When I first read the following question, I thought surely I’d answered it before. But while I could find a post about sexting your spouse, I couldn’t find one specifically about having “Skype sex.” So I’m tackling it today.
My husband works away from home (over seas) for up to six months at a time. Obviously, this means that we are unable to be intimate during the time that he is away (fireworks when he’s home). We have started to use skype for “skype sex”. I’m not terribly comfortable with it because I’ve been told so many times that masturbation is wrong. However, I also know that it is time spent with my husband, keeping our marriage strong. It doesnt involve anyone else and were doing it together.
I guess what I am asking is, should there be shame here? I’m so torn.
I’ve written about masturbation before, and I won’t be able to do as thorough a treatment of that topic here. So let me first point out those posts that deal specifically with masturbation:
Summarizing what I’ve said before, masturbation is not biblically wrong, it’s fine in the marriage when mutual engagement is part of the sex act, and masturbation should not take sexual energy away from your spouse.
Of course, excessive masturbation or touching yourself while looking at or picturing others are problems. If that’s happening in a marriage, it needs to stop.
It is indeed quicker and easier for most people to reach orgasm using their own hands, because we have a feedback loop for what feels good and can immediately adjust. If you get overly used to that form of sexual satisfaction, it can be difficult to be patient and adaptable in the presence of your beloved to make things happen. Because it takes more communication and connection to have your husband bring you to climax, or vice versa. However, it’s ultimately more fulfilling.
What you’re describing, though, isn’t solo masturbation. It’s mutual. You’re engaging together as much as possible, while at different ends of the Earth. If you were in the same room, you’d be jumping each other’s bones and setting off those fireworks. But time and distance are preventing that from happening.
To my mind, here are the choices:
- You shut down sexually for six months. Now, I’ve actually heard of military husbands who prefer not to stoke their sexuality at all while away from their wives, because they feel it’s even harder to be reminded of what they are missing. But that’s not most spouses I hear from. And it requires a great deal of willpower.
- You feel all those sexual urges and do zip about them. This is difficult, but it can be done. For those in this scenario, my post for singles about what to do with sexual desire that can’t be satisfied might be helpful.
- You take of your own business. This is the solo masturbation option, where you let your sexual desires build and build until you finally release the tension. You might flirt, sext, imagine, and express your sexual love, but you don’t act on it together. You take care of that buildup separately.
- You engage in mutual masturbation. Which is the course your husband clearly wants to take, and that you’ve agreed to at times. It’s a way to be as sexual with one another as you can, while still many miles away from one another.
I don’t believe any of these choices is expressly wrong. Rather, they each could cause you to grow closer or to grow further apart, depending on who you each are and your relationship. And that’s the measure.
You state yourself: “However, I also know that it is time spent with my husband, keeping our marriage strong. It doesnt involve anyone else and were doing it together.”
It sounds like you know the answer then. Engaging in this activity, as awkward as it might seem at first or to some, seems to be strengthening your marriage.
So why do you feel shame?
- Because there is a prevalent view that masturbation is always wrong. Which I address in the above posts. I think you can relax on that one and make your test for this activity the principles of Galatians 5:22-23 (the Fruit of the Spirit) and 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (the Love Chapter).
- Because it’s awkward to touch yourself. If touching yourself hasn’t been a part of your sexual encounters while together, it can feel really odd to do it here. It’s a bit self-indulgent, and your hand certainly feels different from his. The truth is the only way to get over this is to get through it. That is, do almost anything more times and you’ll get more comfortable with it. It won’t ever feel like his hand, but if he feels a part of the experience, you’re not just selfishly getting yourself off.
- Because you’re in front of a camera. I’m well-aware that some women get paid to do this on the internet, and that’s clearly wrong. So you might feel this weird sense that maybe you’re like those gals, feeding a voyeuristic turn-on for the guy on the other end of the phone call. But this is your husband, and you’re engaging in sexual activity entirely within the confines of marriage. Would it be wrong if that camera was a window? It’s the same principle, so maybe think of it that way.
- Because it’s going over the phone lines. Or internet lines. Or however all that technology works. And this is where I get the most concerned. Probably because I still don’t entirely understand how my light bulb turns on, much less all the ins and outs of Skyping. Is there any possibility that someone else could tap in or that any of that imagery gets saved somewhere in the vast world of internet data? I felt like I should research this, but then I decided that instead of spending hours running down rabbit trails to figure all that out … I’d ask my tech-savvy readers. I know you’re out there. Will you please either warn us or explain why there is no cause for worry? I expect to see you in the comments. Thank you.
One final thought: If you don’t want to have Skype sex with your husband, you don’t have to. While everything I’ve said (with the exception of the technology question, which someone else will answer) show that I don’t consider this a problem, it still isn’t something a spouse should demand in a long-distance season of marriage.
It’s legitimately okay to say you feel so extremely uncomfortable that you need to find another way to deal with your sexual desires. Because it isn’t straight-out sex, so I don’t think you’re depriving your husband if you don’t engage (see 1 Corinthians 7:3-5). It’s the physical separation itself that’s causing the absence of sex.
But given your situation — six months apart! — you might want to give long-distance sexting or Skype sex a shot. It might help you both hang on until you can be back in one another’s arms and in your literal marriage bed.