How do I start this conversation?
My wife and I have had a lot of conversation lately about our sex life and we talk a lot about being sex positive. I love how open we are now, as this is recent (about the last year) and I praise God for the remarkable transformation in my wife and in our sex life and more importantly, intimacy (in all forms).
Today I discovered that my wife was using our toys on her own while I was at work. I know because we keep them in my drawer and I always put them away i a certain way and they were shuffled around when I got home and went for something in the drawer. This is the second time I’ve noticed this (several months ago was the first).
This is one topic we’ve not talked much about and she’s indicated, including recently that she doesn’t masturbate. I’ve mentioned a few times that I have, I including telling her about my first time. She doesn’t know how much I have. I haven’t in over a year, and have little desire to anymore now that my needs are being so well met.
It excites me to know of her increased drive, but I worry this is taking away from her wanting to get frisky with me. Advice on how to start this conversation, or if I should even bring it up at all?
You might try, while playing with the toys together, tell her how hot you think it would be for her to use them while you are at work and then tell you the details. See how she responds, then try some teasing questions: “So you never start thinking about me, and this, and how good it all feels and just have to take out a toy and get some relief?” (Be sure to smile and kiss and stroke her in the ways she likes while asking these questions. Make it absolutely clear that the thought of her playing is exciting and you want to know about it and not something you would be upset about or that she should be embarrassed about. Just don’t overdo it, either, and make her feel pressured to do something more than what she is doing.
One more thing: Before this conversation ever starts, pray for her. Pray that she would be in complete unity with God. That whatever need she is seeking to fill with her secret activities would be filled to overflowing according to God’s will. Pray that she will feel comfortable enough to be honest with herself, and God and then you. Pray for wisdom about what to say and that God will stop the words that you shouldn’t say and give you the ones that you should. Pray over the toys, for God’s sanctification and blessing on them as a good and useful tool for your marital intimacy and that any purpose the evil one might have for them would be thwarted. And pray that your conversation will bring you both to a new and greater understanding of and intimacy with each other. I just prayed all these things for you as I wrote them, too.
Since the two of you are having good, open conversation about your sex life, masturbation should be discussed and agreed on. Masturbation may improve, be neutral, or detract from an intimate, healthy sex life. Masturbation that produces guilt (a personal struggle and/or due to a spousal agreement to refrain) can affect healthy sexual intimacy between a husband and wife. Masturbation to satisfy unfulfilled intimacy is also problematic. Masturbation with the wholehearted agreement, even encouragement, between spouses can enhance the unity and fulfillment of sexual intimacy with each other.
Masturbating in secret or with uncertainty about the comfort and agreement of a spouse ought to be addressed. You are encouraged to have a good conversation about masturbation with your wife.
In my experience, solo masturbation by a woman only increases desire. The more pleasure we receive, the more we tend to want. So I’m not inclined to think you need to worry about it.
I’d just come out and ask. But maybe don’t say that you saw the toys were rearranged. That could put her on the defensive.
Speaking as someone who’s MB is also in a bit of a sexual Renaissance, and as someone who is more conservative about masturbation (M) than many are here, I do have some concern. My biggest concern is that, if she is actually solo masturbating, she is not only keeping this a secret from you, but also has said she does not do it–which is a direct lie. Thus, I agree with OldBear when he said:
“Masturbating in secret or with uncertainty about the comfort and agreement of a spouse ought to be addressed. You are encouraged to have a good conversation about masturbation with your wife.”
I’ll also disagree with Ron’s worry about “rolling your good relationship backwards”…his wife was lying to him about it, so how can that be considered a “good relationship”. There are more important things for your relationship than your wife wanting more orgasms. So while bringing it up could hamper your DW in the short term, I strongly disagree that it won’t be good for your relationship in the long term (if you bring it up the right way). And IIRC, you’re the one that’s usually reminding people to focus on the long game. To me, the issue of lying (if it is happening), is the most important thing here.
There seems to be an unspoken presumption by some, and by others a directly spoken belief, that masturbation by women will only increase their desire for sex. While that may be true for some women, I strongly challenge it for all women on all time scales. For one, some women do show a decreased sexual desire and increased difficulty in O’ing after having recently O’d. I don’t have a link to the direct article, but I know Sexy Corte at Married Christian Sex has mentioned that it’s harder for her on the second day in a row and nearly impossible more sequential days after that. In our MB, Zelda has mentioned she finds it harder to O a second day (similar to how it can be harder to achieve a second O in the same session, which yes, we can do now ), so we often do every other day during her profilerative phase and every 3-5 days during her luteal phase. Similarly, the process of O’ing drains her mentally, though admittedly all of her O’s come from partnered sex, so maybe an O from M would be different. Relatedly, there are several “one and completely done” women or spouses of men here at TMB QNA, and they indicate that their desire is completely gone after an O, including an O from M. Clearly there is some finite bounce-back time, so a mis-timed secret O from M would end up taking away from your MB (say on a day you surprised your DW by coming home early). In my opinion, that’s a big deal for a naturally LrD DW.
While I’m a man, a part of my M story might relate. I use to M in secret, both with and without porn. Many times, I tried M’ing without an O, figuring it wouldn’t hurt my MB. I’ll potentially go out on a limb here and say that this type of M might be closer to what women experience, because the lack of a O meant no refractory period for me. What I found was that the M did increase my desire, but not my desire for sex, simply my desire to orgasm. This is even true when my only fantasies during the M were about Zelda. Clearly, YMMV, but I wanted to bring that up.
Finally, I want to caution about the conclusion that she’s using the toys. Given that you were in that drawer to grab something other than toys, is it not possible that she also had to go into the drawer for something other than toys too? Is it possible a kid was in there? Just throwing out thoughts. Pointing the finger when she’s not “guilty” could probably hurt your MB worse than anything else in this area.
As for your actual title question, I don’t actually have much advice other than to not assume that she was using the toys to M. She’s your DW, and you know her better than anyone else. If you’ve agreed with her that solo M is not sinful, then the big thing here is her omission of mentioning it plus her direct statement that she doesn’t do it.
Not sure I would say anything, if it doesn’t come out right, you could roll your good relationship backwards. My wife doesn’t like to talk about sex much and keeps things to herself. For years, she said she didn’t masturbate, didn’t need to, she had me. But, I also noticed our “toys” were moved when I worked nights. Not that many years ago, she finally told me she did sometimes when I was gone or working nights. Not a big deal, I am glad she enjoyed herself! Just wish she would have told me at the time, I would love to hear the details!
Like Scott, I take a more conservative view than many here regarding solo masturbation, partly because of my own struggles before marriage.
If you think that your wife has been masturbating solo, especially if you think she’s been lying about it, then I think you should just be blunt and ask her.
I think that you need to work out where you stand on this issue, and have a frank conversation where you discuss your concerns with your wife. It may be that there’s an innocent explanation (could she have been cleaning them or changing the batteries?), but if she is hiding her activities from you, that indicates a lack of trust in the relationship, which is a problem that needs to be addressed.
I will be honest . . . Some of the responses here are unsettling. To imply that the OP’s wife is being dishonest because she didn’t mention that she (might have) experimented with these toys on her own doesn’t seem to encourage a sex positive attitude at all. Maybe she’s just embarrassed to admit it, especially if she hasn’t always been open about sex.