I bet you thought getting married meant you’d never have to masturbate again. How long before you discovered this was not the case?
In a recent survey we ran, 83% of husbands and 70% of wives said they masturbated at least once in the last three months. There are more numbers below, but first some discussion.
I do not think masturbation is a sin. However, I find it concerning so many married people are doing so much masturbating. If it was all about separation and illness that would be one thing, but most of it is for other reasons. Some turn to masturbation because they don’t have enough time for sex, or don’t have a good enough relationship to have as much sex as they want. Some turn to masturbation because porn has so affected them they can’t or don’t want to have real sex with their spouse.
The problem? Sex is important to marriages. Sex connects a couple. Sex gives a couple shared pleasure. Marriages with more sex are healthier and less likely to end in divorce. Sex is usually a reliable barometer of the health of a marriage.
Am I saying you shouldn’t masturbate? No; but I’m asking you to think about it and make some changes if you’re doing it often. This isn’t just about your sex life; it is about your marriage.
Once you start doing it yourself, it’s easy to meet more and more of your sexual needs this way. Masturbation is tempting because there’s no risk of being told no. You do have it whenever you want, you choose what to do, and you don’t have to worry about getting her aroused or to climax. It can become easy to justify more masturbation with “she would just say no” or “I don’t want to inconvenience her with my higher sex drive”. You tell yourself it’s actually loving to not bother her when she’s tired, or busy, or your schedules are different. You start asking less, and you have less sex. Less sex has a negative effect on your marriage, which hurts your sex life, and a vicious cycle can develop.
Here are my suggestions for keeping masturbation from becoming a sex or marriage killer:
- Always ask for sex first. If she hasn’t said no, you have no reason to be doing it yourself.
- Set a limit in your mind. How often do you need release not to have problems? Masturbation should be limited to reaching that amount.
- Talk about it with your wife. Yes, she may throw a fit, but you still need to discuss it. She should understand she’s not meeting your sexual needs. She has a right to know how much you want, and she should know what you’ll do if she’s unwilling to take care of you sexual needs.
- Keep your mind pure. This means no porn and no thoughts of other women. Thinking about your wife when you masturbate is the only good choice.
Again, I’m not saying masturbation is a sin, nor am I saying you’re wrong if you don’t follow the first three points above. However, if you want a great sex life and a great marriage, such limits are wise.
Some stats from the survey (more here)
- 17% of men didn’t masturbate in the last three months
- 14% masturbate no more than once a month
- 19% masturbate 2 or 3 times a month
- 16% masturbate 4-6 times a month
- 20% masturbate 7-14 times a month
- 9% masturbate 15-22 times a month
- 4% masturbate 23-31 times a month
- 2% masturbate more than 31 times a month
The most common reasons men gave for masturbating:
- 51% said, “My drive is higher and I don’t want to bother my spouse” (less than half of these men said they are refused often).
- 38% Said their spouse often says no.
- 43% Do it to relieve stress.
- 29% Masturbate to avoid being mad for being refused.
Does the wife know?
- 31% said she knows he masturbates, but doesn’t know (or care) how often it happens.
- 27% said she knows but thinks it is less often than they actually do it.
- 35% say she may suspect.
- 17% say their wife has no idea they masturbate.
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