Right off the bat (sorry, poor choice of words), let me make it clear that masturbation, in a general sense, is a pretty damn good thing. Not only is it a stress reliever, a mood lifter and a general good time, but it’s also a great way to get to know your body and explore what you like, sexually.
After all, as Ru Paul says “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”
You get the picture.
But when you’re a committed sexual relationship, do the rules change regarding masturbation? I chatted with love and relationship expert Dr Lurve over email to get her thoughts.
First off, why is masturbation such a good thing?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s great for sexual confidence as well as stress levels. But solo play is actually quite good for your health. Dr Lurve shared that in addition to pumping up your mood because of the release of endorphins, masturbation “also helps to improve your heart health, helps you sleep better at night, [and] increases your immune function”.
Pretty neat, hey?
So, what’s the deal with taken folks?
There is no straight answer here that will apply to every person, or every couple. But at its core, problems may arise around masturbation if your communication levels are wanting.
If you’re in a partnership and are still super into solo play, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. However, if your other half sees it as a sign you’re sexually unsatisfied, bored or no longer interested in them, that will cause issues down the line.
“Masturbation can be an integral behaviour in a person’s sexual repertoire, even if they already have satisfying sex lives,” Dr Lurve pointed out.
“…however it can be wise to have a conversation with your partner about how they feel about it.”
It’s important that you’re both on the same page when it comes to your sex lives, and that no one party is feeling neglected.
Can you masturbate too often?
In the case of being in a relationship, Dr Lurve shared that the key is to make sure you’re taking a balanced approach to solo play and focusing on your partner’s emotional needs. If you’re constantly alone in your room, I think it’s fair to assume it will have an impact on your relationship’s health.
Instead, you could consider incorporating it into your sex life with your partner – if that’s something you’re both comfortable with.
Dr Lurve said:
“In all cases, always remember to balance your own private pleasure time with enjoying some time [with] your partner as well.
“If you find your masturbation practices are causing issues and you can’t seem to stop, it might be time to consider seeking help. Talk to a GP or healthcare professional to gain more knowledge and ensure that you’re masturbating with no issues associated.”
As with anything, I guess the rule here is: do you, but not to the point that you’re neglecting other areas of your life.