Thursday, October 02, 2014

When the Chickens Come Home to Choke

Warning: this entry deals explicitly with adult matters such as masturbation and marital sexuality.

One of the problems that therapists, counselors, and moralists (including Dr. Laura) will cite with masturbation is when it prevents a husband from making love to his wife. Actually, they usually refer to viewing porn, but they’re really talking about masturbation to ejaculation (which is something else, since men can watch porn without masturbating to ejaculation and vice versa). As the story goes, especially if he's past his mid twenties, a man's refractory period is often such that if he masturbated to ejaculation a few hours ago or earlier in the day, he might not be able to get a sustained erection with his wife.

In reality, even if a man just ejaculated before his wife walked into the room, he could get another sustained erection if his wife plays to his biggest turn-ons. ALERT! POSSIBLE "TOO MUCH INFORMATION" DIRECTLY AHEAD. SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON’T WANT TO READ IT. I remember one evening in my late twenties I was so stimulated I must have orgasmed/ejaculated from masturbation five or six times within a couple of hours (and no, I will not go into further detail).

But... since most wives are not going to put in that kind of effort because it feels silly or weird or is too much work, then yes, her husband masturbating can interfere in their love life.

Dr. Laura says as long as a HUSBAND (men who haven't signed over half of their earnings have different rules) isn't neglecting his wife, he should be free to view porn (again, really meaning masturbate), which basically all men do unless they are successfully involved in some sort of structured effort to avoid it. Note that the average man has more of a sex drive than the average woman. People try to blame porn for a man not being aroused by his wife, saying something is wrong with a man who can't get excited by his aging wife since aging is natural. Well, yeah, something could be wrong with him, but if we're talking nature, we have to note that for most of human history, wives were not overweight or obese, were not ball-busters, and life was lot shorter. As men have lived longer and being overweight and ball-busting become more commonplace, older men more often encountered erectile dysfunction in the marriage, or they found younger, more attractive, kinder women (if they could afford it). A lot of post-menopausal women were just fine with their husband no longer getting it up. Then along came those special pills, and did that ever change the playing field! I digress.

I bring this up to say that I do masturbate. Usually it is every day, just before I fall asleep. It is good for my prostate, it is good for me in general, and helps me fall sleep pleasantly. My wife may walk into our darkened room to use our bathroom, but usually doesn’t, and since it is dark, she doesn't catch me. Not once has my masturbating denied my wife anything she's wanted. She's never asked for lovemaking and not gotten it because I'd masturbated. She rarely comes to bed when I do. It took me a while to figure out I shouldn’t "hold off" on the chance she’d want some lovemaking. She's never initiated a real effort to wake me up for lovemaking, and since our lovemaking, as infrequent as it is, seems to be more than enough for her, she's not being robbed of anything she wants.

You may be reading this, whether you're a fellow Christian or not, and be thinking I have a moral responsibility to tell her or even ask for her permission, or even putting aside the morality, you may think it would be better for our marriage if I did. To that I ask... "Why?" or "How do you figure?" Go ahead and leave a comment. Yes, I know the New Testament writings, saying our bodies belong to each other, but clearly she's delegated my body back to me in this respect. If you think I should be asking her for more lovemaking - I have, and a guy can only take so much rejection and so much feedback or excuses that make him feel like a sucker (for being the sperm donor and walking ATM) or repulsive. I fail to see how telling her I've been masturbating most nights and, given the circumstances, I want to keep doing so, is going to change anything for the better and it will only result in one or both of us having hurt feelings. She has no interest in helping, no interest in watching, no interest in putting on a show for me.

There is not widespread agreement in Evangelical circles about masturbation. Some leading teachers (almost all of them, if not all of them, married) say it's a sin, but they arrive at this conclusion through some thin-ice extrapolating from general Biblical principles, as demonstrated by other Evangelical leaders saying it isn't a sin.

My wife has said she wants to see about changing medications so as to get some of her sexuality back. However, I think back to when she was a danger to herself and her neglect was a danger to our children and I'd rather she stick with medications that keep her from killing herself or our children (or me), as much as I'd  like for her to have a normal sex life with me. Of course the ideal would be to find a combination of medications that would do both (as well as effectively addressing her other issues) but there's no guarantee we'll find that while changing things up.

If only it had been clear before we set up this situation that our current state was a possibility given what realities were already present, rather than having a bunch of things hidden from me. If only. Can you hear the sarcasm?

I noticed in our joint e-mail account that, in referring to something she and one of her friends sees as a shortcoming in me - in how I interact with my son and his behavior - she said she's fine talking about it with her friend's extended family because she's an open person. That's a laugh. If she was an open person about herself we wouldn't have the problems we're dealing with together right now. Being open to her, evidently, means being willing to demean me in front of her friend's extended family. I must bite my tongue. Things would get very, very ugly if I were to be "open" in front of these virtual strangers.

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