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Old 12-07-2003, 09:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
Location: who the fuck cares?
A "member" needs advice... let's give a hand

At the request of a male member, I am posting the following here. He is looking for our side of things to help him keep things together. Let's give him what we can, ladies.

I've asked Jadzia to post this thread because I need a female perspective on an issue I am having with my wife.

The problem is she doesn't masturbate and gets extremely upset when she sees me doing it. I know my masturbating is not the most pleasant for her so I do it discreetly. When she has caught me in the past I made it clear it is what I do, it is part of my persona, and I wasn't about to change. I've been doing it almost daily since I learned how at the ripe old age of 12. Well, she saw me doing it a couple of weeks back and became even more upset than usual. She said she didn't understand why I needed to do it and that she thought it was 'unnatural'. She is not the least bit religious, so I'm not sure where that last bit came from. Anyway, she asked me why I had to do it and I relayed it was because I liked sex so much and she didnt' seem to care for it. She said when I masturbated it made her feel like she couldn't meet my needs and it made her feel inadequate. It was during that conversation that she told me she had never masturbated, ever. For background, she is 37 and I am 43. I was in a bit of shock as I assumed she had masturbated at some time in her life. Since she told me the pieces of her puzzling sexual attitude have been falling into place. From my perspective, she never seemed overtly interested in sex. We have been together for 7 years now, married for the last 2. In that time she has initiated sex once or twice a year on average. When we have sex, most of my touches and caresses during foreplay are either ticklish or irritating to her. I think she tolerates them only because I enjoy touching her body. I could go on, but suffice it to say she has been good at pretending to enjoy sex when she has actually just been playing along.

After giving the whole masturbation thing some thought, she offered a compromise. She said we could have sex any time I wanted to as long as I didn't masturbate. I told her I have no interest in having sex with someone who isn't interested and is only submitting to it because I wanted it. She said she liked having sex with me and would be a willing participant. I said the arrangement would be acceptable and wondered how quickly she would retract her offer when she realized I would want to have sex almost daily.

I belive the whole crux of the matter comes down to her not knowing how pleasurable sex can be because she doesn't know how to satisfy her sexual needs. I am desperate here. I love my wife dearly and fear if we cannot resolve this issue it may mean and end to our relationship. I am looking for advice on how to handle the situation and for resources my wife can use to learn about her body and derive pleasure from sexual intercourse.
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Old 12-08-2003, 12:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
Location: Louisiana
Well first of all she is being very selfish in my opinion. She needs to educate herself on her own body. She should never expect you to stop masterbating. You did it before her and you will do it after her. I pleasure myself on a regular bases sometimes in front of my husband. I think some woman are very insecure with their sexuality. She needs to wake up and realize what she has and participate. Sex; I do not care what anybody says it is very important in a long lasting relationship. My husband openend me up to being more sexually free by us watching sex ed videos and porn. Made me feel more comfortable about discussing and acting on my fantacies. Really there is only so much you can do she has the problem not you. You can not solve it she has to. I wish you the best of luck with this I really do! I hope things do work out, but remember that it is not you. You are normal and it is very healthy to masturbate. If she could break down her wall she could enjoy it too!
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Old 12-08-2003, 06:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
*Nikki*'s Avatar
Location: Charleston, SC
Sometimes us women are weird about things like this. We tend to take things a little to personally. I understand what your wife means to some extent. Before I had fully developed my now very open mind on sex I was the same way. I could not understand why a man would need to masturbate when he had me. Then talking to more and more men who were not my S.O. I found out that they ALL do it and they do it ALL the time regardless of who their woman was. Somehow your wife needs to come to the understanding that this is not something that is directed towards her. This is innate sexual behavior. I guess as bad as this sounds......don't let her catch you if you know it will continue to upset her. As far as making her feel more comfortable with her own sexuality.....well that may take time. SLowly introduce her to all the wonderful things you two can share together and most importent make sure she knows just how much she turns you on.
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Old 12-08-2003, 06:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Moderator Emeritus
Location: east of the sun and west of the moon
It sounds like she probably has some deep-seated issues about sex, aside from the masturbation issue. You might want to try some couples therapy to help you bridge the gap between your expectations. A good therapist could probably also suggest some good resources in terms of books and such. I think a key question is whether your wife has any interest in altering her attitudes. If she does, you've got a good chance of being able to work this out. If not....

I'd say the first thing you need to do is make it clear to her how much she means to you, and how sad it makes you that she doesn't enjoy this part of life. It's not necessarily about your needs - although it sounds like what you want is a partner in sex, someone to enjoy it with you, someone who WANTS to have sex with you - it's about her missing out on something really special. And it's really unfortunate that she's essentially been lying to you all these years about enjoying it.

I wish you luck!
"If ten million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."

- Anatole France
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Old 12-08-2003, 11:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
Location: Yonder
Oh boy... this is probably tipping my hand a bit here, but here goes:

I know exactly how she feels. It isn't a selfish issue, as some might think, but it's the result of a good deal of emotional baggage that probably stems from previous relationships.

I myself had the exact same conversation with my husband toward the beginning of our relationship. I had found his stash o'porn and flipped out. It wasn't because he had porn. It wasn't because he was masturbating - though those were the excuses that I had made at the time for my anger. My anger stemmed from a previous serious relationship that I had had.

Long story short, my previous partner had began to collect porn and was masturbating on a very regular basis. I wouldn't have had a problem with this had he continued to have a sexual relationship with me instead of hiding his actions. I could walk in on him in the bathroom, stroking away, and he would be furious with me. We stopped having sex. I felt horrible. I felt that it was all my fault, that I wasn't woman enough, that I wasn't meeting his needs, that I was no longer desireable and that he had to resort to masturbation rather than having sex with me.

I hated myself. (It wasn't until after this that I found out that he was having an affair - which may or may not be a worry of your spouse as well.)

I took that baggage with me into my marriage. It was horrible of me to do so, but I wasn't able to cope with it at the time. I worked a lot of the frustration out over time, with my husband's caring, patience, and reassurance that he still loves me and finds me desireable.

It's hard, but talking it out is the best solution.

I wish you the best of luck.
In walked a man in the shape of a man, holding a hat shaped hat...
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Old 12-08-2003, 11:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
Is In Love
Averett's Avatar
Location: I'm workin' on it
Sounds like a rough situation

I can't add much, once again the ladies before me said everything much better than I could.

Thearpy is a good suggestion. And she has to want to change.

Good luck with everything.
Absence is to love what wind is to fire. It extinguishes the small, it enkindles the great.
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Old 12-08-2003, 12:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: at home
I have never masturbated. Ever. In my entire life. I enjoy sex. A LOT. Ask my boyfriend. The fact that your wife has never masturbated doesn't necessarily have anything to do with her not enjoying sex.

I know exactly how she feels. It isn't a selfish issue, as some might think, but it's the result of a good deal of emotional baggage that probably stems from previous relationships.

I myself had the exact same conversation with my husband toward the beginning of our relationship. I had found his stash o'porn and flipped out. It wasn't because he had porn. It wasn't because he was masturbating - though those were the excuses that I had made at the time for my anger. My anger stemmed from a previous serious relationship that I had had.
I haven't had this exact experience. I just know that when I was married, my husband had like, zero interest in sex with me (don't even get me started about the honeymoon...). Conclusions that a few of us have come to now aren't important right now, but I think you might catch the drift....

Now, when I hear my bf talk about masturbation, or on the MANY occasions that he's told me "All guys do it" (no, I've never 'caught' him, and I probably wouldn't flip out if I DID catch him - that'd be uncalled for, I think), it sometimes makes me feel really inadequate also. And when I think about it, I realize that it's because in that previous relationship, I felt undesirable. My feelings stem from that. It just took a while at first for me to realize that it wasn't something wrong with me, just like it's not something that's wrong with you.

Talk to your wife. That's all you can really do. Try counseling. If she's willing to work on this relationship (personally, her compromise sounds like a cop-out to me), then she'll probably be willing to go to a counselor with you to figure out what's going on. There may be a history of sexual abuse at some time in her life. Who knows?

In any case, good luck, and I wish you both the best!

Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly-Rose Franken
....absence makes me miss him more...
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
Wow, my first post, and would love to be able help you out here.
Maybe there is a way to overcome this mindblock about masturbation. I have always masturbated since probably age 12 and in my younger years had felt a little guilty about it, almost like it was wrong. I think it was due to the fact that when I was 7, an old man thought it ok to play with my clitoris while sitting on his knee....and I was told not to tell my Mom or we wouldn't have a place to live (he was the landlord). It took me many years to overcome the fact that it was ok for me to masturbate. Maybe your wife has a dark secret that she just can't come out and tell you....it is a very hard thing to talk about abuse. I still have not told my partner about it, but I have overcome this obstacle and my partner and I enjoy the joy and sensation of masturbating each other.
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
My own person -- his by choice
Location: Lebell's arms
With my ex, I would get upset when he masturbated because he was doing it rather than intiating sex with me; and he called me oversexed early in the marriage when I intiated a lot. So, here I was wanting it and he seemed to want it to -- with his hand and his fantasy, not with me. Ouch!!!! It hurt and it hurt a lot. In looking back, I realize that a lot of what hurt was the fact that he was "hiding" part of himself from me.

With Lebell our sexuality is out in the open. We masturbate apart and together. Neither feels threatened by the other's choices as it is just a small part of who we are sexually and because we are open about it. That doesn't mean I "report" to him, or he to me, whenever we masturbate. What it does mean is that we don't hide it.

My suggestion, when your wife is doing little things that get you excited, let her know. Reach down and touch yourself -- maybe first through your pants, later pull it out. Talk to her! Let her know that she is the one that you want, she is the one that turns you on, she is the one you love! Help her slowly get comfortable with the idea that your masturbating is not a threat to the security of the relationship. She is scared -- reassure her.

I also echo that you may want to seek therapy, watch "instructional" videos (less threatening than porn), and read about sexuality to open up communication. Best of luck!
If you can go deeply into lovemaking, the ego disappears. That is the beauty of lovemaking, that it is another source of a glimpse of god

It's not about being perfect; it's about developing some skill at managing imperfection.
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Old 12-12-2003, 05:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
Location: 'bout 2 feet from my iMac
A note from the gentleman who requested the advice: he would like to extend his thanks to everyone who's provided advise to him.
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advice, give, hand, member

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