I came across this question in the marriage section on an answers website and thought it was silly. But I know this is something with which some wives take issue. Why should it not be okay for a married man to masturbate? What exactly about being married should mean that masturbating is wrong for him to do? Some of the same women who take issue with the fact that their husband masturbates are only having sex with their husbands when they are in the mood for sex. And quite often they aren’t in the mood a whole lot. So what do they expect from their husband?
I know there are people out there who believe that sex inside a marriage is 100% about the woman. In the book “Marriage and Parentage: the reproductive element in Man as a means to Elevation and Happiness” written by Henry Clarke Wright and published in 1858, it was written:
The wife must decide how often, and under what circumstances, the husband may enjoy this passional expression of his love. This, it seems to me, is a natural law by which he should sacredly govern this demonstration of love. Only as she calls for it may he rightfully respond. If her call is less frequent than he desires, then he should hold his sexual element in subjection to her wants and happiness, and seek the fulfillment of his love in the thousand other expressions, which, as a husband, his nature prompts him to give. I repeat, the call for this deepest expression of love should ever come from the wife.
No doubt men found this notion as preposterous in 1858 as they certainly do now. And why shouldn’t they? We can’t get to insist on the laws of science and then disregard one of the most basic laws of biology when convenient. Sex wasn’t something man designed. Except where necessary to protect people from being violated, sex should not be subject to man’s social laws. If a man wants sex he has every right to be able to pursue his desire for sex as immediately as he chooses. The same way if his wife does not want sex she has every right to refuse her husband intercourse. The idea that the man should wait until the woman indicates she wants sex completely disregards his sexual needs and his right over his own body. His desire for sex is as valid as his wife’s. He should be able pursue his desire freely. That doesn’t mean he should be free to have sex with his wife whenever he so desires it. His wife’s body is hers and she should indeed share it according to her inclination. Hopefully both parties are reasonable and care enough about each other’s needs that the husband is neither requesting sex too frequently nor is the wife refusing her husband sex too frequently.
As far as masturbation goes, there should no question that if a man wants sex and his wife doesn’t, he should be free to self-pleasure without guilt if he so chooses.