Figleaf Answers Q’s on Male Masturbation

Figleaf was kind enough to look over all the questions posed by women in regards to male masturbation of late, and compiled a hefty response for y’all.

I enjoy Fig’s site a lot since it offers a lot of what I enjoy to read: Intelligent discussion about sex. It’s a nifty thing to have him guesting here. Thanks, Fig.

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READER WRITES: Ok, it doesn’t really turn me on, but it certainly doesn’t turn me off either. I did accidentally walk in on my husband while he was masturbating in the shower. I scared the hell out of him. I apologized and now I don’t peek around the shower curtain unless I know that he knows I’m in the bathroom. After all that’s his time and not really any of my business.

FIGLEAF: So first of all I’d like to say cool, you didn’t jump him when you caught him (neither jumping all over him for doing it, nor jumping his bones.) Real masturbation is a personal act.

J.P. Donaleavy, author of The Unexpurgated Code, a tongue-in-cheek book of etiquette for English social climbers, recommended that upon encountering someone masturbating you should say “I see you’re in good hands” and withdraw. It’s actually the best advice there is. Now I did say that real masturbation is always a personal act. If that were the end of it I probably wouldn’t have started writing this at all. Read on.

You say watching masturbation doesn’t really turn you on or off. That’s actually pretty cool because unless you’re the one masturbating it’s really none of your business. :-) There’s also masturbation for two and that’s a whole ‘nother topic.

Watching someone masturbate *for* you can be pretty exciting. Exciting for them because they’re doing it for you. Exciting for you because they’re doing it for you. If they’re shy there’s the excitement of seducing them into doing something you know will give them pleasure. If you’re shy there’s the excitement of safely crossing a few boundaries. If you’re not even a little bit curious there’s still the excitement of learning how *they* touch themselves so you can do it yourself next time.

If they’re reluctant there’s even the possibility of excitement that comes from saying “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours.” If you’re adventurous there’s the possibility that it’s just another form of foreplay that can lead to one of you throwing him or herself on the other and fucking their brains out. If you’re into dares, suspense, and delayed gratification there’s the excitement of playing chicken – of seeing if one of you will crack and jump the other’s bones before one of you comes. If you’re polite there’s even the excitement of watching each other get closer and closer and saying “after you…” “no, after you” “oh no, I insist” which of course can prolong the moment till both your eyes are rolling.

Heck, even if you’re just lazy there’s the excitement of knowing they’re doing most of the work! :-)

The bottom line, though, is that while real masturbation is always a neutral (to a spectator) personal act it can become charged when you invite yourself into it. It’s surprising how that personal act, even one you might find personally distasteful under other circumstances, becomes a mutual act that can be every bit as intimate and erotic and fulfilling as the closest, deepest coupling.

READER: I’ve met a man who doesn’t like to masturbate, and I’m dead curious to hear opinion on that. I’m sure he’s not the first and won’t be the last, but I’m very sorry I may never have the pleasure of watching him do the deed…or giving him a hand…

FIGLEAF: There’s an old joke that 99% of men masturbate and the other 1% are liars. It’s not really true. More of us enjoy masturbating than care to admit it, but just as there are plenty of women who for one reason or another don’t masturbate, there are also plenty of of men who don’t either. (Figures vary but it could be as high as 20%.) If your partner is one of those then you might have your work cut out for you.

Another group of men feel that masturbation is sort of a second choice or a substitute for sex and so they’re going to feel a little reluctant to give up an “opportunity” to play in order to rehearse some more.

Finally, most of us are pretty shy about admitting we masturbate. There’s the usual conditioning against touching yourself, with overtones of “If I admit I do it you’ll imagine I don’t think you’re satisfying me.” Something else to keep in mind is the conditioning we get early on that being seen masturbating is perverted because of the perverts who sit jacking off in their cars near playgrounds and such.

Yes, it’s sort of silly, but so’s imagining you’re not every bit as sexy in dumpy sweatpants as in lingerie.

Two things to try, one theoretical, the other very pragmatic.

Theory: Remind him that no matter what kind of delicious, arousing, eye-popping, or otherwise remarkable sex is depicted in industrial porn, 99.999% of male actors eventually stop doing that, pull out, and masturbate till they ejaculate because… well, I’m not sure why they do, but they all do it. So if porn stars can do it, you might suggest, then so can he.

Pragmatics: Tell him you’re going to masturbate for him. Ask him to watch but not touch. When he’s pretty far along suggest it would really, really turn you on even more if he’d touch himself too.

One of those should work if he’s one of the 80-85% or men who know how to and enjoy masturbating. If he’s one of the others, well, you can ask him to practice, or you can *help* him practice, but I can’t promise it’ll work. Sometimes when we say we don’t like to masturbate we’re actually telling the truth. :-)

READER WRITES: I’d like to know the kind of things that make it feel good – is it better with lube or spit, or just with the hand? Does the pressure of the hand make much of a difference? For those with foreskins, does tugging that down over the head feel pleasurable in and of itself?

AND…

Does any of it weird you out? Why? I love watching men masturbate – I find it quite delightful seeing how they take care of themselves, and noticing their overall reaction. It’s harder to pay attention when my mouth’s at play!

What’s your reaction to it? Do you find it hot, or not? Why or why not? It turns me on, watching one of my partners masturbate. I find it less impacting watching it in porn, but still interesting.

AND…

Have you had any negative experiences with it? What’s your reaction to finding a lover doing it when he thought you were asleep / not around? Only the one. With a previous partner, I woke up one night to find him standing at the side of the bed and masturbating over me. That disturbed me at the time, and disturbs me now. Interestingly, I have no problem with my current partner jacking off while I’m asleep, and he has no problem with me doing the same. So I think that was a personality issue rather than an action issue.

AND…

Closing opinion: watching men masturbate is a) hot, and b) gives me pointers to add to my own skill-set. I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to move my hand as fast, though!

FIGLEAF: This is really good to hear, you know. Another thing men are raised to believe (and a lot of women for that matter) is that women don’t like to watch. I think it’s more correct to say women don’t like to feel uncomfortably or involuntarily out of control, as you did when you woke to find your partner masturbating over you, or as others do when an aggressive man exposes himself and expects you to be turned on. Nice guys may take that a little too far and not be comfortable showing you anything at all. If you can convince him you’re comfortable with him doing it (it might take some convincing) and if he understands that you want to watch and learn so you can do it to him too, he may eventually grow more comfortable with the idea. (Repeated Hint: ask him if it would turn him on to watch you.)

As for technique, I don’t know what to say. I don’t have direct experience with other men but based on the ways my own partners have confidently but not always successfully taken me in hand I get the impression different men like different strokes in different places. But that’s just another argument for asking your partners to show you. The one other generality I can add is: Men tend to like way, way more pressure than women do. I think this has a lot to do with why women think we touch too hard and men think women touch too gently.

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Back to me! Thanks for the contribution to this series, Fig. Much appreciated.

As for the reader with concerns she might never stroke fast enough, well, I’d focus on the details you can master — firmness of grip, length and placement of stroke, that sort of thing, and master those. A good long stroke, teasing the balls, all these things could probably compensate nicely for the lack of speed (which some guys say can be a really nice change of pace, literally, anyhow). What do you think, Fig, readers?

Oh, and please notice the fabulous specimen touching himself in the photo? He’s playing with his testicles. Don’t forget to make friends with the boys — gently. Just playing with a guy’s balls can do some pretty incredible things to his desire. Just be gentle, that’s all. A little kiss here, a little stroke there…