Por Melissa Gira Grant
In the universe of sex maneuvers, there are exotic entries (“ice cream stand,” anyone?) and more low-rent tricks. The oft-overlooked hand job is definitely the latter. But I’ve always found something sincere about them; the hand job is endearing, partly because it’s so selfless and partly because it has such adolescent beginnings (in the parking lot after the tenth-grade formal, obviously). It would be a real shame to treat it as beginners-only just because of those early experiments.
So why has it been downgraded to mere foreplay? I think it’s because, as we’ve grown out of all that pubescent enthusiasm, we’ve started to think, Eh, why bother? He can do that himself. But hand sex is real sex, and sometimes it’s the perfect way to get frisky on the quick. For instance: Hand jobs are great in the shower, where they’re really not that far from “Let me wash that for you.” If you’re feeling daring, they’re well accommodated under a coat in the quiet car of a train (where I’m fairly sure they’re not explicitly banned). And a “good morning!” hand job shows a partner you care. My point: There’s almost always a good reason for a hand job. Here, a few friendly guidelines.
How to give a good one
First, dispel the notion that your hand is a substitute lady part. It’s a unique tool all its own. While the muscles in your vagina can certainly squeeze and hug, the hand has range (and fingers!). Also, you already have the skills you need: You’ve opened jars, you’ve shaken cocktails, you know your way around a Wii. The rest is just personalizing your technique and letting your hand be awesome at what hands are awesome at. Tease, stroke, rub—pressure counts. Be in control a little. If you want to see how you’re doing, make not-scary eye contact. (Think, Oh, hello there, isn’t this a fantastic hand job?—not Hey, what next? Need some help down here!)
How to get a good one
Yes, hand jobs are for women too! But a word of caution: Some pioneering gents discover the clitoris and think that’s that. “Hey, look,” they say to the other men, “if we beeline for this one spot, all our sexing will be complete!” That’s wonderful but terribly limited. You have a lot more real estate, so you may need to give him a tour. And if you plan to focus on the hand job portion of your evening, consider using some lube (water-based, if condoms are going to get involved later). Of course, hand jobs can go both ways at once. How to get started? Pull him against a wall and put his hand between your legs while you go for him too. And, scene.
Melissa Gira Grant is the coeditor of Coming and Crying, a collection of true stories about sex.