Ladies, May is national masturbation month. But that doesn’t mean you have to celebrate alone. If you are confident and comfortable with solo sex, why not bring it into your partnered play?

Mutual masturbation can feel slightly taboo since self-pleasure is generally seen as a private act. Being witness to your partner’s self-pleasure and hearing all of the changes in his/her moans, groans and breaths can sometimes feel kind of naughty, making it an exciting experience between lovers.

In relationships we often focus on a few things that we know are sure to work, so we stop experimenting. Solo sex with your partner can be a great opportunity for you both to share your sexual secrets and discover new ways to bring each other to climax.

A great way to introduce new sexual ideas is by talking with your partner. However, the conversation doesn’t need to be a serious one. The point is to put the topic on the table for discussion when you aren’t engaged in sexual activity. Although it may be tempting to dump the idea onto your partner during foreplay, it can sometimes lead to misunderstandings (plus you might not know your partner’s entire sexual history).

Try this for an opener when introducing any new sexual activity to partnered play: first explain the reasons why you like the idea. Then talk about the idea of mutual masturbation and all the pleasures you can experience as a couple. Sharing these details may help to make your partner feel more comfortable.

If you sense your partner is uncomfortable, give him/her time to absorb this new information. Even when a couple is open about masturbation, it doesn’t mean it will translate into doing it together. If he/she is on board, you don’t want to throw them into the deep end. Take things slowly. Set rules and boundaries with your partner beforehand. Check in with each other. Know what you and your partner need to feel comfortable. Offer them positive feedback. When you are introducing mutual masturbation into your partnered play for the first time, be vocal with moans, groans, breaths and even words. Show them how hot it makes you feel.

When you imagine mutual masturbation you may think together but separate. But there is no reason not to touch each other, focusing on part of your partner’s body (with touching, kissing, licking, sucking, breathing) while he/she masturbates. Perhaps you can even help with the big finish. Massage his testicles and after plenty of external play, insert a well-lubed finger in his back door. Hold your finger in place and slowly rotate it in circles. If you aren’t comfortable using your fingers, introduce a well-lubed butt plug and just leave it in place. Again, move the outer part of the butt plug slowly in a circular motion. While your partner is buffing his banana/whipping the willy/flogging the log, you can glide an ice cube over his body to play with temperature change. Slide the ice cube over his nipples and genital area and follow the ice trail with breaths and licks.

You can even add role-play into your mutual masturbation. Some women fantasize about the domination and submission themes of Fifty Shades of Grey. If you fall into the submissive category, your partner can instruct you to masturbate and walk you through the process with step-by-step instruction (telling you when, where and how to touch yourself and even when you are allowed to orgasm).

Mutual masturbation is all about self-loving. So it’s good to know a trick or tip (or two!) to spice up your experience. For example, hand jobs aren’t just for penises! For those still exploring, you’ll find the clitoris at the top of your vulva, where the inner labia join. The sensitive little pink pearl sits at the top of the labia wearing a hood of skin and the shaft is underneath the hood. Grab onto the shaft of the clitoris with a finger and a thumb on each side of the hood and gently stroke it.

The great thing about mutual masturbation is that you can not only learn a few new ways to pleasure your partner, but it’s a great way to connect when, for whatever reason, partnered play isn’t an option.