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We live together. How do we best play withourselves separately?
March 18, 2011 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Masturbation when co-habitating hacks: How do you work out "alone time" when you're living with your SO?

My GGG, awesometastic GF and I have been living together for 6 months now, and everything's going great, except...

We haven't figured out a comfortable way to work in solo fun time into our living situation. We're fine when just one of us is home, but when we're both around I think we both get self-conscious and like theres no 'space' to excuse oneself for that kind of activity and/or guilty that we're not including the other person (yes, we do that too, but sometimes you just want to bop by yourself).

So, cohabitators... what do you do when you feel the urge? Do you have a system? codewords? a sock on the door? a 'no questions asked' policy?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (42 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
The world of euphemisms is probably your friend. "I'm going to take a nap." "I'm going to take a shower." "I'm going to take a bath." "I'm going to sit in the car in the garage and stare blankly ahead."

Kind of trailed off a bit at the end, but you get the idea.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:36 PM on March 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


"You look really tense. Why don't you go spend some time by yourself?"
posted by TooFewShoes at 2:38 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


If we're both home, I tell my husband it's time to go have sex. :)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:39 PM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


We say "I'm going to play by myself for a while".
posted by Tarumba at 2:39 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


If we're both home, I tell my husband it's time to go have sex. :)

At least in my case, we are not always in the mood at the same time, and sometimes there's the practicality of just getting it over with in a jiffy. What the hell, masturbating is pretty awesome and just what I need sometimes.
posted by Tarumba at 2:42 PM on March 18, 2011


"Why don't you go pick up dinner and bring it home? I'll wait here."

"Didn't you need to go to the grocery store/gym/liquor store/etc.? Why don't you go do that now."

"No, go out with your friends tonight. I'm kind of in the mood to just stay home."
posted by lilac girl at 2:46 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I find the phrase "brb special alone times" to be very useful. Append "yes you can/no you can't come watch" as needed.
posted by elizardbits at 2:46 PM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


this doesn't work for everyone, but my husband and i can sit in the same room while one of us masturbates and the other watches crappy tv or plays video games. it's not at all like watching porn together (which we also do). to me, if i'm doing a solo activity, like watching american idol, then i don't care at all if he's doing a solo activity that involves his penis.
posted by nadawi at 2:55 PM on March 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


Last time I was cohabitated, "I'm going to go masturbate" was the code we used when one of us wanted to be alone and masturbate. We were adults and all.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:07 PM on March 18, 2011 [33 favorites]


Usually I just do this in the shower. But if for whatever reason, I need a bonus, I usually say, "Mind if I masturbate?" and my husband laughs and says nah.

He's a jerk-off ninja, though. I never know when it's happened, but that's mostly because he stays up later than I do so I assume it goes down (uh, up?) then.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:07 PM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


We don't go to bed at the same time. I just say "hey I'm going to masturbate". He says "I need some privacy" if I wake up when he's busy.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:09 PM on March 18, 2011


The phrase "maintenance wank" has been known to come up at the Department.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:10 PM on March 18, 2011 [17 favorites]


And it gets less awkward with practice. It's still a little awkward every now and then. We live in one room. So maybe there is a door that locks that would work for you?
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:11 PM on March 18, 2011


I don't really understand the problem unless your partner insists on staying with you at all times, even on toilet visits and showers, or you feel some need to report every minor physiological event of your day. I don't think this is something that needs to be discussed every time?
posted by Segundus at 3:15 PM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well - if you both feel guilty then stop feeling guilty! My husband and I both refer to "private time" in passing and are perfectly aware that the other person does it, conceptually, though I don't think I've never drawn attention via "Off to have private time now!" that's just inviting the awkward.

Working it out in the shower is one solution, or stay up later/getting up earlier. If you're so randy you have to go get off right that second, then a quick "Gotta pee" should cover it. I for one just take a book into the bathroom and we both ignore how long I've been in there.
posted by malacologist at 3:16 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


For whatever reason, it has always been don't ask, don't tell in our house, but I seem to fit it in, and I assume that my spouse does also.

I WILL say, that, prior to co-habiting, one never sees this as an issue. But it is.
posted by Danf at 3:16 PM on March 18, 2011


This really seems like a nonissue. Code word? If you expect the other person to understand the code word, why do you not just come out and say "I'm going to masturbate"? I can imagine using a code word if you have guests over and need to excuse yourself to go masturbate, in which case you might set up a code word like, "I'm going to go tune my fiddle," but I can't really imagine a situation in which you would excuse yourself from the company of guests to go masturbate.

So -- bottom line -- if you're mature enough to actually TELL the other person that you're going to go masturbate, why the code words and other silliness?
posted by jayder at 3:23 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


So -- bottom line -- if you're mature enough to actually TELL the other person that you're going to go masturbate, why the code words and other silliness?

Because people develop all kinds of goofy code words and silliness in affectionate relationships?
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:24 PM on March 18, 2011 [11 favorites]


"I'm gonna go rub one out."

If you are open and honest with each other and can get over any hang ups you have about sex, it shouldn't be a big deal.
posted by chillmost at 3:25 PM on March 18, 2011


...even on toilet visits and showers, or you feel some need to report every minor physiological event of your day.

This is, in fact, the dark secret of marriage that no one ever warns you about.
posted by The Mysterious Mr. F at 3:26 PM on March 18, 2011 [16 favorites]


In the bathroom, usually the shower. I'd do it in there while alone anyway, so this works just great. And my girlfriend usually knows, but she couldn't care less.
posted by fso at 3:28 PM on March 18, 2011


So -- bottom line -- if you're mature enough to actually TELL the other person that you're going to go masturbate, why the code words and other silliness?

Silliness is fun, though. I mean imagine what sex talk would be like without euphemisms. Quite accurate but kind of ridiculous, methinks.
posted by Tarumba at 3:30 PM on March 18, 2011


Oh, and for what it's worth, buying your girlfriend a Teledyne WaterPik might increase the amount of happyalonetime she spends in the shower. At least, that's always been the case for me.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:41 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


I need to go give this post some further consideration. BBL.
posted by Danf at 3:44 PM on March 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


I think it's less the "code word" aspect and more that, living in a relatively small apartment, it's not as easy to find that alone time, except in the bathroom. If you have more of your own space, it's not as difficult to take care of business. In smaller spaces, there's a lot more togetherness and knowing what the other person is up to at all times.

So I guess the question is whether to bother with being discreet.
posted by pourtant at 3:45 PM on March 18, 2011


I'll be in my bunk.
posted by tim_in_oz at 4:08 PM on March 18, 2011 [25 favorites]


The greatest thing about AskMetaFilter is that you realize you're not crazy and you're not the only one with this problem, and your special solution to the problem isn't so special and is actually kinda normal.

"I need to take care of some business."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:18 PM on March 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Heck, there's something to be said for taking care of business when the other person is there (particularly for late night or early morning when one person is much more awake than the other). If y'all are comfortable with it, the non-masturbating partner can provide affectionate snuggling during or after the self-maintenance.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:26 PM on March 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well we both watch porn, and fap in front of each other, so its fine. If one of us says they're going to go fap, the other will likely as not suggest a porn clip. So watching porn together may make it a more everyday thing.
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:29 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was with my ex-girlfriend:
Her- "I'm going to bed."
Me- "OK. I'll be up in a bit..."
(15 minute interlude)
*vigorous masturbation*
*hide sock in bottom of hamper*
*bed*
She wasn't exactly the kind of girl who would be ready for action, like, EVAR. She (I'm sure) would've gotten pissed if she knew I was thumping one out. What a mess, both literally and figuratively. That's why I got out...
posted by Capt.DooDooFace at 4:49 PM on March 18, 2011


When I lived with my (then) partner in a studio apartment, we'd say "I'm seeing my other boyfriend right now." Sometimes, the answer would be, "Okay," and sometimes, "Up for a three-way?"
posted by xingcat at 5:14 PM on March 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


So when you go take a shower, you're really only showering? I mean, we live in close quarters, but I don't exactly announce when I'm going to take a dump either. Bathroom time = private time.
posted by Space Kitty at 5:25 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


There once was a couple who referred to their lovemaking as 'doing the laundry'. One night the husband was feeling amorous, but the wife had a headache and wasn't in the mood. Later that night in bed, her headache has passed and she rolls over and whispers in his ear "Still wanna do some laundry?" He replies...
"Nah. It was just a small load, so I did it by hand."
posted by bartleby at 5:46 PM on March 18, 2011 [25 favorites]


A lot of great responses here. :)

"Mind if I masturbate? Want to join me?" is usually how it goes here.

Or I just wait until I go to bed, as we sleep in different rooms.
posted by luckynerd at 6:44 PM on March 18, 2011


It's pretty simple for us. It's really the only reason a door would ever be closed... So if it's closed, she just waits 'till it opens!
posted by Pertz at 9:38 PM on March 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bathroom, naps, shower...

Or you say, "I'm horny." They reply, "I'm not really interested right now." And you say, "Okay. I'll be back in a bit." Cue shutting of bedroom door.
posted by lollusc at 9:46 PM on March 18, 2011


When I was co-habitating, I would always tell him that I needed to hang out with Bob (Battery operated boyfriend) for a while.
posted by zombiehoohaa at 11:43 PM on March 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


You should probably talk to your partner about this. If she's freaked out at your masturbation because she's threatened by pornography (if you're using it) or the notion that she should be enough, it maybe worth pointing out that sex is different to having a wank. Point out that you don't want to use her to scratch an itch, but want to enjoy that time for the intimacy it allows you to share. You can also tell her about how good it is for your prostate health to change the oil every now and then.

At our house we perform a "systems check", though my hours and the Man's are different enough that it's rarely an issue. He's never at home when I'm inspecting the firmware.
posted by Jilder at 4:01 AM on March 19, 2011


I would sometimes do this in my last relationship while he was in the shower, not that I needed to, I just felt weird about having the need. And, since my ex is an avid reader of Metafilter, uh, surprise!
posted by Foam Pants at 5:39 PM on March 19, 2011


The go-to phrase that kept it from the kids all these years has been anything to do with 'taxes.' "Just need to go over last year's tax returns, honey," "I need to add up some figures" or "I'm off to look for that T4 form" (what's it called in the US, a 1040?) And until we got into encryption, 'Taxes' was also a good folder naming convention to keep prying eyes away from the private stash of personal 'spreadsheets' that we had.

When the kids are out of the house then the code words can be more obvious:
"Oh well. Time to alphabetize the old sex toy shelf."
"Be right back; going to pull some taffy."
"Gotta go.. digitize.. my erotic magazines."
"I need to go do some.. work.. on my.. euphemisms."
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:43 AM on March 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


"Solo mission."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:24 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


If my SO is home and I feel like solo time, I take a bath or a shower. And we take advantage the time we do each get alone at home -- I leave for work earlier than he does, and he often stops at the store or out for a beer after work.
posted by desuetude at 8:22 PM on March 20, 2011


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