So, it turns out that British people are really quite fond of solo sex. In fact, 61 per cent of British people (admit to the fact that they) masturbate, with one in ten of us doing it at least three times a week – that’s more than any other country in the world, according to Tenga.
But despite our record levels of self-love, there is still some serious anxiety about masturbation. And some people have even gone so far as to wonder whether masturbating can actually be considered cheating when you’re in a committed relationship.
‘Is it normal for guys to masturbate in a three year long relationship?’ one user asked on the Facebook group Truly Twenties. ‘If they do, how does it make you feel? I’m pretty sure I just walked in on my boyfriend having the time of his life in bed and as soon as I walked in, he stopped and turned his phone off. I actually don’t know if I care or not. I deffo feel a bit weird.’
What to do if you walk in on your boyfriend masturbating...
If you're in a heterosexual relationship and walk in on your boyfriend masturbating, it’s normal to be a bit surprised. Especially if (like one friend who once confided in me) you’d just finished having sex, gone downstairs to get a piece of toast, and come back to the bedroom to discover them already back at it on their own.
But the important thing to remember here is that masturbation is not a betrayal, and it doesn’t imply that you’re not sexually desirable to your partner. There could be a number of reasons they decided to go solo in that moment. Maybe they had a sudden human urge, or maybe they think a dress rehearsal will help them last longer later. But the easiest way to figure out what’s going on is to simply ask.
As usual, communication is key. But be prepared for an answer that’s no more illuminating than: ‘Because it feels good, and I like doing it’. Just as our partners sometimes miss the mark in bed, women can’t be expected to meet men’s sexual needs 100% of the time. That. Is. Normal. And having sex with yourself is just different.
Is masturbation cheating?
Masturbation has been shown to have a positive effect on relationships. It can improve libido, keep us in tune with our fantasies and help us learn what we do and don’t like in bed, so we communicate effectively with our partners for a more exciting and satisfying sex life. Essentially, everybody wins.
Touching yourself is definitely not cheating, it’s a normal and healthy part of being human and many of us use it as a form of self-care. In fact, 81% of people who said masturbation has a positive effect on their life in Tenga’s survey also said it improved their relationship or marriage. So, the two things go, er, hand in hand.