Hooked on Masturbation?

It’s time to answer a reader’s question!

Question: So, I have a small issue with my boyfriend, and I’m hoping you could help me. Well, we’re in college, and we've been together for about six months now. Every time we have sex, he can’t get off unless he jerks off while watching me play with myself. I can’t help but think it’s me, but he constantly says it isn’t and that it has nothing to do with me. I don’t know if it really is me or if he just has a problem. He’s been to the doctor, and they’ve said it’s nothing. Help me!

Answer: I have several thoughts. First, it’s not uncommon for women to assume that they’re the cause of relationship problems, especially those that occur in the bedroom. Try if you can to not fall into that pattern. Remind yourself that whatever your boyfriend is processing likely has nothing to do with you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t help him try to get to the root of the problem or find solutions for it, though, as you’re currently doing.

Secondly, I’m wondering what type of doctor he visited and if it was really about this problem. Knowing how doctors and patients are often reluctant to talk about sex, I have a hard time imagining a college-aged male either going to a doctor about this issue or bringing it up in an unrelated appointment. 

Since he's able to get off, I don't think the problem is hormonal, although I'm not a licensed health care professional. My initial thought when I read your question was that your boyfriend might be so used to masturbating that he has trouble reaching orgasm without doing so. I would recommend that he stop masturbating for a month. If he enjoys watching porn, I also advise that he stop doing so. That might make it easier for him to come when he is having sex with you.

Another idea is that 75% of women can’t orgasm during vaginal sex without clitoral stimulation. It’s possible that your boyfriend feels as though mutual masturbation is more likely to please both of you or that he doesn’t feel entirely comfortable having sex or pleasing you. That’s normal for people of any age, but especially those in college. How much have you talked about what turns you on, fantasies and what you enjoy the most sexually? Opening the lines of communication might improve your relationship emotionally and physically.

Finally, is there anything that would cause him to view sex in a negative way? Is he or his family very religious or conservative? Is it possible that he’s been a victim of sexual abuse? If the other suggestions don’t work, it might be worth asking him generally if he feels guilty or shameful about sex. If there are deeper issues that he's processing, he might need to speak with a therapist or trusted love one.

I hope that this is just a phase and that the situation improves in short order. Good luck!

Okay, readers, what did I miss?

Have you or your partner ever dealt with something like this?

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