Sex educator Alix Fox gives her expert advice on a touchy subject

Use it to show your partner how you like to be touched

Use it to show your partner how you like to be touched

Have you heard of ‘Pastabation’?!

It’s a nickname my friends and I have coined for those nights when you’re dog-tired, stressed out or upset, and all you plan to do is self-soothe and chill out by eating some carb-heavy comfort food (maybe Spaghetti Hard-on-ara, or a rich, meaty Bollocknese), then give yourself a relaxing orgasm, say, in a deep bubble bath with your favourite waterproof sex toy, or snuggled in bed with your fingers (so convenient – after all, they’re always on hand).

Yet while we joke freely about how pleasant and de-stressing it can be to masturbate alone, I recently brought up the topic of mutual masturbation - that’s touching yourself while a lover watches, and maybe touches themselves too, or perhaps you touch each other – and some of my mates recoiled.

“Why would you want to masturbate when you could just have sex, or oral?” one wondered. “I thought jacking off was just something you did when you were single and alone, or to please yourself when your partner was away.”

“I’d be embarrassed showing my other half how I self-stimulate,” said another. “I was always taught at school that was a private thing, and it seems more revealing and intimate to have your partner staring at you while you stroke yourself than it does to sleep with them. I think I’d be mortified.”

They’re not alone in their thoughts: a recent survey of over 2,000 UK adults by sexual pleasure brand TENGA revealed that while 51% of people who are currently in relationships say they have masturbated while their partner was present, the other half have never tried it. [http://www.masturbationmatters.co.uk/]

Yet there are several wondrous reasons why mutual masturbation can be a superb form of sexual play, and it can bring a great deal of positivity to a partnership. Here are my ten Dos and Don’ts for exploring MM, and discovering how MmmMmmMmmmm it can be…

1/ DO use it to show your partner exactly where and how you like to be touched – and to learn from them

No-one is likely to have more skills at giving your body thrills than you are: you’ve (hopefully) learned precisely where your hot spots are, and the speed, direction and techniques it takes to make them tingle when you touch ‘em. Masturbating with your lover means you can give them a demo of how you DIY – and you can observe their handi shandi modus operandi too!

If you’re both confident enough, try a Show ‘n’ Tell session: command your partner to sit on a chair and pay close attention while you both please yourselves. If dirty talk flicks your switches firmly to TURNED ON, you can describe what you’re doing aloud, or ask your beau to describe what they’re seeing. It sounds sexy, plus it will help them truly concentrate, understand and remember what you’re showing them, and firmly fix how you w*nk into their memory bank!

2/ DON’T think mutual masturbation is out of the question if you’re embarrassed or shy

If you’re more nervous, try the ‘Hide ‘n’ Peek’ technique. Ask your honey to leave the bedroom while you put on slinky music, light candles, or do whatever else helps you get in the mood, before you start pleasuring yourself.

After 10 minutes, they can come back and ‘spy’ on you by opening the door a crack; the sensation of voyeurism and idea of ‘catching you in the act’ can be thrilling for them, and you might find it easier to relax and feel less inhibited if you have the room to yourself.

3/ DO welcome a blindfold into the fold

Alternatively, wearing a blindfold while you stroke yourself in company can make you feel less scrutinised. In addition, removing your sense of sight can enhance your awareness of touch, helping you focus in on everything you’re feeling.

4/ DO use mutual masturbation as a way to be X-rated even when you’re ready for Zzzzzs

If you’re more shattered than a delicate vase handled by a butter-fingered bumbler after a long day, the prospect of energetic intercourse can seem offputtingly exhausting. But snuggling up to your lover for some lazy, languid, leisurely touching together is a superb way to destress, intimately connect, and keep your sex life alive even when you’re dead tired.

Mutual w*nking is ideal when you don’t want sex to be a workout!

Imagine it can’t possibly be as satisfying as ‘doing the deed’? That TENGA survey revealed that an impressive 68% of couples who’ve given it a whirl reported that it was a “Good or Very Good sexual experience”.

5/ DON’T assume that because you’re not having penetrative sex, masturbating together must be vanilla and boring

You could try handcuffing your partner so they’re unable to reach their own moan zones while you teasingly take yourself to O Town in front of their eyes.

Or try some role play: one person becomes the ‘film director’ or ‘glamour photographer’; the other is the ‘auditioning actor’ or ‘model’, and must follow instructions on what scenes to act out or what poses to pull while they pleasure themselves to please the boss…

6/ DO try introducing sex toys…

According to TENGA, more than a fifth (22%) of the adults surveyed own a sex toy, and a nearly a quarter of those who masturbate and own a gadget (23%) say they always use a sex toy when they self-stimulate. So, if you have a battery-operated buzzing pal (or a mains-powered machine…) that you’d usually reach for solo, try using it in front of your amore.

These days, instead of resembling plastic genitals – which can look cheap, crass, and intimidating to partners – a lot of modern sex toys look more like designer objets d’art (check out the gorgeous Iroha collection – they resemble tiny sculpture https://www.tenga.co.uk/collections/iroha)

However, while this makes them more inviting for couples to explore together, it can also make them slightly less intuitive: it’s fairly obvious what you’re supposed to do with a rubber dick, less so with a silicone pebble or tiny vibrating shell. Mutual masturbation offers a chance for you to give your partner a 101 lesson on how to actually use your fave toys to make you feel 100%.

7/ …and DO try this neat Skype trick   

According to the TENGA survey, just over 1 in 10 people have masturbated with their partner over the phone or via Skype. It’s a tip top way of keeping the passion alive while you’re apart, but it’s also a clever opportunity to introduce a particularly powerful or loud toy… (magic wand industrial-style vibe fans, unite!)

If you suspect that your lover might be intimidated or put off by how much noise your preferred vibrator makes, try giving it a debut on Skype but muting the speaker while they watch. After they’ve witnessed its potential to rock your world, they may well be less bothered about how audible the buzz when they eventually encounter it in real life.

8/ DON’T forget that boys can enjoy toys, too

The TENGA poll revealed that while three quarters of heterosexual men have tried using a toy to pleasure their female partner, only 22% of women have used a gadget on their guy. Women are also more often the owner of sex toys, with nearly one in three saying they own at least one (31%), compared to just over one in ten men having their own sexual pleasure product (13%).

It’s time to break down this inequality, and give blokes new ways to stroke! Check out TENGA eggs https://www.tenga.co.uk/collections/egg : they’re soft, squidgy, hollow silicone domes with a hole in the bottom. You pour a little lube into the hole, then pop them over the end of the penis. Next, wrap your hand around them, and masturbate as you would usually; they’re stretchy, so they’ll move with your grip. Inside, each type of egg has a different texture – nobbles, waves, ridges – that’s specially designed to feel thrilling and excitingly unusual against his most sensitive parts. They get rave reviews from dudes who frankly can’t believe how mind-blowing they feel – egg-cellent!

Because it’s usually women using vibrators or dildos, the role reversal of seeing a man pleasure himself with a toy can be empowering and entrancing for her, too.

9/ DO use warm lubricant to create an intensely intimate MM session

In the mood for a deeply connected, almost meditative experience? Try laying side by side, gazing into one another’s eyes, limbs entwined. Drizzle some lubricant into your palm and massage it over each other’s hands – this will warm the liquid up, but is also a really gorgeous, delicate form of touch. Slowly let your slick fingers wander over your bodies, and travel south…

10/ DON’T forget that there can still be a small risk of STIs

It’s a LOT harder to catch an STI via mutual masturbation than it is penetration.

However, there’s still a chance of transmitting skin-to-skin STIs, such as herpes, and it’s possible to catch other infections if fluids are transferred on hands or sex toys. Consider covering sex toys with condoms if you’re going to share them, using a fresh rubber each time you pass the toy between you – I rate the new ONE range, which includes johnnies embossed with stimulating tattoo designs. https://www.superdrug.com/Sexual-Health/Condoms/ONE-Mixed-pleasures-condoms-12-pack/p/732041

Know your status and that of your partner, so you can make informed adult decisions about what sort of sex to enjoy when, and what precautions to take – there are tonnes of ways to get tested, in clinics http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/STIs/Pages/STIs.aspx and at home. https://sh24.org.uk/