By Maya Galinsky for Self Studies
Self-pleasure is a lifelong relationship. Perhaps this journey of self-discovery is a gradual and steady build-up, taking the time to explore yourself before progressing to the next step. Or maybe it's akin to a honeymoon phase, where you just can't get enough! Like all relationships, it's natural to experience various phases, rough patches, and changes. Sometimes, all you need is a quick fix, while at other times, you crave for new and exciting experiences, or perhaps you simply require some space - and that's perfectly normal!
The most wonderful part about this relationship is that here, you call all the shots. Solo sex ebbs and flows through life with you. However, like all relationships, it can get complicated, especially when it is a relationship that lasts a lifetime.
When you’re used to having an exclusive one-on-one connection with masturbation, the thought of roping another person into that dynamic can be absolutely mind-boggling. And, just like introducing a new 'friend' to the 'group,' there are many methods to do so without disruption.
And yes, we are talking about partnered masturbation.
There isn't a single way to practice partnered masturbation; you and your partner, individually and collectively, have the ability to create your own unique experience. Some ideas include watching one another masturbate and providing mutual stimulation. It doesn't have to be abrupt; it can be a gradual, steady, and smooth transition. Even when anxieties arise, remember that you are not alone. Here are some common thoughts that may cross your mind when considering sharing this intimate experience through partnered masturbation.
"Am I doing something weird?"
This thought is all too familiar with masturbation. There is no guidebook to self-pleasure, and honestly, there's nothing less weird than understanding what makes you feel good and then sharing it with someone you enjoy having in your intimate space. Regardless of the position, thoughts, props, toys, or ambiance you choose, being in tune with your desires is an empowering experience. Self-assuredness and confidence are undeniably sexy.
"I feel exposed."
Vulnerability, stigma, and shame are the reasons why masturbation is often kept hidden away. Like a well-kept secret, it can feel raw when sharing this intimate aspect of yourself with a partner. It's not just a secret in your mind; it's one your body shares. Since solo sex involves letting go of control and inhibition, it can be challenging to reveal that surrender of control in front of another person. When inviting someone to be present during your self-pleasure, it's easy to feel self-conscious and uneasy, knowing you may have less control over your body's reactions.
"Why do I feel so vulnerable?"
Ah yes, the result of stigma and shame. In a world that often shrouds masturbation in taboo and shame, there’s very little room for self-acceptance. It's no wonder that masturbation becomes such a vulnerable topic when our sex education, especially in schools, doesn't even acknowledge it, let alone discuss our sexual needs. This educational gap leaves people uncertain about their desires and bodies. And then there's the issue of body image, cultural and religious influences, misinformation, and more. It often feels like the world is trying to force-feed us the idea that masturbation is inherently vulnerable. It's not a failing on the part of individuals; it's a failure of society to provide us with the support and knowledge we need.
"I don't think I could relax."
Two words: nice and steady. There's no rush, set time frame, or specific definition for what partnered masturbation should look like. You can gradually ease your partner into your solo sex journey, and it can be a fun and flirty process. Consider practices like:
- Sharing your fantasies and any details you feel comfortable sharing with your partner.
- Being on the phone or video call with your partner.
- Having your partner in another room.
- Having your partner sit across the room.
- Gradually increasing the light in the room over time, starting with the lights off.
- Sitting on the other side of the bed.
- Masturbating under the covers.
- Being held tightly and directing your partner where you'd like them to look.
This process can enhance intimacy and contribute to an overall sense of acceptance, which spills into other aspects of the relationship.
"I'm worried that they will feel inadequate."
There's a misconception that masturbating while in a relationship is a form of cheating or a sign that you aren't sexually fulfilled by your partner. This couldn't be further from the truth. Just because you're in a relationship with someone doesn't mean the relationship you have with yourself disappears. Masturbation is not exclusive to singles, and it doesn't undermine your relationship with a partner. Introducing solo sex is like introducing your partner to a lifelong friend. You share your experience of masturbation with your partner, and you also introduce your partner to the idea of masturbation as a part of your sexual journey together. Understanding that solo and partnered sex are separate relationships stemming from distinct roots forms the foundation for dispelling inadequacy-based insecurities.
"Adding a little bit of spice"
Opening up about solo sex to your partner is liberating and can be incredibly enjoyable! Moreover, mutual masturbation is a fantastic way to heat things up with your partner. With various positions and toys to explore, mutual masturbation forms a world of its own and is tremendously exciting. You can each incorporate toys and demonstrate how you like to use them. To take it a step further, consider using an app-controlled vibrator to elevate the experience. The Magic Nyx by Magic Motion, a beginner-friendly app-controlled clitoral vibrator, can be easily worn in your underwear. If you're seeking penetration, The Magic Flamingo by Magic Motion is an excellent choice. It offers both G-spot and clitoral stimulation, and it responds to the pattern and rhythm of music and voice control features. The possibilities with mutual masturbation and app-controlled toys are limitless and undoubtedly worth experiencing.