Matt Forney
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Generation Masturbation

masturbation

People sometimes say that the way things happen in movies is unreal, but actually it’s the way things happen in life that’s unreal. The movies make emotions look so strong and real, whereas when things really do happen to you, it’s like watching television—you don’t feel anything. Right when I was being shot and ever since, I knew that I was watching television. The channels switch, but it’s all television.

Andy Warhol

The first time I had sex, I thought it was going to be magical.

I first saw a naked woman when I was ten. My parents had finally caught up with the rest of the world by buying a Windows 98 Gateway to replace their old 386. This was back in the bad old dial-up days, before broadband made it possible to be online 24/7. My dad had slapped a password on our CompuServe account, but I managed to guess it in the usual fashion of how children outwit their parents at the technology game. I got up one morning while they were both asleep, turned on the computer, and typed in “www.playboy.com.”

It became a weekly ritual: sneak online, look at pictures of blonde Russians with perfectly coiffed pubes, scrub the browser’s history afterwards. Head to Altavista for the hard stuff and always end up disappointed. Comb through dozens of portals promising HOT! SEX! and ANAL! ANNIHILATION! only to be caught in a neverending loop of redirects and blurry JPG pics. Read about blowjob techniques and why some girls like it when a guy jerks off on their stomachs.

My prepubescent mind was blown with each click.

The next step happened when I was twelve. We were staying with my grandparents for Christmas, and they had acquired pay-per-view channels through less-than-legal means. My grandpa had three TVs with free HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and all the rest: one in the living room, one in their bedroom, and one in the basement lounge room where I slept. It was two in the morning and I was flipping channels when I came across HBO airing Eyes Wide Shut.

Specifically, the orgy scene.

I had no clue what was going on. All I remember was being creeped out by the cavalcade of masked naked bodies, and by the scene in which Nicole Kidman tearfully confesses to Tom Cruise about her depraved sex dreams. I didn’t sleep at all that night, visions of chiaroscuro depravity searing through my brain.

I first jacked off when I was sixteen. I’d been watching porn long before that, a pile of hidden Bangbros trailers stashed away on my parents’ spare laptops. I’d seen countless hours of cocks, cunts and cumshots, but my feeble mind never put two and two together until one day when I surreptitiously swiped some Vaseline from the bathroom and lubed up. As I cranked and cranked, my mind exploded with ecstasy, building up to the big moment. When I came, I immediately felt filthy, so disgusted with myself I took a shower, even though I’d already bathed an hour before.

I lost my virginity when I was eighteen. My girlfriend at the time was a feminist and anti-globalization activist who cajoled me into handing out free trade bananas at a protest outside the student union once. One night we got drunk in her dorm room and started taking off our clothes. Years of jerking it to porn had prepared me for this, or so I thought. But there was no drama, no buildup, no excitement. We just got naked, stuffed our genitals together, and passed out.

Porn always made sex seem so fun. So meaningful. Yes, I knew that the screaming was fake and the girls were secretly disgusted by taking a jizz load to the face, but still. In real life, even with a hot girl, sex is boring. Blase. Oh sure, I get physical stimulation out of it, as well as the ego gratification of another notch. But there’s no thrill anymore, if there ever was.

There’s only the masturbatory satisfaction of dumping my load in another girl’s orifices.

Years ago, when I was living in Albany, I saw a movie called Choke, based off a Chuck Palahniuk novel. It was about a self-professed “sex addict” who would go to fancy restaurants and pretend to choke to death in order to get someone to save him so he could later hit them up for cash. I never really cared for Palahniuk—I thought Fight Club was an overrated book, though the movie was good—and I scoffed at his protagonist’s description of orgasm as a great big “nothing.” A gay author projecting his own neuroses onto heterosexuals.

Now, I’m not so sure.

Did watching porn at a young age rewire my brain, make me incapable of appreciating the real thing? I gave up porn years ago, but the ennui remains. If anything, it’s only gotten worse. After leaving the Philippines, my motivation to talk to girls has dwindled to nil because I don’t even need the ego boost of getting laid anymore. I’ve decried the millennial tendency to reduce sex down to the level of a bowel movement, but I was too proud to realize that I was also guilty of the same crime.

Sex in America is 90 percent theatrics. It’s two actors on a stage. Girls watch porn and imitate the discordant screams of down-and-out junkies fucking to make their rent. They demand cocks in their rectums, welts on their asscheeks, and sperm in their throats. Men indulge their phony writhing and play-acting in hopes of getting their nut. Ten minutes of slapping fleshy bits together for a momentary flash of pleasure.

And when the curtain falls, everyone goes home to drink and shoot up.

I’ve had exactly one meaningful relationship in the past year, meaningful because it was with a woman who wasn’t expecting me to play a character in her narcissistic fantasy. I wasn’t stepping into some predefined role: Potential White Husband, Sexy Internet Badass, or Walking Dildo. I was just me, and she was just herself. No pretension, just honesty.

I realize that admitting all this will piss some people off. I don’t care. I’ve never claimed to be a player, a “PUA,” or a master of the pussy. I’m just a man, another fucked up member of Generation Masturbation. My brain too warped for love, too uncomfortable with degeneracy, trapped in the middle. Muddling through relationships, affairs and hook-ups, in search of a fleeting bit of ecstasy. Knowing that she’s only capable of doing the same thing to me.

Read Next: Star Trek: The Next Generation and the Failure of Science Fiction

  • Lauren

    You’re overthinking it.

  • Ranger Wave

    Wow you’re a pussy Matt… a total degenerate- your only satisfaction is your own hand..Good thing you will never reproduce. I hope you have a shitty day and a worse career.

  • I would argue that sexual promiscuity is relatively less common than it was back in the 90’s, yet still there. Direct social interaction has taken the back backstage, while mobile/internet messaging is the primary form of communication nowadays.

  • josh

    This reminds me of a famous old cartoon from I think Playboy. No
    caption, just a bedroom with a couple of chairs in it. A man is draped
    over the back of one chair, and a woman on the other. Their clothes are
    in bed having sex.

  • Chr

    I can relate in many ways. I think I saw my first “porn” (a Playboy mag) when I was 10 or so (my friend’s dad’s).

    Off topic, but I am curious, as a blogger, have you had any groupie bangs yet? Or isn’t this blog big enough yet to get those? I am been thinking of starting a blog, but my main motivation is girls.

  • Jeremy

    Good raw writing Matt. I find myself in the same place, I would imagine for the same reasons. The trouble I find is that finding that open honesty from another human being, let alone woman, is so goddamn difficult. Women just default to holding something back, if not outright deception.

  • The two most meaningful relationships I’ve had in the past two years (including the one I mentioned in this post) were with girls I met via this blog. You can read about the first one here: http://mattforneybooks.com/life-during-peacetime/

    There have been other girls, but these two have been the most important.

  • Titan000

    Sex is meant to be culmination of the joining to the man and woman in where they become one flesh where not only are they emotionally attuned to each other and psychologically but also spiritually.

    It was much more exciting when it was sacred. Until it became just mere masturbation nowadays. And when the government destroyed marriage by overstepping its bounds to regulate it rather than the church doing the regulating.

  • citizen49a

    Well I should know by now
    That it’s just a spasm
    Like a Sunday in T.J.
    That it’s cheap but it’s not free
    That I’m not what I used to be….

    Babylon sisters shake it
    Babylon sisters shake it

  • Delores

    The kind of woman seeking raw and genuine connection with another person wouldn’t tolerate a man who disrespects her or minimizes her importance or intelligence. You get low caliber women because you are a low caliber man, and your life and relationships will continue to feel empty and fleeting until you change.

  • josh

    You seem like you are a leftover from the angry tattooed hordes buzzing around lately at Return of Kings.

    What, in the good lords name makes you think your question begging ad hominemism would ever have any effect? You remind me of Scientologists chasing ex members around denouncing them, like these people:

    Next you should tell him to stop being a suppressive person.

    Cute smile though, you dumb donkey.

    Love

    Josh.

  • TMI , man

  • Guest

    If my comment makes me a dumb donkey, I’m unsure what that makes you, but hee-haw, Joshy. HEE-HAWWW.

  • Delores

    If my comment makes me a dumb donkey, then hee-haw, Joshy. Hee-haw.

  • portenolife

    All Matt does it post controversial articles as click/comment bait because he’s a sh$tty affiliate marketer trying to drive traffic. A “make money online” dbag who thinks he’s smarter than the rest of the world. Matt, if you are REALLY as smart as you think you are, try making money without being a total piece of $hit. It’s @ssholes like you that make this industry look bad. Go away.

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  • Trice

    In relation to your disappointing sexual experiences, have you ever stopped to consider, that you may be lacking somewhat in the bedroom?

    Yours, a female who happens to be brilliant in bed.

  • Trice

    In relation to your disappointing sexual experiences, have you ever stopped to consider, that you may be lacking somewhat in the bedroom?

    Yours, a female who happens to be brilliant in bed.

  • wiffle

    If the question is “Are you messed up for life because you saw porn when you were a teenager?” The answer should be pretty obvious here, you’re a smart guy.

    I’m not sure when you started reading romance novels and/or taking country/western songs seriously, but my guess is the first time is only special if you’ve waited until you’re married. But special only means that, special, not amazing or earth shattering.

    I don’t think anyone has mind blowing sex the first time. (And if they do, it’s the exception that proves the rule.) I can’t vouch for humanity, but it seems like there’d be a bit more bragging about it outside of sappy songs and female porn.

    I’m going to try to avoid TMI here, but I will say sex needs to be practiced and talked about. It gets better with the same partner over time, like any skill or activity. If you see sex as the same as other physical activities except it requires of a level of trust and communication with a partner, you’ll see why one night stands are going to be completely super lame, unless you involve drugs (which most of them seem to).

    Commit to a fun loving woman worthy to be the mother of your children and practice *ahem*. It might be all the difference.

  • josh

    It’s nice to experience a genuine connection with a high caliber woman.

  • josh

    With the lights out.

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  • James

    All women claim to be brilliant in bed. Mostly they’re awkward and have no idea what they’re doing until the guy takes control of the situation. Pretty much like the way things work in everyday life. Either you had a good male tutor at one time, or your full of crap.

  • Trice

    *You’re.

  • James

    *Trash

  • James

    overthinking it does have it’s advantages though, like keeping people disease free.

    First it was single moms. Now I’m guessing nasty diseases will be the next thing you freaky feminists will try to hang an air freshener on (pun intended)

  • Lauren

    Let me be more specific: if you’re thinking about it, it’s masturbation, if it transcends thought, it’s sex. Do you see? [as an aside: It looks like you know more about feminism than I do. Do you masturbate to pictures you find on Jezebel? Mmmm I’m thinking…I’m thinking so hard right now.]

  • Trice

    Please excuse me whilst I cry on my boyfriend’s shoulder.

  • James

    I wouldn’t know, I don’t masturbate, watch porn, or date slutty girls. So apparently, somehow I’ve eluded your finely tuned categorizations. The point is that I HAVE done all of those things in the past, and learned why they don’t appeal to me. In fact, good girls are better than sluts in just about every way imaginable, including and especially sex. I find it sad that a lot of the guys on boards like this will not only chase after barsluts, but actually build a pathetic life around the idea. Of course, that’s why you hate guys like me, because I’m rightfully devaluing pretty much the only thing you have to offer any man.

    A used up body.

    And I’ve never been on jezebel. I assume that’s where you’re from, since I’ve never heard of it, and you bring it up randomly as if it matters.

  • James

    Sure, just remember that he’s pretending to give a crap about your problems so he can get some of that “brilliant” sex. All us guys do that. ;)

  • tropicalhotdognight

    Ha, hasn’t to bring the boyfriend into it because she can’t stand on her own. And thinks that having a boyfriend is some kind achievement for a woman.

  • tropicalhotdognight

    Comments like this give me hope for a reasonable, productive dialogue between persons on various sides of the ‘culture war’.

  • Lauren

    You wouldn’t know what? You’re making pretty bold assumptions for someone who claims to not know about anything. I brought up Jezebel because it’s just as random of a “trigger” as what you mentioned, feminism and whatnot. Just because a lady has a remark to post on a man’s thread != feminist (that was a rather uninspired attempt at baiting me).
    I am actually from Florida (not Jezebel) and the thing that I hate about guys like you (which is really a stretch, because I know so little of you to assign such a specific feeling) is your unfounded sense of self-righteousness. My initial comment of: “You’re overthinking it” was about masturbation. You took my comment as an invitation to jerk your random opinions all over it. I do see, indeed, you found something more appealing than masturbation. Devalue deez nuts :D

  • Lauren

    I’m going to take a screenshot of this and keep it in my archives, labeled: most pitiful attempt at pissing me off. Rethink masturbation. Please.

  • James

    Well, at least she has what she considers a boyfriend, which is certainly a step up from most women these days. After all penis-envy is the way worse crime than a healthy young lady who just happens to like penis, and manages to be in some kind of relationship. Lets give credit where it’s due. I’m actually starting to believe her claims about being brilliant in bed. The studies show that people in monogamous relationships have better sex.

    Now, she could be claiming a boyfriend (of the week). But even the narcissistic variety of serial monogamy is far better than the slut/independent/bitch/penis-envy variety of womynz. She could be that too, but at least we know now that deep down she respects her boyfriend as a valuable person, maybe even a leader. I hope her feminist friends don’t find out about this breach of trust.

  • Lauren

    I want to put this in layman’s terms because you seem to dabble with semantics. What I meant was: you’re trolling skills are poor, go back to beating your meat.

  • Trice

    Oh you guys. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. Stop reading too much into this.
    I’m a woman, I have a boyfriend, and please do not insinuate promiscuity with your “of the week” malarkey. Despite valuing and loving him a great deal, he is not “an achievement”. An achievement, is my place at a damn good university. Please, just because I have tits, do not assume that I am unable to stand on my own. It’s offensive and plain rude. I consider myself a Feminist. And guess what? I think the majority of men are great. It just sounds like you’re preaching hate.

  • James

    I was offering the (of the week) as a possibility, not an insinuation. Believe me, nothing makes me happier than to see young men and women in committed relationships. The relationship itself IS an achievement, and more so than any college education or career. My parents only had high school educations, and have been married for 60 years. They’ve conducted their lives perfectly as far as I’m concerned, and are much better off than others their age. And my college education got me a great career in a field I didn’t even study. I could have started my career when I was 16 because education literally means nothing compared to training. People should be well-read, but “educated” is another one of those ridiculously overrated modern myths. Soon to be exposed like all the others..

    I’ve met quite a few women in my field who are much smarter than me. The reason I don’t like career b1tches is not because I think women are lower than men in terms of intelligence or competence. I don’t like them because they sacrifice their families to their careers. I don’t even need to argue the point, because every culture that promotes women being career b1tches has died off, demographically. And that is currently happening to ours as well. Western “culture” will simply be Muslim, Indian or Amish in a few generations. Now I don’t particularly like any of those cultures (except the Amish), but facts are facts. And trust me, if your culture doesn’t survive, it means no one is going to remember any of your so-called accomplishments anyway.

  • James

    Wow, what a random bunch of angry words strung together. It’s true I have no solid proof that you’re a feminist. But if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and spews angry, snarky rhetoric like a…..”duck”…..

    I’m not sure what your obsession with masturbation is all about. But rest assured I won’t be masturbating any time soon. And it’s one of the reasons I can take your angry tirades in stride, and make you submit to my verbal jiu jitsu. ;)

  • Lauren

    Angry tirades? It was you that resorted to all-capsing. Maybe you failed to notice: we are posting comments in a thread on an article about masturbation. You busted in with rhetoric. I tore it down. You tried to make my comment more complex than it was, I corrected you. You’re still confused. Scroll up, and start over.

  • Lauren

  • James

    The article is about a lot more than masturbation. Maybe you should read past the title. See that’s the problem. You come here, write snarky comments, but don’t really read or listen to what’s being said. The article was generally about our oversexed culture, and how ultimately disappointing it is, not just about masturbation. It was actually a pretty courageous article for a guy to write, because we’re expected to always to be oversexed, no matter the consequences or how we ultimately really feel about it. So ya, I was defending the actual article, which you were seemingly trivializing.

    I didn’t all-caps anywhere that I can see, I actually hate that

  • Lauren

    Do you understand that I am implying that you gave up masturbation to pursue your dreams as an internet troll, and that I am humbly offering a suggestion to go back to doing something you’re better equipped to handle? Or did that just go right over your little head, darlin’?

  • James

    haha, ya if that implication is in your incoherent writing somewhere, it definitely went over my little head. Ultimately, it’s my fault for trying to bring some sanity into your crazy existence.

    I feel like one of those abused women you see on the lifetime channel. You keep abusing me with terrible writing, and I just keep coming back for more, hoping and that you’ll change.

  • Lauren

    I promise I read more than the title. Just because the three little words “You’re overthinking it” triggered your indignant rage doesn’t make it justified. How you deduced I was a feminist or looking to trivialize the article from those three words is puzzling. It’s obviously my opinion, based on my experience.
    I hate to see people misunderstand a simple concept, so here I am, laboring away trying to get a simple point across (one you refuse to respond to directly). If you’re thinking while you’re having sex, like, seriously thinking about stuff: you’re doing it wrong. You’re just masturbating into or onto the other person. In my opinion *that is what the article was about -where actual physical, sexual unions don’t live up to their expectations due to overwhelming pretense and control issues. Masturbation requires self-manipulation and, ironically, self-control. Sex is different, it involves trust that allows you to relinquish control.
    I wouldn’t suggest you find another hobby outside of trolling if I didn’t see you provoking another lady on this thread. You seem to be reasonably intelligent, just with some kind of weird woman chip on your shoulder. That’s none of my business, but it is oh, so apparent.

  • Lauren

    My writing is syntactically proper. What type of sanity were you offering? It looked like provocation.

  • citizen49a

    How many tattoos and piercings did you say you had?

  • citizen49a

    “I’ve met quite a few women in my field who are much smarter than me”

    Don’t be too sure about that. Just because someone acts snotty and pompous and uses big words when small ones will do, doesn’t make them smart.

    It just makes them a narcissistic attention whore. This is why more and more women go into law these days.

  • citizen49a

    Happy to hear that you’ve found a way to compensate for your looks, but as pleased as I am to hear of your courtesan skills, and as delighted as you obviously are to advertise them, could I suggest that you focus a little on your reading comprehension instead?

    Because you’ve clearly completely missed the point of the article.

    On second thought, just ignore the suggestion. No point in frustrating yourself trying to develop something that you’ve probably already pushed to it’s genetic limit.

  • Omar

    Maybe its because I came of age before the internet, but the first time I had sex (age 17), I thought it was amazing! lol It may have lasted all of 3-4 minutes, but masturbation could not begin to compare to the pleasure of being with a hot girl.

  • Mark Boris

    What a shit show these comments.

  • Kyle Bull

    If you had no strong emotion having sex with that girl, then you weren’t a good match.

  • Kyle Bull

    If you don’t have feelings of your boyfriend being an achievement, then you aren’t in love with him. Why even call him your boyfriend?

  • Kyle Bull

    “5 tats 3 piercings… and I plan on getting more ;)”

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  • Burt Kozwell

    What the fuck are you talking about anyway?

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  • Chris Dagostino

    “Did watching porn at a young age rewire my brain, make me incapable of appreciating the real thing?”

    Not necessarily. I think the theory about porn rewiring the user’s brain is sketchy at best. I saw one of my female friends naked a few years before I even saw hardcore pornography, and I was rather horrified at the sight of her. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve realized that I’ve been pretty much asexual all my adult life.

    You might not’ve been with a woman with any notable degree of intellect. As I often say, she can have the body of Pamela Anderson, but it’s all for naught if she has the IQ of, well, Pamela Anderson.

  • Retnan

    I’d love to see that.

  • celibate patriarch

    Well done, it is extremely rare to hear from a non-promiscuous commenter, who’s only ever had a single sex partner. As some of the commenters posted above, your experiences don’t speak for the masses, since you’ve only ever had a single sex partner, whereas the lack of enjoyment, and ‘soullessness’ arises when people have had multiple sexual partners.

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  • Da Mac

    Move to Europe, Matt.

  • Gregory J. Toma

    Waiting doesn’t make it special, it just makes it awkward when a person too old for “first love syndrome” ends up humiliating themselves and getting hurt by acting like a 15 year old while everyone else their age is able to distinguish between sex and love. The real truth is, “The first time is only special until the second time.”

  • wiffle

    Waiting makes it special because sex and love can be interchanged – part of the same event. In other words, sex can be spiritual in human as well. That’s the argument I’m getting back at me when I say that there are issues with homosexual sex, one of which is that it divorces from it’s procreative nature.

    I mean, it is possible to say no sex is ever special and we’re all just naked monkeys in heat. I guess so, if that’s what you want. It’s realistic, if not outright gritty.

    But that attitude is utterly of what our best selves bring to the table. I don’t wanna be deer in rutting season when sex could be so much more, precisely because I am human. It’s why women, in particular, feel lost with casual sex – they know it’s not the best version of themselves when they act that way.

    I’m not a fan of waiting forever, either, which is the case in modern society. I think we should be encouraging marriage far younger than we do. Waiting until 30 and there’s a bank account and 401(K) is insane. Nothing wrong with marriages at 20/21 or even slightly earlier. Then you’re not getting the 40 year old virgin effect, but two young people going through awkward together.

  • Gregory J. Toma

    Its just sex. It wouldn’t be spiritual even if there was such thing as a spirit. The reason why so many girls have issues with it is because we tell them that its wrong and should be special. If we didn’t have to attach some blind moral code or religion to every physical act but rather just took things for what they are, things would be a whole lot better and girls would have much better self esteems.

  • wiffle

    “The reason why so many girls have issues with it is because we tell them that its wrong and should be special. ”

    The reason why so many girls have issues is because they know that sex is special. They know that it can be so much more than than just mating for a relief of few moments urges. The young guys are wired a bit differently and it’s to their very real advantage to try to convince everyone, but especially the girl, that her feelings are nothing but a passing folly in her head. A bit of shame imposed upon them by their elders, nothing more. But it’s not so and especially not so in this day in age when most American parents can hardly be bothered with shame, let alone around sexual issues.

    The moral code that you’re imagining is being forced onto society exists there whether or not any religion points it out. Sex, especially for woman, has more than one nature. If you don’t believe that, ironically, it doesn’t matter, just like it doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in gravity. It will act upon you and society anyway.

    If you’re really interested in good self esteem among women and young girls you will convince them to wait for the man worthy of siring her children and settling for absolutely nothing less. There is no woman alive freer than one who thinks she is worthy of being chased after and loved.

  • Morrison

    It’s a trap…