Male partner masturbation habits

Hi there.

So, a few months ago I took a big leap and decided to move in with my (very) long distant relationship boyfriend so we could see how things went while living in the same country for the first time.

I’m very, very open about sex and I’m all about communication but there’s one thing I haven’t been able to talk about because I’m not sure how it makes me feel.
My partner (a cis-man) masturbates several times a day, especially when I’m in bed with him. Sometimes it’s when I’m sleeping-and I don’t always appreciate being woken up by the bed moving-and that bothers me. I also feel a bit uncomfortable at times when I’m awake in bed with him and don’t feel like engaging in any sexual activity and he asks for “a little help”-and even if it’s in form of a kiss of letting him touch me, I find it very annoying that he expects me to be a part of it, even passively, when I’m clearly not engaging.

It’s his home and I don’t want to say where or when he can masturbate, obviously. But I feel the line is so blurry because he feels so comfortable just getting his cock out and doing his business whenever he wants and… I don’t want to overreact and get up and leave and ruin this for him, but at the same time sometimes I wish I weren’t there?

I’d appreciate some insight from people who live with their partners because, in case it’s not clear, this is my first time co-living.

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Hey partygirl! Here’s my take. If you’re living together, you’re now sharing your space and your time together in a much greater way. You saying “Sometimes I wish I weren’t there” is a red flag for me. It’s as much your home as his now that you are living together. If something bothers you or makes your uncomfortable, I feel like you should speak up. As much as you’re adjusting to his lifestyle, he’s got to give a little and adapt to you too. You’ve got a right to say no to anything sexual (and anything at all). It’s okay for him to ask for “a little help,” as you put it, but you can turn him down, and you are totally within the right to ask him to keep it down and not wake you up in the middle of the night.

Speaking from experience - I have a higher sex drive than my partner, but she’s not super comfortable with me taking care of business while she’s asleep in the same bed for her own reasons. I recognize that as a boundary for us, together, and just don’t do it. Her feeling comfortable and safe with me as a partner is more important than me getting off in bed occasionally. Boundaries in any long-term relationship are important and the only way we can become aware of them is through talking about them. What seems like obvious body language to one partner can be totally missed by the other person–which sounds like it’s happening in your case.


Hey Chu, thanks so much for your input. Being a sexual assault survivor, this whole process of living together and sharing a space has been a journey for both of us.

I’ve come far as in learning how to communicate my boundaries in a non-aggressive way (without shutting myself down, without making him feel inappropriate for wanting to engage with me, his partner, sexually, etc.) and it’s been healing, honestly. In order to feel safe I would always need everything to happen in my own terms and that wasn’t always kind or gentle on my partners, my “all or nothing” approach. My biggest fear in addressing this is that he will feel shamed for his sexuality in his own home (which is mine too, true), and I don’t want that. He’s understanding of my sexuality and been open regarding my kinks, etc.
And problem I’ve had with male partners before is how they’ve received “feedback” on their behaviours or when I raised our relationship dynamics (always feeling like it’s criticism). My current partner ultimately listens but at first he gets defensive, so it makes me want to think twice when I need to communicate things such as this.

Thanks again!

Hi @partygirl!
I’ve dealt with a similar problem however my libido decreased and my partner desired for me to engage in activities with him when I wasn’t aroused. I understand that what you’re feeling and experiencing can be very frustrating especially when you don’t want your partner to take personal offense to your disinterest.

Perhaps try to communicate with your partner at a time where he is not engaging in sexual activity and tell him how you feel. Reassure him that your lack of desire to be involved in those situations is not due to your own disinterest in him sexually, but that you feel there is a time and a place to engage in such behaviors (if that is the case). You could possibly ask him to ask you if you’re interested or willing to engage in certain romantic behaviors/contact before he begins touching himself, and if you are not interested ask that he touch himself in a space by himself if it makes you uncomfortable.

It’s best to be clear about what your intentions are and assure him that you aren’t desiring for him to avoid including you entirely- just that you feel overwhelmed with the amount of sexual/romantic contact he is requesting because of your own personal habits. I would advise though that you consider coming up with compromises or ideas that make you feel comfortable and also validate his sexual needs/desires. These compromises can be based on anything you two agree to, just makes sure you’re both satisfied with the resolution.

Coming to a partner asking them to change their personal habits that they may be comfortable with and that they may think you’re also comfortable with can inspire frustration and feelings of rejection, so it’s best to be both as considerate and open about your desires as possible.

I hope this somewhat helps! I understand that approaching partners about their personal/sexual habits can be scary but if you continue to feed into his habits without voicing your own concerns/desires, your frustration is likely to build to a breaking point and you could end up leaving your partner rejected and bewildered as they believed you were aligned with their habits all this time. This bewilderment can escalate to a fear of rejection, avoidance of intimate contact, and potentially the end of the relationship because they are unsure if they can trust your agreement/consent in an intimate situation.

@chu2 also makes a good point that you are just as valid in stating your disinterest in engaging in sexual activities as your partner is in requesting you to join. It’s a matter of finding a happy medium/resolution that both of you feel satisfied in.

It’s great that you’ve been able to work on your boundary setting as a means of healing/coping with past trauma and as a means to create harmony in your relationships. In this case since you’ve experienced conflict when approaching your partners, it may be helpful to reassure your partner that your desire to change the frequency and expression of certain behaviors is not due to a disinterest in them. Try to explain that your personal habits vary from theirs and in what ways specifically, and ask them what they would like to do in this situation to resolve it so they feel heard. Then proceed to engage in back and forth, constructive dialogue until you come to a resolution you both agree to.


Hey @partygirl! I think you touched on the the magical word “boundaries” which I would like to offer a reframe on thinking to see if it feels like an offering that would be of service to ya. First we have to look at well constructed boundaries are ones that come from a place of empathy love and understanding, this means not only for your partner but for your authentic self. Boundaries born out of this may not be received initially in a way that feels comfortable to the other person but they are authentic to your true self and carry your true power behind them. The way that you’re partner reacts to them is their responsibility and not yours. Framing your boundaries in a way that are soft but clear is a great way to get things out in the open. Saying things like. I love how connected you are to your body and clearly I make you hot all the time but if we can separate our self pleasure and our joint pleasure it would allow me to feel more of your passion for me rather than just being of service to your sexual appetite! Boundaries start well with an ask, gain power with a statement and become absolute with a demand!

Thank you @Lovenlight for laying this out in such a simple and positive way. I agree with everything you wrote, and I had tried all those things. My wording was less specific but I did communicate with empathy and kindness.
I think everyone who replied to this was pretty much on the same page. It is also the advice I would give to all my friends. So…

It didn’t take me long after writing this to realize that I was in a very abusive relationship. I broke things off and fled after learning that on top of treating me like shit when I didn’t want to have sex, he had hacked my social media/email accounts. Things just clicked and became very clear.

I’ve been meaning to take this post down because it makes me feel super embarrassed.

His home or not you are a guest and he should definitely take your feelings into consideration. Just tell him that you dont find him masturbating wrong but there is a time in place for those things. If you dont let him know how you feel he wont know to stop and take it to the next room.