Last weekend my boyfriend and I were hanging out, working our way through a six-pack of lager, when he started to clean the inside of a vintage amplifier. As I watched him polish the delicate glass tubes, tighten minuscule screws, and run his fingertips among a network of wires, I felt a familiar weakness between my legs.
Those hands. The mere sight of them working touched off deep memories: in backseats, on blankets, in dark hallways, the first thrilling times with a guy. Ever since I was old enough to grope and be groped, a man’s hands have been an exhilarating turn-on.
Lots of women feel the same. The sad thing is, we don’t get this nostalgic (and reliable) treatment nearly as often as we’d like. Men over the age of 18 tend to dip their fingers for two reasons: 1) as a brief transition between dry humping and intercourse, and 2) to find out if our juices are flowing.
We want more. We want you to explore like an awestruck teenager again, to rub, tickle, circle, and probe in dozens of ways, under a variety of circumstances. Allow me to, um, take you by the hand.
Strategy: A 30-mile tease, then 360s
Why it works: It’s slow and semipublic.
Special equipment: Automatic transmission
A road trip is worth the price of gas if I can lie back and soak up the attentions of the driver’s right hand. You should focus on the road.
We have nothing but time, so take things slowly—this is what we love. For the length of an average song (perhaps “Slow Hand” by the Pointer Sisters?), glide your hand languidly up and down her thigh, coming closer to her crotch with every upstroke. Then slide your hand up and let your palm rest on her pubic mound. Keep it there. Take in the scenery. Look at that barn. Mm-hmm. Nice.
True, you have no leverage. This limits you to gentle touching. We love gentle touching. A featherlight stroke over our pants or panties makes our nerves stand on end. Resist the urge to delve deeper.
Instead, alternate between lightly stroking her entire crotch and circling her clitoral area with a fingertip. (Okay, it’s about time for her pants to come off. And maybe, uh, park—over there, now.) Once she’s naked from the waist down, lightly slide a wet finger around her clitoris, then stroke just above it (her clitoral shaft runs under there) with a side-to-side motion. If it seems like she might climax, just keep it up. You’ll get your turn.
A Dark Lounge
Strategy: A digital lap dance
Why it works: The music, the beer, the risk.
Special equipment: A skirt
A shadowy corner of a swank lounge is the grown-up version of a basement during high school. Here’s one place where making out in public is condoned, if not encouraged. Kiss her neck, nibble her ear, and engage in deep, wet kisses while stroking her lower back and sliding your hands through her hair.
Invite her to sit on your lap sideways with her legs crossed. Slide your hand under her butt and between her thighs. It’s a tight fit, but apply slow, pulsing pressure to her clitoris or just above to get the blood flowing. Achieving orgasm is a long shot, but being touched intimately in a crowded bar, with music blasting, a cold beer in hand, and your warm breath on the back of her neck, is a thrill that lasts—and will continue at home.
Strategy: All-body slipperiness
Why it works: She sets the pace.
Special equipment: Shampoo, soap
The pillars of female orgasm are rhythm and pressure, which is why we love to climb on top and sort of take over. One of the best ways to replicate that is only possible in the shower, with you providing a sudsy forearm as a hobbyhorse for her to ride on.
But hold on, cowboy. Just because you’re both already hot and wet doesn’t mean she doesn’t need foreplay. I’m sure I’m not the first woman to tell you how sexy it feels to have our hair washed by a man. Massaging shampoo into her scalp will release tension and allow her to focus on her body instead of her to-do list. After rinsing out her tresses, suds her up from head to toe. A hypoallergenic soap like Dove won’t irritate her sensitive nooks and crannies. Spend ample time on her shoulders, breasts, bottom, and thighs.
Rub her pubic mound in a circular motion with one hand and massage her bottom with the other. When her head tilts with pleasure, reach between her legs and slide your fore-arm back and forth over her entire vulva. Encourage her to move against your arm. Ultimately, she’ll take over, setting the pace and pressure she needs to reach her peak.
An Uncrowded Plane
Strategy: The stealth reach-around
Why it works: It’s how she does it.
Special equipment: A blanket
Please forget the mile-high club. A jet’s bathroom is dirty, cramped, and smelly. Much sexier—and easier to talk her into—is the high-altitude hand job, assuming you have a row to yourself. Raise the armrest and drape the blanket over the two of you. Wait for the lights to go down and the movie to start.
Have her lean back into the crook of your shoulder. She’ll “read a magazine” as you slip your arm around her waist, under the blanket and between her legs. An over-the-clothes rub is a vintage sensation that’s worked since she became aware of boys.
Rest your fingertips on top of her pubic mound. Exert medium pressure with all four fingers, alternately rubbing up and down over her clitoris and massaging with slow, circular motions. Many women masturbate in exactly this fashion, so there’s a good chance she’ll achieve maximum altitude.
Strategy: Precision petting and probing
Why it works: Nothing feels better.
Special equipment: Your tongue
As you watch TV, give her a foot rub that gradually becomes a calf rub and then a thigh massage. By the time your hand is between her legs, the television should be off and your lips should be on hers. Raise her shirt and kiss her stomach, then head south while working her jeans off her hips. Softly kiss her pubic mound until your tongue reaches her clitoris. That’s right, your hands get help here—don’t argue: A recent Australian study found that an oral-manual combination is the surest path to her orgasm. Slip a pillow under her butt and ease her thighs to either side.
Many women prefer to be stimulated on one side of—or just above—the clitoris. Rub gently in different spots, asking what she likes best. Insert the index finger of your other hand just inside her vagina and leave it there as you continue to attend to her clitoris. Alternate between oral sex and this two-handed technique until you find out which move makes her crazier than any other.