Written by Sexual Wellness Institute Owner and Therapist, Amanda Holmberg-Sasek, MS LMFT
Self love, or masturbation, means taking time for yourself and your individual sexual needs. There are many ways to give yourself pleasure at the individual level and this doesn’t always have to be done with the goal of an orgasm. More on that later. First, I want to discuss what is important to discuss with your partner and why.
Why do I need to discuss my masturbation habits with my partner? Isn’t that my own business?
Yes - it is your business and you are entitled to privacy on this issue should you need it. However, there are some reasons to consider on why you may want to include your partner at least somewhat on your individual sexual escapades.
3 Reasons to Talk to Your Partner About Masturbation
Reason #1: It’s a pandemic and couples are almost always home together right now.
Getting time to masturbate may have to be communicated so you can have your privacy without worrying a child or partner is going to interrupt. Asking for this may look something like,
“Hey love (partner), I want to make sure I am getting time by myself right now with everything going on. Sometimes that may include some self-love to meet my sexual needs. I’d also like you to have this time. How can we best make that happen? Is there a specific way you want me to communicate with you when I need this?”
Feeling nervous about having this conversation? Remember that masturbation is normal and healthy. It can be a little awkward to talk about at first, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to talk about a basic need like this with your partner. In fact, as awkward as it may sound, talking about masturbation can actually improve your relationship!
Reason 2: Communication about sex and masturbation will often increase intimacy and connection.
You don’t have to give all the details if you don’t feel comfortable, but communicating that you do masturbate and what you get from that will likely bring you and your partner closer.
To illustrate this, here is an example:
You have been wanting to explore how you can reach orgasm more easily with yourself and partner and are doing this via some exploration with your masturbation. If your partner has no clue this is happening, they don’t know to ask what they can do to incorporate what you’re doing and don’t know how to best support you when you bring something different into your sex life. Telling your partner you tried out a new toy or touching technique and that you want to bring that into your partnered sex is hot! And them knowing your body better will help you feel even closer.
Reason #3: Let’s stop making masturbation the dirty little secret of relationships.
Masturbation is one of those things that once talked about, it’s usually no big deal. If it’s NEVER talked about; then once someone stumbles upon finding out their partner does in fact have a sex life with themselves, it can feel like they were keeping a secret and possibly even feel like a betrayal. If you’ve never told your partner that you enjoy masturbation it can feel like this secret you need to keep from your partner - and secret keeping is never a good idea.
Let me give you an example of what starting this conversation might look like:
“Hey love (partner), I thought we should talk about our sex life and particularly our sex life with ourselves. It’s sort of a weird thing but we never talk about masturbation. It’s a pretty common thing and I think it’s perfectly normal and natural to do it and I do this with some regularity. What about you? And how do you feel about this conversation? Do you have any questions for me? We don’t need to go into all the details if we decide it isn’t relevant but I think it’s good to know where each partner is at at a basic level with this topic.”
If the goal of working on some sexual needs is part of what’s finding you needing some self-love time, remember that you will likely need to be intentional about this time.
Self-love/masturbation is a great and low pressure time to work on improving your sex life. You may want to work on reaching or delaying orgasm, or practice relaxing and enjoying pleasure.
In order to do that, let your partner know you need this time and you’d love their support. They will ultimately benefit from you having this time and you can always return the favor!
Interested in Starting Sex Therapy in Plymouth, MN?
These conversations may take a little extra help to navigate. Our sex therapists want to help you address sexual concerns here in Plymouth, or anywhere in the state with online therapy in Minnesota. Get started by following these simple steps:
Other Mental Health Services in Minnesota
In addition to sex therapy, our LGBT & polyamory friendly sex therapists provide a wide range of mental health services at our Plymouth, MN counseling office. Other services include couples therapy & marriage counseling, EFT, evidence-based couples therapy, EMDR & sexual trauma therapy, as well as, teen therapy. In order to help serve the mental health needs of all those living in Minnesota, we also offer online counseling & sex therapy. We also provide a variety of helpful tips on our mental health blog. Please feel free to reach out with questions, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to begin working with a skilled sex therapist! Your sex life can be amazing. Sex therapy can be a part of that process for you.