Advice: Mental Health

Selfishness is not sexy

Dear Dr. Darcy:

My girlfriend is obsessed with sex. Actually, she’s obsessed with masturbation. Namely, with me masturbating for her and giving myself an orgasm. But I’ve never let anyone see me do this before and I’m worried that I might not be able to—you know.

Anyways, my girlfriend is turning this into a very big deal. She’s saying that I must not really be into her if I won’t do this. She’s even started talking to her ex who used to do this (and a lot more) with her. What should I do? I’ve tried to do it but I just haven’t been able to make myself!


Dear Flustered,

This isn’t about masturbation. It’s a power struggle. And the thing is, using masturbation in this tug of war will likely render said orgasm outside of your reach, which tells me that this has nothing to do with bringing you two closer or with you pleasuring yourself. It’s all about her; about somehow you’re supposed to perform for your girlfriend, who by the way, I’m totally hating at the moment.

Tell the girlfriend this—actually, strike that. Show your girlfriend this article so I can speak directly to her:

Hello girlfriend. As you can see, we have a bit of a situation here. Your girlfriend, people pleaser that she is, feels conflicted about her right to masturbate in private and her desire to please you. As a result, she reached out to me in the hope that I can help her break through her self-consciousness so that she can deliver for you.

The thing is, I can smell manipulation a mile away, and I’m choking on it as I contemplate her dilemma, which tells me that something deeper is going on here. So allow me to illustrate for you why you’re both selfish and stupid.

You’re selfish because you want your girlfriend to do something that will please you but that will also make her uncomfortable. That you can see yourself experiencing pleasure at the expense of her discomfort, embarrassment, or potential humiliation raises concerns in me that at best you’re insensitive and possibly a sociopath.

You’re stupid because you have yourself a woman who genuinely wants to please you, and if you’d just give it more time and earn her trust, she’d likely masturbate for you, eventually. Instead, you’re creating an issue around this and the issue itself is making it more unlikely that she’ll ever touch herself in your presence. Furthermore, if you had any hopes of having an exciting sex life with her or of her taking risks in bed with you, turning this into a power struggle has likely ended that possibility.

Rather than focusing on what your girlfriend can do to turn you on, I suggest you ask your girlfriend what will turn her on. I suspect you’ll hear that she wants to feel more secure within the relationship and that it’s what you do outside of the bedroom that matters most to her. If you do this, you stand a good chance of her not following my final piece of advice to her.

Writer, kick this girl to the curb and find yourself a woman to date.

Dr. Darcy Smith is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her practice, Alternatives Counseling, specializes in LGBT issues and is located in New York City. Dr. Darcy’s clinical style is very direct, goal-oriented and pragmatic. For years, the media has been drawn to her unique personality. She has provided expert commentary for networks including E! Entertainment and has worked with television producers throughout the nation. Her blog,, provides free advice to members of the LGBT community.

Email questions to or call 212-604-0144.

*This column is not a consultation with a mental health professional  and should in no way be construed as such or as a substitute for such consultation. Anyone with issues or concerns should seek the advice of her own therapist or counselor.

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