This mutual masturbation guide originally appeared on Blood + Milk.
I discovered mutual masturbation early in my sex life. While watching my beau finish, I found myself getting turned on again, so I grabbed a toy and did the same.
I didn’t know the act had a technical name. I did, however, assume everyone enjoyed it—until I started teaching sex education. I’d mention mutual masturbation only to be met with, “what’s that?” and “wait that’s a thing?!” In the years since, it’s become my favorite “sex hack” to teach the womxn* and couples I work with.
In honor of International Masturbation Month, here’s a mutual masturbation guide with everything you need to know to make this sex act fun and fulfilling.
Mutual masturbation is self pleasuring, together.
Don’t you love when things are exactly what they sound like? I do! You touch yourself, your beau does the same, and voila. Of course, you can make it more complicated than that (keep reading!) but at its core, that’s it!
It offers many sex, intimacy, and relationship benefits.
In addition to the health benefits of masturbating, mutual masturbation bestows additional benefits. Here are five of them:
- It’s super intimate. Sharing your self-pleasure habits with your beau requires vulnerability. They’re going to see exactly how you position your body, the face(s) you make when you experience orgasm, and more—and vice versa. In many ways, mutual masturbation can be more intimate than intercourse.
- It’s hot AF. Watching someone you like, maybe even love, bring themselves pleasure is the ultimate visual treat. Think of it as your own erotica novel or porn film. Enough said!
- You learn about each other. Watching teaches you how your beau gets off. When do they speed up or slow down? What might they have held back during other forms of partner sex? You don’t need to take notes (although if you’re into that, that’s cool too!). Just watching will give you insight into new ways to touch them.
- It fills up your spank bank. And IMO you can never have too many sexual fantasies for future solo self-pleasure sessions.
- You feel more deeply connected. Any time you do something vulnerable and share a part of yourself, it deepens your connection to each other. Yes, even if you roll over, set your alarm, and then pass out. This spills over into other parts of your relationship as well. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling kinder, more patient, and more loving to each other in the days that follow.
Mutual masturbation is also a sexy alternative for busy nights!
Let’s be real—you have a beautifully full life of which sex is one part. Sometimes you want to get it on but you’re tired or don’t feel well. Maybe intercourse takes a really long time, or your pain is flaring and you don’t feel like communicating every 10 seconds that something does or doesn’t feel good.
Mutual masturbation gives you all the intimacy of sex without the time commitment. You each know how to touch yourselves to get you there as quickly—or slowly if you prefer to elongate your pleasure—as you need.
And, you’re more likely to experience orgasm.
People with vulvas typically experience orgasm more easily with self-pleasure than partner sex, especially in heterosexual relationships. Part of that is because heterosexual sex focuses so much on PIV and penetration alone doesn’t lead to orgasm for many vulva-havers. Part of it is performance anxiety or the pressure to reach a goal, which often blocks you from getting the very thing you want. And part of it is being able to get the exact type of stimulation you want. It’s often just easier to do on your own.
You get to decide how this fits into your sex life.
It can be as individual or shared as you want. Here are a few mutual masturbation tips to get you started (pun intended):
- Start with a few minutes of eye gazing or embracing to get you going
- Kiss throughout
- Lend your free hand (if you have one)
- Take turns watching each other
As for how to position yourselves? Get comfy. If you want to watch or touch each other during, make sure you can. Otherwise, mimic how you usually lie down to masturbate.
It’s ok to feel nervous.
Any new sex act can be a little intimidating at first. Be gentle on yourself and let this mutual masturbation guide reassure you! Remember that you like or love each other, and this is one more expression of that. Plus, if they get weird about how you masturbate, there might be other issues to discuss…
If that reassurance doesn’t help, incorporate some sensation play by blindfolding one (or both!) of you to remove the pressure. Bonus! When you take away one sense, it heightens all the others. Yes, please!
Lastly, an advance mutual masturbation tip: don’t judge the act based on your first—or first few—tries. It can take more than few tries to figure out how to make something work for you. That’s what creating a more intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life is all about.
Need more bedroom inspiration?
Get inspired and Discover out what Turns You On with our So…You Think You’ve Tried It all? Desire Checklist.
*Alternative spellings for “woman” were created as part of the feminist movement to promote women’s independence from men. This current spelling encompasses a broader range of gender identities than “woman,” including trans women and non-binary femme individuals. For more information, check out this great piece in the Boston Globe.
**Using language like this acknowledges that not all people with certain genitals are the gender that was assigned to them based on those genitals. Some men have vaginas, some women have penises, and some people with vaginas identify as neither male nor female.