Talk to the hand

So, here we are two years in and here I am a blogger with not a lot to blog about because things are going pretty OK. I could talk about how I’m a month in on my three month orgasmless cycle and how Belle’s not letting on as to when I’ll get to come (Before Christmas? This year, even?) or I could write about the night alone in a downtown hotel we’ve scheduled and how it’s way hotter for me knowing that she’s not going to let me come there, but I don’t know…it’s all the kind of stuff we’ve been over before. At the moment, I can’t seem to find a reason to talk about it. Maybe later.

Over on Chastity Forums, however, a new member calling himself Bez introduced himself to us recently. Here’s a snippet of what he said:

About 18 months ago I read about male chastity which I interested me. I discussed the subject with my wife, to my surprise she took some interest agreeing that I did ‘play with myself’ more than I should and she would try being my keyholder.

And that reminded me of something I did want to blog about. And I’ll say right up front that I’m in no way picking on Bez who seems like a very nice, very sincere guy.

If you read Bez’ entire intro and the stories of many, many other men, not only on CF but also on other forums or blogs or miscellaneous online groups, you come to realize that an awful lot of us have similar stories. First, we’re at, around, or over 40. Second, the spark had gone out of our marriages. Third, we turned to chastity to help bring that spark back. Yup, check, check, check. But, overlaying that, and present is Bez’ intro, is the “I jacked off too much” theme. That is almost universal in these stories.

My issue with this is that it’s the man’s masturbatory habits that seem to be implicated as the cause of the marital issues the couples are having. If only he’d stop punching the monkey, it seems, their sex life would still be healthy and they never would have misplaced the spark. Frankly, I find that perspective to be anti-male and anti-sex. I contend that masturbation is not the malady but merely a symptom of a larger issue.

I do speak from experience here. My marriage to Belle had turned sexless after 10 years and I not only turned to porn and masturbation for relief, but eventually a living person. The porn, masturbation, and even the other woman were not the cause of our problems. We were the cause of our problems. Jobs, kids, stress (see jobs and kids), and the unsexy reality of sleeping with the same person for a decade all contributed to us losing focus on that which allowed our relationship to remain strong: our sex life. We stopped trying. Both of us. Yes, I cheated and that was wrong and I’m not trying to lessen what I did, but it was a symptom of a different issue. We stopped trying.

Men, by the way, are different then women. I’m not a woman so I can’t say how it is for them with any kind of certainty, but guys are constantly producing the byproduct of our reproductive systems and are constantly being prodded by millions of years of evolution to get rid of it. We cannot help but find ourselves with the urge to have sex at fairly regular intervals. If sex is nowhere to be found, we know what to do. Luckily, it’s not a chore. Most of us like jacking off. I view it as “sex for one” – clearly inferior to multiple person sex, but still pretty damned good (if you’re doing it right). I abhor any suggestion that masturbation is dirty or wrong or in any way negative because it’s not. It’s natural and it’s fun and, yeah, I miss it.

I also dismiss the idea men turn to masturbation because they’re lazy or can’t control their urges. Like I said, jacking off is pretty good, but sex with another person (especially if that person is someone you love) is almost always better. The prevailing sentiment seems to be that men abandon sex in favor or masturbation all by themselves, as if their partner in the relationship is blameless. This simply isn’t true. It’s a complicated set of events that leads us to that state, but lack of trying or lack of wanting on the guy’s part is not to blame.

So when I hear things like “we agreed I played with myseld more than I should” it makes my teeth grate. Men are not the reason marriages drift apart and their sexuality is not the problem. I am not saying that some men haven’t developed destructive masturbation habits. People can do all kinds of things to excess (from sex to drugs to video games to eating), but most men are not like that. Most men are horny and healthy and addiction has nothing to do with it. Let’s not play the victim card here. Men who masturbate instead of having sex with their wives are not sick or addicted or at fault. They’re just men.

That being said, there are obvious positive attributes from strictly managing a man’s orgasm. Doing so seems to trick the guy’s brain into a tight and (sometimes) intense courtship cycle. It can be a great benefit to some. But, as a wiser man than me has already pointed out, locking a couple hundred dollars worth of plastic on a guy’s dick does not a healthy marriage make. As far as I can tell, the hormonal brain acrobatics are only responsible for a portion of chastity’s benefits. Locking a guy up and then resuming things as they had been is a recipe for disaster.

The single most important reason it works (when it works) is that both of them are focusing on each other again. She “controls” him while his only outlet is her pleasure. In biology, beneficial symbiosis is called mutualism and it’s what happens in a successful chastity arrangement. It’s also the supreme irony: His denial of orgasm leads to a much more fulfilling sex life for both of them. But, even here, the orgasm or his lack of them isn’t the primary driver. It’s the attention he’s getting from her and vice versa. That’s why chastity makes marriages better. Interaction, intimacy, and attention.

At least, that’s my experience. YMMV.

15 thoughts on “Talk to the hand

  1. Your post makes me think strongly of the most recent episode of rules of engagement. I dont know if you watch it, but have a gander at it, as one of the plotlines of one of the couples is specifically about that, how the woman wants to spice things up, but every time she does its “too late” lol. I was almost expecting something along the lines of him not being allowed to do it to come up, but alas, left for wanting

  2. Love this. Utterly love it. Well put, well said, I think this should be included as a foreword to any chastity blog/book/forum.

    Seriously, your point is golden, all praise aside. The reason that chastity seems to “fix” the relationship is because of the mutualism — his dependence on her, her focus on him. Only having his dependence on her doesn’t work, it leaves him feeling forgotten and alone. Having only her focus on him makes for some of the more incredible, unbelievable, highly suspect stories out there. It is the coming together of both locked-up man and playful keyholder (of whatever sex) that makes for an engaging, believable and, more importantly, sustainable relationship between the two.

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts, I hope you won’t mind if I share them (with credit, of course!) over and over again whenever I see the need!

  3. I really like the way you speak about masturbation. I’ve never heard anyone talk about it so fondly. It’s the way I feel about Wonderboy’s masturbation, if everything is good between us. I love to think about him pleasuring himself. It’s so beautiful to think that he can provide so much happiness and be so good to himself. I am yet to think about my own masturbation that way, but I’m getting there.

    To the matter at hand… I don’t really believe in the evolutionary explanation for cheating or masturbating. I see evidents to the contradictory even in your and many other chaste men’s blogs. The urge drops, the hardships to get it up after a long period of engagement etc. It is not, after all, mandatory, no matter what the hormone levels.

    Of course I am mainly basing this on my instinct – because I am not supposed (from the evolutionary perspective) to need to reproduce more than once a month, and I am more than willing to play a little if opportunity doesn’t represent itself between Wonderboy and I. Also, I have read lots of literature contradicting the evolutionary explanation in this regard. Some litearuter states that is was wisest for the woman to gather more than one viable sperm to guarantee the offspring’s survival – and maybe keep a drone home as well to help grow them up. Of course this is all meaningless drivel; it’s not your main argument is it.

    I’m also really happy that you care enough to point out that men’s masturbation is not the evil and the cause for all troubles in any relationship. I also think that that way of thinking is anti-sex and anti-men. It’s like “if only there were an easy fix, so we don’t have to -gasp- discuss things”. Everybody needs attention, emotional and physical, and leaving them without? I’d be worried for the mental wellbeing of those, who wouldn’t turn to their hand, at that point.

    I can see how masturbation can be a vicious cycle, though, if it’s triggered by the other one not wanting to be sexual. At some point the masturbation becomes the default, even if it’s not better, as you said, but because it is easier than having to deal with rejection and all the emotions behind that, if you “just want relief”. And then’s probably the time where other women or men come to the picture. Feeling neglected and entitled to intimacy – which is damn right, but doesn’t just flower from the ground without any work. It’s easier without the fear of rejection, with a new an exciting partner. It’s almost too easy. 😉

    1. I don’t really believe in the evolutionary explanation for cheating or masturbating.

      With regard to masturbation, the point I’m trying to make is that a man’s sex drive is calibrated in such a way as to desire relatively frequent ejaculation. I don’t know what else to pin that on other than evolution. Even as a successfully chastised man myself, I still want to jack off. A lot. It never goes away.

      I don’t know what the equivalent frame of mind is for women. Surely, some women masturbate more than they have sex, but it seems a lot don’t. I can’t say if that’s due to physiology or sociology (teaching women that masturbation is wrong or that their sexuality should be secondary to that of their male partners).

      The other thing that came up on the forums that I was sort of glancing addressed (not sufficiently, really) is the idea that men become “addicted” to masturbation. I think that’s not what’s happening. I think they eventually follow the path of least resistance to sexual relief and that couples let that happen. Yes, it tends to limit a man’s dependance on his partner for sex which perpetuates the cycle, but again, the point I’m trying to make is that “excessive” masturbation on his part is a symptom of the problem, not the cause of the problem.

      Regarding cheating and any possible evolutionary connection, I recommend you check out a book called “Sex at Dawn”. I don’t think monogamy is our natural state.

      1. “I think they eventually follow the path of least resistance to sexual relief and that couples let that happen. Yes, it tends to limit a man’s dependance on his partner for sex which perpetuates the cycle, but again, the point I’m trying to make is that “excessive” masturbation on his part is a symptom of the problem, not the cause of the problem.”

        Yeah, I agree; – – if it’s triggered by the other one not wanting to be sexual. At some point the masturbation becomes the default – – because it is easier than having to deal with rejection and all the emotions behind that, if you “just want relief”.

        It happens the other wa around too. I’ve been through it too, and maybe even go throuhg it on a regular basis, when things become hard. I guess it’s a matter of recognition. I mean getting over it without blaming anyone, myself or Wonderboy. In any situation it is or can be excessive, but yeah, surely there is an emotional reason, fear of rejection, emotional neglect, stress, you name it, for not being able to discuss and handle the lack of intimacy with your partner.

        There are also a lot of men who don’t much or at all masturbate, and also asexual men. It’s not a myth, much like it’s not a myth that a lot of women masturbate 3 times a day like me (and some don’t, at all). It’s just not a subject that we’d share, except in here… So, the evolutionary explanation strikes empty, for me. Also, men have nocturnal emissions (provided by nature, so I’ve heard), if they don’t get the job done themselves, so it’s not like it’s a necessity to jack off. Wanting it and thinking about it more than anything is of course another thing entirely. Also also… If the evo thing was true, all women would cheat when they’re ovulating. Because if you’re going to base your argument on evolution, then you’d better take care it envolves everything that’s evolved. Like, all the population.

        Sometimes I think that what the cage does best is make partners talk, spesifically, with each other. There’s no general assuming going on – you really have to ask and give straight answers, as in BDSM in general. (Take safewords as a simple example.)

        And for the Sex at Dawn… I’ve heard this argument a lot.

        I don’t really believe that mankind (uhhh) has any wiring either way. I do believe that families should be bigger than two, but I don’t necessarily believe that polygamy (one male, lotsa women) is the right answer, either. (I’m not saying polygamy would not be a right answer for some. And I don’t go for the whole “if the apes do it, it must be our fate too”. We are far gone, the culture, the society we’ve created, the languages we’ve woven to share and understand. It doesn’t follow that if things have been (in some cultures, some species) certain way, it would somehow be how they are meant to be. History might repeat itself and humankind it’s mistakes, but it doesn’t mean we should. Even if we were built for it. Because, frankly, that’s a fatalistic view I just don’t want to share.

        I just hate being pinned by evolution psychology. Some do and some don’t, so maybe it’s a matter of biology, neurology, culture and cosmic coinsidence, but I don’t believe it’s all evolution. I believe, that as a matter of fact, we do evolve.

  4. The prevailing sentiment seems to be that men abandon sex in favor or masturbation all by themselves, as if their partner in the relationship is blameless. This simply isn’t true. It’s a complicated set of events that leads us to that state, but lack of trying or lack of wanting on the guy’s part is not to blame.

    Hear hear! The notion men’s masturbation habits are the cause of relationship problems is naive to the point of being childish if not actually retarded.

    Still, that doesn’t stop a lot of childish men and women repeating it, does it?

    Sarah

  5. Regarding cheating and any possible evolutionary connection, I recommend you check out a book called “Sex at Dawn”. I don’t think monogamy is our natural state.

    I’ve been trying to plow through that book for two months now. It’s one of those books that takes a basic idea (that could have been stated in 25-50 pages) and the author drags it out to 400 pages which makes for tedious reading. That said…

    I think in our pea-brain, basic evolutionary selves, monogamy is not natural. But, we’ve evolved into a society and culture that does put forth certain beliefs about family structure, marriage, and children that makes monogamy an expectation. By and large, most of us conform (how many people do you know who are out and proud in a polyamorous relationship? They may be living it but not flaunting it.). That can bring you to the, as you said, “unsexy reality of sleeping next to the same person.” However, no one ever said that marriage and monogamy is easy; couples have to work at it and when they do the hard work to make a relationship work and last, the payoff is worth it–at least in my mind. I say this from the perspective of a 32-year married woman. But even at 32 years in, we’re still working at it, every single day.

    Re: masturbation–good comments, good thoughts and I agree, but I think there is one dimension (age) that you didn’t address. But instead of being long-winded here, I think I’ll just write my own post on the subject.

    I do appreciate our community of “sane” chaste folks who can discuss these issues in an open, friendly, and intelligent way.

    D

    1. I think monogamy was a cultural decision, not an evolutionary one, but that’s a whole ‘nother topic altogether.

      I think there is one dimension (age) that you didn’t address.

      Well, I know what I know, you know? We’re in our early 40’s, so that’s the only perspective I can comment on at the moment. I look forward (as always) to reading your POV.

  6. Maybe a slightly different take on this. I agree with most of what you say but I think from a different angle. Lets take that couple that the spark has gone out for. The male tries a few times and then decides masturbation is the solution. Can I suggest that the age your using 40s is also a good time frame for menopause and that the latest on male sexual health suggests many men decline (hormone wise) at this point?

    The part where a relationship really tanks is that the women “might” be feeling less drive (menopause perimenopause) then finds that the limited sexual abilities of her husband are being “wasted” on masturbation and porn. Will she be angry? Will she be jealous? Will she have a lot of desire to have sex with this sort of guy that she might feel has rejected her and has put his focus on “fake” internet women?

    “if” the problem is low female desire or at least a mismatched sex drives why not (Seriously) ask a doctor about this? It might have nothing to do with whats going on but…. maybe jiggling the hormones to help match things up? And btw check BOTH in the couple. Men can be a hormone mess as well.

    For the guys who see that the sex life is pretty dead and the relationship is starting to suffer? Male Chastity sure puts the full focus on the women. Maybe this is why MC works so well for so many people. Its a tool that makes the male focus his attention on the woman. The woman probably feels that her importance has gone from too little to near total.

    And without using a lot of shrink babble (Which I’m not qualified to do) when you use this primal urge as the focus how can it not make a difference?

  7. Well, I know what I know, you know? We’re in our early 40′s, so that’s the only perspective I can comment on at the moment. I look forward (as always) to reading your POV.

    Which is precisely what got me thinking about it. I thought to myself, “I’m not old enough to be his mother, but I could have been his babysitter when he was a young’un.” 😉

    D

  8. Once a relationship has fallen into the cycle of rejection or disinterest on one part and masturbation/porn on the other it’s really easy to blame the masturbation/porn for the problem.
    The disinterested partner can now put any failings onto the other-with any number of excuses all lined up.
    “Why should I bother being interested if all you do is masturbate anyway?”
    “I can never measure up to the images/scenarios you now find exciting.”
    “You stopped acting like you cared-if you really loved me you would fight to the climax (as it were) to get me interested. All of your efforts are perfunctory, because you keep giving up. Therefore you don’t love me.”
    Almost any method of getting and maintaining mutual engagement in the sexual relationship will help at this point. Enforced chastity is a great way to require the disinterested partner to engage.
    Some of your early struggles seem to have come from a period when Belle was still finding that engagement again-when you reported that she had been given what you saw as a precious gift and then ignored it. When, even having been ceded this control, she was still distant. Now that she has become fully engaged in the relationship again you’re both doing well. Would that re-engagement have occurred if you had used some other hook? It doesn’t matter. You found one that works for you. You’ve said that Belle isn’t “naturally inclined” to domination and pain play.She doesn’t have to be. All she has to be is willing to engage in your relationship in a way that keeps it present and active.
    Keep up the good work-both of you.

  9. First point:
    With the evolution topic thumper, you’ve just contradicted the argument within the comments here. A) Men are evolutionary built to masturbate more than women. B) We as a human species are not evolutionary built for monogamy but we live in it culturally.

    If you use the same argument of B for A, doesn’t that mean that men can culturally learn to masturbate less? The evolutionary debate is a slippery slope. A lot of people can get into dangerous arguments if you use evolution. The point is, nobody knows (not even scientist) what mother nature has in store for any of us.

    Example: the clitoris’ sole purpose is for pleasure. It has no alternate function. It has eight thousand nerve endings which is twice the number as in the penis. (Vagina Monologues) What does the evolution argument say to this?

    But that being said, I’m a big advocate for masturbation for both men and women. As a woman, I happily play with myself almost everyday, multiple times if I have time for it.

    Second point:
    I think what you are missing is that we currently live in a culture that is tailored for men to think about sex. All the advertisements in the street, on television sell their products through sex and a lot of the time, they gear it towards men. It’s no wonder men feel like masturbating all the time! The billboards are triggering them every day!

    So that being said, I don’t think him playing with himself too much is a bad thing. It may be a sign that the relationship is no longer about the couple and more about individual pleasure. But women think about pleasure as well. I disagree that women need less pleasure. I don’t think there’s anything evolutionary that means men require more of it.

    1. I’m not sure I follow your point. I don’t think there’s any reason for men, as a whole, to masturbate less. Specific men in specific instances perhaps, but there’s nothing wrong with it per se. And I think I’m on pretty firm footing when I say there’s a natural instinct in men to masturbate. We were doing it before we had fire or language.

      Regarding the fact that most women masturbate less than most men, I think that’s *probably* the fault of our f’ed up culture. Women have not been taught to celebrate their own sexuality, needs, desires, and pleasure. I don’t know if physiologically women need to masturbate as much as men, but I suspect that, in their “natural” state, they’d do it a lot more.

      And that gets to your second point on which I think we agree. Our culture is way, way too focused on the male sexual perspective, though I don’t think that has squat to do with how often men want to masturbate. Trust me, we don’t need overt displays of sexuality to get turned on. When the hormones are running, almost anything can set us off.

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