Woman feeling lonely with husband in bed

Why does my boyfriend prefer to watch porn and take care of himself rather then have sex with me?

Responses

  • Michael Castleman says:

    I’m very sorry you feel replaced by porn. You are not alone. Many women have asked me variations on the question you posed.

    The short answer: I don’t know why your bf would choose self-sexing to porn over partner sex with you. I know nothing about your relationship, your history, or your lives, all of which may factor into this.

    The longer answer: Assuming you’re both functional, mentally healthy adults in a reasonably loving and functional relationship, here are my thoughts:

    In my view, everyone has the right to masturbate, and most people do. The myth is that single folks self-sex more than coupled individuals. A good deal of research shows that this is often not the case. Many if not most coupled people stroke just as much as the average single, sometimes more. Your bf has the right to masturbate, and so do you.

    Why would he choose self-sexing over sex with you? Masturbation and partner sex are both “sex,” but the two are very different. In solo sex, you have only yourself to please, which is pretty easy because you get lots of immediate feedback from your body that allows the little adjustments that keep sex enjoyable. Partner sex is more complicated. Partner sex takes place in the context of the myriad issues that make relationships challenging, among them, inevitable annoyances and resentments that can interfere with pleasure. In addition, partner sex requires negotiating repertoire and frequency—what you do in bed and how often. You have to please your honey and tell that person how to please you. That takes effort. It’s work. Now partner sex can feel marvelous, but it’s still work. It’s more fraught than solo sex. Sometimes people, especially men, would rather not do that work. Sometimes they’d rather just stroke, and get off, and move on to the next task. Masturbation and partner sex are like little vacations. Why stop going to the beach after you’ve seen the mountains?

    In addition, compared with women, men are more likely to use sex—solo and partnered—for stress management. Many women also masturbate for stress relief, but men do it more. When men feel stressed, they might not want to spend the time and energy negotiating the complexities of partner lovemaking. They might just want some quick release. When he opts for self-sexing over sex with you, you may feel rejected. But it’s quite possible, in fact probable that he’s NOT rejecting you, that he’s just in need of some fast self-soothing from stress.

    How to cope with this? I urge you and your bf to pull out your calendars and schedule your partner sex. Once your couple lovemaking is on the calendar, both of you are free to masturbate at other times that don’t interfere with it.

    Now you may be among those who believe that sex should “just happen” spontaneously when couples are “in the mood.” That works for new relationships during the initial hot-and-heavy period. But after 6 months to a year or so, sexual urgency almost always subsides for at least one person in the couple, and desire differences develop and after a while become the #1 sexual issue that troubles couples. Sex therapists almost universally recommend that couples in long-term relationships schedule their sex in advance. That helps deal with almost-inevitable desire differences. And it allows self-sexing at other times.

    I hope this reply has given you some food for thought and for discussion with your bf. In sexual relationships both lovers have a responsibility to participate in partner sex in ways and at frequencies both agree on. So he should make love with you. Meanwhile, in sexual relationships, a good deal of the sex, especially for men, is solo sex. I urge you to negotiate your partner frequency and calendar it. That way you’re both free to self-sex at other times without threatening your sex as a couple.

    I wish you great sex.

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