Updated: May 31, 2021
You could call turning them on without touching them 'magic'. Or you could call it mutual masturbation!
Sex can bring immense pleasure, especially when you engage mindfully. Matter of fact, people with vulvas experience 13-51 seconds of orgasmic pleasure when they climax.
While orgasms and sexual pleasure are thought to be synonymous with penetration, you can achieve them through mutual masturbation too. A study published in the journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found around 37% of American ciswomen need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, while only 18% could do so through penetration. So, not only is it a way to try something new in the bedroom, it could also increase sexual satisfaction.
Unfortunately, opportunities for exploring our body’s other sensations and pleasures through any type of masturbation are often mocked or minimized as being a last resort or not worth attention. However, many other body parts can receive sexual stimulation and enjoy our attention, exploration, and touch.
What is Mutual Masturbation?
With all the taboo around solo sex or masturbation, could you imagine turning the act into a team activity? That’s exactly what mutual masturbation is all about—two, or more, people engaging in self-pleasure at the same time and usually in the same place. It can also include a mutual exchange of pleasure in which the people involved are stimulating one another, exploring their erogenous zones.
Everyone has a different approach to masturbation. For some, the idea of touching themselves at all can feel somewhat intimidating. Others do it sneakily, in a rush, and alone. Yet for some, masturbation is a sex act like any other and the idea of doing so with an audience is all the more enticing. So why haven't you tried it yet?
There are many ways to enhance your solo sex practice, but if you really want to maximize the benefits of masturbation, think about adding partners to the experience!
What Are the Benefits of Masturbation?
Beyond physical pleasure and potential for orgasm, the benefits of masturbation are plentiful. Here are a few ways it can boost your physical and sexual health:
Improves body and self-esteem.
Helps with relaxation and de-stressing.
Enhances sleep quality.
Boosts your mood.
Heightens awareness of what pleases you.
Releases sexual tension.
There’s no concern of STI’s or pregnancy.
Increases heart rate and improves blood circulation.
How to Get Sexual Pleasure Through Mutual Masturbation
Now that you know what mutual masturbation is, let’s explore a few reasons to add it to your list of sexual activities in the bedroom.
An alternative to intercourse
If penetration is not possible, partnered solo play is another way to fulfill your sexual desires. Some reasons you may not want to have penetrative sex include painful intercourse, being in a long-distance relationship, lack of interest/preference, social distancing, or just not being in the mood. In this case, you can use mutual masturbation to connect sexually and explore with your partner.
Sex is not defined or experienced in only way and again, penis and penetration are not the golden tickets to pleasure and orgasm. Bodies will not always perform the way we would like, so I always encourage people to expand and explore their definition of sex and practices as a sexual being.
A pleasurable experience is almost always guaranteed
Typically, we know our body the best. When pleasure is in our own hands, an orgasm is too. You also have the opportunity to let the other person know what feels good to you and see what feels good to them. If everyone agrees, you can use that knowledge to touch one another.
Many people feel really turned on as their partner takes charge in their orgasm. So, be prepared if you find your hands become even more eager to explore your own body, or theirs, as you lay side by side.
While you’re watching your partner, you might notice the way they rub their nipples, bite their lips, or smack their own ass. Use that information the next time you are engaging in partnered sex for more pleasurable sexual experiences for them. Remember to wash your hands before any hand-sex action, use condoms on toys, and wash the toys before sharing.
It’s a safer form of sex
When engaging in solo sex or mutual solo sex, you don’t have to worry about pregnancy and risk of STI transmission is fairly low, so long as toys or bodily fluids are not being exchanged. This can increase your peace of mind and allow you to experience deeper pleasure.
Talking about sexual history and STI status with potential partners is still an important conversation to have. There is still a chance of transmitting skin-to-skin viruses or other infections if fluids are transferred, so be sure to use condoms or dental dams if that is something that concerns you.
Bring sex toys into play
Using sex toys during partnered sex can feel awkward or intimidating for some people. Unfortunately, there's a belief that using a sex toy, or even masturbating in general, is an activity that lonely singles engage in. The term B.O.B. (battery operated boyfriend) gives some insight to how problematic it may seem to have sex toys.
Using toys is far from being problematic and the use of them or any pleasure enhancer is about creating a different sexual experience that can help with intimacy and sexual exploration. So it can be a great way to introduce self-pleasure into sexual play and show your partner(s) what makes you feel good. Even better, they get to see you make yourself feel good.
Who doesn't want to see their partner full of erotic and orgasmic energy?! Think about how playful and fun the experience could be. They are called toys, after all.
Starting the Conversation
Bringing up your interest in mutual masturbation can be as intimidating as actually doing it. I've worked with individuals and couples who felt insecure at the thought, as if their partner were calling them sexually inadequate, or promptly dismissed the suggestion. Whether we like it or not, masturbation is still a taboo topic for many, and some people feel the need to hide or judge the fact that they still engage in self-pleasure while in a relationship.
So, if you aren't sure of your partner's personal beliefs and relationship with solo sex, try leading with curiosity. Open up conversation to talk about masturbation and learn one another's experiences and thoughts first. If all else fails, you can try intimacy counseling as it can create a safe space for both of you to discuss and explore your needs.
Here are more tips about communicating about sex with your partner that will be helpful!