If you're looking to spice things up in the bedroom, there are countless ways to do it. You can try new positions, add toys to your adult playtime, dress up for role play, and even change up when and where you're getting it on. As I said, there are no shortage of ways to step up your sex skills. But what you might not realize is that you could be overlooking — or, at the very least, underestimating — two of your greatest tools in the bedroom: your hands. There are so many ways to use your hands during sex that can enhance your favorite activities while exploring and discover new sensations. “Our hands are important tools that have dexterity and variability, one finger can do different things than five,” sex expert and Good For Her founder Carlyle Jansen tells Elite Daily. That's not all. “Using hands to touch and explore your partner adds a dimension of sensuality to sex. There are thousands of nerve endings in our skin, making it our biggest sex organ," Irene Fehr, sex and intimacy coach, explains to Elite Daily. "Combine the pleasurable sensations in your fingers with the sensations felt by the recipient in their skin, and you set off intense fireworks in both people's bodies.“
Not only does using your hands during sex feel great, but it's also an effective form of silent communication and connection with your partner. “They can communicate our feelings, such as a soft stroke versus a firm squeeze, or nails digging into the skin. They're an important way to communicate, to connect, and to offer pleasure to a partner as well as to ourselves. Touching a partner gives us pleasure as well as to them,” explains Jansen.
But despite this, it’s easy to overlook just how important and versatile hands are in the bedroom, as Lola Jean, sex educator and mental health professional, tells Elite Daily. “Hands are probably the more underrated usage of our sex lives — probably because that's what's most commonly used to masturbate and there’s a thought of, ‘well, I can do this myself so... [but the truth is] our hands are two very dexterous tools, so why not use them during sex?" asks Jean. With that in mind, here's how you can put your hands to use in the bedroom tonight.
If You’re Having Sex With A Penis-Owner
1. Add sensation with a squeeze. Use your hand to create a cock ring effect in order to increase your partner's pleasure, Jean suggests. “With one hand make an ‘OK symbol’ and hold it still near the base of the penis with a bit more pressure. With the other hand use your finger or fingers to stroke different parts of the penis,” she explains. By adding this pressure at the base of the penis, it causes blood to rush to the head, making it more sensitive to your touch.
2. Create a tunnel of love. Mix up the traditional handjob up-and-down motion with this more inventive technique, Jansen says. “Wrap your hand around the top part of the penis, your pinky side down. Squeeze hard as you go down towards the base of the penis. As soon as the head of the penis emerges through the thumb side of your fist, the other hand follows and does the same, pushing down towards the base,” she explains. “It will feel like the penis is going down a never-ending vagina if you keep your top hand always in contact with the bottom one, as you repeat one after the other.”
3. Mix up the sensation. This two-handed technique puts a whole new literal twist on a handjob. This move, which Jason calls “opposites,” is all about creating two different sensations on the penis at the same time. Again, start with the “OK symbol” with your hands, then place your hands together so that the thumbs are behind one another. “Slide your hands together over the penis until they are covering it, then move and twist your hands in opposite directions: one towards the tip and one towards the base, then twist them back to the middle. You can also do this with your hand and mouth together: your hand and mouth are both on the penis, touching thumb to mouth. Twist your hand down to the base and your mouth up to the head, then meet back in the middle again,” explains Jansen.
4. Give your mouth a helping hand. “My No. 1 tip is to use your hands during oral sex," Elise Schuster, a sexuality educator and co-founder of okayso, tells Elite Daily. “You don't have to take the entire penis in your mouth. Use your hands on the shaft up and down or squeezing so that your mouth can focus on the (more sensitive) head.” You can also use your hands to explore and tease while you give head, they explain. “Hands are great for playing with the balls: cupping, tickling, lightly flicking, lightly squeezing, all can feel great.”
If You’re Having Sex With A Vagina-Owner
5. Take it slow. “Touch is especially important for people with a vagina as it activates arousal,” explains Fehr. Take your time to touch, tease, and allow your partner to become fully aroused. “Slow down with your touch. Explore your partner's vulva (including vagina) with slow touch, as opposed to stroking quickly to get them off. Slow touch builds sensitivity and pleasure, slowing down arousal at the same time as prolonging it,” says Fehr. Start more broadly by touching your partner’s entire body before focusing on their genitals. “Sensual touch contributes to and heightens arousal in her genitals, making them engorged with blood, supple, and pleasurably sensitive to touch. This genital arousal makes penetration sex both pleasurable and safe for women, helping to avoid tears, pain, and UTIs. And there's a bonus benefit too: an orgasm is easier to come by when the body is overflowing with arousal,” says Fehr.
6. Caress the vestibular bulbs. These often overlooked but wonderfully sensitive areas are the erectile tissue between the inner and outer labia, explains Jansen. “Unlike clitorises that can be super sensitive when not aroused or after an orgasm, stimulation of the vestibular bulbs always feels great,” she says.
7. Spend time exploring different types of sensations. Experimentation and exploration are both fun and help you get to know how your partner loves to be touched. "Pick a part of their body (arm, face, breasts, belly, small of the back, inside thighs), including genitals (clitoris, labia, pubic hair, vaginal opening, inside the vagina) and explore how different kinds of touch feel on each part,” says Fehr. “Try caressing, stroking, teasing, soft, deep, pulling, pushing, and see what each type of touch evokes. Does one kind of touch excite or relax, build desire or feel neutral? Explore for exploration's sake and see what arises from the pleasure.”
8. Vulvas love repetition. Once you find the technique your partner enjoys, stick with it to help them orgasm. “Until then, lube up your hand with coconut oil and pretend you’re painting the labia and in-between with your fingers. Experiment with different pressure and speeds,” says Jean.
9. Knuckles are the new fingertips. Put your knuckles to good use, suggests Jean. “Our knuckles give a different texture than our fingertips. They're not as rough but they provide more pressure,” she explains. “Make a knuckle and begin to drum those against a vulva similar to how you’d drum your fingers on the table when you’re waiting for someone. Bonus points: do this with your hand vertical in line with the opening of the labia so that you create more contact with the area around the clitoris.”
The best way to think about incorporating your hands more in your sex play is to consider them an “enhancement tool” to whatever activity you're enjoying, says Schuster. “Whatever else you're doing, your hands can increase the level of arousal your partner is feeling by stimulating an additional erogenous zone into the mix or enhancing a specific zone's stimulation,” they explain.
If you're not sure where to start, Fehr says to play with your partner’s body in a way that excites you. “Your excitement and enjoyment of your partner's body/genitals will be transmitted through the touch, making the experience even more pleasurable and exciting. Your enjoyment of your partner's body will make them enjoy themselves too,” she explains. Touch not only feels good, but also increases the feeling of connection, adds Fehr. “Touch evokes emotions [and] can enrich trust between partners, inviting each to open up and feel freer in their interaction,” she concludes. It feels good and you feel closer to your partner? Yeah, that sounds like two very good reasons to let your fingers do the talking tonight.
Irene Fehr, sex and intimacy coach
Carlyle Jansen, sex expert and Good For Her founder
Lola Jean, sex educator and mental health professional
Elise Schuster, a sexuality educator and co-founder of okayso