When you break down masturbation to its basic elements—privacy, a little bit of inspiration, some elbow grease, and hopefully a modest cleanup routine—there's obviously nothing to be embarrassed about. But for young people who haven't quite figured this out, each attempt has the potential to cause deep shame and/or personal injury.
As something of a public service, VICE asked several self-identified self-pleasurers to share their most embarrassing masturbation stories. Because whether or not you consider yourself skilled in the area of dialing the rotary phone, shakin' the bacon, or whatever euphemism you prefer, you probably didn't start out as a masturbatory pro.
I was driving from Calgary to Edmonton, and I'd done a bunch of partying the night before so I was super hungover. I had the window down, the music on blast, and I was doing everything and anything to keep myself awake but I was still, like, pass-out-flip-my-car tired.
I thought, what can I do to keep myself awake? And then I had an idea. I thought, well I'll just rub one out and that will keep me awake, easy peasy. I planned to do it nice and slow so it would take up as much time as possible. And so I started, and it was great because I was pretty good at keeping it hidden from other drivers for a long time. But then at one point I kind of lost track of things—I was giving 'er hard—and this semi drove up beside me, too close, and so I sped up to try and get by him so that he wouldn't see.
He sped up too, keeping pace, and so he definitely did see, because next thing I knew he was giving me the big ol' honk honk. After that I put [my penis] away and just had to laugh. But I hadn't finished yet, and so once the semi was gone I took it back out and tried to keep going. But I just couldn't finish. And that was the worst part for me: I gave myself blue balls. Though I did make it to Edmonton alive, so that's good [laughs].
So my friend and I, when we were maybe 13 or 14, used to have these elaborate masturbation parties. Not with a bunch of people or anything; it would just be us and we'd tell each other these elaborate, lavish fantasies and then just, you know, do our own thing. We were both really into theatre so one of our favourite fantasies was one where the Phantom of the Opera would swoop down from the battlements and proposition us—in the kindest way possible!—for sex. And then of course he'd rip off his mask to reveal himself as whichever boy we'd been crushing on at the time.
Anyway, this one time we were having one of our "parties" after watching Pride and Prejudice, and we were completely overcome with Mr. Darcy. How could you not be? And so, in my friend's room, we started to touch ourselves. I should also say that both her parents were super religious. To the max. Her mom came home from work early that day and suddenly she was right outside the door, about to come in. We sprung up off the bed just as she came in, but it was super obvious what we'd been doing because we were both super sweaty. We had our clothes on, thank god, but still. We just knew that she knew, but of course it wasn't something anyone was willing to express because her family was so sex-negative.
That incident didn't stop us from continuing our parties. I mean, I've been masturbating since the crib. I used to hump furniture and everything. It's just something I've always needed.
When I was 10 or 11, my older brother was having a sleepover with a bunch of his buddies. And I guess around that age people start talking about sexy things, sex jokes and stuff, and so I was hovering at the corners of the room, trying to hang out, when I overheard them talking about masturbating. One of them made a joke and was like, "oh are you gonna masturbate later tonight?" and he made the hand gesture that you make for masturbation, which is that closed fist you shake in front of your crotch. And I didn't know how to masturbate, so I saw that gesture and was like, oh my god, that's how you do it.
That night I went to bed—and I didn't have a boner because I was 10 years old and, you know, we don't get many boners at that age—and I got into bed, made a fist and started hitting my flaccid penis with my closed hand. I was like, oh my god that really hurts! So I gave up masturbating for about two years. I thought, well that's not for me.
It was a rainy Sunday and I was making chili. I like my chili nice and hot— muy picante as they say—and so I chopped up all the veggies and things, including many jalapeño peppers, and threw them in a pot. I washed my hands well—at least I thought I did—and sat down to watch a little Project Runway while my chili was boiling away.
During a lull in the show, I thought, well I'm a bit bored and sleepy here in my sweatpants, so why don't I just rub one out? A couple minutes in, I was gearing up, about to roll into O town, and I started to notice that my vagina was burning a bit. I was like, hmm, I wonder what that's all about? And so I ignored it for a while, but then it started to hurt A LOT, like it was lit on fire. I was suddenly very afraid. But then I realized there was likely some jalapeño juice on my fingers, and so naturally I took to google for a remedy. I typed in something like "jalapeño juice on skin burning how stop?"
I didn't want to put in "jalapeño juice in vagina" because it would corrupt my search history. But anyway, Wikihow said to pour cold milk on the "affected area," and so I filled a huge measuring cup with skim milk, sat myself on the toilet, leaned back and doused myself. It was an odd experience, but it did ease my suffering. And so after that I showered and had a nice bowl of chili. Which was delicious.
I used to babysit for this really rich family that lived in a mansion where the bathroom had this really amazing shag rug. And so I used to go into the bathroom, lay down on the rug, and masturbate after the kids were asleep. I would leave the door ajar so that if the kids called for help I could hear them. But one time, the dog—whose name was Buddy, ugh—came into the room while I was masturbating. I friggen hated that dog—it was a Bichon Frise, ugliest thing ever. Anyway, maybe Buddy got excited or something when he saw me masturbating on the rug, because he started humping my leg. It was awful. Put me totally out of the mood. And from that day on, every time the dog came to greet me at their house, he'd hump my leg. Didn't matter what I was doing—the dishes, cleaning, whatever—he'd go for me. It was super embarrassing because I felt like the parents knew, you know? Like, they knew I'd used their house as a masturbation station because I'd suddenly become a sex symbol to their dog.
So the idea of jerking off into a sock was really popular when I was growing up. Geometrically, the idea made sense, but I guess I'd never considered what I would do with the sock afterward. I was probably about 14, in my bedroom doing my thing, and I decided to try the sock method out. It made the initial clean up a revelation since there was really nothing to be done. But then I had this sock. I couldn't put it in the laundry because my mom did my laundry and she would find it and know that I was a young man doing young man things. Same went for the garbage, because I guess at the time I imagined my mom to be some kind of suspicious raccoon that combed through all the detritus in the house.
Our house backed onto a forest so I decided the sock best belonged there. I walked to the edge of the yard and hurled it into the woods. But you see, it was winter and all of the trees were bare. The sock wrapped itself around the branch of a particularly tall birch. I'm talking like 30 feet up. It stayed up there, bright white, and waved like a shameful flag for months until summer storms came and blew it off. My mom totally noticed, too. She kept asking everyone in the house, who knows what's going on with that sock? My strategy was deny, deny, deny.
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