Survey – Masturbation in Marriage

197 women and 859 men answering
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  • 44% of women said they masturbated less than a few times a month prior to marriage. Only 10% of men said the same.
  • 60% of men and 10% of women masturbated at least several times a week prior to marriage.
  • The most common frequency of premarital masturbation for men was several times a week. For women, the most common frequency was weekly.
  • 14% of women and half as many men think it is always wrong for a married person to masturbate.
  • Almost half of men and almost a third of women think i’s not wrong without any qualifications.
  • 47% of women and 36% of men felt it was only okay if the other spouse knew and/or approved of it.

Have you masturbated
in the last three months?

  • 16% of women and 84% of men said they have masturbated in the last three months.

(The following question was only asked if the individual said they masturbated in the last three months.)

  • 15% of men and women said masturbation varies because of travel separation.
  • 52% of men and 30% of women said sexual frequency affects how often they masturbate.
  • 35% of women say how often they masturbate varies based on their cycle, and 13% of men said their wife’s cycle affects how often they masturbate.
  • Women’s Other Responses included a couple of women who said masturbation is something they do with their husband and couple who said sometimes they just can’t wait. One said it’s related to depression.
  • Men’s Other Responses mentioned stress level, occasionally giving in to temptation and many who had no idea why it varies.

(The following question was only asked if the individual said they masturbated in the last three months.)

  • 55% of women who do masturbate do so four times a month or less.
  • 55% of men who do masturbate do so five times a month or more.
  • 16% of the women and 25% of men masturbate at least every other day.

(The following question was only asked if the individual said they masturbated in the last three months.)

  • The most common reason given, for both men (49%) and women (41%), was to relieve stress.
  • 40% of women and 39% of men said they masturbate just because they enjoy doing so, even if they are having plenty of sex with their spouse.
  • 34% of women and 31% of men masturbate because it helps them sleep.
  • 36% of women and 23% of men sometimes masturbate because they are horny but too busy or tired for sex with their spouse.
  • Masturbation goes with porn use for 14% of men and 8% of women.
  • Almost a quarter of women masturbate following unsatisfying sex with their husband.
  • 63% of masturbating wives and 59% of husbands say their spouse is aware they do it.
  • However, 18% of the women and 32% of the men are doing it more than their spouse thinks.
  • 11% of women and 10% of men think their spouse has no clue.
  • 31% of women and 18%of men say their spouse has encouraged them to masturbate.

Women’s Comments

  • My husband and I have a great sex life, very open and want to please each other. I found out what my husband likes and give it to him as well as he knows what I like. To satisfy your partner/be a good lover is no mystery, just find out what they desire. I have a way of making my husband feel safe, no sexual judgement in the bedroom, OPEN conversation. We both know each other masturbate at times, it is ok. As a couple you may want sex but your partner is exhausted or had a bad day….whatever and is not in the mood, life.
  • In regards to question #6: I don’t know if it is wrong or not. I would not want my spouse to but I seem to want sex more often than he does. (He says he has not since teen years. He is 37)
  • My husband is very understanding about my masturbation. Now at 50 I am mostly just masturbating to relieve menstrual cramps. I learned about it from a human sexuality class in college and finally tried it successfully after many attempts when I was 18 or 19. I have never used pornography but reading romance novels or watching romantic movies frequently led me to do it through our marriage. However, God is slowly delivering me from this. At the end of the day, masturbation is a 3/10 compared to the wonderful sex life I have with my husband of 28 years, which is a 11/10!
  • My husband is very understanding. As we get older, he isn’t as frisky as he used to be. I have never had an orgasm from intercourse so manual orgasms in some form or fashion have always been the case with me. Earlier in our marriage, it was oral/manual. Now I use a vibrator and he uses his fingers. I have amazing orgasms that way. Masturbation, even the best solo run, pales in comparison to us making it happen together.
  • I am completely open about my habits and he’s okay with it but I’m 100% not ok with him masturbating especially because he uses porn and when we first got together he promised he would stop watching porn and he lies and keeps secrets.
  • My husband and I use masturbation as part of our sex life, we both know we masturbate and it’s never been an issue, he likes to watch or help me and I him, I have a few sex toys which I like to use or have him use them on me. I like to watch him masturbate himself right in front of me and have him cum all over my face and, or in my mouth, that’s a real turn on for us both, if were having sex and I’m on top, I like to lean back and play with my clitoris while having him inside me, I have really good orgasms doing this and he likes to see me do It We have a teenage daughter and I’ve already had a chat with her about masturbation, that it’s perfectly normal and healthy, not to be embarrassed about it and explore her body and enjoy it.
  • Another reason why I do is to pleasure my husband so that he do not have to turn to other women to fill his urges.
  • Masturbation (touching yourself) is okay to be utilized while with your spouse as a part of enjoying each other, as a part of your marriage bed. If it is done out of the presence of your spouse, it is taking sexual energy away from the union not adding to it
  • I have never been able to climax by intercourse or oral sex. It is a huge chore even when I masturbate and requires industrial strength vibrators.
  • Any masturbation is a mutually engaged activity between the two of us in each other presence, often as part of our sexual activity.
  • I masturbate mostly during sex and my husband enjoys watching. He even encourages it when he knows his stamina is not as long and might finish early, but doesn’t want me to be unsatisfied. I also will masturbate when we are apart due to travel, etc. and I am feeling particularly “horny” and it is keeping me from sleeping or making my mood sour. This is not often, however.
  • As I age (almost 50), my masturbation is mostly now to relieve cramps. God is delivering me (slowly but surely) from reacting to lustful thoughts. I’ve also stopped reading romance novels that keyed me up.
  • I like masturbating, it’s as simple as that. I like sex as well of course, and there’s “usually” plenty of it, but sometimes in marriage the sex just doesn’t happen when you want it or how you want it, so masturbating is one way to cure the desire. My husband and I have masturbated in front of each other on many occasions as part of foreplay or not as the case may be, I like to watch him and he loves watching me, it really turns him on I think, I also have toys which we like to use, and we often masturbate each other. I must admit that I really like a couple of my toys and often use them to masturbate when my husband is not around, he doesn’t know I do this, but feel sure he wouldn’t mind if he ever found out.
  • Girl should masturbate
  • I still feel guilty when I do because I think my husband should know and approve. I have often said that I believe masturbation is not wrong if it is within the context of a sexual relationship; but “going solo” when you’re married does not help the relationship grow in this aspect. Since I’ve done it for what I believe are the wrong reasons, I feel it’s sin and it makes me want to confess it to my husband.
  • Though I masturbated frequently from childhood until about age 18, I did it much less often after that time until marriage (we’ve been married over 50 years) and, since marriage, over the last 50 years have not given myself an orgasm while alone more than two or three times. My husband has encouraged me to do it solo but I just don’t want to. But now, it is what I do to have an orgasm during sex with my husband which is still frequent–nearly always with a vibrator. I am not interested in doing it alone but in the context of sex with my husband I always do it–to my delight (wow) and my husband’s enjoyment.
  • I feel horny during the early morning which is good for both of us to have sex. For me I get very horny around 2 pm like clockwork almost everyday when he is at work and always have done even in my younger life. I now work from home so have the opportunity so take it. When I was in the office opportunity was not there although I have a few times been overwhelmed by the feeling and used the restrooms.
  • Sometimes I masturbate before sex to help me orgasm during sex. Sometimes I masturbate when I’m turned on and my husband is at work and I know we won’t have time to have sex when he gets home.
  • Masturbation has never taken the place of sex with my husband in the 25 years that we have been married.

Men’s Comments

  • I would say is not ok mostly because I feel very guilty afterwards. But sometimes my wife just won’t. It’s not a regular habit but sometimes happens.
  • Masturbation is my only means or sexual gratification. It is the only way I can prove to myself my wife has not completely emasculated me.
  • We generally have a lot of sex. I can barely find time to masturbate. I generally save myself for her and prefer sex over masturbation. I’ve told my wife that I occasionally do it. She has in the past also and still does occasionally. We probably do it most often when apart due to travel.
  • Up until perimenopause, my wife was able to keep up with me sexually. I really appreciated that since I needed sex a lot more than most men and still do at 60. My wife’s perimenopause, though, hit me hard since I was not prepared to masturbate. Funny though, growing up in the 60s & 70s, I knew married men started masturbating again in their 50s, but didn’t consider why. Your site about sexual stewardship actually helped us. We talked about it and I started masturbating which took a lot of pressure off of my wife. Since I don’t like to do it by myself, I’m very thankful she’s been good about me masturbating next to her and particularly that she likes to help me out when her arthritis isn’t acting up. One thing we’ve realized that even though I grew up knowing that a young man needed to masturbate regularly and often, I was ridiculously intense about always wanting intercourse after we married. If I had been more relaxed about it and willing to masturbate, sex probably would have more enjoyable for my wife. After all, my sex drive was prolific and is still unusual even at 60 years old needing it 4-5 times per week which is half what it used to be in the first 25 years of our 38 years of marriage. But, oh boy, when we have intercourse the one or two times per week, it’s a whole lot of fun! My penis knows my hand ain’t his home! None of our five married sons have my sex drive, but they appreciate the knowledge, particularly what to expect when their wives enter perimenopause. My wife and I thank you for your site.
  • I love it.
  • Our toddler seriously limits times when we can do it, but we’re both often too tired after he’s gone to sleep.
  • I see it similar to a snack that keeps the hunger at bay, especially if “dinner” isn’t anytime soon. I don’t replace the meals. But my wife doesn’t agree with the practice at all.
  • I’m in the process of quitting through the strength of God in the New Year.
  • We are both senior – me 79 and she 74 – we just don’t seem to have the drive at the same time. When we do the sparks fly but my ED usually prevents me from intercourse so we often excite each other to orgasm.
  • My neighbor’s brothers who were one and two years younger than me told me about masturbation when I was 11. I masturbated, on average, once a day (sometimes more) for about the next 40 years, even while in a thoroughly satisfying marriage. I’m 55 now and my drive has decreased so I usually only have one or two orgasms a week, mostly during sex with my wife. She also masturbates, but less often now (she’s 50). She mostly does now to relieve menstrual cramps.
  • She also occasionally masturbates, usually to relieve menstrual cramps. She is 50 and I am 55 and our masturbation frequency has waned over the years. Partly because our drives have decreased and partly because our sex life together is so much better.
  • We both believe, without reservation, each of us is a gift from God to the other; her body is my property and my body is her property, excluding all others. Masturbation would be a violation of this gift from God and would be selfish theft of God given pleasure.
  • I happen to discover after removal of prostate, radiation after 3 years, that I could have an orgasm with no erection. Wish someone had told me but discovered by myself. Wife will on occasion join me if I am lucky.
  • Masturbation is primarily for fun – for the fantastic physical feeling. I can’t get enough of it and do it everywhere I have a chance. I take as long as possible and, if I have time, I make sure I don’t cum in less than an hour. I have sometimes taken 90 minutes to cum. I know exactly how to treat myself, and keep on the edge for such a long time – I frequently start cumming, but then stop stroking myself and wait until I am no longer actually about to cum. I stay on that edge for a really long time and it’s fantastic. I try to ejaculate without cumming and that is such a good feeling as well. Sex is fun because you are with someone, actually inside her body. But masturbation takes so much longer, is more pleasurable and gives a much bigger orgasm. I could do without sex (reluctantly) but I could never stop masturbating.
  • I have a very High sex drive
  • If the intensity and pleasure of orgasm by intercourse is a 10 out of 10, masturbation is generally a 3 or 4.
  • My wife loved my masturbation when dating, but now has negative opinion of it. Frustrating.
  • We use mutual masturbation for sex when we are too busy or are not feeling up to the effort of intercourse.
  • Although we have loads if sex (4-6 times a week) I still love masturbation. It’s very much part of my daily routine. We sleep naked and have breakfast naked. After breakfast I usually settle down to an hour’s nude edging with a mug of coffee. As we’re retired I’m able to edge again after lunch. Both my wife and I always masturbate watching each other as a prelude to sexual intercourse.
  • I would rather have sex than masturbate. I try not to masturbate at least to a climax. I want to give my wife my best when we are together.
  • Masturbation doesn’t do it for me any more.
  • I started masturbating when I was 14, in grade 8 and did it every night. It wasn’t until late in grade 9 or early grade 10 that I started to relate it to sex, mostly because I was given books [which usually had pages stuck together!!!]. I had no sisters and sex was never a topic of conversation and I really and truly knew nothing – except that this nightly experience was very nice & relaxing. Three years into our marriage she caught me masturbating, which i had been doing maybe twice a month or so. I was terrified that she’d leave me, but she told me she did it as well once a month or so. The next time we made love she masturbated while I watched and I masturbated while she watched. She told me it was the first time she had seen a man ejaculate and she rather liked it. Since then a bit of occasional mutual masturbation – a couple of times a year – became part of our love making. Since that time neither of us masturbated while alone. My wife & I have been married for 60 years and we still have sex once a week. Vaginal sex doesn’t work for us any more. We’re both elderly and it is not like it was. She now needs and uses a vibrator [which I had to purchase] to orgasm and I have to masturbate to orgasm. Hardly anything comes out but she still likes to watch as it happens. As a general comment I do not believe religion, any religion, should link masturbation with sin or anything else.
  • The level of pleasure is much less from masturbation than making love with my wife. 3/10 vs. 11/10.
  • My wife generally doesn’t approve of solo masturbation and I respect my wife’s wishes. I feel that for masturbation, spouses have equal say in support or against it. As such, I have only done it as part of sexual intimacy or to relieve pain from getting blue-balls. I personally feel that as long as both spouses are support of it and, it’s okay as long as it doesn’t interfere with or replace sexual intimacy between spouses. If it’s purposely hidden from the spouse, better communication needs to happen and respect in both direction needs to be built.
  • I masturbate at least every morning and always before we have sex. Wife and I watch each masturbate before sex and also help each other. Being retired with only my wife at home we like a slow start to the day.
  • My answers reflect the fact that my wife and I sometimes use masturbation in our regular sexual relations. That did not seem to be a part of this survey.
  • both my wife and myself have masturbated since our marriage and see nothing wrong if the other does that some times.
  • I’m so glad for the understanding we have between me and my wife. I’m the one with the higher drive, but she’s totally fine for me to take care of myself and masturbate whenever. She’ll often even give me a hand job if I want sex but she’s not in the mood. That also tells me that, when she does say yes to sex, it means she’s really up for it, and not doing it out of obligation. So thankful for her understanding, generosity and communication.
  • I stopped when we first married, and I don’t really want to masturbate now. But sex is infrequent at best, incredibly stressful and just not enjoyable when it does happen. Masturbation allows me to enter a fantasy world where things are better. I do try and masturbate about my wife, rather than anyone else.
  • My wife’s drive is much lower than mine. She is interested about once every two weeks. I’m interested every 2-3 days. It’s hard to bring up the topic without her feelings being negatively affected. When we do talk about it, she often feels guilty for not having sex enough for me, leading to negative feelings. When I pursue intimacy with her there are many reasons she is not open to it. Many of them are legitimate such as stress with work/children, exhausted, on her period, sick, etc. In these situations I understand and don’t want to push her. Yet my sexual urges are still so strong and need release. When pushing her to have sex would be disrespectful or unloving, yet my physical needs are so high that I’m unable to concentrate, or have concern that my high desires could lead to thoughts outside our relationship, I masturbate in order to keep our different rhythms more liveable and my desires/hormones under better control. I always fantasize about my wife in a respectful way when I masturbate and do not use pornography. I think of a favorite previous sexual encounter with her and replay it in my mind. Always a respectful/honoring/wholesome memory that was fun for both of us. I do that to make sure my masturbation and fantasy is centered on her. When she pushes my advances back to have sex, I’ve asked a few times to masturbate in bed with her beside me or helping me, but she feels this is wrong, and then feels under strong obligation to just have sex. In those scenarios she just lays there and seems not to enjoy it, but just do it out of duty. This makes me feel negative and not want to have sex with her when she is not really wanting it. So in the end, masturbation has been a helpful balancing thing for me when my physical drive and natural hormones / rhythm just needs release. After i do it, I feel back to normal again and it helps me be less angry that her drive is not as high as mine. Also I can focus on my work, my children, my life without my mind and hormones feeling out of control.
  • The way I look at it, how would you feel if you found out your spouse was secretly masturbating? If that would bother you, then don’t do it yourself. If your spouse can’t or won’t be there as often as you need, have an open and honest conversation with them about masturbation as an option. Maybe a better solution can be found for the two of you…
  • By choice, and as a matter of personal policy, I do not masturbate to orgasm. From my early teens through mid 30s, I pretty much masturbated whenever I wanted to. Mainly for pleasure, to relieve sexual pressure, or to relieve stress. (I have never used pornography.) But I eventually realized that: this pattern of behavior was selfish and undisciplined; doing it to relieve sexual pressure was an easy out that required no effort or discipline to resolve my needs exclusively with my wife as I should; and I was unwittingly robbing her and our marriage of intimacy. So, 20 years ago (age 37, 14 yrs into marriage), I stopped. It was difficult to break my 20+ year habit, but I have not done it since. Shortly after making my commitment, I shared it with my wife. She also committed to stop masturbating. Since then, we both save it all for each other, and our great sex life has become even better!!
  • I am so glad God gave this as an option for release. I feel best ejaculating twice a week. But with our schedules getting together twice a week is very unrealistic. At times early in the week I just need release.
  • I would go crazy if I could not play with my penis! I love to masturbate every day! I love to cum!
  • For about 15 years my wife’s sexual frequency was so much lower than mine, that I used to masturbate once every 2-3 days to keep my desire under control. When I would masturbate on this frequency I would be able to work, sleep, and interact with others with better mental self control and not be horny all the time. Otherwise we would have sex only once per week or once every two weeks. I was concerned that not having sexual release often enough would lead to sinful thoughts or actions outside of marriage. In the past five years my wife has been more willing to have sex with me on a regular basis so I have not been masturbating as much, probably only once every month or once every two months.
  • Personally we believe that it has helped our marriage. There are times when we just cannot get together due to sickness, travel or emotional issues. We both know about it and trust that it is done with pure motives.
  • Before I became a Christian, I masturbated often. After I surrendered my life to Jesus, I stopped completely.
  • C.S. Lewis said it better than I can… “For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back, sends it back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides. And this harem, once admitted, works against his ever getting out and really uniting with a real woman. For the harem is always accessible, always subservient, calls for no sacrifices or adjustments, and can be endowed with erotic and psychological attractions which no real woman can rival .” C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
  • By limited I mean there should be agreed upon rules (like no lusting after other people) by both husband and wife and it should not interfere with regular and frequent intimacy with your spouse.
  • I’m 73 and still have high testosterone levels. I started wanking at 13 and my appretite for it was insatiable and that continued into my 30s. My wife and I have always had excellent sex from the time we first met right up to the present day. We still have sex over 200 times a year. But I still love masturbating and my wife has no problem with it. She encourages me to do it in order to keep cock fit. I just love holding my penis and working up a good erection. I do it everyday after breakfast and often at other times of the day. We are nudists and usually spend whole days naked in summer in hot weather. This makes masturbation even more regular because of instant access. My wife loves it when I appear with an erection and this can easily lead to a sex session in almost any room in the house. I started shaving off my pubes in 2006 and I do this on a daily basis to keep smooth. I now shave my body all over. I love the sexy feeling and my wife loves the look. And so despite having great sex with my hot wife, masturbation is still a daily pleasure.
  • Male perspective: It varies based on her intimate interest in me (no visual, her-duty expressions, no open verbal communication, etc..). It just gets to be too much at times feeling not desired or connected.
  • Masturbating for me is very healthy. I’m 53 sometimes I can do 3-4 times in a day.
  • My spouse has a much lower sex drive than me, and she encourages me to take care of business. I am adamant about not letting my thoughts go to fantasy and to focus only on my wife. Sometimes my wife suggests I take care of business next to her and it can become a very intimate moment.
  • Even with frequent sexual intercourse, I masturbate frequently. Orgasms from intercourse are wonderful, but I get a special feeling when I orgasm from masturbation. I love to masturbate, especially when viewing gay porn.
  • My wife is not as interested in sex as I am. We will have intercourse once a week for sure, but once a week is not enough for me. If we do it twice a week I can survive, but when that second day is not there, I will take matters into my own hands. But I would much rather have sex with my bride.
  • My wife has no problem at all with me wanking. She masturbates and so, as she says, she has no reason to complain! I masturbated several times every day before we married 44.5 years ago. Even though we have excellent and very regular sex together, I still enjoy a good masturbate every day. After breakfast my wife often tells me to go upstairs and exercise because she likes my cock to stay fit. I’m 73 and my wife is 71. We love our sex together and individually.
  • I hate everything about it. I am actively working to stop this behavior.
  • She refuses to talk about our sexual relationship (yes – even when not in the heat of the moment). After 23 yrs and 4 kids still isn’t curious about me or show in interest in finding out from me what I like or why. She thinks she knows what/why something turns me on due to still thinks its only a physical act (if erect -> good); communicates very little what feels good to her (in honesty she doesn’t know what she wants). After many years of trying better communication techniques and conversations, I finally decided a few years ago to change what I can, which is masturbation whenever I have the feeling to wanting to feel connected (ironic – I know, but hopefully others understand the irony). The only part I feel guilty of is sometimes it takes fantasizing about a past teenage relationship to get the point needed.
  • I would masturbate more often but I want to be sure to perform well when we do get intimate and, at 60, if I masturbate I need a couple of days to be able to perform well again. As I do not know when we’ll have sex (other than it’s only ever on a Friday or Saturday night) I only masturbate when I am confident there are a few days until next time. My wife no longer likes penetrative sex (finds it painful since the menopause) so our sex is only mutual masturbation. It’s great but I really miss penetrative sex. I suffer from ED ( IIEF-5 score of 5) and I use 25mg Viagra but my wife does not know. On the odd occasion I do not take it my erection is very weak (50%). After these occasions I have raised the idea of using Viagra but she dismisses it……”I don’t want you walking around horny all day.” I have attempted to explain it does not work like that but she prefers not to listen. I use Viagra for ‘sex’ (mutual masturbation) with my wife, not for solo masturbation. I miss having a full erection when I masturbate – it’s less satisfying.

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