Sex talk
Speaking of Sharing Strokes

Simon Sheppard,

Good sex can be athletic, kinky, or nasty. But it can also be rather sweet.

Recalls one fellow, "I picked up this guy at a showing of a gay film, a pretty twisted movie. We were both dressed in leather, and when we got back to my place, I expected things to get wild. But instead we ended up doing a lot of kissing and snuggling, and we came by jacking each other off while we looked deep in one another's eyes. Beating off rather than beating: It might not have looked like an SM video, but it was really nice."

No doubt about it – "great sex" is often defined as mind-blowing blowjobs, fabulous fucks, even challenging whips-and-chains fandangos. But most of us began our male/male explorations with a good old grope and a frisky bit of feeling-up, and sometimes the oldies but goodies still work just fine.

"With all the focus on sexual technique," says one observer of the scene, "there's a danger of losing sight of what sexuality should be about most of all: making real contact with another person, and giving and receiving pleasure."

Mutual masturbation boasts a number of prick-pleasing pluses. It's free of the top/bottom power dynamics that can complicate other scenes. Familiarity can breed contentment, since every man knows the caresses that feel good to him and can use them on his partner, too. And there's the D.I.Y. angle – if your pud-pulling pal misses your get-off mark, a self-pleasuring demonstration can illustrate vividly just where you want to be squeezed and how fast you like to be stroked.

It's also about as safe as flesh-to-flesh sex gets, so even playing with strangers is relaxingly low-risk. (Which is not to say, though, that using another man's precum or jizz to lube your own willie is an entirely great idea.) There's none of the self-consciousness of wondering if the condom's in one piece and whether you can stay hard enough to fuck, or the awkward moment when a pole slides out of the hole.

And then there are the visual pleasures of sharing strokes. Instead of staring down at the top of someone's head, a bush of pubic hair, or the pillow, two happy wankers can look each at each other's faces, straining bodies, or throbbing cocks.

A mutual J.O. session can, with care, last many long, luscious minutes – or hours. But it can also be ruthlessly efficient. "My partner and I have been in a relationship for nearly a decade," says one stable guy, "and sometimes when we wake up horny together, all we want to do is get off and start the day. At times like that, stroking each other to orgasm is perfect, even if we do have to spend a few minutes afterwards in the shower."

Sure, some homos view stroking scenes as hopelessly vanilla, or "what men who think they're straight are willing to do." But whether a man is a nookie novice or a hardened slut, mutual masturbation can have its carnal charms. It's easy, fun, and requires a minimum of equipment – just hands, glands, and perhaps a dab of lube. And, as our partnered pal points out, "The orgasms my boyfriend gives me with his hand are at least as intense as the ones where I shoot in his mouth."

So even if you're an obsessed cocksucker or a devoted anal bottom, why not take a break from habit and wank Mr. Right's rod while he strokes yours? A dick in the hand, after all, can be worth at least as much as one in the ass.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion

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