Mutual masturbation is one of those intimate activities that seems really simple. Unlike many “spice up your sex life” suggestions, it doesn’t require special equipment, costumes, trips to unusual settings, or plunking down cash; all you need is you, your partner, your bodies and your erotic minds.
But a lot of couples have never tried it. Even if you consider yourself sexually liberated, masturbating in front of someone else – even someone you love and know well – can feel more intimate and vulnerable than partner sex. There’s still a social stigma attached to masturbation, especially for women and people with vulvas, and showing someone else how we give ourselves pleasure can feel like opening a window to our innermost being.
And that’s the beautiful thing about masturbating with a partner. Overcome the self-consciousness, and you’re giving them the chance to be truly conscious of your self – in a way that can benefit your whole intimate lives together.
Besides, nobody knows you better than you. Guaranteed orgasms for all!
Before we get to the nitty-gritty on how to masturbate with a partner, a note: “mutual masturbation” can also mean stimulating each other manually, at the same time. See our blog on Sex by Hand for ideas! For the purposes of this article, however, we’re talking about seeing and being seen – touching yourselves, together.
Why mutual masturbation?
If you’re on the fence, here are some points to consider if you’re thinking about adding masturbating as a couple to your bedroom repertoire.
It’s safe. If you’re careful not to exchange bodily fluids, mutual masturbation is highly unlikely to result in pregnancy or STDs. And if you’re mostly experiencing intimacy remotely – say, during a pandemic that isn’t over yet – those risks drop to zero.
It’s truly intimate. Genuine intimacy involves allowing someone to see the real you. It’s highly vulnerable, it can be challenging, and it’s often the key to spectacular sex. Showing another person how you masturbate is like giving them a glimpse at a part of yourself nobody else sees – which can be the hottest thing there is.
It’s educational. You see what they like. They see what you like. What’s not to like? In fact, an attentive partner may notice ways you touch yourself that you haven’t even consciously realized. Being able to anticipate their needs, and giving them the chance to anticipate yours, can pay off in the long run – to the tune of orgasms for days.
It’s Voyeurism Lite. If you’ve always been intrigued by the idea of being watched, but aren’t into the risk of legal trouble or involving unconsenting bystanders in your sex life, mutual masturbation is a wonderful compromise.
It’s a guaranteed good time. This is especially true if you, or they, have difficulty achieving orgasm during sex. If you know you’re going to climax, it takes the pressure off – you can just relax and enjoy each other, and yourselves.
How to start the conversation.
No two ways about it, saying “hey, let’s touch each other in front of each other” can feel pretty awkward. Fortunately, there are ways to make it easier – and hotter.
Sexting – or a spicy email, or a note on the nightstand – is a great way to introduce the idea of couple masturbation, since many people are more comfortable expressing themselves through the written word than IRL. Weave it into a sexy convo that’s already underway, and see what happens.
If you and your partner enjoy talking dirty during sex, that’s also a great way to broach the topic – as a promise for a future red-hot encounter. Or try reminiscing about your best masturbation stories from eras past, and see how they respond.
“But wait,” you might be thinking. “What if they’re weird about it?” Well, there are different flavors of “weird”. Tentativeness or embarrassment come with the territory, and call for patience, kindness and candor. However, if your partner is hostile to the idea of you masturbating in general, that’s cause for a serious reevaluation.
Mutual masturbation tips!
So you’ve agreed that self-pleasure together is on the menu! There is absolutely nothing wrong with lying side-by-side and going at it like you always do – but you definitely have more options for making “we time” special.
Set the mood! Flattering lighting and comfortable surroundings go a long way towards easing tension. If you know you look good, you’ll probably feel more at ease feeling good. And since masturbation usually involves less unpredictable movement than partner sex, this is a great opportunity to light a bunch of candles without that back-of-the-mind worry about kicking one over and setting fire to the curtains.
Positions! Consider having one of you straddle the other for an up-close look, positioning yourselves at the opposite ends of a sofa, or sitting in their lap – or having them in yours. Or putting someone on all fours, or having them sit on the floor in front of you while you lounge in a chair, or or or...
Talk! Even if “talking dirty” isn’t your usual jam, asking them how they feel when they do that thing they’re doing or sharing how you feel can amp up the intimacy to 11. And if dirty talk is your thing, definitely give yourselves something juicy to think about!
Shy? Blankets are allowed! It’s okay to get under the covers for this. Even if you’re not scrutinizing each other’s genitalia, watching their face, listening to the sounds they make, and touching them while they touch themselves can all be fantastically intimate.
Contribute! Their hands are busy, and yours might be too, but other parts of their body – or yours – might be feeling neglected. Nipples, earlobes, and inner thighs may all appreciate attention, and if they’re busy with their clitoris or penis, this might be a great opportunity to put an insertion toy to work.
Toys! Speaking of, mutual masturbation is a wonderful way to try out new additions to the toybox as well as your old reliables. And if your partner is leery of that toy you love, it’s a great opportunity to show them why you love it – and how to use it with you. (Do we really need to say that lube is a must?)
What about masturbating during sex?
We’ll just come out and say it – we don’t think people masturbate during sex enough. In fact, many women and people with clitorises can only climax when they stimulate themselves, and many men and people with penises sometimes need more friction than they get from intercourse, or orgasm sooner than they’d like.
Masturbation, whether during sex, before or after, is a neat way to do an endrun around these non-problems. It just takes seeing self-pleasure as part of your repertoire as a couple. When you think about it, mutual masturbation is like having another pair of hands to make love to them with – and make love to yourself as well. Where’s the downside?
So whether it’s at home on the couch or hundreds of miles apart, go forth and turn “me time” into “we time” – and see what you can learn about each other. You might be delightfully surprised.
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