My boyfriend masturbates all the time. So much so that he no longer has the energy or desire to have sex with me or do anything physical with me at all. He tells me that I shouldn’t get mad, that all guys masturbate all the time, but I know that boyfriends past have done it a lot and still wanted to have sex with me. He says I’m jealous of his hand, which may be true to some extent, but I honestly don’t care how often he jacks off as long as he has enough energy left on a fairly regular basis to satisfy me. I’ve asked him if it’s something I’m doing or not doing that’s causing him to pull away from me physically, and he says that nothing is wrong, but his behavior doesn’t seem normal. Am I making too much of it?—PD, San Francisco, California
The Straight Woman’s Perspective: Rebecca Brown
Let’s see … a boyfriend who wants to have sex with you and engages in a normal, manly amount of self-love on the side versus a boyfriend who’s obsessed with getting only himself off and does it so much that he turns down real-live human sex with his girlfriend. I’m weighing it on my mental scale and … hold on … wait for it … yep, my scale says that’s messed up, PD, and no, you’re not making too much of it.
Yes, guys jack off a lot, but they usually do that while they’re waiting for the next human interaction with an available person/orifice. To consistently turn down a willing human in lieu of your own hand is a little creepy … like wearing-a-hoodie-while-sitting-in-a-shack-in-the-wilderness-Unibomber creepy. Too harsh? Maybe. Perhaps I’m just getting older and more incapable of putting up with people’s weird shit and idiosyncrasies, but it sounds like you’ve done your due diligence on trying to find out what caused him to pull away and you didn’t get any answers. Why waste any more of your sexless time? I say cut the cord (or pull off the tube sock) on Jack Off. Without even knowing what a fabulous person you are or what you look like, I can confidently say that there are plenty of guys out there who’d want to have sex with you. Sweaty, lusty, dirty, anonymous sex. Or loving, sweet, committed sex. Your choice, PD. Get a little Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and say Aloha to Mr. Hand. Done and DONE.
The Lesbian Woman’s Perspective: Jody Fischer
All hands on deck—we have a problem! Whether he’s spending his time masturbating, building model cars, or whatever, when your boyfriend doesn’t want to be intimate with you, you have a problem. Clearly, he still has the desire to fuel his own needs, and I’m guessing that he’s not doing this in a vacuum; he’s probably looking at pictures, movies, etc. while doing what he’s doing or, at the very least, images and scenarios are going through his mind while he’s engaging in his handiwork.
I’m wondering if he still has the emotional energy to engage with you in other areas of your relationship? Do you laugh together? Cook together? Go to the movies? Or is he in his own world most of the time? If one partner cannot be there for the other, it’s time for the one whose needs are not being met (you) to look at your options. Ask him to speak with a therapist. Explain that you have feelings and needs, too. Tell him that if you two are no longer sexually compatible, you’ll have to leave the relationship. Then give yourself a timeline for things to improve. If the matter continues to get out of hand, take things into your own hands; go out and find a guy who enjoys you even more than he enjoys himself.
The Straight Man’s Perspective: Chris Kennedy
How can you be making too much of it, if you’re not getting any of it?!
Your boyfriend’s logic is … whacked. It doesn’t seem normal to not want to have sex with your girlfriend. Common sense and your past boyfriends’ behavior attest to this. But more importantly, regardless of how normal it is, you’re not okay with it—nor should you be. Tell this more-than-likely-soon-to-be-ex if he doesn’t start satisfying your needs, you’re leaving to be with someone who does.
Music can sometimes summarize feelings as well as any art form. The band The Guess Who has a song called “Hand Me Down World.” Listen especially to the refrain, “Don’t give me no hand-me-down love!” Say, or better yet, sing this to your beau with conviction and sincerity. If that doesn’t cause him to drop (ahem) what he’s doing and fix this problem, then you’ll give him what his hand couldn’t: a not-so-happy ending.
The Gay Man’s Perspective: Darren Maddox
Now, when you say he masturbates all the time, do you mean that he does it while he’s in the shower, at work, at the gym, in the car, and while on the phone with his mother? Or is it a once-a-day thing that satisfies his needs and leaves him with no stamina to please you or anyone else?
Here’s the deal: guys do masturbate. Not all the time. Most of the time it’s just to get by until the next opportunity presents itself. Now if you tell us that you’re presenting this opportunity regularly, and he’s not stepping up to the plate and not letting you step up to the mic, then yes, sunshine, that is a problem.
I can assure you that this is not your issue; this one is all his. If he does truly want to be in a relationship with you and be ready to throw down when you are, then that boy needs to practice a little more restraint. (I love that he thinks you’re jealous of his hand, by the way.) There are a couple of possible solutions, in case he says he just can’t control himself: 1) Break up with him and tell everyone why. 2) Maybe secretly slip an oven mitt filled with Super Glue over his good hand while he’s asleep. Kidding aside, tell him you need him to focus more on you and less on his fist pump. If he refuses or shows no signs of fulfilling your desires, walk away. There are many horny males and females out there who’d be more than happy to oblige.