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Double Your Pleasure With Mutual Masturbation

multiracial couple in bed
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

By Ena Dahl

Mutual masturbation, as the name implies, refers to the act of masturbating with someone else. While partnered solo-play might sound contradictory, this inclusive, accessible, and most of all fun, activity deserves a place on everyone’s sexual menu!

There’s a second definition of partnered solo-play which involves manually stimulating each other at the same time. This is a different thing, and not what we’re focusing on here. But, one thing can always lead to the next… [wink, wink]

7 Reasons to try mutual masturbation

1. It’s inclusive

With few exceptions, anyone can do it. Regardless of sex, gender, orientation, or kinks, body type, size, shape, or disabilities—as long as you’re able to do it alone, you can partake in the pleasures of mutual masturbation.

2. It’s accessible

You can do it almost anywhere (within reason) as long as you have internet access; mutual masturbation doesn’t have to take place in the same room since you can do it via chat, video, or over the phone.

3. A quick and easy alternative to genital sex

Sometimes we might want to get off but don’t feel like having partnered sex; maybe we’re horny or craving intimacy and release, but are short for time or too tired for a full-on bout in the bed. Whatever the reason, mutual masturbation is perfect for those times. Since most of us know what we like and can therefore bring ourselves to orgasm quicker alone than with a partner, it makes for a nifty time- and energy saver.

4. A way around health-concerns

When genital contact is out of the question due to an STI outbreak or other health concerns, mutual masturbation allows us to be sexual with our partner(s) while practicing safer sex. This is especially useful for anyone with conditions such as genital herpes or recurring cases of yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.

5. A way to overcome trauma

For people who’ve experienced sexual trauma or have other triggers or fears around physical touch, mutual masturbation can be a way to experience sexual pleasure with a partner, build confidence, and ease into partnered sex.

6. It helps keep long-distance relationships lusty and alive

When separated geographically, whether in a long-distance relationship or apart for shorter periods of time, mutual masturbation is a great—and sometimes the only way—to keep our coupled sex lives vital. In the recent article, Sexting 101: The Ultimate Guide to Dirty Texting, I list a number of ways to keep the fire burning from afar.

7. Just because it’s super hot!!!

Besides its many practical applications, mutual masturbation isn’t just something to resort to for lack of better options. If you think of it simply as a lesser form of sex, it’s time to think again. There are so many reasons why mutual self-pleasuring can add novelty and excitement to your sex life.

4 Reasons mutual masturbation is so hot

1. You are in control of your own pleasure

No one knows what you like better than yourself, therefore, with mutual masturbation you’re almost guaranteed to have a good and satisfying time. Simultaneously, you and your partner(s) may bask in the bliss of each other’s pleasure.

2. You get to indulge your inner exhibitionist or voyeur

Some love to watch, others like to be watched, and many love a bit of both. With mutual masturbation, you can have your cake and eat it too—while getting off. What more could anyone ask for? While porn can be good-and-all (preferably the indie-kind), a live show is definitely a step up the ladder.

3. It welcomes confrontation of internalized shame

Many experience shame around masturbation. It could be that we’ve been told it’s bad or dirty, or we simply feel embarrassed to show our partners how we touch ourselves. Leaning into our shame—allowing ourselves to feel it, be vulnerable, and doing it anyway—can even be a HUGE turn-on.

4. We can learn to please our partners better

Showing is often much easier than telling, especially when it comes to sex. When masturbating with a partner, we’re both learning and teaching at the same time, exchanging exactly which moves and motions feel the best for us.

Besides, it’s a known fact that cis-women in straight relationships only orgasm about 65% of the time during sex, while cis-men get off 95% of the time. Same-sex partners have it better with lesbian women coming in at 84% and gay men at 89% (Source: BBC Health). Watching each other can be just the tool we need to bridge that pesky orgasm gap.

How to try mutual masturbation

Communication is everything

I relentlessly list communication as the most important part of sex, and that is also true here. Before we get on with joint solo play, it’s a good idea to have a chat about what we want and expect. Especially if we have doubts, shame, and embarrassment around masturbating in front of someone, admitting to and discussing these with our partners is the first major step to overcoming them.

Positions and how to do it

There are multiple guides online that list specific positions for mutual masturbation. While these can provide new ideas, I’d like to stress that the best way to masturbate together is in whichever position feels good for you. Sit or lean back facing each other, lay next to each other in bed, do it standing in the shower; as long as you’re having fun and are able to get a good look at each other.

Often, especially in mainstream porn, we’re being sold certain ideals as the right way to do something. Personally, I used to be embarrassed that my masturbation style wasn’t exciting enough; I felt as if my motions weren’t large or extravagant and tried to add more sound and movement to excite my partner. This only resulted in overthinking and stressing about it to the point where I lost my mojo altogether. Only when I managed to relax and do it my way was I able to enjoy it. And guess what? My partner loved it too.

Bottom line; your real, authentic masturbation style is more than good enough. Do you, always!

7 Tips to elevate mutual masturbation

While already thrilling in itself, there are many ways to get creative and add further variation and excitement to your coupled self-pleasure playtime. If it’s been part of your palette for a while and you’re looking to switch it up a bit, here are a few ideas:

1. Watch porn together

Watching something else might seem like a distraction when you already have each other to look at, but it isn’t necessarily so. It can be extra rousing, and perhaps even a little taboo, to snuggle up together to watch porn side by side; to witness our partner get as turned on as we are, to see their hands slide down south to relieve that sweet itch. Porn will enhance our visual stimulation—until it might no longer be necessary and we allow it to fade to the background to focus only on each other.

Starting off by focusing on the porn instead of looking directly at each other can also relieve the initial shyness for those who are timid about being watched.

2. Put on a show

Play up the exhibitionist-voyeur aspects even further by taking turns watching and performing… if you’re able to keep your hands to yourself while watching, that is. Even this can be turned into a fun game: How long are you able to just look without giving in to temptation?

Feeling extra kinky? Take it up a notch by cuffing or tying the hands of the observer and proceed to tease and torture them by ‘making’ them watch while unable to relieve themselves.

Role-play options are only limited by your imagination here, so let it run free! Pretend to be acting on stage, give a sneaky peepshow, or put on your sexiest costumes or lingerie and be the star of your own private sex party. The limelight is yours!

woman covering face with hair

Photo by JEFERSON GOMES on Unsplash

3. Incorporate dirty talking

Talking dirty, much like sexting, can feel intimidating when you’re not used to it. Most beginners struggle with what to say and how to say it: What if it sounds phony coming out of my mouth? What if they don’t like what I want to say? I’ve met a few who are able to deliver detailed scenarios during sex without flinching, and others can barely utter an, oh yes, that feels good! without blushing profusely. I believe most of us start out in the latter group.

I recommend starting by complimenting your partner during sex. It puts you less on the spot to say, wow, you look so hot like that! or I really love it when you do that, rather than talking too much about yourself or what you want them to do to you. Once you get used to hearing the words come out of your mouth in this setting you’ll likely become increasingly confident and daring.

4. Control each other

While a part of the reason why mutual masturbation is so great is that we get to show our partners what we like and vice versa, it also presents a fun opportunity to dish out instructions and tell our partners what we want to see them do to themselves. I especially recommend this once you’re already comfortable masturbating together and are familiar with each other's bodies and preferences.

Here, you may want to add elements of power play, where one partner is dominant and the other submissive; you can choose to have set roles, switch throughout, or from one time to the next. Whoever’s in charge can tell the other to go faster, slower, or take a break. You can play with edging by making each other stop right before orgasm, and then repeat this as many times as you want. Try suggesting sex toys or request your partner change positions to provide you with a different point of view. As always with anything involving BDSM or elements from it, discuss boundaries beforehand and never start commanding anyone around without making sure everyone’s into it.

5. Make sexy photos or videos of each other

When we feel safe and fully trust our partners, taking pictures of each other during mutual play adds yet another bang to the beat. Now, you’re no longer just watching and being watched, but you’re also capturing and being captured, further enhancing the performative and voyeuristic aspects. This could be combined with giving requests or orders—or with other kinds of role play.

When deciding to capture these intimate moments, make sure you’ve already agreed on the intended handling of the evidence after the fact. Is the thrill is mostly about the photo-taking itself and you prefer to delete the files once you’ve looked at them or will you keep the memories for the long run? Whatever you choose make sure everyone has a say in the matter.

Remember, if someone asks for photos of them to be deleted, this must always be respected without hesitation, even if you decided differently beforehand. Consent can always be revoked! Sharing compromising photos and videos publicly without consent is considered sexual harassment and a felony in many states.

6. Incorporate sex toys

Anything you normally use on yourselves can be brought into partnered play—and it’s a fantastic way to share how you like your favorite toys handled and used on you. If you feel experimental you can also introduce something completely new with the benefit of testing it on yourselves first.

If you want to surprise your partner with a new purchase to see how they’d use it on themselves, make sure you know enough about their preferences before making a potentially costly investment.

Remote-controlled devices might cross over into the other definition of mutual masturbation—still, they lend themselves well to partnered solo play while adding a whole different dimension. The app-controlled ones are ideal for long-distance partners as their range is limitless (via wifi).

7. Phone and video sex

On the topic of long-distance relationships, everything described here can also be done via phone and video. The use of electronic devices will alter the experience somewhat, but instead of letting this inhibit you, find ways to use it to your advantage instead. Try to give each other exciting or daring angles and close-ups by varying the placement of your phone/camera. You can choose to masturbate live via video chat, or by sending either texts, images, video clips, voice recordings—or a combination.

If you’re a fan of auditory stimulation, skip the visuals altogether and engage in some good ol’ fashioned phone sex; let yourself get all caught up in the sound of each other’s words, breathing, and moaning.

In a nutshell

A Swedish proverb says that shared joy is double joy, and that is certainly true for mutual masturbation. Whether you make it foreplay in close contact or the main course with long-distance partners, add a sex toy or two, explore kink and other role-play scenarios, it’s a versatile act with the potential to be so much more than a quick, side-by-side wank. On top of that, it’s available and accessible to most, regardless of who or where we are.

If you still haven’t already, perhaps it’s time to roll up those sleeves and start multiplying the good times!

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