“My wife is leaving me. This is really bad,” he said in an urgent message on my voice mail this weekend.
“Why is she leaving?” I asked when I reached him.
“Because she found out I was looking at porn,” he said to me, filled with shame. “This is really bad.” His wife checked his Internet browsing history and was shocked to discover the different porn clips he had been watching over the holiday. And if he was watching porn, she extrapolated, he must have also been masturbating.
His wife immediately took on the frame of a scolding mommy – shaming her naughty-little-boy for looking at nasty images, while playing with that dirty thingy down there – perspective. She expressed that his masturbating was a total violation of the spiritual, sacred intimacy of their relationship. She wanted a divorce.
He accepted this frame and immediately went into – guilt, shame, and humiliation. For him, this experience was the death of the relationship. He had been outed and things could never go back.
Shame, guilt, and humiliation often walk hand in hand with spirituality, religion, and relationship beliefs – triggering strong emotions in the body regarding self-loving-sessions.
From closed minded perspectives, an event like a guy beating off to porn can be seen as a nuclear weapon exploding within the context of a monogamous relationship.
A partner finding out about the hidden porn use means that
The relationship is bad.
The offending partner is not being pleased by the other partner.
Trust has been compromised or even killed.
Neither partner is truly satisfied.
None of these are true, of course. Hiding masturbation activities may be a simple as not having the skills and abilities to communicate our own personal needs and desires openly.
Self pleasure is part of life. My advice to my friend? Show your wife. Share the experience with her. Let her see what your masturbation ritual is like. Her ideas and imaginations about what you are doing are far worse than what’s actually happening. Share the porn that really turns you on.
Immeasurable amounts of pure pleasure can be experienced through sharing our deepest sexual needs and desires.
As Masturbation Month comes to an end, I want to remind you that masturbation is not a destination, rather it is a continual journey of self exploration, self esteem, and pure pleasure.