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The couple that masturbates together: 8 ways to bring self-pleasure into the bedroom

By Maya Khamala

Calling all magnificent masturbators: you know who you are. You are the accomplished pleasure soloists of the world, so very adept at orgasmic aloneness as to make it an art. Your fantasies are like ripe fruit, deliciously ready to spill.

Let me ask you a question: have you ever shared in the glory of your self-satisfying bliss with another? Say, your partner (if applicable), or even a fresh new fling? Perhaps you’ve tried your hand at mutual masturbation but it never really worked, or it was awkward, or it made you feel not hot, or whatever. Or maybe you’ve wanted to broach the subject with your lover but can’t quite get over that hesitation hump.

Whatever the case may be, I say, what better way to honor the spirit of Masturbation May than to broach that subject all the way? Of course, nothing should ever go all the way (or any way at all) without hearty mutual consent. I merely share food for thought on your shared pleasure potential.

Why, though?

Some among us find the very term ‘mutual masturbation’ kinda confusing. Do you just touch yourself, or do you touch each other? Or is it both simultaneously? The answer is, all of the above, or whatever feels good. Others among us get the gist, but still don’t see the point. Let me tell you.

First and foremost, masturbation is one of the best ways in the known universe to get in touch with your own body and trigger a release of stress, tension, anxiety. But when you invite a partner to participate, masturbation can also be a super intimate form of self-love, mutual love, and joint sexploration. Not to mention, it’s the hottest form of sex ed: what better way to show your partner what really pushes you over the edge?

Here are a few tips for anyone who needs a little guidance on how to bring masturbation into the proverbial shared bedroom.

1. Touch yourselves, together

You might start by touching yourself while your partner watches, or you can both touch yourselves at the same time, while watching each other. Feel free to talk dirty, throw porn into the mix, sustain eye contact (or not), depending on your comfort level and preferences. Better yet, make it kinky: you’re not allowed to touch each other. There are no rules but the ones you agree on.

2. Touch each other

Another common way of sharing in mutual masturbation is by pleasuring each other with your hands or fingers—with or without penetration, as desired. If you choose to go this route, make sure you’re both positioned comfortably for optimal pleasure plucking. For me, the almost innocent simplicity of touching one another at the same time—with only hands—is erotic in and of itself.

3. Make out

Sex therapist Sara Trivette points out, “It’ll be easier to self-pleasure in front of your partner if you’re already feeling aroused.” To rouse one’s arousal, she recommends “making out or stroking and caressing each other—whatever makes you feel turned on.” Although it should be obvious, it bears repeating: jumping into any sexual act without taking the time to heat things up won’t be as good. Making out can also make introducing masturbation more organic. Once your clothes are off, you might ask your partner if they liked watching you undress, or if they want to see how you touch yourself. This, of course, takes a touch of confidence, which you’re cultivating right now, even as you read this. Ultimately this is not just about the bond you have with your partner, but with yourself also.

4. Assume positions

As with all sex, it’s important to let your partner know where you want them. If you’ll be self-pleasuring solo, you might want them spooning you, or in front of you, stroking your thighs. Or maybe you’d rather assume your usual masturbation position. Once you’re more comfortable, you might explore other positions. ‘Chest chair,’ for instance, adds a bit of power play into the mix. One partner (ideally the one that weighs less), sits on the other’s chest or stomach. “The pressure of someone sitting on you can be relaxing and anxiety-relieving the way a weighted blanket can,” according to sex educator Indigo Wolfe. “It also mimics the sensation of being pinned down,” a bonus for couples into that kind of dirty thing. Wolfe points out that this is also an option for anyone feeling self-conscious about putting their genitals on full display: the person on top will only see their partner’s hot AF facial expressions.

5. Don’t worry about what you look like

It can be very challenging I know, but do your personal best not to worry about your appearance. We’re all, every one of us, at least slightly out of touch with how we actually appear to others. Although it can be tempting to turn shared masturbation into a performance of sorts, it’ll be hotter if you focus less on being a porn star and more on making yourself feel reallllyy insanely good (if porn is your dream, power to you, but try hitting pause on that nonetheless, for the sake of your coupled session). After all, your partner will wanna see how you actually turn yourself on, so keep the focus on your real pleasure and the real sensations that inspire it.

6. Invite your toys to the party

Introducing sex toys into your mutual masturbation foray might just be the missing ingredient for your couple. Although I’d wager that there are no two sexual psyches are alike, getting playful with the help of quality toys can deepen both the kink factor and the intimacy of shared self-pleasure. Be it a vibrator, a butt plug, or a cock ring, adorning your mutual sesh with toys can be a great new form of sexperimentation. Or maybe a bit of light bondage with handcuffs. Trying new things is hot. And so is drawing boundaries if said new thing isn’t what you wanted after all.

7. Don’t let distance be an obstacle

If you’re in a long distance relationship or are being kept away from your SO due to lockdown or other Covid orders, there are still ways to get creative. Subvert Zoom, I say: forget the ‘shirt without pants’ business look. Instead, go full nude or lingerie lewd. There is nothing less-than-fantastic about spicing things up and connecting via virtual mutual masturbation when in-person isn’t doable. Just as you would in person, experiment with different positions and angles until you have one you feel good about—whether the camera is honed in on the action, on your face alone, or positioned further out to capture your whole body. And: always have a frank discussion with your partner about consent around recording and storing videos. Trust is a must-have.

8. Go with the flow

Mutual masturbation should be no different from any other sexual act in the sense that there should be no pressure whatsoever to cum or not to cum. If you decide to switch it up and get it on instead, that’s all good. If you decide to stop and go for a walk, or cuddle and fall sleep, all good. This is all about pleasure, that fickle goddess—so strict plans generally don’t apply.

Bottom line: mutual masturbation can be one of the most intimate acts ever. There's something about showing your partner how you touch yourself when nobody’s watching (and seeing them do the same) that can just take things to the next level. All of that said, be patient with yourselves, and enjoy the journey, baby.

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