Is it okay to masturbate next to my spouse if they’re asleep?

Jay Dee

Is it okay to masturbate next to my spouse if they’re asleep?

Jun 28, 2017

Today we have a question from a reader asking about using a vibrator in bed next to her husband after sex (when he’s fallen asleep): Hi JD, do you think it’s okay for me to use a vibrator to orgasm next to hubby after he

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Is it okay to masturbate next to my spouse if they're asleep?Today we have a question from a reader asking about using a vibrator in bed next to her husband after sex (when he’s fallen asleep):

Hi JD, do you think it’s okay for me to use a vibrator to orgasm next to hubby after he has fallen asleep after sex? He does give me orgasms during sex a lot of the time. Sometimes he’s finished and I’m content not to have an O so I will just go to sleep. But sometimes I’m all worked up and he’s finished, but I want to O too! I’m not sure if I should suck it up and wait until next time or if I should wake hubby enough to ask if it’s okay? Or just do it! I’m not sure if this is solo sex (not a good idea) or if I’m sharing it with him. I feel like I’m sharing with him, but he’s fallen asleep so doesn’t know! Should I tell him in the morning? I have told hubby before that I would find it really hot to wake up to him masturbating next to me in bed, but that he should make sure to wake me so that I can enjoy him doing it. I don’t want him masturbating alone.

Now, of course my readers love/hate it when I discuss masturbation.  It’s a topic with a lot of contention in Christianity.  I have a feeling this particular question is going to stir the pot up again because of the proximity  of the spouses.  Nevertheless, I’ll share my perspective and then you are welcome to debate it in the comments.

1. Sex should be a shared experience between husband and wife

Those of you who follow this blog know I’m all for sex in it’s many various forms, so long as it’s a shared experience between husband and wife, and no one else.

Can I point to a Bible verse that says that explicitly?  No.  But, I do believe it’s in keeping with the spirit of scripture.

2. Sex should be about sharing and giving

I think we get into trouble when sex becomes about us as an individual.  Sex should be about sharing who we are, knowing our spouse on an intimate level and sharing that experience together.

That’s why, in my opinion, solo masturbation is not okay.  It’s ultimately a selfish act, focused on my needs and desires without sharing them with my spouse.  It’s not that it’s a sin to touch yourself, it’s that you’re doing it for selfish reasons.  Want to masturbate together, go for it.

Is it okay to masturbate next to my spouse if they're asleep?What should she do?

I say talk about it with your husband sometime when you’re not in bed, not right after sex.  Often I suggest talks after sex when oxytocin is high, but the timing is just wrong for this particular conversation.  Chances are he’ll love that you express sexual desire and a need.  It’s not bad to have needs and to want them met, in fact, I think it’s good to share those and invite your spouse to meet them.

Secondly, you can’t really hold him to a double standard.  You said that you don’t really want him masturbating alone, and I completely understand that. I think you’re right to not want him to.  But then you should live by that same standard.  Don’t masturbate alone.  Wake him up and invite him to share in the experience!

Readers, what do you think?  Let us know in the comments below.

P.S. If you have a question of your own, you can ask it anonymously here, or vote for what question you’d like answered next.

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30 thoughts on “Is it okay to masturbate next to my spouse if they’re asleep?”

  1. A says:

    I have a lot opinions on this one because I have been hereand lived this and done this. For me, masterbating next to my spouse had the added benefit of me crying myself to sleep because I couldn’t figure out why my spouse didn’t care enough about me to meet my sexual needs.

    I believe that Jay Dee did a good job answering your question and addressing the issue and hand but one thing he didn’t point out is the fundemental problem here – the ‘selfish husband problem.’

    I’ve also faced this and it led to some very awkward but important conversations. For instance, I needed more sex than I was presently having. Additionally, we made the agreement that Everytime we have sex I get an orgasm – no exceptions. This means that sometimes we cannot have ‘quicky’ sex because there isnt enough time for both of us to orgasm – sex is then rescheduled to when we have more time like we don’t have an event to go to immediately or something like that.

    I think this type of husband behavior is fueled by the idea that men have sex to orgasm whereas women have sex to feel close and connected to their spouses. Sure, the connection is nice and important but so is the orgasm. In fact, I told my husband that I would be will to NOT have an orgasm everytime we have sex if he would also do the same. In practical terms, this would look like us being in the middle of sex when I decide I want to run errands and sex stops, we get our clothes on and go to run errands and neither one of us has an orgasm. Needless to say, sex without an orgasm sounded terrible to my husband so we agreed that we both should have orgasms then.

    I hope this helps but I encourage you to very directly and straightforwardly address this issue because in my experience it only gets worse. Also, be encouraged that your sexual needs are JUST AS IMPORTANT as your husbands needs so keep that in mind as you have these difficult conversations! Blessings to you, sister in Christ

  2. Keelie Reason says:

    In my opinion, it would really help if you and your spouse agree ahead of time that you are both going to stay awake and stick around until the wife orgasms. Having that communication ahead of time really helps both understand the expectations. If your spouse knows that if they finish before you, that they need to take care of you afterwards, it will help them stay focused. I actually suggest that whoever has the hardest time orgasming, should get one first. Then the other person can have theirs. It’s not too often that you orgasm at the same time.

    1. Alex says:

      I was planning to suggest the same thing. An added benefit is that some women have an easier time orgasming again after they’ve already had one.

  3. Mike says:

    I am coming to learn that talking about sex with your spouse is very important. I hesitated to talk and it needed not to be so. Once I found my wife open to conversations about our sexual intimacy, the more and better sex became.

  4. Alex says:

    I would never fall asleep if my wife’s sexual needs were not met. Period. We have an unspoken rule that we both orgasm during intimacy. In 17 years of marriage, this rule has been broken zero times. That said, we both masturbate, solo and together, and I have no issue at all with my wife pleasuring herself. But if it’s to compensate for something she’s not getting from me, then I do have a problem with that (and vice versa). I have always believed masturbation is not a replacement for sex. It is something all to its own and this is why we both engage in it and it’s all OK.

  5. Nick says:

    I have encouraged Heather to masturbate any time, any where. I did so because she has been so sexually repressed for so long I want her to know her body and know what feels good. She’s done it a few times but repression is a powerful trick.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Why does it have to be alone? Why not share that experience? Feels like to compensate for being too far repressed, you overshot and went too far towards self-indulgence when there was a perfectly good middle ground of a shared sexual experience.

  6. K says:

    Can I point to a Bible verse that says that explicitly? No. But, I do believe it’s in keeping with the spirit of scripture.

    I believe we can point to verses in the Bible that is explicit enough and on context along with keeping with the spirit of scripture. In 1 Corinthians chapter 7, Paul is writing to address the topic of sexual relations and sexual immorality. If you read chapter 7:1-5 it sums it up for you enough to know that any act outside of marriage ( two become one flesh/you are one person together in all things, including sexual acts) that it is sinful, self-driven and not “one” or the two becoming and being continuously, in the area of sexual acts ” one flesh”. I do know One flesh is not just meaning sex, it is for all things and areas in and out of one another every day. But for this particular scripture in context it is speaking of sexual relations and immorality. Verse 5 speaks of not depriving one another of this, and if you do let it be only for limited time and in unity of agreement with each other, and then lastly to quickly come back together (sex with each other) so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

    Just because it doesn’t say, ” do not masturbate”, does not mean you cannot see the truth in these very verses that are against and call it sexually immoral and selfish if there is any sexual relations or acts outside of the “one flesh” union sexually. Meaning your body is not yours it’s first God’s then your spouse’s. Also meaning that any type of sex outside of the one on one, husband and wife together sexual acts are sexually immoral and selfish.

    Concerning Married Life
    Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. – 1 Corinthians 7:1-5

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thank you for the support 🙂

  7. Regrets says:

    I was just about to write that I masturbate to not annoy my wife. Our sex life is much determined by her so to not annoy her I masturbate. It’s a way to just stop this annoying itch called sexuality. I never initiate and Lately I’ve been kind of sad and tired and to have sex is so much work with very little result so that’s why I masturbate. I mean its better than buying sex from some whore. And as Paul says we don’t have self-control. At the same time I guess you are right. *sigh* I wish humans could be castrated. I would have loved to not have a sex drive.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Why the option always masturbation or adultery? What happened to self-control? Will we fail sometimes? Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean we should accept the failing. Paul Didn’t say “I do what I don’t want to do, so I give up and am just going to keep doing it.”

      Instead he wrote verses like:

      No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

      For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. – 2 Timothy 1:7

      For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7

      You cannot use sin to avoid another sin. It’s fruitless. You’ve gained nothing.

    2. Jay Dee says:

      As for God taking away your sex drive, I don’t believe He’d ever do that. That would be intentionally damaging you and removing an opportunity to learn self-control. I don’t think He’d do that to someone.

  8. Mike says:

    As a teen I prayed that God would take away my sex drive. It did not happen, but I know how you feel.

  9. Craig Gjerdingen (@cgjerdingen) says:

    Please stop with the masturbation about Masturbation. *Masturbation is fine.* Please stop trying to control what others do with their bodies. My spouse is welcome to masturbate next to me, asleep or otherwise all she would like. And if she would like to wake me for participation or to not need to, that is welcome as well.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      You’re welcome to stop reading them. But as many times as I’ve written about it, people keep asking my opinion. So, I’m going to keep answering.

  10. Libl says:

    This thought has haunted me since we went through a time of sexlessness and sexual denial (hubby would get to orgasm, but he wouldn’t let me orgasm or give me an orgasm…you think not having sex at all us tough on the drive and temptation. Imagine getting to have sex but never being allowed to orgasm!):

    The Bible says that when we are married our focus is on our spouse. But when single our focus is on God. One thing spouses in sexless marriages say is that they don’t feel married, they feel like roommates. If your spouses refuses to act married and have sex with you, they have essentially “divorced” you and you are living like a single person with an unrequited roommate. Thus, be like single people and exercise self control and focusing on God.

    Imagine if every time your urge hits, instead of heading for the shower or the computer screen you got on your knees and prayed, instead.

    Also, I went through a time where God asked me not to initiate, but later He asked me to initiate but to trust Him even in the rejection. The whole, “I stopped asking,” isn’t a healthy dynamic unless it is a God-directed fast.

    Now, I am going to be open and say that I struggle with masturbating, and I am not entirely convinced it is all wrong. But, I do think it is way overused and excused in marriages.

  11. Regrets says:

    Yeah that is true too. I guess it is because sex is such a strong force. I would love not to care about sex. So when all stress, anxiety and pressure from life comes its easy to just take that path. @libl said something about instead taking time to pray but what if you dont feel it helps. I guess that its easier for those who have a healthy christian life, who dont struglle with anxiety/depression/low self-esteem and a bunch of other stuff. Do i wish i could stop thinking about sex and stop masturbating, of course. Its not like i do it because i like it but because its the only thing i feel calms me. I constantly feel guilty for not being good enough, not being “Christian enough”, i constantly feel i suck at everything in life because im a big loser and i constantly regret being married and so on. So i guess masturbation becomes away to just get calm. Do i wish i could get calm with my wife? Sure but it aint her job to make me happy and if she isnt in the mood for sex i cant force her. So thats why i think. As i said, if there was a pill that could release the dopamine that an orgasm could(without it being a dangerous drug) i would love to take that instead of masturbating. But after reading this i have to work on myself. Faith not deeds but i dont seem to have faith enough,

  12. Libl says:

    I do struggle with depression, anxiety, low self esteem, codependency, social anxiety, introversion, and inflammation. Those who are well do not need a physician. Jesus came for the lost, the hurting, the struggling. It isn’t about whether or not prayer helps or fixes things. It is about Jesus Christ!

    When God told me to fast from initiating for a time, I had to trust in Him even if it meant a sexless marriage.

    Sometimes submission means getting down and out of the way so God can deliver the blow to your spouse.

    Sex is a strong force, but not stronger than God.

  13. Regrets says:

    Yes I understand it is about Jesus Christ and now that I am married I understand Paul’s word about marriage, it really makes it hard being only about Jesus Christ. But I understand your point about submitting to God. I need to learn to fear Him more so that i submit even when i feel masturbation is the only thing that will calm me down. I have tried to live perfect before but it only got me where I am now. Tired of hearing all I have to do and even so tired of hearing about hell and how I’m going there that I doknt care anymore. I think one result of me finding relief in masturbation is that I only feel condemnation with God and only feel pressure all the time. Something has to be done all the time. I’m
    Never fine, I’m never good enough, I never love God enough, I never fear Him enough. And in my life I never succeed enough so then masturbation becomes my moment of peace before it all starts over. But I must learn to fear and love again.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That’s sort of the point of Christianity though: that we’ll never be perfect enough. So, stop trying and just start doing it. Yep, you’ll fail. We all do. Just keep trying, not because we can be perfect, but because we are thankful to God for what He’s done and want to show our appreciation.

      A fear of hell won’t get you into heaven. That’s not how it works. That’s not enough.

  14. Steven Green says:

    I wish I never had to masturbate. My wife refuses me often and never allows me sex more than twice a week. I want to be with her every time I need sex and I want to giver her pleasure. She refuses to receive pleasure and often refuses me. Then I resort to masturbation and beg Jesus to forgive me.

  15. Mike says:

    I hear you!! I used to be the same way. Fortunately my wife no longer refuses me. We now have a great sex life and I no longer have to beg for forgiveness. That used to be a bummer. There is always hope, talk to your wife.

  16. Roger Bodenstab says:

    Convos about sex, sexual expectations, desires and even fantasies with your spouse help build intimacy! Don’t be shy. It may be awkward at first, but when you gain confidence and language, it can really keep the sparks flying!

  17. Craig Gjerdingen (@cgjerdingen) says:

    Jay Dee, how would you square this opinion with the negative affects yours creates? Go talk with old guys in retirement homes.

    Or don’t you actually know what your opinion creates… you just have an opinion…..

    http://nypost.com/2017/07/04/how-having-lots-of-orgasms-can-save-a-mans-life

    I’ve always suspected this to be the case! Anti masturbation messages are just as harmful as abstinence based messages.

    Please, everyone… feel free to masturabate!

    I’ll likely keep reading you, but I will also keep offering my opinion on your opinions when I think they are harmful.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Firstly, the study was on ejaculation, not masturbation. Go have sex with your wife. Not having sex? Fix your marriage, because a healthy marriage is also positively correlated to lower risk of cancer.

      Secondly, you should read the study rather than rely on a shock-value piece from a media outlet. The study set out to prove ejaculation lowers the hazard ratio of prostate cancer, and went with the data that supported it, unlike this study which was unbiased and concluded “Our results suggest that ejaculation frequency is not related to increased risk of prostrate cancer”. However, if you look at the data itself in the study your news piece references, you see they left out some information:

      Their benchmark was 4-7 EPM (ejaculations per month). That was their 1.00 hazard ratio benchmark.
      At 0-3 EPM the risk lowered to 0.91 – a 9% drop in risk
      At 8-12 EPM the risk lowered to 0.93 – a 7% drop in risk
      At 13-20 EPM the risk lowered to .81 – at 19% drop in risk
      Above 21 EPM the risk starts going up again.

      So, if you are celibate, your risk of prostate cancer is less than if you are ejaculating 2-3 times per week.

      If you’re serious about staying healthy, then the best bet is to fix your marriage, have sex more than 3 and less than 5 times per week, go vegan, cut out alcohol. That will give you best bet for survival.

  18. Craig Gjerdingen (@cgjerdingen) says:

    What if your not married? what if your wife is unable? what if you have a good marriage and your wife is uninterested? What if you just like it?

    My point is mastrubation is a good part of a healthy sexual life. Not something that is unavailable, lesser, forbidden, etc.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      In response to the single, marriage, whatever: Why masturbation is a problem, whether you’re married or single

      Now, that you like it, that I believe is the most truthful reason you’ve given yet. It’s the same answer I get from people about porn, threesomes, swinging, etc..
      But, “I like it” is not a valid reason to a moral question.

      Single, or married, masturbation teaches you to be selfish and to be self-focused when it comes to sexuality. It bypasses self-control and avoids conflicts that need to be worked through. The only redeeming quality is that “it feels good”, but like so many things in this world, “it feels good” is not a good enough reason.

  19. Zelfyr says:

    I can understand. My wife is a CSA survivor. It’s really hard for her to realize she is a sexual being and masturbation is a common step to healing.

    It will be great if we could do this together but it feels really akward for her to do it alone, so doing it with me is just not possible for her. It will be the following step.

    Grace upon grace… Until we become perfect.

  20. gentle73spirit says:

    I have read that God created sex for *marriage* (& family), and He created *marriage* to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church (*love* – devoted, passionate, sacrificial.) It would follow that sex, while a very powerful drive, was not designed to be an end in itself. Like peace and joy, a good sex life is a by-product of other choices, like building a good overall relationship with one’s spouse (and with God.) Intimacy requires opening one’s heart, awareness, gentleness and willingness to learn and communicate. (Of course, accumulated hurt can tempt us to have an unloving attitude, but that only makes things worse.) Reassurance, tenderness, affirmation, mutuality and clear (gentle, not entitled, blaming or demeaning) communication regarding desires and intention to build a fulfilling marriage help a good-willed wife to be receptive and responsive. Scripture indicates marriage is supposed to be loving. We are supposed to be intoxicated with love and desire for our spouse and be satisfied by them and caring for their satisfaction also. I wouldn’t condemn anyone for a solo release in (hopefully rare) extenuating circumstances. But if a spouse goes solo to deprive or “punish” the other, or just being selfish, or to avoid opening the heart to the spouse, there may be a root of bitterness and possibly hatred. If there is no love in a person’s heart for their own spouse, they probably need to pray and self-reflect about if their heart is right with God. 1 John 1:8. 1 Cor 13:4-7. (This topic brings a whole new angle to these verses… And 1 Cor 13:4-7 practiced in the bedroom could be ahhhhmazing!) Blessings to all.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This was so good to read . My husband and I have only been married a year and we have a 5 month old who is our honey moon baby . Ever since we got married it was like his attraction for me faded and even more as soon as he found out I was pregnant , he barely touched me when i was pregnant and i let it be since i kept gettinf told its a guy thing and they dont want to hurt the baby even though it really hurt me i let it be Now it’s been 5 months since I gave birth and I can count how many times I’ve had sex with my husband in the past year and some months . I’ve told him so many times how I feel like he is being selfish and masturbating with out me or how he doesn’t want to have sex with me and how I have needs also . But still nothing I’m not sure what to do anymore . We had sex about a month ago and that was because I wanted it but it’s been a month since then and it’s because I haven’t bothered him about having sex anymore so I just feel like he doesn’t want me and I just really don’t know what to do. It’s been a so long and I love my husband he is a good man and great father but I have needs and I can’t help the way i feel now . I feel like I want the attention of just someone now .

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