Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Let me cut to the chase: masturbation is the best thing ever. Seriously. Just think about it. You can do it yourself. You can do it anywhere. You can do it anytime. It can happen a million different ways — slow, fast, hard, soft, wet, dry, drunk, sober — but it always yields the same, satisfying conclusion. Always. Unless, of course, you go too far.
What follows is an experiment in masturbation. For the first time since middle school, I’m trying new masturbation techniques. These are techniques that push limits: of physicality, of medication, of consciousness. There are techniques that are actually, well, kind of fucked up. But sometimes you just need to go there.
The first is aptly called “the stranger.” I could explain it on my own, but I’d rather do it with recourse to urbandictionary.com, that minefield of cultural sophistication that might someday supplant Wikipedia as the other best thing ever. I prefer the simplicity of definition #8: “sitting on your hand until it falls asleep and then jerking off, eliciting the feeling of a hand job from someone else.” Get it?
As a note, this usage of “the stranger” is not be confused with a weekly music magazine in Seattle, WA (definition #7). It is also not to be confused with the following utterly absurd sex act (definition #5): Find a room on the first floor with a large window and proceed to penetrate someone from behind, while they face the window; after a few minutes into it, have your friend come into the room and take your place; then, you run outside, stand in front of the window, and wave. Hm. Maybe next week.
I won’t even try to deceive you, dear reader. I’ve been doing the stranger since I was 14. Not regularly, of course; but it’s technically not new. Be patient. New stuff is coming. Does the stranger work? Yes, and I recommend it to everyone. Guys and gals, although I’m going to describe this with respect to my penis.
Getting your hand to fall asleep is easy; sitting on it for a few minutes should do the trick. Then grab your dick and start whacking as per usual. The initial feeling is bizarre. There is enough visual feedback and motor control to know it’s your hand stroking your cock. But it’s just cognitive. Your hand is so tingly, so numb, that you can’t feel your penis, which means that your penis can’t feel your hand. So it feels like someone else’s hand is stroking your penis! Closing your eyes completes the illusion.
What’s the point? I guess the goal is to elicit the feeling of getting a hand job without getting a real hand job. Isn’t this like eating a tofu hot dog? Why the posturing? If you want a hand job so badly as to cut off blood flow, some might say you should spend the 20 minutes asking someone out on a date. Still, it’s a helluva simulation.
What I describe next is not a simulation. It’s a new experience. It’s like “the stranger;” except that instead of putting your hand to sleep, you put your penis to sleep. What is it called? The “mysterious stranger.” It’s new. It’s crazy. It’s not even on urban dictionary.
How did I put my penis to sleep? Topical anesthetic, of course! There’s this stuff called Anbesol. The active ingredient is Benzocaine (20%), a local anesthetic, and it’s available at any drug store. I think people use it to numb their gums prior to dental surgery.
I first put the Anbesol on my pinky finger: do unto your penis as you would do unto your pinky. My finger didn’t become numb, but definitely got tingly. It was worth a shot. So I went into a bathroom, undressed, and then dumped about half the bottle all over my penis, slathering it from top to bottom. Then I waited.
At first there was nothing. But then I began to feel a strange tingling sensation all over my penis, particularly near the tip. That was my cue; I started to go to work. And it was hard to get hard: my penis felt weird, I felt weird touching it, and it probably felt weird having me touch it! It’s not that I thought my penis belonged to someone else. But I also didn’t feel the usual connection to the little dude that I usually do. After a couple minutes of not getting an erection I thought I would just have to stop. But then it finally happened. Maybe just because of the stimulating motion. Maybe just because the drug had worn off. Either way, afterward it was smooth sailing.
Nevertheless, I wasn’t completely satisfied; the mysterious stranger wasn’t the out-of-body experience I had anticipated. I wanted to push the limits of my consciousness. I found my inspiration in “The 40 Year Old Virgin”. In one scene, the stock manager played by Seth Rogan tells the innocent Steve Carell about a game in which you take 3 Excedrin PMs and then try to whack off before falling asleep. What’s the benefit? You win every time!
I gave it a try. I had actually been wanting a little help sleeping, and 3 Excedrin PMs wasn’t too far above the recommend dose of 2. I took the drug, waited for about 20 minutes, got in bed, and put on an episode of The Office. (Yes, I sleep to The Office. Yes, I sometimes masturbate while it is on).
Christ was I tired! But I pulled down my underwear and started, for the third time in two days, to masturbate. This one was a battle. I really, really wanted to sleep. But I also wanted to come. I would do it for awhile, get hard, get tired, lose interest, get soft, etc. I felt like Sisyphus, except instead of pushing a boulder up a hill I was, well, masturbating.
Ten minutes in, however, I found inspiration. I don’t know from where — my dignity, my libido, maybe even God. But I decided to just do it. Within a minute I came. And within another minute I fell asleep. It was a win win win situation — me, myself, and my penis.