Masturbation with Strangers
February, 8, 2010
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Q: Is having frequent cybersex sessions normal for a man? Or is he a sex addict?

First off, my boyfriend and I are in a committed relationship, have a child together, and are very happy in our sexual lives together. In fact, we both often tell each other that the sex between us is the best we’ve ever experienced, and sometimes we are speechless afterwards because it’s that good. But my man has a porn addiction, which actually doesn’t bother me that much as long as he keeps it contained and doesn’t let it rule his life. While he seems to need a little bit of it each day, he’s still productive with work and home. But, what does bother me is that it has grown into seeking ‘live chats’ and ‘cyber sex’ and ‘phone sex’---going from a one dimensional experience into a two dimensional one.

Masturbation with Strangers
He seems to have a need to masturbate while another woman (stranger) is masturbating with him. He likes talking dirty with her, and watching her please herself while he pleasures himself. When I found out what he was doing, I immediately felt like this was a form of cheating. To me, he’s giving his time and energy (sexual and otherwise) to someone other than me, so even if it’s not flesh on flesh penetration, it still feels like cheating to me.

Often, he is paying money too in order for this to take place. Taking $ away from his family, and the things his daughter needs. But, more so than that, I just feel inadequate as a woman. I feel if I were enough for him, he wouldn’t need this…yet, behind closed doors, we have such an amazing sex life, so it’s just perplexing to me that he needs this other outlet.

On a typical day, we have sex 2-4 times, hardly ever less than twice, and not only is it completely satisfying, but we seem to truly make deep, passionate love each time. We feel so much more in love afterwards and being together always brings us closer. But, then he has these cyber sex sessions too (on his own, without my knowing), so I wonder if this is normal for a man, or do I have a sex addict and future cheater on my hands??
Are these actions red flags for me, and our daughter, of what our future holds? Will he grow deeper into it until he finds someone that would actually meet him in person, rather than online or on the phone? Or is this just a normal fantasy for a young man that he will eventually grow out of?

He is so good at minimizing it as ‘just a release’ and that it means nothing to him. Even though it really bothers me, I try to look the other way. But, now I’m ready to talk to someone else about it, hoping to gain some perspective on this issue. He’s right, it’s not really cheating, but why does it still feel like he is?? I’m trying to find others that may be experiencing this with their mate, and perhaps have some advice for me, or open up a discussion on this. I’m tired of trying to pretend everything’s okay and that I’ll be okay. I’ve realized I’m not okay, and I no longer want to be whispering about it…can anyone help with words of wisdom or experience? Thank you, Colleen

Joan Heartfield, Co-director of the Divine Feminine/Awakened Masculine Institute responds ~

A: Dear Colleen,

What is really bothering you? Please take a moment and ask yourself.

The most painful aspect of what you are dealing with may not be that your partner is spending time in sexual encounters with another woman. That naturally would be upsetting to most people, in cyberspace or in the flesh. It may be the fact that he minimizes it when you tell him it upsets you. In order to have the kind of relationship that lets you relax and feel at peace, you need to know your partner is going to listen to you, respect what you have to say and take your feelings into consideration. Respect is a key to good relationship.

Do you want someone who takes your needs seriously, and is also serious about supporting you and your daughter with all his resources? Do you want someone who wants to cultivate a quality of relationship that says, "You are special, and I want you to feel that. I love being with you, making love with you and growing with you, and there's no one else I'd rather spend my sexual energy with than you."

You can't make your partner feel, or behave this way. If he'd rather be with images or others on a screen than with you, that is simply his truth, and it may be an addiction.

Addiction is when we repeat a behavior compulsively (physically, mentally or emotionally), because there is immediate satisfaction in it, or because we are habituated to it. It does sound like your partner is sexually addicted. What it also sounds like is you are beginning to realize the harm that it is doing. What he does not realize yet is that using others for sexual pleasure without really loving them, or even knowing them, ultimately diminishes his ability to be sensitive. It damages his ability to respond. He ultimately loses integrity with himself, and if this continues, you may very well end up losing respect for him, and losing the love that you have.

Be honest with yourself. Be honest with him. Share your feelings, and also your needs. If I hear you correctly, you want a man who wants to be with you, and it is not working for you to have a third party in bed with you, even if she is living in the computer! Respect yourself and your needs, and respect your partner's choices. It will either mean he chooses to be with you in a loving, growing relationship, (which may mean getting professional help), or it will mean that you release him to his computer and find yourself a man who wants a real-time relationship with you and whose “hard drive” is focused on you.

Joan Heartfield, Ph.D.
Director, Divine Feminine-Awakened Masculine Institute

Joan's been involved in the exploration of human consciousness for most of her life.
She's helped thousands discover deeper meaning and vitality in their search for wholeness in a challenging world. With Caroline Muir, she writes our Embody Your Ecstasy blog. You can also contact her @

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Response from Stephanie Moses, EFT Specialist and author of Getting To Neutral ~

Dear Colleen,

No one else can define your boundaries for you. Is it cheating? Is it sharing? These are only words; the effect they have on you is what's important. For every vote of cheating you might obtain from others, there'd be an opposing vote from the pro-porn side and none of these voters are in your body, with your perspective. You're probably not looking for a moral judgment as much as a way to feel better.

In the overall balance of your life together, how big is this aspect? Balance is a big hint as to what the brain chemicals are up to. You both have a whole windstorm of chemicals flying around right now: he's been 'caught', you've 'found out' and you're both poised to defend your selves. Dr. Rick Hanson explains in Buddha's Brain, “In its early stages, it's natural for a romantic relationship to be dominated by intense often volatile rewards that draw heavily on dopamine-based neural networks.” At about a year, you're both getting backed down on the juice and looking for other ways to create the high.

Extended intensity in any direction can hijack these reward cycles; including sex, anger and fear – and then on actually a very simple level, the mind and body disregard possible damage and look for more. According to Groningen professor Gert Holstege, an orgasm is akin to a shot of heroin. This is where it gets tricky: because so many chemicals are being fired by the marathon use, the reserve goes down, with just a trickle coming through we start to augment the process. Longer, newer, different, prohibited, clandestine, outrageous, degrading, self-deprecating... pick your boost.

Another really important aspect is your stock of raw materials. Yes, the classics, nutrition, exercise and rest are of interest here because your levels of amino acids and hormones as well as the vitamins, mental state and body mechanics that they need to operate at peak determine much of what you feel.

Take a look at the global picture of your relationship and look for openings to create good feelings both in and out of the bedroom.

Porn is powerful. It’s been called an erototoxin and can be as addicting as any drug because of the chemicals it releases in the brain. It mimics healthy sexual relations, but delivers none of the benefits thereof. Tomas Heartfield, C.T.E. who teaches workshops in Taoist and Tantric Sexuality explains their strengthening effect, “Experiencing our sexuality as sacred is the best antidote we know for things like pornography, perversion and sexual abuse. Western modes of Tantra help us focus our sexuality to connect to the Divine in each other and ourselves.”

Stephanie Moses is an innovative Certified Hypno Therapist combining EFT with Bio Emotional Methods. She writes feature articles for us, and the blogs Get to Neutral and The Mommy Mind; and author of Getting to Neutral: Positive Approaches To Restore Emotional Wellness After Divorce. Free Preview Chapter of Getting To Neutral
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A Few Additional Resources …

Sexy Beast
Is sex addiction a medical condition—or a lame excuse to be a bastard?
By AJ Grossman | January 08, 2009 5:03 p.m.

I Am a Sex Addict*
By Cory Silverberg, Guide to Sexuality
Wednesday October 8, 2008


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