Self-love, in a pas de deux

One of the sexier things to see in the bedroom is one’s partner having a good time. Check that: a good time.

I know I’m not alone in saying that seeing one’s partner giving him- or herself that good time can be incredibly hot. Maybe I really am cock-obsessed, but there’s just something sexy and beautiful about seeing a guy stroke himself. The part that always confused me is that, if he starts doing that in the middle of the act of sex, am I left out of the picture, or should I cheer him on?

Anyhow, everyone reacts differently to being touched — some like a firm stroke, others like light movements; some people prefer pressure, and others love friction. Discovering what each new partner enjoys best and capitalizing on it is really a fantastic part of sex. Capitalizing on it, ignoring it to tease — it’s all the same, right?

Much can be learned from watching one’s partner please him- or herself. Magazines state over and over again that women fear being too rough with their guys’ penises, and it can be true; watch any guy beat off or even just fiddle with his stuff and you’ll see just how rough some of ’em like i.

The same is true for watching women fiddle with themselves. Watch her hands; see if she tends to use circular movements more or if she just presses down hard on her clit and comes that way. Does she like to be fingered at the same time? (Yum). Don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure.

People should never be afraid to help out, if it’s not against the wishes of your partner. Some people prefer to concentrate on the task at hand (so to speak); others find the assistance really helps.

What constitutes assistance? Anything from dirty talk, tender stroking or kissign to fingering, fondling, ball handling or whatever. Some women love to be fingered while they play with their clits; some guys love to have their balls played with while they stroke themselves. Some people enjoy a finger in their ass, others love to have their nipples played with. Experiment, see what you can do to enhance the experience — or speed it up, if you’re getting bored or tired.

Some people want to hear how sexy they are and how much you love them; others want to hear how dirty they are and how hot listening to them moan makes you. Find out what your partner likes and run with it.

Masturbatino can be, and often is, a private thing. It’s one of the most selfish, harmless and rewarding acts any person can do, and it can be horrendously difficult for some people to feel comfortable enough to touch themselves in front of another. There can be shame, awkwardness, or embarrassment associated with the act, and those aren’t easy emotions to overcome.

The things to bear in mind are simple, but difficult: for one, your partner (theoretically, unless you’re dating a few of my exes) cares for you and wants to see you enjoy yourself, too; two, it’s a sexy act and shows a great deal of trust in your partner; and three, it’s an orgasm — does it really matter where it comes from? Especially if it can be enhanced by the presence and assistance of your partner. Yum… orgasms.

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