I’ve started masturbating and I don’t know what to do…

I’ve started masturbating and I don’t know what to do… May 26, 2012
I need help…. I started masturbating about 6 months ago.  I am really struggling to stop.  I never experienced climax like this in my whole life until I experimented with a vibrator I have that is for neck pain.  It is really amazing… but I am a spiritual person and LDS.  I am just so confused.  I have read your website over and over… I just don’t know what to do.  I feel that I am not worthy anymore and I get so weak and am left wanting to feel climax.  My husband understands but he doesn’t know how much I do it… about twice a day.
My husband is a very strong lds man, he has a very strong testimony. I have always had a weak one.
For the last ten years I have never enjoyed sex – I would actually bleed. Then we discovered I was allergic to his sperm and very reactive to it. So we started condoms last year. I enjoyed it better but it’s been very dry and have tried different things.  My husband did think it was me and that I was the problem. Then I tried the vibration thing and I seem to not be so dry and I seem to take advantage of it because I like the way it makes me feel. My husband is gone out of town every other week. When he is home he likes to help me out, but gets so tired when it takes a while to help me climax.
I deal with severe depression and take anti depressants as well.

First of all, congratulations on having the courage to figure out how your body works in order to reach orgasm!!!  After 10 years of being in the frustrating position of not feeling climax in your marriage, exacerbated by painful sex – no wonder your body is acting like a teenaged schoolgirl wanting more of a good thing.  Here are my thoughts:
  • This is something to be celebrated – not shamed!!  Shame will just ruin this amazing capacity you have found within yourself for pleasure.  The biggest enemy to a successful marital sex life is inappropriate shame.  And it sounds like doubts about your testimony are creeping into how you feel about your new sexual exploration.  In my view of what you report, these should not be related.  I have seen similar questions come from women regardless of the type of testimony they feel they have.
  • Keep the masturbation and sexual play relational.  In other words, as long as you include your husband in the act or knowledge of what you are doing – there is nothing doctrinally that stops you from your current actions.  Sexual activity within a marriage is up to the couple to navigate.  And what they want to include in their sexual repertoire is up to them to negotiate and experiment as mutual and equal partners.  It sounds like your husband already knows you are using a vibrator and masturbating and doesn’t have a problem with it. I’m assuming he also has felt relief you are able to feel orgasm after such a long time.  Attentive husbands are usually as frustrated as their wives in this position because they want their wife to feel pleasure and feel inadequate or self-blame because they are not able to bring this about for them.  More shame.
  • If your husband is going out of town on a regular basis – phone or Skype sex is a fun alternative for couples.  It challenges them to use and develop their verbal forms of sexuality while masturbating.  It’s fun and another “tool” you can have in your toolbox.
  • Women usually take about 20-30 minutes for their bodies to prepare to experience orgasm – whereas men can take as little as 3-10 minutes.  So, yes – it will take longer for you to reach climax than your husband.  This is perfectly normal and why foreplay is such an important part of sexual play.
  • I encourage couples to use consensual masturbation as part of their sexual “repertoire” for all types of reasons.  Differences in libido, inability to reach orgasm, long-distance sexuality, playfulness, acute or chronic pain or illness, etc.  Masturbation can be done in the presence of your partner (which is often quite erotic) or not.  Having permission to use this as a sexual marital tool allows most couples I see to feel liberated from the pressure they often find in having to perform in certain ways or when they are not in the mood to have sex.  And I have seen this help couples all over the spectrum of Mormonism – from orthodox members to inactive members.  Again, if it is done within the relational framework of your marriage (not in secrecy) and it adds to your marital bonding and pleasure, then it fits nicely with the doctrinal guidelines we have as Mormons where sex is to be used not only for procreation, but for the emotional and spiritual bonding of the couple themselves.
  • If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to have a frank discussion with your ob gyn about vaginal dryness and painful sex.  Oftentimes I find patients do not discuss these important physical symptoms out of embarrassment or discomfort with their doctors.  There are both oral and topical medications that can help with some of the symptoms you describe.  Hormone levels should be checked.
  • One of the symptoms of depression is decreased libido and some anti-depressants can have side effects which also affect sexual drive.  It is important for your doctors to know what your symptoms are so they can find other antidepressants if necessary or adjust dosage so you are not having these types of problems.
  • If you use a water-based lubricant, it’s less messy but you will more than likely need to reapply.  It doesn’t last as long because it gets easily absorbed.  If you use a silicone-based lubricant it will tend to last longer.  Some don’t like it since it can be harder to clean up.

I wish you the best in this new beginning of your sexual journey.  I hope you see it from an exciting and liberating perspective.  And I hope you and your husband can have a lot of fun in the process.


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