Today, we have a question from “Steve,” in Denver, CO:
“My girlfriend doesn't want me to masturbate since we are together. Is there anything I can do to convince her that it’s OK?”
Steve is not the first guy who has been placed on a masturbatory hiatus when in a serious relationship. I think the reason these things tend to happen is that a partner may be feeling threatened, or even intimidated by the idea of her man masturbating. She may think that a preference for solo sex over the joint variety is an indication that you're not attracted to her, or worse, that he thinks she's no good in the bedroom. So it is easy to see how this might give her hurt feelings or feelings of rejection.
On the other hand, adults who are in long-term relationships tend to get a bit bored in the bedroom, and it makes sense; we fall into a sort of sexual repertoire and we don't deviate from it often. And the reason for this is we’re tired - very tired! As adults, we may be juggling kids, jobs, and a whole bunch of other social obligations. So, at the end of the day, it can be enough work just to just do it, let alone do it creatively. So we tend to fall back on old faithful so we can get the job done and just go to sleep. It's sad, but it's true.
Masturbation, on the other hand, gives men and women alike the opportunity to explore their sexuality in different ways. They may engage in different fantasies or explore different sensations that they are not getting within the realm of their typical sexual experience. Think about masturbation as the ATM of sex; you get exactly the service you're looking for, and you don't have to deal with an actual person. It's a win-win! That being said, masturbation and sex don't have to be mutually exclusive within a long-term relationship; they can coexist. In fact, individuals who masturbate tend to be a little bit more open to different types of sensation and exploration. So, if a guy can muster up the courage to include a partner in that exploration, they can actually find a whole new world of sexual experience. So, there we have it: proof that masturbation actually can help a relationship, rather than hurt it.