We often think of masturbation as a solitary enterprise. A bottle of lube, a tab on YouPorn or your favorite galleries on Tumblr, a powerful vibrator, and you're on your way to at least a few minutes of pleasurable self-care.

But masturbation is also wonderful when shared with a partner. Mutual masturbation is a great overall option when it comes to pleasure. The heat and passion of sex can sometimes lead to us getting carried away down different sexual paths. Mutual masturbation gives you the chance to take a step back and put your and your partner's pleasure first.

Putting pleasure front and center can also lead to some pretty amazing orgasms!

In fact, there are a whole lot of reasons why you might add mutual masturbation to your regular sexual repertoire. Here are a few of our faves.

1. It Can Deepen Intimacy

When you think about it, sometimes your brain can go on autopilot during sex. We can get distracted by the heat of the moment, leading to sexual encounters that may be pretty quick, and perhaps less pleasurable than they could be for both partners.

Mutual masturbation, on the other hand, demands more engagement. You get to really focus on your partner, watch and listen to their reactions, to their movements, to the sounds they make. In other words, you get to really tune in to the person you're having sex with.

If this isn't something you've done - or you haven't done it for a while - it is a truly amazing thing. Trust us!

Because you're each focused on your own pleasure, you won't get distracted by the other worries or thoughts that can pop-up during sex. You both get to take your own satisfaction into your own hands and proceed in exactly whatever way appeals to you.

At the same time, your partner will be doing the exact same thing. Touching and feeling themselves in the perfect combination to send them over the edge.

Sounds pretty hot, right? It is.

The result is a more intimate encounter where you and your partner can really pay attention to each other, learn about each other, and play with pushing each other's buttons (or the buttons on sex toys at the very least!).

2. It Helps You Get to Know Your Partner's Body

Not every body is the same, and people have different erogenous zones. Taking the time to explore them can make a big difference in the satisfaction you both experience from sex.

If you pay attention to your partner while they touch themselves, you'll start to notice places where their breath stops short, where they moan, where they shiver with pleasure. Pay attention to their speeds, movements and techniques. You'll learn a lot about what your partner likes and doesn't like simply by watching them.

Understanding your partner's body is like a healthy booster shot for your sex life that can help defend you from boredom for months (or years!) to come.

3. It Helps You Show Your Partner What You Like

While mutual masturbation helps you get to know your partner's body, the opposite is also true; mutual masturbation is a great opportunity to help your partner learn what you like.

If there has been something missing during your sexual activities with your partner, mutual masturbation is great time to show your partner what sends you over the edge. Have your partner watch as you pleasure yourself. You can also describe your motions aloud and even talk about what you would do to your partner in return.

If you're using sex toys, this is also a great opportunity to show your partner just where you like your toys to hit!

4. It's a Great Way to Integrate Sex Toys

Speaking of sex toys, these delicious devices can provide a seriously sexy boost to your sex life, even if you're already having smoking-hot sex to begin with. But if you're a little apprehensive, mutual masturbation is a good moment to introduce something new.

Consider a sex toy that works for both of you, like a wand vibrator or a smaller, palm vibrator or body massager. Use the toys to seek out new erogenous zones on both of your bodies or apply the vibe to yourself while your partner watches and pleasures themselves with their hands.

Wand by We-Vibe Vibrator

[Wand by We-Vibe provides deep, rumbly vibrations sure to please both partners! Plus, it comes with two custom attachments to help you play with different sensations!]

You can also create fun games with sex toys, like only one can be on at a time. If you hear your partner's toy turn on, you have to stop and turn yours off, and vice versa. See how long you can prolong your orgasms, teasing each other back and forth until one of you gives in!

Need we go on? When it comes to sex toys and mutual masturbation, there are so many possibilities!

Mutual masturbation can be a powerful way to both expand your sexual repertoire and deepen your connection with your partner. Just remember to watch, listen and communicate through all of it!

Do you need ideas for your next steamy scene? Take our quiz to get a personalized scene built just for you!

If you're just tipping your toe into the world of BDSM, you may be unsure where to even start when it comes to planning out a scene.

We made this quiz to provide you with your next, or first, BDSM scene based on your own tastes and desires!