How to Have Great Sex

Jerk Your Way to Great Sex – Three Simple Steps to Become a Better Lover

Most guys were so afraid of getting caught masturbating that they learned how to jerk off quietly and quickly to avoid detection.  Going straight for the most powerful erotic zone and mastering the skill of rapid ejaculation are bad habits for good reasons, but those highly refined habits come at the expense of appreciating the entire spectrum of erotic experience and developing a nuanced understanding of how to activate zones and build slowly but powerfully towards orgasm.  Approaching masturbation with a new perspective is extremely difficult for many men because, again, it’s embarrassing to think they’re doing something wrong, it’s embarrassing to think they don’t know how to have sex and it’s embarrassing to ask for help about almost anything, let alone this.  But the first step is to expand the sexual canvass beyond your rod.

Despite the fact that most men know that most women don’t orgasm through vaginal penetration, the majority of men just can’t wait to stick their stuff in there and call it a day.  This penis-in-vagina approach to sex is the driver behind the painfully low average time that most americans have sexual intercourse: about 5-7 minutes.  This isn’t always a bad thing, of course, as sometimes a quick dip is exactly what everyone wants.  But a good lover should have range — and that range is ideally from 3 minutes to two hours.  And the good news is that it’s quite easy to get there: it just requires a better understanding of how to manage and alter pace creatively, a better understanding of how to explore the entirety of a woman’s body and a better awareness of your own sexual capabilities.  While you can read tomes of literature about this, you can also masturbate you way to a PhD in this subject.

The Sexual Response Cycle is generally described as Excitement, Plateau, Orgasm and Resolution (you can read more about it here:  Men generally move effortlessly and quickly through all states while most women require more engagement and often much more time to reach the same levels of arousal.  Understanding how to usher your partner through these states with you is the first step towards extraordinary sex, but understanding how to reverse course and prevent the cycle from automatically moving from one state to the other is the trick to having great sex over a longer period of time.  Finally, learning how to re-enter the cycle after completion is how you have multiple sexual highs in one evening.  But if you can’t find the patience to learn how to manage your own movement through these stages, you’re going to have trouble ushering a woman through these stages.  Learning how to do this effectively is where masturbation can be extremely helpful.

Step One: Get Hard by NOT Stroking Your Penis

Yes, you have an entire body filled with pleasure points that need to be seen as part of a sensual continuum: your toes, the bottoms of your feet, your inner thighs, the area between your anus and your balls, your nipples, your neck, ears, your lips, etc.  There’s a lot more than your penis to play with, and learning how to explore your own body and work your way slowly towards your penis is a critical step.  If you follow the steps below, you will be well on your way to not only epic jerk off sessions, but the most memorable sex of your life. 

Your first exercise is to get an erection by touching yourself somewhere other than your penis.  Once you have an erection, work to remain hard without reaching for your man-thing — again, use your entire body to continually stimulate, arouse and tease.  I think of this experience like a standing wave in a river.  Toys can be extremely helpful here: nipple clamps, feathers and prostate toys all help to expand and constantly shift the sphere of sensation.  And vibrators aren’t just for women: if you haven’t experienced the deep, muscle-penetrating hum of a hitachi wand on your perineum, anus and cock, then you’re living in the sexual dark ages.  This is a prime example of how an experience is only achieved with the use of toys.  And not only that, but if you have an adventurous partner, you can use this toy together.  What’s so important about this exercise is learning how to avoid the drive to orgasm as soon as you move into the ‘Plateau’ phase of arousal.  The better you are at recognizing the beginning of that phase (and most men enter and escalate through it very quickly) and the better you become at being comfortable with an erection and all of the energy building up, the more satisfying it is to finally touch your penis (I often like to have a visual to help me — either a photo or video). 

Step Two: Maintain Your Erection for 15 Minutes

Once you can maintain an erection for 15 minutes, you can start to take matters into your own hands.  Experiment with lube — and lots of it — and approach this like an experiment: you’re trying to find as many areas and as many forms of touch that excite you.  I find that variation in pace, temperature and texture are key.  As you’re stroking, clinch the same muscles you use to hold your pee — and clinch them hard.  Flex your thighs/quadriceps.  Clinch your glutes — note how contraction of different muscle groups affects sensation and drive to orgasm.  Continue to focus on heightening arousal without orgasm, however, and spread sensation across your body.  Think of your penis as the expressive symbol of pleasure rather than as the explicit object of pleasure.  This subtle shift in mindset – thinking of your penis as the symbol of your please rather than the insatiable object of sexual pleasure – dramatically improved every aspect of my sex life.

As noted above, one of the best toys for men also happens to be one of the favorites for women: the hitachi magic wand.  Again, there is really no limit to what you can do to  both expand and extend the pleasure spectrum with the help of toys: cock rings, butt plugs, combination cock ring butt plugs, electricity, vibration, temperature, texture, pressure, suction — explore and experiment and refine! I cannot emphasize the importance of this step enough: once you view your entire body as a platform for incredibly varied sensual experience, you will carry that perspective and the attentiveness and creativity and pacing into your sexual relationships with others.  And because most men do not bring this nonjudgemental, open-minded, fun, creative, attentive and giving approach into their relationships, this will make you a great sexual partner.

Learning how to slowly build and then maintain sexual pleasure is a key step, but it’s even more important to get over the fear and shame associated with certain areas of your body.  Most straight men feel really uncomfortable playing with their ass in any way (playing with the ass is often seen as ‘gay’ or at least as ‘feminizing’, it can feel very vulnerable, it can be seen as unsanitary, etc).  The stigma around the ass is a huge social barrier for straight men and moving beyond it not only opens the mind but also open a vast landscape of sexual pleasure.  There’s also an unexpected but critical outcome when you disarm a social taboo: you can approach it and talk about it in ways that help others feel comfortable approaching the topic.  We’re animals, after all, and we sense when people are uncomfortable or disingenuous and we recoil.  But sincerity and openness make others feel safe exploring unchartered territory.  Strangely, whether you end up enjoying certain sensation or not, the simple act of trying something different seems to make the mind more flexible and the heart more open.  And this is the foundation for honest communication that is critical to understanding how to unveil and explore the desires of others. 

If you want to stick your stuff in someone’s ass, you’d better know what it feels like to have something in your ass.  Once you do, you’ll understand how over-zealousness and inattentiveness can quickly create a horrible sexual experience for your partner.  Although not everyone derives the same pleasure from anal insertion, most people eventually enjoy at least the suggestion of fingers lingering near their anus.  Anal play can be purely suggestive and never involve penetration, so start by understanding how sensitive the area is.  You can stimulate your anus simply by contracting your muscles as if you’re trying to hold in your pee.  Touch your balls, your nipples, your legs — anything you can get your hands on.  This is a really good time to include toys, which can provide unique sensations and shift and distribute pleasure effectively.  Do not even try inserting a finger, let alone a prostate stimulator or butt plug, until you feel good about running your lubed finger around the anus and relaxed about the idea of insertion.  If you play with this area over time, you’ll also notice that there are times when it definitely doesn’t feel good down there, so when your partner gently guides your hand away it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unwanted, only that it’s not the time.  If you have this experience yourself, you can communicate tactfully around this topic.  You’ll also learn that while the anus is filled with good feeling, it takes some time to relax the muscle and prepare it for insertion.   Try using a vibrating prostate toy and just running it up and down your perineum and around your anus while twirling a Tenga Egg over the tip of your penis and then pulling it down your shaft.  The buzzing around your ass and the silky membrane of the egg teasing your cock should feel fantastic.  If you can relax enough, slowly apply pressure to your anus with the toy (but don’t try to insert it).  Again, this may be the limit for you at this point, and bringing this awareness of limits, how to approach them and how to understand and respect them is something you will now extend to your relations with others.

Step Three: Remain Hard After Ejaculating

Now that you have a more developed sense of how to build and maintain erotic tension coupled with a more expansive view of the different ways that can be achieved and sustained, you have the foundation to sustain an erection post orgasm and achieve multiple orgasms.  Again, what works for some may not work for others, so you have to experiment and then learn how to apply that to your partner sex, but the same techniques used to build and sustain an erection can be used to develop the ability to have multiple orgasms.  I first experienced this accidentally when I used a toy to see if I could prolong the descent after orgasm and I suddenly found that the change in temperature and texture and pace was not only sustaining my erection but re-invigorating me!  I used a penis pump, open-ended stroker, Tenga Egg, prostate massager and warm Fleshlight interchangeably.  Work with your preferred constellation of toys (and, if helpful, visual aids) to maintain arousal by changing stimulation.  I used to find that taking a shower also helped me quickly rebound and I think the water was doing the same thing: the change in temperature and sensation sort of ‘reset’ my skin to feel and react to new stimulation.  Once you achieve this alone, you can think of your partner as a far more sophisticated version of a collection of toys to shift stimulation.  Your partner’s body can provide incredible variation in temperature and texture and sensation to keep you stimulated.  Knowing that you can do it solo, however, is the first step.

You may also find that, even if you do lose your erection for a while, you can regain it in short order.  This is a great excuse to dive into pleasing your partner as you mentally and physically reset.  Knowing that you can come back is not only important for you, it’s important for your partner, as they will sense that your efforts are sincere and focussed and not an attempt to sweep up after a premature conclusion.  So, what are some examples of how your partner might help you bridge the gap?  She might use the tip of her pointed tongue to stimulate the tip of your cock as she runs her nails around your balls.  You might tongue kiss her passionately and then have her suck your cock.  She could breath warmly on your cock while running her nails down your chest or along your legs.  You could ask her to masturbate using your cock to stimulate her clitorus.  This is where you get to use your imagination and build on what you’ve learned.

And what are some things you might do to bridge the gap? Hover your hand ever-so-close as you spread your fingers and move slowly over her ass, her hips, clasp her waist firmly with both hands, lightly caress her inner thighs, pinch and lick and nibble her nipples and lobes and lips, let your teeth run softly down her neck, and let your warm palm rest on her vulva and start to massage her as if a gentle wave were moving through your hand.  With you hand on her vulva, run two fingers along her labia and stroke her pussy gently with your middle finger.  Find out if she likes her ears kissed or enjoys a gentle tongue in her ear, some women like their armpits licked and some don’t and some won’t know until you try it.  The same way you’ve practiced getting hard without touching yourself, roam all over her body, using variation of touch by hovering, then touching softly, then grabbing something with a little more force — her neck, perhaps, as you finally suggest kissing her, or her nipple as you run your fingers just above her labia.  Ask her what she likes and incorporate and build on that.  Play with variation of temperature by sucking an ice cube from your dink and kissing her or licking the tip of her nipples with your icy tongue.  Get creative and find out what she reacts to.  Now if you’ve done your work and actually played with your own ass, you’ll have a much better sense of what do with hers.  Spend some time just letting her know you’re interested.  Be slow and suggestive and be sure not to mix fingers that touch her anus with fingers that touch her pussy.  Run your finger very gently around her anus, apply a little pressure and stroke it, stroke the surrounding area.  If the response is positive, wet your finger or use some lube and run your wet finger around her ass for a while and let her know that you are sharing her pleasure and want to give her more.  If you don’t know that this is something she wants and enjoys, tell her that you want to slip your finger gently inside her ass and ask if it’s ok.  With one hand stroking her wet pussy and labia, gently and slowly slip just the tip of your finger in her ass and kiss her.  If you’re hard again, lie down and have her ride on top of you without inserting.  With your cock on your belly and her on top, have her grind her pussy slowly up and down and all along your cock.  You can pinch her nipples or grasp her neck while she touches herself.  You could tie her up and blind fold her and touch her neck, her ears, her hips, her fingers, gently finger her labia, let her hold your hard cock, surprise her by moving the tip of your cock to her lips, etc.  Again, the options are only limited by your imagination and the consent of your partner.

If you find the prospect of multiple orgasms daunting and unattainable, there is another great role that masturbation can play in enhancing your sex life.  Again, one of the main problems that men face in being attentive with their partners is that they are all sexed-up and focussed on a singular goal: penis-vagina penetration followed quickly by orgasm (for the man).  By simply masturbating at an appropriate time before partner sex (or even with your partner), I and many others have found that it’s much easier to focus on the partners pace and pleasure and, when if it does end up in penis-vagina insertion, it’s much easier to extend beyond the average 5-7 minute baseline.  This sounds strange, but by proactively sating this basic desire, you can engage with an emotional presence devoid of sexually charged mental static.

It’s hard to believe that masturbation can actually be a critical part of an adventurous sex life, but it can.  Not only is there nothing wrong with frequent and adventurous masturbation, but it is central to all aspects of healthy living and critical to being a great lover.  This is just an introduction to how you can recast the role of masturbation in your own life and use it not only for your own pleasure but as a pathway to extraordinary sex with others.


This article is an excerpt from the book, ‘Better Than the Hand: How Masturbation is the Key to Better Sex & Healthier Living.’


Magnus Sullivan

Magnus Sullivan has been at the forefront of technological and cultural shifts for more than 20 years. In 1993 Magnus founded eLine, one of the first system integration firms in San Francisco, bringing some of the biggest brands in the world online. One of his first clients was the storied progressive adult toy reseller, Good Vibrations. This was his first foray into the world of adult and he never looked back, partnering with the powerhouse, Game Link, to help create one of the most formidable companies in the online adult market. He has created two of the most awarded and recognized movies in the adult industry (‘An Open Invitation’ and ‘Marriage 2.0', which won The Feminist Porn Awards coveted ‘Movie of the Year’ award in 2016) and recently launched, a reseller of sex toys for men, and, a sex positive blog that promotes male masturbation and discusses the various social issues associated with it. Sullivan has written extensively about the need to expand and enhance content production in the adult industry and is also the author of ‘Better Than The Hand: How Masturbation is the Key to Better Sex and Healthier Living’. He is a fourth-generation SF-native, lives with his wife and children in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys kite boarding, skiing, triathlon, cooking, reading, writing and just about everything else that engages his mind and his body.

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