Q: Can you help me explain to my new wife why I want to masturbate even though we enjoy sex together? She seems to take it as a personal criticism. And she says she doesn’t approve.
Dr. Klein: Men masturbate for the same reasons that they make love — it feels good, it provides a good escape, and it can be a spiritual experience. Not everyone does it, and people do it in widely varying amounts. It does not hurt the person who does it. It only hurts a couple if they are unable to discuss it, or if they turn it into the focus of a power struggle. Reassure your wife that you enjoy both facets of your sex life — lovemaking and masturbation — and that you see no reason to give up either one. It’s unfortunate that she disapproves of your harmless interest, but she needs to understand that this is her problem, not yours.