Is Mutual Masturbation OK for Married Christians?

Jay Dee

Is Mutual Masturbation OK for Married Christians?

Feb 12, 2014

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

Mutual Masturbation OK for Married Christians, Masturbating together, shared masturbationI’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:

  1. As foreplay: a quick way to get yourself hard (men), or wet (women) and warmed up.
  2. 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
  3. 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):

  1. With your eyes: watching
  2. With your ears: listening
  3. With your mouth: talking, kissing, biting, licking
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Your Turn

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.

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30 thoughts on “Is Mutual Masturbation OK for Married Christians?”

  1. Dan says:

    I am so grateful you are addressing this topic. It’s almost the third rail of shared sexuality which seems to be held by “kink.” At one time, this would have been considered kink. It’s interesting that the more we learn about the psychology and physiology of sex, the more what were once regarded as kink behaviors are becoming more mainstream. As I write that, I wonder if what is really happening is that a lot of closeted behavior is being admitted to, not just advocated. Perhaps much of it has been practiced all along but not acknowledged in public forums or private therapy. I do feel that the willingness to discuss it in forums such as this is certainly encouraging others to explore what may have been a repressed sexuality resulting in neurotic behaviors within the marriage. When we are uncomfortable or discouraged from discussing those frustrations, they continue to percolate beneath the surface and that frustration manifests itself in all forms of marital strife. I’ll comment more later. I have to go finish a post. I feel guilty if I don’t attempt to post weekly but, like you, I write rather long ones that I can’t help but put a lot of thought into and it takes a lot of time which isn’t always there weekly.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hey Dan,

      I’m not sure which it is: being more frequently used, or just more frequently admitted.

      As for posting weekly. It took me two years to get to that point. It becomes easier. I have a standing appointment on my calendar Tuesday nights to write, that helps a lot.

  2. Kevin says:

    Hey Jay, another good blog.

    I am going to go back and find your blog about solo masturbation, because I am quite sure I have some comments that haven’t been brought up; so I will try and stay on topic here.

    This is something that we have “never” done; I have solo’d with dw beside me, but never the other way around, and never mutual…for the following reason…for some reason, DW has it in her head that she should not touch herself in any erogonous zone in any erotic way for any reason…just not the right thing for her to do, regardless of whether I am there or not. I would really enjoy doing this and have asked her to do it to herself, but she will not. Rather sad for me, but not the end of the world; we still have a reasonably good sex life, but I think it could be so much better, if we were BOTH willing to try some new things, and more than just once if it doesn’t work perfectly the first time. This too shall come, or pass, not sure which, in this case.

    1. ButterflyWings says:

      To be honest, I wouldn’t have included touching one’s self during sex as “mutual masturbation”. I’d have called it just plain sex. I would define mutual masturbation as only being touched by one’s self while in the company of one’s spouse.

      I’d never until I read last week’s post even realised there were people out there that had a problem with using their hands on themselves during sex to help things along. I’d always heard from others that it was just a normal part of sex, as women need the extra stimulation, and sometimes when vaginal sex is out (eg during periods for people who aren’t comfortable doing it then) that guys preferred their own hand to their wife to get the speed/strength right while their wife did other things to them.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        There are many many people who believe touching yourself in this context is wrong, dirty, sinful, embarrassing, etc..

        1. Butterflywings says:

          Yes, but I’m yet to meet any that feel that way that have a healthy view of sex in general. I’m willing to bet most that feel that way think all sex is also dirty/embarassing/duty to make the man happy etc..

          1. Jay Dee says:

            Perhaps. I don’t have enough data to say.

          2. Kevin says:

            Hey BFW,
            Thank you for your response. I guess it would depend on how you would actually define “a healthy view of sex in general”. My DW is not a high drive spouse, but once I get her there, she loves it; I hope this is not too crass, but once she is horizontal and on her way over the moon, she loose a few of her inhibitions…she will perform oral to a point, she will talk to a point, she really enjoys having her O, and has often made the comment about wondering why we don’t do this more,…but she will never, never, ever touch herself.
            Now don’t get me wrong…it is not the end of the world, or even our night for that matter…I doesn’t bother me as much now, as it did earlier in our marriage; but for me, it would just be another enjoyment that we are missing.

            1. Jay Dee says:

              Isn’t that “why don’t we do this more often?” infuriating? I remember that one when our marriage was “sexless”.

    2. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks Kevin.

      Feel free to comment away on the solo masturbation posts…they caused quite stir. It’s amazing that @onewomanman below said that most(?) Christians believe self-stimulation to be wrong during sex, but I got a lot of upset people when I suggested they shouldn’t do it alone.

      As for your wife, hang in there. People can change. And if not…well, there’s nothing wrong with sex.

  3. FarAboveRubies says:

    Hey Jay,

    Good post and we are totally in agreement with mutual stimulation. Can you believe that, Jay? When I came into this marriage, I already had much experience (I’ve been forgiven by the blood of Jesus). There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. I do not let prior sin diminish my bond with my hubby. Thank you, Redeemer. I am 100% forgiven. These are things I did before I got saved. I thank God that hubby does not ever hold that against me. He was okay with the fact that I came to the marriage with experience. It was actually a good thing, from his point of view. This is our first and only marriage for both of us. My hubby had very little experience so I ended up teaching in the bedroom for awhile. He and I both think that whatever we both agree on is fine in the bedroom, that includes masterbation. It never includes any third party, obviously. I believe that God made sensitive fingers for touching. He also beautifully designed the sex organs and the areas around there to be sensitive to touch. Our skin is actually sensitive all over. Did you ever wonder why God designed the clitoris so far from the vaginal opening? I bet it was to get a man and his wife more focused on each others needs, IMHO. I believe God gave someone the intelligence to make vibrators for our bedroom activities. Mutual masterbation is all part of this whole big picture of sex, in a loving, Godly marriage.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’m not surprised, we can’t disagree on EVERYTHING.

  4. onewomanman says:

    I think word definitions are in order here. At first when reading the title, I thought that MM meant the mutual pleasuring of the other spouse, other than intercourse, to which very few, if any, would have any objections to and in fact, we make use of occasionally in our bed. It took me a second to realize that by MM you were referring to self-masturbation in the presence of the spouse, which is a very different thing, is it not? And should have a different term.

    There is a prevailing attitude among Christians that “touching yourself”, no matter the context, is always wrong. The Bible does say “your body is not your own” and so we (some/many/most?) conclude that self-pleasuring is sinful. I do like your perspective, and I would love to try this but, unfortunately, like Kevin, the wife seems to have concluded that any form of self-stimulation is wrong, or at the very least, the lesser-form of sexual expression and thus not to be pursued.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Sorry, I guess in my mind they are well defined.
      By mutual masturbation, I mean you are both masturbating (yourself).
      By shared masturbation, I mean one is (or both I guess, but that would be the same a above).
      By manual sex (mutual or only one) I mean pleasing your partner with your hands.
      By oral sex (mutual or only one), I mean pleasure your partner with your mouth.
      I hope that covers everything in this post.

      1. onewomanman says:

        That’s helpful. In my dictionary I never thought the term “masturbation” by definition only means “self”. I imagine you will find people of all backgrounds here that have their own definitions. Like, what do you mean by “sex”? Theres been long heated arguments over whether XYZ is sex or not, all hinged on how you define it.

    2. Butterflywings says:

      I would ask this of anyone who thinks mutual masturbation is wrong…. if you cook a meal for your spouse, is it wrong if you eat of it too? if you buy chocolates for your spouse (or any gift), is it wrong to have some yourself if it’s what your partner wants? “self” pleasure in mutual masturbation isn’t solely for yourself. It’s to build the sexual relationship with your spouse, to bring you closer together. Sure, you benefit obviously, but it’s for their benefit as well. If you enjoy it and it benefits your spouse, what can possibly be wrong with it?

  5. Dan says:

    I was not able to do this for a long time. It was just too personal an activity to do in the presence of someone else. At some point I wondered what was the worst that could happen and just did it, though not to completion. It played to a standing-room only crowd of one and now is often scheduled for frequent repeat performances by popular demand. After a while, the audience began to participate too in the spirit of open mic night. I see nothing wrong with it as an alternative form of sexual expression and pleasure to share with our mates as long as it doesn’t become a limitation to other forms our partner may be desirous of sharing.

  6. Mel Caldicott says:

    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  7. EssentiallyJess says:

    You bring up a lot of interesting points. Lots to think about here.

  8. lisa harris says:

    I don’t think mutual masturbation is ok in a Christian marriage. I used to masturbate in a previous marriage and we were both not Christians. It is a form of self gratification and there is no contentment. The more I masturbated the more I craved this self stimulation. I believe I did this because I did not have contentment in my marriage but quickly learned that masturbation did not solve the problem. I saw this as an unhealthy sexual problem that I needed God to heal me from. God did eventually heal me over time. I am remarried now to a Christian man. I could not imagine watching him masturbate or him watching me. I think if we did something like that then that would be crossing the line into making our sex life more for a show for pleasure than an intimate act of love. I can say me and my husband are faithful to each other and have a very healthy sex life which includes sex in a lot of different ways but we both agree mutual masturbation is wrong and would destroy sexual intimacy much like viewing porn and that is not Gods design for sexual intimacy that we believe for a healthy sex life in a Christian marriage.

    1. Spiritwalker142 says:

      My wife and I have been marries for 13 years and I have pretty much been “masturbating” my wife from the get-go. I use my hands a lot in foreplay and if I get het going really well, I don’t mess with a good thing and let her orgasm with my fingers the first time. But, it has only been in the last year that I had the courage to ask her to masturbate for me. I have always wanted her to, I always thought it would turn me on, I was right, wow was I right.
      –Now just so the ladies don’t think I’m selfish, I did figure the gate should go both ways. Since has for me I figured I should too. I must say though I have never gotten to finish, she usually jumps in and takes over. No complaints though.
      –This has all come about because of something Jay has written about. A sexual awakening. A little over a year ago my wife came home from a 1 ½ week business trip and something just went click. Not that our sex life wasn’t there it was great, it’s just something happened, went click, and now it’s amazing. More frequent, more intimate, and more communication. Communication has been the big thing. Talking about wants, desires, and even some fantasies.

    2. JG says:

      I respect your position. At the same time, I think it’s important to realise that context is everything. It’s like fornication. Intercourse outside of marriage is sinful. But intercourse within marriage is a blessed gift from God. Sex itself is good; it just becomes wrong in the wrong context. Same goes for masturbation. In your previous marriage, it was used selfishly as a substitute for the lack of contentment in your marriage. Because you understand this, masturbation has developed a negative connotation for you. But that doesn’t make masturbation sinful in itself. You just misused in the wrong context. In the new context of your current marriage, which I presume is a godly and enjoyable relationship, shared masturbation could be used in a healthy, enjoyable, mutual way. You said that if you masturbated with your husband it would feel more like a ‘show for pleasure than an intimate act of love.’ What’s wrong wth pleasure?? PLEASURE IS GOD’S WILL! Marriage is honourable and the bed is undefiled. As long as you are engaging in activities that bring you BOTH pleasure and do not violate health, safety, emotional or scriptural boundaries, that IS an intimate act of love. Christians are so quick to put restrictions on themselves in order to remain godly. Boundaries are always important but often we miss the fact that the key to true godliness is the freedom we have in Christ. We are free to enjoy our lives, including our sex lives – as long as it is in the context of Christian marriage. Jesus said He came that our our joy might be full! Sometimes our shame from the past is stopping us from walking in this joy. I am not encouraging you to masturbate. If you really don’t want to, don’t do it. But at the same time, perhaps if your perspective changes you’ll enjoy more freedom and joy in your sexual experiences within your marriage.

  9. Anonymous says:

    This was a hard barrier for my husband and I to cross, it’s something I enjoy but he didn’t, he said it made him feel inadequate as though he isn’t good enough. One night I made dinner and he added salt to his food, I asked him why? Was my cooking inadequate? He said no, he just prefers a bit more salt so I said it’s like that with me and this, I like it but I like it with you and want you to enjoy it with me. So he started to understand and now he loves it, he lets me do it first and then we make love and we both enjoy it even more than before. He’s now open to the idea of letting me watch him too so that’s nice, I just want him to enjoy what we do…my only stipulation is that I am the focus of his thoughts just like he knows he’s always the focus of mine during that time but you could say that about all sex, some people have sex with someone’s body while having sex with someone else in their mind.

  10. J says:

    We’ve been married for 18 years and absolutely do MM. She needs to masturbate to orgasm do she will generally get started early while I’m in shower preparing to make love. She knows I’m good with it and love it. By the time I get in bed she’s fully ready to go and I’m hard just thinking about her while I’m in the shower!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    We are in our mid-60s and have been married for over 40 years. Our love and intimacy gets better by the year. We enjoy sexual intimacy in a variety of ways and means. Mutual masturbation is a staple for us as it allows skilled self-stimulation with maximized delight in seeing and hearing each other enjoying our mutual ramp-up and orgasm. We have found mutual masturbation to be a non-pressured means to enjoy sexual intimacy bliss.

  12. Mike S. says:

    We are both in our early 60s and have been married for 42 years. We introduced mutual masturbation a few years ago for a couple of reasons and do it occasionally.I am the one who wanted to do it initially. My wife was a little reluctant but agreed to try it after thinking it over. The first time we did it was over FaceTime (like Skype) while I was traveling. (That is why I originally thought of it.) It was incredibly arousing and enjoyable. I felt connected. We have done that a few times and also have done it in person. In fact my wife suggested it recently when we were both very tired but wanted to be together. We lay side-by-side facing each other so we can see. The visual is a great thing for me, and she surprisingly likes that too, especially watching my face. She used a vibrator to make it easy for her. She now is very comfortable with this way of being together. We have not found it to be “selfish” or disconnected, but just the opposite.

    This isn’t something that we do all the time, but it is a very nice and “hot” part of our overall intimacy. I don’t think this would have been possible years ago, but we are much closer now. Since we are older, and both don’t orgasm as easily as before, this is a very nice, low-energy and effective way for us to do once in a while. And I certainly don’t mind being away nearly as much as I did for many, many years.

    I think for it to work, you need to be a couple that can be frank about your past, about what you like (I love to _see_ my wife, for example), and have a balance repertoire of activities to draw from. If either of you have a history of masturbating to porn, for example, I can see why the other spouse might object initially, but in actuality it could be a safe way for you to connect with your spouse as a way of healing and re-focusing on them, not other mental images. It could show your spouse that you really want them. Also, for those who have physical limitations to full intercourse, it is a very intimate way to connect when desired.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks for sharing Mike! That’s awesome.

  13. jeff says:

    my wife and i are moving 500 miles away she is at our last home waiting for our home to sale i am at the new place separated we have masturbated twice by facetime together is ok

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I don’t see why not.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I assumed the term mutual masturbation meant touching each other not touching yourselves while together. Seems strange to me that a couple would opt for that when there’s the option to provide pleasure to the other rather than yourself. Some of the best orgasms I’ve ever had have come from my wife’s hand. My brain is focused on pleasuring her so I find the pleasure builds to a mind blowing climax that I can’t reach from sex because I’m too aroused if that makes sense.

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