Intimacy By Hand

Hand sex is an often-neglected item on the bedroom menu. We might rush through exploring touch on our way to the “good stuff”, or maybe our usual routines have become habitual.

But manual sex is often one of the first ways we explore intimacy, with ourselves and with others, and memories of awkward adolescent fumbling aside, it can be enlightening to approach intimate touch in the same spirit of exploration and play. Remember that our hands are chock-full of nerve endings, and touching our lover’s body can be a true pleasure for us, as well as for them.

Even if you think you know their body – and your own – inside and out, hand sex is a great way to discover, or rediscover, what feels really good – for them, and for you. Take your time, pay attention, and never ever forget…

Hand Sex: Rule #1.

First and foremost and most importantly, USE LUBE. Lots and lots and LOTS of lube. Put a towel down if you have to. Dry fingers can chafe, and well-lubricated skin feels lovely for the person doing the touching. 

This is especially true for techniques geared towards achieving orgasm, like direct clitoral stimulation. Running out of lube can turn “ooooh” to “OW” very quickly, so make sure you have plenty of the slippery stuff readily available. Now that we think about it, lack of lube was probably a major reason why those high school handjobs left a lot to be desired. We’re grown folks now, so USE LUBE. LOTS.

We don’t usually put product plugs in our blogs, but we’re thrilled by how much our community loves Foria’s Intimacy Lubricant with CBD. Check it out if you’re in need.

Hand Sex: Rule #1a.

We lied. This is just as important as the part about the lube, but we wanted to make sure you have lube before you get started. Now that you do, remember: communicate. Always and forever, no matter what kind of sex you’re having. Speak up about what you feel – whether you’re the toucher or the touchee (it can be really hot to hear the person touching you saying what they think!). 

Listening is just as important. Not only to words but to breath, sounds, the way they’re moving. And throw “techniques” out the window – everyone responds differently and likes different things. Great hand sex – great any sex – comes from great communication about what feels good, which can change moment to moment.

For people with a vulva.

Though the idea of “technique” can be limiting – as if we’re solving a puzzle instead of touching a person – we still have some tips for discovering or rediscovering a vulva by hand, whether it’s yours or someone else’s.

Nerve distribution in vulvas varies wildly, and what “works” on one person may put another to sleep or even send them shrieking from the room. If your lover is new to you, shelve whatever tactics you’ve learned from past partners; the vulva under your hands right now is wonderfully unique. As always, communicate and listen (and remember the part about the lube? Good).

Explore the outer lips with varying pressure. Try rolling them between your fingers, pressing your palm against them, running your fingers lightly over them. 

Explore the clitoris with varying pressure and motion. Experiment with small circles, up and down strokes, 1 or 2 fingers. You can try exposing the glans (the tip and most sensitive part of the clitoris) by pulling the hood back slightly. For some people this may be too sensitive, for others it enhances pleasure noticeably.

The combination of clitoral stimulation and internal stimulation can feel amazing for some people. Ask if penetration feels good and if so (using lots of lube!) explore with 1, 2, or more fingers depending on preference. The urethral sponge (also known as the G-spot) can be extra pleasurable – stimulating it with a side to side or gentle “come hither” gentle motion is one way a G-spot may appreciate being touched.

Again, always ask – what feels good, what does your partner want more of? And always actively listen to their answers and their nonverbal cues. The whole vulva and vagina can be orgasmic if you follow what feels good for the person receiving touch – so keep tuning in.

And if they have a penis.

Yep, the lube thing again. We are very serious. The penis-haver in your bed will thank you.

Although people with penises often report that their vulva-owning partners can seem a little tentative – the average penis can take rougher handling than the average vulva – everyone, and every penis, is different. Don’t just lunge for it and start cranking; start slow, and again, ask what parts feel extra-good to touch.

The head of the penis produces a lot of sensation, including the little membrane called the frenulum on the underside of the penis, just below the head. Explore with fingers and varying pressure of strokes to see what feels good for the receiver.

Keeping one hand firmly on the base of the shaft and one hand moving up and down can provide a variety of sensation. Explore variations in speed – not just slow to fast, but slow, fast, then slow again. Try throwing in a gentle twisting motion, too – though this approach, often enthusiastically promoted by “hot sex tips” lists in magazines, can be extremely uncomfortable with dry hands. (You know what we’re going to say about the lube by now.)

Explore holding the testicles in one hand and the penis in the other, or stroking thighs and lower belly if they’re not ticklish. Some people enjoy gentle pressure on the perineum, which can indirectly stimulate the prostate as well; some really, really don’t, so don’t spring it on them. Don’t be shy – communicate! (And watch this space for more on the prostate, coming soon.)

It’s too nice a job to rush.

Hand sex needn’t be something to hurry through. It’s an opportunity to slow down, be playful, be mindful, and really get to know the person you’re with, even if they’re very familiar – or even if they’re you. As adults, far from the back seat on Lover’s Lane, we may think we know all there is to know about touch and sex – but, fortunately for us, that is very rarely true. So take your time, be patient, speak up, and happy exploring!

(And get some decent dang lube already.)


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