How to Introduce Mutual Masturbation into Your Sex Life

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How Mutual Masturbation Works in Relationships

Many people masturbate to learn more about what they like or dislike during sex. It can help you  figure out the best way to reach orgasm, and how to control when you climax.

Many couples use mutual pleasuring throughout their relationship, but it may happen more at certain times. Pregnancy hormones can heighten your libido and can leave you open to new activities like mutual masturbation. Bodily changes during pregnancy may make mutual masturbation easier than intercourse.

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What if youre shy about masturbation?

If you’re feeling shy about mutual masturbation try doing it over the phone or by video first and not in person. Alternatively begin with a side-by-side set up so you’re not opposite each other/watching each other, which can feel a bit more vulnerable. This can help you to focus on your own body and sensations rather than being distracted or overwhelmed by the other(s).

You might also like to wear blindfolds, or keep your eyes closed. Gradually, as your confidence builds and you feel more relaxed, you can explore having your eyes open and seeing and being seen.

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Other Things To Know About Mutual Masturbation

Mutual masturbation can be the main course, a side dish, or a snack in your sex life. You can touch each other, touch yourself and watch them, take turns, etc.—the variations are many. It can also involve more than two people. Oh, and you can enjoy it with toys, foods, and other erotic mediums in tandem. To say that mutual masturbation is incredibly versatile doesn’t do it justice. Like Stockwell says, "Mutual masturbation takes things to a whole other level." 

It’s as safe as sex can be, aside from solo-masturbation or not having sex at all. As you would with any other sexual activity, make sure you and whomever you’re practicing it with are taking the necessary precautions. Mutual masturbation is a vulnerable sexual activity so be ready for the nerves. And while vulnerability can increase intimacy in your relationship, it may be uncomfortable at first. But what makes it worthwhile is that you and your partner will be able to learn about each other in a new setting. If you’re thinking about trying it, then I have no cons from a health or a pleasure perspective that should stand in your way.

11) Bring your balls into the mix

There are nearly as many sex-specific nerve endings in your testicles as there are in your penis. Don’t neglect them, Morse urges.

While individual preferences and sensitivities play a big role in what you’ll enjoy, a lot of men discover an untapped source of stimulation—and more intense orgasms—by pulling down on their testicles rhythmically before ejaculation.

Some guys learn to ignore their penis entirely as they approach the big O, Morse says.

2) Masturbate after you work out

Do you ever feel really horny after working out? Well, there’s a reason for that. You release hormones while working out, including adrenaline and dopamine a.k.a. the so-called “feel-good” chemical. Dr. UC adds that it’s excellent to masturbate after working out “because your endorphins are quite high, blood flow is great, and your pelvic floor muscles are completely relaxed.”

Let’s Talk About Sex

Craving a little more intimacy? Grab a MasterClass Annual Membership and learn more about communicating openly with your partners, experimenting in the bedroom, and being your own best sexual advocate with a little help from Emily Morse (host of the wildly popular podcast Sex With Emily).

Give Some Creative Direction

Now that you are each aware of how the other likes to be pleased, it’s time to get creative with your solo-but-together fantasies. Mutual masturbation is fertile ground for creativity that can be expressed in the bedroom, on the couch, in the kitchen or shower, on the floor, or anywhere else that feels right. There’s also nothing wrong if it leads to a handjob, blowjob or penetrative sex; there can even be room for roleplaying.

You can use distance as a way to build the tension, by placing each other far away to enact voyeur fantasies. Or you can get really close, both right in the middle of the masturbatory action and jointly enjoying the circular motions, vibrator pulses, or close-to-completion strokes. Clitorises and penises are fair game; mutual masturbation doesn’t have to be an exclusively no-touch activity!

Use your imagination, too. Create an even more intense build-up to orgasm by trying different positions that allow you to touch your partner in different places. Integrate sensual touching into the play, or try incorporating spanking or light bondage in order to create a different power dynamic

If it suits the way you and your partner approach sexual activities, pay attention to the ambience surrounding mutual masturbation. Wear your favorite lingerie and have your partner catch you in the act as they enter the bedroom. Light some candles, put on soft music, and mutually masturbate while cooking dinner. There’s no limit to what you can do. (But be safe and don’t put your appendages or genitalia at risk; there are hazards in every kitchen!)

Mutual masturbation is a beautiful and hot way to connect with your partner in a low-stakes, fun environment, no matter how you make it happen. 

How to make mutual masturbation work for you

If you're interested in trying either form of this type of play, the first thing you need to do is figure out how to talk about it with your partner(s). In some cases, it's an easy conversation: "Wanna watch me masturbate?" or "Finger me while I give you a hand job?" are both viable options. You could also create an inside joke, euphemism, or game that makes you feel more comfortable if asking directly doesn’t feel like the move.

If that's too straightforward for you, you might ask your partner to show you what they like as a way to breach that conversation: "I felt you twitch when I touched you this/that way. Is that what you like to do to yourself when I'm not here? Can you show me what you like?"

It might also be helpful to bring in your friend Dipsea. Ask your partner if they want to listen to some sexy stories together so you can show them what you do when you're by yourself.

Set the scene

Much like other kinds of sex, setting the scene can really help build tension and create a mood. Dim the lights, put on your bedroom jams playlist, and get comfy on the couch or in bed. Or, if you prefer bringing your mutual masturbation session to a bath or shower, those are great locations too.

Setting the scene is worth the effort to help ease you into this new activity if you're feeling a little nervous. It's also a great lubricator for mutual masturbation as a segue into other kinds of sex. (And speaking of lubrication, be sure your lube and toys are close by so you can grab what you need when you need it.)

The only rules in this game are the rules you make, so if you set out to mutually masturbate and a hand job turns into a blowjob, everyone wins. There's no way to do this wrong, as long as everyone is having a good time.

Get into position

The position you choose can really change the whole experience, just like with penetrative sex and oral sex. If you're feeling nervous and eye contact makes you too self-conscious at first, lay side by side so that you have the option of looking over when you're ready.

If you're feeling bold and want to see everything that's happening between your partner's legs and vice versa, sit facing each other, legs spread.

If you're wanting to simulate penetrative sex, one of you can climb on top of the other so you have an ideal POV, but your hands are free to touch yourself or use a toy.

Talk dirty — or don't

Mutual masturbation can be an excellent segue into dirty talk if you've been looking for a way to bring that up too. Talking dirty might feel like another hurdle to jump in this conversation, but rest assured, most dirty talk falls into one of just a few categories:

  • Saying what you like or want

  • Asking the other person questions about what they like or want (even if it's just "do you like that?")

  • Narrating what you're doing or what they're doing

You can try dirty talk to stay engaged with your partner during solo play, or you can choose to keep it simple and moan when something feels good and make eye contact when you're about to come. All options are fantastic.

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?)

Notice Your Partner’s Sexual Topography

Masturbating with each other allows for stronger communication in a trusting and non-judgmental space, plus an intimate look at how your partner likes to be touched. This is sometimes described as learning your partner’s sexual topography, watching how your partner interacts with their favorite parts of their body and how they please themselves. 

Notice how your partner’s genitalia starts to swell or change color when aroused, pay attention to what is being said or done that gets you both off, pick up on the subtleties of where they like to touch themselves and how they like to do it. You have a front row seat to view your partner’s pleasure points – and that’s a great piece of intel to have when you want to satisfy them!

Take time to set the scene

    Once you’ve agreed on the major elements of mutual masturbation, think about your environment, says sexologist Ava Cadell, Ph.D. To have that full-bodied experience, create a space that plays to all of your senses: incorporating things like soft mood lighting, vanilla and sandalwood scented candles, a sexy playlist (just riffing here). “Make sure you are in a comfortable and safe place where you can both relax, whether it’s a bed, sofa, bathtub, or on the floor in front of a fireplace,” Cadell says.

    Before you start stripping, take a moment to breathe and look into each other’s eyes to connect to the moment and each other, says Cadell. While there, why not tell your partner what exactly you like about what you see?

    Trying video chat sex for the first time? Just take some precautions beforehand

      As the pandemic, LDRs, and video chats change how we have sex, spicing it up with virtual mutual masturbation is a great way to connect when IRL is off-limits.

      There are a ton of positions you can try, whether you face your booty towards the camera or opt for a close up of your lower body and legs. If you’re a video sex newbie, kneeling in front of the camera (prop it up higher than your body for that extra flattering angle) with your full body in view is a great way to start, sex educator and author Gigi Engle previously told WH. Don’t forget the power of imagination, either—keeping the camera on your face can be hot, too.

      And just like you prep your tech before Zoom presentations at work, make sure the audio is on, devices are charged up, and notifications are turned off ahead of the steamy sesh. Getting hit with the buffer just as the orgasm is happening would be a major buzzkill.

      Of course, before you take your sex life to the internet, have a talk with your (trusted!) partner in direct terms about consent, not just about the masturbation itself, but also about recording or storing the images and videos.

      How to get started

      I always encourage discussing sex and intimacy when you’re not in the middle of being sexual and intimate. A conversation before you get into the bedroom creates a strong foundation of trust, and lets you get the first layer of nerves and expectation out of the way so that you can relax more into the experience when you’re actually naked and in an intimate space.

      Opening with ‘I read this really intriguing article on Netdoctor the other day, it was about mutual masturbation… have you ever heard of that?’ Is a good way to start.

      It can be as simple as telling your partner that you miss touching them, and the next best option is to see them touching themselves.

      I’ve personally been in a long-distance relationship for the past four years, so we introduced the idea of naked FaceTime and at least one of our calls each week when we were apart were specifically scheduled for nudity! It can be as simple as telling your partner that you miss touching them, and the next best option is to see them touching themselves.

      Take your time, don’t rush it. Do it in ‘instalments’ to build confidence and trust: for example, keep your underwear on the first time you have a virtual mutual masturbation session, or drape yourself with a sarong if you’re together in person. If at any stage you’re not really feeling it then say so, pause it and check in with your partner – perhaps they want to carry on and you’re comfortable to just witness them.

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      How Make Mutual Masturbation Even Better

      In addition to switching up positions, you can make mutual masturbation even better just as you would any other kind of sex: by incorporating as many of the five senses as possible. "Think about the scent of the room. Experiment with different textures, vibrations, and fabrics to change how your own touch feels on your body. Put porn on in the background if neither of you makes much noise," says Carly S.

      You can also experiment with adding in new toys or costumes, playing with temperature, trying with different kinds of lube (like THC lube or CBD lube, for example), and paying extra close to your often-ignored erogenous zones like the breasts, butt, and neck. As Wolfe says, "If it feels good, it's fair game."

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