Ask the Doctors: Hand Jobs

“I was married for 25 years now I’m back in the dating world. I met this guy whom I’ve been dating twice I was giving him a hand job and he complained I hurt him. How do you give a hand job? No complaints in any other departments.”

Before getting into some of the helpful tips, I think it’s worth mentioning that sometimes, when people get back into the dating scene after a long relationship, they tend to have sex in some of the same ways that they did with their partner. After 25 years with one person, you might have some sexual habits that may not work with someone new. If that’s true, I suggest that you try to come to this with what some people call Beginner’s Mind. In a nutshell, see if you can pay attention to any habits you might have or assumptions that this partner will be like your former partner. To quote Shunryo Suzuki-Roshi, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

There are a lot of different techniques for male erotic massage. I can give you a few, but it’s a bit difficult to describe some of them without pictures, so I’ll also point you to these great guides:

Tickle His Pickle: Your Hands-On Guide (book)
Sensual Massage (book)
The Joy Of Erotic Massage (DVD)
The Best of Penis Massage (DVD)
The first thing to consider is what lubricant you’re using. Since water-based lubricants dry out, try a silicone-based lube. They don’t dry out, so they work a lot better. You could also use an oil, such as almond oil, coconut oil, or our Please Stroke Cream. But don’t use anything with oils if you’ll also be using latex condoms since oils will make a condom break. Of course, you can always use an oil for a hand job after intercourse or give him a hand job with an oil this time and have intercourse with a condom another time.

In general, penises are more sensitive around the head, especially the corona (the ridge where the head and the shaft meet), so that’s a good place to be a bit gentler. But everyone’s body is a bit different, so it’s good to ask him what he likes. Rather than dropping the question on him, do two different things and ask him which felt better. Or ask him to rate each technique on a scale from 1-10. It can be tricky, since things feel different at various points of the sexual response cycle, so keep asking him or paying attention to his physical responses.

OK, so with all that out of the way, here are some good techniques to start with:

  • Slide your hand from the base to the head and off the end. As that hand loses contact, repeat with the other hand and keep alternating. This creates the sensation of “sliding out. You can do the same thing from the tip to the base, which feels like “sliding in. Ask him how tight he wants you to grip.
  • Hold the base of his penis with one hand, gently pulling the skin of the shaft towards the base. This often makes the head more sensitive, so gently stroke the head with your fingertips.
  • Clasp your hands together and put your palms around his penis. Stoke up and down, perhaps just on the shaft, or perhaps going over the head.
  • Grip the middle of the shaft with your hands and stroke one hand up over the head while stroking the other down to the base. It’s sort of like pulling in two directions at once.
  • Make a circle with your index finger and thumb (as if you were making the OK sign) and slide it back and forth over the head of his penis.

Many men find that as they get closer to orgasm, they want a consistent level of stimulation. If he’s close and you change things up, it might short circuit his experience. You may have better results if you stick with whatever you’re doing.

Lastly, another way to find out what he likes is to watch him pleasure himself. If he’s open to it, have him show you what he likes. That’ll give you some helpful ideas and it can be lots of fun, too!

Have fun!


We’re dedicated to getting you the information you need about sex, pleasure and your health. If you have any questions, please email our staff experts, Dr. Carol Queen and Dr. Charlie Glickman, at education@goodvibes.com! For product-related questions, please email or call our customer service staff at customerservice@goodvibes.com.

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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