What Is Mutual Masturbation?

Many people view masturbation as a solo act. The idea of doing it in front of someone else can seem counterintuitive or even scary. Naturally, this taboo element is precisely what makes it exhilarating and, frankly, super hot. 

The pandemic has made in-person hookups more complicated, but that hasn't stopped would-be lovers from connecting online. Many who've turned to Covid-safe hookup options have stumbled across a sexy secret — mutual masturbation.

What Is Mutual Masturbation?

What does mutual masturbation mean? The most common definition is when two (or more) people pleasure themselves in the same setting. That could be in person, over the phone, or via video chat. Mutual masturbation offers a neat solution for those who want to distance themselves and still have satisfying sex socially.

Mutual masturbation can also do wonders for any couple's sex life. Here are a few reasons solo sex can be better together:

You'll learn a lot.

mutual masturbation

Chances are you rely on subtle cues to show what you like in the bedroom. You may talk about the big things but fail to explain the little ones. When you mutually masturbate, your partner can see precisely how you work yourself in detail. In turn, you get to see how they get themselves off. Think of mutual masturbation as a reconnaissance mission — and save your findings for your next romp.

You can play with power dynamics.

When you take control of your pleasure, you feel sexy and powerful. Allowing someone else to watch adds a little vulnerability, too. This makes it a great time to act out fantasies, voyeurism, or role-play. Remember, how to mutually masturbate is entirely up to you and your partner — there's no reason you can't get creative.

It combines sex with safety.

Not only does mutual masturbation work perfectly from a distance, but it's also very safe when you're in the same room. There's little risk of transmitting STIs as long as you're not swapping toys or coming into contact with semen or vaginal fluids. This makes it ideal if you or your partner has an STI.

Orgasms are all but guaranteed.

You know precisely how to get yourself off, so an orgasm is likely on the horizon. And that goes for both of you. Not only do you get to climax, but you get to experience your partner doing so. If that doesn't sound like magic, we don't know what does.

It's the perfect time to play around with toys.

Now's the time to show your toys off. Perhaps your SO has always been curious about how exactly you work yourself using a dildo or what setting on your vibrating masturbator gets you going. Either way, bringing toys into the mix can deepen your pleasure.

It can strengthen a relationship.

Mutual masturbation might seem less personal than other sex scenarios, but it's one of the most intimate things you can share. You're letting your loved one in on a particular, private act.

Let's Talk About Sex

mutual masturbation

Let's address the elephant in the room — masturbating in front of someone else can be nerve-wracking and awkward at first. After all, you've spent your entire life doing it alone. Here are a few tips to get things going.

Try phone sex.‌

Ease into things with phone sex. is ideal if you're in a long-distance relationship, socially distancing from your partner, or want to nix the visuals. Describe how you're getting down, and make sure the volume is turned up so you can hear every moan and groan.

Turn out the lights.‌

Another way to stimulate your senses is to go at it in the dark. This will amp up the auditory bliss while taking the visual pressure off. When you're ready to level up, try lighting a candle. The candlelight is exceptionally flattering on the body.

Don't be an overachiever.‌

Try not to set too many goals for yourself at the outset. The pressure of orgasming or putting on a good show will only kill the pleasure. Just enjoy the sensations and intimacy without setting any rules for yourself.

Throw on some porn.

It's okay to feel self-conscious. You can take the edge off by throwing on a bit of porn in the background. There's nothing wrong with making this a group effort.

Bring on the toys.‌

Sex toys are the perfect enhancers to help you forget any worries you may have. Once you or your partner have your favorite vibe or C-ring going, the mood will shift from self-conscious to sexy.

There's no reason to feel shy about bringing up mutual masturbation. Whether you're in a long-distance relationship or staying socially distanced, it's a great way to get around any distance or health barriers.

It Takes Two

Setting the mood is key once you've decided you're willing to give it a go. You'll want to:

  • Ensure you're in a comfortable, safe place.
  • Try taking a shower or bath to get into a relaxed state of mind.
  • Dim the lights, throw on some music and light a few candles.
  • Make sure your toys, lubes, and any accessories are within reach.
  • Test your camera, microphone, and lighting if you're getting naughty over video chat.

If you're planning on getting sensual in person, there are plenty of techniques and positions to try. As long as it feels good and is consensual, you really can't go wrong. Try:

Side by Side

This natural position will help you both ease into things comfortably. You can relax on your back or stomach — whichever you prefer. This is a good starting position if you're feeling shy since you'll get the general idea of what you're SO is doing without feeling like there's a spotlight on you.

Face to Face

This is the ideal position when you're in the mood for a show. Whether on the ground, bed, or couch, sit a few feet apart and face each other. Spread your legs wide and enjoy the view.


Perfect if you can't have penetrative sex, this position has you or you are SO straddle the other missionary style. Instead of penetration, you each use your hands or toys to please yourselves. This one offers a satisfying visual for each of you without feeling like you're on display.

If you're looking for more than a quickie, you can draw out the experience by giving or receiving a sensual massage beforehand. During playtime, feel free to make out, suck on fingers, graze body parts, drape your legs over each other, enjoy solo penetration with a dildo, or bring a vibrator into the mix.

Long-Distance Loving

mutual sex and masturbation long distance

Getting it on from afar via your phone doesn't mean your mutual masturbation  has to be any less hot. Once you make the call, you can:

  • Start by describing where you are, what you are (or aren't) wearing, and how you're feeling.
  • Ask them to express their environment and what they're doing.
  • If you're not sure what to say, consider reading erotic stories to each other.

When it comes to video chatting, it's paramount that you only do this with someone you implicitly trust — it's all too easy to take a screenshot or record a video sneakily. When it's gone time, try:

  • Slowly explore yourself and apply lube to get started.
  • Doing a striptease.
  • Masturbating directly over the camera to ramp up the intensity.
  • Practicing solo penetration to provide a visual feast.

Whether you're on the phone or video, you can also:

  • Incorporate an innovative sex toy that can be controlled remotely — then let your partner handle it.
  • Indulge in role-play or fantasy.
  • Give or take commands in a sexy version of Simon Says.
  • Mount a suction-cup dildo to the wall for hands-free fun.

Is Mutual Masturbation Safe?

Mutual masturbation is one of the safest sex acts you can enjoy. Just make sure you discuss consent and boundaries with your partner beforehand. If you're worried about STIs or thinking, "can you get HIV from mutual masturbation?" You're not alone. Thankfully, mutual masturbation is safe from HIV and STI transmission.

Take proper precautions like not sharing sex toys, avoiding contact with vaginal fluids or semen, and washing your hands and toys beforehand. Doing mutual masturbation safely depends on your willingness to communicate and respect boundaries.

In Good Hands

Mutual masturbation doesn't get the credit it deserves. It's hot as hell can strengthen your connection with your partner and create a sexual experience with someone no matter how far away they are. It's also perfect for bringing in toys and experimenting. If anything good has come out of quarantine, it's that we're exploring new ways to connect.

Looking to enhance your mutual masturbation adventures? Here are a few of our favorite toys and accessories:

‌If you're looking for more than a quickie, you can draw out the experience by giving or receiving a sensual massage beforehand. During playtime, feel free to make out, suck on fingers, graze body parts, drape your legs over each other, enjoy solo penetration with a dildo, or bring a vibrator into the mix.


A Handy (Ha!) Guide to Mutual Masturbation. (April 2020). Shape.

Into Solo Play? Here's How to Turn Things Up a Notch with Mutual Masturbation. (June 2020). Healthline.

A Sex Expert Says This Is The Most Underrated Sexual Activity — Here's How To Enjoy It. (December 2017). Bustle.

HIV 101: UNDERSTANDING THE EPIDEMIC. (January 2021). Medical Advocacy & Outreach. ‌‌‌‌‌