Like pissing in the shower and dying, everybody masturbates—they just don’t want to talk about it. These things are best done in private, after all. But for a society in which almost 100 per cent of men and around 90 per cent of women admit to beating their meat and bashing their beavers, the idea of playing “five against one”, as Hemingway called it, is still incredibly taboo.
It shouldn’t be. In spite of the stigmas, there are a million and one reasons why you ought to masturbate furiously, frequently and unapologetically. Here, for the comfort of your conscience, are five of them:
FOR THE GREEKS:
Fathers of mathematics, philosophy and wrestling, the Ancient Greeks represent a cornerstone of modern civilisation. They were also partial to plucking the one-stringed harp and strangling the Cyclops from time to time. For them, carnal pleasure and sensual delight were God-given gifts worthy of gratitude and celebration. Passion, even in its most primal form, was something to be relished—the human body a thing to be explored and enjoyed. And what better way to enjoy one’s own body than by engaging in a bit of hand-to-gland combat?
Nothing says “I am a self-sufficient, independent individual” like having sex with yourself. Far from being pathetic or introverted, he who takes matters into his own hands, so to speak, shows initiative and proactive capability: the potential to rely only on oneself; to ‘be one’s own best friend’. The wanker satisfies a fundamental bodily urge on his own, without any outside help. Because nothing is really required for wanking: no resources or influences external to the body and mind of the wanker himself. In this sense, masturbation is one of the simplest and most natural activities one can undertake. Even a leisurely stroll is dependent on the laws of gravity—a wanker can make space jam in orbit.
FOR YOUR BRAIN:
Finger-walking your way to an orgasm has a range of benefits for your mental health. Not only is it a fun and easy way to relieve stress and promote relaxation, it also unleashes a butt-ton of endorphins that can improve your mood and battle depression.
Take pornography out of the picture, and a bit of ‘fiction friction’ also cultivates creativity and imagination—the ability to escape into one’s own thoughts; to visualise, role-play, and conjure up a collage of past memories and images. If I made as many weekly deposits into my savings account as the average male teenager makes into his wank bank, I could be jerking it on a private beach somewhere right this minute. The reality, of course, is that I make about as many withdrawals as that same teenager, and can barely pay my rent.
FOR YOUR BODY:
In the late 1800’s Dr John Harvey Kellogg, of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes fame, asserted that masturbation causes womb cancer, epilepsy and insanity. His solution: have children’s genitals fitted with special cages at a young age, or else mutilated altogether. He also advocated yoghurt enemas as a means of keeping the colon clean.
Kellogg was a cock. Aside from the obvious cardio and muscle training that comes with frequent sessions of wrist aerobics, a little self-indulgence in the bedroom is a great way to take care of your inner health. Cleaning out the pipes on a regular basis keeps a gentleman’s baby gravy pure and can prevent the development of prostate cancer, whilst the double knuckle shuffle eases menstrual tension and pain and builds up a gal’s resistance to yeast infections.
FOR PLANET EARTH:
As far as I can tell, the only half logical argument against masturbating, from an evolutionary standpoint, is that it might act as a substitute for intercourse. Masturbation is, after all, a kind of Darwinian glitch whereby the wanker becomes his own sexual mate and effectively cock blocks the continuation of the species. Adam no longer needs Eve; Eve no longer needs Adam; the human race flogs itself into extinction. The end.
This is an extreme view, since almost no one turns down real sex in favour of having a wank. But insofar as masturbation might actually affect the amount of P’s going into V’s, there is at least one strong case in its favour: namely, its role in curbing overpopulation.
We live on a rock that is rapidly running out of room and resources. Less sex means fewer babies—meaning the more knuckle children that end up in your gym sock the less hungry mouths we have to feed and shelter on our dying planet. If Dr Kellogg had had his way, our time on earth might’ve ended long ago.
So please, for the love of God, masturbate. The world needs you to.
Words by Gavin Butler. Photo by Richard McDonald.