Illustration: Meg Murgatroyd
Author: Katie Baskerville
If the past twelve months have taught us anything, it’s that we have all been loving a moment to ourselves. You only need to look at the booming sex toy sales of 2020 to see that societies perception of sex is experiencing nothing short of a renaissance. The conversation around masturbation is beginning to normalise, thanks to the tireless work of educators, advocates, sex workers and newly onboarded celebrity endorsements.
For many masturbation is a solitary experience. This is in part due to the shame we can feel towards solo sex. After all, the word masturbation comes from the Latin “to defile oneself.” Thankfully, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. And, with the world opening back up again to cautious cuddling (le sigh), it won’t be long until we’re reacquainted with our lovers and the dating scene, so bringing your partner(s) in on the solo action you’ve been getting is a no-brainer - right?
Showing someone how you like to work it out isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, mutual masturbation is a common sexual act amongst many couples and throuples. It helps establish clear communication, builds intimacy and helps set boundaries, which means clearer consent and fewer fake it till you make it moments. By opening dialogues around pleasure in a partnered setting, couples can experience whole new levels of pleasure. And, let’s face it, wanking with someone you love, lust and trust is just a hoot.
So, “what is mutual masturbation?” I hear you ask. Well, to put it plainly, it’s you and your partner, (or partners), masturbating in the same room, or if you’re tech-savvy, over video chat. It can involve touching each other, too, although doesn’t have to. In short, mutual masturbation is what you make of it and what you’re comfortable with. And, here’s how you can get the best out of it.
If you’re unsure about where to start with dirty talk, try experimenting with sexting, or my personal fave, voice notes to build confidence. If you’re a little shy about asking for what you want, sexting ahead of time literally spells out your sex-pectations. It can help to build anticipation, set the scene and make you feel ready to get down to it the minute you see one another. And, who doesn’t love a tear your clothes off moment?
If your mutual masturbation session doesn’t involve touching each other, then dirty talk lets you be involved in your partners’ pleasure whilst respecting the boundaries you’ve set. Try directing each other into different positions or ask them to show you how they like it.
Introduce sex toys
The market is saturated with a huge range of sex toys, so don’t feel shy about busting out your favourite. Introducing toys is a great way to get to know your partner, and for your partner to get to know you. It also allows for variety and means you won’t need to compromise how you want to get off.
If you want to feel more involved in your partners’ orgasm, but want to keep touch out of it, then try using app-based toys to bring each other to orgasm. App-based toys are also a great way to build on your communication, dirty talk confidence and general pleasure knowledge. And, if you’re wanking from afar, they can help you feel completely connected.
I recommend the Satisfyer range for this. The Curvy 2+ and Love Triangle are particularly excellent, with sleek androgynous design and various setting to choose from, from gentle vibrations all the way to leg shaking power.
Check-in, and keep checking
I don’t know how many times this needs to be written, nay, screamed from the rooftops but it bears repeating. Consent isn’t sexy, it’s mandatory. And, people can change their minds whenever they like. So, even if you’re two strokes away from the big O and your partner says stop, you stop. Now we’ve got the necessities out of the way, here’s how you can show compassion, give pleasure and learn from your check-ins.
Asking to change something up will teach you about your partners wants and desires, it also gives your partner the option to try something new, change the pace or decline. It also opens the dialogue for your partner to begin telling you what they want, how they want it and when you’re getting it just right.
Here are some things you can try asking if you want your mutual masturbation session to involve touching.
Shall I speed it up/slow it down? Do you like this? Shall I carry on? Would you like to try something new? Show me where feels good. Do you want to touch me? Can I try this toy on you?
Assume the position(s)
We all like different things, some of us are natural voyeurs and some of us are shy wankers. There’s no shame in either.
For shy masturbators, try spooning or face to face positions where the emphasis is on eye or skin on skin contact. These closer positions are also great if you want to bring in double-ended toys or want to rub up against each other for a more intimate experience. If you’re feeling extra shy, try sitting in different rooms and connect through app compatible toys for a more private experience.
If you want some distance, try lying or sitting at opposite ends of the bed, floor, sofa, wherever you find yourselves and face one another.
Distance shouldn’t ever get in the way of pleasure, either. Setting up a camera to show off your best bits while you get yours is thrilling. Great for the shy and confident amongst us, because the camera can be positioned wherever you like.
Don’t fake it
You simply can’t fake it till you make it when it comes to orgasms, and neither should you have to. Closing the orgasm gap starts at home, so be honest with yourself and your partner if you’re not feeling things. There’s nothing wrong with stopping and starting. In fact, edging is one surefire way to bring you to the wildest orgasm.
It’s also okay if you don’t get there, or if you get there at different times. Nothing is perfect and couples rarely cum together, in-spite of what Hollywood tells us.
If you’re feeling self-conscious, or shy, take small steps and only participate in what you feel happy with. Start with gentle touching, being covered up by your duvet or keep your underwear on. There’s no right and wrong to this masturbation thing, it’s whatever makes you feel good.
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