Masturbation and Relationships
When we enter a relationship there is a deeper discovery of intimacy between ourselves and our partner. We may open-up about our sexual desires and fantasies. We may also withhold information from our partner for fear of rejection.
Is masturbation still acceptable when you’re in a relationship? Is there something wrong with me if my partner has masturbated? These questions have most likely come up in a relationship where one or even both partners have masturbated. Masturbation itself is a taboo topic. Images of a horny, socially inept, teenager, holed up in their parent’s basement beating away till dawn on YouTube with a trusty old sock, comes to mind. Images like this and others lead to a belief that masturbation is a shameful and secret act or shouldn’t be considered when you have a willing sexual partner.
In his Psychology Today article Are Sex and Masturbation the Same?, Ari Tuckman PsyD, CST, presents sex and masturbation in metaphor using hunger as the basic need we are addressing: …is grabbing a slice of pizza on the run the same thing as sharing a romantic meal with your partner? After all, in both cases you satisfy your hunger, but good luck trying to convince your partner that the one can substitute for the other. This is an interesting perspective. So then can we make the argument that both sex and masturbation are inherently the same and that by engaging in masturbation we are discounting erotic intimacy with our partner?
People masturbate regularly, even in relationships. There are a multitude of reasons why and to simply boil the reason down to disinterest in one’s partner is short sighted. People masturbate to relieve stress, boredom, impatience and sometimes they do it for self-care, taking some time for themselves without the thought of another. There is no way to know for sure and that’s why it’s always important to communicate. If a partner comes across evidence of masturbation in a relationship, instead of drawing conclusions, simply bringing it up without judgement is enough to start a healthy dialog. Relationships boil down to communication and this dispels all sorts of misunderstandings and hurt feelings. It is also left up to the individuals in the relationship to know if masturbation is acceptable. Our view is that it’s perfectly normal whether you’re in a relationship or single!
A few thoughts on the subject:
- If you get caught by your partner, don’t be embarrassed, welcome them in to play!
- Sometimes sex can be a lot to prep for, why not masturbate together?
- Have open dialogue about masturbation, what turns you on? What do you fantasize about? If you and your partner are in a confident, secure relationship, this can be a lively conversation.
This is all not to say that there aren’t times when masturbation is used to avoid problems in a relationship. Again, here communication is the most important action. Always enter communication with an open mind and heart, ready to listen and not make assumptions. This is all in hopes to make masturbation an open and positive addition to you and your partners relationship.