Originally published on Apr 9, 2009.

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My wife of three years has a problem with me masturbating. At one point, we made a deal that I wouldn't do it while she's in the house. That would be just fine with me, except that she is rarely out of the house without me. Our sex is really, really great, but I'm pretty horny and I like to masturbate once in a while. She says that she feels like I'm cheating on her. About a year ago, I DID cheat on her—yes, I'm an idiot—and maybe this is my punishment, but I've always needed to masturbate a lot. I do it to relieve stress and sometimes just because I get horny and I want to stop being horny in a minute or two so that I can concentrate on something else. This just doesn't have very much to do with her, and I feel stupid trying to justify myself to her on this matter. How do you think I should resolve this situation?

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Jerk Off

When someone you love is irrational and controlling about some aspect of your private life that doesn't involve or affect her—say, your masturbatory routine, JO—you have two options.

First, you can waste a lot of time and energy trying to talk her out of being irrational and controlling and idiotic. That approach is unlikely to make things better, and it could make matters worse: "Gee, you must really love to beat off without me around, seeing as you're really going to the mat for this."

Your second, and far superior, option is to tell her what she wants to hear—"For you, I won't masturbate"—and then beat off when you want to or when you need to and lie about it. Beat off on the kitchen table when she's out of the house; slip away for 10 minutes to take a "crap" or a "nap" when she's home. So long as you're an attentive lover and you're not neglecting her needs, and so long as you're not inconsiderately leaving evidence all over the place (wash out your own crusty come socks), feel free to work around her irrationality with a little harmless deceit.


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I'm currently recovering from surgery — a shoulder injury, nothing serious, but I've been told recovery from this kind of surgery (repairing a torn rotator cuff) takes some time and that I'll be laid up for a while and even more useless than usual. So I'm taking a couple weeks off. That means lots of time — and lots of Netflix and Percocet — on the couch for me, but no new SLLOTDs for you. You'll get new columns and new podcasts but no new SLLOTDs. In lieu of new SLLOTDs we will be running previously published letters and my responses. In lieu of flowers or get-well cards please get yourself something nice at www.ImpeachTheMotherfuckerAlready.com — all proceeds benefit the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the International Refugee Assistance Project — or email me a picture of your boyfriend's butt.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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