Wait, there's a masturbation community?

Why Some Guys Like Jerking Off Together - a Buzzfeed response

We like to keep an eye on sexuality and mental health articles floating around the net, since sometimes these are the only ways people get information. This one is from 2018, and I mean, okay, it's buzzfeed, but we did want to submit to the discussion that not all of the attendees are gay men. While some of this has historical context with AIDS, some of it is also- some men just like to masturbate together.

What is "Gay" or "Not Gay" is too ridiculously ham-fisted in the 21st Century. Some self-identified "gay men" attend, and some do not identify that way, and it does a disservice to the whole masturbation community to suggest that masturbation, in a group or alone, is a "gay" behavior or not. It's a thing some men like to do together. Period. One commenter to the original article posted he was surprised that now that AIDS is basically a distant memory (for Buzzfeed comment readers) that he was surprised there would be any interest in men coming together to masturbate.

This is why we still do sex education things like National Masturbation Month and the like.

As sex therapists (https://sextherapynewyork.com) we want to help people explore safe, sane and consensual sexuality. Masturbation can help with erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation- and to masturbate in a group can be an affirming experience. Think it's just gay men jerkin off together? Women's masturbation groups have existed for years, led by the formidable Betty Dodson, a sex pioneer. (And it's fascinating how it's treated as an empowering thing for women, but for men, it's dismissed as "gay" or just something to do when you "can't get laid"- thanks No Nut, No Fap and No Wanks.)

Masturbation is a normal, healthy sexual behavior you can do alone to become more familiar with your body and the fantasies and types of touch that stimulate your body- and you can do this with one or more other people- regardless of your/their sexual identity or gender, etc.

For some other considerations, check out the documentary on masturbation, "Sticky: A (Self) Love Story".

Thoughts on soulmates- from divorce lawyers

“…a soulmate is someone who shares your ideals, values and vision for life. True soulmates grow together and learn to effectively communicate with each other and can manage any conflict between them so it doesn’t ruin the relationship. Soulmates empathize and truly want the best for their partner..” (Click for Complete Article)

MyTherapist New York offers counseling, marriage therapy, couples and relationship therapy as well as sex therapy that is modern and effective.

Understanding and Expressing Love in Relationships

In relationship counseling we use an analogy that healthy love relationships run off of 6 tanks, love tanks, if you will, that fill up and deplete at different rates just by virtue of being in a relationship.. Those tanks in no particular order are- loving words, loving behaviors, gifts, bonding time, sex, future vision (planning for the future together) and physical intimacy.

You probably have an idea which tank is in which order for your partner- which one always seems empty and needs filling- and it’s not usually the one you’re spending the most time filling. Your partner may not need a lot of gifts, but they may need a lot of “I love you's” to understand that you love them.  And you might not be an I love you person- you might be a sex person or a future vision person. The conflict happens when you’re thoughtlessly trying to fill the sex tank when your partner’s I love you tank is empty. What happens next is each of you walking around feeling unloved and misunderstood in your relationship.

It takes intention to make sure you're checking in on each tank and it takes follow-through to check in and fill tanks consistently without overfilling or ignoring tanks that don't seem important to us until they're running on empty. If you are your partner is willfully ignoring the work it tanks to fill the "love tanks" then this might be a sign of emotional neglect- either on purpose (not as common as you'd think) or out of- well, let's say being out of shape rather than lazy.  In relationship therapy, we want to get you back into shape so you're able to love your partner and express your love needs/wants to your partner so they can love you back in a way that each of you understands and feels most safe and seen and heard.

MyTherapist New York offers psychotherapy for individuals, couples therapy, relationship counseling and sex therapy that is modern and effective.

Erectile dysfunction in otherwise healthy men

Viagra didn’t work? It’s time to talk to a sex therapist!

Sex therapists are licensed mental health clinicians who have continued their education and training specifically in the realm of human sexuality. Talk therapy with us is going to be primarily focused on helping you design the sex life you want to have based on reality instead of based on distorted ideas you might be carrying around about the who what where why and how of sex. (Click for complete article)

MyTherapist New York offers psychotherapy, relationship counseling, couples therapy and sex therapy that is modern, effective and affordable, and supervised by a board certified clinical sexologist and certified sex therapist.

What to expect in relationship counseling

“Deciding to go to couples therapy can help you get things under control and help you de-escalate your conflict so you can see, as objectively as possible, if this is the relationship for you. But to do that, our couples counselors follow a process that has shown time and time again to be effective. “ (Click for Complete Article)

MyTherapist New York offers modern effective relationship counseling and sex therapy in NYC.

The Role of "counselor" in the 21st Century

“Sometimes therapists are thrust into the role of making people conform- conform to the demands of a 9-5 job, or conform to the expectations of what society has deemed "normal" behavior (ie behavior that helps you keep that 9 to 5 job). Modern therapists aren't out to help you conform, but to help express your pain and conflict in a way that is healthy for you, the result of which will help you be your best self. “ (Click for Complete Article)

MyTherapist New York offers psychotherapy, relationship counseling and sex therapy that is modern and effective .

Difficulties Dating in the Digital Age

We are living in a digital age where accessibility is a norm and privacy is limited. The Internet has significantly affected how we communicate and connect with others so it is only fair to consider the impact this has had on relationships – and risk of infidelity. With the delete button at our fingertips, it is quite easy to (or one may presume) get away with cheating. So, how do you help your relationship remain a faithful one when opportunities are endless?

Firstly, consider whether there is a mutually definitive understanding of what cheating is in your relationship. What is acceptable to one partner may not be to the other. Without communicating these expectations and boundaries you are increasing the likeliness of finding yourself and the relationship in a disappointing, hurtful place on more than one occasion. It is possible that, for example, one person in the relationship deems flirtation as innocent fun, while the other believes it is crossing the line. The important point to remember is that neither are wrong, rather, what worked in one relationship will not necessarily work in all, and that is OK. It comes down to being able to effectively communicate your needs (without blaming or shaming), express empathy and validation, and being open to compromise.

An option to explore when you and your partner are having difficulty agreeing on terms of fidelity is that even without the internet factor, consensual non-monogamy and non-traditional relationships are a thing (yes, there are open relationships beyond being the side piece) – and although they may not be for everyone, it might be worth considering whether your relationship’s wellbeing is solely based on it’s sexual exclusivity and where such a concept originated. If your relationship is comprised of other parts you both find meaningful, maybe reconsider how not restricting sexual boundaries could encourage openness, honesty, and support.

If non-monogamy is not your thing but the temptation of endless dating apps is still playing on you or your partner's mind that does not signify you are in the wrong relationship. Familiarity and domesticity decreases the sexy in relationships. Instead of going on a guilt-trip for your wandering eye, try something effective such as evaluating the cost-benefit ratios of acting on these desires. A few moments of satisfaction may be more costly than you anticipated in the moment, but because we can’t alter what is already done, applying this decision making model when temptation is heightened would be a useful tool. 

Cognitive behavioral therapies, including evidence-based REBT, offer an effective means of exploring infidelity, understanding the origins of jealously and working towards a relationship resolution of sorts. A relationship and sex therapist can assist you in discussing boundaries, roles and rules that work for your unique relationship’s needs.

Lauren is a Therapist in New York providing relationship counseling and sex therapy for individuals and couples. Are you ready for insight and change?