Exploring your sexuality is a beautiful thing but society has traditionally never been too keen to talk about it. A taboo topic, discussions about sex are always fraught with awkwardness and embarrassment. The sad results of this are twisted notions about it, incorrect information replacing actual facts and most importantly, excessive shame and guilt associated with it.

We’re going to attempt changing this with our four-part series on sexual exploration and we decided to start with the basics. Before you can explore your sexuality in the context of a relationship with another person, you truly need to understand yourself. What better way to embark on this journey than through a little self-loving?

In the first part of the series on masturbation, we talked about how self-loving is actually good for you and in the second part, we answered several questions you were probably too embarrassed to ask anyone. The third part explored the thin line that separates a healthy indulgence from an unhealthy obsession.

First Part: The M Word: Why Self-Pleasuring Is Good For You
Second PartThe M Word: 5 Most-Asked Questions About Self-Pleasuring
Third Part: The M Word: How Much Is Too Much?

In the fourth and final part of the series, we share six ways in which mutual masturbation can truly enhance your romantic relationship:

  1. While self-loving is great when you’re single, and is a life-saver when you’re in a long-distance relationship, few folks connect the art of self-pleasuring with keeping their relationship or marriage alive.
  2. For women, solo explorations of their own sexual needs are a good way to guide their partners on how to make them feel good during sex. If you don’t know what gets your motor running, how can you expect your partner to be a mind-reader? Show and tell, to reap big benefits.
  3. For men, the perks include learning how long they can go without finishing, knowing what it takes to prolong an erection, or how to get turned on even when they’re not exactly feeling ‘up’ to it.
  4. After learning what it takes to float your individual boats, you can happily go sailing together. If and when either partner is not interested in or feels too tired for full blown sex, mutual masturbation is a great way to get intimate and pleasure your partner without feeling pressured to have sex. It can even be followed up by oral sex or whatever makes your lover feel good.
  5. Even if you have regular and frequent sex, touching each other and withholding penetrative sex can actually be exciting and introduce a novelty factor into the equation. And who couldn’t use some novelty and excitement in their relationships?
  6. Sometimes, what starts out as mutual masturbation can end up in actual sex. Pleasuring each other can be a real turn on and releases loads of oxytocin, the happy hormone, into your system. Flooded with this, it can be tough not to feel even closer and more attracted to your partner and if you’re still raring to go after all that, we say go for it.

Image: Shutterstock

PS: Explore our Wellness section for spa DIY, natural home care and more.
Here’s your complete guide to 
Emotional Well-being.

Read More:
How To Date A Feminist (& Love Every Bit Of It)
7 Sex Sabotages & How To Avoid Them

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.