Ask DeAnn: Can Masturbation Ruin our Sex Life?

awake woman sleeping man clip artDear DeAnn,

I was told by my gynecologist that using sexual aides/toys would hinder my ability to have an orgasm with my partner, so I don’t go overboard with my vibrator.

My partner has been into self gratification for over 30 years and up to five times a day! Well, we’ve been together for not even a year and we are down to once a week and I do all the work because he is sooo tired, and I’m a bit over weight. However, the touching and caressing is minimal and not enough to turn a door knob let alone a woman on! He knows the anatomy of woman but falls ways short of hitting the goal. Now I just don’t want to continue having sex with him at all.

He always boasts he used to have this great anal sex with his ex-wife and I’m learning it takes allot of time and communication to perform this act. So he can take time but it seems just not with me.

So what can I do? I’m ready to just walk away and say “friends” and NO BENEFITS!

FWNB

Full disclosure to readers: I’m not a doctor and I don’t treat anyone as though I am. I did ask follow up questions, and her OB/GYN made this statement as a blanket generality towards all women, and she has NOT been diagnosed with any medical condition that would specifically cause masturbation to get in the way of her partnered, penetrative orgasm, nor is she using a Doxy, Magic Wand, or anything near that powerful. Additionally, many medical field workers I have spoken with agree that the doctor, despite working in a sexually-related field, may not have had enough or accurate sex education IN MEDICAL SCHOOL. << THAT IS SCARY!!

Dear FWNB:

I initially had to step away from the computer and social media to calm down. This is the first Ask DeAnn that’s ever made me angry.

I’m not angry at you, of course, but at how you’ve been treated by both your doctor and your partner. Neither of them seem very in touch with reality!

First off, let me say this about your doctor: he lied to you. Period. FULL STOP. He’s practicing female sexual reproductive medicine. He is responsible for the knowledge of all the medical aspects of sex for vulva-owning patients. This infuriates me and every other sex educator and liberated woman I’ve talked to to get my facts straight on this.

This just goes to show that certifications, degrees, and letters after your name really don’t amount to a hill of beans, and doing your own research (like you’ve done with anal sex – bravo!), and being an advocate for your health and pleasure are your responsibility. I have some nurses I’ll ask for medical advice and some pharm techs who I’ll ask about drug interactions about before I’ll turn to a doctor or pharmacist. That’s scary, and it says a LOT about privilege and the state of our health care and educational systems today, as well as our sex education standards. Please, please, contact the Medical Board of California and file a complaint against this quack! There are decades of research (and literally millions of anecdotal experiences) backing up what I’m about to tell you.

Using sex toys will NOT hinder your ability to have an orgasm during penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex! In fact, it can help you learn to orgasm, and using a toy during PIV intercourse can help you orgasm faster! By the way, you are very right about anal – it does take time, and he’s not giving that to you. We’ll deal with him in a moment. For now, let’s talk about that quack doctor and get you educated.

75-80% of us need clitoral stimulation to orgasm. This is why more than 70% of women who use sex toys use them with a partner – vaginal stimulation alone can’t do it for them.  When you use a vibrator on the clitoris daily, the brain may make sensory shortcuts so that oral or manual stimulation take longer or need to be more intense. Then, there are some women who need vibration to orgasm anyway because their clitoral nerves can’t get excited enough to get there otherwise. Finally, there are some instances where using an extremely powerful vibrator such as a Magic Wand or Doxy can cause overstimulated nerve endings in the tip of the clitoris to stop responding to any stimuli at all – when used multiple times daily. The solution for when you build up tolerance to vibration is to simply stop using that vibe for a while and take your time, relax, and get in the right head space while you learn to orgasm in other ways. Then go back to using the vibe, maybe a little less frequently. All of these are pretty rare cases, and don’t interfere with orgasm with a partner. Since you’ve told me privately what’s in your toy box, I can tell you that you haven’t experienced anything near the power of a wand vibrator! All of this to say: numbing/overstimulating/desensitizing the tip of the clitoris is not going to stop you from having an orgasm!

With cis hetero couples, having a vibrator can help her have an orgasm before penetration, so that when they have PIV sex, the pressure is off of him, or she can finish the job after. Mutual masturbation is also a way for couples to have sex without penetration. The average time it takes a penis to ejaculate during penetrative sex is 7 minutes. The average time it takes a someone with a vulva to orgasm is 20 minutes. When using a toy, that gap becomes a LOT smaller! Toys have helped millions of women learn what an orgasm feels like and be able to psychologically allow that to happen.

Your dude is not having less frequent sex with you because he jerks off! This is something that happens naturally in relationships, but I’m also worried about the fact that he doesn’t seem to care what your needs/wants are in the bedroom in the first place. You also said in follow-up answers he shuts down attempts to talk about your intimate life. That’s straight up disrespectful. If there’s one thing hetero cis men understand, it’s the concept of respect. He’s not respecting you in the bedroom.

I wouldn’t write him off just yet, but look what’s happening. You’re initiating. You’re doing all the work. He’s getting off. You want to get off but he’s not turning you on or stimulating you enough, and you feel abandoned and there’s no communication. That’s not ok. You are coming on to him because you’re horny! And you’re frustrated some quack doctor told you not to use your vibe to finish the job because he’s an idiot!

Sit your guy down one more time, outside the bedroom, to talk about your sex life. Be gentle. Tell him you feel like he does not respect your efforts to be intimate, and while he seems to get what he wants, he’s not reciprocating. Ask his perspective and whether he sees that happening. Then, pose a solution. Tell him more foreplay is required for you to climax, and besides, it’s fun! Ask if he’s open to you using a toy before or after sex. If he shuts you down again, then you know what you need to do.

Your size doesn’t determine who you can be with, either. There are plenty of larger women who have amazing sex with whoever they want. You don’t even have to date if you don’t want to. If you want partnered sex, go after partnered sex (as long as you do so safely!). If you can’t have partnered sex without an intimate connection, then maybe it’s time to upgrade your toy until Mr. Right comes along.

If it were me, he wouldn’t even get the benefit of friendship, much less benefits. Because let’s face it, friends respect each other, and no one wants their friend to have bad sex!

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