Reader’s Request Fridays: How To Incorporate Masturbation Into Your Relationship

May 23,2014

Welcome to Reader’s Request Fridays. Each Friday, I alternate between The Weekend Sexperiment and Reader’s Request Fridays. On Reader’s Request Fridays, I address one reader email. If you have a specific question you’d like answered or a topic you’d like covered, please email me. If you’re interested in counseling, call (415) 658-5738 or visit my Appointments page to schedule a consultation.

This week we’re addressing another aspect of masturbation, in honor of May being National Masturbation Month. Our question comes from Jake* who writes, “my girlfriend doesn’t like that I masturbate. She thinks that I shouldn’t need to do it anymore now that I’m in a relationship. How can I convince her otherwise?”

Healthy masturbation relationships

Hi Jake,

Thanks for the question. I hear variations on this topic all the time. Women object to their partners’ masturbation habits for a host of reasons. Some women believe that masturbation of any kind is wrong, others feel that it’s a kind of cheating, and some see it as a sign that the man is not sexually satisfied by his partner.

It’s unfortunate that masturbation gets such a bad rap because it can be a wonderful complement to any relationship. The key is to use masturbation in a way that brings you together, rather than pulls you apart.

Fear of being shut out is at the root of most women’s negative opinions of masturbation. You can address this in a few simple ways:

Here are some specific suggestions for incorporating masturbation into your relationship in fun and healthy ways:

Hopefully these suggestions will help make masturbation more comfortable and fun for you and your girlfriend!

*Names changed for privacy


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I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!