masturbation is an aid in situations in which you have sexual needs but no outlet. You may be between partners, or your partner(s) are far away or you may be in the difficult situation of practicing abstinence while having human urges that you want to act on. In these cases a little self-love is the easiest way to ease the pressure.

Now, I would be remiss if I talked about masturbation without talking about fantasy and porn. After all, those are the main aids people use when masturbating. Plus, I am astounded by the number of advice columns in which someone is freaking out because they found out their partner has fantasies/watches porn. It’s time to set the record straight.

If you discover that your partner is watching porn, you should not take it as a sign that they are not attracted to you or don’t find you sexually satisfying. Porn is a common indulgence, and is just one of many ways of getting aroused and getting off. I know multiple people who use it as a way of getting themselves in the mood prior to seeing their partner. So, if you find out your partner likes porn, don’t panic (you might even find you like watching it with them). The only time to be concerned is if they are neglecting your relationship or their other responsibilities to watch porn



I’ve been seeing a number of letters to advice columnists lately (although I was seeing a lot of them at the time of this column, so maybe there is some sort of baseline level of this question) about whether or not masturbation/watching porn is “cheating.”  This was/is my response to such queries.