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Many of us define "sex" as penetrative intercourse -- but why stop there? Non-penetrative sexual activities like mutual masturbation can be just as pleasurable as the traditional ones. 

Whether you're looking to bring your favorite luxury sex toys into the bedroom, prevent pregnancy by avoiding penetrative sex or simply broaden you and your partner's sexual horizons, mutual masturbation can be an exciting new activity to incorporate into your sex life.

May is International Masturbation Month, so there's no better time to try mutual masturbation than the present! Check out our guide to getting started with mutual masturbation in your partnership -- and why you should love this non-penetrative sexual activity as much as we do.

So, What is Mutual Masturbation?

If you are new to mutual masturbation, you might find yourself wondering what the heck it actually is. Mutual masturbation is both exactly what it sounds like -- pleasuring yourself in the presence of a partner -- and so much more than that. You can engage in mutual masturbation while a partner pleasures themself, or while your partner watches and vice-versa. You can involve a luxury sex toy or stick to the tools you were born with, your hands. 

Your partner can also involve themself as much or as little as you both want. Maybe they stimulate another part of your body that you find pleasurable while you masturbate. Perhaps they jump in to assist with the "big finish." Or, they may simply want to watch. Whatever their level of involvement, that's okay -- one of the beauties of mutual masturbation is that you can customize this activity to suit you and your partner's preferences! 

The Benefits of Mutual Masturbation

People enjoy sex without penetration for a wide variety of reasons. Maybe they find that they can only achieve orgasm with clitoral stimulation or the use of an intense electro sex toy. They might suffer from a condition like endometriosis, which can make penetrative sex unbearably painful. Or, they might enjoy the intimacy of sharing the normally private act of masturbation with a partner.

Whatever your reasons for engaging in mutual masturbation, this sexual practice can have a wide number of benefits for you and your partner to enjoy, including but not limited to:

  • Increasing intimacy. Partnerships are all about sharing yourself with others -- and mutual masturbation allows you to share another part of yourself with someone you care about. It can be incredibly vulnerable to allow someone else in on an activity you normally do by yourself, especially one as intimate as masturbation.

  • Trying something new. You and your partner may find yourself aroused by the possibility of trying something you've never done before. Especially in long-term relationships, mutual masturbation is an excellent way to spice up your sex life and add something new to your bedroom routine.

  • Learning your partner's likes and dislikes. By watching your partner masturbate themselves exactly the way they like, you basically get a crash-course in how to give them the best pleasure of their life. Likewise, mutual masturbation offers you the opportunity to demonstrate to your partner exactly how and where you like to be touched, with what speed, strokes and intensity feel best to you.

  • Managing disparate sex drives. Do you often find that you are not in the mood when your partner wants to have sex, or vice-versa? Mutual masturbation doesn't require you both to engage in sexual activity while you are together -- meaning this activity can help you achieve balance in partnership where you have differing sex drives.

  • Protecting from pregnancy. And, of course, the most obvious benefit of mutual masturbation is that it's nearly impossible to get pregnant from non-penetrative sexual activity. Make sure that no sperm comes into contact with the vagina or vulva during mutual masturbation, and this can be an excellent way to enjoy intimate time with your partner without the fear of accidental pregnancy.

Tips for Mutual Masturbation

If you are just getting started with mutual masturbation, you and your partner may have a lot of questions: for example, what position is best for mutual masturbation? Are you supposed to talk during mutual masturbation? Should you bring props into the bedroom, such as water-based lubricant or a luxurious sex toy? You may even be wondering how to masturbate, if this is something you haven't tried before (in which case, allow us to direct you to this guide for people with penises and this guide for people with vaginas). 

As sexual experts, we're here to quench your thirst for information about mutual masturbation and other sexual techniques. Read on to discover some of our best tips for engaging in mutual masturbation with a partner to minimize anxiety and maximize pleasure.

Get Comfortable With Your Own Body

As we mentioned previously, mutual masturbation offers partners an opportunity to discover what the other person does and does not like -- but if you don't know what you like, how are you supposed to communicate this to your partner? Take time to explore your body on your own before inviting a partner to join your masturbation sessions. You might be familiar with what feels good to you but never given much thought to how you like to masturbate in the context of demonstrating your technique to your partner. Discovering the right way to show your partner what feels good, even if you cannot explain it out loud, takes time -- and much of that time will need to be spent exploring your desires on your own.

Agree On How to Proceed Before the Fact

There are a lot of considerations that come into play the first time you explore mutual masturbation with a partner. Will one of you masturbate while the other watches, taking turns demonstrating to the other what feels good -- or would you prefer to masturbate side-by-side in tandem, trying to finish at the same time? Do you feel comfortable with the idea of masturbating side-by-side or face-to-face, or would it make you feel better to close your eyes or use a blindfold during the act? These questions are important to answer before you get into the bedroom to try mutual masturbation for the first time, so make sure to initiate an open and honest conversation with your partner about your feelings regarding mutual masturbation before trying this technique for yourself.

Spice Up Your Mutual Masturbation Routine

Once you've become comfortable with simply masturbating in front of a partner, you may want to explore ways to make your mutual masturbation routine more exciting for you both. Bringing luxury sex toys into the bedroom is one way to spice up your mutual masturbation routine; just make sure to wash any sex toys with a genital-safe soap and water before sharing them with a partner. Adding eye contact or dirty talk about your sexual fantasies or what you'd like to do to your partner while masturbating can also make the experience more intimate and more arousing for you and your partner.

Mutual masturbation is an excellent way for beginners to become familiar with non-penetrative sexual acts, offering the benefits of pregnancy protection, increased intimacy and a refreshed routine in the bedroom. We hope this guide helps you and your partner get started with exploring your own individual desires, together in a way that's sexy and enjoyable for you both! 

Featured Image Credit: luxstorm  / Pixabay