Masturbation and Married People

Statistics and Viewpoints on Masturbation in Marriage

Woman relaxing on bed, Masturbation
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Masturbation is very common among adults, yet is a challenging topic for many people to talk about. Masturbation is common even for those who are married. However, even in the closest of romantic relationships, there may be struggles regarding this subject. 

There are many myths about harms of masturbation, but according to the medical community, masturbation does not contribute to any known physical, mental, or medical problems. Experts advise that masturbation after marriage is okay as long as it does not interfere with your sexual intimacy with your partner.

Masturbation and Married People

It is not unusual for men and women to masturbate in addition to regular sex with their partners.

The most frequent qualm wives have about masturbation is knowing that their husband still masturbates despite regular sexual relationships together. Husbands usually have the opposite viewpoint. They would likely get very turned on by knowing that their wives masturbate or by watching, but the majority of wives feel uncomfortable about that.

Survey on Masturbation in Marriage

TheMarriageBed took an informal survey in 2013, asking how often respondents had engaged in "self-stimulation to orgasm while not with one's spouse." About 85% of male respondents said they had masturbated within the previous three months. About 15% thought that their wives knew about it, while 17% were pretty sure that their wives were clueless.

Myths About Masturbation

Most people are embarrassed about masturbation due to all of the negative and mixed messages received about this behavior. There are some common myths about masturbation and its effects, but it is beneficial for people to know the facts about these myths: 

  • Masturbation does not cause hairy palms.
  • Masturbation does not make your eyesight go bad or cause you to go blind.
  • Masturbation does not cause acne.
  • Masturbation will not cause your penis to shrink.
  • Masturbation will not make you go insane.
  • Masturbation does not cause cancer.
  • Masturbation will not make you sterile.
  • Masturbation will not turn you into a pervert.
  • Masturbation will not give you an STD.
  • Masturbation is not self-abuse.
  • Masturbation is not a steppingstone to the homosexual lifestyle.
  • Masturbation is not unnatural.
  • Masturbation will not hinder your social and emotional development
  • Masturbation is not the same as infidelity.

Benefits for Married People

Prevention Magazine reports that masturbation eases stress and promotes self-satisfaction, and both of these effects can contribute to a happier and more satisfying marriage. The magazine wholly supports the practice, indicating that it doesn't negatively affect libido but rather stimulates it.

It can also lead to self-discovery by helping you learn what you like and don't like sexually and how you need to be stimulated. Understanding your sexual preferences is something that can spill over into mutual sexual encounters. 

Psychology Today nonetheless cites research that indicates that masturbation while in a relationship is healthy and can serve as prompt to more mutual sexual activity.

So, what about couples who aren't on the same page when it comes to wanting the same frequency of sex? Prevention Magazine says that masturbation may be the perfect answer to that sort of dilemma because the masturbating spouse isn't cheating with another person, which helps to take the sense of betrayal out of unequal sexual desire. 

Most people feel better after gratifying sex, whether it's solo or mutual. If masturbating functions to remove sexual issues and problems from a marriage, that can be a good thing. 


Psychology Today looked into the question of whether masturbation is harmful to a marital union and found that masturbation fills a void when one spouse or the other is unwilling or unable to engage in a mutual sexual activity.

Feelings of Inadequacy

The spouses who don't engage in masturbation report displeasure when they discover what their partner has been up to. They tend to blame themselves, assuming that their spouse or partner is bored or unhappy with them.

Substitute For Intimacy

Masturbation is a problem if it interferes with day to day life or if it is used as a substitute for real intimacy with another person. 


A married partner may feel that his or her partner has been keeping secrets if masturbation happens. WebMD quotes David Schnarch, Ph.D., director of The Marriage and Family Health Center in Evergreen, Colorado, as explaining. "For some couples, it's a breach. For others, it's not."

Your Marriage

Given the conflicting opinions and research about the impact of masturbation on marriage, it really comes down to personal preference. What's works for one couple may be very different than what is right for another.

However, essentially, it's only really a problem if masturbation is getting in the way of a couple's intimacy and trust. For example, if one person is masturbating so much that they can't achieve orgasm with their partner through intercourse or if they have a sex addiction.

If you believe you may have a problem with masturbation, you can seek out the help of a​ sex therapist. The therapist can work with you alone or with you and your partner to iron out any concerns you might be struggling with.

A Word From Verywell

The fact is that most people still masturbate when they are in long-term relationships such as marriage. It is up to you whether or not you tell your spouse or partner that you masturbate, but you should not consider it a sign of your own inadequacy if you discover that your spouse masturbates.

As long as you can maintain a healthy and satisfying emotional and physical romantic relationship, you do not have to be concerned about masturbating.

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Article Sources
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