Manual intercourse is here defined as involving sexual contact between the sex organs of one person and the hand(s) of another.
Both male and female homosexual couples may enjoy manipulating each other's sex organs either as an end in itself or as a means of stimulation before they proceed to other forms of sexual intercourse. Obviously, the practice can be very rewarding because anybody who masturbates a partner of the same sex knows from personal experience how to provide the greatest amount of satisfaction. In any case, manual intercourse is probably the simplest and most common form of homosexual activity.
Males who engage in mutual masturbation usually find it practical to apply some saliva or artificial lubricant to their penises in order to increase their pleasure and to avoid hurting sensitive penile areas. The best known of these lubricants are Vaseline and KY jelly. If enough lubrication is provided, the partners can easily switch to genital intercourse. (For details, see below.) Indeed, many men like to take their own penis and that of their partner into one hand and then masturbate both penises together. Naturally, if they feel like it, the partners can alternate several times trying this technique before they reach orgasm. However, there are also many males who simply enjoy being masturbated without reciprocating themselves.
Manual intercourse between females is rather similar to that between males. Of course, it should be remembered that women normally love to be touched and caressed alt over their bodies, and that they are not necessarily as eager as men to proceed to the manipulation of their sex organs. Still, when they do masturbate each other they can very well reach orgasm. Women know best what gives women pleasure, and thus they have little difficulty satisfying their female partners. Furthermore, since sexual excitement in women produces natural vaginal lubrication, no artificial lubricants are needed. Contrary to what many men imagine, women usually do not insert anything into their vaginas when they masturbate, but simply touch and stroke the external sex organs such as the shaft (not the glans) of the clitoris, the minor lips, and the vaginal opening. They may also stimulate these areas very effectively with an electric vibrator. Two women can, of course, use two of these vibrators on each other or take turns using only one. (For details on electric vibrators, see "Sexual Self-stimulation" and "Sexual Inadequacy in Women—Absence of Orgasm.")