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10 Things You Need to Know Before You Feel Threatened By Your Partner Masturbating

15/03/2015 18:48 GMT | Updated 15/05/2015 10:59 BST

1. Some people feel very threatened by the idea that their partner feels the need to seek solo sexual satisfaction within a relationship. After all, if they can have sex why do they need to masturbate? This argument ignores the obvious truth that sex and masturbation are completely different experiences. Only a deeply insecure, or morally absolutist person would allow themselves to feel jealous of a practice that is the sexual equivalent to scratching an itch. Rational individuals recognize that masturbation is a private matter and as long as it doesn't interfere with a persons desire for sex, it doesn't need to be policed.

2. The moral arguments against masturbation stem from centuries of pseudo-scientific nineteenth century nonsense about going blind and growing hairs on the palms of the hand. These scare stories were fully endorsed by the Christian right. For example, when Kinsey published details about the techniques women used to masturbate in the early 1950's, the American evangelical Christian Billy Graham wrote, "It is impossible to estimate the damage this book will do to the already deteriorating morals of America." The furore lead the Rockefeller Foundation to withdraw it's support for Kinsey's research.

3. It was only in 1972 that The American Medical Association finally pronounced masturbation to be a 'normal' (Rowan, 2000), however the Catechism of the Catholic Church still condemns masturbation as being an "intrinsically and gravely disordered act".

4. And despite the fact that countless medical professionals and sexual health authorities have proven that solo sex can be beneficial to one's physical, emotional, and sexual health, and is also a healthy adjunct to a sexual relationship, countless individuals still grapple with feelings of guilt about their own masturbatory habits (Davidson and Moore, 1994).

5. Approximately 50 percent of women and 50 percent of men who masturbate feel guilty about it (Laumann, et al., 1994).

6. Couples rarely talk about private masturbation, but not talking about it doesn't mean its not happening. Most people do not stop masturbating when they're in a sexually satisfying relationship.

7. In fact people who have regular sex partners, live with their sex partners, and/or are married, are more likely to masturbate than people without sexual partners and/or who live alone (Michael et al., 1994).

8. And that's a good thing because within a relationship, masturbation has been shown to promote higher levels of marital and sexual satisfaction (Hurlbert and Whittaker, 1991)

9. The foremost reasons adults give for masturbation are to relieve sexual tension, to achieve physical pleasure, to have sex when partners are unavailable, and to relax (Laumann et al., 1994).

10. Solo sex is largely considered to be an adolescent preoccupation, but as people age, masturbation can become the primary means for sexual expression if partners become ill, or people find themselves single after death or divorce (Crooks and Bauer, 1983).