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Wise Guys: Why Do Men Masturbate When They’re in a Relationship?

Tue, Jan 13, 2009

Advice, Wise Guys

elephant_masturbationphoto by Anika Malone

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: Why do men masturbate in relationships, even when the sex is good and regular?”

Straight Married Guy (Ben): Every guy has a regular masturbation frequency (RMF) that is more or less unchangeable (though over the long-term, factors which usually have nothing to do with sex — like age or stress — can influence it). Take however many orgasms a guy’s already having with his partner and multiply it by his RMF — that’s how much a guy will masturbate. For example, a friend tells you his RMF is 1.3, so if he’s had a total of 3 orgasms with his partner in the past week, you multiply that by 1.3 to get the number of times he’ll want to masturbate that week (about 4). Now, some guys are high (RMF=2 or more) and others are low (RMF=1 or less!). But even if he has a really low RMF, like .25, that still means he’ll want to masturbate once after he’s had sex five times with his partner that week. So don’t focus on whether or not he’s masturbating: it’s a given. Instead, engage him on what he’s doing while he’s masturbating — what he’s looking at, or imagining, or fantasizing about. That’s where you’ll learn about your guy.

Gay Committed Guy (Mark): Perhaps the most obvious answer would be “Why shouldn’t they?” (As long as it’s not interfering with the sex — “Sorry, honey, I’ve already come three times today.”)  No, wait, the most obvious answer is, “Because they’re men.”  I’m sure, when it’s all over with, that people don’t look back on their lives, regardless of gender, and wish they’d had fewer orgasms.  Also, if it’s meant to be a monogamous relationship, better he should have the extra fun with himself than with some third (or fourth, etc.) party(-ies).

Straight Single Guy (Max): While it’s hard to believe, I think that most men view masturbation (which we’re addicted to, by the way) as completely separate from our sex lives. When you’re living the solo sex life, you’ve got your fantasies as well as hormones to answer to. The only solution is masturbation. Many turn to pornography. It’s sad. I understand then, that it must be confusing to women when we continue to masturbate, even while having great and consistent sex, after you’ve saved us from our lonely and always wanting existence.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we may love our lady friend and the sex that we have with her, it’s incredibly hard to fulfill our voyeuristic and most fantastic desires. We don’t want to cheat (most of us) and yet we have thoughts of other girls, other places and impossible situations. Thus, we masturbate. It’s the eternal answer to everything that plagues men. Don’t take it as an insult to your skills in bed, because trust me: You don’t want to do the things that we’re thinking about when masturbating.

Our “wise guys” are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week’s Straight Married Guy is Ben, a writer and artist living in Los Angeles who runs AdultParlorGames.com. Our Committed Gay Guy, Mark, is a writer and teacher in NYC and our Single Straight Guy, Max, is a recent college grad in New England — both asked us to file them under “shy.” To ask the guys your own question, click here.

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46 Responses to “Wise Guys: Why Do Men Masturbate When They’re in a Relationship?”

  1. Camelia Says:

    I think the RMF this is true for women as well.

  2. Conrad Says:

    Why would we stop? The only person I know that doesn’t masturbate is the old guy down stairs, he reads the bible instead.

  3. Beth Says:

    Ok this really bothers me. I have no issue whatsoever with masturbation, but shouldn’t this apply to women too! And furthermore, I HATE this virgin/whore assumption that women wouldn’t want to do any of the things men fantasize about when they masturbate. How do you know? Some of us girls are kinky bitches!

  4. Drea Says:

    (As long as it’s not interfering with the sex — “Sorry, honey, I’ve already come three times today.”)

    I think this is the most important part. As long as it doesn’t keep him from having sex with me, then I really don’t care.

    And guess what? Women do it too. I get off without my boyfriend at least a couple of times a week or more if we haven’t had sex as often.

  5. Rei Says:

    Masturbation is healthy for a guy and a girl in the relationship. Women have their fantasies too, and we masturbate to them; And like men, some women will fantasize about another man than our partner, its human nature. Without masturbation, we wouldn’t know how we like to be touched, and you find new touches throughout your life. It’s also fun to mix it up a bit in the bedroom, and watch your man masturbate while he’s watching you masturbate. Really sexy!!

  6. Epiphany Says:

    What’s with the assumption that women in relationships don’t masturbate? I do whether I’m in a relationship or not, and usually, more often if I’m having sex regularly than if I’m not.

  7. Erika Says:

    Get over those preconceptions about masturbating and embrace the health benefits. Aside from being a sleep aid, mood enhancer, stress-reliever, self-confidence booster, muscle toner, etc. for both genders, it’s been proven that frequent masturbation helps men prevent prostate cancer (look it up, it’s true; it flushes the ducts), so it should be encouraged. For women, masturbation provides resistance to yeast infection and pain relief. It’s happy-making, free of charge and drug-free healthcare, people!

  8. Slartibartfast Says:

    I think Ben may be on to something here… I know the long-term frequency for me has stayed pretty constant over time and is typically once or twice daily (purely for health reasons, you understand). It’s not the Apocalypse if I can’t but that’s where my ‘druthers lie. Oddly, my first girlfriend (who was a libidinous lass) encouraged me as a way of maintaining an active interest. Her philosophy was ‘the more you have, the more you want.’

  9. figleaf Says:

    “Why do men masturbate in relationships, even when the sex is good and regular?”

    Whether it’s a silly question or not it’s still a *frequently asked* one. Especially for anyone who hasn’t been exposed to, say, comprehensive sex education, where masturbation is usually covered as something that for *both* genders only loosely correlates to sexual activity with partners.

    The good news is that learning your partner masturbates is *not* evidence that they’re dissatisfied with you. The even better news is that if you’re comfortable with masturbating but feel like you “shouldn’t” because you’re in a sexual relationship then… it’s ok to start again or continue.

    The downside, if you want to call it that, is that *since* desire for masturbation isn’t closely linked to desire for partnered sex, and since it’s not always a *substitute* for partnered sex, it’s not safe to assume that if one’s partner masturbated less they’d automatically begin having more sex with their partners.

    Finally, there are some great perspectives in the comments here, from Beth’s, Epiphany’s and other’s point that it’s not just men to Erika and Rei’s suggestions that it can be done together… which reminds me of one final exception: I’ve spoken to a number of women who wait till their partners fall asleep after sex to quietly masturbate because… their partners aren’t doing anything to help them and they don’t want their partner to know. To the extent that’s a problem it’s not the masturbating afterwards part — see Erika and Rei’s point that that can be fun too — it’s being uncomfortable letting one’s partner know something’s not working.

    figleaf

  10. Jeremiah Says:

    that such questions can be asked by (supposedly) fully educated adult individuals is a sad commentary on the state of our educational system. any such system that so woefully under- or even mis-educates its graduates about such a central and crucial part of life is in dire need of repair – thank goodness a believer in comprehensive and age-appropriate sexual education has the reins these days…maybe now we can bring our teen pregnancy and sexual morbidity rates down to something a little more on par with the rest of the developed world. abstinence-only programs and the religious fundamentalism that motivates their use have greatly inhibited our progress as a society in addressing sexually dysfunctional behavior, and we’ll all be a lot happier and healthier when science trumps ignorant superstition in this area (not to mention all the others…)

  11. Suze Says:

    what about if he masturbates after sex in order to have an orgasm?

  12. Juliette Says:

    Hey Straight Single Guy, what makes you think we wont do some of the stuff you fantasize about? have you asked?

  13. Savvy Says:

    I do not know to much I mean I am very young Female but I am dating a much older guy and our sex life is amazing and very active, and we both masterbate on occasion…as far

  14. steven Says:

    I told if it stands up,beat back down. LOL LOL

  15. dana Says:

    It’s safe, he’s not cheating, and as long as he saves some for me.

  16. pea Says:

    i think playin with urself in front of ur partner is a turn on 4 me .We should all do it i masturbate in front of my women n she love it .Our sex life rock. Im a lesbian so that my view

  17. William Says:

    Hey fellas you might want to think about how vital that fluid you are ejaculating is and just how hard it is for your body to make more. The unconscious waste of semen is why so many modern men are weak, balding and so easily pushed around by overly strong women (who abound these days). Listen there is nothing wrong with masterbating, just dont ejaculate. 50 small orgasms are much better than one big one. Learn a little self mastery now before that little blue pill becomes your best freind. She will thank you too when you can last longer than 3 minutes or however long it takes for you to calm yourself of your pathetic “stress”.

  18. Matt Says:

    William, I suspect you might own a copy of Dr. Kellogg’s 19th century anti-masturbation manifesto. Guess what? It has been totally debunked in the intervening 140 years.

    Just to bring you up to speed, there’s also something called penicillin now, and they’re showing “talkies” down at the cinema.

  19. Larry McScary Says:

    Interesting – I hadn’t ever come across Dr. Kellogg’s anti-masturbation manifesto. Interesting point of view, though I can’t believe it is terribly healthy. Regarding masturbation in general I think people have a pretty broad spectrum. I have had girlfriends that never, ever did it – honest – and some that were more comfortable with it. Some guys do it all the time, others don’t need it so much. That said, I can’t believe there isn’t an intimate relationship that wouldn’t benefit from it on both sides. I think I personally would go insane without it.

  20. Lindsay Says:

    I love to masterbate while my fiance does it with me, it helps us bond more together, and over time it has made me feel alot more comfortable with my body and my self esteem. my fiance tells me how sexy it is when I do it with him, I dunno but something about him getting off at the same time I do really turns me on.

  21. Julia Says:

    My boyfriend of 6 months recently “confessed” that he masturbates “to me” when we are not spending a night together. He made it sound as if it is a crime, but i was so touched and pleased and let him know that i was! I dont know who he was seeing before me, but she sounds so immature! A woman should realize that guys will masturbate and watch porn and while she may not embrace either of these traits, she should remember that in most cases they are harmless or, if embraced may even bring her man closer to her… and yes, i masturbate too when im not with him and it just makes me want him more when we are together

  22. Sarah Says:

    My boyfriend and I of 2 years started taking pictures of me for him to masturbate to. Even so, I laugh whenever I find porn sites on his internet explorer history. It’s totally normal to masturbate, for both sexes, and I find it hilarious that guys try to hide it, or think it’s so bad, like Julia’s boyfriend.

  23. Dewdazzle Says:

    I cannot believe I am just discovering this delicious little delight of a site. Kudos to the two of you…and all who participate; you are now in my favorites! Men masturbate -and I assume this holds true for women as well- because no one knows quite how to touch us like we touch ourselves…it’s not a mystery, everyone knows, if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself…

  24. Laurie Says:

    What if he masterbates instead of wanting to have sex and we live together. I am very open sexually and like to try a lot of different things but he won’t do it. We’ve talked about it but he claims he doesn’t know why which is bull shit!

  25. Susan Says:

    I too touch myself while my husband and I have sex. It’s AWESOME !!!!! And he loves it too. He says thats DAMN HOT! I masterbate alone and with him and he has just now after 19 yrs of marriage gotten comfortable enough to allow me to watch. And I will tell you now dont EVER assume that we wont do those naughty things because we are married or sweet or whatever you wanna call it, I too am like beth because I am a kinkie lil bitch too and my man loves it !

  26. Em & Lo Says:

    @ Dewdazzle: Aw, shucks. Thanks for stopping by!

    @ Laurie: Maybe ask him if you can watch next time he does it, see if he likes that? If he does, then maybe you can take care of yourself while he takes care of himself? And who knows what that will lead to…

  27. jim Says:

    I can’t answer the question, “Why do MEN masturbate…?”

    Can anyone ever speak for everyone else?

    I am in my sixties, and I can tell you this one truth that I know. I never masturbated while in a close relationship with a woman, unless she was holding out on me for reasons that only she could know.

    If we were being close enough, often enough, there was never a need.

    The need only arises when it gets to be too long since the last closeness.

    Looking back, I can see that those times usually signaled the beginning of the end of the relationship, so, I say to all of you, male and female alike, if you are in that position, its time to have a real good heart-to-heart, gently, and without recriminations. You DO love each other, don’t you? If not, you SHOULD part.

  28. Shak Says:

    Its really great to have you all on board, ;) hahaha, these are the emotion and acts that every body tries in a life, and most of them happen when your partner is apart. If you partner is with you there is no need to do any thing that stupid.

  29. Andy Says:

    stupid ass people. If you have a beautiful girlfriend.. spend your time enjoying her, not fake ass women on porn sites..

  30. Rei Says:

    I do understand your comment Andy, but realistically, even if your girlfriend is Angelina Jolie, he’ll still be looking at other women, on the street, porn movies, internet, etc. And to be fair, women do the same, look at other attractive men. Looking is always ok, its harmless, but if you act on these other people, than its cheating and that is where it stops.

  31. ;-( Says:

    Plz belive me,
    I was a very beautiful boy, i realy mean it, when i was about 9 years old everyone wanted to touch me, and about 5 times they tried to rape me(men), i was very very smart that i could solve math problems that you wont ever belive.
    WHAT I WANT TO SAY IS
    I lost my everything, my intelligence, my beauty( i mean my innocence)
    BECAUSE OF MASTURBATION
    Now i’m typing this i want to cry.

    Plz dont do that.

  32. adam Says:

    to Erika who thinks that mastubation decreases the risk of prostate cancer, I have to tell you that you are wrong buddy. Look at the new stufy that was done. It suggested the exect opposite of what you think. because it actually INCREASES PROSTATE CANCER risk.

    http://www.livescience.com/7658-masturbation-increase-risk-prostate-cancer.html

  33. marlo Says:

    I love when men masterbate. I think its sexy…esp when they’re thinking of me. Lol and I have one sexy hell of a dude who loves my boobs and fat ass. He doesn’t live with me so all he can do is to himself. I do it a lot when I think of him.
    Oooh…I’m getting hot already. Maybe I should just do it right about now.. gonna see him later anyways. I know he loves fantasizing about having sex…porn…in and out..and all wet. Although he is married, that sex there is just sad and all work with no life. That’s why married men give it harder then single ones.

  34. H.F Says:

    I don’t know about this.. My boyfriend and I are/have been pretty active. We moved in together a couple of months ago but last night he came to me and said he masturbated for the first time since our move in together…

    This really has me bothered..

    I mean we had just had sex the night before for him to masturbate about 12:30 the next afternoon..

    It doesn’t make sense to me why he would need to do that with that factor playing into part as well as that him and I are fairly active together (prob 3-5 times/week)…

    Kinda gives me the vibe that he’s not happy in bed. :(

  35. Jocey Says:

    This whole article makes me hate men … I am a woman in a committed relationship of 2 years I have gotten into fights with my guy over him masturbating he is older with less sex drive .. If he masturbated there goes our chances of sex for the day .. Not only that but I can try to arouse him for a half hour and nothing but then the tv has shows a guy touch a girls boob on the outside of her shirt for like 2 seconds and he is hard as a rock instantly ?? All he says is well she is pretty .. WOW .. Sometimes men don’t think if how they make their woman feel .

  36. RONDA Says:

    My ex boyfriend.. I knew he was a sex/porn addict…but..I played the game at first. Early into the relationship. . He would grab his cock an cell phone, first thing,in the morning..start DL porn and immediately jack off…thinking nothing of my needs…or WTF are you going to invite me into your self pleasure??? It was so discussing. .that after we would have sex, for hours.that evening, he’d think I was asleep and he would masturbate all night long!!!!!!! I’m could feel the bed shaking. .or he would pull the sheet up to hide from me,I got very angry…cause,I assumed I was not performing my job! He denied all of it! He said, I was imagined it. And even called my sister and asked if their was something wrong with me (mentally) ! I did my homework and found, this form of narcissistic behavior is so common. .relationships do not last long. .problems with not ejaculating during intercourse,and the BS porn during sex, so he could stay hard and last longer…What a crock of shit! I will confess, I was an enabler. ..But I saw the signs..He was getting tired of me…But never in any my past relationships. ..did I ever speculate…A man would LOVE HIS PENIS…more than his woman. ..has got to be a sick fuck!? No pun intended ¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡ I fell in love with this person. .but enough is enough. ..and, I kick his ass to the curb..Yeah…★★ He homeless or his cheap ass boss offered floor space to sleep on. LMFAO….OH WHERE CAN HE JACK OFF NOW?????..WITH HIS CHILDREN RUNNING AROUND!!!His only private time. .hmmmmm would be to leave his DNA ALL OVER THEIR SHOWER !YUCK.. P.S. I was in a terrible automobile accident..totaled my Miata picking him up from work..He took the next day off only. . I had no one to help me..I have large scars on my face and glass exceeding all over my body..No wonder, he always wanted to fuck me doggie style…so he wouldn’t have to look at me.I don’blame him for the accident.never did…All I got out of this relationship was no cuddling whats so EVER!NO FOREPLAY and sometimes, brutal, painful sex,lies and loneliness. ..Live and Let Die..amen♥

  37. moneygirl Says:

    I like to have sex.. my bf is 27 and I am 22. We have been living together for almost two years… when we first started we were having sex at least twice a now it goes to twice a week maybe… he has started masturbating slot… is it me..what can I do to help if anything?? And he’s not the type of person that would want me to watch him.masturbate…

  38. sex.cmarmee Says:

    If there were no such thing we wouldnt hve this..its arousing yes…but its a bother womans private parts they just so hapen to be jerking off to…if it were my bf he wouldnt like me uploading explicit pics of my naked self to be so easily accessd by the whole world. Men need to know the limit. However porn is not to blame ive caughthim masturbating no porn involved and ive found porn pics on his phone i think sometimes they masturbate cos they horney but dnt wnt to disturb you or deal with the pressure of pleasing you too, or theyve been fantasising and just need to tke the edge off without feeling like its a crime. And sometimes they need a visual excuse (porn) to help him get it off quicker or to feel in charge of himself. I think it varies between the type of guy they are.

  39. katlego Says:

    Not only married men do masturbate also teenagers do . When we with our girlfriends our hormones act weird and rough and we can’t force our girlfriends to have sex with us but only masturbate at least right after we took them home.

    It’s the desire of fantasies about our girlfriends and some of our ex’s .

  40. flower Says:

    The problem here isn’t the masturbation, it’s the stimulation. I don’t have a problem with masturbation but it’s the reacurring theme that these men NEED other women to get off. That’s not fucking monongamy. Dual masturbation is a good alternative? but i don’t understand how you wouldn’t just want to hop on eachother instead. Maybe this is the 21st century problem though, people chose partners who are nothing more than organs for eachother, they have no real connection be it even sexually. Every man here keeps saying they do it so they dont have to cheat, or because they saw a bloody woman walking down the street. Hate to break it to you but if you get that aroused by another woman that you have to beat it off to stop imagining her, monogamy is not right for you. Dont sit there and tell a lady shes your only when your mind always has free vacancy.
    That kid said it, men are morons, you have a beautiful woman lying right next to you and you go on some HIV filled orgy to feel more like a man? i’d take something real over something fake anyday. Everyones saying its natural to masterbate to web porn, hate to break it to you thats societal not natural. Learn the difference.

  41. Papson Says:

    I really don’t know where to begin. It is always good to also get a woman’s perspective on this issue. I don’t want to vouch for all the guys but it is important to note that most men are born fantasizing. I have been fantasizing about beautiful women before falling asleep for as long as I can remember. I hate to break it to you but your 4 year boy possibly knows that high heels are sexy and that tall women are more attractive than shorter ones. so, fantasies are part of a boy being. It is what it is. However, he has to wait until 12 to 15 to get his very first sexual experience and it so happens that very often it’s “masturbation”. Don’t get me twisted, at that time it is the most rewarding experience thus far. From that point, some boys will eventually outgrow the act by substituting it with intercourse with a real girl, while others maybe shy or physically disadvantaged and less attractive will tend to carry on with masturbation for much longer. The problem with masturbation in our society is that most boys get to know the word only way after they have experienced and are hooked to it. The lack of proper information from the parents and sometimes from the school (I don’t blame them though) often contribute to the problem. Understand that at that age we tend to associate everything sexually related to evil and try hard to suppress any urge for masturbation, which in my very own experience result in a fight-or-flight sort of response involving episodes of craving-ritual-use-guilt-triggers commonly known as the addiction circle. Believe it or not, many boys like myself from age of, say, 14 and above live every single day trying to break this circle however with little success. Back in the all days, porn was not as available as nowadays and only came into the picture at a later stage to feed even further what was already an addiction. The truth is when most men get married or tend to be involved in serious relationships they have already a sexuality on their own. If I were a girl in this day and age, I would ask upfront my future partner about his sexuality in details instead of assuming stuff. it is foolish to assume that a guy in his 30′s in this world where everything is sexually suggestive has no sex life whatsoever, which is an assumption still made by some naïve girls. Another mistake often made by girls is that they believe that part of their responsibilities from the day they said “I do” is to fix the sex life of their partner. Therefore, they associate the fact that he still masturbates to some form of failure on their part. Don’t get me wrong some men stop masturbating from the time they get married, but most don’t. They view intercourse as vital alternative, but struggle with the idea of having a wife there to curb every sex urge that they will ever have. And quite frankly most women who support that idea seem not to have thought it through. Long story short, your man masturbate for a variety of reason:
    - because is simply addicted to the practice way before you even come to picture, so it is not about you.
    - other women out there are making a living out of your man addiction uploading thousand and thousand of pictures per day for his enjoyment. they are also to be blamed

  42. Reagan Says:

    April 3rd 2014 6:17
    I can’t believe what I’m reading. How can one jerk off while having a girlfriend? And why would one watch while she’s jerking off? Lame. Just give it to her straight up. Instead of jerking off all day, give it to her all day. As simple as that.

  43. Angela Says:

    So it’s okay for a man to be in a relationship and fantasies about other women is what your saying? Cause for me that’s wrong and means he’s not happy with what he has my man masturbate all the time and im left in the cold for weeks on end and all he can say is I do what I want so ya masturbation in a relationship is wrong.

  44. Rhonda Says:

    I’m in a relationship for about 6 years now off and on.The last two years we have been living to gather.I have always been high when it comes to sex, my partner not.Lately he told me he has no sexual desires and went to the doctor for depression pills.But I find out that he is masturbating and I do without. I’m confused and frustrated please help with you input.

  45. sonja Says:

    So why would a man wank instead of having sex with his girlfriend?? I really think that’s pathetic


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  1. [...] from three of our guy friends. A few weeks ago, one woman wanted to know “Why do men masturbate in relationships, even when the sex is good and regular?” In his response, Max (one of our Single Straight Guys) said, “Trust me: You don’t want to [...]

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