You are with two friends. You enjoy their company, but naturally, you feel more comfortable with one friend more than the other, for whatever reason. Now, imagine this friend, the more-friend friend, steps away for a moment. So you look at the number 2 option and realize that this is the first time you have been alone together. It’s a little uncomfortable because you don’t know what your common threads are, outside of a group dynamic. To relieve this anxiety, you start to masturbate right in front of your friend. Your friend sees you masturbating and starts to masturbate to. You finish masturbating because it occurs to that you want to know your friend’s opinion on pizza.
Okay, read the above scenario and simply replace ‘masturbate’ with ‘check your cell phone’. The two are fundamentally in the same category. Both masturbation and checking your cell phone are personal, one-person activities done with a frequency proportional to your boredom and desire for instant gratification.
Now, is this good, bad, or weird? I don’t think it’s any of them, but I think we just to be aware of what were doing with the very limited time you have with the people you know. Personally, I think it’s fine to masturbate, so it’s fine to check your phone. But there’s a time and a place for everything. Just apply the same rules because it’s the same thing. Fuck it, just try it. Try not-checking your cell phone…without a reason….while you’re on the city bus. I’m going to try that myself the next time I find myself on the CTA. So yeah, check you cell phone for a reason. And masturbate for a reason. Hahaha, masturbate for a reason, with reason, for reason itself! 😀 Just kidding about that last one. But you could though. You could do anything.
While we’re talking about masturbating, here’s a loose thread I’m tacking on here: I was worried when I was drawing parallels in this thought experiment that I was revealing too much, but then again, who cares? I certainly won’t go into detail of my process because that’s reserved for my partner (who I don’t have….awwww 😦 ), but it is simply a statement of fact: I have masturbated. And so have you. Everyone masturbates. Or has masturbated. And I mean everyone, like in the history of time! From Homer to Barack Obama…all masturbators!
So yeah, masturbation is a thing that happens. Some people think it’s a bad thing, therefore there’s other people that think it’s a good thing. I just think it’s a thing, part of biology. We excrete tears and turds and pus and piss and blood and sweat, let’s just add cum to the list. Women cum too, but I don’t know what a de-gendered term for cum that isn’t medical. I guess I perceive the word cum as male because I see that a lot more often.
But I don’t see masturbation as simple as that though, biology is just one dimension. There’s psychology too. Execration feels good sometimes, but pooping, I don’t think, is tied to a reward system (maybe/maybe not?). Either way, some people tether the frequency of masturbation with their discipline. I think if I did that, I don’t think I can last long enough to earn the first chip….unless there was a 15-minute no-masturbating chip. That I could totally do, maybe. But I would totally trade it in for a chance at a masturbation bender.
I don’t habitually masturbate. And I don’t deliberately not masturbating either. I have no noble purpose here. Stopping yourself from masturbating by deliberately not masturbating is weird to me. If you want to stop, for whatever reason–personal or social–is your own, just remove it from your normal. Know what your normal is, don’t try to manufacture a whole new one, and just drop it what you don’t like.
I joke about the wacking-off bender because, for me, self-control has always been about restrictions, but really, self-control is just another way of saying autonomy——or human agency———or power, really. Power. I can’t think of a scenario…because I don’t want to try right now… where a top-down use of power did a better job than a bottom-up approach. I suppose matters of public health, environmental health, and the like could benefit from top-down, but still, bottom-up is still a factor. But yeah, this top-down approach in regards to masturbation is a person dictating their genitals. But is the opposite seriously any better? Your genitals dictating you, a human being? I don’t know. Personally, I don’t think about it, I just masturbate whenever I feel like. And I feel like it when I feel like it.