Travel

This Is How Gooners Go On Holiday

How do you vacation when your passion is sitting alone in a room all day, getting off to porn? We asked the gooning community.
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Illustration by Hunter French

You’d be forgiven for thinking that gooners—a relatively new online community who’ve transformed masturbation into an endurance-based art form lasting hours, or even days, on end—would live a fairly sedentary existence. After all, if your life revolves around edging yourself into a trance while surrounded by multiple screens, projectors, laser disc players, and walls covered in porno mags, why would you ever want to leave home?

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But for many in the gooning community, travel can be the best part. Even those who’ve set up elaborate “goon caves” devoted to their pornosexual lifestyles find ways to bring their cherished hobby along with them.

Chad, a 33-year-old Hawaiian, goons for about 3-4 hours a day. He’s a virgin, not by choice, but because of constant rejection and mental health issues. “Gooning is my only form of sex,” he says, and he’s devoted to it, with a lifetime membership to PornHub and over a thousand dollars invested in sex toys. Watching porn and masturbating is a social activity for Chad. “You’ll meet a goon bud and watch porn together and chat gooning […] it’s like a meme culture; you have all these little gifs, except it’s hardcore porn,” Chad says. “Gooning is a meditative act that allows me to connect to the world through sexual energy. It’s made me feel so much more comfortable with myself.” He hides his gooning from nearly everyone IRL, however, and fears he’d be fired from his job if he was ever found out.

Chad flies frequently for his corporate job. When he does, he brings his gear along with him. This includes everything from a clear Fleshlight (for easy cleaning) to a stash of vintage porn, to a battery-powered projector small enough to fit into his backpack. The projector allows him to display 100 X 100-size porn clips he’s downloaded to the SD card. He tries to avoid streaming porn on his business jaunts for two reasons: hotel wifi sucks and he doesn’t want evidence on a public wifi network.

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He prefers Hilton hotels because they’re all over Hawaii, have a decent room lay out with pretty good TVs, and they remind him of Paris Hilton.

“It's almost a ritual [when I get to a hotel],” Chad says. He places his laptop on the bed, the projector on the foot of the bed, and his tablet on the side table. “In an ideal situation, there’s a good size TV, nice blank wall, and I just took a shower,” he says. “My Fleshlight is hooked up to the heating rod, my dinner is ready, porn on the hotel TV, and I have magazines—one next to me and one in the bathroom.”

He recently bought a 60 lb-torso doll that has an accompanying flight case. He hasn’t tried to bring it on board—yet. While airport security has been nonchalant when they’ve searched his bag and found his lubes and sex toys, the doll might cause more of a stir.

While Chad goons at home and away, some guys only goon on the road. Allgry_cave—the Reddit handle of a 29-year-old Nevada resident—rents hotel rooms once or a twice a month. “The idea of getting a hotel room just to [goon] was particularly exciting. I use hotel gooning as a little vacation from the stress of everyday life… to just relax and turn off my brain for a bit,” he says. He brings weed and drinks along with his supplies. He spends time eyeing the hotel room layouts beforehand because, he says, “while gooning, I tend to move from the bed, to the couch, to the restroom then back to the bed. Then repeat.”

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After he arrives, he prepares the living area and bathroom for gooning. He spends 30-40 minutes plastering the bathroom wall with porn mags like Busty Beauties. The bathroom becomes a celebration of the female form, with areolas and labias covering every inch. If the bathroom has a shower curtain, he projects videos on to it. If not, he covers the glass door with more spread-eagled stars. In the main room, he has porn movies projected on to the wall and ceiling, videos on the TV, and mags covering the bed.

While gooning has been stereotyped as a male activity, there’s a subset of female “goonettes” who are just as committed as their male counterparts.

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Northern Irish "goonette" Catherine Duffy

One of them, Catherine Duffy, 35, loves to goon on her European travels. Duffy began gooning as a teenager in Belfast after finding a box of discarded porn magazines. But it wasn’t until she graduated from university and travelled for work that it became more intense. “In hotels around the UK and Europe, I was able to explore porn far deeper and began growing completely obsessed with it,” she says.

She became infatuated with hardcore porn genres, like extreme gangbangs. “I particularly fell in love with the kind of wild porn stars who, despite being in some of the most degrading situations imaginable, were a sexual force to be reckoned with. Gianna Michaels, Sandra Romain, Kelly Stafford… they instilled a lot of confidence in me,” she says. “I’d never encountered such sexually audacious women while growing up in Belfast.”

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When she travels, which she does frequently for her job as a start-up consultant, she brings portable fucking machines, thrusting dildos, and interactive G-spot massagers for private adventures. Sometimes she goons in public, at the porno theaters that still exist. She dons heels and a slutty outfit, and totes an anal plug, ball gag, and vibrator.

Tangling with airport security has been challenging for Catherine. “Trying to explain to Kazakhstan airport security that my metal butt plug with a red diamond ending isn’t some kind of weapon, or lost relic from a forgotten civilization, was pretty awkward,” she says. “Being threatened with arrest for being a ‘potential prostitute’ by a Russian border guard who said I can make the problem go away with a blowjob was pretty scary.” Now she only travels to EU countries.

Gooning has become not only a hobby, but a business. She runs her own website whoreuro, where she offers a community space of “uninhibited perversion.” She also posts about her gooner parties that she rents out airbnbs for. “They tend to start with everyone watching porn and mutually masturbating before descending into a free for all,” she says.

For Catherine, travelling is the best part of her job: “I have tonnes of free time to indulge in my other passions like history and, of course, gooning!”

Follow Hallie @hallielieberman