Here's a quick post in response to a comment I received on the Art of Self Lovin. It turned out far longer than I expected, and I'm really sorry. I apparently think and talk a lot....
"I just wrote an article about women (specifically pregnant women) discovering that their husbands masturbate or surf porn on the internet.(advice is on the bottom, in case you want to skip over this)
I can understand how women feel betrayed or unattractive when that happens, but I'm pretty sure all husbands probably 'rub one out' when their wives say they've got a headache.
What's your take on that scenario? And what's a wife to do?"
I actually used to have this problem myself. But I don't anymore. It takes a certain realization, I guess.
Women are raised to believe that you have to keep your husband/boyfriend happy. We are taught by peers, parents, media, and society that if your man isn't happy (read, "getting what he 'needs'"), he'll find someone else who will make them happy (read, "put out").
The reason this ties into the...fear of masturbation, is that women get the idea that if their guy is masturbating or watching porn, it must mean that they aren't getting what they "need" from them, and looking for it elsewhere, whether that be masturbation, porn, playboys, whatever.
This is actually a pretty disturbing concept and one that I hope women everywhere can learn to abandon.
One part of the fact is that sex doesn't have to be something emotional, it honestly doesn't. For women, it tends to be thanks to some crazy psychological chemicals, but it is a biological act. People don't have sex because they need it, no matter what people say. People have sex because it feels good and they want it. We all want the things that feel good, right? We want to eat our favorite foods, get great massages, ride roller coasters, and take hot baths. The difference between men and women when it comes to "need"ing sex is that women are raised to be accustomed to not having sex (if at all). Men, however, start masturbating at an early age (as i've said, it's easier to figure out what you body wants when you are coming into contact with your sex organ all day every day), and it is tolerated, if not encouraged, where if women are caught masturbating, they're lectured, told that what they did was wrong. It ends up making it so that sexual pleasure is practically second nature to many guys, but practically a foreign language to many women.
Because of this, the idea that men should withhold from sexual pleasure while their wives are pregnant is a little silly. I mean, yeah, while your miserable, bloated, nauseous, and as big as a whale, you secretly hope that your husband is as miserable as you, but really, why bother? Women can masturbate (and have sex, for some time) while pregnant, they just don't want to, or don't even think to. Men, however, do think to. Often. It's not that they aren't happy with their wives, or that they like porn better than their wives/girlfriends, it's just that masturbation feels good, and there's not really any reason not to do it. Perhaps they don't want to bother their pregnant, sick, or exhausted wife with the idea of sex. Or maybe they're alone a lot while their wife is working, and chooses porn or masturbation when he a) misses her or b) is simply aroused and wants to go with it. Or maybe theirs something that arouses him that he is embarrassed to admit to his wife this...*shrug* fetish, so he satisfies that arousal alone.
There are lots of reasons for men to masturbate, and very few (but not none) of them have to do with anything...adulterous or...well, negative towards their wives/girlfriends. It could be worse, they could be having sex with someone else. I don't know about most women, but I'd rather my guy have sex with himself than another woman. I figure they'd rather have that too.
W was once too embarrassed to admit that he had masturbated while I was at work. I straightened him out quick. I admit that it is fairly odd to find out that your partner has been masturbating, but it's nothing to get worried about. Don't get me wrong, it is possible to masturbated too much, i.e. when it gets in the way of your regular relationships, activities and obligations, but just because your with someone doesn't mean you can't masturbate.
Before I close, let me just say that I'm not a guy (obviously), and I can't say what men feel, think, or want with a real assurance or authority. What I've written (which is, unfortunately, a lot, and I'm sorry for that) is what seems to be natural and normal to me. I'm sure any guy would put it differently, but this is how I see it. I'm no expert, but I tend to believe in myself.
But even if some of my details are off, my point is this; masturbation is not cheating and it does not mean your husband/boyfriend/partner doesn't find you attractive. While it might involve fantasies, other womens nudity, or something of the sort, just because a man masturbates doesn't mean he doesn't love, appreciate, or want his wife/girlfriend/partner.
My advice to women is to...well, two things really.
A) Deal with it. Most of all learn that it doesn't necessarily have to do with you, or your husband/boyfriend/partner not wanting/liking you anymore. If he didn't want you, he wouldn't be with you (hopefully). Learn to accept that your husband wants to feel something that feels good, just like you would. You want to take a hot bath and get a massage, he wants to jack off. That sounds a bit pissy, I know, but women tend to have this prudish idea of sex when it comes to certain things that are beyond their comfort zone. We as a society need to look past that. Sexual expression is just like any other type of expression, and it's as varied, individual, and important as speech, religion, and press, and it deserves the same freedoms. People come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and sexual preferences, that's just the way it is. Mental borders will not keep out what makes you uncomfortable, it just keeps you from adapting to them.
B) (and this is the better advice) is to talk to your husband/boyfriend/partner. If he/she is looking up porn, reading playboy, or masturbating, ask him about it. Maybe ask why he does it, or why he enjoys it. Understand that these will probably hard questions, and it might take him time to answer them. If he can answer them at all. More than likely, it's just something he wants to do, and it has nothing to do with you or any form of infidelity. If you want, go ahead and ask him if it's because there's anything wrong with the relationship. You'll also have to understand that he probably won't want to admit it if there is, but encourage him to be completely honest, and make sure that you are being completely accepting/open minded/understanding. Don't have him be honest and then treat him with disdain or anger when he tells you what he's really feeling.
If the fact that he's looking to porn or masturbation for pleasure really bothers you, I'm talkin you can't stand it and would rather leave him than have him do it, than tell him you disapprove. Don't expect him to be okay with that fact, but let him know that it really bothers you that he does that, and you don't want him to do it anymore. Communication is so important for healthy relationships and sex lives. Let him know what you really feel, and let him tell you how he really feels. Try your best to be as open and accepting as possible, and if you can't be, make sure he knows where you stand, and you come to some form of understanding about the matter.
I'll stop right here, before this takes up the whole main page. I'm really sorry it got so long, maybe I can come back and cut it a bit later on.
Anyway. Good luck, play safe, and have fun.
I'm gonna go watch Doctor Who.