Every time I masturbate, I can't help but think that God and my ancestors are sitting somewhere in the clouds shaking their heads at my choices in porn.
I am a woman of God with a high libido who is not married, leaving me in quite a conundrum and I know that I am not alone in the struggle. Am I dishonoring my faith by touching myself and indulging in self-pleasure? According to Erica Campbell, the answer is yes.
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The Mary Mary singer recently appeared on The Breakfast Club to talk about her new book More Than Pretty: Doing the Soul Work that Uncovers Your True Beauty and shared her beliefs on masturbation and self-pleasure and wants you to ask yourself this question next time you pull up the "private" tab on your browser for a midnight dip in the cookie jar:
"Where does God go when you are self-pleasuring? Where does He go? Somebody asked me the question, 'Was it wrong, was it right?' I know some churches say for the bruthas. 'It'll keep you from slipping up. Go ahead and handle yourself. I've heard some women say, 'I take care of myself before I go out on a date.'"
To Erica, purity is more than about going to church and praying, it's about living a lifestyle that honors God; and in her case, that means refraining from self-pleasure altogether:
"I think about purity and purity happens before the actual action of whatever you do. Whatever you watch, whatever you listen to, whatever you do with yourself. Your mind being a place of purity is very crucial. But I think in our society today, everything is sexualized. You could be selling chicken and there will be a pair of boobs there. It's just everywhere. So I think guarding your mind and guarding your thoughts and treating sex and sexuality as something beautiful that God created that's supposed to be beautiful and otherworldly and you come together with somebody and your lives come together. It's not so cheap."
The singer, who has been married to her husband, Warryn Campbell since 2011, said that as a married woman, abiding by this principle has been especially important. While there are a number of studies that suggest the benefits of masturbation in marriage, Erica says that there's no gray area when it comes to the vows you and your said in front of God. She explained:
"I just don't think it's supposed to be done by yourself. I got an amazing, fine, wonderful husband so I just don't have to. I got a husband there. Now, I know for singles, it might be a different story but there are married people who would just rather handle it themselves. And I can't imagine what your husband feels like. Now, I gotta compete with your toys. It's too much."
To masturbate or not to masturbate? That is the question that Erica Campbell says that you and God have to have one-on-one, but ultimately, she believes that every time we achieve the big "O" on our own, we're doing ourselves a disservice:
"That's between you and God but I just think when you are trying to live a pure life, when you are trying to hold yourself and keep yourself, for this beautiful, special wonderful moment or life with a spouse, don't lessen it. Don't cheapen it."
Our plan isn't God's plan, and Erica wants us to know that our handheld vibrators are nowhere in the blueprint.
"I'm not judging nobody. I'm just talking about what God created. And it's always the enemy's job to pervert it, to twist it, to corrupt it, to make it filthy. He gave us free will. We can choose Him or not."
While we may all have our own beliefs when it comes to spirituality and religion, Erica says there is no black-and-white when it comes to self-pleasure in her household for this reason:
"There is a way that is right. There is a way that is honoring God. And the scripture says, there is a way that seems right to man. That doesn't mean that it lines up with what God wants for you. And I feel like God's plan is always a bigger, better, more awesome plan that we can't see and we don't understand but I believe there is greatness in that obedience, in that faith."
What do you think about Erica's comments, do you think masturbating is dishonoring God? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image by Paras Griffin/Getty Images.