Our expert says:
Your thoughts raise a couple of issues (no pun intended, either). Masturbation is not mandatory; you may choose not to "beat off" while with your current girlfriend, or future partners, but doing so is far from "silly" or dirty. Masturbating and being in a loving relationship are not mutually exclusive, and many partners in coupleships use self-stimulation as a healthy release of sexual energy -- just as they did when they were single. Solo sex is not a shameful betrayal of one's partner, nor is it reserved for one gender. Instead, perhaps thinking of masturbation as sex, just as other activities, like intercourse, are thought of, will make it seem more like the normal pursuit that it is. If masturbation replaces sex between partners without mutual consent, or if its popularity with one partner leaves the other dissatisfied, then it presents unhealthy circumstances worth discussing. Guilt before, during, and after masturbation is common among "beaters" of all ages, and usually grows from moral, religious, and social doctrine that disapprove of it. I believe that to breathe a huge sigh of relief when you have a new partner because it replaces a need for self-pleasuring may be a problematic philosophy. Why? What happens if, say down the line, your sex life with a partner dips due to an illness, stress, or even travel that separates you? Masturbation can come in handy when a partner's not in the mood, and just because your mate's "away" doesn't mean that your dominant hand shouldn't play.
Partner sex may rocket your space needle, but, remember, it takes many skilled hands to erect an Empire State Building.
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