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What exactly does it take to give a good handjob?

IMAGE BY JORDAN TAYLOR FOR DEGOEY PLANET

Words by Erica Green

A handy guide.

Handjobs may be a classic, but they can also be anxiety-inducing. Most penis-owners perfected the art of a good handy long before they ever started enlisting help, so how are you supposed to know what they like better than they do?

Firstly, for all the cynics out there, handjobs can be a great tactic in the bedroom. Contrary to popular belief, they’re not always boring or disastrous. And just because penis-owners can do it for themselves, doesn’t mean they don’t like having it done for them every once in a while.


For more sex advice, head on over to our Life section.


Handjobs can be a great way to switch things up and introduce a bit of spontaneity and variety to your sex life, especially if penetrative sex is off the table. Yes, oral sex is also great, but handjobs allow your partner to touch and kiss you at the same time, which is a plus for both of you.

According to Dr Nive Manokaran, a Sydney-based clinician in sexual and reproductive health, handjobs get a bad wrap for a few reasons. “People don’t talk about it openly, [so there’s a] lack of awareness of pleasure techniques other than penetration and lack of self-confidence when it comes to giving pleasure to their partner,” she says. “Handjobs can be immensely pleasurable if done right.”

It’s not always about the physical sensation either. Sometimes people are just turned on by the fact that you want to touch them and enjoy getting them off, or simply because they know it’s a prelude to something more (who doesn’t like a bit of foreplay?). You may never be as good as they are at handjobs, but that’s not really the point.

Now that you’re a believer, it’s time to go through some of the basic tenets of a good handjob. Let’s talk technique.

Don’t be shy

If you want to make your partner feel desired, spontaneity is key. Make sure they’re in the mood for some sexy time first, of course, but don’t be afraid to initiate.

Also, it’s a good idea to communicate with your partner about what feels best for them – especially if this is new territory. You can ask them what they like in terms of speed or sensation, or, if you’re a visual learner, get them to show you. That way you can copy their technique, and they’ll probably find this whole experience very arousing.

Lube is your friend

I know it’s called ‘jerking off’, but the last thing you want your handjob to be described as is ‘jerky’. “Dry and rough movements cause friction and are more painful than pleasurable,” says Dr Nive. “Saliva, pre-cum and lube do the job.”

Lubricant will help to keep your motion fluid and it also makes it easier for you to maintain a rhythm. If you don’t have any on hand, then try these lube alternatives.

It’s all about the build-up

One of the great things about a handjob is that it can build arousal in your partner and have them dying for more, so it’s always a good idea to begin at a slow pace. You may even want to start off with some gentle caresses or some over-the-jeans action.

When you feel comfortable, you can begin to increase your speed and pressure. Keep a firm grip on them when you do – about the same pressure as holding a glass of water (don’t worry, it won’t break).

Switch it up

Once you’ve got a nice rhythm going, you can start to change things up a bit. Try alternating between a classic up-and-down motion, a slight twisting motion, and small, quick circles. The head of the penis is where there are the most nerve endings, so show it plenty of love.

“The frenulum is [also] a very sensitive area,” Dr Nive tells me. “Stimulating it during a handjob works a treat.”

Of course, the amount of time you spend on different parts of the penis can depend on whether your partner is circumcised or not, and on their personal preference. Everyone’s a little bit different. “Different people like different paces, so it’s important to communicate and watch body language for signs of pleasure,” says Dr Nive.

Get into it

To take your handjob skills to the next level, make it a whole experience. You can do this by adopting a specific position whilst touching your partner, maintaining eye contact, or talking dirty. This can help create a more holistic, pleasurable experience. Remember, orgasm doesn’t always have to be the goal – focus on your partner’s pleasure.

For more handjob advice, head here.

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