While masturbating is technically a solo act, you shouldn’t be surprised to find out that people in relationships masturbate, too. But just how often? A recent survey of 1,200 Americans conducted by TENGA found that pretty much everyone is masturbating. I’m talking high numbers here, like 95 percent of men and 81 percent of women say they’ve masturbated at some point in their lifetime even though most of us don't want to talk about it, unfortunately.
According to the survey, people in relationships masturbate an average of 10 times per month. But people in relationships do it a lot less than their single friends — singles tend to do it around six more times, with an average of 16 times per month.
Although almost everyone masturbates, for some reason we tend to believe that others around us aren't doing it. In fact, the survey found a significant difference between the number of people who say they masturbate versus the number of people we think actually do. So, when it comes to masturbating in relationships, it's no wonder why people make a big deal over their partner's masturbation habits. If you’re in a relationship and find yourself wondering whether or not it’s OK if your partner masturbates, this study proves people do it and quite often. In fact, nine in 10 respondents overall are comfortable with their relationship partners masturbating.
But not talking about masturbation makes it seem like a "secret" or something to be ashamed about. Instead, it should be something to celebrate whether you're in a relationship or going at it alone.
"It is important that couples discuss it as often one or both people in the relationship define masturbation as cheating," Sexologist and author Dr. Nikki Goldstein tells Bustle. "Masturbation in a relationship can be very healthy but to get to that point there needs to be a certain amount of discussion first."
Previous studies have found the health benefits of masturbation include stress relief, pain relief, and boosts to your immune system. As a bonus to couples out there, masturbating may even improve your relationship. If you haven’t done so already, you might even want to give masturbating in front of your partner a try. Out of all the people surveyed who said they’ve done it, 95 percent of them would describe the experience as “good,” “very good,” or even “excellent.” So, mutual masturbation? A very good idea.
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; TENGA