QUESTION: My boyfriend\nand I mutually masturbate each\nother. We take turns; I'll do it\nto him and then he'll to it to\nme. If we are careful to wipe all\nthe semen off of our hands, his\nhands especially, is there any\nway I could get pregnant from\nthis? Or is it just a risk if there\nwould be actual fluid that got\ninside me?\nANSWER: Sometimes couples\nthink that the only "real"\nway of having sex is to have\nintercourse. Women and men\nwith more experience often realize\nthat this is not the case,\nand that there are endless ways\nto pleasure each other and oneself.\nMutual masturbation is a\nsexual activity that many couples\nenjoy, particularly as it can\ncarry a low (or no) risk of pregnancy\nand infection if done in a\ncertain way. Good for you for\nasking how to go about reducing\nyour risk of pregnancy.\nIf you are successful in wiping\nall of the semen on your\nand your boyfriend's hands\nbefore he touches your genitals,\nthen it is unlikely that you\nwould get pregnant. After all,\nno sperm means no chance for\npregnancy.\nHowever, I'm not exactly\nsure how you are going about\nremoving the semen from your\nand his hands. Are you both\ncompletely running your hands\nunderneath a faucet, and therefore\nlikely removing all of the\nsperm? Or are you quickly and\nsomewhat haphazardly wiping\nyour hands on the sheets (and\ntherefore perhaps less likely to\nget all of the ejaculate off of\nyour hands)? Are you sober,\nand thus likely have the ability\nto judge whether your hands\nhave been well cleaned? Or are\nyou somewhat tipsy or even\ndrunk, and therefore less likely\nto make a good judgment about\nthe state of your hands? These\nare just some of the issues to\nconsider.\nThere are also other ways\nto enjoy sexual sharing and reduce\nyour risk. For example,\nsince you take turns with mutual\nmasturbation, perhaps you\ncan be masturbated fi rst, and\nhim second. It may even be\nthat you sometimes masturbate\nyourselves, while the other\nwatches or kisses the self-pleasuring\npartner.\nThe highest risk of pregnancy,\nof course, would be if\nhis ejaculate (the "fluids" you\nreferred to) actually got inside\nof your vagina through penetration\nwith his penis or fi ngers,\nfor example. However, it\nis possible to become pregnant\neven if his or your sperm-covered\nfi ngers touch only the\noutside of your genitals, close\nto the vaginal opening. This\nis because sperm travel well\nthrough fl uids. Women's genitals\ntypically emit a natural\nlubrication when sexually excited,\nand this vaginal lubrication\n-- which generally seeps\nout of the vagina and makes\nother parts of the vulva feel\nwet and slippery -- can serve as\na means of allowing sperm to\n"swim up" inside your vagina.\nTrue, the risk of pregnancy in\nthis scenario is lower than with\nvaginal penetration, but it is\nstill quite possible. Pregnancies\nhave certainly happened from\nsimilar means before.\nPlus, these issues are only\ndealing with pregnancy risk.\nKeep in mind that there is still\nthe risk of infection to consider\nand even though you two are\nnot engaging in sexual intercourse,\nyou are coming into\ncontact with each other's genital\nskin and sexual fluids, both\nof which can transmit infections.\nIf you have not already\ndiscussed each other's histories\nof infection testing and treatment,\nplease consider doing so\nnow.