Struggling to know if masturbation will ever be okay

Discussion in 'Women' started by sadlove, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. sadlove

    sadlove New Member


    On April 19, 2012 my husband disclosed a very longstanding sex and porn addiction. We had only been married a year but had lived together for 4 years. We are very connected and share a beautiful love and connection, including a lot of sexual chemistry, but I did know that something was up with our sex life (most of the symptoms you have all talked about here). I simply had no idea what it was - only that his weirdness around it all sent me to other rooms to sleep and cry at times. I was relieved to finally see what I had only sensed but was VERY distraught, hurt and angry for a long time. Things still come up for me now even. The past year has been wild - so many peaks and valleys that I could not even begin to describe it here.

    His addiction started in adolescence (he is 47 now) so his recovery process has been on-going in fits and starts. He has done really well in the past year and we have grown amazingly close. We have awesome sex - both tantric and fantasy based. He is not masturbating at all. However, he recently said that in addition to experiencing some pull back to one of the strip clubs he used to go to when I was out of town (I am heading out of town again soon), he is aware that he is starting to think about introducing masturbation back into his life (w/o porn) at some point. He does not feel a strong need, he says, to do it now, but he cannot think about a life w/o masturbation. This really confuses me since he gets his material for masturbation from people he sees on the street or out in the world, b/c he has never been successful in really limiting his MO practice to mental imagination only, and b/c in every other period of his life in which masturbation has played a part, it has slowly but surely come to be the epicenter of his sexual life (e.g. partner sex simply cannot rival the novelty etc. his auto-controlled sexual activities offer). This all adds up to me feeling cheated on and left out. Although the idea that someone might actually prefer MO to a real life comfortable and known partner was unfathomable to me before this experience, I see that for him this was largely the case (although he really does like partner sex as well). I am SO afraid to go back there again.

    Although I feel really odd saying that I really cannot tolerate going down this road at all, I feel pretty clearly that I cannot tolerate going down this road at all. This may change over time, but the experience of waiting for him to want sex with me rather than the fantasy girls (or lap dance girls) I did not know about is just too fraught.

    I could really use the perspective of all of you who have been down the recovery road a ways. What advice and insight can you offer??

  2. Hi sadlove -

    Speaking from my own experience, it's really difficult (and mostly pointless) to masturbate without looking at or thinking about something sexually stimulating, and the more one masturbates, the more drawn one will be to porn and/or to fantasizing about women on the street. If your husband is masturbating (especially by himself), then he's almost certainly going to be looking at or thinking about women other than you.
  3. sadlove

    sadlove New Member

    Thank you SlaveToRighteousness. I really appreciate the honesty - even though it is hard to hear. I have heard him say the exact same thing in the past. This new pronouncement is something I have not heard in awhile. I sometimes have this feeling that I call "the addict is in the house" at times when it feels like he is jonesing some. It is excruciating to be with but is giving me amazing opportunities to be really clear about what I need and want in my life and, even more, in knowing that his addiction to bodies is not a reflection on me or us. I have started to come to terms with the possibility that I would lose someone I love more deeply than I have ever loved anyone (we actually met nearly 30 years ago when I was 18 and he was 20, stayed for a year in a long distance relationship, broke up, and then rediscovered again in a very odd way 5 years ago. It is a pretty magical history..). That has been hard, but I cannot share this house and our bed with the addict. It feels so odd when that person shows up. I think that this is the longest he has ever gone without heading to a sex club and if not the longest w/o MO, then very close to it. Do you know if it is possible to love the addict but release him of the drive that so damages him and everyone he loves?? Is time the answer or will we always be dealing with this?
  4. Time will only be the answer if your husband spends it making a concerted effort to focus all of his sexual thoughts and energy on you. As long as he's thinking about other women, the problem will persist. On a related note, you might ask him why he wants to masturbate instead of having sex with you...
  5. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    All I can say is that, based upon my own experiences, I have to be cold turkey on masturbation, porn and other sources of erotic feelings, such as strip clubs, etc. I learned from the materials at Your Brain On Porn, that I would never be satisfied, no matter what the experience and that I could expect to escalate into things I found distasteful if I continued. This was enough to convince me to stop in my tracks.

    I have learned to live without masturbation and I currently have no sexual outlet. I am working to build a long term relationship, but we live nearly 1,000 miles apart, so it's slow going. It's been roughly eight months since I masturbated and I feel great. No discomfort, no prostate problems, no worries. It was the best thing I ever did for myself.
  6. patpine

    patpine Guest

    I am so sorry that you need to go through this? I am just not sure that anyone can control if a person is masturbating? I am sure that for some guys/gals this is ok and others it is not? Being that this is such a natural sexual practice it seems odd that a man would or could just stop for the rest of his life. I think what all the women on this board need to come to grips with is either acceptance or no acceptance? I am struggling with this myself and am very mad that a husband can use or withhold sex ( long periods) in a relationship. I think this is a form of abuse and very disrespectful. Regarding masturbation: I think it is ok for some and others it is not. But, at the end of the day the choice is theirs? We have a choice to accept or not? I know in my case that if my husband continues to make a big emotional issue out of a basic human act.. I am moving downstairs and will become his friend and invest nothing in the emotional part of this relationship. Back to is masturbation ok? I think it depends on the person. I just have no clue as to how a wife can police that act. I am so sorry to hear your pain.
  7. Gracie

    Gracie Member

    I know that with my husband we discussed the masturbation question. With ED present, we made the decision together that masturbation should not be an outlet. That all sexual energy should be saved for each other. It took a lot for me to trust him. But to get past this, you have to be able to trust again.

    If there is sexual behavior going on, we are with each other. That's it end of discussion. We still talk and check in with each other about this, that way the communication line is always open. There are no secrets anymore. But, it took a lot of hard work from both of us to work through this. If you are married or in a relationship, this is a two person problem solving endeavor.
  8. anonymouse

    anonymouse New Member

    I'd like to chime in and agree with the other guys. Masturbation, at least for me, leads to porn. Period. Everyone here will admit they are porn addicts. Less will admit to being masturbation addicts, but in all likelihood they are, or at least it's a major factor in relapses during a reboot.

    I can see patpine's side - I don't know how you'd convince him to stop, but he needs to understand that a) there's no physical need for release and b) there's nothing unhealthy about full abstinence. It's very much a physical (dopamine) and psychological addiction (the feeling of "need to release"). I had a harder time quitting that than porn, but an easier time quitting porn by quitting both. I hope that makes sense.

    Maybe you can challenge him to no M for a month or two? And see if he sees the sense in you being his only source for sexual needs like Gracie said?
  9. sadlove

    sadlove New Member

    Thank you all of you! Ironically, after I posted this my husband came home last night, laid on the bed, looked me in the eyes and said that he fully intended to do everything he needed to do to live w/o MO for the remainder of his life. He said that he has made this commitment for himself and for me, that it feels wonderful to simply give this to us both, and that he is committed to daily practice. He has already been MO free for a year but we are living an anniversary here - I think this is the longest he has gone w/o his sex and porn addiction activities. We both recognize this and know that the urges he is feeling know will probably become even more manageable over time. It was an amazing moment and opened up both of hearts even wider. I honestly love this man SO much. I know that MO gives him an easy sense of control coupled with strong positive feeling (dopamine etc..) so exercising the discipline to use other methods for coping is a gradually acquired skill and definitely something he has to work to give up. God bless all of you, addicts and partners, who take this journey. It really is the best yoga for getting very real, raw, and vulnerable for everyone that I have ever encountered. It feels amazing to see and to be seen in such a naked way - even when it hurts like hell.
  10. LTE

    LTE Master Of My Domain

    That's very good news. The longer I live and the more I see, the more I become convinced that no MO is the best way to go.
  11. anonymouse

    anonymouse New Member

    My boys are young (single digits) and I'm already trying to figure out how to get that point across when the time is right.
  12. sadlove

    sadlove New Member

    Interesting you should raise this. I have two sons, one of whom is 13. I have let him know that I really encourage him to learn to self-pleasure w/o porn as he comes into MO. We have an open DNS blocker on the computer so this helps some with the hard stuff but, as you all know, soft porn is everywhere - even the TV shows he can stream freely through Amazon or Netflix (we do have parental controls set but it feels like the whole world now is so pornified that what constitutes PG 14 is pretty crazy!). I am certain that MO will be a part of his life as a young man (have you ever met a young man with no MO?), but I am hoping to really help him understand the dangers of linking MO to porn as such a young age (or any age, but particularly in puberty since arousal templates are being formed). I have no real idea how he processes it all and I am not fear mongering or moralizing, but I know I need to speak. Interestingly, there is a really wild discussion going on in response to letter a mom wrote her son here that links to this: There are quite a few angry responses (all by men I think) to her efforts to caution her son about interlacing the images he sees in porn and elsewhere related to manhood and sex with his sense of what good sex and intimacy are. Wow, from the vantage point I have now with my husband's journey, I am blown away how threatened so many men seem to be by the idea that porn and the porn lens it offers one on the world is not totally harmless. I would love to know what you all think about this letter and the comment threads.
    Oh Boy - Really. To this I would have to say, If you have real sex within a caring relationship you don't need the P or need the MO. I think was is so aggravating about the deniers is the fact that P does not pick the nursing home. P isn't real, can't be made real. Living and active participation is real.

    I have a 13 yr old son as well. The stories I have read and personal accounts are heartbreaking. I want my kids to have the best life possible, like any parent, and that means a healthy sex life. No PMO is the way. While partner and I are just starting this journey, it is very important that hubs has a talk with our son. I'm perfectly comfortable talking to our son, I just don't know how comfortable he would be listening to it. Also, I think this would be good for the hubs.

    For men that haven't admitted to problems from P, all of this information probably can seem very aggressive. From the posts, it seems their world is completely turned topsy turvy by the notion of no PMO. It's all fun and games until somebody gets ED and can blame women for not living up the expectations of P.
  14. anonymouse

    anonymouse New Member

    I think the letter is full of good intentions and I agree with the spirit of it (porn is not good for you, sex with a partner you care about is). The semantics of a few statements bother me, though, and that seems to be what most comments are focused on. I'm not quite sure what she meant by "I'm one of the few women I know who hasn't been hurt by sex." What does "hurt by sex" mean? Most statistics cite about a 17% rate (US) of sexual assault. I would think an impressionable 13-year-old might interpret that statement as "women are victims." The "there's nothing you've seen that I haven't" statement seems condescending - something 13-year-olds are sensitive to. Perhaps she hasn't heard about Rule 34.

    Are there some parts that rub me the wrong way? Yes. Does it invalidate the entire letter? Nope.
  15. sadlove

    sadlove New Member

    Ah, interesting. It is interesting to read the comments - it has really been interesting to follow the gender aspects of them. It's funny cause I do know what she means by "hurt by sex" I think. In all honesty, chances are excellent that at least half of the women you know have been sexually abused in some way or antoerh - from very serious (25% have probably experienced full sexual assault) and many others have experienced some variation on that. You would be surprised if you know but go ahead and ask the women you think will be honest with you and see what they say. If you add in these sorts of experiences (hurt by a partner who puts his perceived "sex needs" before his primary relationship in a way that was far less than honest, then the number goes up a lot). Most women I know are somewhat wary of men and sex - even when they also crave both. it is a bit crazy making to say the least.

    What is rule 34?
  16. RainerFoxSign

    RainerFoxSign New Member

    A true and funny summary:

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