Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash
Photo by Deon Black on Unsplash

“Swimmers” Test Porn

Question

My husband and I are having difficulty getting pregnant. He had to go for a “swimmers” test today. They put him in a room with a TV, videos, and magazines. The videos were all “lesbian action,” as he put it. The magazines were the usual porn junk. But we’re both wondering what the church’s take on this is. Should I have gone with him to “help,” so it wouldn’t be masturbation? Should my husband think only of me when “giving his sample?” And are those realistic solutions?

Answer

Infertility has become an increasing concern for thousands of couples and many aren’t prepared for all of the things involved in trying to get pregnant. One of those is the “swimmers” test you are asking about. There are an increasing number of men who bring this question to us but it’s always something that is awkward and difficult for them to discuss.

While masturbation isn’t necessarily a sin, there are many reasons why the regular practice of masturbation can be unhealthy and/or involve sin. However, it isn’t sinful for a man to think about and visualize a romantic encounter with his wife in order to provide a sample for fertility treatments. We’ve never worked with a man who had to look at porn to get to the point where he was able to ejaculate. As he focuses on you, his love for you, one of your special and intimate times together during a particularly romantic moment, he should have no problem making the necessary contribution.

From our perspective, those are realistic and healthy solutions that are consistent with who God has made us to be and how he has designed us to function. We wish you God’s very best as you seek to have a family.

Gary J. Oliver, ThM, PhD
Executive Director at Center for Healthy Relationships | + posts

Dr. Oliver is the Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Relationships, and professor of Psychology and Practical Theology at John Brown University.  He has authored over 20 books and more than 350 professional and popular articles.  Dr. Oliver has over 40 years’ experience as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage  & Family Therapist and Spiritual Director.  He leads seminars & workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of counseling-related issues, healthy relationships as well as Emotional & Relational Intelligence (ERI).

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