Even though it’s National Masturbation Month, I can’t help but notice that we so seldom call masturbation what it is. It’s a long word, surely, and it has a lot of syllables, and lots of people spell it with an “e” instead of a “u,” but regardless of the reason, we’re much more likely to use a masturbation euphemism than we are to use the word masturbation. Except for me, who has been using it all month and is hoping to corner the market on the Google keywords algorithm.
Some masturbation euphemisms – most masturbation euphemisms? – are geared toward penis-owning people. “Jerking off,” for instance, a classic masturbation term, implies that there is something to wrap one’s hand around and jerk. Jacking off seems to have the same effect, although I think the cute partner-term “jilling off” is far underrepresented.
Then there are the terrifying ones. Choking the chicken, strangling the salami, petting the one-eyed trouser snake, all terms that would ironically kill an erection rather than promote its end. They’re all penis-focused terms. “Shaking hands with the man in the canoe,” something no one should actually ever say seriously, is fortunately clitorally-focused, but again, no one should ever say it seriously. Of course, I don’t think anyone should seriously refer to “choking the chicken” either.
The Brits (and a number of my friends) use the term “wanking,” which seems much like “jerking” or “jacking” to me, but I’ve been told it’s a unisex term. I’m okay with that.
The internet is rife with masturbation euphemisms. Manist has a list of over 500 (and I’m not entirely sure how tongue-in-cheek they’re being with their guy-culture branding) and even include delightful female-focused ones like “flicking the bean,” even if the vast majority are phallic-focused. Reddit has a couple of threads asking this very question. Huffington Post did a similar feature on euphemisms, but HuffPo doesn’t pay their writers and so I refuse to link them here. A Google search for “euphemisms for masturbation” comes up with a few links about female masturbation and pages upon pages of articles titled “euphemisms for male masturbation.” The “male” keeps insinuating itself in there.
Of course, the lack of good female masturbation euphemisms has a lot to do with our society’s feelings about masturbation: we expect all men to masturbate but we expect women who masturbate to hide it and certainly not talk openly about it… every day… on a blog… yeah, I’m not going to accept these generalizations anymore. We need to talk about masturbation! And to masturbate! So please, celebrate National Masturbation Month, and invite your friends to celebrate as well.
Yesterday’s Twitter poll asked about edging, the process of bringing yourself to the edge of orgasm, stopping, and then starting over again to heighten the resulting orgasm. 71% of respondents said they edge “now and then,” the largest group in the survey. Thanks for replying.
Here’s today’s poll:
Today’s #MasturbationMonth poll:
Have you ever masturbated for a partner?
— Elia Winters (@EliaWinters) May 10, 2016