What is mutual masturbation?

In mutual masturbation, more than one person masturbates together. (It can also refer to people masturbating each other–giving simultaneous hand jobs, basically.) It’s a safe and intimate form of play that can be done for many reasons. 

Why couples try mutual masturbation

Couples–or people having casual hookups–can explore erotic experiences by masturbating together. It’s a safer form of sex than intercourse and might also be a way partners choose to postpone intercourse while still sharing erotic time together.

Show your partner your preferences 

One excellent reason to share masturbation this way is that each partner can illustrate exactly how they like to be touched and stimulated. People may have a range of preferences when it comes to hand motion, toy use, timing, speed, and more… we can’t read each other’s minds, but we can watch and learn! (Follow up the show by asking questions and sharing your own favorite options for touch.) 

Good Vibes: What is Mutual Masturbation?It’s super intimate 

All kinds of sex play can feel intimate under the right circumstances, but it’s a special kind of connection to be able to watch each other as you pleasure yourselves. This is a very sexy show, to begin with, since you are simultaneously being both exhibitionists and voyeurs–but even beyond that, you can look into each other’s eyes, talk to each other, and share an erotic experience together that many people never even try. 

You get to see the effects of pleasure on your partner first-hand 

There’s something very sexy and moving about observing a person growing aroused, going through the sexual response cycle, orgasming… and when that person is your special someone, it’s very powerful to see their pleasure!

Higher rates of orgasm than regular intercourse 

Many couples are impacted by the orgasm gap–this is when one partner (often male) almost always comes during sex, and the other (often female) is much less likely to do so. Intercourse is not the most efficient way for people with vulvas to orgasm, because the clitoris often doesn’t get sufficient stimulation. But mutual masturbation partners can overcome that gap–via focused hand movements, sex toys including vibrators, and the luxury of self-stimulation at your own preferred pace.

How to get started

If you already have a degree of exploration and easy communication built into your relationship, it might be as simple as saying, “Let’s watch each other!” If you haven’t done anything like this before, you might want to start by talking more about sex together–this puts you on the path of easier discussions about the specific things you do, or might want to do.

Good Vibes: What is Mutual Masturbation?Communicate that you want to try it

You can express your interest in mutual masturbation in a few ways: as a question (Would you ever want to do this with me?), a personal interest (I think it would be really sexy to try it), or a request (I’d like to do this with you). In all these cases you can invite your partner to talk about it with you and basically negotiate together what you’re going to try and how–you can even use a safeword if either of you wants to stop and check in. As with any new type of sexual exploration, proceed with awareness and willingness to change plans if needed. If either partner doesn’t want to, or wants to stop, take it off the table. It needs to be consensual even when you’re touching yourself rather than your partner doing it. 

Of course, your partner might just respond with “I thought you’d never ask!” Turn up the lights and go for it! 

It’s a natural progression from (or instead of) intercourse 

You can switch to mutual masturbation after you’ve already been having sex, including intercourse–some might want to do so at that point because they’re very turned on and enjoy the showing-off factor, or perhaps this is a way to ensure that both partners orgasm. (It’s not entirely safe as a contraception or STI avoidance strategy, since pre-ejaculate can carry both sperm and STI pathogens.) 

But it’s also a very natural progression earlier in your sex sesh, when you begin adding genital touch. This is the point that many people discover how hot masturbating each other simultaneously can be, and it’s also a hot time to sit back and put on a show for each other. 

Good Vibes: What is Mutual Masturbation?Kiss throughout to make things hotter 

Making out is a very arousing activity for many people, and you can always continue it, intermittently or throughout, during mutual masturbation. Feeling a little shy or exposed? Make out some more! 

Voyeurism & exhibitionism kinks

Voyeurism is getting an erotic charge from consensually watching a partner; exhibitionism is getting turned on by being watched. Mutual masturbation (with the lights on) is a perfect activity to indulge these kinks! And if you think you’d enjoy this but feel nervous, I (Good Vibes' Staff Sexologist) wrote Exhibitionism for the Shy as a step-by-step guide to getting comfortable. 

If you don’t have a partner

… you can look for one to explore mutual masturbation with. If you use a sex-forward app you can state right in your profile that it’s your interest to masturbate with others. Make sure you stay safe; if you’re new to hook-ups, start with Allison Moon’s great guidebook Getting It.

If you live in a city with sex parties (and you can access them), that’s another fantastic place to look for like-minded mutual masturbation partners. Some also use cam sites, peep shows, or dates with sex workers when they want to explore this kind of play.

Positions for mutual masturbation

There is no wrong position for a mutual hand job, fingering, or jacking off –as long as you’re comfortable. Some options to try, some more suited for watching than others:

● Lie face to face while making out in bed Just leave enough space between your lower bodies to be able to reach and stimulate all relevant pleasure parts. Don’t forget a pillow so you can relax and concentrate on the good feelings above and below the waist.

● Sit opposite each other to get a full view - This is a classic show-off situation! Bonus if your bed has a headboard and a footboard–but this can be done at opposite ends of the sofa, in a couple of armchairs, or wherever you can make yourselves comfortable.

● Spooning can also be a hot variation - As with face-to-face positions when you’re lying on your sides, keeping your lower bodies apart enough for touching and hand job movement is the way to go. 

●  Take turns watching each other - Mutual masturbation partners don’t have to show off simultaneously, hot as that is. The better the lighting, the better it is as a master class for touching your partner. Make it a show and tell–share specifics about what you like! 

How using toys can make things easier

Good Vibes: What is Mutual Masturbation?

Mutual masturbation, sex toys–two great sensations to combine! Toys can add value in so many ways and we love everything they do to make solo sex or masturbating together fantastic and pleasureful.

Keep your focus.

You might lose focus while pleasuring yourself, so using toys can help with climax while you’re in the moment . As with 69, when you are engaged in partnered or group masturbation, there can be a lot going on! For some, watching someone else pleasure themselves turbocharges their arousal; but for others it might be a fabulous view, but distracting. Adding a toy can ramp up the turn-on!

Variation will keep things spicy and interesting 

We hope you will never be bored watching someone arousing themselves! But you might want to add even more sexiness to the scene, and sex toys are standing by ready to turn up the heat.

You may learn new techniques to replicate when using your hands 

Toys are so great because they add erotic options, and it’s worth studying how they impact yourself and/or a partner because you might learn some new moves.

Takes the pressure off if you’re nervous 

When you first try masturbating with a partner you might feel shy or put on the spot–but a vibrator or other type of toy can be perfect for reassuring you that you will be able to get turned on and come. It’s not autopilot… let’s call it autopleasure!

Great for a quickie if you’re tight on time 

Quickies can be super-hot–but how many times has having one delayed you from getting out the door when it turned out to be not so quick? Having sex was probably a higher priority than whatever you were heading out to do, but masturbating together might let you come and get to dinner on time.

Fantastic for getting both of you comfortable with toy play

So many Good Vibes customers are worried that their partners will feel some kind of way about their use of toys. There’s a great way to tackle this fear (or reality, tbh)--share them! When both of you are showing off for each other with toys in hand, you are on the same page and toy play is becoming normalized for both of you in the most pleasurable way possible.

Good Vibes: What is Mutual Masturbation?Health benefits of mutual masturbation

So is it good for you? It sure is!

Reduced stress

Any kind of sex might help with stress if high levels of arousal and orgasm result, and you have probably already recognized the stress-busting qualities of masturbation. Why wouldn’t you share that with your partner? Check out our explainer on the health benefits of masturbation for more reasons why this solo or shared pleasure is so great.

Less shame, more comfort

You have to be a bit shameless to leave the lights on and allow yourself to be viewed–add the pleasure that solo sex adds, plus the erotic vision of your partner pleasuring themselves as well, and you have crossed a threshold away from feeling shame about your body and your ways of pleasuring it. Welcome to the world of sexual comfort!

Increased libido

Watching your partner (or that sexy hook-up you just met) stroking, fingering, and otherwise pleasuring their body–not to mention exploding into orgasm–can be a huge turn-on.

So when it comes to the benefits of mutual masturbation, don’t just take our word for it… Give it a try!