Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Jerkin' Beatin' Whackin'.

It seems like there's no sexual activity that gets less respect in our culture than male masturbation. Partner sex is of course the Ultimate Goal Of Life, female masturbation is sexy or empowering, but a man wanking is funny, sad, or predatory. I dare you--seriously it would be cool if you could but I doubt it--to find a piece of mainstream American media where male masturbation is presented as sexy.

Or even just okay. A thing people do. Come home from work, fix some dinner, watch TV, brush teeth, jerk off, go to sleep. Good for the prostate, relaxes your muscles, helps you sleep. And--not to make it sound like a health exercise here--it's fucking sexy.

Every man I've slept with more than once has jerked off in front of me. I love to watch. I also love to help, but at least once I want to see how he does it himself. (Circumcised and uncircumcised guys have quite different techniques.) Just once I want to not even touch him and see the squeezed-shut eyes and the way he knows his own rhythm and watch him cover his own hand and belly with come.

(Or, once with Jon, his face. Boy's got some range.)

I suppose the supposed unsexiness of male masturbation is because cultural consumers are assumed to be either straight men or lustless women--the same reason there are fifty bikini-clad women for every attractive man on a newsstand display. When the male body isn't sexualized, a man being sexual by himself isn't sexy, he's just missing a woman.

Men are beautiful and hot when they jerk off, and I hate to see them shamed for it.


  1. I love to watch a guy jerk off, but it's really pretty hard to get many of them to do it in front of me.

    I think that a lot of the issue (besides the fact that our images of men and women in the media are almost always presented from the heterosexual male POV) is the idea that no man would jerk off if he could get laid. A male, especially an adult male, who masturbates is displayed as a pitiful, sexually frustrated figure.

    Which makes no sense, really, because every guy I've ever met masturbates regardless of whether or not he's getting laid regularly. And it's sexy.

  2. Who is shaming men for masturbation? Outside of the porn industry, male masturbation is expected, while female masturbation--or any type of healthy female sexuality--is shamed. That has been my experience.

  3. Bianca - I may be attacking a strawman, I do sometimes do that, but...

    I was thinking of American Pie. When the beautiful European exchange student touches herself, it's hot and everyone watches lustfully. When Jason Biggs touches himself, it's humiliating and hilarious.

    And I was thinking of this month's Cosmo, which has a cover story on "Sex he has alone" and how shocking and tee-hee hilarious it is that guys masturbate a lot.

    I agree that male masturbation is expected, but it's in a "shame that we all share" way, like shitting; no one ever calls it beautiful. Female masturbation is made sexy in porn and (somewhat) acceptable in self-help and "learning your own body" ways, but even sex-positive groups seem uneasy with guys jerking off.

    Let me put it this way: no one ever urged men to "self-cultivate". That's partly because it's assumed that they already do, but it's also partly because male masturbation is seen as dirty and base.

  4. I'm a straight dude, so it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm not interested in watching guys beat off. But I essentially agree with Holly: Male masturbation has no upside. Female masturbation, though not applauded by everyone, gets a fair amount of attention for its positive effects (and is, to this straight dude, extremely hot).

    Part of the difference in the way they are treated has to do with the general social attitudes toward male and female sexuality. Men are predatory and abusive; women are curious and playful. A cock is a weapon; a vulva is a mystery. Masturbation is just an extension of those ideas: Men are thinking of doing something evil, but women are dancing in the forest of Venus (or some shit).

  5. Bruno - Obviously I'm not saying you have to get turned on by guys wanking. Just... you probably don't get turned on by hairy chests either, but you wouldn't think it was hilarious or disgusting to see a guy with chestfuzz.

    (I know you already agree with me, I'm just saying.)

    And yeah, the whole idea of a horny man is presumed to be dangerous. Which sucks bigtime as I rather like horny men.

    And fucking "forest of Venus" shit, it's all about saying women don't like sex even when they're having sex because oh, it isn't really sex, it's self-discovery and empowerment.

    Maybe female masturbation is only pretty and safe because it's assumed we don't actually get off on it.

  6. On my first date with my (up to that point) traditional man, I asked him what his masturbation practices were. He was shocked, but came around, and now he talks about it with his guy friends, does it in front of me all the time (his first time with someone else there), and can even do it in front of my girlfriends. Yep I'm proud.

    (Speaking of solo gratification, have you heard of the guys who can suck their own dicks? I saw a porn of that one time and was surprised to see that they do it by using a wall and getting all bent in half upside down, letting their cock hang down into their mouth. It's comical but kinda hot when they cum in their own face.)

  7. TBK - Oh, I've more than heard about it. My first boyfriend was very thin and athletic with a very long cock and he didn't even need a wall, he could just sit in a chair and bend way forward and... hot damn.

    He didn't actually enjoy doing it because the pain in his back and the awkwardness of a dick in his mouth far outweighed any pleasure he got out of it (not much of a blowjob when you can only get the first half-inch in your mouth and you can't really move), but he showed me once and it was awe-inspiring.

  8. holly, I see your point. Therefore, the two things should be distinguished. One is the image of male masturbation, while the other is the (un- or sub-)conscious act of male masturbation. The reason why more images of male masturbation are not prevalent is because most images in our media, American and otherwise, are made for the purpose of male masturbation, or at least for straight male pleasure and satisfaction. If more straight women and more gay men owned and ran the four or five big media conglomerates, there would be a huge difference in what you saw on your various screens and magazines.