Another lengthy discussion we had on the old blog began with yet another question about masturbation (yeah, I know, but I’ll get back to the more straightforward blog posts eventually). “Ricky” wrote:
My wife of almost 17 years, who has always denied that she masturbates, seems to do just that with her vibrator about twice a month. I too am crushed. Even though I know that she masturbates, she continues to deny it! (I notice her vibrator moved and cleaned in the bathroom vanity, and I have caught her once when I inadvertently left an audio recorder running in a dresser drawer. She at first denied that she masturbates and then finally said it was the first and only time.) She explained that she was embarassed, that she feels masturbation is cheating. However, she continues to masturbate and lie about it. I am more crushed that she lies about the masturbation, than the fact that she does it. Also, even though we continue to have sex, she never cums and it is always vaginal. I cannot rub her clitoris, nibble her breasts nor perform oral on her. Will her masturbation lead to cheating? Why does she continue to lie? Why won’t she let me help her reach orgasm? She seems to prefer masturbation. The deceit is the most painful.
Hello, Ricky? You “inadvertently” left a tape recorder running in your dresser drawer?
I think the major problem here is that your wife DOES NOT TRUST YOU. She doesn’t want to let you “do things” to her body, or have any “control” over her erotically, or let you “make” her come. She doesn’t want to open herself to you or “confess” anything about her inner life and responses because she knows [you’re the type of person who would] put a tape recorder in a dresser drawer to catch her masturbating.
I’m sorry to be so blunt, but you need to be told the truth about this situation. That was really, REALLY dumb.
I can understand why you feel so desperate. You feel unloved. You feel that she is witholding her sexuality from you for purely mean and selfish reasons, and not because she’s desperate, too. But you really need to ask yourself why it is so enormously important to you that she admit her masturbation to you. Why do you think she has to “confess” and “permit” and “allow” certain things to you?
Is it because you want to exert some kind of POWER?
And we were off….!
One of the interesting things I discovered, both on that comment thread and via the email I received regarding it, that when it came to the question of whether it was right for a man to actively (and sneakily!) seek evidence of his wife’s masturbation so he could confront her about it, men thought it was just fine, and women (the actual women, that is — this was the point at which I decided that commenter “Lynn” was a man after all) thought it was appalling.
To me this was the gender-reversed flip side of the story told in Insecurity. As I said of the wife’s reaction in that case, I believe that Ricky’s subterfuge was understandable but wrong. In Ricky’s case, it was also massively counterproductive. His hysterical, invasive attempt to “get the goods on her” was likely perceived by his wife as an attempt to power trip her, to penetrate her psychological space, and she was fighting back by literally refusing to allow him “in,” sexually or emotionally.
We cover other issues, too. Check it out.