How Mutual Masturbation Increases Intimacy

Our sexpert gives you the lowdown on the benefits of self-love—together

Updated 09/12/18


Mutual masturbation: is this the thing your relationship needs? Jury is in: Most def.

Firstly, you might be thinking, What is mutual masturbation? That’s alright. It’s not a practice widely discussed. Mutual masturbation is when you and your partner masturbate next to each other (or within view of each other).

This can include coming on each other’s bodies, but it doesn’t have to. It can also involve one partner masturbating while the other simply watches. It might be fun with porn, it might not. It’s a very customizable sexual activity. You can try it however you’d like!

Does this sound kind of weird to you? It shouldn’t! This is a very healthy and normal part of relationships. Masturbation doesn’t stop just because you’re married or are in a long-term relationship. Anti-masturbation folks might tell you this is the case or that masturbating is cheating. This is utterly ridiculous. Masturbation is not cheating and it is not bad.

It is its own separate and enjoyable sexual act. Here is why masturbating with your partner is actually amazing for your relationship and can increase intimacy.

It’s hot to see you touch yourself

One of the main things that deters us from touching yourself in front of our partners is a lack of body confidence. It’s a pretty vulnerable place in which to be. They have an up close and personal view of your entire body and everything it does when you’re in the unencumbered throes of pleasure. It’s kind of intimidating. We get it.

Something to remember: Your partner thinks you’re hot. And they definitely think you’re super hot when you orgasm. When you love someone, seeing them in ecstasy is almost as sexy as being in the same position yourself. It’s like your own personal erotic material.

Masturbating together is a big step towards comfort with your partner. Intercourse may be touted as the ultimate act of love, but couples who masturbate together are the ones who are truly at ease with one another.

Like, how much better can you know a person when you’ve seen them jack off on the regular?

It’s forbidden (or whatever)

There is an element of the forbidden. Masturbation, both doing it and speaking openly about it, are still somewhat in the conversational shadows. Of course, things that we think are “bad” turn us on. Taboo is sexy. When we have a sense that masturbating with our partner is something we shouldn’t be doing, we just want to do it even more.

You get to share this “dark secret” with your partner. Everyone sees the two of you out and about, your friends and family have you over for dinner and to parties. By all accounts you’re a perfectly normal, vanilla couple.

Yet, no one knows that when you get home your partner is going to watch you use your vibrator on yourself. It’s like being two different people and only the you and your partner know that dirty little alter ego.

Up the kink factor by introducing porn to the games. If you’re wary of watching porn, we promise there are options you’ll adore. Check out this list of female-centric sites that will rock your world. Again, no pressure. Do your thing.

You learn more about what your partner likes

Having incredible sex is about more than knowing where a clitoris is or the sensitivity of the frenulum, it’s about knowing exactly what your partner likes in bed. There is no better way to learn how to give an epic hand-job, oral sex, et cetera than by watching your partner touch themselves.

Every single body is different. You may think you know your spouse like the back of your hand, but watching their hands (or toys) is always going to be a lesson. Perhaps you never realized your partner likes to touch the head of his penis alone sometimes. Maybe you never considered that she’d like internal stimulation in tandem with oral sex.

Opening yourself up to mutual masturbation might feel a bit odd at first, but it will soon become a treasured part of the sexual repertoire.

Sometimes you want closeness without intercourse

Now, let’s touch base on semantics. Mutual masturbation is straight up less work than intercourse. If the only way you know how to express ourselves sexually is by ending every encounter with intercourse, your sex life will probably suffer.

Why? Because when you’re tired, overworked, and stressed, the last thing you want to do is climb on top of someone and get in a full cardiovascular workout. Well, at least sometimes.

Mutual masturbation doesn’t replace intercourse, oral sex, or any other form of play. It is supplemental. When you want to feel close to your partner, see and watch them come, but are worn out - this is an excellent way to experience that intimacy without it feeling like a burden or chore.

You’ll wind up having MORE sex. Who knew?

Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, educator, and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.

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