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The Psychedelic Science of ‘Gooning’ — Or Masturbating Into a Trance

Why get high when you could edge yourself for hours until you’ve merged souls with your own dick?

Most of Reddit will tell you that edging is fantastic, but the real hardcore ’baters level up from there. The ones who travel furthest for self-pleasure say that, if they edge long enough, they fall into a mind-numbing trance where nothing matters but nutting. Only then can an edger truly claim to be “gooning.” 

“Gooning is a sort of modernized version of tantric sex/masturbation without the spiritual aspects that have been traditionally associated with it in the past,” says Christfister, who moderates two of the many subreddits dedicated to the topic. “It’s an almost hypnotic, semi-meditative mental state a person can enter after prolonged masturbation.”

This, to be clear, is completely different from the regular ol’ wham-bam-thank-you-m’am whackoff you do when you’re mildly horny and trying to fall asleep. Edging, gooning’s close cousin, is a bit more time-consuming and involved, but it comes with the promise of a more powerful and gratifying ejaculation at the end. With gooning, however, the desire to orgasm “pretty much goes out the window,” Christfister explains. It’s like when a basketball player enters “the zone” and can’t miss a shot because their muscle memory and mental focus are locked in sync — except in this case, the goal is to not shoot a damn thing. 

Instead, a gooner remains “deeply in the bliss of masturbation,” Christfister continues, submitting themselves to an unrelenting cycle of tease and denial. Gone are thoughts of your workday or the national debt, he says, while your “inhibitions will have completely melted away and you are at one with your body.” Many gooners describe it as the state where your “mind merges with your cock.”

Like anything worth accomplishing, gooning takes practice. To goon, Christfister says, “Instead of powering through and jerking off 100 percent to orgasm, you ease off around 90 percent and slowly build up” to the point of no return. He computes that the goon state happens “around the last two to three percent” of heightened pleasure, just short of orgasm. “When you can get to that point and can maintain it without cumming, you can basically stay in an orgasm state that lasts for hours instead of seconds,” he explains. “I’ve had gooning sessions where I’ve edged for 14 hours in a single sitting before finally cumming.”

To get there, though, redditor JoiJunkie, a 21-year-old Southerner, says one must first master edging. “It took me a long time to ‘feel the goon,’” he tells me. “I didn’t even fully believe in it for a long time.” But that day finally arrived when he decided to beat his personal edging record. “I set up a timer for three and a half hours, and I just went,” he says. “After two hours or so, I felt the goon.”

He recently wrote a very detailed post titled “Reaching the ‘Goon State,’” where he outlines the various “stages” of gooning. The last stage is “for the most dedicated gooners,” and occurs after “hours and hours of continuous masturbation.” Apparently around that time, “their genitals will be throbbing and begging for release, which will only add more fuel to the fire and force the gooner to keep compulsively masturbating.” He writes that the “state is incredibly pleasurable,” and that the gooner’s body “may convulse or tremor in pleasure.” Finally, he adds, “At this point, any kind of communication with the gooner would be meaningless lustful groans and moans.”

Other gooners report falling into the goon state within 15 to 20 minutes, often describing the sensation as “goon stupid,” or if they’re consuming hours of explicit content, “porn dumb.” Goon-related memes often feature the “goon face,” a person with their eyes crossed, mouth ajar and tongue sticking out.

Another day gooning stupid ! Ugh such a dumb little slut everyday!! I’m so easy to control! Kik: pewpww from GOONED

Though the community of gooning redditors who post about the practice is dominated by males, women gooners do exist, too. “Been playing with edging and trying to goon for the past few weeks,” writes a self-described “gooner lady,” Philosophia420. “Omg when I get to the goon trance it’s sooo great, I just rub and get lost in the pleasure.”

The gooner’s effort to enter this headspace may include “goon caves,” which are multi-screen setups splaying a variety of porn. Most number three or four screens, but among the more elaborate constructs, proudly posted to r/GoonCaves by StayHard8, is a nine-screen monolith. With his gripped cock in the foreground, StayHard8’s watching a plethora of female pornstars performing cowgirl, readying themselves for pop shots in the mouth, taking D’s in the A’s, giving head and massaging their tits.  

With so much going into gooning — from robust porn consumption to just raw time spent getting raw with oneself — it’s no surprise that sex and porn addiction is a concern in the community. One redditor recently wrote in a post he titled “I’m Officially a Porn Addict” that he can never seem to pull himself away from, not OnlyFans, but Instagram. “Literally every waking second is dedicated to gooning,” writes MinimumCycle6. “I am hopelessly addicted to Instagram goddesses to the point that I’m worshipping their very presence. They give me happiness, pleasure and relief. Their presence allows me to forget the real world.”  

One person who identifies as non-binary, but was assigned female at birth and wished to remain anonymous, says they experienced goon burnout. “When I first started, it was about three to four hours a day along with my boyfriend at the time who I just introduced it to as ‘mutual edging’ so I [didn’t] seem weird,” the 21-year-old European designer and food photographer tells me. “The highest dedication I’ve shown was at the start of quarantine where for a week basically I woke up and started right away and did it all day until I fell asleep.” They’re down to gooning once every day or two now, for three-hour sessions, “usually along with two friends of mine.”

What also propagates this addiction — if indeed that’s what they’re experiencing, because repeatedly engaging in a behavior alone is not “addiction” — is that a built-in part of the gooning fetish is the idea that one can’t stop, nor should they. There’s a submissive element to the kink where gooners are “ordered” to continue, born out through memes of pornstars or models that say things like, “Pump harder” or “He better not cum.” 

A 29-year-old Georgian gooner, who asked to be referred to as “Marshall,” calls himself an “unashamed porn addict,” part of a generation “raised by the computer.” “I certainly feel like I was exposed to hardcore pornography at a way-too-young age,” he says.

With his parents both running businesses, by seven or eight years old, he was looking at nude photos online, and hardcore porn at age 12 or 13. He started edging at about 18, and a few years later, he discovered gooning on Tumblr, the social media platform on which the community enjoyed rapid growth, before it banned pornography. (Reddit and other platforms have since picked up the slack.) Today, Marshall spends at least an hour or two per day — and up to five or six hours on his days off from work — gooning. His goon cave boasts six or seven screens, and he calls the activity a manifestation of “endless self-pleasure.” 

Marshall does say that he’s capable of maintaining bartender jobs — when pandemics aren’t ravaging economies — and has a loving, sexual relationship with a woman. He believes he can stop gooning anytime he wants, and compares his habit to that of others who like to watch movies or play video games over the course of a couple hours at night, an observation also made by Goonerbate2, a produce-section worker from the Eastern U.S. in his early 20s. 

“I’m not saying that makes it good or better, I’m just saying it’s at the same level,” Goonerbate2 says. It’s just another “destressor,” and an “escape” from the “normal headspace” of work and other responsibilities, he explains. He asserts that most of those egging-on memes are posted all in good fun, but admits to experiencing erectile dysfunction while trying to have sex with women and blames it on excessive porn-watching. 

On a whole other level, in his mind, the gooning “ideology is pushing you toward at least not being straight,” he says. “A lot of it is just fetishizing cock.” Like many others, he says, since becoming a gooner, he’s opened his mind to what some may perceive as gay sexual acts. When the pandemic ends, he says he may seek one or multiple men with whom to simultaneously masturbate (though not everyone agrees that trancing during hours-long masturbation sessions influences your sexuality). 

It’s actually somewhat common to link up with masturbation buddies in the gooning community (Reddit’s r/gooned even has a local meet-up thread for this very purpose). “I have a goon buddy that I’ve had for five to six years at this point,” says Christfister. “After about a year and half of jerking off together online for honestly four to five hours a day, we decided we should meet up.” 

The two coordinated a trip around common vacation time, with Christfister booking an Airbnb for the pair and buying a plane ticket to meet the man. At the Airbnb, they “made awkward small talk for maybe 30 minutes,” Christfister recounts. Eventually, the man told him, “Well, should we get down to it?”

Two minutes later, they were naked, next to each other on the couch, jerking off to a Sister Wives porn parody. “This basically carried on for the next week, with some video games and skiing thrown in,” he says.

In Marshall’s mind, for the most part, the gooning community embraces individuality and sexuality. He also says many people post or comment phrases like “Take care of your health” in response to addiction concerns. “It’s probably not everyone’s thing,” Marshall says about gooning. “Most people just like to jerk it and get on with their day.”

But, he adds with what I assume is a wink, “Some people don’t.” 

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