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

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. 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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48 Comments on "Why Do Men Masturbate When They’re in a Relationship?"

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1 month 20 days ago

Wow. Just wow ladies. I’m sorry but I have to call a lot of y’all out in that I’m betting most of y’all searched and found this because you were ACTIVELY looking for a place to take your anger out that you “caught” your guy… masturbating?? For all of the comments I’m reading, all I have to say is that it really seems like y’alls confidence is wayyyyy too co-dependent on your partner. There wouldn’t be so many male species flamers here if it wasn’t so.

I’ll explain, sometimes we feel like doing it the normal way of intercourse. In-between these times depending on what you like, your body, etc., you as a man will have a varying degree of an urge to wank one out for multiple reasons… Absence of parter for longer than hour, wanting to explore the fantasy your too embarrassed to share, simply just wanting to have an orgasm without the hassle, it has been two weeks since any sexual experience and the wind blows your pants just the right way to rub your member just the right way and then you see 90 year old Bertha’s skirt get pounded by the breeze that just gave you a 3/4ths chub and saw the ankle of the original ankle model… It all varies from guy to guy, if it is all masturbation and no sex and he will not explain why, then yeah, something is wrong. Just because a guy masturbates a lot in a relationship and barely has sex with you doesn’t mean he is selfish or pathetic, perhaps he could be going through a period of depression (what was my case with my beautiful wife). Seriously, just respect and support him, unless it is blatant that he is a selfish ass of the jack. Don’t punish him if anything, or you may likely push thing’s especially y’alls sexual intimacy farther apart by interrupting his time. I’m not saying men should be allowed to get away with ignoring their partners at all. I’m just defending all the men out there in monogamous relationships who would never DARE physically cheat on the one they love and still masturbate. Picturing other women via. porn or mental… just don’t borrow trouble gal’s, it seems pretty damn normal now. If both of you were happy until you found out he masturbated and you came here to rant, once again, stop borrowing trouble. Do any of us really want to go into each other’s minds now? Your intrusively entering your guys private time to himself that he may be embarrassed about etc., stop finding reasons to be mad, please, and just be accepting and loving.

Em & Lo
1 month 16 days ago

Hear hear! We love the idea of not “borrowing trouble” when it comes to a relationship — there are so many real issues that you will have to deal with over the course of a long-term relationship, and what your partner does with his or her own hand/mind/imagination while you’re not there really shouldn’t make the list.

1 year 22 days ago

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

1 year 3 months ago

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.

1 year 7 months ago

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.

1 year 7 months ago

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.