Rachel Held Evans hosted a symposium on “Christians and Masturbation,” highlighting a variety of theological perspectives on the matter. From Tara Owens’ contribution:

For the most part, we’ve been given two sets of unhelpful “rules” for what we should do with our sexuality: (1) respond to our sexuality as an appetite, like hunger, and feed appropriately or (2) avoid or subjugate our sexuality as something to be expressed only in covenanted conjugal relationship and ignored or sublimated at all other times. This is a false dichotomy, and both of these paradigms tend to end up in dysfunction. We either find ourselves at the mercy of our “needs” which leads to a low grade despair, or divorced from the life and pleasure that sexuality brings, living in a kind of discontented numbness.

Like many of the questions surrounding sexuality, I don’t think we can find simple answers—or any answers that hold together in real life situations—outside of the context of relationship.

For me, sexuality is broader than mere genital expression (intercourse, foreplay, masturbation, etc.), and encompasses all of the embodied ways that we desire connection with the world, with one another, and with God—as well as all of the ways we go about expressing that desire. While that definition can be taken to extremes, taking a broader view of sexuality allows us to see the ways that sexuality impels us to connection with one another. Taken in this context, masturbation and whether or not it is a healthy expression of sexuality for a particular individual become questions of whether or not the acts of masturbation at a particular season of life are drawing you deeper into isolation from others and from God, or into deeper connection and intimacy.

Copyranter discovered the hathos-filled PSA seen above:

Jesus yanking Christ, this is perfect.

- the non-judgmental acoustic guitar music.
- the “make love not war” sign on Ricky’s door.
- Mom being so kind, and interested on how good it felt.
- Ricky’s facial expression, especially during the slow zoom-in ending.
- I wonder who Ricky was thinking about? Farrah Fawcett? Lee Majors? The school nurse?

Catch up on the Dish’s popular thread on masturbation here.