Ten couples come clean about their secret masturbation habits.

Here are two tales of how NOT to incorporate masturbation into a relationship.

There was the “friend” (ahem) who got woken up in the middle of the night by the mattress shaking. It wasn’t an earthquake – rather the seismic power of her boyfriend’s right arm on his own tectonic plate.

Then the friend (not me) who told her new partner that she wanted to take things slowly as she was recently out of something long and messy*. (*Yes, this is a clue to where the story’s headed).

“On three separate occasions he tried it on, and every time I turned him down. So, shockingly, he had a w*nk right in front of me. Once he was finished I said, ‘Better now?!’ and left it at that.”

But for every story that stains your mind (and possibly more), there’s a legitimate question at its core – and that’s when do, or should, people in long-term relationships masturbate. Particularly if they live together.

Horizontal view of affectionate couple cultivating sex
“You want to feel the intimate caress of an electrical device’s vibration settings – not the person you love.” (Image via iStock)

Because while sex is unquestionably satisfying, there are times when you want to go straight to the “O” without worrying how near the other person is or what your orgasm face looks like. You want pleasure in 55 seconds, not 45 minutes of giving directions. You want to feel the intimate caress of an electrical device’s vibration settings – not the person you love.

And that’s OK.

The grey area, of course, is that you don’t want the other person to be offended. You also don’t want to get caught, or catch them.

Here’s how some couples take the matter into their hands…

“Sometimes if I’m too sleepy for his 1am advances, he’ll rub one out in the bed next to me. But for the most part he enjoys masturbating privately, and I’m the same. 95% of the time I’d rather masturbate alone. I think it’s good for everyone to have a certain amount of alone time.”

“My husband and I don’t really talk about these things and I think it’s fine that way. We both know that the other one masturbates, but I don’t want to know about his habits and I don’t want to talk about mine. I love him very much, but I also enjoy my privacy.”


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“I masturbate when he’s out. I do it if I want to last longer if we have sex when he gets back, though sometimes it feels nice just to have a quickie with yourself. I don’t mind if he masturbates, but I don’t want to hear the details unless he’s hooking it to sex with me [i.e. ‘I got so hard thinking about you today that I couldn’t help myself’].”

“My boyfriend and I are pretty open about masturbating. If one of us isn’t up for sex, then the other is perfectly welcome to masturbate, even in the same room.”

“I found my girlfriend’s dildo in a drawer in her wardrobe. As an experiment, I made a mental note of how this dildo was positioned and periodically I’d check to see if it had moved. Of course, quite often it had – one time being in a totally opposite position in the drawer. My guess is that she’s using it while I’m at work at night.”

Couple lying in bed holding hands
“We’ve just moved into together and I didn’t bring my vibrator with me.” (image via iStock)

“Masturbation is just about releasing stress and relaxation. I still masturbate frequently, as does he. You can’t take it personally.”

“We’ve just moved in together and I didn’t bring my vibrator with me. He has no idea, but I’m currently using his old electric toothbrush.”

“I do it in the bedroom when my girlfriend’s not home, or in the shower if she is. I hope she hasn’t noticed that sometimes I have really long showers.”

So. How do you approach this in your relationship?