September 7, 2008

Masturbation In Marriage: Part V

This is part five in a series on masturbation in marriage. This topic has created some interesting discussion in the comments, and I thank everyone for participating. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the rest of the series, which starts here.

Whether or not you see masturbation in marriage as okay or not, the fact is that many husbands are doing it, and many are doing it pretty often (as is becoming clear here on this site in the poll in the sidebar). I don’t think any of us would disagree that sex on your own is not the way it’s supposed to work, but because we’ve been doing it for most of our lives it’s not an easy habit to break. As we discussed in part three, when we ejaculate we train our brains to associate those amazing feelings with what we are seeing and experiencing at the moment, and because we got stuck on that before marriage, our wives don’t become a replacement for the self service method, they just become an addition.

Today I want to talk about some practical ways to help retrain our brains to desire and receive sexual satisfaction strictly from our wives. These are not cure-all methods, but these are exercises that greatly helped me as I began to transition from “Me Sex” to “We Sex,” as Dr. Doug Weiss puts it.

Stop Doing It

This may seem obvious, but the first step in conquering these misguided desires is to quit satisfying those desires. You cannot retrain your brain for your wife if you keep reinforcing the old habit with yourself.

Talk To Her About It

This may be the last thing you want to do, but this is probably the most important. She needs to know all of you – she deserves to know all of you. As I mentioned in part four, talking with my wife allowed her to know the struggles I was having and the desires to masturbate that I was experiencing. And because my wife was not okay with me pleasing myself, she chose to be more aware and giving with her time when it came to fulfilling my sexual desires.

Make Love With Your Eyes Open

A quickie after the lights go out and before you both fall asleep is fine occasionally, but retraining your brain to receive pleasure from her is going to take a little more effort than that.

To take advantage of the chemical overload happening in your brain during orgasm, you have got to let your eyes lock onto your wife. Remember that your eyes tell your brain where the sexual gratification is coming from. In order to retrain your brain to desire your wife sexually – and not the naked models in a magazine – you must look at her before and during ejaculation. Don’t close your eyes or bury your head in the pillow – look at her. Alternate between locking eyes with her and gazing at her body during climax.

Note: This is the best way to make your heavier-set wife look like the hottest woman you’ve ever seen. When you are receiving sexual gratification while looking at her, you teach your brain to associate great sex with your wife, no matter how she compares to an airbrushed super model. This principle is also very closely tied to the next.

Starve Your Eyes From Outside Sexual Influences

No matter how “natural” you may think it is to “admire” other women, this bad habit has a very negative affect on your sex life. Your body was designed to be visually stimulated, but that does not mean you are designed to stimulate yourself over every visual image. The strong desire you have to look at women is meant to make your marriage awesome because you take all those desires and pour them into one woman. If you keep your eyes off the Victoria’s Secret magazine, the Swimsuit Edition, underwear commercials, etc., and you keep your eyes on your wife during lovemaking, you will train your brain to want gratification through sex with your wife, and nothing more.

Also, it is this point that can seriously help you in your quest to stop masturbating. Our bodies naturally desire sexual release every 2-3 days, but if we are stimulating our minds with sexual images all the time, the desire for release is going to be much more often. The more we see, the more we want. If you are trying to get your masturbation habit under control, stop allowing your eyes to take in extra-marital sexual images.

Read more about the concept of starving your eyes for your wife here.

In Conclusion

These are the main methods that have helped me curb my masturbation appetite. It’s not easy to break this habit, but it is possible. Yes, there are still times when I occasionally crave the convenience of masturbation, but the constant desire that I once had is gone. I no longer instantly crave to please myself as soon as the house is empty because I have taught my brain to crave my wife. And when I do feel overwhelmed by my sexual desires, I feel at peace knowing I can go to my wife and tell her that I would love to make love with her that night. By being honest with my wife and choosing her over myself, I have given her all of me. And she deserves all of me.

I really enjoyed this last week, and I hope it helps husbands out there who are struggling with this. We don’t talk about this enough, but we need to. I would appreciate any feedback in the comments below, and I also want to remind you to take the one-question survey at the top-right side of this page.

Make sure you check out the
previous articles in the series on masturbation in marriage:

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV


  1. Thank you. My wife sent me the link to your first post thinking I would look at it and shrug it off. I read it, and it totally empowered me and changed my thinking about what I was doing to my wife and it made me stop what I have been doing for I can't remember how long. It was amazing to hear that it is not just me having problems with this, so I just thank you for starting / giving me back my sex life with my beautiful wife! God bless you and thank you again so much for taking the time to write about such a sensitive subject.

  2. About "starving your eyes": it's true, the more we see, the more we want. But for the partner with lower libido, this is helpful, in principle.

    Where you have to be careful is to make sure that what you're looking at doesn't make your partner look bad in comparison. If you prefer airbrushed models and your wife, well, isn't one, then maybe you do have to avert your eyes.

    My wife encourages me to look. Sometimes she'll even point out women that she thinks I'll find pretty. As I've mentioned, she has more libido than I, so later it'll pay off for her.

    It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I actually figured out what I find attractive in women: curves. Whether she's big or small, if her hips aren't wider than her waist, eh. It's kind of odd for a geeky white dude to sneak looks at latinas and black girls, but there you have it. There's a lot of variety in people. And in relationships.

  3. You did an excellent job covering a touchy subject. Thanks for doing it.

    I simply feel that anything a husband is involved in (especially masturbation) that he has to hide from his wife is something that is not healthy and should be stopped.

  4. We've been married 19 yrs. About 5 years ago, my wife lost all interest in any kind of sexual activity. For a while, we'd make love about 3 times a year. In 2006, we made love once. That was the end of it.

    I've discussed it with her, asked her to talk to her doctor about it and asked her if we could go to counseling together. She doesn't think those things are necessary. She thinks it's just a natural progression in life to be dealt with.

    I'm kind and affectionate. I "buy her things" and I spend time with her, often doing what she wants to do and going where she wants. I don't go to bars/strip clubs or places that would make her doubt my fidelity. I DO spend time with friends, usually playing sports during the afternoon, but that doesn't take precedence over anything else. (e.g. home repairs, chores, etc) I've never let my eyes wander, whether I'm alone or with her,

    For you to imply that masturbation in marriage is always wrong and I'm failing as a husband is insulting.

    Walk a mile in my shoes, THEN see how you feel.

  5. Paul, thanks so much for those comments. I hope you carry out your new plan. And, if you're interested, keep me updated using the 'Contact Me' button; maybe you could give us an update on how you're doing every few weeks.

    Anonymous, I feel for your situation. If you really feel like I implied that masturbation in marriage is always wrong, I encourage you to go through and read the whole series again. I most definitely did not mean to imply that, and tried hard to qualify all my "blanket statements."

    I would say that you and your wife should seek help. If she doesn't think that she needs it, try to explain to her that you need it, and explain how much it would mean to you.

    Again, though, I didn't mean to insult you. Do go back and read through the series when you have a chance (especially the discussions on the 'Type B' personality) — I think that should clarify some things.

  6. Just a comment on the page in general - it hasn't been loading properly since Part 5 was put up. What's going on?

    Great series, by the way!

  7. Danielle,

    I haven't heard that from anyone else, and it loads fine for me. I'm not sure what the problem is exactly. How is it loading?

  8. Thank you for this series. As a man who used to be a Type C and never thought I could quit, or needed to - now that I am a Type A I can live to tell about it.

    I haven't read all of this but I don't see anyone bring up addiction. There are several sex addiction 12-step recovery programs but the one that's served me to heal from the separation caused by the numbing act of Type C masturbation is Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous.

    Most of this discussion is about the act but not what leads to it. I find that it's usually a void/a hole in my soul that made me want to hide and masturbate myself. It also involved self-objectification.

    The other part that's not said in this series as far as I can see is all the "side-effects" of this addiction - porn in its various forms and cheating on your partner - even thinking about it in my opinion is damaging.

    I hope that serves your readers.

  9. Your blog is still loading odd for me as well. The last Masturbation post loads part way, and no other part of the blog loads on the page. You have to play around with trying to pull up past posts or comments to get to the whole post. It's odd. I don't know if you've posted anything new since that last one, but nothing else comes up after it. Just FYI....

  10. Well - I saw your poll, but I can't vote in it because I'm not a man. :-(

    I would like to say that I am a married woman and I masturbate occassionally.

    I know my husband masturbates, though I can't really tell you the frequency. We've never discussed that because neither of us feels it is an issue.

    If I asked him if he was insulted that I masturbate without him around, I believe he would laugh at me.

    As to the page loading --- the only issue I have is there is no new post since the Part V posting showing up. If you've made any new posts since then, they are not pulling up for me. uilsyqq

  11. Personally I am on the road a lot and I find the need only when I am on the road and have been alone for a while. Its a bit of a stress relief and yes I have talked about it with my wife and she sees no problem. When I am home I make love to my wife but when I am on the road I relieve my self.

  12. I am a wife with a husband who is addicted to porn. Thank you so much for this website and the articles.

    I know how common the addiction to masturbation is today, and I won't deny that I am not "against" masturbating as I should be.

    Having said that, the addiction to it has threatened time and time again to ruin my marriage. As a wife that enjoys sex, having it taken from me for so many years has been devastating. Despite my very open dialogue with my husband about the masturbation problem, the problem and the issue of no sex eventually let to an affair on my part.

    Getting the word out about how common this is in our time is quite possibly the best thing that can happen and the only way to save the marriages affected by it.

    Thank you again.

  13. IMO, There's nothing at all wrong with masturbating while married, especially if you're more sexual than your spouse is. Some people enjoy getting off at least once a day or more and they don't always find a spouse with the same appreciation for it. Why should the one who likes it more be expected to give it up any more so than the one who doesnt like it should be expected to learn to like it. Hormones are natural and vary greatly between individuals. This should be understood and accepted before marriage even takes place.

  14. Hi ,

    I have been wanting to "know" why my husband who is absolutely normal and in his thirties not "desiring" as much lovemaking as he did in the initial years of our togetherness. Now that you have put the spotlight on it ......yes this could be it that for some harmless reason he prefers "me sex" more than " we sex" .Please advise me how I can get him to open up to me about this "touchy" topic , without getting his defenses up. Im tired of waiting for him to get out of the bathroom and absolutely depressed because of a almost sexless marriage when Im still sexy and ALIVE. Tks a lot

  15. Kanak, I'm glad that these articles helped you. Without knowing much more of your situation at all, I would strongly recommend you have him read these articles as well, and then have him talk about his feelings. See which things stood out to him, what things he related to, and which ones he didn't. Men don't like having to bring this situation up on their own, but when someone else does (for example, these articles) it's easier to talk about what "the writer said."

    Talking openly about your sexuality is HUGE in marriage, and whether or not he wants to, he needs to. So, to recap, have him read these articles (or read them together) and then talk about your reactions to them.

    It is a sad thing when a man would rather spend time with his hand as opposed to his wife and her body, but that is the nature of addictions - we'll accept less because we've taught our brain to think it's greater than it is.

    Keep me updated on this, and let me know if I can help at all. (You can e-mail me throught Kontaktr form in the right hand column.)


    A Husband

  16. thanks for sharing this with me!!! addiction to porn tore my first marriage apart. I could never figure out why he did not want to have sex with me more than like once a week or so... ( I was young, and quite hot.) anyway I am glad that I got out of that unhealthy situation, that he was not willing to even look at as being his fault, or rather his addiction causing the problem.
    Now I am 20 years older and not as physically hot, but I am now remarried for one year, and my husband and I have sex almost every day or more if we are getting along real well, and there is time. I still find myself wanting to masturbate a couple of times a day, but usually wait because the sex IS better even for a woman if we save it just for our husband.

  17. My Husband has a chronic case of Type C. I have actually found the nerves to bring it up on more than one occasion.

    It occurs quite frequently, very secretly, and often when I'm home. I have found magazines, dvds or sometimes its just hispanic telvision that constantly has half naked women on mute. and its frustrating

    He gets upset if I see a fully clothed man, and then continues to look at naked women.

    I've told him how it makes me feel: not good enough, pretty enough, satisfying enough.

    Each time i confronted him he said he would stop.

    I think i could be ok with masturbation if he didn't have to oogle at beautiful women carrying out his every fantasy while doing it.

    Your article and my husband have made me realize how different our needs/wants are sexually, and that men just want it more- they can't help it

    When we have sex, i know he would prefer for me to talk dirty or act as those he likes to watch.

    I'm not comfortable with that (and i have tried for him), and I think it makes it not as satisfying for him.

    I'm afraid this is a battle I'm going to lose.

    Although he has thought about quitting, even subscried to a help website and wrote down reasons why and goals- one of them talk to me (which he has never)

    I don't think he is.

    I still constantly hear him get out of bed and constantly stare at bathroom door where he stays secluded for a good amount of time, and of course there are his internet visits (which we are getting rid of soon)

    I do feel that his obsession with pornography is eventually going to lead to him not being to able to be satisified at all by me.

    I love my husband and I just wish he loved me enough to let go of pornorgraphy.

  18. Thank you so much for this series! I went searching for help to cope with my husband's frequent masturbation and online porn habit, hoping to find some information I could share with him, who, as an atheist, does not respond to faith-based arguments. I'm glad I found something valuable that has insights, concepts, and advice that he can actually gain something from, opposed to dismissing it because it's Bible based.

    This issue has come up from time to time, and truly I had no idea how bothered I really was by his masturbation until just this past week. I had a major breakdown over it, and now he is confronting this as a problem he needs to fix, instead of looking at it as something he just does. We have talked at great length about it over the past several days, and I am so fortunate to have a husband who is comfortable and willing to talk about literally anything and share himself with me as fully as he does.

    I have so much more to say on the subject, but I don't have enough space here, so I have posted on my own blog about it so other women in my position, or men even, can hear my story too.

    Again - thank you so much for addressing this subject, and in the manner in which you do.

  19. I have been married for 5 years. We’ve had a very rough marriage with family and financial issues. We are a Christian family. Before we got married, my husband masturbated. After we got married he said he didn’t do it until about the 4th year when we were fighting very badly and he thought we were over. He’s always struggled to keep his eyes from leering at other women in front of me; in fact he does it so much he’s not even aware of it most of the time. This is, of course hurtful for me because I have eyes and I can see where he’s staring – in a room full of fat men with one hot woman and he keeps leering, I know which one he’s staring at. Our sex life has always been sad. The first 2 years I was the one with the higher drive and he felt like I was badgering him, until he yelled at me and I basically shut down sexually. I would still, once in a blue moon want him and climax and but not as often as before, and whenever he needed me, I gave in. But the actual sex itself was sad, it never lasts long enough to do anything, and he’s too removed or lazy to bring me pleasure. This is so completely frustrating for me especially because I just feel used, he’s not sincere or flirty or offers hugs and kisses unless he’s looking for release, he then takes his two minutes and is done until the next time. In the meantime, I’m left feeling deprived and used. It’s been three years since he’s pleasured me and he’s not bothered by that, he sees nothing wrong with that (although he says he’s frustrated because he can’t last long enough) but there are other ways that he just won’t do.

    As of lately, we’ve been in counseling because we’re not getting along and I had mentioned basically how miserable I am in our marriage, because of his selfishness, laziness, lack of communication and I said I don’t think it’s fair I need to wonder if his mind is pure (meaning only thinking of me sexually) and the counselor wanted more detail. The counselor basically asked him what I meant by that and he said he doesn’t watch porn and he doesn’t need it. When he sees a pretty woman it gets locked in his mind then when we have sex he's playing out being with her in his mind when we have sex. He said it can be anyone....a news anchor or someone on the street etc. it doesn't matter as long as he finds them attractive. The counselor said to my husband, why do you think you do that and he said “for arousal, to get to the climax.” When we got in the car he said “I’m sorry you had to hear that” ….. no apology for his actions against me and my body.

    I feel so completely used and disrespected. I am a beautiful young woman and I know in my heart I don’t deserve that. I deserve a man who wants to be close to me, physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually, I deserve a man who wants to pleasure me but also see my beautiful body and face to bring him to climax. I deserve someone who studies my every curve and fantasizes about ME all day, and then plays that out with me, not someone who fantasizes about random strangers and uses his wife’s body to play out those fantasies with those women in his mind.

    The counselor gave him a business card of man who specializes in this sort of thing, and he said he wasn’t sure he wanted to see him because he doesn’t think he has a problem.

    For me personally, I have struggled with self-esteem issues and this doesn’t help one bit. I ask myself, why can’t his mind stay pure for two minutes, what’s wrong with me or my body that he can’t stay present with me during that time. I have to remind myself that this is his sickness, not mine. It breaks my heart that he struggles with this, and it breaks my heart that our sex life is nothing more than a living pornography series featuring my husband.

    I welcome any advice or book recommendation you may have.

  20. I am soo pleased I've found this site. And I nearly cried when I learned that there are some men indeed who do not masturbate in marriage! I was led to believe that ALL men do, and it's just the way it is. But is it?..
    I'm in my second marriage. I love my husband with all my heart and more. I know he loves me very much too. We have a great sex life - I'm very adventurous, not once in five years said "no" and usually initiate the lovemaking. I am a very good looking woman (so much easier said when it's anonymous!), wear sexy underwear and talk to my husband about our fantasies. My husband had lots of sexual partners and says I'm by far the best one. I do not go out very much as we love staying at home with kids, I do go to work and I do look after him and the house. I love doing it all for him and our family.
    It would all be perfect, but he masturbates.
    He knows I absolutely hate it. We nearly broke up few times as I found it very depressing. I went to counselling, to hypnotherapy, tried self meditation to simply accept the fact that it's something men do. But after three years, I still can't find the way to accept it.
    I still remember the shock when one morning I walked in on him masturbating to the porn on the computer... The night before he turned me down saying he is too tired. But then, after nights sleep he went straight to the computer, not to me. After seeing my reaction he promised me not to do it again. And broke the promise, many times. I've turned into a miserable person - reduced myself to checking his computer, stopped accepting invites from friends to go out, as I know that's when he does it - every time he is alone in the house.
    This caused us so much grief, we do not talk about it anymore.
    He keeps lying to me saying he does not masturbate anymore. Few days ago he came home earlier than me from work and when I came home two hours later, I saw some of his clothes put for washing with fresh sperm stains. Tell me, what urge it must be that he can't wait for two hours till I come home? He knows I am always more that willing to make love.
    I know now that he will ever stop doing it, and I will never be comfortable about it. I tried for three years and it didnt work.
    Everytime he has empty house he just goes for it, and I feel cheated.
    It makes me feel so sad but I cannot see other way than leaving. If he loves me enough, knowing how much it hurts me, he would stop?

    By the way, thank you very much for the series.
    And let me tell that all men here who stopped masturbation because their wifes are not comfortable with it, earn my admiration.
    P.S. sorry for my mistakes, english is not my native language.