[Content Warning: This post discusses personal experiences with masturbation (with a penis) in detail.]
Masturbation. It all seems different for me.
I don’t know how much of it is asexuality getting involved, how much of it is personal preference, and how much of it just a inaccurate public presentation of it that skews my perception of how it really is for other people. My guess is that it’s a combination of the three in varying degrees.
I do it more gently. Masturbation always seems to be depicted as a fast, frantic activity. In censored TV shows and movies, they’ll indicate that someone is masturbating by showing fast hand movements. In porn, the people seem to always stroke a hundred miles an hour. Even euphemisms for it imply a violent action: Jerk off, whack off, beat your meat… But to me, all of that seems like sticking your penis in a paint shaker. Just… No. How can you do that?
Is that really how people do it, or is that just the hyper-masculine, alpha-male bullshit front people put up? Have to be aggressive and dominant in all things, so be aggressive and dominant with your penis to show it who’s boss?
I’ve tried to go fast and hard at times, and it just seems to send things into an overload state. This overload doesn’t translate into heightened pleasure, it translates into a message that says stop right now. It’s uncomfortable. It’s unpleasant. Everything kinds of shuts down. If I can find the speed just below what triggers this overload state, then it may lead to a stronger ejaculation, but at the expense of everything else. (More on that later…)
I go slower. I go more gently. I’ll even let it go a little soft at times. I don’t need to wrestle and strangle my way to orgasm. Caresses and coaxing and being kind seem to work better overall.
I enjoy the journey. Masturbation is always depicted as being focused towards the orgasm. That’s all there is. How much did you ejaculate and how far did it go and that’s all that matters. I get that that’s visually interesting for porn, but everything else also seems to treat it as a race to the finish, with nothing else along the way. Go hard, go fast, get off.
Is that really how people do it, or is that just the hyper-masculine, alpha-male bullshit front people put up? You’re not allowed to have feelings, especially sexual feelings that you provide yourself. Ejaculation is a tangible result, so focus on that and only that?
For me, getting to orgasm is a huge part of the fun. It feels good and I take extra steps to make it feel better for longer. Sure, the orgasm is usually the best part, but let’s take a trip to calculus class for a moment. Remember area under the curve?
These are pleasure charts for different types of masturbation. The graph is an instantaneous reading of the level of pleasure at that moment in time, so the area under the curve is the total amount of pleasure for the session. Figure 1 is a race to the finish. Figure 2 is a longer, slower path. Figure 3 compares the relative areas between the two. As you can see, while the maximum value of pleasure is lower in the second graph, the overall amount of pleasure experienced is far higher.
On a more physical level, I enjoy the scenery on the journey. There’s a lot to see, if you slow down and take a look. A press on the frenulum. The indistinct sensation of soft bumps of the toy passing over the corona. The skin being pulled, then sliding loose. A general enveloping pressure on the shaft. The wave that comes from tensing the right muscles at the right time. It’s all nice in different ways, and it’s all an important part of the process for me. It’s worth sacrificing a bit of ejaculatory distance for it.
(And don’t get me wrong, super strong orgasms are definitely nice, too…)
I sometimes involve calculus in a discussion of masturbation. Okay, that one is all me. Not much else to say there.
It’s not a substitute, it’s not practice, it’s not incomplete. I think I’ve talked about this one before. The prevailing message on masturbation is that it’s to be used as a substitute, only when Real Sex™ is unavailable. It’s never looked at as something that can exist on its own, and be done for its own sake, just because it feels good, independent of other concerns. It’s seen as a pathetic, lesser, half-measure, only done because your testicles will fill up and explode if you don’t do something about it. Or that it’s merely an exercise, like daily jogging, done to keep in shape and prepare for the marathon of Real Sex™.
Is that really how people see it, or is that just the hyper-masculine, alpha-male bullshit front people put up? That you’re not allowed to do it by itself, that it has to be in the service of conquest and domination, a demonstration of your sexual prowess, otherwise it doesn’t matter?
Masturbation is different than Real Sex™ with a partner, certainly. But that doesn’t make it inferior or unworthy. If the way you masturbate seems like it’s so much worse than Real Sex™ so as to make it essentially worthless, then you’re probably doing it wrong and should look at ways to improve your technique.
I used a jogging metaphor a little earlier, and I want to revisit that. I implied that jogging is only done to prepare for a marathon. And that’s a clearly ridiculous idea. Many people jog simply to jog. Even if they do run marathons, the jogging is its own separate thing. Just because they both involve running, that doesn’t make jogging inferior. Another example would be chocolate bars. A lot of people like chocolate bars. People like different types of chocolate bars. Some people enjoy chocolate bars twice a day, every day. But the existence of chocolate cake doesn’t invalidate chocolate bars. Chocolate bars are not substitute cake, they’re not some inferior product that can only be vaguely tolerated when chocolate cake is unavailable and never enjoyed on their own.
I do it as its own thing. I don’t feel like I’m missing out or that it’s a half-measure. It is full. It is varied.
There’s more than just the penis. Masturbation is almost always shown as exclusively involving the penis. It’s one hand, furiously stroking away until complete. The other hand just kinda hangs out, unused. Maybe, once in a blue moon, someone will grab their testicles, but that’s about it.
Is that really how people do it, or is that just the hyper-masculine, alpha-male bullshit front people put up? The penis is the only thing that can be involved, everything else is reserved for someone else’s use during Real Sex™?
My penis is absolutely the star of the show when I masturbate, but there’s usually an ensemble supporting cast. My “spare” hand will wander around my chest and stomach and thighs and side and neck and hair, it’ll rub my nipples, run through my pubic hair, pull my testicles, push on the perineum, and squeeze around the base of the shaft. Sometimes, even my prostate will get involved.
I do it alone. Now, clearly, most people who masturbate will typically do it alone in a physical sense. But the act usually involves someone else mentally. A partner, a stranger, the person in the porn. There’s a fantasy built up and acted upon. Masturbation isn’t masturbation, it’s Real Sex™ with someone who isn’t there. Sex toy descriptions will often go into great detail about how it’s really someone’s willing whatever-body-part disembodied to please you, it’s not a textured rubber tube. It can never be done alone.
Is that really how people do it, or is that just the hyper-masculine, alpha-male bullshit front people put up? That it always has to be done in the service of a conquest, even if that conquest is imaginary, otherwise it’s a waste of the Power of the Cock™?
I typically do it alone in a mental sense. I don’t fantasize. I don’t do it to someone or for someone or whatever. My toys are just toys, they’re not replicas or simulations of people. Even when looking at porn, there’s no sense of personal insertion into the scene. Whenever I try to fantasize or imagine myself in the porn scene, it becomes distracting to the point of making things more difficult. Even in VR porn, which is supposed to make you part of the scene, there’s a disconnect.
So, I don’t know. Is this all just toxic masculinity bullshit that I don’t subscribe to that forces everyone else to put on a mask and not admit what they actually do and actually like? Is this asexuality skewing how I experience things? Is it a combination? Does it really matter? Probably not.