The V-Spot: Masturbation, how much is too much?

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Is it normal for my husband to jerk off four times in a day? And then not want me?

Maintaining a certain amount of individualism while you’re in a relationship with someone is a completely healthy — and, in fact, recommended — thing to do, especially when we’re talking long-term relationships. Pursuing your own interests, alone time, friends, goals and yes, even sexual pleasure, isn’t a bad thing. Masturbation and self-love are both unique styles of sex that, by sheer definition, can’t be done by another person and can be a valuable part of one’s sexual repertoire. Masturbation is a great way to try new things before debuting them in front of your partner, to search for new ways of orgasming (heeerrrreee g-spot, g-spot), and an excellent way to let off some steam in the grip of your mid-day stress.

Masturbation is a pleasurable cure for headaches, fatigue and general edginess as the endorphins and chemicals released in your body during orgasm have all kinds of pleasant effects. Masturbation for both men and women is healthy, normal, and fun. And quite frankly, one of the best things about it is that it’s one of the few gifts you can give to yourself, by yourself, with nothing more than your hand, a little spit and a few minutes of privacy.

The masturbation isn’t the issue here, XO, it’s your feeling unwanted, your husband’s use of masturbation, and the lack of communication about the masturbation. Sexual desire is a gelatinous, intangible mass impossible to quantify — yet that doesn’t stop us from trying to contain it. Your husband’s sexual desire cannot be counted like so many cookies in a jar that he’s greedily hogging all for himself, four times a day, with none left for you. This means that no matter how many times a day your husband masturbates, you should still feel wanted and sexy and desired in your relationship with him. His masturbation schedule shouldn’t be interfering with your sex life as a couple, his work, or his daily functioning. If it is, sex therapy may be in order to address how and why frequent masturbation may be adding to or detracting from his emotional/mental health.

Otherwise, it’s high time to acknowledge that his self-love schedule is making you feel less important than his little games of whack-a-mole. Though I’m sure many men would love to, I’m pretty sure he didn’t marry his penis. His penis probably doesn’t support him emotionally, financially, bear his children or help him pick out living room furniture. Your question is a sure indicator that your relationship needs re-prioritizing, and not just sexually.

Your grasp for “What is normal?” is a common coping mechanism we have when we’re searching for a reason, excuse, or explanation. The question “What is normal?” when it comes to sex is entirely based on the fear that we — our sex lives, our relationships, our bodies, our clits, etc. — are precisely the opposite of normal. The question “What is normal?” reflects the fear that we are somehow defective, pathological or broken.

But rarely are we broken. The reason why I get the “What is normal?” question so often in this work is because none of us are “normal” when it comes to sex, sexuality and relationships. All of the cliches about snowflakes and fingerprints are true when it comes to sex: we’ve all got a unique way of doing it, of getting off, and of relating to each other. The real question is: Is this style of relating to each other sexually, emotionally and romantically working for you and your husband?

I think you know that the answer is “no,” and what to do next is have an open conversation about it including topics like why your husband masturbates and why so frequently, but more importantly this conversation needs to include expressing your need to feel desired and what larger factors might be making your husband so inclined to only have sex by himself.

This is not about masturbation, XO, it’s about relating. Sex isn’t always about sex. Often, it’s about much more.•

Yana Tallon-Hicks

Author: Yana Tallon-Hicks

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