Masturbating While In A Relationship: Yes, Please!

Why and how self-pleasure is healthy and beneficial for your couple life

Why and how self-pleasure is healthy and beneficial for your couple life

When we exchange with you about our sensual products for women and other vibrators tips, we often end up discussing the big questions of our sex lives.  And when it comes to masturbation, one that comes back often is: is it normal to masturbate when you have a partner? Here’s why the answer is yes. 

The votes are in and people in relationships do masturbate. Alone, together, as foreplay to partner sex and as the whole sha-bam! In a recent study into the sexual behaviour of women, over half of the women aged 18-59 and in a relationship (living together with their partner or married), reported that they had masturbated within the last ninety days.

Forget the taboos and connotations that society had labelled onto masturbation within a  relationship. You masturbating is not a dig to your partner; it can be an invitation to get to even closer and have way better sex together.

Masturbation for women can be an incredibly empowering way to reclaim their bodies and express their sensuality and sexuality; in fact, it has been proven that women who masturbate report to have higher self-esteem and less anxiety around partner sex.

So why would the self-loving stop when you are in a couple?

We examine a few of the benefits and believe that making space for masturbation within a relationship can help strengthen the connection, communication and the couple’s sex life.

 

Throw out the whole rule book

We are currently in a period, culturally, when what we thought we knew about female sexuality is being heavily questioned, argued and debunked as utter nonsense. One of the massive misconceptions we have around female sexuality is that women, especially those in monogamous relationships, have a lower libido compared to men.

Research is proving that this is simply not true.

There is a perception that the decline in desire among women in monogamous relationships is a disinterest in sex, but it is biologically more likely that it is a sign of an unmet craving for variety, i.e. they are struggling with monogamy or lack of novelty and adventure in their sex lives.

“Women’s biology sets them up to seek out pleasure,” says author and social researcher, Wednesday Martin. If we are to believe this school of thought, then denying or shaming a woman in a relationship the enjoyment of masturbation (which encourages fantasy) may be detrimental toward her overall sexual desire. 

 

Hands-on sex-ed

Marriage counsellors recommend women masturbate alone if they are having difficulty orgasming during sex with their partner. The hoped-for outcome is that women will gain a better understanding of their bodies and will be able to share their learning with their partner.

The next step to this may be a kind of show and tell which could include mutual masturbation or outer play. Exclusive of direct genital stimulation (exploring erogenous zones of the body) to relive the expectation of climax; the couple is encouraged to kiss, touch and caress while communicating about what they like.

You might have seen this in the Netflix series Masters of Sex where sex revolutionaries, Bill Masters and Virgin Johnson task their patients who are suffering from erectile dysfunction or vaginismus with exploring one another’s body and simply playing for the sake of play.

Enjoying the experience as something explorative rather than goal-orientated is an important factor here.

These type of tasks strip back what we may have come to learn as what sex should be, in order to remain present with what is happening.

 

Doing it together

Speaking of mutual masturbation, many couples find this very sexy and an alternative way to enjoy “quickie” sex, spice up their sex life or fulfil a fantasy. In one American study on female sexual behaviour, of 2,532 women interviewed 60% of single 25-39 year-olds had experienced partnered masturbation which lets us know that is very common practice.

For women, mutual masturbation is a good opportunity to demonstrate to their partner how they like to use their vibrator also. A visitor to our online store wrote to us to say that he is a big fan of his girlfriend using a vibrator during sex with him. “My girlfriend could touch herself with it while we were having sex, which was very hot. Guys who feel threatened by vibrators have no idea what they are missing out on!”

 

A gift that keeps on giving

It is a common misconception that most men are intimidated by their partner having a sex toy or enjoying masturbation solo. Many men will buy their partner’s a vibrator to enjoy alone. In fact, 30% of our customers identify as men and the vast majority tell us that they are shopping for their woman partner as a gift.

One customer remarked that it gives his wife a “boost”. The benefits of masturbation to a women’s overall wellness and self-esteem have been proven to be very positive and this factor is likely to benefit the health of their relationships. In fact “it may be associated with improved relationship satisfaction as well.”

 

Some like to watch

According to  The Journal of Sex Research, 46 per cent of people surveyed were into voyeurism (i.e., watching others have sex) and 35 per cent had actually done it. This could be suggestive of why many of us enjoy watching our partners masturbate. Peeping into something that is usually very private, personal is somewhat of a VIP experience; seeing them uninhibited, turned on and enjoying their bodies. Bonds are created while getting to experience the person you have feelings for in their most wild and free state, enjoying sex purely for their own pleasure can be liberating by proxy.

 

Practically speaking

Among the scientific and arousal reasons there are also some very practical benefits to masturbation while in a couple. Masturbation poses very little risk, if there is no contact with another person at all, STI’s have no way of spreading and you can’t get pregnant. This may also add to the pleasure as risk factors are removed from the experience.

Couples who are mismatched in the time to take to reach climax may use masturbation as a way to ensure everyone is satisfied, this is traditional, a common way to use vibrators in couple sex. We know that at least 70% of females need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm and masturbating before or during penetrating can help sync the couple in their stages of sexual response.

 

Getting deeper

Masturbation is taboo and we strongly suspect it is because it is a pleasure for pleasure’s sake. It can’t be regulated or restricted, when a person is alone (though they might have some internalised shame around masturbation) it is an act of free-will, self-love and one of the most natural things known to humankind.

In 2017, Smile Makers worked with Marcos Alberti to create The O Project to show four stages of a woman masturbating as a way of normalising the topic and share these moments in an artistic human light.

Among the pouring of feedback, often full of praise, we received this comment from man in his 70’s.

 

“ I have not seen something as profound as those pictures. Fully clothed women masturbating in a scene not set up with nudity for the purpose of titillation but to show the beauty of the act and the effect of each one of these ladies.

One is drawn not so much to when they orgasm but to the first and last picture. The difference is not just physical but, yes, spiritual. You feel you are seeing the real person, perhaps even a glimpse of their very soul. Perhaps the is what some religions do not want us to see. Would that you ladies had been around 50 years ago. I suspect relationships between the sexes would be different.”

 

Explore more masturbation talks on our blog, and more masturbation practice aids on our e-shop with our collection of vibrators for women!

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References

  1. Helping Couples Change: A Social Learning Approach to Marital Therapy, By Richard B. Stuart
  2. (Coleman, 2002; Zamboni & Crawford, 2002).
  3. 3. The Journal of Sex Research
  4. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2016.1139034
  5. Sexual Behaviors, Relationships, and Perceived Health Status Among Adult Women in the United States: Results from a National Probability Samplejsm_2010
  6. The Health Benefits of Sexual Expression
  7. Published in Cooperation with the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, 2007

8.https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/13/a-strong-libido-and-bored-by-monogamy-the-truth-about-women-and-sex