I only see my jizz on occasional mornings. The wet dreams are casual, and the lover's face is always vague, like a finger-painting. In the dreams, I say something like "thanks for coming" as I touch her phantom body. She says, "I'm glad to be here, really enjoying myself." Then a hot pink nipple floats into my vision like a comet, and I gently press it. I wake up in the humid Florida morning, my sheets wet beneath me.
My body does it quietly and unconsciously, like the tiny cheer I let out in empty elevators after I've talked to a cute girl. But for me, the nocturnal emissions are often the only release my body gets, because in my 21 years on this Earth, I have never masturbated.
Most people find this appalling: Masturbation is natural! You'll get all blocked up if you don't pop one out!Some consider it an act of perseverance, as if not masturbating were an accomplishment. Even to the most open-minded, I am the punchline to that old joke: "98 percent of people masturbate, the other 2 percent are lying."
It's not that I haven't thought about it. I've just never felt the urge. I may be the only man in existence to have never touched himself, but there are many things I haven't touched—a 2013 Subaru, a caribou, an authentic New York bagel. At the risk of sounding self-aggrandizing, there are an infinite number of things more interesting than me than sitting alone with my dick in my hand.
What guy doesn't have a story about the first time he realized his penis could be rubbed to orgasm, like a Genie in a magic lamp? Masturbation is a landmark in growing up; later, it becomes a habit that may prevent cancer, or at least prevent insanity. Death and masturbation are the taboo inevitabilities underlying all life and art.
Horniness is like the Holy Spirit. I've seen some filled with it, singing in praise, weeping at altars of affection—but I've always found it kind of silly.
Masturbating is like belonging to a secret club: Everyone knows what goes on, so no one needs to talk about it outright. There's an episode of Seinfeld where George Costanza sits down at a table and tells Jerry Seinfeld his mother "caught him."
Jerry asks, "Doing what?"
George grimaces, "You know..."
The studio audience erupts with laughter, because we all know. The innuendos unite us. In Tallahassee or in France; surrounded by strip malls or art relics; pants are down and folks are fucking themselves. And the world needs it. Without masturbation and patient anticipation for a Friends reunion, blood would run down the streets of your town.
Except, I never got the password to enter that club. The pubescent moment when you're meant to discover the wonders of the male anatomy never presented itself to me. It still hasn't.
Horniness is like the Holy Spirit. I've seen some filled with it, singing in praise, weeping at altars of affection—but I've always found it kind of silly. I was raised Catholic, and before my first Confession, I was given a worksheet to track my sins. The common sins were listed:
I DISOBEYED MY PARENTS.
I SAID THE LORD'S NAME IN VAIN.
I always scrawled a question mark next to "masturbation" and handed the worksheet back to Father Ennis. I honestly didn't know. He thought I was being cheeky, so I always received abnormally high penance, and my family would leave me in the pew still repeating mandated Hail Mary's until they lost meaning. "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners..."
I once attempted masturbation—sometime in high school—after hearing a great deal of hype (conversations with men take two minutes, at most, to pivot toward dick discussion). With all that lotion in preparation, my penis resembled a sparkling porcelain porpoise, wet and glistening. The whole thing struck me as absurd. What was I supposed to do with it? It seemed silly to slip into a fugue state; to fantasize myself with a nude beauty and invent moments that didn't actually exist. So I gave up.
The first time I came in my waking life was inside of my ex-girlfriend. She took my virginity when I was 20 years old. We did it after a party, in the midst of drinking some McDonald's ice coffee. When I came, she came, too. It was a mutual stirring of fluids. I went blank for 15 minutes, gurgling the complexities of it all like a novice at a wine-tasting. Orgasming felt natural, normal—almost mundane. This is what men kill for?
In the morning, we bought celebratory iced coffees that tasted the same as the day before. Over us, The Wanted crumbled through McDonald's house speakers: My universe will never be the same. I'm glad you came. I'm glad you came. She whispered to me, "So am I."
Sex became a regular thing. After coming, I would return to my natural state of gawkiness—I've always been awkward in social situations, even alone with loved ones. But my girlfriend said I was a different person in bed. She called me her best lover. I felt proud and impressive. Maybe that's manhood.
When we broke up, we agreed that our friendship was something worth saving. But then she leapt out of touch. She said she couldn't be friends with a former intimate—the orgasms complicated things. And then she never spoke to me again.
When I think of her, I remember those days when we would just lay together on soiled sheets, in awe of our orgasms. And maybe that is what makes masturbators: being left dick in hand, chasing memories.
Read more by Alex O'Keefe on his website.