First of all, thank you for all the work and efforts you have put into the site, Growing Up in the Lord for Boys. Even though I'm in my mid to late 20s, I really appreciate the answers that you give, and how you give your answers a God-focused perspective, while also dealing with the frank realities of being male.
As of this writing, I am just a few months away from being married to my fiancée and best friend. We have been engaged for just under a year and have been together for over two years. We will both be virgins on our wedding night. We have both been stubborn about keeping ourselves pure before marriage. This led to us not even kissing until I proposed to her. Even now, when we do kiss, we keep it under a few seconds and never longer. When we do sit close together on the couch, we are mindful of where we place our hands. We keep it limited to hugs and hand-holding. Sometimes I do place my hand on her thigh, but I never let my hand get anywhere beyond that.
It was recommended to us that we read the book "The Art of Marriage". Reading this book has been instructive when thinking about the emotional and physical aspects of the sexual relationship in marriage. However, after reading some of the book separately, we realized that we were limited in what we could talk about together regarding the book before marriage. This is because so much of the sexual aspect of marriage you learn by doing.
I've confided to my fiancée that while the book has been instructive, it is rather frank in talking about sex, and I have struggled with keeping my thoughts under control. I have been sporadic in reading it in order to keep myself from fantasizing about what sex will be like with my fiancée once we are married. There is a chapter in the book that has recommendations and guides on the wedding night and that first sexual encounter, how to bring a woman to orgasm, what her clitoris is, how to stimulate it, etc. It also includes the pros and cons of a few sexual positions, plus a lot of other information as well. When it comes to ejaculating, I'm one of those guys who can't remember the last time I had a wet dream. I think I started masturbating and bringing myself to ejaculation before I ever had enough of a buildup to even have a wet dream.
I will say, there have been a couple of nights recently where she has been at my house (her mother is always at the house with us, so we are never alone) and we were both feeling passionate and attracted to each other, but we didn't act on anything. Like I said, we keep it limited to just a few seconds-long kisses and hugs, and sitting close together on the couch. We also are very honest with each other and tell each other if something becomes "too much" for the other.
Between reading about what sexual life will be like once I'm married, plus being really attracted to my fiancée, I find myself thinking about sex a lot, which increases my sexual arousal and gets my "engine" going. There have been a couple of times where I do masturbate and ejaculate after she has left and gone home. What do you think about this? When I do masturbate I try not to think about her specifically, because even though she is my fiancé, we are still not married yet, and it would be wrong to be using her specifically in any fantasies. I am mindful of verses, like Song of Solomon 2:7, that talk about not stirring up or awakening love until it pleases. I fight against fantasizing about what sex will be like with my fiancée, and I do try to keep it to just thinking about what sex would be like once I'm married. I try to keep it as generalized as possible.
Do you think it is okay in my situation while engaged and just a few months shy of being married, to use masturbation a few times a week as a way to ejaculate and take the edge off of my heightened sexual arousal before being married? Do you have any advice on how to manage my "thought life", specifically while engaged to be married?
I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
I suspect the book you are reading is The Act of Marriage by Tim LaHaye. It is a decent book, one that my wife and I read before our marriage, but I have found some of the recommendations to be inaccurate. I found Love Life by Ed Wheat to be better.
When I do marriage preparation classes, one of the topics I cover is that sexual temptations rise before a wedding. Not only is there the approaching excitement of having sex for the first time that raises your arousal levels but there are temptations, such as "If we jump the gun, no one will know if we have sex just before the wedding." Of course, God knows but you and your fiance also know. Giving into those sorts of temptations will plant seeds of doubt that may start growing later in a marriage. You have the right idea that you have to stick to your commitment to not let anything even start you down the path of sin.
One of the traps to avoid is thinking that you need to perform intercourse perfectly. You and your future wife are totally inexperienced so that is an unrealistic expectation. Aim to have fun and enjoy time moment (and the mistakes). Learning about what is expected in sex is good to avoid causing unnecessary hardships or pain. I'm finding it necessary to discuss these matters because too many guys have seen pornography and think sex is supposed to be like porn -- it isn't. The fornication shown in pornography is about selfish behavior. The act of intercourse in a marriage is a giving behavior.
However, thinking about what is coming up does stir sexual passions. Such are hard to avoid. As you noted, Song of Solomon brings up the problems of daydreaming about sex (Song 2:5-7), dealing with sexual desire (Song 2:16-17), and even dreams of sex (Song 3:1-5). The struggle to maintain pure thoughts is real and an important battle to fight. By the way, it isn't really the books that are causing the issue. Even without the books, the struggle would remain because of the knowledge that your opportunity to have sex with your wife is coming closer.
For males, ejaculating does keep the physical parts of sexual desire under control. There is no reason to stop what works for you prior to your wedding night. As you are noticing, it will not interfere with your ability to have sex on your wedding night since your body regenerates semen rapidly when you are aroused.
In regards to thoughts, all I can suggest is that you avoid thinking about sexual acts when you are relieving yourself. Of course, your thoughts will be gravitating toward your intended -- that is natural. However, you don't want to create expectations that are not likely to be met when you actually do have sex. When a guy is highly wound up sexually, he can ejaculate without thinking about anything in particular.