Masturbation: Why You Keep It Private
Most men have been masturbating since their teenage years. They may have begun through using pornography or just their imagination. However, when they begin a relationship with someone, their masturbation suddenly comes in under increased scrutiny. Do man keep their masturbation secret, or is it something else?
Keeping masturbation secret
The first response of men is often to keep their masturbation secret from their partners. Whilst they may not lie about it, they’re generally in no rush to talk about it. They generally don’t want to say that they have been masturbating, how often or to what. This is an arrangement that seems to suit everybody. Men generally believe that masturbation is something for single men; with his new partner, he is hoping that he won’t have a use for it anymore. As for the partner, it’s easy to believe that he or she would hope that they would be able to meet all of his sexual needs. They collude together to keep the topic of masturbation off the table.
The trouble is, it doesn’t stay that way. Inevitably, a couple’s sexual needs are rarely exactly matched nor are they always available to each other. When this happens, men begin to think about masturbation as being something they’d like to still do. The trouble here is that masturbation has never actually been talked about by the couple. Further, what was okay when the man was single may not be okay when he’s in a relationship.
Most relationships have an understanding of monogamy. Similarly, our unconscious thinking is that we own the sexuality of the other person. Part of his ownership means that we won’t have sex with other people, but another (unspoken) part is that we won’t have sex with ourselves, either.
If this unfolds for you like it unfolds for many men, then your masturbation eventually resumes. It continues and eventually gets discovered by your partner. There’s a whole lot of possible reactions here. Your partner might be quite okay with that; then masturbation might become part of your sexual repertoire. Or, your partner might be very uncomfortable with your masturbation and forbid it. Why not, if they own it? There are a range of other possibilities as well.
Let’s take the best case. Even in a relationship where masturbation is accepted by their partner, it seems that many men prefer to masturbate in private. The reasons for this can vary. One possible reason might be because in the midst of sexual fantasy, they find themselves too vulnerable to show themselves to someone else. And so, many men masturbate in private.
The mental leap
However, this can then be interpreted by their partners as masturbating in secret. When this happens, the partner can believe that it’s for reasons that the man wants to hide. Maybe he’s thinking of another woman, maybe he wants to have sex with another woman, may be he’s going to leave the relationship. When partners do this, they are making a mental leap, equating thought with action. When masturbation is viewed through this lens – the lens of infidelity – then it’s a relationship problem.
However, if the man is doing it merely out of privacy, that is not a relationship problem at all – it’s a question of shyness and shame. The partner making the mistake of thinking that this is an issue in fidelity can cause a rift in the relationship. These rifts can be hard to fix, particularly when the topic masturbation isn’t being discussed in the relationship.
Clearing the air
Perhaps the best thing to do is to simply clear the air. For men, this can mean talking about their interest in masturbation – even when they have a good relationship. Further, if the man needs or prefers to have this as a private issue, then they should make this clear. Men need to also take the time to listen to their partners about what they make of your masturbation. If the partner believes that it’s related to their inadequacy, or equates to infidelity, then these issues need gentle discussion.
It’s most likely that these issues weren’t caused by masturbation; rather, it’s a masturbation which has brought them out to be worked through.
Let me know what you think in the comments. Now, read about What Partners of Porn Users Assume About Pornography
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