How common is it for men to not masturbate?
April 19, 2010 6:11 AM   Subscribe

How common is it for men to have the urge to not masturbate?

Out of curiosity the other day, I asked my boyfriend of two years if he ever masturbated outside of sexual intercourse since I've never seen him do so. He responded that he doesn't and of course I asked "why not?" and he said that he just never has the urge to and jokingly said that he has better things to do with his time (which he actually does, he has a lot of hobbies that he happily devotes a lot of his spare time to). It wasn't a serious discussion, just a quick, light-hearted question and answer session that lasted less than a minute. He is a very open and honest person so I know he's not lying, that isn't the issue. Not that I think there is anything wrong with him, but I was just wondering how common this is?

Relevant facts:

-We are very open sexually and have sex on a regular basis so he definitely has a strong sex drive. We are both GGG.
-He's late 30s, active, healthy, no health problems whatsoever.
-He knows I masturbate and look at porn (I am female). He doesn't own or watch porn either.
-He does masturbate to get his penis hard if we're engaging in sexual activities but that's the only time.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (15 answers total)

Maybe he just likes real intercourse more than selfstimulation and is the amount of intercourse enough.

My suggestion; don't overthink this. I think even an anonymous question about this is too much thought spent.
posted by joost de vries at 6:14 AM on April 19, 2010

I would think it actually pretty rare to find a guy who doesn't at least have the urge to occasionally.
posted by Menthol at 6:17 AM on April 19, 2010

I've had a couple of partners like this. They seemed to be stimulated much more by physical touching than by sight (so not too interested in porn) or by memory.

If I were you, I'd consider it an issue only if it affected your sex life, but since you two seem to have a good thing going there, I wouldn't worry about it.
posted by xingcat at 6:22 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

We are very open sexually and have sex on a regular basis

Dunno about your BF, but for me that's usually enough to not want to spank my monkey.
posted by madman at 6:24 AM on April 19, 2010

Personally, I don't find it odd at all that, for someone who is already having regular sex, there is no urge to masturbate. For some people (myself included) it is such a very, very distant second compared to actual sex that it is almost pointless to bother rather than just wait for the real stuff.

Ask him if he was the same when he was single. I imagine he'd fall into the 'occasional monkey chastisement' category then.
posted by Brockles at 6:26 AM on April 19, 2010

Porn usually means masturbation, but masturbation does not have to mean porn, so there are two very different questions here. As xincat says, maybe he is not all that excited by pictures. Maybe he like literary sex better when it is incorporated into a novel. As for masturbation, if his libido is being satisfied by his sexual situation, he is unlikely to oversatisfy it, I would think.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:44 AM on April 19, 2010

What everyone else said, and I think in your situation I'd have a sneaking sense of pride in the fact that I was *enough* for my boyfriend.;-)
posted by orange swan at 7:14 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would suspect its quite uncommon. I think most guys even in a relationship will occcasionally go in for some self satisfaction
posted by mary8nne at 7:22 AM on April 19, 2010

My husband doesn't often--he once went an eight-month stretch without, just to see if he could. That plan fell through when I got sick for a few weeks and we didn't have sex.

Incidentally, I thought he was crazy. I love solo play. But to each to his or her own.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:24 AM on April 19, 2010

Everyone has different sexual drives. There are asexual men out there who never touch themselves or fuck. There are people who do it several times a day and have to be concerned about friction burns. Your boyfriend falls in between, and as such is not a freak.

But, good on you guys for being open about all of this.
posted by munchingzombie at 7:27 AM on April 19, 2010

I agree with everyone that I don't see a problem. People are different. In fact,

Personally, I don't find it odd at all that, for someone who is already having regular sex, there is no urge to masturbate.

I think in your situation I'd have a sneaking sense of pride in the fact that I was *enough* for my boyfriend.;-)

to show that people are different I'm the complete opposite of both these statements.

If I'm having a lot of sex, then I'm thinking about sex even more, it's a bigger part of my life, and I tend to masturbate more. Great sex with a partner = more masturbation (for me).

The better the sex, and the more attracted I am to my partner, the more I'm thinking about sex, the higher my sex drive, the more I masturbate.

So again, everyone's different. Though I will say that basing the amount of masturbation on if 'you're enough for your partner' is complete nonsense and a dangerous train of thought.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 7:42 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

It may be a thing with getting older. It's not like the teenage years where it pops up at the slightest glimpse of a Sears catalog womens underwear section. Pictures just have no appeal anymore, and even video clips have lost their appeal as well. That said, a real, physical, hot/cute female that's ready to go, will definitely get the plumbing going.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 9:35 AM on April 19, 2010

I think the comments so far illustrate pretty well how much it varies by person. That said, maybe hungrysquirrels is onto something; my guy has said (and I've observed too) that after he turned 31 things changed significantly in how he felt sexually wired. It used to be, according to him, as a teenager it was ALL about the visual--he couldn't even successfully get off solo without vivid imagery either right there with him or remembered well enough. He went a long time single and when we got together I discovered, much to my delight (as orange swan describes), he very very much prefers coupled contact over solo time (so rare to me in my experience I was a little shocked and convinced he was just fibbing to be polite and the facade would chip away as the months went by...but no, guys like that do exist). And the longer we were together the more he changed, where images aren't important anymore and he's really focused on touch. Like. If I'm just near him at all he'll get going, and it's so regular and frequent and sudden he doesn't do anything on his own anymore. And while I think lots of people fib about their solo habits (I mean, it is personal and to some embarrassing), he doesn't have reason to as he was candid about that stuff back when we first got together, before things shifted completely over. And there isn't any feasible time I can imagine he'd do it now anyway, as we're, ahem, already so busy. So it's surprising, but I guess it does happen.
posted by ifjuly at 11:38 AM on April 19, 2010

Any guy answering this question only knows what they personally do, and maybe what, like, five other men do, guys who they have lived with or had intimate conversations with (since casual or group conversations don't count, people say what they think is expected, etc). Beyond that, anecdotal evidence is really limited.

here are some numbers - the most relevant is probably this from a 1994 poll: "35% of American men aged 18-39 do not masturbate while 37% masturbate sometimes, and 28% one or more times per week."

Not saying a poll is definitely accurate, but it's probably more accurate than our guessing based on our own lives.
posted by mdn at 12:19 PM on April 19, 2010

I don't think it's that unusual.

Then again, I did date a guy that claimed not to masturbate and seemed like an honest, open guy -- I had known him for about five years by the time he made that claim -- and he turned out to just be a fantastic liar, so I really don't know whether that was another thing he lied about. He seemed to have odd hangups about things and was especially wary of anyone disliking him for any reason, and I think he thought there was something shameful about masturbating. Ironically, I thought he was kind of weird for not masturbating -- I was a lot younger and thought EVERY guy did it -- but I didn't comment on it or press it because I thought he'd take it critically.
posted by Nattie at 1:23 PM on April 19, 2010

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