Kinsey Confidential

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?

ANSWER: 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 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


However, I'm not exactly

sure how you are going about

removing the semen from your

and his hands. 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? These

are just some of the issues to


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 fi rst, and

him second. It may even be

that you sometimes masturbate

yourselves, while the other

watches or kisses the self-pleasuring


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 fi ngers,

for example. However, it

is possible to become pregnant

even if his or your sperm-covered

fi ngers touch only the

outside of your genitals, close

to the vaginal opening. This

is because sperm travel well

through fl uids. 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.

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 which can transmit infections.

If you have not already

discussed each other's histories

of infection testing and treatment,

please consider doing so


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