I’ve written about solo masturbation fairly extensively in previous posts, but I haven’t touched on the subject of shared, or mutual masturbation yet. Two weeks ago, in my Going to Bed Naked Survey Results post, Chris Tian asked if I would write about this topic, because it’s been a point of contention between her and her husband. So, in the hopes that it helps some couples, here are my thoughts on mutual masturbation within marriage. As we’ve been doing, my wife’s comments will be in purple.
Mutual masturbation is not a sin
Jay and I haven’t always had this activity in the bedroom. It’s actually a pretty recent addition to our repertoire of activities. When Jay first suggested it I was quite nervous about it and was unsure of how it would work and how I would feel and how he would feel seeing me do that to myself, and watching him pleasure himself. It was awkward and it took a long time the first time, we were both a little confused since we didn’t have anyone’s advice to draw on. But we realized that since it was the first time, and we had never done anything like this before, it was going to take some time to get used to. If I remember correctly Jay was in recovery from his porn addiction and that can cause some serious side-affects like ED and delayed orgasm.I wanted to share all of our sexual experiences, and I wanted him to feel like his needs were met, so we used this when things didn’t quite work out through PIV sex. You know sometimes when things just aren’t working, for women sometimes when we are ovulating we get some pretty awful feeling cramps inside, and sex can be very uncomfortable and even hurt, when “Aunt Flo” is near things don’t feel so good either (at least for me) so these times are idea for some MM (mutual masturbation) time because we can focus on what does feel good for us during these times without making hubby feel guilty about hurting us. For Jay, he gets up really early to go to work, and he’s also trying hard to work out and become fit, so sometimes his legs just can’t take it, so this presents a good opportunity for some MM time also.
Mutual masturbation and solo masturbation produce much of the same chemical response. There is a dopamine rush, and an oxytocin boost, and both cause your brain to become more inclined to do to whatever behavior you are doing. Now, in the case of solo masturbation, this increases your inclination to experience sex by yourself. But, in the case of mutual or shared masturbation, this will increase your inclination to share sexual experiences with your spouse, which I think is the ideal. At least I don’t see it as such. I have previously made the assertion that solo masturbation is a sin (not looking to restart that argument here), so what’s different about mutual masturbation? My argument is that sex was designed, by God, to be a shared experience. My contention with solo masturbation is that it sex without your spouse. The way I see it, you are using masturbation as a replacement for your spouse if you are not sharing it with them.
Pleasuring yourself with your partner is not a sin
Really it doesn’t matter what you use, I don’t think, either way you are pleasuring yourself really. In the case of sex, from a male perspective (I’ll start there, since I have that perspective), generally you are doing whatever you do during sex to increase your pleasure (ideally while increasing pleasure for your partner as well). Varying the speed/depth of the strokes, changing the angle, whatever it may take. During shared masturbation, you switch to using your own hand, or a toy, instead of your partners body parts. Likewise for women. Instead of the husband’s penis/pubic bone/whatever gets you there, you use your own hand or a toy to bring the pleasure. After all, you became one flesh (Genesis 2:24) when married, so what does it matter which body it belongs to? It’s still shared sexuality, it’s still bonding you together, and in fact, in some cases, it might be more so, because there can be an extra dopamine/adrenaline burst when doing something a little…taboo.
Closed feedback loop
There are various reasons why one might choose mutual masturbation over sex. If you think of it, not as an alternative to sex, but rather a variation of sex to share with your spouse, it becomes just another activity, like oral sex, manual sex, or another position. The biggest reason is that you have a closed feedback loop. What do I mean by that? Two things really.
First, when you are having sex, intercourse I mean, you have two bodies to worry about. In order to change the sensations, you have to navigate the dynamic of two bodies, it’s not a direct relationship, it involved a second party, which, don’t get me wrong, is amazing. But, occasionally, it can be frustrating. Our bodies feel different from day to day, from hour to hour, sometimes the smallest shift can completely change the sensation of sex, and so, sometimes, you just can’t quite get to the level required for orgasm, because the feedback loop is not closed, there is another body constantly adjusting and changing the dynamic as you are.
Second, if you are engaged in manual play, and your partner is pleasuring you, the loop is not closed either. Your partner is looking at you, trying to gauge your reactions, guess your body language and/or vocalizations and then make a judgement call on how to change their technique. When you are pleasuring yourself however, the feedback is instantaneous and you can adjust to the sensations immediately.
Because of this closed feedback loop, mutual masturbation can be much quicker than sex, and be easier to attain orgasm, and uses fewer large muscle groups, and so can be the optimal choice when you are low on time, or too exhausted (or you have a sore back), or just as a means to get an erection for men who are having trouble with erectile dysfunction.
Mutual masturbation and sex
As well, mutual masturbation, or shared masturbation can be integrated into your sex session in a few ways:
- As foreplay: a quick way to get yourself hard (men), or wet (women) and warmed up.
- As part of sex: many women need clitoral stimulation for orgasm, sex often doesn’t provide this, so during intercourse, masturbation can work those clitoral nerves while intercourse takes case of the vaginal nerves
- After sex: for a variety of reasons, you can use shared or mutual masturbation to end a sex session, either because one partner cannot continue, concerns about fertility (pulling out is not an fool proof method by the way), or just to speed things up if it’s taking too long and you’ve run out of time.
Both or just one
Much of what I’ve discussed can apply to either one or both spouses masturbating. The point is that the experience is shared. Most will agree that occasionally, sex can be more for one spouse for another, whether one spouse doesn’t have the desire for an orgasm during that session, or a spouse recognizes the other has a much stronger need, but the time constraints, or some other circumstance doesn’t allow for both to get the full experience out of sex. So one spouse might decide to have sex with the sole purpose of pleasuring the other spouse. I see no difference if one spouse were to masturbate while the other is present (virtually or physically) and shares in the experience in some way, even if it’s just watching and/or listening. Some ways you can share the experience (even if just one is masturbating):
- With your eyes: watching
- With your ears: listening
- With your mouth: talking, kissing, biting, licking
- With your fingers/hands: touching, caressing, rubbing, pinching, penetrating
And I’m sure there are more.
I know Jay gets a lot out of watching me orgasm, he loves to see, hear and feel it all happen. After that I’ll watch him, or because I just finished I feel all lovey dovey and I’ll start kissing him passionately which helps him get there as well. Gotta love all those hormones!
How to start
If you’ve never done this before, it can be awkward to start. I have some thoughts and ideas on how to make it better:
- Understand that you might not orgasm the first time, or even the first few times. Masturbating in front of someone for the first time can cause your orgasm to become unreachable. Don’t let that deter you. Either keep going, or decide to try again another time.
- Try with the lights off. This can go both ways. Either it will help, because your spouse won’t be able to see you, or it will hinder, because you feel like you’ve lost a part of your connection, or because you have lost your visual stimulus.
- This is more for the guys: don’t forget lube. We don’t self-lubricate quite like our wives. During sex, you get that benefit, solo, you don’t.
- This is more for the girls: try first during sex if you haven’t already. You’ll already be “warmed up”, and sex can give you that extra boost to be a little more daring.
Jay has some great tips on how to get started and what to do. Just remember to be patient with each other and yourself especially. It’s normal for things not to work out quite like you want to the first little while, but you will get there, and you will really appreciate having a way to experience sex together without actually having sex when things aren’t ideal.
Some things to remember
Just because your spouse is touching themselves, does not mean they aren’t focused on you, or don’t care about your pleasure. Do not take a request for this activity as a sign of rejection, but rather an invitation to expand your sexual play together. The attitude is key here. Just like sex, if you have the wrong attitude, there is no point in even doing it. Also, pay attention to your spouse, watch what they are doing, take mental notes. They are doing their best to get to orgasm. That might be a lesson worth learning to improve your skills as a lover.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Let us know in the comments below. And please take some time to answer the anonymous survey below.
If you have questions about masturbation in marriage, you might be interested in these:
- Is masturbation a sin?
- Why masturbation is a problem, whether you’re married or single
- Mutual Masturbation Survey Results
- If masturbation is sinful, what do you do if you don’t orgasm during sex?
- What Is Your Opinion Of Solo Masturbation Due To Separation?
- Is masturbation for medical reasons okay?
- Why do married men masturbate?
- What do you do if you suspect your spouse of secretly masturbating?
- My Husband Admitted To Masturbating, How Do I Get Over The Hurt?
- Why does my low-drive spouse masturbate?
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37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex
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