When He Just Needs Release

Women often take offence at this one. I get it, really I do. But it’s real, and being offended doesn’t change it. It might make him hide it, but that’s not making it go away. So…

Sometimes a man wants sex because he needs release. This is not “sex would be nice” or “I need sex”, it’s “IGOTTAHAVESEX!!!” It’s not about romance or intimacy. It’s not even about pleasure. It’s about needing the pressure to go away.

When He Just Needs Release

Some men feel a physical pressure, others think it’s more mental. Odds are it’s some of both. Whatever it is most (not all, but most men) will feel the pressure on occasion, and when they do they just want it to go away.

I realise this is not the kind of sex you want. If it helps, it’s not the kind of sex he wants either. I’ve never talked to a man who likes this aspect of male sexuality, and I think all men would be thrilled to never feel this again. It’s not a good or enjoyable thing, it’s a bad thing. But it is a thing, and the only solution is ejaculating. To try and give you some idea what it’s like – have you ever been so tired you just want to sleep but also so hungry you really need to eat? You would rather fall into bed and pass out, but your stomach won’t let you. You would gladly forgo the pleasure of eating if doing so make your hunger go away.

When your hubby is in this place you can graciously and lovingly help him, you can do it begrudgingly, or you can tell him no. Only one of those three is good for your marriage. 

Feeling a need for release is the result of going “too long” without sex. How long is too long varies from man to man and time to time. Stress will change it, up for some men, down for others. A lot of sexual stimuli can cause it to happen sooner. Age makes this less of a problem as it takes longer without sex to reach this point. 

If he’s making noise about release often, more frequent sex would help. When a man is truly looking for release how it happens is rather unimportant. Anything you do will work and will be appreciated. If he’s picky about what you do, he’s probably not dealing with the need for release. Or he is and he’s being unreasonable about it.

My suggestion is you see this as something you do for him because he needs it and you love him. If he learns you will be reasonable about this it will make him feel very good about you. If he knows you won’t help him, or will make a big deal about it, he’s going to feel something different about you.

And yes, I’ve had women tell me they experience the same thing. I can’t know if this is the case of not, but I’ve never heard a woman express it the way men do. But that could be because they verbalise it differently.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I really wish this were not a thing!

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60 Comments on “When He Just Needs Release

  1. Ok, here’s the thing. A good husband who may need to “use” his wife for release will be so filled with LOVE and gratitude if you let him that it primes the loving pump all that much more for later. Men, NEVER treat your wife like a semen dump, and do your best to make sure she never feels that way.

    Some wives may be ok with him just masturbating the pressure away. Others may not.

    Paul, I, as a woman, feel this. Almost every day I feel intense pressure for release. It is hard to focus on anything else, and I can even feel like I have an upset stomach until I do. If I ignore it long enough, my body will just release on its own with a pleasureless orgasm (contracting of pelvic floor muscles). Or I experience “wet dreams”. I do have an imbalance of hormones, and I do not get to experience nearly as many orgasms as I would like with hubby, and he won’t give them to me. I have to masturbate during intercourse. Perhaps all those factors contribute, but I felt this even before I was sexually active.

    • @Libl – I hear you on making her feel like a “semen dump”. And some decent men hold back out of this very fear.
      I’m not morally opposed to masturbation, but I think it’s a poor substitute for a number of reasons. If that is the couple’s choice I would advise he do it in bed with her so she is fully aware.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Would You Want to Be Married to You?My Profile

  2. My comparison is to my bladder waking me up at 4am and not letting me fall back asleep until I get up and empty it.

    You’re right Paul, this is very unwanted in my life. I could definitely do without it. And you’re right about more sexual stimuli affecting this. There are a number of women at my workplace that wear clothing that leaves little to the imagination, and it’s a daily battle of bouncing eyes and being polite/cordial. I would much rather spend 8 hrs appreciating my wife’s beauty!

    I think that aspect is something many wives don’t realize: how many hours a day is a husband exposed to sexual stimuli from his own wife vs other sources? When he wants to build up memories of her in his mental rolodex to help get him through periods of temptation, is she making it easier or more difficult for him to do so?

  3. There is no better way for a husband or wife to show love than to meet a need of their partner–especially a need that they don’t understand.

    • @BitterSweet — ‘Horny’ to me is when I’ve got an erection and tingling feelings in the penis. ‘Pressure’ is an ache and feeling of ‘fullness’ in the testicles. The closest I can compare it to in something that a female would understand is having to pee or go #2. Not quite to that level (in other words, I’m in no danger of having an accident), but comparable in the way that my body is telling me that something should be done about it soon.

      • @closertotheheart

        I appreciate your description, it helps. But, I’m curious as to why excess sexual stimuli can cause this if it’s not a horny/arousal thing? Does it ever go away by itself, or do you Have to release it?

        Also, I wonder if a man who has had prostate surgery and doesn’t expel ejaculate, still experiences the same pressure and need for release?

        I guess I’m curious as to what causes this phenomena.

        • @BitterSweet

          Honestly, I can’t say why excess sexual stimuli causes this. Perhaps there is a connection between the healthy mind and the generation of sperm/semen. Stimuli, even if not enough to cause an erection, may encourage the sperm factory to get busy. I have noticed that when I’m sick with the flu, I don’t ever feel this pressure even if I’m bedridden for days without release.

          Does it go away by itself? Yes. I can only speak for my own body, but usually I will start to feel this a couple of days after sex or masturbation. If not addressed, it will get worse for a day or two more, then go away. If it continues to not be addressed, the cycle will continue, often with shorter intervals of it “going away”. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the longer a guy waits, the higher the volume and force when release does occur.

          Another interesting thing I’ve noticed with myself is, the more active I am with DW (vs taking care of it myself), the less bothersome the pressure is in between sessions. So if DW and I are getting together every 3-4 days, the pressure doesn’t seem to present itself as much. But if we’re in a dry spell, I find the urge to happen more frequently, and even when I take care of things myself, the pressure seems to come back faster. So if we are active (for example 8x a month), the pressure is almost gone, and never to the point where I need to take care of it in between sessions. But if we are inactive (1-2x a month), I’m fighting the urge to take care of myself much more than 8x a month.

          • @closertotheheart – There is a study that showed a man’s level of prolactin after intercourse is something like 4 times as high as after masturbation. Prolactin is assumed to be what causes our refractory period. Based on that, it makes sense that sex with one’s wife keeps the pressure away for longer than masturbating.
            My experience is much as you describe, and I’ve heard other men say the same.
            Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Would You Want to Be Married to You?My Profile

        • @BitterSweet – Does it go away by itself? Yes and no. It’s a lot like hunger. If you get distracted you may not feel it for a while, but it’s still there. If you go long enough without you stop feeling it. Anyone who has fasted for a few days has experienced this with food. For sex it takes a lot longer.
          I’ve seen a pathologist suggest the pressure is caused by full seminal vesicles pressing on a certain nerve. This would fit with the change with age and explain why sexual stimuli makes it happen faster.
          Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Would You Want to Be Married to You?My Profile

  4. I’m awaiting the comments of “But sex is supposed to be mutual! If I don’t want it I shouldn’t have to do it!”

    • Yep, it should be mutual. While they are having sex so he can get that release, the wife should also get to climax. Mutually satisfying. ;) LOL
      Amy recently posted…Winning the battleMy Profile

  5. One of the things about learning to be a long-rifleman (I still don’t like the term ‘sniper’, too Hollywood these days) is that you have to learn mastery over your body, and I think I may offer an analogue.

    One may be constrained to a hide (a shooting position chosen and camouflaged with the job at hand in mind) for periods lasting up to several days. Movement must be kept to an absolute minimum, and the body HATES this.

    After a few hours it’ like you’re made up of nothing but itch and cramp. To move can be to die (the little people tend not to like long riflemen) but death may seem like the better option.

    The saving grace is the knowing that the body will adapt; the torments of enforced stillness will end, and instead of the numbness one might expect, there’s a new level of ‘alive’.

    It’s not easy to learn (and it IS learned), but once you get to the point where you can ride it out without giving in to the urge to move and scratch, you’ll find a freedom that really has no equal.

    Oh, and if you were wondering about living in a hole for a few days…bottles and baggies. Immodium and a tendency toward constipation are a BIG plus.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 360 – Faith And Hope And Charity, Oh My!My Profile

    • Back at the shooting monastery, so to speak, we also learned how not to respond to stimuli. Bug bites and stings, oppressive heat (or cold), and the odd clueless local urinating on you in blissful ignorance of your presence…none of those can be allowed to give rise to an external reaction. You can’t pretend it didn’t happen, but you CAN learn to simply move on.

      I think there’s a parallel here for sexual stimuli as well. I did spend some time in a real Soto Zen monastery, and there’s a path to becoming dispassionate where unwanted sexual ‘messaging’ occurs, either from society or from an individual.

      It’s NOT a matter of closing your eyes. It’s just the acknowledgement of the stimulus, and the decision to mentally set it aside. Do that often enough and you can physiologically set it aside, as well.
      Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 360 – Faith And Hope And Charity, Oh My!My Profile

      • @Andrew — I can see what you’re saying being helpful in certain marital situations, but under normal circumstances, I don’t feel a husband or wife should HAVE to resort to such lengths to put out the fire.

        • @closertotheheart – It’s not so much ‘having’ to do this as it is making a volitional choice to put out the fires of undisciplined thought and action.

          This is a good exercise ground, so to speak, because putting out the fires of sexual urgency is difficult…and that makes it much easier to attend to areas in which we tend to be undisciplined in other parts of marriage, from drinking to overspending to not doing out fair share of chores.

          Just as it’s the disciplined body that excels in the arena, it’s the disciplined heart that allows us to love fully.
          Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 360 – Faith And Hope And Charity, Oh My!My Profile

      • Very insightful thoughts. Most of us in the Western world don’t learn that type of self discipline.
        Would you suggest meditation as a good place to start to learn mental control?

          • I would imagine that intentionality and awareness of one’s thoughts and actions are exactly what people have to succeed at when they are trying to break an addiction.
            Would you say “the fires of sexual urgency” are similar to the cravings a drug/alcoholic experiences?

              • Am I correct in understanding that you are talking about applying military style self discipline measures to a married man’s desire to have sex with his wife? Good gracious! At some point here, folks, 1 Corinithians 7 does really have to kick in and give a swift biblical kick to the wife to drop her shorts and let the man get his rocks off already.

                This is nothing short of misandrism and gnostic asceticism dressed up as macho BS.

                • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser nor Amy are my wife. If they are offended, then I am sorry. But I don’t love them any more than they love me. My point is again, that expecting a man to learn extreme military-style self control measures when 1 Corinthians 7 has given a plain mandate not to require extreme military-style self control measures is fundamentally immoral.

                  It would be like telling a wife whose husband won’t talk to her to learn how to be satisfied talking to herself in the mirror and stop expecting her husband to talk because he may not be in the mood.

                • Hi Mitch. As some has commented your post here sound very bitter. And people may think you are a bad person but I get it. I understand how you feel. Just last night I felt the same thing. This anger, frustration and bitterness. I was so angry that I had to get it out somehow so I went to Reddit and posted a long rant about how I feel and how I’m angry at all Christians talking about being self-disciplined when sex should be vital part of marriage and it’s hard when you need release and etc. . Some people answered and of course “sexual release” didn’t exist according to them and so on. So I wrote very long comment where I angrily (but not disrespectful) pointed out that sex and sexual desires aren’t wrong as many seem to think. Anyways I really needed that. I needed to get He anger and bitterness out. Today after praying and reading my bible I feel better. I still want sex but I need to be prepared to not have it. But I can’t let the frustration make me a bitter and angry person. You need to get that out and with “out” I don’t mean only writing it or saying it but really get I out. If you have to talk about it or write it do it but don’t let it stay in your heart because that won’t fix anything. I know it’s hard. I have to struggle with it often but for your own sake try letting that bitterness go. Also I don’t know you but try looking at yourself. Is there something you can change that is now hindering a sexual relationship with your wife. Take a good look and even ask if it is necessary. Don’t be blind for your own shortcomings or you will never be able to change. And maybe there has to be a change. If there is do does thing and try to work on them first. If you have done your part and nothing changes then pray. I know it’s not much of a comfort but it can be the only thing you can do. It’s hard and cruel to having the chance to share something as beautiful as sex but not getting it. Pray that God will change your situation and try being faithful for Him wich I guess you are but without the bitterness. I hope there is a special reward for those who are faithful to the end in a sexless marriage. I will pray for you.

  6. reading about this I wonder is blue balls a thing? I know it’s common in popular culture to talk about it but I wonder if it truly is a thing. I have had a porn problem for a long time. Trying to stop but it’s been very hard. my wife rarely wants to have sex. It started a little before her first pregnancy and has been going on for a long time. During this time we had so little sex that I stopped initiating. Porn and masturbating became my release. I loved/hated it. Loved it for the release and hated it for what it was turning me too. It has been a long way but recently I have confessed it to my leaders and elders and i am on the road to freedome now. It feels great and I am so thankful to God for hearing my cry when I felt so lost. I can’t say I’m totally fre because I believe it’s a battle everyday but I am glad that God has given me strength to come this far. That said I really feel the weight of almost never having sex. It’s really hard. I am happy that I am quitting porn and masturbation but I feel sad because I don’t know what to do. Lately I am feeling an aching in my balls. I know it sounds dumb but it’s really aching but I can’t do anything about it. And with this pressure comes the temptations. I have to focus really hard to not fantasize about the attractive women at my job and I try to look at the price : Jesus Christ. Because with my wife I don’t know. Right now I feel a lot of resentment. I felt it while I used porn but always thought it was because I was a bad person and that when I’d quit porn I would only feel love and attraction. Sadly I feel resentment. I have to work on that and I am asking God to help me be the best husband I can be. Even if she would stop loving me I still want to be proud that I tried my best. But what to do with all this pressure, I don’t know. I will seek God and trust that He will help me live pure and wait and wait and wait…

    • @Aching – Yes ‘blue balls” is a thing, but it’s a different thing. If a man is highly aroused for a long time, his testicles can start to ache from the swelling that comes with high arousal. This is most common among young men who “make out” for long periods of time without having an ejaculation. The pain can be relieved quickly by ejaculating, but it will go away on its own more slowly if the stimulation is stopped.

      What you are feeling doesn’t seem to fit that. It could be what I described in my post – some men experience the pressure in their testicles. There is another possibility if your former habit involved masturbating multiple times a day. The body can get used to very frequent ejaculations and step up fluid production to accommodate that. A sudden drop in frequency can then cause a problem.

      By the way, women can get “blue ovaries”. From prolonged arousal without orgasm. But their bodies are not as good at draining away the extra blood when stimulation ends, so they may actually suffer from it for longer than men do.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Friday Flashback: Would You Want to Be Married to You?My Profile

      • Oh ok. I didn’t ejaculate many times a day it was usually only one time but I guess I am so used to it that it has been really hard. It doesn’t get better when my wife wants a massage and I can only stare at her body knowing nothing will happen. Altough I must say that today she was affectionate with me for the first time in a very long time. She held my hand in a really intimate way on our way home. She initiated it and it felt really good. She also asked me if I could hug her while she was going to sleep. She never does that. And it actually eased the pressure. I maybe had an emotional pressure. A I REALLY NEED TO FEEL THAT YOU STILL CARE FOR ME moment. It sound sad that I get all hyped about my wife holding my hand and letting me hug her but sadly intimate moments like that are few so I guess I needed that more than I needed sex tonight. My balls are still aching tough. But I guess thats normal after 38 days without sex.

      • Uh, blue ovaries?? The ovaries have nothing to do with sexual arousal. The vagina and the internal organs of the clitoris become engorged with blood during sexual arousal and those are the areas in which women will experience a full achy feeling if orgasm does not occur.
        Amy recently posted…Winning the battleMy Profile

        • Sounds to me like your leaders and elders need a follow up visit from the wife to confess her sin of sexual refusal and/or gatekeeping. If you are man enough to give up your sin, she should “woman up” and give up hers.

          But of course our churchians don’t do accountability groups for sex refusers. That’s because our churches don’t do accountability for women in general, preferring to pander to them with self-esteem building. Your wife’s behavior is atrocious and you should stop giving her a free pass. Until you man up and confront her sin, however, you can look forward to a long future of blue balls until your testosterone drops to eunuch levels. But at least you won’t be looking at porn, and that is something.

          • Well as you said. My church doesn’t talk about sex so it’s to no use. It’s not that my wife is a bad wife. Sometimes I feel hurt because she isn’t so affectionate with me. I wish she would hug me more, want to cuddle more and kiss more and of course more sex. Right now it’s a little hard because she is pregnant and i know that every women reading this will say that i should understand, she is carrying your child etc. And I understand this, the thing is that I didn’t want to have kids. I wanted to wait after the last kid because I feel like I lose her. With the pregnancy and then taking care of the kid we don’t connect anymore and that makes me so sad. I know I may sound like a child but I want my wife. I love kids and come from a big family but I wanted to wait so we could get to now each other. Build a healthy foundation in our relationship and also with our finances. She didn’t think the same. She wanted kids ASAP and I even suggested using condoms but she said they hurt. And when we were going to have sex she used to say with a bitter tone that I could get a condom if “I wanted to” because she wanted to get pregnant. I have always been someone you can push over and she is a person who always gets what she wants. I caved in (hard to say no to a beautiful naked woman) and she got pregnant. I hear other people being so excited about there child, even saw a guy posting that he cries tears of joy when he saw his child for the first time. I on the other hand don’t even talk to the baby in the stomache. I just can’t do it. And Everytime she has pain I just feel anxiety. Not another kid. More financial struggle. We barely have space where we live and even more distance. We won’t have sex in at least 1,5 year. I don’t think I would feel this way if we would have waited until we both were prepared. I always thought I would want a lot of kids but now I don’t know. I don’t even want to imagine her being pregnant again after this child. Sorry for rambling but I can say that confronting won’t solve much. She has control over our sex life. It ain’t much I can do. I want to continue to be free from porn and masturbation. My goal is to be faithful in everything and if God wants me to go through this suffering I want to do it in a way that makes Him proud. I won’t always make it but I want to try.
            You seem very bitter Mitch and I understand you. I pray that God will show you the way to handle all of this. If you feel the need to vent what you feel there is a really good community on Reddit called r/deadbedroom where people confess and tell their stories of rejection. As a Christian many comments aren’t worth listening to because some people tend to say that one should divorce ones spouse but others encourage you. I hope someone’s starts a Christian deadbedroom community where people can pray for and encourage each other. Just to be able to write about what one is going through and see that people care helps very much. Has helped me at least.

              • “You seem very bitter Mitch and I understand you.”

                The accusation of bitterness is a deflection from the real issue. Is or is not your wife accountable for her sin? The answer is clearly NO. Will your church confront this sin the way it has confronted yours. The answer is clearly NO. The next question is – Why? Why is the sin of refusal off limits to correction but the sin of porn is deemed a divorce-worthy offense?

                This is a simple matter of principle. Either the church believes 1 Corinthians 7 means something or it doesn’t. The passage seems to hit women hard. They get very defensive and resentful when the passage is read to them. The usual litany of excuses is rattled off. Insensitive husbands bullying their wives into having sex when they’re not in the mood. Rape culture and toxic masculinity get thrown in there.

                But the real reason is that women are ALSO sinners who want to control their husbands. Read Genesis 3:16 (New Living Translation). “Your desire will be to control your husband.” That was part of the original curse on Eve. “But he will rule over you.” That was also part of the original curse on Adam and Eve. And that rule is often not benevolent.

                Your wife desires to control the sex in your marriage because she is in a state of sinful rebellion. She is violating the covenant of marriage and is defrauding you. You are now the victim of her sin the way she USED to be when you were looking at porn.

                So now the shoe is on the other foot, but the church gets all squeamish when it comes time to deal with chronic habitual sin. Stop accepting injustice. You cannot force your wife to have sex with you. But you can end the reign of error that allows her to sin with impunity with no pushback from you.

                While it would be sweet revenge, however, I would not advise that you do to her what wives often do to sinning husbands, which is to rat her out to her friends and family. Wives tend to throw their husbands under the bus without even a thought. But imaging what would happen if you told her friends you haven’t had sex in a year and a half.

                They might try to blame you for it. But it would still put her in a very difficult spot. But, again, don’t do it because you don’t want to sink to her level. What I would do, however, is ask your pastor a simple question. What does he do for spouses who are being sexually refused? Accountability? Church discipline? Or apathy? Put it to your pastor and see what he says. Consider it a social science experiment if nothing else.

                • @Mitch – I agree churches fall short on how they deal with sex. However, your approach is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Making 1 Cor 13 a verse to pry a wife’s legs apart requires ignoring pretty much everything else the Bible says about married sex and the things it tells men to do. Beyond that, the resulting sex has nothing to do with the kind of sex a mature, healthy man wants.
                  As for Gen 3:16 – your interpretation (and that of the NLT) that women would desire to rule over their husbands, this didn’t exist until the 1940’s. It was proposed by a woman as an answer to the 2nd wave feminist movement. It was a radical new reactionary concept based on bad eisegesis and a lot of presupposition.
                  Then you say a husband’s rule is “often not benevolent.” While this is true, it’s not right, and it is in violent conflict with what the Bible tells husbands to do and act.
                  Paul Byerly recently posted…God’s Centerfold GirlsMy Profile

                • My pastor has begun a Biblical marriage study for couples, married or engaged. While meeting with him about other items the other day, I reminded him that whatever else may be said during the study, the elephant in the room is marital sexual relations.

                  I told him my story of sexual refusal by my wife, and how God brought us both to the other side with restored sexual intimacy. I recommended that he plainly deal with sexual refusal as sin. In discussing sexual sin, Christians are (rightly) condemning porn, adultery, homosexuality, etc. But the sin of sexual refusal is NEVER mentioned.

                  By the way, I’m convinced that the pressure at least I experience is from full seminal vesicles. They produce the bulk of semen, and they start filling up again very soon after ejaculation.

              • Oh ok I couldn’t really find where that was. I still recommend r/deadbedroom. People post there everyday and it may be sad to read but sometimes there are positive things. It’s nice to have someone to talk to sometimes. People even post tips on how to keep going.

          • I only found the term in a couple places because I was curious about your comment. And I was mainly clarifying what happens in a woman’s body when she has become highly aroused and there is no orgasm. I felt the term ‘blue ovaries’ misleading whether you came up with it or not, because other than making and releasing eggs once a month, the ovaries are not involved in sexual arousal. That’s not where her discomfort is.
            Actually, ‘blue clit’ would be way more correct and closer to the term ‘blue balls’. ;)
            Amy recently posted…Winning the battleMy Profile

  7. As a woman, i’ve felt something similar to this. The kind of thing that causes me to wake husband up in the middle of the night, or basically grab his hand and show him on no uncertain terms that the direction we’re heading is the bedroom. He’s made me feel safe to do these things, so I can without fear of rejection…or knowing that if he does tell me no, it’s for a really good reason, and that he will make good on it as soon as he is able. Sometimes he meets this need for me without climaxing himself, and though I feel bad for it, he tells me it’s not a big deal. In the same way, when he has experienced this, I help him take care of it, even if I don’t get climax out of it…though that’s rare. But our ultimate goal for each other is that niether of us would get to that desperate state very often. Frequency is a good thing!

  8. Thank you Paul for what you do! I have learned more about how my husband feels and reacts by reading your posts over the last year than I ever could have imagined. I had heard of blue balls, but never understood his need for release. My only question is if it’s reasonable to ask him to go 4-5days without release (a couple times a year). When one of us travels for work. I really have a hard time believing men don’t fantasize about other women when they masturbate.

    • “Is it reasonable to ask him to go 4-5 days without release”?

      Are you really asking? Or was a rhetorical question, kind of like “aren’t you going to clean the garage today like I said?”

      In your defense, however, my wife never asked if I could go 9 months without release. She just makes it happen and expects me to figure out how to deal with it. It’s kind of a don’t ask, don’t tell policy. I don’t ask for sex. And she doesn’t tell me no.

      • Yes, I am really asking. We’ve been working on our marriage the last year and a half and it’s stronger than ever. I just have a lot of insecurities I’m trying to work through. He told me that he used to fantasize about other women when he did masturbate (never was into porn), like after the birth of our kids when we weren’t having sex. This need never occurred to me, and after a birth everything seemed to revolve around the baby. Anyway, we are in a good place now, but it still hurts to think about him fantasizing.

        • My question really goes to the issue of whether a “no” answer would change things. If you ask your husband, “can we please wait until next week?” and he says “no”, what is your response? Generous submission, grumbling concession, or outright refusal?

          If it was generous submission, then I guess I would wonder why ask for the delay in the first place? If it is grumbling concession and resentment or outright refusal, it was never really “asking” in the first place. It was just “telling” in the form of a question.

          As for you hurting to think about him fantasizing, I suppose you are suggesting that your thought life is devoid of fantasies about celebrity hunks, famous athletes, romance novel characters, and soap opera stars.

          Thoughts are difficult to control and when you deny sex to your husband, you are throwing him into the waiting arms of the devil who puts all kinds of thought into a man’s mind, even without porn. The hurt you are feeling ought to be a strong deterrent to you ever subjecting your husband again to the devil’s temptations. Your husband is accountable to God for his thoughts but you shouldn’t make it any worse than it is.

          • If I understood her question correctly, she wasn’t asking whether it’s okay to ask him to go 4-5 day without SEX, she was wondering if it’s okay to ask him not to masturbate when they are apart for 4-5 days because of work. Big difference.

            So yes, I agree with you, thoughts are difficult to control and that’s why she brought up the question because she’s concerned he would be fantasizing about other women besides her if he were to masturbate while they are apart.

            I don’t get the impression she is denying him sex at all. and yes, I think it’s quite reasonable to ask him to wait until he’s home with her instead of masturbating when he’s alone, but she obviously can’t make him wait if it’s that important to him.
            Amy recently posted…Speaking loveMy Profile

    • @Grace — In our marriage, I would be incredibly grateful if a 4-5 day break between sex only happened a couple of times a year. In fact, I’m fighting a lot of envy now as I type this. Our frequency is typically 1-3x a month. There are brief periods in our marriage where more than once a week becomes sort of a regular thing over the period of a few months, before going back to 1-3x a month. But just in terms of staving off the physical ache, I’d imagine him going 4-5 days without release a couple of times a year would not be a big deal at all for him.

      Regarding fantasy during masturbation: when I do take care of things myself, my wife is always the one in my mind. Where I sometimes struggle is fantasizing about her and I doing acts that she doesn’t normally choose to do, or her being much more enthusiastic and engaged than she is in real life.

      • Your wife is lucky. To have you keep her in your thoughts. I honestly wouldn’t mind if he said that he was just imagining me but doing more. Although I would want to know the more to see if it’s something we could try.
        Can I say, I bet a lot of wives don’t realize the need for release.

    • About the masturbating and fantasize about other women I think it depends. Some men only think about their wife’s and I really admire that. I can think about my wife at times but after some time I know other women will come into my mind. Again I don’t believe are like me. But because I have struggled with pornogrpahy since a young age it is inevitable that I will think about that. That’s why I am quitting it even if it’s tempting when you rarely have sex with your spouse. I wrote on the Reddit community r/deadbedroom and when I said I am quitting masturbating some reacted and wondered why. One man told me he hadn’t had sex with his wife in 4 years because she rejected him. He said the only way to get release was masturbating. For the world it may sound dumb not to do it and it scared me when he said 4 years without sex. Hopefully I won’t have to go for so long but even if I have to I pray God will help me look at Him and know that their is a price on the other side.

      • @Aching “But because I have struggled with pornogrpahy since a young age it is inevitable that I will think about that.”

        I don’t agree it’s inevitable. I started to look at porn at the age of 7 and for my entire, marriage I’ve never had a sexual fantasy about anyone other than my wife.

        I think a bigger issue is what closertotheheart said at the end of his comment. It’s difficult to fantasise about a wife who says no most of the time, is less than enthusiastic when she says yes, and limits what the couple does. If you imagine her doing what you want the way you want you’re not really thinking about her because she’s not like that.

        When our sex life was limited, my fantasise about Lori were what I thought the future could realistically be when she go healed and free. It was an act of faith, calling things that are not as if they are. The struggle was keeping it realistic! ;-)
        Paul Byerly recently posted…Involuntarily Celibacy and What to Do About ItMy Profile

        • I guess what you say about it being hard to fantasize about my wife when she doesn’t want sex is true. It will usually just be a version of her that either was or will never be. But since for me masturbating is something sinful it’s best to just avoid it all together.

    • @Grace – Physically 4 or 5 days on occasion is not a problem. The potential issue is what it does to his mind. The longer he goes without release, the more aware he becomes of sexual sights around him, and the more difficult it becomes to tune those out. It becomes increasingly difficult to avoid lust.
      If a man loves his wife, why would he fantasise about another woman while he masturbated? That’s like fantasising about a stale hamburger while eating a perfectly cooked steak. My wife is a perfectly cooked steak – with sauteed mushrooms, and there is no one else I want to think about. I desire her and only her.
      The other option is a bit of phone sex. Or give him some sexy images of you on an encrypted thumb drive.
      If you can’t manage any of those, I’d ask him to wait for you because of your insecurities or fears. Making it about you is asking him to do something for you, which is easier to receive than “I don’t trust you”.

      Hope I’ve not been too blunt – I’m still XY!
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Involuntarily Celibacy and What to Do About ItMy Profile

      • I prefer blunt. :) I like the idea about making it about my insecurities. He is already familiar and sensitive to them.
        I did try taking a couple sexy pics in underwire and texted them when he was on a business trip. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to care (never responded or mentioned them). It was one of the hardest things I have ever done (mentally) and with no comment it felt like a dumb idea. Thanks for the ideas!

        • When my husband is away on business he actually doesn’t like when I bother him sexually because it distracts him from his work and makes him miss me more, which ticks him off. I can always tell when it is getting closer to him being able to come home because he starts to get flirty in his texts.

  9. @Paul — “Or give him some sexy images of you on an encrypted thumb drive.” I had a simpler, less techy idea, but my wife hasn’t gone for it yet: get an old smartphone that is no longer activated, lock it in airplane mode and disable wifi (so no risk of stray image breach), use it to take photos, and password the lock screen. Stuff the phone in his bag, then when he gets to his location, text him the password for the lockscreen.

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