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For College Guys, Masturbating Is Like Eating McDonald’s

Posted Jul 7 2011 - 10:21am

Masturbation is misunderstood.
 
Most guys have discussed their masturbatory practices with their closest friends: the first time they did it, their lubricant of choice, the places they’ve done it (try, Grandma’s house, college library, on the job), and the places they’ve gotten caught (try, Grandma’s house, college library, on the job).
 
And, despite the frequency and giddiness with which guys talk about it with one another, they almost never breach the subject with females. Thus, a nation of collegiettes™ are left misinformed if not mortified at the subject of male masturbation.
 
(Quick briefing: Those whose parents sat them down for The Talk that most of ours never did can attest that if all this feels a bit awkward, we’re doing something right. Similar to The Talk, the goal here is to answer some of the questions you were afraid to ask. Awkwardness welcome.)

The conventional wisdom suggests that guys masturbate because they are libidinous werewolves who are starved for sex. First, while some guys masturbate seven times a day and others go weeks without thinking about it, almost all of them masturbate and almost none of them are sex maniacs (cue, controversy!). Secondly, yes, sex and masturbating may be inversely proportional, but the only common denominator between sex and masturbation is ejaculation. 
 
Whether he realizes it or not, a man’s urge to ejaculate is much stronger and more frequent than his desire for sex itself—there’s a difference!—one of a few reasons that there are more guys who masturbate seven times a day than those who have sex at that frequency. That said, masturbation is oftentimes a means of merely ejaculating, not a means of simulating or replacing sex.
 
(Quick clarification of terms: For the purpose of this article, “masturbation” will mean sexual activity by oneself. “Sex” will encompass any physical relations with a partner.)
 
So, because we are, after all, discussing the autoerotic let’s skip the foreplay and head straight for the really stimulating stuff. For college guys, masturbating is like eating McDonald’s.
 
Masturbating is like going through the drive-thru: quick, convenient, and available 24 hours a day.
 
The factors that trigger a man’s sexual appetite are seemingly endless and often inexplicable, hence the daily random erection in poli sci class. Similar to his need for food, his desire to ejaculate must be satiated, and soon.
 
Both urges are often strongest late at night, at times of high stress, during instances of intense boredom, or at the same time, which, as you can imagine, creates a logistical nightmare. In any case, at these moments, a man searches to satisfy his desire through means that maximize convenience, accessibility, and instant gratification. Think, late-night dollar menu. Think, bedside Jergen’s.
 
When time and energy are at a premium, men would prefer masturbation to sex in the same way he would prefer McDonald’s to a quality sit-down dinner (I realize comparing sex to a sit-down dinner may prove problematic, but just work with me here). Sometimes a guy would gladly forego the time, energy, communication, emotion—you know, all the things that make sex, sex—and instead, hit up the proverbial drive-thru for a Mac Snack Wrap and that new deal where they give you, like, 50 nuggets at once. You see, ladies, this has nothing to do with you. Plus, wouldn’t you prefer to be left out of this quick “in-and-out” scenario? That’s right, save your time and energy for when he’s ready for a steak dinner, or whatever dining experience you’d liken to really intimate, really passionate sex. Steak ‘n Shake, anyone? OK, maybe not.
 
Masturbating is like eating lunch at McDonald’s: it’s not particularly good, but skipping it can ruin a guy’s day.
 
If a guy is hungry, the entirety of his day comes to a screeching halt until he eats. Deprive a man a meal and you leave him frustrated, distracted, and tense. Same goes for masturbating: if a guy has the desire, he needs to ejaculate before he can accomplish literally anything else. This is why many guys have masturbated in the school library or at work; can you really expect someone with such bloated testicles to make an Excel spreadsheet or write a lab report? Sometimes, masturbating is a matter of productivity.
 
A counselor at Emory University once referred to this as “maintenance masturbation,” literally “cleaning the pipes” or “getting it out of your system” in order to remain a pleasant and responsible member of society. By servicing himself, a guy is doing everyone a service. No thanks needed.
 
So, is eating fast food generally the first option? Not really, but if the choice is McDonald’s or skipping lunch altogether, a guy pounds the quarter pounder every time.
 
Masturbating is like finishing a meal a McDonald’s: despite a vague sense of guilt, he’ll be satisfied in the end.
 
Whether it’s the calories, the stigma against fast food, or the general discomfort of processed cheese in his stomach, finishing a meal at McDonald’s doesn’t make a guy feel particularly great about himself. The same goes for masturbating; he’s not ashamed, necessarily, but it’s not a reason for a celebration or a song featuring Akon, which is why Lonely Island didn’t call the song “I Just Jerked Off”. And yet, despite these ambivalent feelings, he’s satiated and entirely regret-free.
 
As we know, eating doesn’t merely make you feel full; for better or for worse, it has the potential to temporarily make you feel better, psychologically, emotionally, whatever. Think about it: if you’re going through a tough breakup, you don’t eat all that ice cream because you’re hungry. Similarly, the positive effects of masturbating often transcend mere corporeal pleasure. The release of an ejaculation can help guys cure boredom, overcome procrastination, tackle stress, regain focus and, when necessary, fall asleep. Much of the time, masturbating is far beyond sexual; it’s therapeutic and even pragmatic.
 
And, despite the similarities between the fast food and an autoerotic jubilee, one has a real advantage over the other: unlike eating McDonald’s, masturbating raises a guy’s blood pressure in the best way possible. 
 

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