[Content Warning:  This post talks about handjobs in detail, including mentions of ejaculation. There are no images or illustrations.]

Full disclosure:  I’ve gotten a total of about three, given absolutely none to other people.  This post is mostly an extrapolation from solo experience with a few scattered tidbits pulled in from other sources.  So, uh…  Your mileage may vary.


A handjob is the manual stimulation of someone else’s penis.  In other words, using your hand to try to induce pleasurable sensations in a member belonging to another person.

Sometimes a handjob is the primary focus of a sexual interaction, while other times it is done in conjunction with or as a prelude to other activities.  For instance, a handjob can be done simultaneously with a blowjob in order to increase the area of stimulation, or it can be done as part of foreplay to produce or maintain an erection for penetrative purposes.  Sometimes it can be done as a finishing move after other activities, particularly if internal ejaculation is not desired, but an orgasm is.

A handjob need not lead to orgasm or ejaculation, if those are not desired.  Often, the stimulation before those events can be pleasurable in its own right.  A handjob is also not a “lesser” form of sexual activity and is not a “substitute” for other things.

A handjob is a fairly “low effort” activity.  It doesn’t require much movement. There’s not a lot of setup required, and it can even be done fully clothed.  And it is versatile and works well in almost any position.  It’s also a largely safe activity, as no fluids need be exchanged, and gloves or a condom can be worn for added protection, if desired.  There’s also no risk of pregnancy, as long as care is taken to avoid accidental transfer of semen into the vagina.

This post is written with the assumption that the owner of the penis has some experience in the method of its operation and will be able to provide guidance and feedback.  If this is the case, you should seek that guidance and take that feedback where possible.  However, it’s also possible the penis owner themselves has no idea what to do with the thing.  That’s fine, as well.  What’s outlined here will give you the basics, it just might take a bit more trial and error to determine what’s working.

The Basic Technique

Wrap hand around penis and move back and forth until done.

Hold On A Minute…

That sentence above is basically how other people describe them, but that’s a recipe for a really bad attempt.  There’s a bit more finesse required.

But first, some terminology and some misconception busting.

In this, I’m going to mention a few locations on a penis.  Since a penis can twist and turn and flip and flop, and since the owner of it can also be in any position to start with, “up”, “down”, “top”, “bottom”, whatever, don’t necessarily make sense.  So here’s what I’m using terms to mean.  “Base” is where the penis attaches to the rest of the body.  “Tip” or “end” is the free end, where the glans and the urethra are.  “Up” describes a movement toward the tip, while “down” is a movement toward the base.  The “top side” or “front” is the side that faces out when the penis is flaccid, and is on the same side as the owner’s chest.  The “bottom” or “back” is the side that rests against the testicles when flaccid, and is where the urethral tube runs.  The glans or head is the knobby mushroom bit at the end, and the coronal ridge is the bit of the overhang there.  The shaft is the tube section that connects the glans to the body. The foreskin is a extension of the skin of the shaft that covers the head, but it’s not present on every penis. Then the testicles are the dangly bits in a separate bag, behind the penis. This site’s section on The Penis has a more in depth guide to the anatomy of that area, including illustrations and labeled photos, if you need more information.

As for the misconceptions:  There are a lot of euphemisms for handling a penis, often related to masturbation.  Jerking off, whacking off, tug job, beating meat, and so on.  These all imply violent, intense motions.  These implications are largely wrong.  A jerking motion is often not conducive to pleasure, the penis probably shouldn’t be grabbed and tugged like a rope, and only a handful of people would actually enjoy having their meat beaten.  The motions are often more continuous and flowing, even when they’re intense and fast..

The Slightly Less Basic Technique

(This section assumes that the penis is already reasonably erect, but there’s a section later on what to do if it’s not.)

First, position yourself so that you’ll have a comfortable way to reach the penis without strain.  This is important, because you may be at this for a while and don’t want to hurt yourself.  (If you’re going for the speedrun, it might only take a few minutes, but expect 10-30 minutes for a more typical session.)  Also, the first few times you do it, you may experience some fatigue, because you’re using your hands and arms in a way you’re not accustomed to, but if you experience too much soreness or fatigue (especially in the wrist), that’s probably a sign that you should shift position.  The penis probably won’t care too much about which direction your hand is facing, so be more concerned about your comfort, at least to start.  (More advanced techniques would require more specific hand positioning, but those aren’t covered in this guide.)

Wrap your hand around the shaft of the penis, sort of like you’re grabbing the handle of a milk jug or a rolled up newspaper.  If your situation involves a larger penis or a smaller hand, don’t worry if your grip doesn’t make a complete loop around the circumference.  It should still work out.

The goal is to hold it somewhere between loosely and firmly, but not super tight so that you’re crushing it.  Finding the ideal pressure will take time, and it’s largely up to the owner of the penis to communicate their preference.  But for now, just give it a best attempt.

Move your hand up and down along the shaft of the penis.  Start slowly to get the feel of it.  Go for a smooth, uniform motion.

You should feel the skin of the shaft slide across the harder inside parts of the penis somewhat, but your hand should also slide across the skin as you go.  You can use this to calibrate your grip pressure.  If you don’t feel the skin sliding against the harder insides, you’re probably gripping too loosely.  But if you’re pulling the skin and it’s not sliding under your hand, you’re probably too tight.  But that’s just a general guideline. Each one is different. In the case of a penis with a foreskin, it will have more travel on the shaft, so you might not need to let the skin slip much under your hand, while some penises without foreskins might not have skin that slides over the shaft much at all, and therefore would require the hand to slip over the skin to a much greater extent. The owner of the penis can tell you what’s too much, too little, or just right.

Once you’ve dialed in the pressure, move on to speed.  Too slow, and there won’t be enough stimulation to maintain the erection nor the interest of the penis owner.  Too fast, and it can be overwhelming and unpleasant (and you’ll get tired).  Like pressure, the ideal stroking rate should be determined in consultation with the owner.  Fortunately, there’s likely a pretty wide range of speeds that work.  Unfortunately, I have no clear way of determining nor describing what that range might be.

After pressure and speed, the third component is stroke length.  The most basic technique is to just stroke the full length, from the base to the tip.  Some caution should be taken around the glans, as it can be super sensitive in certain circumstances for certain people.  If the penis has a foreskin, it might be preferable to pull the foreskin up and over the glans. Consult with the owner for more information.  If you’re given the go ahead to include the glans, stroke all the way up so that part of your hand extends past the tip, but not so far that the penis comes completely free of the grip.  If the glans is off limits, halt the upstroke before you reach it (The coronal ridge marks a good point to turn around).  On the downstroke, you can move all the way to the base (or to the extent that the skin will allow, if you’re gripping more tightly. Don’t try to pull the skin past where it resists.) before turning around.

Modify the size and shape of your grip to conform to the size of the penis underneath.  Don’t hold a rigid, fixed diameter cylinder in your hand. This is particularly important if you go over the head, as you’ll want to try to match its curve to remain in contact the whole way.

Continue stroking up and down until done.

If the stroking results in an orgasm, it is highly likely that some or all of the penis will become hyper-sensitive during and immediately after.  In this phase, if you continue stroking, it could be overwhelming and unpleasant for the penis owner.  If that happens, they’ll likely request that you stop, potentially in a squirming, non-verbal manner. It may be a good idea to slow your stroking speed dramatically before it reaches that point.  However, don’t remove your hand and don’t stop entirely during the orgasm, unless asked to do so.  Removal of all stimulation suddenly can decrease the pleasure of the event.

After an orgasm, a penis will typically go into hibernation for a bit.  It may no longer respond to stimulation, and the erection may dissipate.  The owner of the penis may also go into hibernation themselves for a while.  Multiple orgasms are possible, but that’s an advanced technique that’s not covered here.

One more thing for this section that’s a bit important is the angle you’re stroking at.  When flaccid, the penis moves in all sorts of directions easily.  However, when erect, the range of motion is limited considerably.  Commonly, an erect penis will move freely in an arc from straight out and perpendicular to the body, to lying flat against the stomach, pointing at the owner’s head.  Movement is limited toward the feet and side to side. Take care not to move it outside of this range or you can cause pain or even injury.  Some advanced techniques may push the boundaries, but don’t do that yet.

And there you have the basics. 


Sometimes (Often?), the sliding motion needs a bit of assistance.  After all, there’s a fine line between pleasure and friction burns in an embarrassing place.  In particular, if the penis does not have a foreskin, there may not be enough skin to do the sliding over the core of the shaft.  And even in cases with a foreskin, going dry may not be the most pleasant experience.  This is where lube comes in.

Lube is basically anything that makes something slippery. Applying lube to a penis will reduce friction and allow the hand to move more easily over the surface, which generally results in a more pleasurable experience.

However, you need to use just the right amount of lube or things won’t work.  Too little, and friction isn’t reduced enough.  In some cases, not using enough lube can actually make things worse, as the lube ends up being more sticky than slidey.  But on the other end of the spectrum, applying too much lube will make your hand slide right off.  You want to find the sweet spot, where friction is reduced, but not eliminated.  You still want some friction to allow the hand to pull at the skin slightly.

The primary rule of lube is to remember that it’s easy to add more if you use too little, but hard to take it away if you use too much.  So always go on the lower side of what you think you might need, and add more if it’s not enough.  It usually won’t take much.  And each type of lube will need a different amount.

Yes, there are multiple types of lube.  Different consistencies, different ingredients.  Far too many to get into here, so I’ll just mention a few things to keep in mind.  Oil based lubes will wreck condoms and toys and can sometimes cause problems if used vaginally.  If all you’re doing is the handjob, they’re fine, but stick with water based lubes if you’re doing anything else.  Water based are a good all-around lube that’s safe for condoms, toys, and internal use, however, they can dry out and get sticky pretty quickly when exposed to air.  Saliva can work, and is probably your best bet if you’re also planning on performing a blowjob. The penis itself may also produce a lubricating fluid in some circumstances, but it often isn’t enough for a handjob. (There is a more in-depth guide to lube here.)

Some lubes may stain some fabrics.

There’s a pretty good chance that if the penis needs lube to operate, that the owner already has a preferred lube available that they use when operating it themselves, so you can use that.  If they don’t or it’s not available, probably the most common lube for dealing with a penis is ordinary hand lotion.  Cheap, long lasting, easy cleanup, and works pretty well.  However, it’s usually oil based, so don’t use it if there will be condoms, toys, vaginae, or mouths involved at some point in the session.

The “Ending”

Often, the goal of a handjob is to proceed to an orgasm.  In most cases, that will be accompanied by ejaculation.

If you’ve never seen that happen before, here’s what to expect.  The penis will begin to contract, and a relatively small amount of a whitish fluid will be expelled from the urethral opening at the tip of the penis, with each contraction.  The amount of fluid, the number of contractions, and the force of each burst is largely unpredictable and is based on a number of factors, including how long it’s been since the last ejaculation, how hydrated the owner is, how “good” it was, and even things like angle and pressure on the shaft.  An ejaculation can be anything from a tiny amount barely dribbling out, to several milliliters flying several feet across the room.

While some people enjoy the result, others find it extremely off-putting.  Sometimes so off-putting that if can ruin the entire experience.  This is especially prevalent among ace people, although certainly not universal.  Here are a few different tips for handling the ending in different scenarios.

If ejaculation isn’t an issue for you, then stroke away.  You might want to direct it where to go, though.  (More on that in a bit.)

If ejaculation is entirely out of the question, you can stop before you get there.  The owner of the penis can typically tell when they’re approaching orgasm, so if you speak with them ahead of time, they may be able to warn you.  Sometimes, though, the advance notice that the penis gives doesn’t leave enough time to prevent the ejaculation entirely, but with a partner who’s paying attention, you might be able to get your hand away.

If ejaculation is fine, but you’d rather not touch that stuff, there are a few options.  First, you can ask the owner to take over and finish the job when they’re getting close.  Or, you can have them wear a condom, since condoms are designed to contain that when it happens.  On a similar note, you can wear a glove.  Finally, as you build up your experience points, you’ll likely gain an aiming perk, which lets you direct it where you want it to go.  With that, you can direct it so you, including your hand, can stay out of the line of fire.

(As a side note, the default case is that if the handjob proceeds to climax, that ejaculation will not be an issue.  Any alteration from that default should be discussed with the penis owner before commencing to avoid confusion or disappointment.  Plus, they will need to be aware that they will need to tell you went to stop.)

Aiming it is useful in general.  It’s easier to clean if you know where it all went.  While the distance it travels may vary, in most cases, it will go at most a few inches, pretty much straight out from the tip.  Gravity and air resistance will take over pretty quickly, and it will fall.  Overall, it tends to trace the path of an arc.

Now, you can use calculus to predict the trajectory, or you can just use this cheatsheet:  If you aim the penis straight up, the ejaculate will come straight down and land on the tip of the penis or your hand.  If the owner of the penis is standing, the ejaculate will go in front of them and will land in front of their feet.  If sitting or laying back and you aim at an angle up toward their torso, it will typically land on their stomach or chest.

You can also put a towel or a tissue over the tip just before ejaculation for the easiest cleanup outside of using a condom.

Porn alert!  A lot of porn places a lot of emphasis on having the semen land on the partner.  This is not, under any circumstances, required!  You certainly can do that if you like, but you don’t have to.  An orgasm will feel the same, regardless of where the semen ends up landing.

(BTW, I put “ending” in quotes because while orgasm/ejaculation often marks the ending of a sexual session, it doesn’t have to.  You can stop before you get to that point if you want, or shift activities and keep going afterwards.)

“Can I Watch?”

One way to learn what works for the penis owner is to ask them if they would demonstrate for you.  Practically speaking, the primary difference between masturbation and a handjob is whose hands are involved.  So, watch how they masturbate, then try to emulate what you’ve seen them do.  Obviously, you won’t have the direct feedback mechanism that lets them know what’s working, but you might pick up a few tips.  As a bonus, the penis owner may find the request itself extremely exciting.

Related to “Can I Watch” is “Can You Show Me How?”, where instead of just demonstrating, you can ask the penis owner to more directly guide your hand.  This is a good way to dial in the pressure, speed, and stroke length.

Of course, these really only work if the penis owner is already experienced in these procedures and is willing to show them off.  Some people (and this is more likely if your partner is ace as well) do not masturbate, and some people do not feel comfortable masturbating in front of another person, so this option may not be available.

Start It Up

Movies and porn and society in general would have you believe that the penis goes from soft to hard instantly, with the single tap of a magic wand.  That’s not the case at all.  Sometimes you’ll have to help get it going.

One option is to ask the owner to take care of it for you.  That’ll probably work, although it’s probably not their preferred method.

You can take the direct approach, where you grab it and start sort of pulling, pushing, squeezing, rubbing, pressing, and kneading it until it starts to stiffen a bit.  When it’s flaccid, you won’t be able to stroke it because it will just bend out of the way, but you can still sort of do some of the motions.

If oral sex is on the table, then you can try sucking on it a little bit with your mouth.

And then there’s the indirect approach, where you do other things in the hopes that the penis responds.  Some options include kissing pretty much anywhere, but particularly the mouth, neck, nipples or chest.  You can run your hands along their chest, stomach, or thighs.  You can fondle the testicles slightly.  You can press your body against theirs.  You can remove some or all of your clothing, if the situation and your comfort level allows and if you haven’t already done so.

Eventually, the penis should reach the point where it is erect enough to begin the stroking procedure described above.

The Slightly More Advanced Techniques

So, we went over the basics earlier, but that’s not even close to the full story.  There’s far more out there, far more than can be covered in a single post, and plenty which I’m not even aware of.  But here’s a few slightly more advanced techniques to try incorporating as you go.

Be aware of the different zones of the penis.  It’s not one uniform dangly piece of skin.  Different areas have different levels of sensitivity and capacity for pleasure, and it’s possible to use this feature.  The front side of the shaft is generally the least sensitive area, while the glans and the bottom side are more sensitive.  The frenulum and the area around it can be one of the most sensitive zones.  This is located on the “bottom” side of the shaft, near where it meets the glans.  And there’s even a secret hidden section of the penis!  The structure of the penis actually extends behind the testicles, between the legs, and sometimes rubbing or pressing that area can even be pleasant.  Experiment with focusing on these areas, applying more or less pressure to them, and see what happens.

There’s more movements than just the basic full hand stroking action.  In the earlier section, the only motion described was a simple, continuous back and forth stroking motion, using the full hand.  That’s not all there is.  Sometimes you can twist or swirl a bit (Can work well on the head).  Sometimes you can use a couple of fingertips to rub in circles (Can work well on the frenulum).  Sometimes you can make quick, short strokes (Can work well close to orgasm).  Sometimes you can squeeze harder (Can work well if the penis loses its erection slightly).  All of these different motions can produce different sensations.

Change up what you’re doing.  The basic back and forth motion the same way can get tiring and boring after a while.  So shuffle it around a bit.  Go faster.  Go slower.  Squeeze harder or ease up.  Slow to the point that the penis starts to go soft, then speed back up.  Do two full strokes, followed by four quick strokes focusing on squeezing the frenulum and coronal ridge area, then do one long, slow downstroke all the way to the base.  Switch hands.

Upstroke and downstroke can feel different.  You can change the speed and pressure to enhance these different sensations.

If you have two hands, you can use them both.  It may be tempting to just use the second hand to also stroke the penis in tandem with the first one, but it’s often best employed in a support role, doing something entirely different.  Rub the chest and stomach.  Play with the testicles.  Press or rub the base of the penis or the area where it extends between the legs.  Caress the thighs.  Go for the prostate (only with explicit permission and preparation).  Pinch the nipples.  Focus exclusively on the glans or the frenulum while the other strokes the shaft.  Masturbate yourself or touch other areas of your body, if that’s something you’re willing to do.  Note:  Your other hand should probably not be used to scroll through Pinterest on your phone.

There are different phases of sensitivity response.  If you learn these different phases, you can use them to your advantage.   There will often be a spike in sensitivity and pleasure just before the orgasm.  If the penis owner indicates that they are in this zone, there are a couple of things you can do.  If you ramp the intensity up to 11, that can quickly push them over to a strong orgasm.  Or, you can slow things down a bit and try to stay in that zone.  The pleasure factor is ramped way up in this area.  A super slow full downstroke that takes several seconds to complete would’ve been dull earlier in the session, but while in this zone can feel extremely good.  It’s possible to stay in that zone indefinitely, but to do so requires the penis owner to let you know when they are approaching orgasm, and for you to slow or stop until they fade away from that edge and indicate that it’s safe to proceed.  But at the same time, you’ll have to take care not to diminish the stimulation so much that they revert to an earlier, less pleasurable phase.

Lube is generally not considered a sex toy by itself, but using it can make it easier to use other toys (as well as make it easier to masturbate without a toy).  Lube is anything that makes something slippery.  There are a wide variety of lubes available.  They are made in a number of different consistencies (from lightest to thickest), including liquids, gels, jellys, and creams.  Lubes are also made from different substances, all of which have different properties and different pros and cons.

If you’re unsure about how much lube to use, use less than you think.  Lube’s sort of like hot sauce in that way.  If there’s too little lube, you can easily add more, but if you put on too much, you end up with an unpleasant mess.  Too much lube can actually take away some sensations, because a little bit of friction can be a vital part of some forms of stimulation.

Types of Lubes:

Water Based lubes are compatible with condoms and most toys and safe for vaginal use, but tend to dry out or become sticky faster than other lubes.  If they dry out, a little bit of water or saliva will rejuvenate them.  Water based lubes are typically easy to find in the sexual wellness section of any drugstore or supermarket. (Where the condoms and yeast infection treatments are.)

Silicone lubes are compatible with condoms and safe for vaginal use, but will damage toys made from certain materials and can be harder to clean up.  Silicone lubes tend to work better in water than water-based lubes (which will just wash away). There may be a silicone lube available in the sexual wellness section of a drugstore or supermarket, but they are often more expensive than water based lubes.

Oil Based lubes are NOT compatible with condoms and many of them are not safe for vaginal use.  They can be used externally, such as for body massages or on the penis. Oil-based lubes tend to work better in water than water-based lubes (which will just wash away).  They can also be harder to clean up.  Oil based lubes are generally not available in the sexual wellness section, as they’ll destroy condoms.  Instead, look for hand lotion, cooking oil, Vaseline, mineral oil, or massage oils elsewhere in the store.

Saliva is a somewhat decent lube, if you can get past the “ick” factor.  It’s free and it’s safe for use with toys.

Natural Lubrication often occurs when a person becomes aroused.  This is why getting aroused is sometimes called “getting wet”.  The vagina often produces natural lubrication, which can potentially be enough for use with a toy.  The penis also can produce some lubrication sometimes, although it is often not adequate for use with a toy or a hand.

WATER IS NOT A LUBE.  Water may seem slippery, but it cannot be used as lube.  It can even wash away natural lube.

Specialty Lubes:

There are a number of different lubes with special features.  Here are a few of the more common ones:

Warming Lube contains a substance that produces a warming sensation for certain people.  (Think like hot sauce, where it feels hot, but isn’t actually hot.)  Some people enjoy this, but for some people, it’s too hot feeling, for others, it has little effect.

Tingling Lube contains a substance that produces cooling/tingling sensation.  (Think along the lines of mint.)  Some people enjoy this, but for some people, it creates an uncomfortable cold burning sensation, for others, it has little effect.

Numbing Lube contains an anesthetic substance that numbs the area it contacts.  This is primarily used with a partner, where one person uses it on some side of a condom to numb their genitals so that sex can last longer.  This feature is of limited use to someone who’s alone.  Sometimes numbing lubes are sold for anal use, but that’s generally not considered a good idea, because certain types of pain can be a sign that activity should be stopped, and a numbing agent will block that pain.

Flavored Lube contains a flavoring agent.  This is primarily designed for oral sex, so this feature is of limited use to someone who’s alone.  (Although, you may enjoy the scent…)

Uses Of Lube:

Lube can be beneficial for use with almost any sex toy, particularly if you go in the toy or the toy goes in you.  Lube is required for using sleeves and for anything that is used anally, or friction burns and discomfort will result, if you’re even able to do anything at all.  Additional lube may be used for vaginal penetration, if you feel that the natural lubrication is not enough.  Lube can also be used when stroking your penis by hand (especially if you’re circumcised) and for clitoral stimulation in general.

[Content warning:  Discussion of sex toys, as well as photos of related items.]

Behind the read more link is a general description of what a sleeve is and how it is used.  The post contains images of sleeves, but not in a sexual setting.  Several of the toys depicted are shaped like vulvas.

Sleeves are soft, flexible, generally stretchy tubes or cups, often with a textured interior.  They range from only about an inch or two long to nine or ten inches long.  Some sleeves are open on both ends, while others have one end that is closed off, like a cup.  Some sleeves have plain entry holes, while others are designed to resemble various parts of the anatomy.  At its most broad definition, even a condom could potentially be considered a sleeve, although they are generally not called one.

Certain types of sleeves are also sometimes called “strokers” or “onaholes”.

Sleeves are primarily designed for use with a penis.  The shorter sleeves or cups are used to stimulate the head of the penis, while longer sleeves can be used for full penetration with the entire shaft.  If the sleeve is open on both ends and is short enough, then the head of the penis can come out the other end when used. There are some sleeves that are specifically designed and marketed for use by transmen or people with a large clitoris.

Most sleeves can be used by stroking, that is, by inserting the penis and moving them up and down along the shaft.  Other sleeves, particularly the shorter close ended sleeves and cups, cannot fit the entire penis.  These sleeves are used to stimulate the head of the penis and end of the shaft, either by short strokes, or by a twisting motion.  Many sleeves are soft-sided, so additional pressure can be applied by squeezing with the hand.

Many sleeves are meant to be used in a handheld manner, but it is possible to set them up in such a way to permit hands-free use.  In this manner, hip thrusting is used, moving the penis in and out of the toy, rather than moving the toy up and down along the penis.  Some toys even have suction cup mounts, so they can be attached to any hard, smooth surface.

Sleeves are not typically meant to be used on the clitoris, or used in the vagina or the anus.  Some sleeves, known as “enhancers” are marketed less for masturbation and more for partnered sex.  These types of sleeves are designed to be placed on a penis or a dildo to give it a texture and/or a larger size.  Other sleeves can potentially be rubbed against the clitoris.  In particular, some of the smaller cups can be turned inside out, and the interior texture may be used.

Sleeves must be used with lubrication.  Attempting to use a sleeve without adequate lube is a one-way trip to a friction burn on something you don’t want to have a friction burn.  Water based lubes are your best bet, as oil or silicone lubes may damage the toy.  (Hand lotion is an oil-based, so don’t use that!)

One of the benefits of a sleeve is that it tends to contain the fluids involved.  The lubrication goes on the inside, keeping your hands dry and clean, and if the sleeve is long enough or is closed on the end, it will also contain the ejaculate, if there is any.

It is important to keep sleeves clean and dry.  Failure to properly clean and dry them can, at best, lead to a bad smell, and at worst, lead to an infection.  Cleaning them can be tricky, particularly if a toy is closed on one end.  If a toy is open on both ends, run water through it, then sort of “hang it out” to dry.  If a toy is reversible, you can turn it inside out to wash it off and dry it, both inside and outside.  If a toy is closed-ended and not reversible, it can be difficult to dry.  Methods include carefully stuffing a paper towel or cloth into the opening to sticking a small air tube from a fish tank air compressor inside and letting it blow the moisture out.  (If you want my opinion, close ended, non-reversible toys should be avoided, due to this cleaning hassle.)  Do not use soap when cleaning a toy, as soap can damage it.


Here are a few images of just a sample of the wide variety of sleeves that are out there:

This image is a photograph of a number of sleeve masturbation toys. Several are modeled after anatomy, including one resembling a vulva. No actual nudity is shown.

This is a collection of various types of sleeves.  They come in various colors and sizes, with different external features and internal textures.  Some are non-descript, while others are designed to resemble various body parts.  Vulvas, butts, and mouths are common shapes, but there are also more, um, “creative” designs, like feet, hands, or breasts.  The external design of the sleeve often has very little impact on its effectiveness.  The interior texture is far more important.

The blue sleeve on the left and the white sleeve on the right will be featured in another photo later on.

This image is a photograph of a Fleshlight sleeve masturbation toys. The toy has an opening resembling a vulva with visible labia. No actual nudity is shown.

This is a Fleshlight.  It is a soft, stretchy sleeve that fits within a hard case.  The hard case restricts the sleeve’s expansion, creating some interior pressure as the penis is inserted.  The case also has cap at the end, which can be tightened or loosened to adjust suction.  Fleshlights have a variety of interior textures and exterior designs (including a plain, non-anatomical model).  The sleeve is long enough so that most penises can be fully inserted, which allows the Fleshlight to stimulate the entire length at the same time.  The sleeve is removable and open ended for easy cleaning.

Important note:  Although some of the marketing for this toy claims that it’s “discreet” because it “looks like a flashlight”, it does not look like a flashlight in any way and is not discreet.  It is also rather large, which might make it difficult to store or hide if discretion is important.

This image is a photograph of a Tenga brand sleeve and a similar competitor. The toys both have plain, non-anatomical openings. No nudity is shown.

This image is a photograph of a Tenga brand sleeve and a similar competitor. The toys both have plain, non-anatomical openings. No nudity is shown.

These are close-ended reversible sleeves.  The blue one is a CalExotics Apollo, and the white one is a Tenga 3D Pile.  This type of sleeve can be turned inside out for cleaning.  The top picture shows the textured interior, while the bottom picture shows the toys inverted, so the texture is on the inside.  This is how they would be used.

This image is a photograph of several “egg” style sleeves. The toys both have plain, non-anatomical openings. No nudity is shown.

Here are some smaller, close-ended toys, primarily for penis head stimulation.   The one in the lower right is inside out to show the texture.  These kinds of toys often come in small plastic storage cases.  They are smaller and thinner than many other sleeves, which typically means that they are both cheaper and more fragile than some other types of sleeves.

[Content warning:  Discussion of sex toys, as well as photos of related items.]

This post contains images of dildos, but not in a sexual setting.  One of the toys depicted is a realistic replica of a penis.  

Dildos are a type of vaguely cylindrical rod shaped toys, used for masturbation.  Sometimes they are a plain cylinder with a round end, sometimes they are penis shaped (ranging from vaguely penis-inspired, through realistic, all the way to exaggerated and mutated), and sometimes they are abstract and curvy.  Many of them vibrate, and some incorporate moving bits.  Certain dildos have a curve that is designed for G-Spot or prostate stimulation.

(Note:  Dongs are related to dildos.  There’s a slight technical difference, but in common usage, the words are largely synonymous, so I’m just going to use “dildo” here, even though some of what I’m talking about would more correctly be called a “dong”.  Additionally, some dildos that vibrate are simply called “vibrators”.)

Dildos are frequently used for vaginal penetration.  Sometimes they are used in a thrusting motion, while other times they are inserted and left in place.  Ones that vibrate can be held against the clitoris for stimulation without penetration.  Dildos are generally not that useful for a penis (although vibrations can be mildly stimulating).

Some dildos can also be used for anal penetration, but only if they have a wide or flared base.  The wider base will prevent them from being pulled inside where they can get stuck, which prevents having to explain to the ER staff why you’re visiting them.  An additional word of caution:  Do not switch a toy between anal and vaginal use without a thorough cleaning, unless you like infections.  You might want to use a condom on the toy when using it anally, as that will help simplify the cleanup process.

Dildos come in many sizes.  If you are inexperienced with penetration and are unsure about what various sizes are actually like, start small.  And take note of the physical dimensions of the toy, because many times a “small” toy is still six inches long and two inches across, which would be above average for a penis and uncomfortably large even for many non-aces.  If you’re looking for an anal toy, go even smaller.  Most dildos are waaaay too big for a first anal experience.

One of the more common reasons I hear for asexual people being reluctant to try a sex toy is “I’m not a fan of penises, even fake ones”.  That’s a perfectly valid reason.  However, you should be aware that there are many dildos that do not resemble a penis at all.  There are abstract curves, plain rods, and things with twisty bits.  Alternatively, there are a number of companies that sell fantasy creature dildos, which can be vaguely penis shaped (often including a glans-like shape), just not human penis shaped.  You are not missing out on any sensations by picking an abstract toy.  In fact, some non-realistic toys have special shapes (like g-spot or prostate curves) that are designed to enhance sensations.

If a dildo does not have any electrical components (No vibrators, no waggly bits, no lights, no batteries or electrical cords), then it’s probably safe to use in the bath or shower.  If a dildo does have electrical components, it may not be waterproof.  If a toy is waterproof, it will say on the packaging.  Waterproof toys are also typically completely sealed.  The speed adjustment tends to be a series of rubberized buttons, instead of a dial, and the battery compartment tends to have a rubber sealant ring around it.  Some dildos have a suction cup, so they can be stuck on the tub or tile for hands free use.

Lube might come in handy when using a dildo.  Sometimes when aroused, a vagina might produce enough natural lubrication, but that’s not always the case.  A few drops of lube might make penetration smoother.  When using a dildo on a clitoris, some lube might help prevent irritation.  And when using a dildo anally, lube is practically required, because there’s no natural lubrication back there to help out.  Water based lube is probably your best bet, as silicone lubes can damage some toys, and oil based lubes can both damage toys and lead to infections and other problems when used internally.


Here are a few images of just a sample of the wide variety of dildos that are out there (The one that looks like a penis is at the bottom, so if you don’t want to see it, scroll slowly and stop reading after the paragraph about the rabbit.  You will not miss any other content.)

This image contains a photograph of a plain vibrator. No nudity and no anatomical features are shown.

This is a basic, no-frills vibrating dildo.  This type is meant to be used to stimulate the clitoris and for vaginal penetration.  This type should not be used anally, because it does not have a flared base.  It’s hard plastic, so it’s easier to clean, but not soft at all.

This image is a photograph of a somewhat abstract penis-shaped vibrator. In particular, it has a glans-shaped head on one end. No actual nudity is shown.

This is a “rabbit”.  The shaft is meant to be inserted into the vagina, while the appendage with the rabbit ears is designed to be pressed against the clitoris.  This model has spinning beads for internal stimulation and a bullet vibe in the rabbit part for external stimulation.  The buttons on the handle control the speed of the various features.  This one is made of a softer material, so it has some give to it.

[The realistic penis toy is beyond this point. There is no other content below this line.]

This image is a photograph of a realistic-looking penis shaped vibrator, including testicles. No actual nudity is shown.

This is a “realistic” penis shaped dildo.  (Although typically, real penises are not capable of testicle pushups like this one is doing.)  This model does not have a vibrator inside it.  This toy can be used vaginally or anally, as the testicles provide a wide base that will prevent it from being pulled completely inside.  The suction cup allows it to be stuck to a hard, smooth surface, like a bath tub or tile, so it can be used hands-free.

Sex toys are objects used for the purpose of stimulating parts of the body, frequently (though not exclusively) with the intent of producing or enhancing an orgasm.  Most sex toys are used on the genitals, but some are used elsewhere.  Sex toys can be items that are specifically designed for the purpose, like vibrators, dildos, and sleeves, or they can be regular household objects that have been repurposed, like handheld shower attachments or pillows.

Most people think of sex toys as some sort of plastic mutated exaggerated form of disembodied vibrating genitalia, and it’s true that there are many toys that fit that description.  But there are also many plain or abstract designs that look more like sculptures than anatomy, and focus more on function than looks.  If you’re not a fan of simulated body parts, it’s possible to find almost any type of sex toy in a non-anatomical form.

Many aces report that sex toys are a way to engage in masturbation without having to directly touch their genitals or any fluids involved.  Many vibrators or dildos have a long handle, so they can be held at a distance, while many sleeves will fully enclose the penis and contain any fluids that may be involved.  Some toys can even be set up to be used completely hands free.

A lot of aces (and even many non-aces) find that sex toys are the easiest way, and perhaps the only way, to achieve an orgasm.  If you’ve tried masturbating by hand and have never had an orgasm, perhaps using a sex toy might help.  It’s definitely not a guarantee, though.  And although sex toys are generally intended to be used to help achieve an orgasm, that does not have to be the result.  You can use one to go as far as you like, but still stop short of an orgasm, if you prefer.

Sex toys can be made out of a number of materials.  Most are plastic, rubber, or silicone, but there are toys made from glass, metal, wood, even cloth.  You should pay attention to toy safety guidelines for toys made from various materials.  Some toys are considered “body safe”, which means they are non-porous (so bacteria and other icky things can’t find little nooks and crannies to grow in) and made from safe, non-toxic materials.  Glass, metal, silicone, and hard plastic tend to be the least porous, while “jelly rubber” tends to be the most porous.  (Jelly rubber is also potentially carcinogenic, so two strikes there.)  For some porous toys, condom use is recommended (whether that’s a condom on you or on the toy depends on the type of toy).  Additionally, some materials have a strong chemical smell or have a slimy, oily feel to them.  A few good rules of thumb are that if it smells bad it probably is bad, and if the material has a “brand name” sounding name, it’s probably junk.  There are many resources out there around sex toy safety, and I encourage you to read up on them.

And regardless of the material, be sure to clean your toys regularly, especially if it goes inside you or you go inside it.

Artificial lube can be helpful when using some toys, particularly sleeves or anal toys.  However, certain toys and certain lubes don’t mix.  For simplicity, stick to a water based lube.  They’re usually the cheapest and easiest to find, easiest to clean up, and are pretty much compatible with anything.  Silicone lubes or oil-based lubes might destroy your toys.

It’s okay to be asexual and be curious about sex toys.  It’s okay to be asexual and use sex toys.  It’s okay to be asexual and enjoy sex toys.  It’s even okay to be asexual and enjoy using vibrating curiously exaggerated disembodied genitalia sex toys.

(Content Warning:  Genitals and explicit discussion of masturbation beyond this point, but no images or illustrations.)

One thing I’ve seen many asexual people say about masturbation is that they don’t know where to begin.  It might not be something they discover, they may have avoided any discussion about it, and websites that talk about it are typically not very ace-friendly.  If you’re curious, but don’t know where to start, here’s a short ace-safe introduction to a common technique.

And remember, if you don’t want to, you don’t have to.  Not everyone wants to masturbate, not everyone likes to, so if it’s not your thing, it doesn’t have to be your thing.

Okay, let’s begin:

First, find a safe and comfortable space.  Lockable doors, free of interruptions, etc.  Comfy chair or a bed might work, but many people will use the bathroom or shower.  (The shower has the added benefit of making it easy to wash your hands or clean up when you’re done.)

Second, remove clothing to provide access to your genitals.  This step is actually optional.  It can make it easier to proceed if you’re not wearing anything down there, but it’s not required.  Some people will masturbate through their clothes for various reasons.  It’s not uncommon.

Third, start touching your genitals or the area around them.  Often, people will focus primarily on the clitoris or penis.  (A clitoris is a sort of pencil eraser thingy (of varying size) hiding near the front of the folds of skin down there, while a penis is a usually floppy sort of tube thingy (of varying size) that’s hanging out down there.)  However, other places like the thighs, scrotum, lower stomach, or labia might also respond to touch.  Even the nipples might work.

If it hasn’t already happened, you may start to notice physical arousal in the genitals.  It’s perhaps most noticeable in a penis, which goes from a floppy sort of tube thingy to a larger, somewhat more rigid sort of tube thingy.  The clitoris also may grow larger (and peek out of the folds of skin it’s hiding in) when aroused, and there may be a noticeable sensation like warmth or fullness or even wetness in the vagina.

If you’re not sensing some form of arousal, try different types of stimulation.  Use more pressure or less, go faster or slower, push, pull, pinch, try a different area, etc.  Basically, change it up somewhat.

It is very important to note that there isn’t an instant-on pleasure switch downstairs.  At first, it may not feel much different down there than touching your arm.  Sensations can gradually and subtly change, and may range from numbness to awareness, to over-sensitivity, to exquisite pleasure, to discomfort, to heightened sensitivity, and anything in between or on the sides.  There’s no One True Right Way™, and it’ll feel different and proceed differently for everyone.  Masturbation isn’t something that’s instinctive, it’s something that has to be learned and experimented with, and this can be particularly difficult for aces, because we may not experience the same sorts of things that might be useful to non-aces for figuring things out.  You may not come across a formula that works the first couple (dozen) times you try.  And that’s perfectly okay and quite common.  Even many non-ace people have to figure out what to do.

Anyway, assuming you’re sufficiently aroused (and what that means is up to you), you’ll likely want to start focusing more directly around the genitals.  Some of the most common masturbation techniques are fairly repetitive hand motions.   If you have a penis, try wrapping your hand around it (like you’re holding a handle) and sliding your hand up and down.  (Some sort of lubricant might be helpful here, particularly if you’ve been circumcised.  Something like hand lotion will usually work well.)  If you have a clitoris, try placing a few fingers on it and rubbing in small circles.  Vary the speed, pressure, the amount of movement, etc., until you find something that works.  Those aren’t the only ways to do it, so if they don’t work, experiment with something else.

Once you’ve begun those repetitive motions, continue until done.  “Done” can mean a number of things.  Many people proceed until they have an orgasm, but some people stop when they get bored or tired or sore, some people keep going until they have multiple orgasms, and some people stop when they just don’t feel like doing it anymore.  Masturbation is yours and yours alone, so it’s up to you to decide when you’re done.