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Is it common for a man to frequently masturbate while his girlfriend is lying next to him in bed?

Tagged as: Sex<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (25 April 2007) 29 Answers - (Newest, 9 February 2009)
A , anonymous writes:

Bottom line question: is it common for a man to frequently (2-4 times a day/night) masturbate while his girlfriend is lying next to him in bed and they are not fooling around and/or he thinks she is asleep? Don't people usually masturbate in private unless it is part of mutual sex activities with their partner? Is it unfair for me to ask him not to do this while I am lying there reading a book or working on my laptop or sleeping, as I get very upset and hurt? If I'm sleeping, I usually wake up when he is doing it, and to make it worse he has started talking out loud while doing it about specific women he has known and lusted after but not dated. Sometimes I am awakened by the bed shaking while he does this, and lie there listening to him talk about wanting to to X,Y,Z to "Carolyn" or "Laura." He says he is talking like this without realizing he is doing it, and that he has done this in the past when very stressed (sometimes even talking about sex with X, Y, or Z while alone driving), and for some reason he doesn't understand it is always about someone he had a crush on but never got together with, and no longer thinks about. (I'm talking people from 10 years ago.) We do not have sex very often due to some miscommunicating re: sex that we are working on in couples therapy. I have been dating him for a little over 8 months, and he has asked me to marry him. I have basically said "we'll see, need more time." For the first 4-6 months we dated he had very low energy and spent most of his time lying on the bed if not at work. Even when not seriously masturbating (trying to ejaculate) he would usually lie on the bed with his pants undone and fondle his penis, sometimes in plain view, sometimes while under the covers (but I could still tell he was doing it). He would even do this while he read a (non-sexy) book. In Feb I finally convinced him to get treatment for depression, and he has more energy and does not constantly touch himself anymore, but the masturbation (and talking out loud) has continued. I have no problem with people masturbating, and it can be part of sex with someone - but this has upset me. Last night I asked him to please not do it while I am there, awake or asleep, if we are not fooling around. He is angry and asked me what he is supposed to do if he wakes at 4 AM and is horny. I told him to go to another bedroom or the sofa. (He can't wake me up for sex because I have to take sleeping pills, but I wake up enough to hear him talking.)

Guys - do you do it whenever the need arises without involving your girlfriend? Girls: does your guy ever do this? To me it is, um, unusual.

View related questions: at work, crush, ejaculate, horny, sleeping pills

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 February 2009):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hello anonymous male,

I wrote my original post almost 2 years ago. The guy in question was 45 and had difficulty ejaculating although he rubbed himself raw all day. I left him a few months after I wrote my post. He was diagnosed by a private therapist and our couples therapist as having severe psychological problems arising out of his extremely abusive childhood. His array of psych problems probably includes dissociative identity disorder (previously called multiple personality). He had been verbally/psychologically abusive at the time of my posting, and this escalated to physical abuse.

There is not a thing wrong with masturbating, even when your partner is asleep (although of course people do need to get enough sleep to be able to function the next day). However, what this guy was doing was highly disrespectful of me for reasons that will be clear to some, but would require further explanation for others to understand, As the whole thing is over, I'm not going to go into it.

I will however say that I disagree with your statement that is going too far to ask your fiance not to masturbate and scream out the names of women he would rather be screwing while in your presence. Later apologies don't cut it, especially when they are accompanied by requests for thousands of dollars to help him to maintain his extravagant lifestyle at the expense of his unloved girlfriend/fiance.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (9 February 2009):

The only thing that is odd about your boyfriend is saying the names of women while doing it. Chances are he is young and frequently gets erections. It feels good when it gets hard and that is what he's into pleasuring himself. I have woken to the bed shaking from my GF doing it before. It actually turned me on. Is it possible you have a hard time sleeping and when he woke you up the reaction was being pissed? You have every right to say to him not to do it while you are sleeping or trying to sleep. If you say never do that when you are around I would think it's going to far. My recommendation is to work on those other sexual issues alluded to in your post.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 January 2009):

no seriously, look up sleep sex…it's an actual disorder…he already has a history of sleep walking, sleep talking, DIRTY sleep talking (hilarious), night terrors, bruxism, and restless leg syndrome…it explains his restlessness during the days…it said that it happens more in men than in women…and it also said that it can be brought on by stress and migraines (of which he has both)…i was thinking the same things too…but my man doesn't lie, and i trust him fully

he said that if he was embarrassed, he wouldn't be reacting the way that he did…he stayed calm, but was pissed that i had accused him of something he didn't do…but then i felt like i was crazy b/c i know what i heard/saw/felt…so, i figured well then for both of us to be right, you must have SMS…then he felt embarrassed that he might have this strange disorder and i was happy b/c i wasn't crazy and he's not all freaky haha

it really opened up our communication…we hadn't been this blunt with one another for a while…it was really nice…i was reading accounts of people w/ SMS and some people have extreme cases of it…like leaving their homes to have sex w/ random people w/o knowing it, or having sex w/ their partners in bed…i told him that i got screwed and how come he gets at the sleep sex action and i don't get any lol…can you imagine though…some women have sex w/ their husbands while they're sleeping haha…they'd be a scary/confusing thing for a guy to wake up to

…i think i should be a detective/psychologist/undercover cop :p

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 January 2009):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hmmmmm - come on, how could you be imagining this?? You said he was doing it like all night (I lived through it, I've seen it too) and even WITH PORN (I assume you meant while you were "sleeping" he was using the porn in bed?)

Several thoughts come to mind:

1) He is too embarrassed to admit he was doing it and will be more careful and stop doing it when you are trying to sleep (good result!) or else try to make sure you really are asleep (not good - that shaking bed will wake you up so whack him with the pillow if he does this!)

2) He is sleep-masturbating (yeah, right.)

3) He dissociates and does it unconsciously (this is basically multiple personality disorder, now called dissociative identity disorder - very bad but very unlikely.)

GREAT that you talked about having sex more!!! And good for you for telling him that you aren't solely responsible for suggesting sex and doing all the work. I'm surprised at how many lazy guys there are out there who just want to be serviced!! (not meaning your guy necessarily, just a general observation.) Women have long tiring days too.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 January 2009):

i honestly think my boyfriend has sexsomnia…i learned about it in my psy. class and had considered it as an option…i researched it and he has all of the symptoms and like every type of parasomnia…now it all makes sense…maybe your ex had sexsomnia too…look it up…now he's upset that he has sms probably and i'm happy and laughing that he's not all freaky

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 January 2009):

so, i gave him the note…it went well…he said it wasn't bad and that he was preparing himself for something much worse…topics we're easily and quickly discussed and answered, and the questions that i had were answered as how i had hoped they would be…as far as the nighttime masturbation thing, i brought that up afterwards…reluctantly…it took some balls

he swears up and down though that he doesn't and didn't do it, not once…masturbate in bed next to me at night that is…apparently, i'm just schizophrenic now and hear, see, and feel things that aren't actually happening…or he does it in his sleep without knowing it…i guess i can't truly believe he is lying b/c he is the most faithful person i know…he is a guy of high character, and everyone respects him…so, i told him that if i think he's doing it again from now on i'm just gonna bop him over the head with a pillow…he said okay, but he might be cranky when i wake him up…

oh, i also asked him if he wishes we had more sex, and if so, how often…he said once a day to every other day…i said i can't do once a day :p tough luck…i'd be willing to go for the later though, but he can't expect me to do all the work and take all the initiative…he has to be engaging and outgoing too

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A reader, anonymous, writes (15 January 2009):

sorry my messages are confusing…i kind of just used this as a journal…just venting really :p it feels good to put your thoughts and feelings down, rather than just in your head…sex life needs to be improved, yes…as far as a list of what is wrong with him…it's more like a list about how crappy my self-esteem is and more about our relationship as a whole, than picking apart him as an individual…him as an individual isn't really a problem…it's more of us as a couple when the issues begin

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 January 2009):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

acd719, things may have changed since you gave him your list - eeek, I'd hate to get a written list of everything wrong with me - I would much prefer a discussion, much less hurtful than a sort of spreadsheet of faults. But he did ask you to do it.

Anyway - masturbating while holding your hand sounds like he WANTED you to participate - which you can do without full blown sex if you are too tired, just cuddle up to him and tell him you love him etc.

If he really does have a sex addiction, wow, at least he is willing to admit it!

With the 2 of you communicating you have a good chance of fixing what needs to be fixed. I think that's great.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 January 2009):

acd719 so many things have confused me about your postings. I'm now getting confused about what the problem is. One thing that stands out, is that your sex life definitely needs to improve. Your guy is under stress and has two addictive habits, video games and masturbation. I'd be so glad if you could update and tell us what happened when you presented your list to him.

Ms anonymous, congratulations, I'm glad that your no longer with this guy who was causing you so much difficulty and stress. I'm hoping you are now happier in your life.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 January 2009):

okay, so get this…NEWS UPDATE: I was out of town this past weekend and on my period this week… so, I jokingly/teasingly asked my boyfriend if he had been naughty and been masturbating all weekend while I was gone… we tease each other about that every now and then… first he said no, then he said "maybe once"… well, I really didn't care if he did or not… but so anyways, he still doesn't know that I have caught him masturbating in bed for FOUR nights now in a row… not just three…

After the third night I was just stressed and depressed about multiple things and took a bath and went to bed early that night… I was upset and didn't tell him good night that night or good morning or goodbye the next day when I left for class… b/c I'm stubborn like that… he knew something was up… he asked what was wrong, later that day in a text… I didn't reply b/c I was at school and he at work… I told him that we would talk about it after he got home… he said that he was a bad boyfriend and asked me what I wanted him to change and that he would be better (without me saying anything)… anyways I made a list (like he had asked me to) detailing how I felt about different aspects of our relationship… however, I didn't show it to him after work b/c I still hadn't started my homework yet (woops!) I'm going to edit it a bit today and then give it to him tonight after work…

It's funny… he's admitted to watching porn and masturbating too much lately, but he still doesn't know that I know about the night time masturbation… he thinks that I'm pissed for different reasons like that, or how he plays too much video games… he says he goes through long times without it and then binges when he is stressed… I told him that is common and that it doesn't bother me… he told me how often he masturbated and told me that he thought it was too much and that he's had a porn addiction and has tried to quit since he was 19 (22 now)… honestly, until this bedtime masturbation thing started I really didn't care if he watched porn or masturbated (to the extent that he SAID he did… it really didn't seem like too much or anything out of the ordinary to me) so, he said he masturbated like once or twice a week or something like that and I was like that's no big deal… that's nothing compared to some guys… and I can understand because we don't have sex normally but once a week… which doesn't really bother me too much.

He said that this weekend was the last time he did it and that he hasn't since then… well, that's a flat out lie because he's been sneaking it in bed at night for the past four nights… it's like geeze just have some common courtesy and stop wanking it in bed… it's awkward and it keeps me up! It had been three nights in a row that he had jerked it in bed and then on the fourth day he told me that he wanted to quit masturbating in general… we had a little talk and that was that… however, I told him that was an unrealistic goal… so then, he goes to bed at like 12 and then I come in at 2… and the moment I come in, I hear a SNAP (like him taking his hands out of his pants) and then he walks in the bathroom, I was like wtf?! seriously?… wow… so, I kind of just laughed to myself… I'm trying to be more light-hearted about the situation… plus, since he knows I'm pissed he's taking an extra effort to be extra nice…so anyways, he hopped back in bed and held my hand (which he never does) and i was like "uhoh, do you have penis hands?" and he said something…i don't know what…and then we went to bed and didn't say anything else for the rest of the night…

so, within like two minutes of lying in bed, i hear masturbation noises…aaand he's still holding my hand…lol…really tight too, it kind of hurt…haha…now i'm thinking wtf before it was like he made sure i was asleep…now, it's almost like he WANTS to get caught! i could hear squishy noises…and he was breathing heavy…it was kind of awkward, funny, hott, and annoying all at the same time…i was thinking…does he want me to join in? does he think i don't realize? does he think i'm asleep ALREADY? does he know that i know and doesn't care that i know /or knows that i won't react and gets off on it or hopes that i'll react? who knows?…but it was frustrating that he was doing it that night and THE NEXT MORNING…AGAIN… right after he said he wanted to quit…so much for that

so, to sum it all up: my boyfriend is stressed and horny from school and work…i'm too busy w/ school and now annoyed w/ him, so i don't really want to jump him…i'm going to give him my list tonight and we'll see how it goes…it should be interesting…i'm actually thinking it could be for the better, and our sex life might be about to get real steamy

i really just want to find out WHY he's masturbating in bed though…just do it when i'm not home, ya know?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 January 2009):

Acd719, your covering up your best bits. If your a little overweight then your tits will be larger, many men love larger boobs. I know your embarrassed, but men don't think the way women do. Your lack of enjoyment around sex is also a bit worrying, he's supposed to make you feel good. Eight hours a day masturbation, that is totally off the scale. Masturbation is like a second job, he won't have time for sleep and he won't have time for you... Talk to him, surely he must realise that he can't go on like this, giving up sleep, his bloody dick must get sore. When dose he ever have time for you?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 January 2009):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Have you asked him how he feels about your weight? Maybe it doesn't bother him?

Masturbating all night sounds excessive - I would think that this is new and that if he had been doing that all year, it would have been waking you up.

I think sometimes excessive masturbation can be due to heavy stress?

Try to talk to him about what is going on - maybe even in the night when he's doing it and thinks you are asleep.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 January 2009):

it's not that i DON'T want to take my shirt off…i would LOVE to run around the house naked all the time! my bf is totally cute and walks around in his undies all the time…i just need to lose weight and want a flat tummy…i don't like to look at myself naked, so i wouldn't want anyone else to have to look at me naked either…and he talks about how he's gained weight and is fat (which he is not and is totally skinny like 155) so then its like well GOD if you think you're fat, then you must think i'm a cow…i can handle porn…just what is up w/ masturbating for like 8 hrs a night?! that's not normal…esp. then when the next day rolls around and he complains about how damn tired he is

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 January 2009):

Acd179, you have real self esteem issues that you really need to fix for yourself.... "i'm good in bed…but i def have self-esteem issues and don't like to take off my top during sex, and dont let him see me completely nude" If you keep all your clothes on then you can't be having good sex. You need to be more open and become more intimate with your partner, and ask him to help you to become more comfortable with your body and sex. He never sees you naked, of course he's gonna look at women who feel comfortable with their clothes off. Your the one who needs to change. It's the 21st century, sex with clothes on are for the Victorians.

To the original poster, your partner sounds like he suffered from trauma in his past, and now he doesn't know how to relate to sex properly. Yes he can be cured, and shown more healthy ways and attitudes, but it will take a very long time. Sounds like he has a lot of pain to heal. Other than that, never know how to keep a man's hand of his dick, if he likes it. But you could try massage before sleep, or oral sex, or more frequent sex. These things might help him to associate pleasure with you and you only.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 January 2009):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hi there-

I'm really sorry you are having to deal with this. I left the guy I wrote about 2 years ago but my self esteem is still very very low. The thing you wrote about that bothers me the most is that you have sex so rarely and yet he is clearly,um, horny a lot. That would break my heart too. And the fact that you don't feel anything when you kiss . . .

My ex pretty much TOLD me that he was settling for me because I was a great person, smart, funny, kind, considerate (oh and I made a lot of money so I could keep him from losing his house, which was way out of his reach - his previous ex was still on the mortgage) -- but that he wasn't that physically attracted to me. He was no Michelangelo's David, trust me - over 300 lbs and a smelly slob. But I can be in love with someone who isn't a male model. He thought he was entitled to a supermodel. But he told me he didn't think he would find anyone who had my qualities AND looked like a supermodel.

Listen, as for you being "bad in bed" and modest etc., a man who is really in love with you would make you feel so comfortable and safe that you would probably become less inhibited.

I think you two need to have some serious talks about what is going on - with the infrequent sex, and anything else that doesn't feel good to you. You don't want to feel not good enough for the rest of your life - so get it out in the open and see if it is fixable.

Before you do this, you may want to read a book I thought was a silly pop culture nothing book. But if I had read it at any time during my relationship with my ex, I think I would have woken up, left him, and saved myself a lot of misery. (Not that your relationship is unfixable like mine - but take a look at this book and see how you feel.)

A friend recently handed me a copy of "He's just not that into you". I never read it before because I thought the title sounded like another way of saying "You're just not good enough". It's a little book with a quote on each page and a lot of the quotes say if your boyfriend says/does this, then get out. That is not how a man treats a woman he loves." (can't give direct quotes as I passed it to a girlfriend.) Check it out and see if your guy is maybe not worth your time.

If there is something wrong, don't blame yourself. Sometimes 2 people just don't fit together. There's a guy out there that will find your modesty adorable and make you feel warm and safe and sexy.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 January 2009):

i was hoping that someone would write a satisfying reply to your question, but i didn't really find any of them to be. i have a similar issue and it has really upset me. i have caught my boyfriend for the past three nights now masturbating in bed while he thinks i am asleep. not only does he masturbate, but he does it to porn for some of the time (pretty brave of him), and he has been doing it like AAALL night…it makes me feel like shit about myself…esp. if he does it on days or nights when we've had sex…i'm a cute girl and feel like i'm good in bed…but i def have self-esteem issues and don't like to take off my top during sex, and dont let him see me completely nude…i can handle the porn thing…heck, i like porn…but geeze don't do it when i'm home! and i don't really care too much i guess if he masturbates but the fact that it happens for such a long duration while im right next to him really bothers me…i would think okay he's masturbating for a quick fix, but he does it like AAALL night…i'm starting to think he has some issues…like say he masturbated in bed while he thought i was asleep and it was like to me or something…i guess i am distraught at the fact that he doesn't find me sexually appealing, that i'm bad in bed, and that he does it for so long…i suppose probably the main reason that it bothers me so much is that i have shitty self-esteem and that when i find the porn that he frequents its w/ girls whose bodys are so cute and tight…and all i can think of is "wow, he must hate the way i look and being with me in bed"…we also dont have sex too often once or twice every one to two weeks…we've been dating for four years and at the beginning we had sex all the time…i love him, but i don't know what's wrong…i don't particularly enjoy the sex when we do have it…i'll try pretty much anything (and he knows this)…and i've never really felt "butterflies" when we kiss (DEPRESSING!!!)…i love him…but im just not happy anymore…he's always tired and says he has trouble sleeping (geeze now i know why)…we've been living together for almost a year now…i wonder how long this night time masturbation has been going on

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (22 May 2008):

My partner and I used to be very sexually active when we first started dating 9 years ago. She lived about an hour away, and so we only got to see each other on the weekends.

When we got together, I felt a strong connection both physically and emotionally to her, and longed to see her again when we had to part during the week.

Not long into our relationship, 3 months I think, she moved back to her parents' place about 2 1/2 hours away. I lived in a small college town at the time and didn't have a car, so we stayed in touch by talking on the phone. One day, I called her, and was surprised that her father answered the phone to tell me that she was with "Mike" (who I learned from previous conversations was her ex-boyfriend).

At the time, she denied any wrong doing, but I was a little nervous as this would be an awkward position for even the most trusting person to be in. That, coupled with the fact that she was showing interest in dating me before she'd officially broken things off with Mike made the matter even more upsetting.

We continued to see each other, and eventually, she moved in with me. Sex became less and less frequent, and eventually, during a regular check-up, the doctor found pre-cancerous cells on her cervix. Luckily, they were surgically removed, and everything seemed back to normal.

Sex has never been the same since she recovered...although I'm a very caring and affectionate person, she rarely responds, and often outright declines nearly all of my sexual invitations.

Although the lack of sexual activity took it's toll, I tried to accept that some things would not be biologically the same after her surgery, and I could live with that.

Unfortunately, only a year later, she had an affair while on a camping trip with friends from college (I was working full-time to support us both while she finished her degree and couldn't attend).

She seemed a strange when she got back from the trip, but claimed it was fatigue...as well it might have been...

On a visit back to that town a year or two later, one of my friends confronted me about the affair, gave me all of the details recounted to him from an eye witness. You can imagine my shock - this girl, the love of my life, having committed the ultimate act of betrayal, but rest assured, it gets worse...

When I confronted her that evening, she lied about every bit of it, and had claimed that the person who reported this had mistaken someone else for her. Upset and confused, I didn't know what to think, so I chose her, had forsaken the friends who tried so desperately to help me, and moved on...although, something at the back of my mind always wondered, until one afternoon, with too much time on my hands, I got curious.

Being technology professional, it wasn't hard for me to obtain the password to her email account, so I started snooping. I know what you're thinking, but please understand that I wanted nothing more than to prove myself wrong.

After digging through about 60 emails or so, I finally found it: the confession. She mentioned after our trip that she was going to contact the alleged witness my friends spoke of and confront him, which, she did. In her email, she stated in clear, unmistakable words what she did, that it was her choice, and no one else's business.

That afternoon when she returned, I was a mess, and did a little confronting of my own. It's been three years since then, and we're still together, though sex is still rare and unfulfilling.

It's 1:30 AM here, my partner is asleep and I'm in the office, anonymously pooring out my soul to people I will likely never meet, nor would know me if we did.

Although I've never had an affair, there have been offers, none of which I've ever considered, even after the cheating.

I wouldn't consider myself depressed, but the sexual frustration does get lonely, and I began masturbating more frequently, but always alone, with the door locked behind me. I wouldn't consider this an addiction, merely a sad attempt to fill the void left by my empty sex life.

Some might read this and suggest that I leave her, find someone new and begin again with someone who enjoys sex as much as I do, and perhaps, one day, I might get fed up and leave - but after a decade of companionship, it's sometimes hard to let go.

Thanks for reading.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hi to everyone who responded here - thought I would give you an update and also respond to some of the replies. (especially to Anon who posted today, March 12 - you keep reading! The first part below probably does not apply to you but I need to vent.)

Most importantly, it got worse, not better, and I left him. It took a few months, but he finally pushed me too far by having "online affairs" - cyber and phone sex with people who lived in our area. He started doing this so much - I am talking almost every waking moment that he wasn't working, literally 6, 8, 10 hrs a day. I moved to another bedroom before I moved out. He even did it on the living room sofa while we had guests including a little girl - I put a stop to that. I don't know if he ever met any of the "hot local women who want sex now!" in person. If he did, they were in for a shock because he posted a 15 year old pic from before he gained 75 lbs and his hair turned grey. The sex stuff was a symptom of something much worse, a terrible mental illness derived from his abusive childhood. He started therapy, I don't know if he kept it up.

To today's anon. writer (March 12): masturbation is normal, mental health pros say use of porn is ok if both partners are ok with it, but if it upsets you a lot, you should tell him, and if he really really cares about you, you two can work out something you can both live with. It isn't clear how often and for how long he does this. Is he up for hours in the night and then late for work or school? If so - appears to be addictive behavior, it is interfering with real life. It has already upset you and is upsetting that part of his life. Tell him you are upset - set boundaries about what is ok and what is not - or leave the relationship if you are being torn apart by this. Do not live in misery for months. Decide what you will not tolerate. You may not be able to tolerate any porn, but most guys do like it and "use" it. SOME do not. One place to draw a line would be to say cyber-sex is NOT OK (if he is doing that). I think that can be very damaging to a relationship. "Sex addiction" is a matter of degree. Spending many hours every day using online porn is generally not ok with the persons partner. Those are hours that would be better spent enjoying real-life relationships with your girlfriend or friends. What to do if you think he is an addict? See if he is willing to change, including getting help if that is the only way he can change. If he refuses, denies it, etc. - get counseling together or on your own, leave him rather than jumping through a million hoops to get him to stop.

Remember that both people in a relationship do have the option of breaking it off if they are not happy. I think it would have been much kinder and more mature for my ex to break up with me when he was no longer attracted to me than to act out as he did. (He chose not to because he needed my money, which made the whole thing even more painful.) Of course I chose to stick around and put up with it.

How many people write in on this website when they really know the answer but just don't want to face it? I did, that's for sure.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (13 March 2008):

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Hi to everyone who responded here - thought I would give you an update and also respond to some of the replies. (especially to Anon who posted today, March 12 - you keep reading! The first part below probably does not apply to you but I need to vent.)

Most importantly, it got worse, not better, and I left him. It took a few months, but he finally pushed me too far by having "online affairs" - cyber and phone sex with people who lived in our area. He started doing this so much - I am talking almost every waking moment that he wasn't working, literally 6, 8, 10 hrs a day. I moved to another bedroom before I moved out. He even did it on the living room sofa while we had guests including a little girl - I put a stop to that. I don't know if he ever met any of the "hot local women who want sex now!" in person. If he did, they were in for a shock because he posted a 15 year old pic from before he gained 75 lbs and his hair turned grey. The sex stuff was a symptom of something much worse, a terrible mental illness derived from his abusive childhood. He started therapy, I don't know if he kept it up.

To today's anon. writer (March 12): masturbation is normal, mental health pros say use of porn is ok if both partners are ok with it, but if it upsets you a lot, you should tell him, and if he really really cares about you, you two can work out something you can both live with. It isn't clear how often and for how long he does this. Is he up for hours in the night and then late for work or school? If so - appears to be addictive behavior, it is interfering with real life. It has already upset you and is upsetting that part of his life. Tell him you are upset - set boundaries about what is ok and what is not - or leave the relationship if you are being torn apart by this. Do not live in misery for months. Decide what you will not tolerate. You may not be able to tolerate any porn, but most guys do like it and "use" it. SOME do not. One place to draw a line would be to say cyber-sex is NOT OK (if he is doing that). I think that can be very damaging to a relationship. "Sex addiction" is a matter of degree. Spending many hours every day using online porn is generally not ok with the persons partner. Those are hours that would be better spent enjoying real-life relationships with your girlfriend or friends. What to do if you think he is an addict? See if he is willing to change, including getting help if that is the only way he can change. If he refuses, denies it, etc. - get counseling together or on your own, leave him rather than jumping through a million hoops to get him to stop.

Remember that both people in a relationship do have the option of breaking it off if they are not happy. I think it would have been much kinder and more mature for my ex to break up with me when he was no longer attracted to me than to act out as he did. (He chose not to because he needed my money, which made the whole thing even more painful.) Of course I chose to stick around and put up with it.

How many people write in on this website when they really know the answer but just don't want to face it? I did, that's for sure.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (12 March 2008):

my boyfriend wakes up and looks at porn on the computer and then goes into the bathroom and masterbates... he thinks im asleep when he does this, but ive caught him doing it several times... i dont know how to feel about this... especially with the porn included... our sex life is really good and there havent been any complaints. but i also feel like he could be a sex addict, is this normal for a man? if not, what are some solutions??

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 November 2007):

I would like to know what if the guy masturbates over his own girlfriend. He probably wants to release his feelings over his girlfriend alone.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (10 August 2007):

No offense, but I think that maybe you are possibly part or at least contributing to the problem. Generally speaking, a guy needs to feel that his girlfriend is there for him. If your guy wakes up at 4 a.m and he is ready for some action, he should not be deterred in waking you to at least check to see if you can partake in the event. I get the impression that maybe your guy has to use his hand because you are not available to him. Guys whack off on a regular basis, as a matter of fact, it is our number one pass time. Let him know that you feel lonely when he excludes you and I bet he be jumping on you instead of calling on his right hand man.

-Just my 2 cents-

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A female reader, jacqui United Kingdom +, writes (1 August 2007):

You are not alone! I found it odd waking up to the bed shaking I personally think its bad manners on my boyfriends part, if I was invited to join in maybe I would but to be woken up by him makes me feel uncomfortable.

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A female reader, Keria United Kingdom +, writes (27 April 2007):

Masturbation together can be fun... but if a guy constantly does it in bed at night, alone, it's usually a sign that the partner is a little unresponsive sexually. Perhaps you might want to take a look at ways you can participate with him, and then it won't be masturbation anymore, but just plain good old fashioned sex!

But regardless, he will continue to masturbate regularly, ALL men, and many women do it. Accept it, and join him when you catch him in the act. You'll both be happier for it!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 April 2007):

my boy friend has masterbated in the bed near me also i find it uncomfortable he doesnt know i know but i understand why your upset all thow we live together he doesnt do it all the time but he says he masterbates about maybe 15 times a day on a good day nothing against masterbation but wow but even when im in the shower some times he'll sit on the toliet and masterbate and i have caught him watching me changen but hes my man so it doesnt bother me that much for him to watch me so much but the shower did kinda make me feel uncomfortable, but i say this he has never screamed any other girls names but has wanted me to masterbate on the phone in the other room with him watching and talking dirty to me on the phone also he keeps acking me if i would ever put a piece of fruit in side me and masterbate with it but i put my foot down and he hasnt said anything eles about it. but we have seeked help for he feels that he is adicted to sex and due to the sexual abuse from hes step father, but i hope all works out xxxooo lots of luck

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 April 2007):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hi and thanks to all who have answered (and I do welcome more answers!) To the person who told me her BF did this too (w/o the talking part) thank you for writing - I had never had a BF do it while I was there before and felt bad that I am so upset about it because I don't want to be a prude or act like masturbating is wrong. Just like your guy, I think he often thinks I am asleep - but even if I am I wake up when the bed shakes!

I dont think he is completely all right, he had a very abusive childhood and I think the trauma has not all been resolved. I think the masturbation may be at the addiction level and he is using it to "self medicate" against psychological pain he cant deal with (the way lots of people use alcohol to numb themselves). Second, a therapist has told me that she can tell he has some sexual "issues/problems" but doesn't know him enough to pinpoint what the deal is, he may be dissociating a little when he talks out loud about people (and when he touches himself almost like he doesn't realize he is doing it).

I figure the counseling is good because it could help him realize he needs individual counseling, and also it is the only way we have a chance of staying together.

Thanks again everyone, it makes me feel better to vent here!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 April 2007):

Well, my ex used to masturbate when he was in bed with me at night, in fact every night I stayed over at his house. I put it down to our relationship not getting to the sexual stage yet, but he did after we had sex too. I used to wake up to hear him masturbating and feel the bed rocking. It would usually be about an hour or so after we went to bed. I guess he wanted to check that I was asleep first but of course I wasn't! He doesn't know that I know about this, and it is the first time I had experienced this with a boyfriend so I posted on here about Oct/Nov about the bf masturbating in bed beside you at night thing. I was assured this was quite normal but your bf seems to be taking it to another level.

Just wanted to let you know that I understand that aspect of your question and that part of it is considered normal as for the rest I don't know....!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 April 2007):

Doesn't sound very normal to me. It seems like some kind of addiction or weird twisted way to cope with stress. Stress can trigger strong sexual desires but this is strange. The creepiest thing is the girl naming part. The only thing I could recommend you are doing it already and that is the counseling. So, no I don't find it to be normal and stick to the counseling. I would personally not stay with a guy to does his thing and screams other girls names but it's your choice.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 April 2007):

Why is this man doing this? I think he rather be in a relationship with his hand and Johnny Hancock than you. That should tell you it seems you're not doing enough for him, sexually.

Is this man all right?

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