Q&A: Will Masturbation Affect Your Relationship?

Masturbation is normal and healthy for both guys and gals – it’s a normal way to explore your sexuality as you go through puberty and teenage years, and then it becomes an excellent way to relieve sexual tension and stress when you can’t or don’t want to have sex with another person. It can also help you explore what you like and don’t like during sex, so you can more effectively communicate with your lovers about how you like to be touched. But can it affect a relationship and cause problems between two people? Can excessive masturbation ruin a partnership, or is it more likely due one partner having jealousy and control issues?

Hey Dan and Jenn – I’m 16 and my cousin tells me that masturbation makes you more likely to stay single and I don’t want to stay single! Is that true? Please help! Thanks and I love your show it has helped me so much.

–YouTube Viewer

Men And Women Learn About Their Sexuality Through Masturbation

Unfortunately, masturbation has a bad rap. Society teaches teens that masturbation is bad or wrong, and this gets even more oppressive in families where their morals or religious beliefs suggest that it is unhealthy. However, it is neither unhealthy nor is it wrong – it’s a natural way for both men and women to learn about their bodies and their developing sexuality. It’s a perfectly normal thing to engage in even daily from pre-teen years through adulthood.

It’s A Healthy Part Of Every Relationship

It’s unrealistic to expect that your partner be able to be around and available to satisfy your sexual needs whenever you have sexual needs. It’s also unfair to them – your partner should not be totally and completely responsible for your sexual satisfaction! Especially for men and women with high libidos, their partners may not want to have sex all day every day. Many women have issues with their male partners masturbating because they feel like he “wants” someone else sexually, or doesn’t like them for some reason. This couldn’t be further from the truth! It’s natural for guys to jerk off when they have a pang of desire, without having to ask their partners to have sex four times a day.

Another reason that masturbation can be beneficial to a relationship is that it teaches each person what they like sexually, so they can then go to their partners and communicate what feels good and what doesn’t. Being able to communicate to your partner what you like is essential to a satisfying and intimate sex life with your lover, because if YOU don’t know how to please yourself, how are THEY supposed to?

Mutual Masturbation

Mutual masturbation is also a fun activity to do together to become more comfortable with the idea of self satisfaction in your relationship and how it can help you both to relax, stay satisfied and learn what you like sexually. Doing it together can also add another element to your sex life that keeps it from getting boring and monotonous!

Jealousy Issues

Often, one partner will be jealous over the other for masturbating. They may be upset that their lover is watching porn, or they may feel like they’re not doing enough to please their partner. Rest assured that if your lover engages in self satisfaction and watches porn that it has nothing to do with your inadequacies as a lover. It simply is a natural, healthy thing to do! There’s no reason to be jealous about it.

How Much Is Too Much?

Of course, as with most things, there’s a caveat here. It can be damaging to a relationship if it goes too far. Normal self satisfaction usually doesn’t cause problems in a relationship, but if it becomes excessive, it can.  If, for example, all you or your partner can think about is masturbating, you or your partner stop spending time together to go masturbate or you substitute it for sex with your partner. In this case, it can definitely be a problem in the relationship and you’ll want to seek help as soon as possible.

Just like with any addiction, if you or your partner are addicted to masturbating, seek help. Lots of addiction programs out there can be applied to masturbation and you can follow the same steps. If it’s taking over your life, you have an addiction and it’s time to do something about it! If it’s not, relax and don’t let it bother you. Normal masturbation is healthy and even beneficial for a relationship!


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