Married people – or people in committed, long-term relationships – tend to have more partner-based sex than people not in such a relationship, according to a number of surveys and reports. But that does not mean that masturbation goes out the window when a person gets married. Since masturbation plays a role in maintaining penis health (and vaginal health as well), that’s a good thing. But do married men and women view masturbation the same way? A recent study suggests they do not.
Coming to terms
For the purposes of this article, “married” is going to refer to a couple which is in a long-term, committed relationship, even if they are not officially married. And “masturbation” will refer to the act of engaging in self-stimulation of a person’s own genitals in a private setting. (In other words, mutual masturbation, which might be considered as part of partner-based sex, will not be counted as masturbation.)
Most of the information in this piece is drawn from a recent study published by the Archives of Sexual Behavior and entitled “Masturbation and Partnered Sex: Substitutes or Complements?” This study was conducted by doctors at the University of Texas at Austin and Brigham Young University. It has a large sample size – 7648 men and 8090 women, all from the United States. As the scientists state in their summary, “we explored the association between sexual frequency and masturbation, evaluating the evidence for whether masturbation compensates for unavailable sex, complements (or augments) existing paired sexual activity, or bears little association with it.”
In other words, they wanted to look at whether people in a relationship who had more or less sex were more or less likely to masturbate, and what might be the reason for the masturbation.
Not surprisingly, men reported masturbating more frequently than did women (a reflection of reports from other studies on the frequency of masturbation reported by the genders). But sexual contentment seemed to play a strong role in a person’s masturbatory frequency.
For example, 79% of sexually discontented men who had not had sex recently reported that they masturbated. But 60% of sexually discontented men who had had sex four or more times recently also reported masturbating. Men who were sexually content (which was only 42% of the sample) reported significantly less masturbation – even if they had NOT had sex recently.
Interestingly, women were who sexually content (57%) and had had sex 4 or more times recently were more likely to masturbate than the sexually content women who had NOT had sex – 33% vs. 21%.
One theory that this data suggests is that married men often masturbate to make up for the fact that they are discontented sexually, whereas women who are sexually content may masturbate more as a way of complementing their sexual satisfaction.
The fact that only a minority of married men report sexual satisfaction seems significant, and it’s worth exploring what causes that discontent. Is it the quality of the sex, the frequency, or some other factor(s)?
None of this is to say that masturbation among married people is necessarily negative. Many individuals in a relationship masturbate quite happily and contentedly. But there is clearly more to learn about this aspect of married life.
Whether married or single, masturbation is usually a big part of a man’s life, and he will masturbate more happily if his penis is in prime health. Regular application of a superior penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) helps maintain that health. Since masturbation-based friction often causes some raw skin damage, using a crème that can rehydrate the penis skin. For this purpose, a crème with both a natural moisturizer (such as vitamin E) and a high-end emollient (such as Shea butter) is required. Ideally, the crème should also include L-carnitine. Frequent penile use often leads to a loss of sensation due to peripheral nerve damage, and L-carnitine is an effective agent to help with this issue.