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

Advice from three of our guy friends. This time 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 us or the guys your own question, click here.

This post has been updated.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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 .

  7. 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.

  8. 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…

  9. 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♥

    1. This is a long shot for me here but seeing these comments just made me want to say my piece. My names lorissa. I am a 26 year old women from Manchester , U.K. My fella masterbates but I dont mind that part ok, it’s because he gets off watching other women on porn when I am a decent looking girl lol and I give him more than probably most girls, and I don’t just mean a slow sensual bit of attention, I propose all sorts ,really. Naturally though, I’m sexual, not with everyone, but when I am REALLY in love and feel relaxed because I think I have met my soul mate, I don’t know what comes over me but I intimately, sensually, naughtily plus loads of other lovley words become a predator! Just for that person! And that’s rare for me to commit! But it seems, the very few I commit to like that always masterbate watching porn and to be fair I hate it. Men are the first to moan if you say you like a guy or how he’s built because men are trying to be the alpha male. Always. But they can get off watching porn even when they have a gorgeous looking girl who is Whitty, sharp, funny and confident and to top it off is a master pleaser, they can’t hold it in they have to search a specific type of porn and we all know it’s the women filmed more. And yeh, it makes me Fucking mad. Not insecure. Just mad. I get men I really do. SIMPLE- only word that springs to mind. But, for a spray long as other women will exploit tits and arse and shake it fo Tips and escort and tease etc etc, men will always watch and pay. God damnnnnn

  10. 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 .

  11. 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. 🙁

  12. 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.

  13. 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.
    I lost my everything, my intelligence, my beauty( i mean my innocence)
    Now i’m typing this i want to cry.

    Plz dont do that.

  14. 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.

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