Masturbation: Should you stop when you’re in a relationship?

Masturbating when you're in a relationship has a ton of benefits and here are some of them.

© Charles Deluvio/UNSPLASH

When you’re getting into a serious relationship, defining boundaries is often a complicated task—especially when it comes to sexual satisfaction. Many cease to pleasure themselves because that has somehow become their partner’s job, while others are under the impression that it’s simply ‘not right.’

Discover our latest podcast

There are an umpteenth number of reasons why people stop masturbating when they’re in a relationship, but experts believe that it is actually important to keep the sexual connection alive.

Drive your libido

When you’re in a long-term relationship, having sex on a daily basis is not always an option and that’s where masturbation can really help you out. In order to keep your sex drive thriving, sexologist Sadie Allison tells Men’s Health that you need to carve out time for some self stimulation. She says:

Having sex alone can build your drive.
For both women and men, masturbation maintains the healthy functioning of your sex organs. Like the old saying goes, the more you have it, the more you want it.

Stress buster

Although the benefits of masturbation are seldom talked about, research has shown that it is actually a very healthy activity. It promotes good sleep, lifts the mood, and relieves stress and anxiety. Sex therapist Judith Golden says it’s because a chemical called endorphins are being release during the process. ‘Endorphins give us a sense of well-being,’ she says.

While speaking to Best Health, Golden also mentions that it has helped people who have trouble sleeping. She explains:

Just as people fall into a deep sleep after sex with a partner, because blood pressure is lowered and relaxation is increased through the release of endorphins, masturbation is a good sleeping pill.

Mutual benefits

Just because you are in a relationship doesn’t mean that you and your partner need to sync your sexual appetite and desires. Masturbation is a way in which you can both get the intimate time you need with your own body so that you can please and explore your individual sexualities. Allison says:

Masturbation will always provide a safe, private space for you to try new techniques.

But remember, masturbation isn't something you need to hide behind closed doors—try doing it when you're having sex with your partner as well. Experts at Planned Parenthood say:

Mutual masturbation (masturbating with a partner) is a really safe way to have sex and let the other person know what feels good to you.
Sex addiction: How to tell if you have an unhealthy obsession with sex Sex addiction: How to tell if you have an unhealthy obsession with sex