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Talk to the Hand from Dev’s Point of View October 15, 2010

Posted by Dev in Musings.
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Over at Denying Thumper, Thumper wrote an absolutely excellent post on masturbation and some of the issues surrounding this practice and how it can affect a relationship. This seems to be a topic that comes up regularly among those of us who are discussing chastity, whether here, on Thumper’s blog, at the Chastity Forum, and other places. Clearly it is important and when thoughts are expressed certain ways, it can touch a nerve. Thumper articulately addressed many of these concerns. But I thought that one thing that was missing from his comments was a mention of age and thus, I decided to bring that up here.

Thumper wrote,

Men who masturbate instead of having sex with their wives are not sick or addicted or at fault. They’re just men.

I agree completely.

We live in a society that reveres and idolizes youth and virility. Look at any magazine and what do you see: beautiful, fit, lithe young people who you just know are having sex eight times a day and loving every minute of it. I sometimes long for the days when I was young, thin, and sexy and I could wear a bikini and make men drool just by walking. Ab tells me he loves me as the more mature, beautiful woman that I have become, the mother of our two children with curves and lovely full breasts. I know he’s being honest and truthful but even so, some days I wish I could turn back the clock.

I try to focus on the gifts that getting older has given me. I am a far wiser person at 55 than I was at 22. I am also more patient, kinder, and more loving to all the people around me. I try to find the good in every situation, no matter how bleak it seems. I am grateful for the many wonderful things in my life, especially those things that have come to me through hard work and perseverance.

But even with all those positives, I still must deal with occasional aches and pains and the fact that I don’t have unlimited energy and stamina. An exhausting week at work (like I had this week) leaves me physically and emotionally drained and it takes time to recover. I don’t have the bounce back I used to have. Little memory issues, too: I used to be able to remember every person I ever met. Maybe I’ve met too many people, but I find myself becoming embarrassed when I am re-introduced to someone and I don’t remember their name. And that’s happening more often. Sigh…

Sexual changes related to aging: women have to deal with perimenopausal symptoms such as decreased libido and vaginal dryness. I say a prayer of thanks every day that this hasn’t happened to me—yet, and hopefully never. I probably won’t be that lucky but I can dream. For men, probably the most obvious and “in your face” change is the gradually lengthening refractory period between orgasms. Men in their teens need what, an hour or two to recover? And then, over the years it turns into six hours, then twelve, then twenty-four. This is what had happened to Ab but he never told me until after he was wearing a chastity device and lines of communication became more honest and open. He told me that it was embarrassing to admit. The fact that he needed twenty-four hours to recover between orgasms was like a great big stamp on his forehead that said, “I’M OLD.”

Because Ab is a man, he likes to masturbate. See Thumper’s quote, above. My husband is no different. The problem that was creeping into our sexual relationship, largely unknown to me, was that he’d masturbate in the morning. If we then had sex in the evening, we often experienced a poor-quality erection and unsatisfying orgasm. I didn’t understand why because he wasn’t ‘fessing up to his refractory period and masturbation earlier in the day. This misunderstanding led to confusion and yes, hurt feelings. Some days, he’d hold off in the morning, anticipating sex in the evening. If that didn’t materialize, he’d be cranky, leading to more misunderstanding.

The pattern became an unfortunate cycle that I can see clearly now but was clueless at the time as to what was going on.

Factor into this two more things: I thought Ab wanted to orgasm because that’s what I thought was always the desired outcome for any man, especially my husband. Ab in his own mind was moving towards a more chaste experience and would say to me, “What makes me happy is to make you happy.” For whatever reason, he had come to recognize that he didn’t need to orgasm every time we had sex. But I didn’t/couldn’t really believe it so as a consequence, we were working at cross-purposes, which further exacerbated the misunderstandings between us.

Put on a chastity device, take his orgasm out of the equation and suddenly I could trust what he had been saying to me for the past few years. “My pleasure is your pleasure” became the truth and something I could accept and believe.

So, tying this back to Thumper’s post…when a man says, “We agreed I played with myself more than I should” (which makes Thumper’s teeth grate), he is not necessarily reflecting an attitude that masturbation is bad, nasty, or something to be ashamed of. Rather, the “playing too much” in the morning (or whenever) manifests itself later in the day as an unsatisfying sexual encounter for the couple for the reasons I have outlined above. Some women like to throw porn into the mix, ie, the idea that the man is fantasizing too much about the hot women he’s looking at on the Internet and this damps down his desire for his wife. I don’t buy this argument (this presumes, of course, that the man loves and desires his wife. If that is gone from the marriage, that’s a whole other issue.). I think it is a physiology problem, pure and simple, but one that is difficult for men to admit to and, for the reasons I outlined above, may result in a cycle that is difficult to break. Thus the couple may use chastity as a way to deal with the problem.

The shorthand for explaining the situation might be, “I was addicted to masturbation,” or “I played with myself more than I should.” The reality is more complex.

I find Thumper’s comment (referring to masturbation), “It’s natural and it’s fun and, yeah, I miss it,” interesting. Compare that to this comment on Cricketed’s blog, another man who admits that issues with masturbation were part of what brought he and his wife to chastity: “I can’t even imagine masturbating anymore. The idea of it strikes me as ridiculous, to tell the truth.” Obviously, these are two ends of a continuum. I sort of wonder where Ab sees himself now on that line, and where he’ll be six months from now, or a year. Time will tell.

Another comment on shorthand language: I have written here and there that we are using chastity as a way to address what might be described as an erectile dysfunction (ED) problem. Note that Ab has not been to the doctor and received a formal diagnosis of ED. I am using the term more as shorthand for “poor quality erections as a result of a long refractory period which is exacerbated by daily masturbation, usually in the morning.” Phew, that’s a mouthful! One outcome I am hoping for as part of our experiment with chastity is that both erectile and ejaculatory quality is enhanced as a result of this period of denial. I am firmly of the mind that his quasi-ED is rooted in masturbatory behavior and doesn’t have another organic cause. But I may be wrong and if so, we may choose to seek out medical consultation to address the issue. However, given that I am not seeing any signs of alterations in testosterone levels nor am I seeing any s/s that would suggest his prostate is enlarged (another common cause of ED), I was not willing to immediately jump to a medical solution to what might be a fairly simple and easily treatable problem. I’ve said it before: I believe that too many people have a tendency to immediately accept the pharmacological intervention, when there may be a non-pharm option that works just as well, without the attendant issues of introducing medication into your system. This is what we are trying.

As always, comments are welcome and encouraged.

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Comments»

1. RogueBambi - October 15, 2010

Good post! I have my own view, and I have sometimes handled the issue of masturbating in my own blog Past the hurt. For my husband and I, I think, it’s been a two way street. I, also, have sometimes excessively masturbated and thus made matters worse between us by being unable to fully enjoy while we’ve had sex. And also couldn’t confess. And I relate tremendously to your husband for this part: Some days, he’d hold off in the morning, anticipating sex in the evening. If that didn’t materialize, he’d be cranky, leading to more misunderstanding. Yeas, that’s me. And I feel childish and selfish for behaving like that. (But I still won’t go chaste!)

Wonderboy on the other hand seems to need a certain amount of masturbating (yes, he is quite young) to fully enjoy our sex life. It enhances his sexual wellbeing. I talked about that, adn masturbating altogether in my post Masturbating is like dreaming.. Sorry to link, but I don’t want to flood your comments. 🙂

devotedlvr - October 15, 2010

Hi RogueBambi, and welcome to the blog. Thanks for your comment and linking is fine, no need to apologize.

Since I am not much of a masturbator, the problem that you are describing (and which Ab has, too) has not been much of an issue for me. But, being a more-or-less non-masturbating woman has worked in a different negative way for me: I have a very hard time achieving orgasm and frankly, if I had practiced more on myself over the years, I might be more proficient. But I haven’t and thus I am not. Chastity, so far, has been beneficial to me in in that I am focusing more on my own feelings and sensations and becoming more aware of my own orgasmic sensations. That has been a big step in the right direction.

D

2. david - October 15, 2010

Agreed. Men who masturbate are …. just men. However, considering the dopamine/prolactin/oxytocin cycle, should we dismiss masturbation simply as “men being men”? In light of the hormonal changes in the brain, perhaps we should take masturbation (or all unauthorized orgasms) as a serious breach of the marriage vows. I am NOT casting judgement on AB. Lord knows I have my struggles with masturbation, too. But now I see male masturbation as an act that prevents a man from doing his best to be a good husband.

devotedlvr - October 15, 2010

Hi David,

I can just hear Thumper screaming in the background, “When I said ‘I do’ I didn’t say ‘I don’t’ to masturbation!” LOL.

Seriously, I think for many men, the age-related changes of sexual function are one of the hardest things for them to accept and admit. Ab knew he was dealing with this refractory/recovery problem long before he admitted it to me—at least 2 years, maybe more. For us, it was chastity that brought the issue out into the open.

If a man can masturbate X times a day and still have the reserves so that he and his wife can have a mutually pleasurable experience on the same day, then I say, have at it and more power to you. It’s when the masturbation begins to interfere with that mutually pleasurable experience that the couple needs to step back and say, “What exactly are we dealing with here? And how do we address it?”

D

david - October 15, 2010

Dev,

Your pragmatic approach is much appreciated. Like you said, as long as his masturbation does not cause you to become unsatisfied, have at it. I will not disagree with that premise and conclusion.

However, given that it is generally well accepated that the prolactin effects on the male last about 7-14 days is it OK to accept less than the man can offer?

I know that is a rhetorical question and that each of us are different. My own feeling is that I owe my wife my gosh darned best sexually. Now I realize that I can only accomplish that by diligent chastity.

The “Devotion Refractory Period” (DRP) certainly shows some interesting math. As with Sarah Jameson and Kelmag, a two week DRP would make a monthly orgasm akin to almost half a year at less than a husband’s best.

Tonight I am going to share Kelmag’s Science post with my wife.

3. devotedlvr - October 15, 2010

I know that is a rhetorical question and that each of us are different. My own feeling is that I owe my wife my gosh darned best sexually. Now I realize that I can only accomplish that by diligent chastity.

Since we are being rhetorical…is that what you truly believe or are you using science and math as a way to justify your chastity kink? I am not trying to be judgmental but I know you posted that you are looking at very long-term orgasm denial—up to a year. That’s fine if that’s what your wife wants, too, but if you are driving it by arguing that “I’ll be a better lover because of this!” and she wants a little naked cock playtime more often than annually, I think you need to carefully examine your motivations. Just a thought.

D

david - October 15, 2010

Dev,

Forgive me for omitting some necessary background. Your points are well taken. There is always a danger of applying our own perspective to situations in general.

In my particular case: my wife simply does not care for intercourse. She finds my semen a messy annoyance and she states clearly that she doesn’t really get a particular enjoyment out of my orgasms. (in sharp contrast with you and AB) As a result, for my wife my orgasm clearly detracts from her enjoyment and adds nothing for her. Therefore, your earlier premise of “as long as there is no harm” is not satisfied in the case of my wife and me.

She and I have had frank discussions about this. When I asked her how long she thinks I should ideally be in chastity, she replied, “Oh, it’d be great if you can go a whole year. I’d love to see that.”

It does seem as though science supports our kink and her wishes.

Thanks for the thought. I welcome the careful eye.

4. mikecb - October 15, 2010

Dev,

I think, from the male perspective, that masturbation can lead to a codependent tailspin in a sexual relationship. Certainly in the case of my own marriage, my wife really never enjoyed sex much, and as she aged, her libido tailed off to nothing. Masturbation was the only way for me to stay sane. After a time, I realized that I gave to myself better than she ever gave to me. This led to even more of a sexual tailspin. Why bother trying, and trying, and trying to get her interest in sex, only to have a mediocre experience at best, when I could live out my fantasies with my own hand and enjoy the orgasms thoroughly?

So yes, it was just a man being a man, but by chronically masturbating, I further compromised the sexual side of my marriage.

mikecb

5. thumper - October 17, 2010

I find Thumper’s comment (referring to masturbation), “It’s natural and it’s fun and, yeah, I miss it,” interesting. Compare that to this comment on Cricketed’s blog, another man who admits that issues with masturbation were part of what brought he and his wife to chastity: “I can’t even imagine masturbating anymore. The idea of it strikes me as ridiculous, to tell the truth.”

I’m a fan of Cricketed, but he and I are in very different places. Masturbation will never strike me as ridiculous, and even less so the longer I’m locked up.


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