What Does Mutual Masturbation Mean?

Mutual masturbation is when partners use their hands or toys to stimulate each other’s genitals. It can be done between two or more people. Like many other sexual activities, mutual masturbation is a way for partners to give each other pleasure or sexual stimulation. You may also hear it called mutual pleasuring.

Orgasm doesn’t always have to be the goal of mutual masturbation. It can be part of foreplay leading up to other activities like oral sex or penetrative sex. Or it can just be an intimate activity between you and your partner.

A common method of mutual masturbation is when two or more partners sexually pleasure each other by touching the other’s genitals with their hands or fingers. It may or may not include penetration. If you and your partner are comfortable doing so, you can also use sex toys such as vibrators.

Another method is for each partner to touch themselves while the other watches. You might do so while talking to your partner or while looking at erotic materials together. This shared experience can be pleasurable for both of you in many ways.

How Mutual Masturbation Works in Relationships

Many people masturbate to learn more about what they like or dislike during sex. It can help you  figure out the best way to reach orgasm, and how to control when you climax.

Many couples use mutual pleasuring throughout their relationship, but it may happen more at certain times. Pregnancy hormones can heighten your libido and can leave you open to new activities like mutual masturbation. Bodily changes during pregnancy may make mutual masturbation easier than intercourse.

How to Explore Mutual Masturbation With a Partner

Mutual masturbation is an activity that requires a partner. You can do it to satisfy your partner, yourself, or both. You and your partner can begin by kissing and touching to build up excitement and arousal.

Once you’re both ready, you can touch yourselves or each other. Start out gently. You can continue to masturbate each other or work up to other activities like oral sex or penetrative sex.

Myths and Misconceptions About Mutual Masturbation

In the past, masturbation was mistakenly thought to cause things like:

  • Blindness
  • Poor sexual function
  • Sexual perversion
  • Mental health issues

In fact, masturbation --whether alone or with a partner -- can have benefits such as:

Some people think masturbation is only for people who don’t have a partner. This isn’t true. Many adults, even those in relationships, continue to masturbate throughout their lives. Mutual masturbation can be a healthy, fulfilling part of a relationship if both partners enjoy it.

Another misconception is that mutual masturbation is totally risk-free. It’s true that there’s no risk of getting pregnant or spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) when you masturbate alone. The risk of getting an STD through mutual masturbation without penetration is also low.

But there’s a small risk of STDs if you penetrate your partner with your fingers and injure the lining of their vagina or anus. This can leave an opening for bacteria or viruses to travel through.

This is also true of pregnancy. The risk is very low, especially when compared with other sex acts. But there’s a possibility of pregnancy if a partner uses fingers with semen on them to penetrate another’s vagina. To avoid STDs or pregnancy, use a latex glove or condom when penetrating the vagina or anus.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

APA Dictionary of Psychology: “Mutual masturbation.”

APA Dictionary of Psychology: “Petting behavior.”

British Association for Sexual Health and HIV: “A BASHH Guide to Safer Sex.”

Definition.org: “Mutual masturbation.”

Family Planning Victoria: “Masturbation.”

The Journal of Perinatal Education: “Sex and Pregnancy: A Perinatal Educator’s Guide.”

National Health Service: “Fun with less risk.”

Woodlands Health Centre: “Masturbation Q&A.”

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