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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:19 am 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 282
I recently posted to my thread that I believe that it may be possible to achieve this under certain circumstances. I suppose CoachJon was anticipating this in the context of it forming part of a couple's sex life and therefore with the partner witnessing it (although I don't know) but the point has interested me to explore.

This is a potentially dangerous area particularly for those early on in the programme who have not yet gained a good understanding for the learning from the workshop and for this reason I think CoachJon wisely recommends a period of abstinence from masturbating whilst the workshop gets underway.

For me the negative side of masturbating is with the basis that I, and I am sure many others on RN, used to use this which is to fantasise about other people and to use it for the purpose of changing their emotional state - on that basis it breaches values (e.g. contemplating sexual activity with those other than our partners) and it represents/engrains immediate gratification. However, what if the act was not pursued with those goals in mind but rather an enjoyment of the feeling of the act itself but without any thoughts of fantasy (about others or even our partners)? I have contemplated this and have run it through my values and absolute boundaries and actually found that there was little or no violation of them. If my wife is aware that I masturbate (interestingly when I told my wife that I had not masturbated for 6 months a while back she told me that she didn't think that was a good thing) and is comfortable with that and I know that I am not thinking about anyone when I am doing it but rather just enjoying the feeling of it, and most importantly that it is not hindering or affecting my sex life with my wife in any way, then perhaps it is a healthy thing and acceptable?

Is healthy masturbation on this basis possible? Thoughts and comments welcome.


"Should you fail to permanently recover from your addiction, it will be due to your inability to fully commit to recovery"

PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:12 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:06 pm
Posts: 134
Hi L2R,

First of all, I use the opportunity of this post to thank for your big contribution to RN through your post. Your sincerity is really inspiring. Thanks again.

Thanks for the question you asked to community.

I think I did not indicated in my personal thread that I stopped masturbation. I never write a vow around this. I stopped by myself because I was not able to manage healthily. I learnt later that it was recommended. I stopped more than 2 years ago, last slip was beginning of 2017 as far as I remember.

In my case, masturbation is not possible without sexual fantaisies, without image. My sexual fantaisies were and are still based on image I develop during my SA period : porn, affairs… I do not want to have fantaisies about situation that generated so much pain, that destroyed myself and others. I stopped masturbation to close one door, to not give more space to these thought.

Behind that I admit that there is something unhealthy: I still did not rebuild my sexual boundaries and identity (the relevant lessons in RN workshop is the only one I never achieved).

For me the point is not about the act of masturbation, but how healthy is my vision about sexuality.

With my partner I am very prudent. We joke sometime. She tells me “you always want to have sex”, I answer “No, the reality is that I never do not want”. A bit of humor to explain that sexuality is far to be clear for me. And that is why I am very prudent around intimacy.

So of course, because I still have image, or inappropriate fantasies, I think about masturbation. And then I wonder the same question as you. But until now, and despite so many opportunities, I have no urge to move forward, simply think this won’t be good for me, it will damage what I am building.

Healthy masturbation is most probably possible for people who have a clear and assumed vision about sexuality. I suppose, but honestly it is not my case yet. So I keep abstinence of this behavior, my boundaries protect my values. This will remain applicable (and maybe will continue to be applicable) until I did not define clearly my sexual boundaries.

If I would give one advice, I would say, do not interrogate only your values and boundaries, but question with sincerity your sexual identity too.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:51 am 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:22 am
Posts: 233
Hey L2R,

Similar to BOVARY, I made the decision to not masturbate due to the fact that I am unable to do so without fantasy. I've never been able to masturbate without unhealthy fantasy. However, I know that healthy masturbation exists. I can only speculate what that is from a distance...

I wrote about this in my thread this past spring and bring it up as it may be applicable..
My therapist recommended a couple of different "homework assignments" to begin building our healthy intimacy again. One of the recommendations was to try roleplay to create something new for us to share and explore together. Both my wife and I were concerned that this may feed my addiction. How would pretending my wife was someone else impact my health? My wife's therapist also showed concern. My therapist is a specialist in sex addiction so I trusted his judgment. He mentioned how if I'm fantasizing about her, even in costume, while having sex it could be quite healthy. My wife and I spoke in detail about what we may like in terms of roleplay. She drew some parallels to my addiction (not out of accusation but just a healthy curiosity). Her main concern was my interest in "friends becoming more" as a primary theme in our roleplay. Fearful that my addiction was preventing what could be a good thing, I did a deep dive on this with my knowledge from RN and it has been incredibly enlightening.

I started with a review of my sexual compulsive elements used to achieve emotional stimulation. Suspense, sensory, danger, fantasy are some examples of my specific elements. Regardless of the behavior (masturbation to pregnant women, priming, or affair) the chains always look the same for me:

1) Anxiety/Anger/Sadness/Loneliness/boredom
2) Perceived need to rid myself of that feeling
3) Acting out behavior with combination of elements to achieve level of soothing
4) Orgasm
5) Guilt/shame

But our roleplay does not match this:

1) want to connect sexually with wife (Love, Connection, fun)
2) Roleplay with different scenarios/elements to increase stimulation and excitement of interaction with wife (suspense/danger/power/accomplishment)
3) orgasm
4) peaceful reflection with feelings of connection

So as I examine it deeper, I recall what she mentioned. “You like the build up—friends leading to more." The build up of friends leading to more is an example of suspense. Definitely an element of my compulsive sexual wheel. My interest in having sex with “stranger” builds the elements of suspense and danger. A character I roleplay with a bad boy attitude builds power. Being another character that has sex with her charge builds the element of accomplishment. Yes, these are all part of my sexual elements wheel because it’s what turns me on as an individual. However, the single most important aspect of my addictive compulsive chains is missing from our role play—guilt and shame. Instead I feel connected with her.

If at one point I have urges to “act out” these scenarios outside of our marriage, that’s when there should of course be alarm. So far now, we continue with this next chapter of our physical intimacy and health with caution but confidence.

As you can see, the new ritual actually taps into my values instead of violating them. I know this is not entirely applicable since it's in regards to intimacy instead of masturbation, but I'm curious if we can make some parallels. L2R, what does your masturbation ritual look like? Our sexual wheel is indeed what stimulates us, but what parts of the ritual will (without mind games/justifications) eliminate the guilt/shame that caps the ritual? You said that masturbation purely for feeling wouldn't violate your boundaries. Will it violate your wife's? And how might a masturbation ritual be formed to boost your values?

As SA's we never gave our partners a choice to be involved in our decisions that directly impacted them. The least we can do is start now. It takes courage to face conflict and triggering discussions. I know you've mentioned that your wife does not wish to discuss your past. But how can you involve your wife in this discussion since this involves your current state and future?

Be Well,


PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:33 am 
Recovery Mentor

Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:29 am
Posts: 282
Thanks Bovary and Anon for sharing your thoughts.

L2R, what does your masturbation ritual look like?

Well my ritual of old would not be at all healthy so I would not be suggesting that. But I guess what I envisaged in healthy masturbation might look something like:

1. After a few weeks of my wife not showing any interest in having sex I feel some degree of frustration and would like that to be released
2. I go to the bathroom and touch myself to get myself into an aroused state but not allowing any thoughts of fantasy or of anyone else including my wife to enter my head
3. I then masturbate focussing solely on the enjoyment of how that touch feels and continuing to ensure that my thoughts remain focussed solely on that
4. I orgasm
5. I clean up
6. I feel relieved, calm and relaxed
7. I know that I have not violated my values and therefore feel no guilt or shame

Our sexual wheel is indeed what stimulates us, but what parts of the ritual will (without mind games/justifications) eliminate the guilt/shame that caps the ritual?

The elements of the sexual wheel that are involved are SENSORY (touch) and ORGASM. The whole concept of the sexual wheel in my mind is about how we use these elements in unhealthy ways. I would argue that it is possible to use these two particular elements in healthy ways too if they are not violating our values. Both of these elements are used in healthy sexual experiences with our partners so the wheel does not suggest that they should be avoided, only that they should be experienced when appropriate to do so.

You said that masturbation purely for feeling wouldn't violate your boundaries. Will it violate your wife's?

This would be for each individual couple to decide as this will vary for person to person. In my case my wife told me that she felt it unnatural for me to not masturbate and therefore she thinks that I should be doing it. This potentially opens up another can of worms that we won't open here (e.g. what does she think I will be thinking about when I do it, is this just to justify that she also does it, etc, etc) but the key thing is that it is not a hidden thing. Our SA life revolves around hiding what we do and we hope that we don't get caught. The acid test is that if she caught/noticed me doing it would it cause a problem - I think not because we had previously discussed it. In that sense it would be no different to me catching/noticing her.

And how might a masturbation ritual be formed to boost your values?

Where the idea originally came from stemmed from my frustrations of my wife having little or no interest in sex which was causing me frustration and potentially placing pressure on her to have sex which would definitely violate my values. If I found a healthy way of getting release that didn't violate my values then it would take the pressure off the whole sex situation which I would suggest does reinforce my values.

It is all a matter for debate hence posting it to this forum. As you will have seen from my thread I have since decided not to pursue this for reasons other than a potential violation of my values and I do feel that it is a dangerous game for a SA to be playing. My ritual above starts with frustration (EMOTION) and I could sense that quite quickly there could be temptation to increase frequency both of which are dangerous things for addicts. But it is an interesting concept to explore. If I was to consider it again then I would talk to my wife about it to ascertain if the presence of masturbation (both of us) in our relationship is something that we are both comfortable with. It would be interesting to see a partner's view on this if they felt comfortable to post on our forum in order to get the other side's view but equally I would understand if they did not.

Thanks again Bovary and Anon for your thoughts.


"Should you fail to permanently recover from your addiction, it will be due to your inability to fully commit to recovery"

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:04 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:56 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Blighty. Hence the spelling.
I say, no!

Healthy masturbation is most probably possible for people who have a clear and assumed vision about sexuality.
That's not us. Well, not until we're healthy.

In the early days you need to "reboot". Quit for a month or three. Clear the mind from chemical addiction. Your brain on porn website explains this scientifically.

Given the length of time is been an addict. I went for six months. This was sufficient time for me to come to the conclusion that I didn't need to masterbate at all. Any sex would come in a loving relationship with the wife.
This building up my sexual maturity.

Another observation, on the topic of fantasy. Is it wrong to fantasize about your wife?
Unhealthy thoughts do pop in my head from time to time. Part of my recovery is to not entertain these giving myself a lecture, but those regarding the wife I might entertain for a few seconds and without admonishment as sexually desiring her is a good thing. I still stop so not too get frustrated.

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