Q&A: Mutual Masturbation Pregnancy Risk

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QUESTION: My boyfriend and I mutually masturbate each other. We take turns; I'll do it to him and then he'll to it to me. If we are careful to wipe all the semen off of our hands, his hands especially, is there any way I could get pregnant from this? Or is it just a risk if there would be actual fluid that got inside me?

Sometimes couples think that the only “real” way of having sex is to have intercourse. Women and men with more experience often realize that this is not the case, and that there are endless ways to pleasure each other and oneself.

Mutual Masturbation

Mutual masturbation is a sexual activity that many couples enjoy, particularly as it can carry a low (or no) risk of pregnancy and infection if done in a certain way. Good for you for asking how to go about reducing your risk of pregnancy.

If you are successful in wiping all of the semen on your and your boyfriend’s hands before he touches your genitals, then it is unlikely that you would get pregnant. After all, no sperm means no chance for pregnancy.

However, I’m not exactly sure how you are going about removing the semen from your and his hands.

Issues To Consider

Some of the issues to consider:

  • Are you both completely running your hands underneath a faucet, and therefore likely removing all of the sperm?
  • Or are you quickly and somewhat haphazardly wiping your hands on the sheets (and therefore perhaps less likely to get all of the ejaculate off of your hands)?
  • Are you sober, and thus likely have the ability to judge whether your hands have been well cleaned?
  • Or are you somewhat tipsy or even drunk, and therefore less likely to make a good judgment about the¬†state of your hands?

There are also other ways to enjoy sexual sharing and reduce your risk. For example, since you take turns with mutual masturbation, perhaps you can be masturbated first, and him second. It may even be that you sometimes masturbate yourselves, while the other watches or kisses the self-pleasuring partner.

Pregnancy Risk

The highest risk of pregnancy, of course, would be if his ejaculate (the “fluids” you referred to) actually got inside of your vagina through penetration with his penis or fingers, for example. However, it is possible to become pregnant even if his or your sperm-covered fingers touch only the outside of your¬†genitals, close to the vaginal opening. This is because sperm travel well through fluids.

Women’s genitals typically emit a natural lubrication when sexually excited, and this vaginal lubrication — which generally seeps out of the vagina and makes other parts of the vulva feel wet and slippery — can serve as a means of allowing sperm to “swim up” inside your vagina.

True, the risk of pregnancy in this scenario is lower than with vaginal penetration, but it is still quite possible. Pregnancies have certainly happened from similar means before. Plus, these issues are only dealing with pregnancy risk.

Risk of Infection

Keep in mind that there is still the risk of infection to consider and even though you two are not engaging in sexual intercourse, you are coming into contact with each other’s genital skin and sexual fluids, both of whi ch can transmit infections. If you have not already discussed each other’s histories of infection testing and treatment, please consider doing so now.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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