THE BLOG
05/05/2016 02:49 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Here's what happens when you masturbate with your partner

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Author Photo by: Steph Grant, www.stephgrantphotography.com

Happy National Masturbation Month!

Yup. There's a month for that. And rightly so. It's one of life's greatest little pleasures and nature's best medicine with no side effects and a plethora of benefits from relieving stress, depression, and insomnia to improving your sex life!

Masturbation is something you can do alone, of course. But what you might not know is that it's also a fabulous activity to do with your partner. Why? Well, here are five stellar reasons to masturbate together from my brand new book on the subject "The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex."

1. To reach a new level of intimacy.
Because masturbation is a solo act and because there has been so much shame built around it, masturbating with your partner can really bring you together. It says, "I'm not ashamed of being a sexual person, and I'm not ashamed that you are, either." That's the kind of intimacy that can lead to mind-blowing partnered sex. Keep in mind that we are all humans looking for love and acceptance and approval for our wants, needs, and desires. Masturbating for one another is the ultimate in sexual acceptance.

2. To mix things up.
Let's face it. The longer you're together, the more stale things can become. Masturbating together can be a fun activity to throw into your regular repertoire. You can do it in the bedroom, the bathroom, even the kitchen or the living room. You can wear sexy lingerie or go au naturel. You can set a whole romantic scene or simply surprise your partner with the idea. Keeping things fresh in the bedroom is key to keeping your relationship alive and kicking.

3. To create a new twist on the quickie.
No one knows how to get you off like you. If you know you and your partner only have time for a quickie, a mutual masturbation session can be just the ticket. Watching your partner take care of herself or himself is like having your very own live sex show, which should be just the inspiration you need to take care of your own sexy needs. Plus it can be an excellent way to get you revved up for later, when you both have time for a much longer play session.

4. To allow you to see that it really doesn't necessarily take women longer to come.
Women don't actually take longer than men to come if you're talking about going from totally unaroused to orgasm. The issue is more that the usual prescribed activities don't really lead to female orgasm, or take a lot more time to get there. Masturbating together can be the perfect tool for explaining this and a great way to show a male partner that when the right things are done to the right places on your body, you are just as likely as he is the get to the nish line in no time. (Not to say that you should ever be in a hurry to orgasm. But it is nice to dispel that myth. It's not about our equipment--it's about what's being done to our equipment.)

5. To reduce the stigma of masturbation in your relationship.
Once you masturbate together, it's less likely that you will harbor any ill will toward your partner about masturbating when you're not around. It's really important to see one another as humans with wants and needs and desires. And sharing that together can take the mystery out of it for when you're apart. Masturbation isn't about not wanting your partner; it's about taking care of yourself in one of the many ways we should be caring for ourselves every day.

Excerpted from "The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex" by Jenny Block, foreword by Betty Dodson. Cleis Press, May 2016.