.
Admittedly, I do masturbate to it, but again not obsessively. A few times a week, usually. Probably no more than your average teenager.
While I do have a pair of rubber gloves, these are actually used for gardening. I don't use them for anything else.
So, I think I understand what you're saying now. It's not sinful in itself, but (like gambling and drinking) it can become sinful if taken too far. You control the fetish, don't let it control you. However, I'm still trying to figure out what exactly is 'too far'.
Hopefully, you can get back to me on this.
Masturbation a couple times a week is probably less than the average teen. There are a lot of opinions about masturbation as to whether or not it is sinful. I've written an essay about it and will inclose it below.
I can't tell you how far is too far. You have to figure that one out yourself. When it crosses the line, which is very fuzzy, is when you think about it all the time. When you're planning for your next action while performing your current action, then that is wayyy over the line.
Drinking is taboo for some people because they can't handle it, they don't know when to stop, or they're out of control, or they're alcoholic. Same thing with gambling. I gamble occasionally, and some people think it's sinful. I don't. If I gamble and lose and had fun while doing it, then that is not a sin to me, it's entertainment. If I use my tithe money to gamble, then THAT is a sin. But if I'm tithing, who's to say it's a sin if I use other money to go out to eat, or go out to gamble, or go out to a show, when all of them entertain me?
this whole situation is fuzzy, much like life. Only one thing is black and white. Jesus died for our sins.
Here's the essay:
Is Masturbation a sin?
Masturbation is not mentioned specifically in the Bible.
Because of that, we don’t really know whether it is a sin or not. Many people say yes. Many say no. It’s one of those issues that is difficult to determine, and you have to make up your own mind.
Some of the emotions that can along with masturbation ARE sins, e.g., lust (coveting someone other than your wife) which will normally occur when you masturbate. (See Matthew 5:27-28) Masturbation is normally done for selfish pleasure – if all you are focused on is yourself, then how can you be honoring God? God gave us sex for both pleasure (within marriage) and to procreate the race. Masturbation does one, not the other.
But where does lust begin and end? Is masturbation the beginning of lust or does it end lust? Steve Gerali, a nationally known speaker and author, in his book, “The Struggle” (about masturbation) says this:
“If we’re honest we’d have to agree that the sexual thoughts, desires, arousal and even lust precede the need to masturbate. Once orgasm occurs, all of that is gone. Masturbation is the end of lust, not the beginning of lust. Masturbation isn’t lust nor does it feed lust. It ends lustful episodes. … there are many godly men and women who believe that because masturbation follows the lust and shuts down the process, it becomes the way out that many people pray for. For these people, this deliverance from lust makes masturbation a gift from God.”
You have to understand that God created sex, and that sex is good. Therefore, how can sexual thoughts necessarily be bad? They’re not. Sexual desire and physical attraction for the opposite sex are not bad, particularly if they’re towards a spouse or future spouse. But if thoughts of sex become all you think about, then those thoughts can be lust and be considered a sin. By the same logic, if all you think about is the next time you can masturbate or the next time you can eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream or the next time you can play Nintendo, then you may have a problem. You also have to know that masturbation is far from the best sex you’ll ever have – I don’t think it’s what God created sex for. God gave us these crazy desires. Maybe He’d rather us lean on Him for strength to avoid this behavior than to grab a magazine and head for our rooms.
Let’s look at the physiological, spiritual, and emotional consequences of masturbation. Pam Stenzel, a nationally known educator in the area of teenage sexuality, specifically abstinence education, says in her book, “Sex Has a Price Tag,”:
10 Plus 7 Dangers Of Masturbation
1. Sex happens in the brain first. The arousal response is the most easily trained response in a human being. What we do to prepare the body for sex¬ual response and arousal becomes what we need in order to be aroused. In other words, masturbation trains your body to respond a specific way to specific stimuli.
2. Because of 1, masturbation often becomes addictive.
3. Addictive behaviors are difficult to change.
4. Because of 3. masturbation tends to control the person rather than the person controlling the masturbation. (In other words, it's a habit that's hard to break.)
5. Once the brain has trained a person's sexual response through masturbation or other self-stimulation, the body will continue to require the same activ¬ity for sexual response even after a sexual partnership (that is, marriage) has begun.
6. The chemicals released in the brain during sexual stimulation are extreme¬ly powerful, and the repeated use of self-stimulation can damage one's ability to respond appropriately to marriage intimacy. (Refer back to 5).
7. It's easier to say no to something before it becomes a habit.
8. Human beings can say no. Masturbation is often encouraged as a way to deal with sexual feelings and drives that cannot be controlled.
9. Contrary to popular belief, the desire to masturbate does not stop after marriage. It is not a cure for temporarily dealing with sexual pressure before marriage.
10. The most common problems for which married men seek counseling today are pornography and masturbation.
11. The same experts who declare that masturbation aren’t addictive, go on to claim that guys and girls who masturbate -are powerless to stop doing so. So which is it?
12. Saying yes to masturbation (sometimes referred to as "having sex with oneself") in order to say no to having sex with someone else, does not make masturbation a good and positive thing. In other words, something that is "less wrong" is not necessarily right. Something that is less dangerous is not necessarily safe. And something that is "less false" is not necessarily true.
13, Masturbation takes the mystery of sex and the wonder of "becoming one flesh" with another person and reduces it to something it was never intended to be - a solo activity consisting of a simple biological arousal/release activity rather than something that embraces body, soul, and spirit.
14. Masturbation will not make your hands fall off, your face turn blue, or your brain insane. But that doesn’t mean you should do it, does it?
15, Hebrews '13;4 says, "Marriage is to be held in honor among all and the marriage bed is to be undefiled, for fornicators and adulterers God will judge." The word fornicators/fornication, pornea, means any sexual behavior, thought, or deed, outside of the sacramental act between a husband and wife. Self-stimulation, or masturbation falls into this category'. It defiles the marriage bed.
16, Cultivating the self discipline that’s required to say no to masturbation now, before becoming one flesh: with a lifelong mate, will develop the strength of character necessary to continue keeping a marriage pure.
17. And one more thing – God forgives freely. Never forget that. At the same time, never use that to justify behavior that goes against God’s desire and will for your life.
I agree with Pam on every item but 15 – I’m not so sure that God intended for masturbation to fall into the same category as fornicators.
As to Items 1 & 5-6: A sexual addiction counselor, Dr. Douglass Weiss, agrees. In a presentation he describes how sex and the brain interact:
“In the center of the brain is the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN). In your brain, when you have a sexual release, your brain experiences a release of chemicals called endorphins and encephalins. This is the highest rush in the human body. It is the same area cocaine affects; this is why cocaine is so addicting.
Because you get the highest reward for this behavior, you want to do it again. Now, here's where it's unique. When you get the reward, whatever you're looking at—it doesn't have to be real—whatever you're looking at [at sexual release] you are bonding to whatever that [object] is. So, if you have a sexual fantasy, you'll start bonding to a fantasy world.
God designed it so that you would bond with one person. [To men:] In a very short period of time, no matter what your wife looks like, you bond to her. She becomes your desire. And when you think about intimacy and sexuality, you think about her. If you [masturbate] and you reward yourself for going to fantasy world, then the fantasy is going to be what you desire. You're going to see women as objects, not people. That's not God's design. God wants you to see someone as His child. As a person.
Your brain doesn't know the difference, between this [object] being appropriate or inappropriate. It just knows it got the rewards. Now, if it gets good stuff [chemical rewards] attached to bad things, what will it want to do? Bad things. [Protect] your brain. This is a holy place. If you start [masturbating] and you go over into fantasy or pornography, you are going to damage your life. It affects your own sexuality."
From: Douglass Weiss, Ph.D., Good Enough To Wait (Fort Worth: Discovery Press Video).
Will masturbation keep you out of heaven? Well, no more than any other sin, and it, like any other sin can be forgiven. Masturbation among males is very common – 92% of males masturbate at one time or another, even after marriage or during a sexual relationship (and some people say the other 8 % lied when taking the survey). The female percentage is 55%. So, don’t feel alone, by any means. (But just because everyone else does it, doesn’t mean you have to.)
Ask yourself why you do it, and what you get from it. Certainly if you masturbate INSTEAD of intercourse outside of marriage, that would be preferable, but, as Pam says, something that is “less wrong” is not necessarily right.
If you become obsessed with it and do it several times a week or even several times a day, and view pornography while doing it, then you may have a serious addiction that can be every bit as powerful and dangerous a disease as alcoholism or drug addiction. If you do it only once in a while, it’s not going to hurt you. And yes, it DOES feel good, and wrong, all at the same time. Much like any other sin.
How do you stop? Pray, pray, pray – turn your thoughts to something else. Read your Bible, take a cold shower. How do you stop other sins? Gluttony, envy, pride, you name it. Sin is sin, and ANYthing that takes you away from a closer relationship with God is sin.
Here’s a link to a Christian website that addresses pornography and masturbation. I strongly recommend you go there and seek some help.
Will you ever stop sinning? Nope, you’re human. Don’t beat yourself up over it (no pun intended). Just try to focus on something else.
Proverbs 6:25 - Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
Ephesians 4:19 - Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
Colossians 3:5 - Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
1 Thessalonians 4:4-6 - that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you.
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QUESTION: Well, thanks for your help so far, but I still have more to go. XP Anyway, I don't think about it all the time, as I can still dedicate myself to my studies in school without a problem. I do see that I'll need to solve the 'too far' question for myself. I do know some of my definite limits as mentioned earlier. And I'm not worried about the whole 'masturbation being a sin' thing. I got over that a LONG time ago.
I've actually taken a look into latex clothing because it kind of interests me. I enjoy the feel and smell of it, and as mentioned before, I do want to embrace it (but not to an obsessive degree). I don't actually plan to purchase anything, but I've been considering it for when I move out after college. I don't THINK this qualifies as 'too far', but I'm not 100% sure on it. Again, I have my limits up in place, and having gay rubber sex is the LAST thing I want to do. I'd sooner DIE than do that.
What do you think about the idea of purchasing latex clothing? The Bible never really touches upon that, so...
Latex clothing - no problem. But be prepared for people to think you're weird, which in this day and age is not necessarily a bad thing.
I'm pretty open about these things in some ways, and traditionally conservative in others. My opinion is pretty much do what you want as long as both partners agree.
And for fetishes? I've had one person write me about his fetish for his blue plastic trash can. And I personally like flannel. So, there ya go.