This post continues the brief answers about male body and sexual issues begun in Frank Answers Briefly About Male Body Issues. That archived post was getting too long so I moved the questions and answers given in early 2021 to this new post. I received more amazing questions as we continued through 2021. I hope the answers were adequate to the questions. Questions posted on the blog platform come to me anonymously. Comments on the answers are welcome.
Note: a couple of Q&As previously included in this post in June and July have been moved to Frank Answers Briefly About Parenting, where they seemed more appropriate.
Warning: full nudity and explicit images
Meditation on Masturbation – December 7, 2021
Does watching too much porn contribute to erectile dysfunction? – November 7, 2021
Addiction to Porn – November 1, 2021
Men Touching Other Men – August 21, 2021
Muscular Atrophy During COVID-19 – July 31, 2021
Man Masturbates with Buddy with Wife’s Approval – May 21, 2021
Erection on the Massage Table – May 6, 2021
Excursus on the “Happy Ending”
Nude Roommate Masturbates to Porn – April 24, 2021
Crucifixion Erection – March 29, 2021
Excursus on St. Augustine and Erections
Homiesexual Boys on Tik Tok – March 19, 2021
Sexual Fantasizing – February 14, 2021 (with gifs)
Self-Care and Self-Touch – January 23, 2021 (with gifs)
Can a Christian perform on Chaturbate? – January 13, 2021 (with a gif)
Meditation on Masturbation
December 7, 2021
I’ve been seeing internet articles on how masturbation can be used for meditation. You’ve written on both masturbation and meditation. What are your thoughts on joining them together?
Answer: Wow! Here’s a topic I haven’t thought about before! I looked at a number of articles on the internet proposing masturbation as a form or object of meditation, and I’m not surprised that this idea has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the absence of touch and sex, especially for unpartnered people, both masturbation and meditation have been recommended by health authorities to fill the gap. Both are also ways to reduce stress during a time in which we are all experiencing some degree of anxiety, whether we recognize it or not. I guess it was inevitable that some meditators would see the value of joining them together.
Mindfulness practices can be applied to all sorts of activities, usually breathing but also just sitting or walking or gazing at some object. So why not meditate on one’s sexuality? Body scan meditations are practiced, but often with a quick pass over the genital area. Meditation researcher and teacher Lorin Roche has said about body meditation, “don’t leave any part of you behind. Don’t turn your back on yourself in any way.” Specifically, “As long as you’re tuned into your body and tracking your physical feelings, a sexual sensation or desire is as valid to meditate on as your breath or a mantra.” As a translator and commentator on the tantric text known as The Radiance Sutras, Roche writes: “The text invites us to be at home in the universe by accepting every intense experience, every sensual delight, every ordinary moment, as a gateway to the divine,” [Lorin Roche, PhD, The Radiance Sutras: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Wonder and Delight, Foreword by Shiva Rea (Boulder, CO: SoundsTrue, 2014), 2.]
Mindfulness is practice in blocking out distracting thoughts and directing our full attention to the sensations of the moment—what we hear, taste, see, smell, or feel. In that regard, solo sex might be the perfect vehicle for people who have less experience with meditation. Stimulating that big bundle of nerves packed into your genitals makes it easy to focus your attention.
But to meditation on your genitals requires men especially not to use pornography as a stimulate, since then your focus is going into the screen rather than your body, and not to rush to ejaculation and orgasm, because that’s goal-oriented, which is not the purpose of meditation. Meditation focuses on what is present in the moment and sensing whatever arises. Brain researchers who study meditation propose that only as the brain shifts away from other thoughts and worries does the body’s relaxation response kicks in. That’s why meditators are advised to constantly return to one focus whenever their minds start to wander whether it is the breath or a candle or, in this case, the penis.
The liability of using masturbation as a focus for meditation is that sexual arousal releases a cocktail of hormones that increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Meditation, on the other hand, serves to lower both. But since both masturbation and meditation reduce stress and tension, they can overlap. That’s why a meditation focused on masturbation would have to practice a slow stroking of the genitalia and just noticing the physical reactions and emotional feelings that arise. Men here need to take their cues from women who use the stimulation of their sex organ to sense what emerges throughout their bodies.
In fact, I think you need to begin with your whole body before you move to the genitals. Begin by breathing, inhaling and exhaling evenly. While breathing gently massage your body, touching a number of erogenous zones before you circle in on your penis. To get an erection you may have to continue touching other parts of your body (e.g. chest and nipples, stomach, pelvic area, perineum, anus) while you gently stroke your penis. Your meditation begins as you actually slowly start to masturbate. Your erection may come and go. This need not discourage you. You actually can masturbate without an getting an erection. (You can also orgasm without an erection, but we’re not aiming at that.)
To help slow down you should set a time and place for the meditation practice, as you might in any meditation practice. For this meditation you must be free from other distractions and be sitting or lying in a comfortable place where you’re not likely to be disturbed or interrupted. You could start with just a few minutes for meditation and build up to a lengthier time. When you reach the end of your meditation time, you can decide how to end the experience. You might just get up and go about your business and let the slow buildup of sexual energy serve to energize the rest of your day. Or you could give yourself more immediate gratification by ejaculating. I think I would delay gratification until a later time. That way you would train your body and mind not to expect orgasm every time you touch your penis, and you could separate solo sex from autoeroticsm.
In any event, this is a practice in prolonging masturbation, not rushing to orgasm. If anyone tries this, I would appreciate it if you share your experience as comment.
Does watching porn contribute to erectile dysfunction?
November 7, 2021
This is a follow-up to your Q & A on addiction to porn. Does watching too much porn contribute to erectile dysfunction?
Answer: There has been a lot of discussion about whether porn contributes to erectile dysfunction. Men probably aren’t experiencing ED while WATCHING porn, but when they move from porn to real sex. The difference is that when you are watching porn you are alone, you can relax, you are focusing on yourself and something that stimulates you. But when men are having sex with someone else, they are always concerned about performing. You want to provide good sex for your partner, and we men think that requires getting and keeping a strong erection. The irony is that you have to be relaxed to have a good erection. Our anxiety about performance defeats us. Great sex with a partner occurs when you totally loose yourself in your passionate lovemaking and aren’t worried about performance.
Some men find that masturbating to porn can be a relief from worrying about sexual performance with a partner. You don’t have to help the woman on the screen reach orgasm. But if you’re passionately in love with someone, that’s not an issue. You surrender yourself to the intensity of the moment. You also become used to your partner and her bodily responses in foreplay and intercourse.
There has also been concern that masturbating to porn vs. a real person results in a weaker ejaculation because sexual exergy is going into the screen rather than into another body, who is replenishing your energy by reciprocating. This is fixable, even if you don’t have a partner and are practicing solo sex, as I have described in a Q and A down below. Take a break from masturbating to porn and masturbate as a part of lovingly massaging your own body and experience the difference. (See the Q & A on Self-Care toward the end of this string of Answers.)
Addiction to Porn
November 1, 2021
I’ve concluded that I’m watching too much porn. I’ve looked at porn since I was a teenager, but during the pandemic the amount of time I’ve spent looking at porn has increased. Can one become addicted to pornography? Is watching porn considered a sin?
Answer: You’ve found yourself increasing the time you spend looking at porn during the COVID-19 pandemic. Join the company. Every category of pornography has increased viewership during the pandemic. We can think of many reasons for this, which I won’t go into here in a brief answer. I would suggest that we can get into a habit of looking at porn out of boredom. But after a while porn itself can become boring, especially if we’re always looking at the same kind of stuff. Research into what kind of porn we look at confirms that we pretty much look at the same kind of stuff. So you may be experiencing both sides of the boredom issue. You’re bored and the porn is boring.
There’s a lot of discussion on the internet about whether porn can be addictive. Those who worry about whether they are addicted to porn are really dealing with shame. Men are ashamed that they are spending a lot of time looking at porn when they could be doing something better. If it’s an issue of porn vs. sex with your wife or girl friend, that can really induce shame (and sometimes being shamed!)
As to whether watching porn can be addictive, psychologists decline to classify it as an addiction because one really can stop looking at it or at least reduce the number of times you click onto a porn site. Watching porn provides a temporary escape from present reality by offering a different, more pleasant and stimulating, world. It provides a diversion from something you don’t want to do. If that is a concern, there are other ways of handling anxieties or stressful situations or boredom. If you’ve reached a point where you can’t orgasm without looking at porn, I’d say that’s a more serious problem. You’ve got to train your brain to expect some other kind of stimulus, whether that stimulus real sex with a partner or autoeroticism.
Is watching porn considered a sin? Sexual sins in the Bible usually involve two persons. The great sexual sin in the Bible is adultery, against which is there one of the Ten Commandments. The Greek word porneia actually refers to prostitution, which is also sex with another person. You won’t find the word “pornograghy” in the Bible because it is a 19th century concept. It combines the Greek words porneia and graphe (writings). So pornography originally referred to erotic literature. Video eroticism can be considered a cousin to literary erotica. But it is more insidious, because images get registered in the brain better than words.
The point of pornography is to create sexual arousal, whether you’re reading a scene or watching one. It arouses your desire, which can lead to masturbation, about which the Bible also says nothing. Certainly watching porn can lead to impure thoughts that disturb the mind. Jesus says that looking at a woman with lust is committing adultery with her in your heart (Matthew 5:28). But I’m sure Jesus intended looking with lust at a real live woman when you already have a woman you’re married to since in context he was commenting on the commandment against adultery, not a fictional or virtual woman. Because of this ambiguity I cannot list consuming pornography as a grave sin. Certainly it should not cause a sinner to despair of God’s love, forgiveness, and salvation.
However, it’s wise to reduce or stop your use of porn since your amount of use concerns you. Ask yourself where you want to put the energy that is currently going into pornography. There are indeed more edifying things that we could all be doing. Among them: getting into an exercise routine, working on a project that interests you, reading a good book, etc. But if you have a relapse some night while watching an equally boring TV show, or you keep dozing off trying to read Dostoyevsky, don’t beat yourself up over it. Just be aware of what you’ve done and go back to your original resolve to kick the porn habit.
For more on this topic see also Frank Answers About Pornography and Chastity
Men Touching Other Men
August 21, 2021
Men are getting into trouble for touching women inappropriately. The latest man in the news about this was Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, who was accused of touching 11 women inappropriately and was forced to resign. He’s a single (divorced) man and comes out of an Italian culture that does a lot of touching and kissing, but he should have known that it’s risky to touch or kiss a woman if you’re a man, unless you and she have developed a real relationship. We all need touch and we’ve been deprived of it during the pandemic. If it’s risky to touch a woman, can a man touch another man without that being construed as a gay come-on? What do you think about men touching other men?
Answer: You are correct that we all need to be touched and to touch. Studies have shown how essential it is for the development of children to experience touch and it’s no less important for adults. We have all experienced the deprivation of touch during the last year and a half. The problem is that, as we look to regain the pleasure of human touch, we cannot touch one another in inappropriate ways. This especially applies to men (or women) in positions of power touching women (and also men) in ways that are unwanted and unappreciated. Most of the reported cases of sexual harassment, however, come from women at the hands of men in positions of power over them.
In many societies the need for touch among people who are not in a relationship is met by women hugging and kissing women and men hugging and kissing men. Yes, men can kiss men; it need not be a gay thing. It’s also no sin if it is. The ancient Christians kissed one another in worship, even men kissing men. It’s common in many cultures (e.g., France, Russia) for men to kiss men. In many traditional societies homosexual practices between young men were tolerated because this allowed for the release of male sexual energy while preserving the virginity of young girls for marriage. It was also expected that men would marry when they were mature enough to accept the responsibilities of household and parenthood.
However, that is not our society, and your question about whether you can touch a man without this “being construed as a gay come-on” is a realistic reminder that many men are touchy about being touched by a man. This is not just homophobia; it’s also a learned (and taught) behavior. The problem in our society is that men already learn as boys that touching another boy is inappropriate. I remember in fourth grade that a new boy came into my class from England. I was interested in where he was from and befriended him. But our teacher saw me walking down the corridor with my arm around his shoulders and instructed me that “we don’t do that.” I said, “But I like him.” The teacher told me I should like him without touching him. God forbid that you would kiss another boy.
In eighth grade a new boy named Freddie, whom I befriended, began walking alongside me on our way to school, sometimes with his arm around me. The fall weather was still warm and he began reaching into my shirt to touch my bare skin. He would meet up with me after school and walk as far as his house. He would invite me to stop in but I always had to get home to practice the piano and watch my siblings until my parents came home from work. One day I accepted his invitation and he was delighted to show me his room. (His parents were separated and he lived with his mother and was an only child.) He told me he liked to feel my skin and asked if he could feel my chest again. I decided there was no harm in it and I was actually a bit flattered. So I let him open my shirt and feel my chest with his arm around my shoulder. He said, “You’re a nice friend,” and that was that. He just had a need to touch me. Friendship and touching go together.
This boy may have been touch-deprived and was grateful that I allowed him to touch my skin. Truth be told, I was also touch-deprived. I had been a war baby (WW II) and my father was off in the Army when I was born. My mother was not one for hugging and kissing. I was more likely to receive her hand in punishment than in caressing when I was growing up. There was little hugging and kissing in my family. I don’t think this was unusual for families in the 1950s.
But boys, like animal cubs, are all over one another in playful hugs and tussles. They want to show both fondness and strength. by touching one another and being body-on-body. I was actually happy when a friend hugged or touched me, even if it was wrestling with my friend Gary, which we did on the gym mat in his basement, in a pup tent on a camping trip, or in the pool during free time in high school freshman swimming class (wrestling nude in that case).
Touching someone may be off-limits to American school children, but in southeast Asia I saw boys and men walking down the street hand-in-hand or with arms around each other. In Singapore a Methodist high school was at the bottom of the hill from Trinity Theological College where I was living and teaching in the summer of 2013. I usually walked down the hill to the mall for breakfast as the youth were arriving for school on buses. I observed that most of the boys were holding hands with or hugging another boy (but not with a girl like American teenagers might do).
Even more shocking to this American was to see in a Korean spa not only fathers and sons and brothers but also friends scrubbing each other’s backs. (Mothers and daughters and and sisters and female friends presumably did the same in the women’s pool areas.) I was told by one of my Korean graduate students that congregational groups sometimes have a day at the spa and members sit on the stools in the pool area (in which clothing is prohibited) scrubbing one another’s backs.
The world needs more connection and more compassion. We need more safety from unwanted touch, but we also need to develop a more a refined ability to communicate on all levels about all things. And men could get all of this if they connected with and touched more men.
Have you ever felt energy surge through your body from the touch of another man or the warmth radiating from another man’s caring hands? Perhaps he was placing a hand on your shoulder in affirmation of a job well done, or slapping your back as a gesture of encouragement. Maybe he was a personal fitness trainer helping you with physical adjustments in the gym. Or a male massage therapist pressing strong hands down on tense muscles. The touch of a man is different from the touch of a woman. This is very real phenomenon and your whole being changes biochemically in that moment.
I think many men sense that they could use touch from another man. Many of us didn’t get get hugged by our fathers. This need is being met by the establishment of men’s cuddle clubs where gay, bi, and straight men get together just to cuddle one another. We could begin meeting that need by breaking out of our own cultural inhibitions and touching another man in friendship, camaraderie, compassion, or giving comfort as needed. An arm around a shoulder, a big bear hug, or even a kiss appropriate to the moment and context could be welcomed.
So what do I think about men touching other men? It is a way of reaching out for communion or fellowship through communicative touch. Whether in a handshake, a touch on the shoulder, an embrace, or a kiss, we touch and are touched. These ordinary gestures extend communion or fellowship. Ultimately, communion is what God desires of us and for us.
For more on this topic see “Frank Answers About Connections and Touch.”
Muscular Atrophy During COVID-19
July 31, 2021
I had this chat with a Black professor friend in his mid-40s who is unhappy about his body image after the pandemic lockdown.
Me: Hi! How are you?
Him: I’m very angry.
Me: What about?
Him: I don’t like my appearance.
Me: What’s wrong with it? You’re physically a very impressive person.
Him: I’m losing muscle mass. And I’ve lost weight during the pandemic. So I look flabby.
Me: You’re lucky not to have gained weight. My guess is that a lot of men have gained weight during the pandemic because of inactivity, overeating, and lack of exercise. I, too, lost weight (low carb diet), and muscle mass (even though I’ve done some exercise). But it goes with age. My arms and legs look skinnier, but my belly remains the same, just more accentuated because the rest of me is thinner.
Him: Maybe muscular atrophy is happening to all of us because of inactivity during the pandemic. I think many men will not be happy about their bodies as we come out of the pandemic.
Frank answers: Indeed, I think the pandemic has had a deleterious physical and mental effect on most of us, men and women. I’m not a physician or a physical trainer or a nutritionist. But from general information that most of us are aware of, we can put two and two together and see how our bodies and minds have been affected by the mitigation conditions we’ve lived with since February or March 2020.
We’ve been forced into inactivity for months, especially when working via Zoom. Teachers, for example, have not gone to the school campus to teach students in the classroom. We’ve been on Zoom for hours on end. Teaching, counseling, conferences, committee meetings, etc., have all been on Zoom. The energy we used to expend just being up and out and about every day gets stored up unless we make time to go out for a walk and to exercise in some regular way. If we are inactive, we loose muscle mass. I know, because as a senior citizen I see muscular atrophy happening in my own body. The toll that aging takes on the body extends all the way down to the cellular level, and those cells don’t regenerate easily.
We haven’t gone out to eat with spouses, friends, or colleagues where we can enjoy human company as well as good dining, because restaurants have been closed. Company is good for us mentally, and at least going to the restaurant burns up some of the calories we take in, like walking after eating. During the pandemic we ordered out, drove to get it, and ate at home and did more cooking at home. And perhaps we ate more than we needed to. And with lack of adequate exercise, in men the unburned calories go to our bellies.
We’ve had a lot of anxieties, whether we’ve realized it or not. We worried about how our families and friends were coping with COVID. We were anxious to keep ourselves from being infected by the virus. When we are anxious we often eat snacks and binge on comfort food, which puts on weight. Our sleep is fitful. Perhaps we are sleeping for fewer hours at night. That bowl of ice cream before going to bed doesn’t help.
Getting a good night’s sleep is really important for good health. Good sleep improves concentration and productivity because we aren’t tired during the day. Sleeping naked keeps the body temperature down and being cool gives us better sleep—and also burns off calories because metabolism occurs during sleep. Good sleep helps us both to lose weight and gives us more desire to exercise. And if we exercise, we burn off some of that fat and feel better about ourselves because we feel more energetic. Even seniors can counter the aging effect by exercising.
Fortunately, society has opened up as vaccinations have increased and this summer we have been able to begin returning to gyms, yoga studios, restaurants, and outdoor events, as well as activities we could do last summer, like riding our bike, walking, running, and swimming (all good exercises to keep us trim). However, health experts tell us to take it easy. Nothing is going to “return to normal” after the COVID pandemic
First of all, the new variants of the coronavirus, like Delta, keep us on our guard. CDC gives conflicting information from day to day: masks on, masks off, vaccines provide immunity, but there are breakthrough cases (fortunately, not severe for the vaccinated). Remember that this coronavirus is “new” (novel). Even the experts are learning new facts from the statistics they study. We can’t become overconfident that we’re done with the pandemic.
Secondly, we’re not at the point where we can resume an exercise program that we were doing before we ceased doing it. As health expert John Dale of Johns Hopkins University warns:
“The more you compete or perform an activity, the more your body becomes accustomed to it. When you stop doing that activity, your body doesn’t stay at that level because you’re not using it the same way. Jumping right back into an activity you haven’t done in a while and expecting to pick up where you left off may lead to unwanted aches and pains.”
Weight lifters especially need to work up to what they were lifting before COVID-19 mitigations closed the gym. They can’t just pick up where they left off. Those who have actually experienced COVID-19 in their body will especially have a long way to go to regain muscles and body strength.
We need to recognize that human beings are vulnerable to disease and to fluctuations in our bodies due to social conditions and aging. We will never have perfect bodies according to our image of what that would be. But the more we get our bodies in better shape through proper diet, good sleep, and measured exercise, the better we will feel overall about ourselves, including our mental perception of ourselves.
Man Masturbates With Buddy With Wife’s Approval
May 21, 2021
During the pandemic, sex has slowed down with me and my wife. She hit menopause mid-pandemic. 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?
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 impregnating his sister-in-law. For purposely not doing his duty toward his dead brother, as required in the Law, 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 to masturbate, like consorting with prostitutes or having a mistress on the side (although some wives have tolerated their husband’s sexual dalliances).
Masturbating when married actually happens a lot. For example, during pregnancies and after child birth, as well as during menopause, men might practice solo sex simply because they need a sexual release that their wife can’t provide. The wife might be willing to help the husband “get off” when she isn’t up for sex by masturbating him. Marital sex would resume when she is ready. And on occasions when the husband isn’t ready, he might help his wife achieve orgasm by masturbating her.
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 are exploring their 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. You need to 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 perhaps doing it with someone else heightens the intensity of the ejaculation (and maybe also helps to 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 intimate male friendships. Women often have their own intimate female friendships. Men also need buddies with whom to share intimate details of their lives. Men can understand and sympathize with one another better than women can understand and sympathize with men (and visa versa). Some buddy relationships from youth last into adulthood and even when one or both buddies 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 to masturbate 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. Hopefully her menopause will end along with the pandemic.
Erection on Massage Table
May 6, 2021
Question: As a young gay guy I really enjoy your blog and appreciate your openness on many issues about the body and sexuality. When I read your blog post about massage I thought I’d like to get one when that’s possible (obviously not during the coronavirus pandemic). But I have a question. What happens if you get an erection during the massage? Is that normal? Sometimes I can’t control myself, and I worry I may enjoy it too much, if you know what I mean…
Frank answers: Dear young guy in need of a massage,
You should get a massage when that becomes possible again. Actually, in some places it is possible now. Responsible massage therapists will wear masks and require their clients to do so also. They will wash sheets used on the massage table with disinfectant and wipe down surfaces like door handles. I’ve had a couple of massages so far this year from a massage therapist I have gone to for many years and whom I know to be professional and responsible.
Massage is good therapy for your body if you’ve been tense. This pandemic has created anxieties we may not be consciously aware of but are held in the body. You’re concerned about getting an erection. Well, erections are known to happen because the massage is helping your blood circulation (which also flows to your penis) and when you’re lying face down and the massage therapist is rubbing and pressing on your back, your penis is rubbing against the massage table, which will also stimulate it. That doesn’t mean an automatic erection. But it could happen, especially when you turn over on your back and the release on pressure on your penis (by laying on top of it), which causes blood to suddenly flow into it.
Quite frankly, massage is sensuous. You have a lot of erogenous zones throughout your body from head to foot, not just your penis, and the massage therapist is likely to press on several of them (they can be different in different bodies). If you get an erection, don’t worry about it. Professional massage therapists have seen them before and are they are used to dealing with them (mostly by ignoring them).
Anyway, why should a guy be worried about getting an erection. It’s a sign that things are healthy down there. You’re in the privacy of the massage studio, not out in public, and there is therapist-patient confidentiality. There are a lot of men with erectile dysfunction who have difficulty getting an erection. You should be grateful that erections come easily to you. If by “enjoying it too much” you mean having a spontaneous ejaculation, your massage therapist has probably seen that too and if it happens it will add to the release of all the tension in your body. If you happen to ejaculate, he will just get a hot wet towel and wipe you off. On the other hand, if none of this happens (which is just as likely), you can still enjoy the massage.
Speaking man to man, as one who has had a lot of experience with massage — experiencing different modalities in different countries — , I recommend that you find a male massage therapist. I’d even recommend a gay massage therapist whether you’re gay or straight. Gay men know and love the male body. They know what they like for themselves and they will show that to their clients. I’ve experienced a couple of good female massage therapists. But male massage therapists have added strength. You don’t want just a rub down for relaxation. You want someone who does deep tissue and trigger point release to really relax those tense muscles, loosen the connective tissue, and expel the toxins. I’ve seen my massage therapist for years. He gives really intense therapeutic massages and tells me I’ll feel relaxed by tomorrow as his work settles into my body. It’s true.
You also want someone who will allow you to be nude on the massage table so that no muscles are missed (including the gluteus maximus) and long strokes can be given without being impeded by draping. A warm blanket can be provided as covering later on when you’re body is cooling down toward the end of the massage. Massage is about healing the whole body. In a sensual massage the massage therapist might also join the client in being nude, if you’re okay with that. The important thing to remember is that nothing is going to happen in any massage that you don’t want to happen.
Excursus: About That “Happy Ending”
When I talk about massage with men, the question of the “happy ending” usually comes up. You’ve probably heard about the “happy ending” in which the massage therapist brings you to ejaculation/orgasm at the end of the massage.
Technically, in the U.S. the “happy ending” is illegal and most 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 your 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.
However, I want to argue that a genital massage is actually therapeutic. The penis is a muscle that needs work just like the rest of the body to help with blood circulation and loosening connective tissue. This genital massage, which includes the surrounding area and scrotum, is actually offered in men’s spas in Singapore and Malaysia under the category of men’s health. It called urut batin and it loosens the tissues of the genitals and stimulates the nerve endings of the penis. It can produce ejaculation.
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). It can produce an erection and ejaculation. You could, quite bluntly, ask a massage therapist if he knows how to give a prostate massage. If you’re going to have a “happy ending,” it should have therapeutic value.
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.”
How to find a massage therapist
You can check out day spas or massage studios in your area online to see if they have a male massage therapist. Some private massage therapists, like mine, have their own studio and web site. Or you can go on masseurfinder and look for private massage therapists in your area. The site includes what they write about themselves and what kind of reviews they have received from clients. The site sub-divides listings into therapeutic, sensual, and erotic massages. My advice to a young guy who hasn’t received a professional massage before is to begin with therapeutic or sensual massage. You want a massage that is more about addressing the issues of the whole body than just a sexual experience.
If you find a massage therapist who seems like a good fit for you, stay with him. He will get to know your body and you will get to know his routine so that you can relax when you go to see him, knowing what to expect. I hope you do have a professional massage experience and find a massage therapist who is right for you. A good massage therapist should be added to your health and wellness team.
Nude Roommate Masturbates to Porn
April 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, sitting on his bunk. I felt a bit embarrassed but on the other hand I felt aroused. What should I do?
Frank answers: Dear college freshman,
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 nude. 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 with roommate about this. For example, you could work out an arrangement where one leaves the room when the other has an urge to relieve himself. 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. That 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. Guys have probably always jerked off to porn. Back in my college dorm days we had Playboy and other girlie magazines. I think focusing on the screen results in poor orgasms because your energy follows your attention. But that’s another matter that I’ve addressed elsewhere.
You said that your roommate’s behavior embarrassed you, but you were also aroused. 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 has created your conflicting feelings.
Waking up in the morning you’re likely to have a morning erection, which most boys and young men feel an urge to touch. If you wake up and your roommate is jerking off, what would you think about joining him in that activity? My guess is that he wouldn’t object. A lot of boys and young men have had the experience of masturbating together. It’s not necessarily a gay thing, if that would concern you. It’s a guy thing. If you just give into your arousal and join him in jerking off, it might be an icebreaker that would open conversation about some of these issues.
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.
March 29, 2021
Question: I’m 16 and sometimes when I go to Mass and look at the large crucifix I get an erection. Today at Mass, being Palm Sunday, we heard the whole passion story and thinking about Jesus on the cross really made me horny. At home I sometimes think about Jesus on the cross and I lay spread eagle on my bed as if I were being crucified. As I lay there stretched out thinking about Jesus on the cross I get an erection and, I confess, sometimes I masturbate. Is it sinful to do this when thinking about Jesus? I wonder if Jesus got an erection when he was being crucified… or ever. What do you think you?
Frank answers: Dear sixteen-year old Catholic boy,
I think it is commendable that you go to Mass and focus on the crucified Christ who was hung on that tree as a sacrifice of atonement to reconcile us to God. In your own way you want to identify with Jesus in his suffering. Christians have done this down through the ages by penitential acts and participating in passion plays. They’re doing this to identify with Christ in his suffering as an act of devotion. You’re also meditating on the suffering of Christ in an embodied way, but as a horny teenager.
I think it’s not unusual that a sixteen-year old gets erections and has erotic thoughts. Maybe it happens a dozen or more times a day for you, even in math class. Looking at the figure of a nude adult male body fastened to and exposed on a cross for all the world to see may also produce erotic thoughts. And as a devout Catholic you are encouraged to gaze at that figure. That’s why the crucifix is centrally located above the altar. As you act out that scene you become sexually aroused and seek relief.
Since you are a Catholic boy I should point out that masturbation is still considered a venial sin in Catholic teaching. It is in the category of “objectively disordered sex.” That means that self-pleasure is not what ejaculation is intended for, even in marriage. In Catholic teaching sex is only to be used for procreation. But the Church recognizes the force of biology, habit, and our subjective thoughts in its pastoral counsel. You should really have a discussion with your priest about this. In the Catholic catalogue of sexual sins, masturbation is at the bottom. Scripture says nothing about it and theologians through the centuries gave little thought to it. There’s been more concern about sexual practices between two people than solitary sex except in celibate religious communities.
It’s not unheard of for Catholic boys to act out the crucifixion. In the Catholic world some men actually get to act out the crucifixion in passion plays or the way of the cross (Via crucis) during Holy Week and on Good Friday. In 2013 in Chicago’s Hispanic Pilsen community, eighteen-year old Alejandro Aviles got to play the role of Jesus in its annual Via Crucis. Alejandro, perhaps the youngest member of that community to portray Jesus, was hoisted onto the cross semi-naked. With the cold late March wind blowing on his naked body it’s amazing that he didn’t get an erection. But I’m sure he was controlling himself by being totally focused on his role as Jesus.
It’s not sinful to wonder just how human Jesus was. If he was human enough to go through suffering and to die, we are not out of line to ask exactly what he suffered. Romans crucified their victims completely naked, and part of the humiliation of this public torture and execution was that the victim couldn’t control his bodily functions. That included urinating, defecating, getting an erection, and maybe even ejaculating. Artists usually haven’t portrayed Christ totally naked, especially in art that will be displayed in churches, although Michelangelo carved a naked Christ on a crucifix when he was nineteen and sculpted a naked Christ rising from the grave. But he didn’t give Christ an erection. There was a traditional view that just as Christ directed his own crucifixion so he also contained his biological functions. It was the same in ancient Greek sculptures of athletes. They were in control of their bodies. That’s why they were all sculpted with little penises.
We have great difficulty acknowledging Christ’s true manhood. Even the Italian gay artist Vittorio Carvelli didn’t give Jesus an erection in his painting of the crucifixion scene, though the two criminals crucified with Jesus were given erections. Getting an erection was a natural response to having their butts resting on an uncomfortable pole to keep their bodies from slipping down the cross. It was uncomfortable and probably required a lot of wiggling around. The eroticism of the situation cannot be denied. But artists have presented Jesus in control of his body.
I think as you grow older you will also be able to control your erections and hopefully you will also move in your thoughts from the physicality of Christ’s crucifixion to its spiritual depths, although we should never forget that what Christ did “for us and for our salvation,” as we say in the Creed, he did in his body, as St. Athanasius taught in his little book On the Incarnation.
There’s nothing wrong with you embodying your meditation on the crucifixion of Christ. It can be a powerful experience to be actually naked before God—vulnerable and open to whatever arises. God’s blessing on your devotion to the crucified Christ.
Excursus on St. Augustine and Erections
I can’t resist adding this story from The Confessions of Saint Augustine. This North African church father who later became the bishop of Hippo and one of the greatest theologians in the history of the Church, went to the public baths with his father when he was sixteen. These facilities, built throughout the vast Roman Empire, combined a gymnasium for exercise, pools of various temperature for bathing, and massages with perfumed oil, and the day was spent being nude. You removed your clothes upon entering and put on clean clothes when you departed. Augustine wrote in this autobiographical work (actually addressed to God):
“The brambles of lust grew high above my head and there was no one to root them out, certainly not my father. One day at the public baths he saw the signs of active virility coming to life in me and this was enough to make him relish the thought of having grandchildren. He was happy to tell my mother about it…” (Book II, 3).
Young Augustine admits that his hormones were raging (“the brambles of lust grew high above my head’) and that his father associated what Augustine called “signs of active virility coming to life in me” with procreation. Young Augustine was clearly having an erection in the public baths, perhaps at the sight of so many nude men or the sheer sensuality of the bathing experience. His father saw young Augustine’s erection and happily reported it to his mother. And the future saint wrote about it to tell God and everyone who has read his book over the last 1600 years.
In a later book called The City of God, Augustine was pondering whether Adam and Eve had sexual desire in Paradise, and if not where did this desire come from. In the process of thinking about it he observed that the penis is the one muscle in the body that we can’t control by will power. In Book XIV, chapter 16 he wrote: “Sometimes the impulse is an unwanted intruder, sometimes it abandons the eager lover, and desire cools off in the body while it is at boiling heat in the mind.” In other words, you get erections when you don’t want them and Mr. Penis doesn’t always rise to the occasion when you want it to.
Augustine of Hippo was a horny teenager and into adulthood he never stopped thinking about sex. But he turned out to be one of the great bishops and theologians in the history of the church. For better or for worse he gave the Catholic Church its theology of sex. I recommend him to you as a patron saint.
Homiesexual Boys on Tik Tok
March 19, 2021
Question: Do you watch Tik Tok videos? There are a lot of videos of shirtless Gen Z boys on Tik Tok engaging in homoerotic behavior in their dancing, kisses, and cuddles. I’m sure most of them are straight. Do you think the ease with which boyfriends interact with each other physically helps to mitigate the “toxic masculinity” you wrote about?
Note: I wrote about “toxic masculinity” in an article on “Frank Answers About Male Body Issues (2020)”
Answer: I am a follower of Tik Tok because my daughter, who is a professional singer and musical actress, has found it to be a profitable vehicle for performance during the pandemic when theaters are closed. She has made up songs about current news events and got lots of young adults interested in current issues and even registering to vote. Newsweek found out about her and did an interview. Google Emily Senn or follow her on Tik Tok.
Because I’m a subscriber to Tik Tok, some of the kinds of videos you mention pop up when I check FB notifications. They seem to be mostly boys in their late teens, some of whom have some talent for lip syncing and swaying their hips and pelvis to hip hop songs. They also spend a lot of their video time fussing with their hair. Some of these boys are on Tik Tok Video Boy.
I looked for some examples of success stories and found Jaden Hossler. He’s a 20-year old from Tennessee who was raised in a Christian family and was in musicals in high school. He attracted a following in the millions on Tik Tok in 2019. Influencer Marketing Hub reports that “As of November 2020, Jaden Hossler has more than 8.7 million followers on TikTok, 4.4 million followers on Instagram, 1.7 million followers on Twitter, and 1.29 million subscribers on YouTube.” He sometimes includes Bryce Hall in his videos. Bryce is a 21-year old from Maryland, who has as of February 2, 2021 a TikTok account with 18.6 million followers and a YouTube channel with 3.46 million subscribers. A number of these 20-year-old guys live in a Bel Air mansion in Los Angeles called Sway House and got busted this past summer for holding hard parties in the midst of a pandemic without observing any of the standard social distancing to mitigate infections with COVID-19. I think a lot of high school students got on Tik Tok as a way of dealing with the depression caused by social isolation during the Pandemic. Jaden speaks of teen depression. Bryce speaks of being bullied when he was younger.
Typical of teens is a desire to attract attention and be on the cutting edge. It’s not surprising that straight boys put on gay performances with their boyfriends. Gen Zers grew up in a time when same-sex marriage has been legal. But homosexuals still aren’t generally acceptable by everyone, sometimes including by their own families. There’s still enough stigma attached to being gay that these young men call themselves “homiesexuals” to disavow being regarded as homosexuals. There are undoubtedly also some genuine homosexual boys in Tik Tok and You Tube videos. But the issue here is straight guys acting gay for the sake of gaining a following on social media.
Gen Z has grown up in an social context in which gender fluidity is more acceptable. Boys wouldn’t kiss or hug another boy publicly in the 1980s and 1990s because they would be perceived as gay. Some boys are now more willing to be intimate with other boys and are less worried about being perceived as gay. How far their intimacy on video actually leads is another question. They don’t go the distance. On a 15-second Tik Tok video they only have to lead up to a kiss. They don’t have to get into a passionate embrace. They can touch each other’s pecs or abs to show interest in the other’s bodily development through workouts, but they don’t have to erotically rub their partner’s torso. They go far enough to tease their fans and receive a lot of “likes” or “loves.” For these boys their antics are clickbait.
There’s no question that these boys are conveying a softer masculinity. This appeals to the girls, who click their hearts and thumbs-ups and increase the boys’ social media followings. These boys might draw a life lesson from this experience in terms of male-female relationships. Women do like more sensitive men. To the extent these “homiesexual” boys are countering the toxic masculinity that doesn’t show feelings or express vulnerability by demonstrating male intimacy, they are making a positive contribution to cultural change.
The problem is that homiesexuals make “coming out” as gay look easy, which for real gay boys it isn’t. If this trend of acting gay becomes less trendy, those who are looking for “likes” can back out of it and move in a different direction. Gay and lesbian teens have to live with who they are and navigate the social pitfalls that lie in their path. If the “homiesexual” movement helps make life easier for real homosexuals, well and good. But perhaps some of these talented boys performing on Tik Tok might use their creativity to show in their little skits the difficulties of “coming out,” portray the learning curve of a real gay-straight “bromance” (with humor, of course), or sympathize with the heart-break of some gay relationships.
Pastor Frank Senn
February 14, 2021
I broke up with my girl friend just as the coronavirus hit last year. Our relationship had been deteriorating for a long time and we felt it was time to end it. I felt bad about that but at first I thought I could socialize with my friends. Then as everything shut down I couldn’t get together with my friends. I live alone. I’m able to do most of my job-related work from home on the computer. I spend a lot of time watching TV, prowling the internet, text messaging friends, and playing with myself. It’s Valentine’s Day. I’m lonely, sex-starved, and I’m have a lot of sexual fantasies. I fall asleep at night fantasizing about having a woman in bed with me and what we might be doing sexually. This feels like making a confession. But you’re a pastor who has addressed a lot of interesting questions. So I thought I would write and ask you about sexual fantasizing. Good or bad?
Dear sex-starved young man,
First of all, only you can tell whether you’re lonely and not just alone. There’s a difference. Many people are content to be alone and this pandemic hasn’t affected them as much. It seems that you are more used to a social life and miss it. Perhaps, like a lot of people, you’re feeling isolated. It’s too bad we’ve called maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from one another “social distancing” instead of “physical distancing.” We’re physically apart while socially together. But now even being socially together is discouraged as we go into a soft lock down to try to mitigate this deadly second surge.
I assume you have family and that you’re in touch with them through social media like FaceTime and Zoom. You indicate that you text with your friends to stay in touch with them even though you can’t meet up with them now in bars and clubs. And undoubtedly you have to check in with your employer or fellow workers. Unfortunately, our human connections will have to be virtual for a while longer.
This includes our sexual relationships. You say you’re “sex-starved.” “Prowling the internet” might mean looking at pornography and maybe dating apps (although you also found my blog site!). This in turn feeds your sexual fantasies. You seem worried about having them. I ask: haven’t you always had them?
We actually live in fantasy worlds most of the time. We’re seldom in the present. We fantasize about the past, how good it was or how it might have been better. We fantasize about the future, what possibilities we look forward to when this pandemic has been overcome. You can fantasize about what sex you would enjoy and who you would enjoy having it with. We all do. It’s good to realize that fantasy isn’t reality. But fantasizing can heighten even solo sex. It puts us into the subjunctive world of “what if “ and takes us momentarily out of the indicative world of “what is.” It gives us some hot hopes to play with instead of cold reality to work through.
A lot of studies have been done on sexual fantasizing. Obviously there is a lot of interest among clinical sexologists in fantasies about deviant sex such a fetishes and sadomasochistic sex such as bondage and rape. But ordinary sexual fantasies deal with having sex with previous partners, other persons we have known in the past, acquaintances we know now (such as among your group of friends), or even celebrities we might meet and nameless people we’ve never met. Fantasies include practices we have experienced and also practices we would like to experience. Married persons even fantasize about what they’d like to do with their marital partner.
Generally, psychologists believe that fantasizing is a healthy mental activity and good for our sex life. Some people claim to watch porn to get ideas about how to spice up their sex life. The psychologist D. Stroller suggests that “sexual fantasies are a private pornography in which we rehearse over and over again needs that are nearly impossible to fulfill in actual sex” [D. Coleman & S. Bush, “The liberation of sexual fantasy,” Psychology Today (1977)]. As such, sexual fantasies are a way of combating sexual dissatisfaction. That would include your apparent dissatisfaction with solo sex (“playing with myself”), since masturbation would be one way to feed your sexual hunger. I suspect that masturbation already accompanies your viewing habits and mental imagination. But I suggest that if you jerk off while watching porn, this gives you unexciting orgasms.
Let me fill you in on a little secret I learned from my physical trainer (who has a Master of Science in Applied Physiology) when I attended a couple of workshops on men’s sexual energy that he offered. The main thing he taught is that your energy goes where your attention is. That includes your sexual energy. If your attention is focused on the computer screen while you masturbate, your sexual energy goes into the screen. Your fantasies are guided by what the screen images furnish. If you forget about the porn and give your attention to your body, by touching and rubbing it all over, and taking your time with ejaculation while you imagine what you would like being done to you, you will have a much more satisfying orgasm.
Here are some suggestions: hold off on masturbating for a day or two or even three. Prepare your body by awakening it physically and sensually. Physically, you can bounce up and down, swinging your arms freely, undulating your pelvis, and bouncing your penis. Vigorous movement will get your blood flowing throughout your body and into your penis.
Then lay down and continue to focus on your body by touching yourself all over (a self-massage) the way you would like to be touched by that woman in your bed: your nipples, pecs, abdomen, pelvis, balls, penis tip, buttocks, anus, thighs, etc.
While touching your body try edging: slowly rub your penis with your free hand to the point of ejaculation, then back off, use both hands to rub your body, and return to rubbing your penis again, maybe backing off several times, until you’re ready to explode. When you’re ready to ejaculate, continue to focus on your body with whatever fantasies come into to mind. We all have sexual fantasies and for the most part they contribute in a positive way to healthy sexuality. They also engage the mind in creative exercises that we can act out even when we are alone as we sexually engage our entire body in the service of our imagination. There’s no reason playing with yourself has to be boring. It can lead to a big payoff.
Self-Touch as Self Care
January 23, 2021
This question and answer was originally posted on “Frank Answers Briefly About Male Body Issues.” I moved it here to begin a new post “Frank Answers Briefly About More Male Body Issues” for 2021.
Question: I’m a young man who lives alone. In this COVID pandemic we’ve been deprived of human touch. Christmas has come and gone and I only saw my family through Zoom. There has certainly been no sex. I long for human touch, especially the sensuous kind. Do you have any suggestions?
Dear man alone,
Yes. Practice self-touch. Our body needs to be touched and massaged. Deprived of the touch of others we must touch ourselves. It’s a form of self-care.
Back in 1899, the psychologist Havelock Ellis invented the term “autoeroticism.” He defined it as the whole complex of sexual emotions “generated by the absence of external stimulus, proceeding directly or indirectly from another person.” In fact, he regarded autoeroticism as the core of sexuality. Animals touch themselves, Babies touch themselves. Boys and girls touch themselves. It might lead to masturbation. With young men this is almost certainly the case. But it doesn’t have to. Self-touch can be a way of satisfying the body’s need for touch by giving oneself a massage, as far as your hands can reach. Self-touch is a way of affirming our body. Self-massage can provide the stimulation of the circulation of blood and fluids and the loosening of muscles and tissues that any massage provides.
So this is something to experiment with. Stimulate your body in different ways. Let self-touch also stimulate your mind by allowing fantasies to serve as your “external stimulus.” This will undoubtedly lead to massaging your dick, which is where many say the man’s brain is.
We look forward to the ending of the mitigations that are in place because of the pandemic, especially social distancing. We need to be together socially in the flesh, not just virtually online. We need the human connectivity and touch that social contact provides, especially with our loved ones. In the meantime, there’s nothing shameful about touching ourselves to stimulate our sensuality and sexuality. Your body will thank you for it.
Can a Christian Perform on Chaturbate?
January 13, 2021
I read with interest “Frank Answers About Nudity and Pornography,” responding to the question of the male model about whether it would be pornographic for him to model at bachelorette or hen parties. I’m an actor, a waiter when not acting, and occasionally also a model. At this point, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mitigations that are in place, I have no work. I can collect unemployment insurance, but I need to find an additional source of income. A friend suggested becoming a performer on Chaturbate, a webcam platform in which people over 18 of any gender perform sexual acts, such as masturbation, for tokens that represent money. I’ve checked into it and, especially with my acting skills, I think I could put on a show and hopefully do well. I’m in my mid-20s and I’ve kept my body in shape. I’m not an active church goer because of my jobs, and sometimes just out of laziness. But I like to think of myself as a Christian. I know the Chaturbate format is porn. But is there any reason, as a Christian, that I couldn’t perform in this venue?
Dear starving actor: For the sake of my readers who don’t know what Chaturbate is, above is a screen capture on male performers. You can see across the top of the screen that females, couples, and trans people can also perform. I actually know a young couple (male and female) who have performed together on this site. I looked at the site to see what I would be getting into if I answered your question, but I have not become a paying customer or a follower—just so you and my readers know.
Quite frankly, I find the “shows” boring and not a little disgusting. Many of the “performers” spend a lot of time doing nothing but fondling themselves and looking at the comments and waiting for tokens to be given that get them closer to the announced result if the goal is attained. Usually it’s a “cum show,” although other sex acts are also performed, especially if the performer has a partner.
I won’t get into all the possibilities beyond just appearing on the screen, such as private shows and spy cams on private shows. I read up on the rules to learn how a performer makes money to answer this rather unusual, but gratefully received, question.
Like a strip show the object of the performer on Chaturbate is to tease the customer into paying tokens by removing articles of clothing and doing things with his or her body that will have the paying customers begging for more and contributing more tokens.
In the New Testament porne referred to prostitution. Is a sexcam performance a form of prostitution? Legally it does not fall under that category because there is no person-to-person interaction between performer and customer. But you are using your body for money. To me, that’s prostitution.
Sex acts are performed in the privacy of the creator’s residence, usually the bedroom. The extent of what the performer does sexually is the decision of the performer. He or she does not have to do what the customers are asking for. Usually the performer announces the act that he or she will perform if the stated goal is achieved.
The performer is acting and the stage setting is his or her bedroom or living room. The “script” is the actor’s creation. In this sense, it’s not much different than being on a stage or a film set. The difference between webcam performances and porn videos is that the webcam features amateurs doing what they would normally do when having solo sex or sex with a partner, and like real sex it doesn’t always come easy.
Like all acting, it is a way of earning a living and the performer is doing a job. I would point out that Christians in the ancient church were prohibited from performing in the theatre in part because of the lewdness of the plays that clashed with the Christian (and Stoic) sense of chastity. I can’t give an endorsement to this kind of job. But maybe our questioner has the skills to make his “show” more interesting both in the chatter and in the sexual performance. In fact, if the performer made more use of the chat box and shared more of himself, it would dent the primary moral objection to pornography, which is that it objectifies the body. By making more of his total self known to the watchers, the performer becomes more than a body. He becomes a human person.
I hope that our questioner will be employed again in a role that requires a fuller costume when this pandemic is suppressed. I don’t know the questioner. I’ll take his word for it that he’s a twenty-something who is in good shape and let the following image serve as his representation. I appreciate your pecuniary situation. Best wishes to you for a happy and safe 2021.
P.S. (October 22, 2021) I added to “Frank Answers About Nudity and Pornography” a note about the private website “Onlyfans” as a possibility for models to earn money. I recommend that our questioner also looks at Onlyfans as a money-making opportunity. I noticed that some performers on Chaturbate also have a page and followers on Onlyfans, like Cristian Lopez above.