Sex Question Friday: I’m A Man Married To A Woman And I Masturbate To Gay Porn. Is That Common?

A reader submitted the following question:

“I'm a married guy in my mid-40s. I'm happily married and travel a lot for work. Since my teens I've been an avid masturbator. I sort of thought I'd stop after getting married and I did for a little while. However now I bate pretty much every day that I'm not home and even sometimes when I'm home. I also enjoy straight, bi, and gay porn while bating. I'm wondering if either or both of these things are common for married guys. I sometimes feel like a bit of a freak and like I'm very unusual in these preferences/habits. And, of course, if you were wondering, my wife has no idea because I know she would freak out about both. Am I the exception or are there more guys like me out there?”

Thanks for this very interesting question. Let me address it in two parts. First, let’s consider whether it’s common for married guys to masturbate. The answer to that is easy: yes. A million times, yes.

Being in a relationship does not necessarily decrease a man’s interest in masturbation or the frequency with which he does it. Consider this: the National Health and Social Life Survey found that 85% of men who were living with their partner reported that they masturbate [1]. Believe it or not, this study also found that married and cohabiting men reported masturbating more often than their single male counterparts! While other studies have found that singles guys masturbate most frequently, the general point still stands—masturbation is a very common activity for married men.

Second, let’s consider your question about how common it is for men to masturbate to gay porn. Among gay and bisexual guys, sure—that’s extremely common. Among straight guys, not as much. As some support for this idea, in a 2015 study in which men were asked to rank how often they watch 27 different types of porn, “gay” came in fifth for non-heterosexual guys, but last (i.e., 27th) for straight men.

That said, some straight guys are sexually fluid, meaning that the gender they’re attracted to isn’t necessarily fixed or stable. In fact, they may show significant variability in their pattern of sexual attraction, behavior, and/or identity over time.

As some support for this idea, a 2014 study found that 25% of heterosexual male participants reported at least some degree of same-sex attraction in the past year. In addition, 24% of heterosexual men from this survey reported having masturbated to a same-sex fantasy in that time period. Thus, it is certainly not unheard of for guys who identify as heterosexual to experience same sex attraction. In fact, a surprisingly high number of men who identify as “exclusively straight” have even had same-sex partners before.

So, to answer your question, there are indeed other guys out there like you. Most married guys are masturbating—and while most of them aren’t necessarily masturbating to gay porn, there are a lot of other guys out there (many of whom say they're exclusively heterosexual) who have same-sex attractions and fantasies.

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[1] Laumann, E. O., Gagnon, J., Michael, R., & Michaels, S. (1994). The social organization of sexuality: Sexual practices in the United States. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Image Source: iStockphoto.com

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