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Do you like to watch other people having sex for your own personal pleasure?

Whatever the answer (@DavidPMurray can only imagine one response), the CMA wants you to know that he doesn't want his daughter to marry an unrepentant masturbator.
Holding a Ph.D. in Russian history from Stanford University, Chris Stroop is an #Exvangelical scholar and writer whose very odd combination of academic expertise and lived experience led to an increasingly visible presence on Twitter from the time of the 2016 election cycle.
Stroop has published peer-reviewed academic research, policy analysis, and popular articles and commentary about the Christian Right, Russian conservatism, and the connections between Putinist Russia and the contemporary far Right in Europe and the United States.
Stroop's blog, #NotYourMissionField, is focused mostly on issues of concern to exvies and can be found at .
If you found this week helpful, please support Stroop's work via a Patreon pledge or by sending a gift through PayPal or the cash app:

Also, I write fantasy books! The Greatest Sin series, an epic fantasy series with a sarcastic fortune teller, and several other random books. Take a look at
Folks, I don't normally recommend you watch the video these threads are discussing. They're a little different from the transcript, but… good enough? Well, I leaked this week's lesson to @Sparkle_Heretic and @Quiara , who shared it with a bunch of you, and… we had some fun.
Also, if you haven't found and watched their promotional video, you might consider that, too. They have a super hero talking about masturbation a LOT.
Because when talking about purity, of course what we're really concerned about is how you touch yourself. And not in the fun way!
I've talked about my experience with complementarianism before (), so let me talk in a little more detail about my personal experience with this part of purity culture. Don't worry, I won't get overly specific.
As many of you know, Baby!Erik was very earnest. I grew up in my parents OBGYN waiting room, and learned to read going through the women's health magazines and literature. In grade school and high school, I knew more about women's health than I did about men's health.
And my friends knew it. They'd come ask me a question, and if I didn't know the answer, I'd go home and ask my mom.
That said, I grew up conservative SDA, and that meant that my sex education was self-taught and not… well rounded. I'd heard about masturbation, but… I mean… there's no instruction manuals?
So while I knew it was "self-pleasure", I didn't know how one would go about doing it. After all, hands were involved when I went to the bathroom and nothing too exciting happened.
So, like many things, I researched it. This was before the internet was a really good answer, so I went to the library. It was more difficult than I thought!
Finally, I found some old issues of Cosmo, looked at their sex tips section, and pieced it together that way.

And immediately felt guilty by my knowledge.
Once, when the internet was more of a thing, I was browsing around the idea of looking at porn when suddenly I hit all those horrible pop-ups. You know the kind.
Using her innate sense of Timing, my mom showed up just then. It was like a sitcom, and of course, there was an ad with a topless lady at just the wrong time.
My mom sighed and, over my protests, said, "I hope you're not the type of person who enjoys looking at that filth."

Which… I was.

I couldn't help it, right?
That's how God made me, to be tempted, to have a deep desire to look at boobs. A carnal need to see the butts of gals. An irresistible hunger to think about sex once every nine seconds.
That's one of those facts that got quoted at me a lot, and inwardly I was like, "I often go through the whole day not thinking about sex. What's wrong with me?" [And to say, that's impossible, then try and prove it.]
I'd already read "Every Man's Battle" (which I will review some day) which assured me that the lingerie section of the newspaper was a minefield. No man could hope escape unscathed!
They taught you how to "bounce your eyes", which is automatically looking away when something Sexy Is There.

I learned how to do that. I can do it today. It's how I avoid Game of Thrones spoilers and other such things.
When I was in 9th grade, I was selected to go on a Youth Leaders retreat. I listened to a purity talk and was convicted by the fact that many of my friends didn't do the reading I did.
No one was talking about sex. So I discovered they had a really long lesson series and tried to convince the adults to buy it.
They were game… until they realized that meant they'd have to teach it. So they always sent me to a different adult, until finally, I ran out of adults and we went home without the lesson series.
All of this to say, I know on a deep instinctive level how weird Christians get about sex. And masturbation.
Because of course the first thing Murray wants to talk about is masturbation. He told me in his newsletter that "I didn't enjoy making this week's video. If you watch it or read the transcript you'll understand why.--
Murray: --" I've never spoken so explicitly or directly about the purity problem among men.

Even until recently I couldn't imagine speaking in this way."
And folks… it's… not direct? He starts out by saying, don't say you have a porn problem, say you have a masturbation problem. Which, sure, that's a good shame-based way of making sure you never talk about it. He wants you to take responsibility.
But then, by the time he's done narrowing things down, you really have "a heart problem which results in a masturbation problem". I can say that I have a "heart problem"! My doctor will be confused, but it's easy to say.

Already, he's using distinancing techniques.
One of my girlfriends, after I confessed to her that I used to look at porn (I had stopped for a few years) said that she'd resigned herself to the fact that her father would be the only man in her life who had never debased himself in that way.
She, too, didn't want to marry an unrepentant masturbator.

What's so wrong with this "vile" sin? Murray is very glad you asked. Here's what happens if you're an unrepentant masturbator:
"First, because marriage rarely stops porn use and masturbation. Second, because you will start acting out your porn on your poor wife, taking all that you’ve seen and imposing it on her. Third, this is usually not enough and it usually ends up in adultery and other --
M: --"extra-marital sex. Fourth, as the research into the links between porn and domestic violence shows, porn use will often end up in domestic violence."

Let's take this point-by-point, for this here is the slippery slope.
First, he wants you to know that marriage isn't going to "cure" you. And that's fair enough. As it turns out, watching porn and masturbation can both become habits.
They're also ways to meet a need you have in your life. This need may-or-may-not be entirely met by having a committed sexual partner.
But this is the false binary, right? By equating the two, we're saying that they're the same sort of sexual expression. And that all sexual expression is the domain of your spouse, which means any other sexual release is "cheating".
There's no Biblical justification for this.

Frankly, I don't believe there's any ethical justification, either.

What's the big deal, then?

It's cause Murray believes men are monsters.
[Let's all note that female-bodied people masturbate. A lot. They also watch porn. Non-binary folk also do the same. Murray wants to ignore this. We won't, but we'll get there.]
He believes that men are PRIMARILY sight fed (we receive sexual stimulation through our eyes) and that we, as humans, are selfish fallen creatures. That is, if given the chance, we will become self-obsessed and do nothing but pleasure ourselves.
This does mean that he and others believe that men will just wank instead of have sex with their wives. Even worse, sometimes, they'll say that men won't even bother getting married!

Which tells you more about their view of marriage, and of men, than it does about anything else.
But, folks, I hate to break it to you: if you're going to be that type of selfish, self-obsessed guy, not masturbating isn't going to save you.
Like most things, Murray wants you to spend a lot of time and effort and energy fighting one distracting battle, instead of encouraging and equipping you to fight a more important one.
Cause, let me tell you, it's easier to not masturbate or look at porn than it is to actually get to know your sexual identity on a deep level And Accept It In A Healthy Fashion.
We're not monsters, we're just complicated complex humans with a whole lot of things that smash together without our knowledge or control to shape our sexual identity.
This doesn't get simpler just because we don't spend the time to figure ourselves out. That path leads to compounding problems.
Speaking of paths, Murray's #2 wants you to know that you'll take what you see in porn, and start subjecting your "poor wife" to it and "making her a victim".
Okay, if you're subjecting your partner or victimizing them in any way, cut that shit out. Right the fuck now. Enthusiastic Consent is the lowest bar you ought to clear.
If you can't be vulnerable enough with them to share your kink, then that relationship isn't stable enough to engage in that kink. Work on the relationship; the sex will come (or not, as the case may be).
But this is also condescending as fuck. It's this view of women that says that they're innocent pure little flowers that only want gentle slow lovemaking in missionary. Which, if that's what you enjoy, then please enjoy it. In my experience, though, that hasn't been the case.
This kind of narrative creates a wall around Healthy Communication. I was told - and Murray is saying - that women will be disgusted if I ever share my sexuality with them.
My history, my interests, my desires. All of this is disgusting. It's the monster, the animal, within me that wants to consume and devour, and revel in filth.
They want the result to be repression. I mean, they'll say that it's Jesus taking away our nature and desires, but that kind of transformation is again a distraction.
By telling us, and convincing us, that our partners will meet our vulnerable heart with disgust (and who can blame them, that's how God feels about our hearts -
in fact, if He ever sees it without it being covered in His son's blood, He'll torture us for eternity) they convince us to never reveal our hearts to them.

Which means they'll never have the chance to embrace us. Or accept us. Or share their own hearts. And wants. And desires.
When you keep people from truly communicating, you keep them from gaining a better understanding of the world and reality around them. Which keeps them dependent on you, the Authority, to inform them about their reality.
This is one reason you can have men who say they don't know a single woman who has ever been sexually harassed or assaulted. Or say they don't know any woman who watches porn. Or masturbates.
[See, the amazingly funny video: ]
Murray's third step is that it's "rarely enough" and leads to adultery. Again, if you feed the selfish sex-crazed beast, you'll devour all those who cross your path. If not with your actions, then with your eyes, or heart.
I have a lot of complicated and important thoughts about monogamy. I don't believe that it's required or the best for every human, but I think it works well for others.
Again, it's about self-knowledge, being realistic about the life you want to live, and finding those who share that vision.

People cheat for all sorts of reasons. Porn and masturbation aren't on that list.

Basically, Murray wants your spouse to be your only source of sexual stimulation and satisfaction REGARDLESS of your spouse's sex drive or needs. Everything else needs to get bottled up. Because, historically speaking, repressed people never cheat or act out. Nope.
Finally, Murray says that "research shows" that porn use is strongly linked with domestic violence. That's not true. He doesn't cite his sources, so I can't go through the study he thinks he's reading, but it's just not true.
Basically, you get to this end result (maybe I'll do a deep dive on this) by: 1) conflating all types of porn into one, and 2) confusing correlation and causation.
For example, there's a huge difference between watching nothing but a face shot of an attractive person experiencing an orgasm and watching extreme violent and degrading sex. Both are types of porn. They're not the same thing.
And, for two, they always say, "we interviewed rapists and sexual offenders and abusers, and most of them looked at porn!" Well, sure. But, you know, the porn doesn't CAUSE the abuse.
That's like saying, "most abusers eat ice cream!" It's correlation, not causation.…
What's the point of all of this?

Murray hopes that "this video has sickened and disgusted you, good! That was the aim."
He wants to instill shame and guilt and disgust in your heart, make it an instinctive reaction, because then instead of exploring and accepting your sexuality, you'll be more likely to accept his version of it - and reality.
That sucks. It's a shitty way to deal with sexuality, and it's a shitty basis for a sexual ethics.
He promises us that we'll revisit this. And I've left out a lot of the jokes (like how my " penis is a temple of the Holy Spirit") that can be made. Sorry about that. Y'all are more funny than me anyhow - watch the videos and make them with us.
I just want you to know that there's nothing broken about you.

There's nothing disgusting.

Looking at your heart isn't sickening.
Whatever's happened to you in your life, whatever forces have shaped you, whatever thoughts or desires or instincts you have don't make you disgusting or worthy of reproach.

You are beautiful and worthy of acceptance.
May you embrace yourself - and whatever parts of yourself bring you pleasure and joy - and seek to discover what fulfills you. What brings you bliss.
May you learn how to be vulnerable with yourself, and those around you, while maintaining healthy boundaries. May you be healthy, happy, consensual, and sane.
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