What Is Mutual Masturbation? Here’s How To Relax & Enjoy This Sex Act

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You’re always hearing how great mutual masturbation — that is, when you and your partner masturbate next to each other — can be for your sex life. But initiating the act is often easier said than done. After all, masturbation is usually something we do alone without anyone watching. The performance pressure, as well as the question of how to incorporate your partner, can be major pleasure-killers.

“Masturbating in front of a partner can be very intimidating,” Astroglide’s resident sexologist Dr. Jess O’Reilly tells Bustle. “Many of us were raised to do so with shame and secrecy for fear of being ‘caught.’” If you can get past that hurdle, though, the act has lots of benefits. It can help you and your partner understand each other’s bodies, since you’ll see exactly what works for them. That also means you’ll both get exactly the kind of touch you want. And if you’re aiming for simultaneous orgasms, it’s much easier to time them when you’re both in control. Another plus? It’s nearly impossible to catch an STI or get pregnant through mutual masturbation.

So, here are a few tips for getting over that initial awkwardness and having an amazing mutual masturbation session.

1Have Phone Sex

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Phone sex is essentially mutual masturbation at a distance. If being watched freaks you out or watching your partner feels like too much multitasking, the phone can help ease you into the practice, says Dr. Jess. Instead of giving them the visuals, describe what you’re doing as you touch yourself.

2Do It Where You Can’t See Each Other

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Once you’ve mastered phone sex, you can take it up a notch by masturbating in the same room. If you’re feeling self-conscious but want the experience of being side by side, Dr. Jess suggests leaving the lights off or the covers over you. This way, you can hear each other — but unlike with phone sex, you won’t have to worry about what you’re saying.

3Touch Each Other

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If you want to make mutual masturbation feel more, well, mutual, Dr. Jess recommends a gesture of affection, like kissing your partner or putting your hand on their thigh. You can also reach over and help them out if you’d both like.

4Let Go Of Any Goal

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Don’t worry about orgasming, since that expectation can create a lot of pressure, says Dr. Jess. Instead, try to focus on experiencing pleasure in the moment and sharing the experience.

5Bring In Toys

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Toys can spice up mutual masturbation just as much as they can solo masturbation. They can also make it less work for you both, so you can better divide your attention between yourself and your partner.

6Watch Porn

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Putting on porn gives you a common activity to share — and help you shed some nerves. “You won’t feel quite as on display that way,” Vanessa Marin, sex therapist and creator of Finishing School, an online orgasm course for women, tells Bustle.

“In my opinion, mutual masturbation is one of the most underrated sexual activities,” says Marin. “It might feel intimidating at first, but it’s extremely hot to watch another person pleasure themselves, so it’s worth trying.”