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Do Committed Gay Couples View Masturbation Differently Than Straight Couples?

02/09/2015 01:09 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Jenny Block, author of Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage, discussed how she and her same-sex partner approached mutual masturbation while being in a committed relationship in a HuffPost Live interview this week.

"I think it's an incredibly freeing act, I think it's an incredibly sexy act," Block, who is also a Huffington Post blogger, said. "There's really no better way to figure out the equipment than to see how the person who owns it uses it."

Pointing to what she described as the potential for debate over "territory, ego" in a heterosexual relationship, she went on to note, "In a lesbian relationship...it's more about pleasure [and] orgasm."

She then added, "I have a very busy, high-powered, working girlfriend, so I can't always tap on her shoulder and get that assistance."

The conversation came in response to a Jan. 26 article in New York Magazine titled "Do Happy Couples Masturbate?"

Calling masturbation an "inherently antisocial" act, writer Maureen O'Connor asks, "Can we ever really get over the embarrassment of purely personal indulgence? Or take the indulgence of your partner as anything other than a rejection of you?"

"Even if we want to be open, practically and emotionally, exposing deeply private habits to anyone — even the one you love — is reflexively uncomfortable," she then observes.

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