Masturbation and my relationship: How I stopped worrying and learned to love myself… despite living with my partner

Guest post by Sloane Adelaide
By: Mark SkipperCC BY 2.0

We’ve talked about masturbation on Offbeat Home and Offbeat Bride before. We’re familiar with solo sex here. But what if you no longer live solo? “Easy,” I thought when thinking about how my sex life would change when my boyfriend and I finally moved in together. “Sex whenever/however/wherever we want. This is, as far as I can tell, the only reason anyone moves in together at all ever.” And more or less, this has proven true.

Except sometimes… I want, and he doesn’t.

And other times… I want very specifically to do my thing alone.

Well, guess what? I realized that for me, masturbation while living with my partner is perfectly normal. More than normal, it’s good. Great, even.

Initially I felt weird about looking forward to being alone to masturbate — or even sneaking off to bed early to get down to some independent business. Once when my boyfriend was up late watching a movie, I found myself lying in bed just waiting and growing more frustrated by the second, I realized that if we didn’t live together, I would have been done and asleep happily by then. I can’t expect our sex drives to match up all the time — we have to be in the mood at the same time. And that’s the thing: it’s about mood.

Good sex is, I think, more of a mental thing than a physical thing — and being turned on doesn’t wait for anyone. The mental aspect of sex is exactly why I believe that even if our sex drives synched every time, I’d still want to masturbate regularly. Being the conductor in your own orgasmic symphony is a completely different sexual experience than when someone else is a participant. Fantasy is a big part of sexual gratification, and it’s easiest to fantasize alone (cause in my head I can have all the lesbian threesomes I could want — even though that doesn’t work for my relationship dynamic in real life). As a teenager and young adult I explored my fantasies and sexuality with masturbation — why should those pursuits end at a certain age?

Once I realized that these moods and interests exist independently of my partner just as they had my whole life since puberty, and that “sex” includes solo sex as much as it includes sex with others, I wondered if he ever flew solo, too. So I asked him.

“Have you jacked off since I moved in?”

“No.”

“Is it cause you don’t want to or cause you don’t have time alone?”

“Definitely cause I don’t have time alone. There’ve been times when I wanted to just rub one out.”

“Rub one out.” The casual nature of that slang phrase really made me realize something else. Despite how fantastic the mental part of masturbation can be, there’s also still some times when you physically want to orgasm. ASAP. Like, before you can do anything else. Sex with your partner as a “means to an end” for that release of sexual energy is a lot more complicated emotionally than masturbation. Sometimes you just want to rub one out.

So I guess in summary, masturbation is for me an activity no less legitimate than staying up late to watch a movie. It’s a way to explore fantasies and your own sexuality. It’s a craving no less real than wanting ice cream right fucking now. It’s a means to an end so you can go the fuck to sleep. Whether or not you indulge these cravings or use this tactic is up to you — but now, our apartment is a masturbation-friendly zone. And we’re stoked.

Comments on Masturbation and my relationship: How I stopped worrying and learned to love myself… despite living with my partner

  1. I think this is great! It’s very similar in my home and this is the first time I’ve ever lived with a man. I love explain to my friends how it works in my house just to see their reactions. I’m living with my fiancé because I love him and I love that he knows that sometimes a girl just needs to rub one out and go to bed! 🙂

    • Do you mind if he looks at some erotic movies or masturbates/touches himself while watching in same room ? I mean if you are tired and prefer to go to sleep. Do you think husband should hide it out of respect or is it more respectful to not hide it and be open… Just would like a girls opinion

      • Personally, I wouldn’t mind. My bf and I sometimes watch erotic films together before sex but there are times I would prefer he just “rub one out” by himself. We have yet to try this but I will be mentioning it once he’s home! If he can play WoW all night in bed while I sleep why not fulfill other needs that way too. He does have a far more active sex drive than I do so I love your idea!

        • Aisling,

          I’m hope the idea helps, maybe guys just need the encouragement…I just think transparancy is best, but i know if I my desire isn’t burning and I think my bride is not anywhere in the sphere that I am in, then i don’t touch myself openly or will close a window if even like checking out sports illustrated page. tell him that jerking it helps guys last longer by holding it and try to not cum. its good practice while watching some silly erotic movie.

        • I don’t have any issues w him masturbating. Our sex drives are often mismatched- but i like watching him a lot.. I struggle w being comfortable doing the same though! I know he would like it but for some reason I always feel like I need to hide it.. It’d probably improve our mismatched sex drives if I figured out how to get over this stupid quirk of mine too..

      • I find it really corrosive to my own sexual attraction towards my husband. That’s kind of a problem. It for sure doesn’t make me want to have sex with him when he so easily will turn to other things for release. What do you need me for then? I know it’s natural. I know it’s okay. I know that I do it. But for whatever reason, I find it a little hurtful and would rather not know, or hear, or see any evidence of it. Dirty little secret. Or at least do it when I’m not home. Even then, cover your tracks. Cause when I find out or suspect it makes me feel like I’m missing something. It feels sneaky too. I’d actually prefer the energy be directed towards me or our connection b/c often when this is happening-I’m feeling deprived. But judging by everything I’ve read pertaining to this topic-having your husband come to you for sex all the time- is apparently unrealistic. Who knew?!
        To add porn into the mix…..that worsens it by a lot for me. You are literally seeking and looking at something else, to ignite pleasure centers in your brain. You are making that choice, over your wife. I often wonder how my husband would feel if he found my vibe left out. Or a searched my browser history (should I have one which I don’t). Maybe it’d turn him on? Or maybe it would make him question my satisfaction and make him feel just as shitty. I rather be devoted to one another. That’s just me.

        • Lisa,
          Thanks for taking the time and sharing your thoughts. I agree with how you feel and what you said. It is how it should be. I read something the other day that really hit home, surprisingly on a youtube comment. But it was something along the lines of if you are in love with someone that you wouldn’t need or want porn. It was so simple but struck me as such a large undeniable truth. My wife and I had a fight and it came up( that she is hurt by what I do), even though we watched some videos and she seemed not to mind and even said she was up for a softcore sort of movie. But still the truth is she doesn’t want me having to look at other women to get more in the mood. Part of the appeal is just her being okay with it, that for me was some sort of turn on. But I’m trying to turn over a new leaf once again, and be one of the few just men who can find a truer and better love for their spouse and not lust over other women, whether out in the world or on a PC. thanks again for sharing. And I’m glad you had the opinion you did and not the other side. Please don’t write back, as I need to step away and remove myself from these thoughts and not twist what is right and true

      • I’d love for him to watch it there in front of me. Who knows? I may forget I’m tired and start to feel the heat myself! But also, maybe it’s something you can talk to her about and see how she’d feel about it. Gluck!

  2. I have to be sneaky about it if I want to do it while my husband’s home, or he’ll be a little sad that I didn’t invite him to “help” (it’s not “helping” if it takes twice as long and requires twice as much clean-up, darlin…) Sometimes I just want to get off quickly, no fuss, knock out the headache I have brewing, and move on with my day without having to worry about things like “other people’s needs” and “breaking a sweat.” Actual two-person sex is a whole ‘nother activity that is kind of barely related. He’s lucky enough to be able to get off in the shower (I have to be laying down and comfortable) so if he wants to sneak it in, I’d never even know. I have to wait until he’s doing something loud enough to drown out the buzzing, haha.

    (Luckily I’m home alone a lot 😉 )

    • I believe your sentiment exactly mirrors my husband’s ideas about sex.
      And I think that a relationship is at its best when each partner can tend to their own needs when they arise, because then they can truly participate in the relationship when giving is wanted/needed.
      Moreover, I think solo time makes for a more assertive lover because then you know what is really good for you, and can tell your partner all about it when you come back together. Protip: if your partner likes dirty talk, feel no shame describing the last time you masturbated. 😀

    • My husband and I are okay with self pleasure. For years I masturbated secretly but eventually got over my shyness and embarrasment. if he is masturbating and I take over he is happy and if I don’t feel up to it he is happy. if I am masturbating and he helps me out , he doesn’t expect reciprocation. We love it….

    • Do you think it is okay for guy to be open about it and not hide it or you think alone in bath is better(private?)

  3. Cool. I have adrenal problems, so once I get a bit aroused it’s best for me to see it through as soon as possible so that my body isn’t sustaining that state, it’s a health thing. I think self-love it’s a matter of physical health for planty of people, it’s just not talked about. Satisfying masturbation (emphasis on the satisfying) is a great way to calm down at least that drive for a time while you’ve got lots of other urges and thoughts buzzing round your body; I think the point in the article about the energy it takes to have partnered sex is very important.

    Great to have it out in the open (the subject, I mean…)

  4. YES. I remember the first time I masturbated was when my partner was asleep next to me. When I told him the next morning, he said he thought it was awesome. This is totally healthy, and I’m lucky that he’s secure enough that if he comes home and I happen to be taking care of myself he doesn’t mind. Plus, we’ve got a kid in the mix, so sometimes masturbation is a definite stress reliever for me — it’s my “mama time” :).

  5. Yes! Sometimes I wake up and I would just like some self-love first thing in the morning. This is always a good opportunity for the hubby to take our daughter out for an early morning walk so I can have some alone time! I think it’s a turn on for both of us too, because then all day, we’re thinking about what we will do together the second our daughter is asleep! : ) We also got into the habit of texting each other whenever we have “Mastered our Domain.” Something about sharing makes us more lighthearted and happy. It’s something that we like to tease each other about, and that sense of playfullness can really brighten both of our days!

  6. I was recently having this convo with my husband, as we both have very hectic work schedules and our sex drives aren’t the least in sync right now. At first I felt guilty and a lil ashamed for keeping my vibrator. But after I realised that he still did it, it was a realisation that we can both still get some self love AND a robust sex life, when we did fall in sync. Yeaaa for keeping it real in relationships!

    • Hey, don’t feel bad about keeping your toys!

      In fact, when my husband (then boyfriend) moved in, I let him know where they were and he likes to get them out during “us” time!

  7. This right here folks –> “”Have you jacked off since I moved in?”

    Offbeat Empire Quote of the Week, for sure.

  8. Most of the time I go to bed at least three hours after my husband, so I “rub one out” just about every night. It’s been a nightly ritual for years and nothing puts me to sleep like a solo-O. I’ll even do it even if we just had sex a couple of hours ago. For me it’s almost not even a sexual thing, it’s just what it takes for me to fall asleep. I am lucky to have a partner that understands that.

  9. My partner masturbates much more often than I do. He has a higher libido than I do, so this arrangement satisfies us both. I sometimes ask him curious questions about his masturbatory habits, but it really doesn’t bother me that he does it.

    • Do you mind if he looks at some erotic movies or masturbates/touches himself while watching in same room ? I mean if you are tired and prefer to go to sleep. Do you think husband should hide it out of respect or is it more respectful to not hide it and be open… Just would like a girls opinion

  10. The hubs & I just moved overseas to live for 6 months. Luggage space is at a premium for this kind of move (living with just 2 suitcases, 2 backpacks and our computers for 6 months!). Without surprise, we each brought our own “toys” in our luggage.

  11. Even though I’m married, I masturbate because :
    – my sex drive is higher than his, and I’d rather go solo than resent him for not needing sex as much as I do. He knows it, probably doesn’t realize how often I do it, but it’s cool. I know he does it sometimes as well, though he won’t really speak about it.

    – I don’t feel pressured to come every time we have sex. I hardly have orgasm when we make love, so getting orgasms on my own is a good means for me to actually enjoy the physical intimacy of having sex together (rather than wanting an orgasm at all cost, forgetting about how good sex feels anyway and feeling frustrated in the end).

  12. Sadly my hormonal birth control has tanked my sex drive, so I haven’t had the need to go solo since I moved in with my s/o. I brought my toys with me, but I don’t think I’ve used them in two years. I hang on to them in case either of us has to go on a really long trip without the other. I sure hope he helps himself if he ever needs it, but I’ve never actually asked. I work a lot more than him though so he has plenty of time home alone.

    • This. How weird is that? My BC does not seem to inhibit my regular sex drive, but flicking the bean is something that just never occurs to me anymore. I used to be one of those people who would rub one out every night to sleep, and now it’s just “meh”.

      • That’s weird too, I’m the exact opposite. The pill completely ruined my drive for sex, I’ve also been very “meh”, not caring, enjoying it when it happens but actually kind of considering it more of a chore. Doing it alone is so easy and so relaxing though that it’s a daily thing. Even if I DON’T want to, it’s just so built into my routine. I’m just now, VERY slowly, starting to get my “regular” drive back. I’m so glad I’m not alone in considering these activities two completely separate things.

  13. So, does anyone else find the idea of your partner sneaking off to rub one out in the shower totally hot? Because I really do. I mean, not to sound skeevy or anything, but the idea of my partner masturbating has never been something that bothers me, but it has always been something that I’m kinda pervy about. Many men I’ve dated have been completely embarrassed to talk about it. My FH is totally honest and that’s cool.

    • I also secretly hope to catch my man at it. We’re both kinda prude, and I think if I caught him, and reacted just right, it would really open our doors. I would love to watch him….I know he wants to watch me…..but I can’t just come out and suggest that we do it….so I keep hoping to catch him.

      Not skeevy at all!!

      • I caught my wife playing, totally unintentionally, came home after going out for a run and she had headphones in and was oblivious. I found it really sensual, and when she finally realised I was was wasting her we couldn’t take our hands off each other…

    • I’m with you on that too. When I was an adolescent, male masturbation was only talked about as something icky; I was so relieved when I found out that I wasn’t the only het female who thought it was hot!

    • Late to the party here, but whatevs, I’m commenting anyways.

      So, totally also have always found this hot too… always known hubby does it, always secretly hoped to catch him…. but then, a few months ago, I was cooking tea, and hubby had gone in to have a shower, and I went in to ask him something dinner related, and caught him in the act. And I was PISSED… and I’m having this argument with myself in my head like “I’m right here!” “you do it too!” “but he had the water on, why would he try and hide it from me!?” “you know he does it” “but I’m right here!” “you were busy!” “kitchen counter while making dinner is a totally legit scene” but anyway, we talked about it, and I got over it, but I’m still a bit confused about my reaction….

      • Have been doing some searching for something on this subject, as I’m trying to understand my own mental and emotional responses. Foxie, your reaction is very close to mine. Logically, I see no problem with my bf masturbating: It helps him with stress, sometimes he just wants to “rub one out”, I’m not always around or may be busy, the list of benefits/legitimate reasons goes on.

        But for some reason, I can’t get over the anxiety it causes me. I have this weird combination of being incredibly turned on by him masturbating, not being able to get the thought of it out of my head every time he goes into the bathroom, and being frustrated when I do get turned on by it that he’s not doing anything with me (and that I can’t just “rub one out” in private as easily as he can). The last two are incredibly juvenile, I know. I don’t even know why I feel that way. I don’t know why I obsess over it. It’s like the few times I have walked in on him doing it are burned into my head. So all this frustration gets jumbled with my libido, creating a cocktail of anxiety mixed with being turned on that feels incredibly awful about something that’s completely normal and not a problem at all. I sincerely wish I could just be ok with it, but no matter how many times I tell myself it isn’t a problem, something in me just wants to be a bitch about it. I mostly keep it to myself, but it’s one of the things that can drag me down at any given moment.

        • I have this exact same issue and it’s really taken a toll on my relationship. I know he wakes up aroused and when I’m still asleep he looks at porn on his phone and goes to rub one out and every part of me wants to be comfortable with that. There’s an element to it that makes it feel sneaky, but I don’t know what I expect from him. I get so turned on by the idea while dealing with the same anxiety and they just feed off of each other and it makes me crazy. I could really see myself with him but I can’t keep this cycle going everytime either one of us gets turned on and aren’t up for sex.
          I believe a lot of it is stemmed from my own insecurities. He likes porn and it’s something I’ve never been that into because it’s so male centric. I’d be able to understand better if there were sites for straight women with straight male model but there just isn’t so how I can really relate?
          I try to remain calm and respect our differences but more often than not I just get frustrated. He’s been so understanding and accommodating. Next time I’m going to try to breathe slowly and think of all the great parts of our relationship and try to let it pass and not dwell on these thoughts.
          If you have made any progress please reply because I’m at a loss.

          • I posted this below in response to the main article, but figured I’d toss it here in response to you as well, just so that you see it.

            It’s been a while since I checked back in here. Got lost in the shuffle of emails and notifications I suppose.

            This is still something of an issue for me, and I was wondering how you were doing with it. I think I’ve made some progress, but I feel a bit like I’ve regressed some. Sometimes the frustration is strong. Sometimes it’s there and I’m able to get through it. However, I still always struggle.

            My partner and I have had a lot of conversations about it. Thankfully he is typically able to be open-minded and not take it personally. He knows that it’s my issue, and he knows that I know it’s my issue and that I’m not trying to control him. Just recently he decided that, until I get this anxiety of mine figured out (I promised that I’ll start seeing a sex therapist), he’s going to stop masturbating. His thoughts on it are that if I’m not anxious about obsessing over whether or not he’s masturbated in a given day (I seriously have this weird sixth sense about it and seem to know whenever he’s done it), I’ll be able to think more clearly about why I have a seemingly instinctual issue with it. Thus far it’s been working. I’m still looking for a therapist, but I’m keeping my promise. Some things about my hangups I’ve figured out on my own that other folks who have the same issue may find helpful:

            **Conservative Christian upbringing**
            I grew up in a Christian household. Sex and masturbation were taboo subjects. There was the very clear understanding that one was not to have sex before marriage. Masturbation was foul and sinful. This was driven home by parents, siblings, church leaders, youth group, and the general culture I was exposed to. We did not have internet until I was 14, and so I was easily sheltered. All my education about sex came either from church, public school sex ed, and general conversation in school or snippets here and there from adults around me.

            Needless to say, this mash-up of ideas and input created a bizarre and destructive idea of sexuality in me from a very young age.

            The problem I faced was that I have a very powerful sex drive. I’m not entirely sure what the statistic is for when people discover self pleasure and orgasm. I recall masturbating from a very young age, as young as five, though it could go back earlier than that. I only remember that age due to the fact that an elder sibling caught me in the act then. I learned how to masturbate with my clothes on, so I don’t think he knew what I was doing, but I distinctly remember the terror and embarrassment I felt at being discovered.

            At that point I didn’t know what sex was. My “fantasies” didn’t even involve sexual acts. I look back at them and wonder how I was even turned on, but the brain is a fickle thing. And for some reason I always felt like what I was doing–even before anyone told me what masturbation was and that I shouldn’t do it–was very very wrong. I can chalk a lot of it up to being an empath. Even as a child I could draw in the emotions of others without realizing it, and it’s likely experiences like where I was discovered and sensed the uncertainty of another caused me to fear what I was doing in a way.

            Whatever the case, when I began to understand what sex was and began to be aroused by it, that was when the real guilt set in. I was never taught that it was important to develop a sexual identity. I was never told that it was ok to explore my sexual thoughts and feelings. The public school sex ed I experienced really only served to scare kids and young adults into not having sex for fear of pregnancy or STIs. And masturbation was hardly even covered. In church and in my family, everything I was taught was to practice abstinence until married. And don’t you dare touch yourself, because that’s sinful and lustful and God is always watching.

            As a person with a very high sex drive, it was pure torture at times not to masturbate. When I did, I felt intensely guilty and would immediately repent and promise God I’d never do it again. I thought I had a problem because I felt the desire to masturbate every day, multiple times a day. I thought I had an addiction and that I was messed up and perverted. I congratulated myself if I went more than a week without masturbating. One time I think I made it a month. I was miserable.

            I wanted to have sex so badly. It became an obsession, some tangled wiring in my brain that is still there to some extent where sex barrels into my thoughts at least every half hour even now in my late twenties. Such a psychosis about sex and relationships had been created in me that I was terrified to be in a relationship for fear of having sex and getting pregnant or contracting an STI. Just as terrifying was the shame of my parents finding out or my peers calling me a slut for my thoughts and actions. I did not think I could control myself if I came to be in a relationship with someone.

            And so masturbation became my sole sexual outlet, however guilty I felt about it. It became the thing I miserably did when I wanted to have sex, which was frequently. This type of interaction with masturbation and sex lasted well into my early twenties. It was shaped into something unsurprisingly more twisted and unhealthy as I matured and interacted with even more conservative Christian beliefs.

            Fast forward to the present. I am in my late twenties. I am no longer a Christian. I am happily sexually active with my partner of 2 years. My sex drive is higher than his, though we usually manage to work things out well enough. I have been diagnosed with several endocrine disorders that affect mood and behavior causing symptoms of anxiety, OCD, depression, and ADD. This has a heavy impact on my behavior and anxiety related to sex and masturbation, and I struggle daily with issues brought on by my upbringing. Thankfully my partner is very supportive and is willing to work with me through what I am dealing with.

            I masturbate infrequently. Though I don’t consciously think of it as a dirty thing any longer, I know the idea of it being there is still in my mind, shaping my attitudes and feelings. I feel as though it’s a sneaky, selfish thing to do despite all that I tell myself it isn’t. It still holds a very strong stigma of the thing that I do when I want to have sex very very badly. It is extremely rare that I just want to masturbate. If I’m turned on enough to masturbate, I damn well am going to want to have sex, not “settle” for masturbating. I don’t think this is a healthy mindset. Especially because I project it onto him. When he masturbates, I ask myself why can’t he just have sex with me? If he’s so turned on, why masturbate? I’m usually around when he does it. It seems the lesser of the options because I can honestly say I am always ready to have sex. Or at least why can’t he masturbate with me there so I can experience it and use it to get off myself?

            I get incredibly turned on by just thinking of it. The moment I think of him masturbating, the entire scene plays into my mind. I almost project myself into him and his body. Feeling what he’s feeling, seeing what he’s seeing, thinking what he’s thinking. I desire so strongly to /be him/ in that moment. To experience it all from his mind and body.

            And so when I know he has masturbated, whether because I found out (I’m about 90% with knowing when he’s done it despite lack of physical evidence; usually if I suspect I ask just to confirm so I don’t go crazy wondering) or he told me, I struggle massively with an avalanche of conflicting thoughts and emotions that range from anger to guilt to arousal to disgust to anxiety to abandonment. I am angry because he did something on his own without me when I would have been perfectly willing to be involved. I am guilty because I know I should be ok with it but don’t know how to be. I am aroused because my imagination immediately runs wild with images of him doing it as well as thinking about his experience of it and his arousal. I am disgusted because that’s what I was taught to think about masturbation, and despite no longer holding those beliefs, their echoes still haunt me. I am anxious because I don’t know exactly what he did; I don’t know what he watched, how he did it, how long it took, how he felt, how strong his orgasm was, what it looked like, etc; I didn’t have any experience of it and so am anxious about it. And I feel abandoned because I wonder if there is something wrong with me that he would choose to masturbate to pornography or fantasies over having sex with me.

            I believe all these feelings are legitimate in that I am having and experiencing them. However, I don’t believe all are healthy, and I try my damndest not to react to them. I will talk to him about them, but I do my best not to control his actions due to my own issues and insecurities.

            All this and much more is why I am seeing a sex therapist as soon as I find one in my area who is decent. Because I would really really like to have a healthy relationship with my sexuality. I think being ok with my partner masturbating starts with being more secure in myself and my sexuality.

            For anyone who got to the end of my post, I congratulate you and hope I didn’t bore you too much. Any thoughts or suggestions?

  14. I hate to play Devils advocate here, but I have recently been doing some heavy research into relationship problems, and read about the possibility that flying solo whilst in a long term relationship can actually be detrimental.

    I was incredibly surprised. In my marriage we had the same policy as most of you here and I’ve never had a problem with it.

    But… then my marriage didn’t last either!!!

    Since then I’ve been working on finding out why so I don’t make the same mistakes with my current boyfriend.

    Apparently this could have contributed. (Ok I know it DID contribute, heavily)
    I don’t yet know enough to give you a good insight, but if you are interested I can suggest you look in to the work of Mark Gungor, or the No Fap community on Reddit, or yourbrainonporn.com

    • I have recently been doing some heavy research into relationship problems, and read about the possibility that flying solo whilst in a long term relationship can actually be detrimental.

      Can you provide some links to the research that supports this? From my personal experiences, I strongly disagree — but I’d be curious to see research on the subject.

      I will say that for me personally, I feel that emotional self-reliance is hugely important in my relationship, and that sexual self-reliance is an integral component of that. While shared intimacy is of course a top priority, I hugely value time to be intimate with my own body.

      • I’m on my phone which makes linking difficult but the people and websites I mentioned in my earlier posts talk about it and there are links to the research.
        The youbrainonporn.com website is what led my ex husband to realize it was causing us problems, and it is to do with the “disconnect” Eleigh mentioned.
        Doing a search for Mark Gungor – Yo Mama on YouTube will lead to a seminar that explains the effect in the context of marriage. It should be mentioned that he’s a Pastor, and as an Atheist I must admit I would not have taken his word for gospel (haha) had I not already read the research via the other website and the anbectodal evidence from the reddit /nofap community.

        • I think the issue is not masturbation itself but the frequent consumption of internet porn that causes the disconnect. In Sex for Dummies (by Dr. Ruth) and The Guide to Getting it On (used as a sex ed book in college classrooms) they mention that folks with a very good sex life masturbate regularly. WebMD: “Some experts suggest that masturbation can actually improve sexual health and relationships. By exploring your own body through masturbation, you can determine what is erotically pleasing to you and can share this with your partner. Some partners use mutual masturbation to discover techniques for a more satisfying sexual relationship and to add to their mutual intimacy.”

          • It looks like the fear of the unknown is a common factor with several comments. If every time you feel you need a release, men and woman, you do it in front of them, yes every time, eventually the fear of the unknown will dissolve. Eventually you will get tired of seeing it or feeling you need to be there to be a part of it.

      • i know this is old, but learning about what women think is okay. sort have asked a few here on this thread and looking to take a toll. i know you think alone time is good for both in relationship, but I rather not hid it…meaning if i’m watching a movie and wife comes in i’m not going to change window….sometimes I do, but not all the time in hopes she will watch with me. what are your thoughts?

    • Fate, I appreciate you bringing up an alternative viewpoint. I think that it really depends on the relationship dynamic of the people involved, as well as each individual’s sex drive and stamina. I know that for us, self-lovin’ only happens when one of us is traveling without the other (such as on a business trip) or if one of us (usually me) is ill for an extended period of time. And we totally tell each other that it happened, get hot talking about when we’ll be together again, and often try to rub one out on the same day. (I should also mention that we do this without pornographic materials. While we each have our own feelings about it, we’ve found that introducing pornography into our lives changes the way we interact with each other, as well as with other people, in a negative way.)

      But when we’re both present and available in our day to day lives, we don’t masturbate. For us personally, we’ve found that frequent or unequal masturbation gets us off-cycle and we’re less connected when we do have sex. I suppose we’re lucky that our personal sexual needs are similar. Sometimes one of us will want it more often, but waiting until we can have sex is more satisfying and keeps the mysterious out-of-sync tension and discord from popping up in assorted aspects of our lives. It’s weird, but when there’s a sexual disconnect, we find ourselves at odds in all sorts of other way (sleep and eating patterns diverging, feeling more extroverted or introverted, experiencing more misunderstandings, getting easily annoyed or frustrated with the other, etc). Getting back on the same page sexually is the quickest and most thorough fix. Since we’ve started trying to have a baby, this has been even more true.

      It’s as if our sexual rhythm is the metronome of our marriage: if I tick when he tocks, the discord reverberates through all aspects of our relationship. Once we’re back in sync, everything is harmonious. (And if something non-sexual knocks us off-kilter, after practical concerns are out of the way, sex is the best way to heal it and start feeling like “us” again).

      • This makes me think of that saying:

        When sex is good, it counts for 10% of the relationship- when it is bad it counts for 90%

        • I TOTALLY agree with a little “self love”, lol. I have a very high sex drive, which has been a bit knocked off kilter by being on antidepressants. I just recently began dating a new guy and so we are just beginning to explore each other. I am very open with my sexual habits, what I like, what I’m willing to do, what makes me uncomfortable….you know. He is not QUITE as forthcoming, but the potential is definitely there. I make no secret of how much I masturbate. When I am not in a relationship, I do NOT have casual sex. Its a turn off to me. I need that “connect”. So when it becomes an issue of needing a release, I just look after it myself. I need the visual stimulation though, so a nice bit of quiet time with me and a little porn is ideal for me…..I’m kind of kinky and I do enjoy watching porn….lol. The bf knows i do it…..we just haven’t gotten comfortable enough yet to watch together. He DOES, however, love to watch me touch myself….it turns him on. I just rubbed one out this morning(two, actually, lol!!)and aside from wanting to nap now(gotta get ready for work tho…sigh)I feel great. I even texted him and told him. MMmmmmm. Gives him something to think about til we see each other. And I look at it this way…….at least when I need it, I’m taking care of business if he can’t be there….and not seeking someone else out to scratch that itch!!!!!

      • Yes I agree in a perfect world this would be the ultimate relationship. I would not need to fanaticize about my Fireman coming to save me and he would not need to look at his porn. We learn how to deal with life the best that we can. Some issues are not worth stressing over and some need to be rubbed out.

    • If it’s at the *expense* of partner-time I wouldn’t be surprised if it was damaging. I’m sure that what we’re talking about here is with the caveat that it should be healthy; people choose not to masturbate for other reasons too, such as previous sexual abuse (it’s possible to self-harm through masturbation, both physically and mentally, and some people find cold turkey on the whole thing is the easiest way to stop that), or having become dependent on porn to get off in the past (I mean really, really dependent; sub “addicted to” for that if you prefer). Not all wanks are created equal :).

      It’s a great atmosphere in this thread, lots of acknowledgement that people have different experiences, no saying “everyone must masturbate” or that no-one should. Offbeat Empire rules.

  15. I love this.

    My fiancee and I both get off on our own, he does it more then me. Its just a thing that he does and I don’t care. I kind of find it hot, to be honest. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me or doesn’t love our sex life – he finds it to be a completely separate thing. And I still feel the need to get off alone when he’s not home or sometimes even when he is. Doesn’t mean I don’t love him or our sex life – sometimes just a girl needs to get off on her own. 😉

  16. Here’s my problem though: I HAVE to hide the fact that I masturbate from my husband because he has a crazy high libido and if he even THOUGHT that my hand was getting CLOSE to my vagina, he’d come bursting in through the door, erection at the ready. He thinks it’s hot so I can’t do it without being manhandled.

    • Would you both be amendable to him masturbating in the corner while you do it? I realize that makes it no longer flying 100% solo, but it might be a nice middle ground wherein you don’t feel like you have to hide and where he knows to respect that you’re not interested in being groped. You don’t have to call him in every time you get ready to get down with yourself, but just have a standing policy that if he realizes you’re masturbating and finds himself frisky that he’s more than welcome to relieve himself, but that he’s not to bother you unless you invite him over.
      I’ve found it exceptionally liberating to have a standing policy that if I’m masturbating, it’s because I’m not interested in a bunch of sexual contact. If I get bugged by my dude when I’m not in the mood for touchy stuff (even if I’m masturbating), I’m totally turned off and done with it. But if he respects my space, it’s actually kinda hot and I usually DO invite him over. Oh, silly Brain.
      Anyway, just an idea for you or anyone else who has this issue and wants to change up the dynamic. If how you’re handling it now is working for you, that’s totally awesome, too!

  17. My guy “rubs one out” at least once a day, maybe twice. And our sex life is amazing. It’s also nice to know if I don’t finish with him, I can count on him to caress my back while I’m helping myself. I have watched him, and it turns me on so bad! We also have 3 kids collectively, so sometimes alone time is neccessary for our sanity!
    I was raised in a house where it was thought that masturbation was a dirty sin, so it took awhile to get comfortable with knowing that I needed to, but I was always kind of a rebel! 🙂

  18. Of course we allow solo play! Often if one of us is having trouble sleeping we’ll do it – it’s not a desire for sex, it’s just a desire for sleep that that solves handily (so to speak.) If I had to have sex with my fiance every time I wanted an orgasm I’d never have time for anything else. I don’t even see the desire to masturbate at the desire to have sex as the same thing. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. ;D

  19. I have a very healthy sex life with my boyfriend. But if i go to bed before him he grabs his chance to rub one out. It bother’s me deeply because I know I am right in the other room! This morning I walked in the bedroom (Door was Closed) to find him touching himself and he rushed to hide it. When I ask him or catch him he denies it and turns the table on me. Yes I do watch porn because my libido is not like his and Im trying to catch up. I just don’t get it. The other thing too is when we do have sex he does last a long time. But when we have in the past watch porn he is like a minute man…What gives…I am at a point in my relationship where i am about to leave. Some input would help me a lot.

  20. Could we have a follow up post or discussion about accepting the fact that your partner masturbates? Because this has been the main issue between my husband and I. I masturbate maybe twice a week, and he does at least once a day. The issue comes in when I feel like he chooses to masturbate instead of having sex – like when he’s been at home alone most of the day, but still chooses to do it after I get home from work and am in the shower. It’s not that our sex life is bad – it’s great! But I know I need to work on loving myself and realizing that he doesn’t love the women in the porn he watches – it’s a means to and end. And I think it’ll work better for us if he does it when I’m not around (not a rare thing, as I have a full-time job and he’s currently unemployed).

    The reason I post this here is because when I’ve searched around for advice online, most of the advice I see is that masturbation is BAD, BAD thing and neither of us should do it at all. I’m more in the viewpoint that we should do it – but never INSTEAD of enjoying each other. And I think that the people here will be more understanding of that.

    • I think that sounds 100% reasonable. All you can do is talk to your husband about it though. nothing anyone here can say to you will make him understand your feelings on the matter, nor you his.

  21. Its been a while since I visited this site, lemme say this post was a great first time back read! Echoing what most of you have said, I think masturbation is normal in a relationship. While I definitely enjoy handling business on my own, my last partner and I used to masturbate together. Sometimes just to mix things up, other times because we were just to tired to do much but wanted sexual release.

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