It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been dating or married to somebody—the idea of masturbating in front of them, or watching them while they masturbate, can seem mortifying.
But if you haven’t tried it, some couples claim that you’re missing out.
“When I walked in on my boyfriend masturbating, it was the hottest thing I’d ever seen,” says Jessica, 29. “We’ve added it into our sexual rotation.”
What makes it so appealing? The women we spoke to told us it’s like getting a front row seat to what’s normally a very private practice.
“You get to witness something that most people don’t get to see,” agrees Emily Morse, a sexologist and host of Sex With Emily podcast. “It’s voyeuristic, and that can be very arousing.’
It can also be educational. New lovers, after all, don’t come with a manual.
“I recommend couples do it early in their relationship to learn how to pleasure each other. Letting her show you is the best way to learn,” says Morse.
And, vice versa. “You can show her how you like a hand job—the rhythm, the speed, the pacing, and how to mix it up,” says Amie Harwick, MFT, a California-based marriage therapist and author of The New Sex Bible For Women.
If you’ve never masturbated with a partner, it might seem less weird to ask them to pour hot candle wax on your nipples. Well relax; it’s not that bad.
Here’s how to get started.
Talk About It First
When it comes to masturbation, the element of surprise is not your friend.
Don’t wait for her to walk in on you while you’re jerking off. And absolutely don’t burst into a room, naked and mid-stroke.
Some women are going to love the idea of mutual masturbation. And for others, it’ll be a huge turn-off. The best way to find out is by discussing the idea with her in advance.
So how do you broach the subject? Harwick suggests framing it like a game of show and tell.
“You can say to her, ‘Do you want to see how I come when I’m not with you?’ and tell her ‘I want to see you make yourself come.’ It can be very arousing to say this to her,” says Harwick.
What you’re essentially telling her is: I’m curious about you and your body. I want to learn more.
And if she says no, don’t take it personally.
Expect Some Shyness
Don’t be surprised if she’s a sex kitten in the bedroom, but during a masturbation session she’s suddenly shy and less than confident.
“Many women aren’t comfortable doing this,” says Harwick. “In fact, lots of women have a hard time masturbating in general.”
The same may be true for you. When you’re alone, masturbating can be no big deal. But when you suddenly have somebody watching your every move, it’s easy to feel self-conscious and exposed.
If either of you are feeling shy, try doing it in the dark for the first time.
Many women have out-of-the-box ways to masturbate. They’ve used everything from candles and cucumbers to stuffed animals for their private sexual play.
“Be accepting and reassuring no matter what,” says Ghose. “And understand that it’s quite normal for women to use different objects or methods to pleasure herself.”
Be a Voyeur
Remember, the show isn’t all about you. You don’t need to be the center of attention. Sometimes it’s enough just to sit and watch her.
We’re sometimes hardwired to think we should always be doing something when we’re being intimate with our partner, says Morse. But that’s not always true.
Sometimes the sexiest thing you can offer her is your undivided attention.
Spice It Up with Some S&M Role Play
You can add some extra electricity with a few kinky ground rules, like taking turns being the submissive and dominate ones.
“You can be the dom and tell her, ‘You can look but you can’t touch’ or ‘Don’t take your eyes off me,’” Morse suggests. “The sexual tension you are building by not letting your partner touch you can be an incredible turn on.”
This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. Make sure these ground rules are agreed upon in advance.
Telling her “you’re not allowed to touch” is only sexy if it’s a role-playing game. If it’s not, well, that may just be the last time she masturbates with you.
Lay Behind Her
If she’s shy, here’s a method that might feel a little less invasive: Have her sit in front of you, leaning her back into your chest as she masturbates.
“This is a very comfortable position for a woman,” says Morse. “You can ask her if she wants her breasts touched or you can kiss her neck. You can run your hands over her body. You can turn this from a solo session into a duet where you are both engaging in masturbation.”
Let Her Guide You
Another great way to learn how she likes it is to let her take your hand and lead you through masturbating herself.
“Let her lead and guide your hand the entire time so that you can feel the amount of pressure, the rhythm, timing, and strokes that she likes,” says Harwick.
And that, in the end, is really what makes mutual masturbation so satisfying. It’s never going to replace regular sex. But if you’re paying attention, you can learn things about her sexuality that you never imagined.