When in a relationship with someone, it seems natural to a lot of people that physical intimacy is expressed through coupled expressions such as hugging, kissing and sex. So it might bother you if you find that your partner is still masturbating alone. There is still a lot of stigma surrounding masturbation which extends into masturbation while being in a relationship.
Thoughts of whether your partner finds you unattractive or prefers masturbation to sex may cross your mind, but this may not be the case. In this article, we’ll look into not only why masturbation is normal, even in a relationship, but also potentially healthy for the relationship.
Why Do People Masturbate?
As mentioned above, a lot of misconceptions and stigmas continue to surround masturbation, leading the subject to still be regarded as taboo. However, whether you’re single, in a relationship or even married, masturbation should be viewed as perfectly normal. Not only is it a normal, healthy act for you to do for your body, but can be beneficial for some of the following reasons:
- Stress Relief
- Improving Mood
- Helps Aid and Improve Sleep
- Provides Sexual Pleasure/Orgasms “that are beneficial to the body”
In fact, in the most recent 2021 US TENGA Global Self-Pleasure Report, participants agreed with each of the reasons as reasons why they masturbate by over 70%. As such, there can be many reasons why people masturbate that aren't tied to anything negative in your relationship, and in fact may be perfectly normal behavior, that we will get into below.
Is it Normal to Masturbate in a Relationship?
Many of us aren't truthful about how often we masturbate if our partners ask about if we still masturbate while being in a relationship. In the 2019 TENGA Global Self-Pleasure Report, 38% of men and 34% of women said they have lied about their masturbatory habits, while 37% avoided talking to their partner about it at all. People may worry that if their partner masturbates, it shows they don't want, or maybe aren't fulfilled by, partnered sex. For some, it’s a sign that there is no longer any physical attraction in the relationship, but this is usually not the case.
If your partner still masturbates by themselves, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are no longer attracted to you. They might be stressed and need to have some solo sex in order to relax and unwind. Perhaps they have a high sex drive or find it improves their mood. You could also consider that they might not want to trouble you if they think you might be tired, busy or just not in the mood. Alternatively, they might be the ones feeling tired and want to unwind a little, but aren’t sure they have the energy or are in the right mood to have partnered sex.
For these reasons, masturbation in relationships is not only normal, but can be considered healthy.
Reasons Why You Should Masturbate in a Relationship
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why masturbation can benefit your relationship.
Self-care is important
Masturbation can be one of the best forms of self-care. Achieving an orgasm through masturbation can help you to relax, release many mood boosting hormones such as dopamine and endorphins, as well as reducing stress, pain, and boosting your immune system.
Positive Body Image
Masturbating can aid in gaining a more positive body image. Taking the time out to love your own body can help you to become more confident.
Learning about your Body
Masturbating regularly can help you understand your own body. What you like, dislike and which of your most sensitive zones give you the most pleasure. Once you know this yourself, this can give you more confidence during sex.
Increasing Intimacy During Sex
Better communication can improve your relationship both inside and outside of the bedroom. As such, if you take the time to masturbate, understand your own body and learn more about what really stimulates you, it stands to reason this can help you to enjoy sex more. With increased communication and an understanding of what your most sensitive erogenous zones are, you can give better direction during sex and improve intimacy with your partner.
With all these benefits behind masturbation, it might be worth considering taking the time to give yourself self-love. Another option might be mutual masturbation with your partner which we’ll cover below.
The Benefits of Mutual Masturbation
Masturbation during sex doesn’t need to be a solo either. Couples who mutually masturbate can gain all the benefits and intimacy of pleasuring each other without the pressure of getting straight into sex. You can do it to satisfy your partner, yourself, or both. You can begin with some mutual masturbation to build up excitement and arousal as foreplay. This can then lead to sex or just be a form of building closeness and intimacy. Reducing the pressure of “any sexual intimacy meaning just sex” can lead to a closer, stronger relationship.
As you can see from all the reasons listed above, masturbating while in a relationship is perfectly normal. If you yourself currently don’t take the time to masturbate yourself, it might be something worth considering with all the health benefits it can bring. You can even discuss mutual masturbation with your partner as a form of not only understanding the benefits of self-pleasure more, but as a way to explore new forms of intimacy with your partner.