Green Day leapt into pop culture’s embrace with the 1994 release of “Longview,” a not-so-subtle homage to masturbation as a means of warding off boredom. Twenty-six years later, with two waves of pandemic spread having shuttered Americans inside their homes for long stretches of time, the song is more relatable than ever.
After Illinois clocked in as the state with the highest number of new COVID cases, which prompted a new Thanksgiving stay-at-home order, Chicagoan BigDaddyChaddy8 echoed Green Day’s sentiment. “Only thing about always being in the house is that I get bored and start masturbating,” he tweeted, adding a crying-face and face-palm emoji for effect.
Such was the case six months earlier for redditor cryptosporadic, who posted in Reddit’s r/jackoffconfessions: “Has anyone else experienced a high volume of masturbation during the pandemic? It’s gotten so bad on this end that I’m jerking off out of boredom now.” He then admitted the amount of fapping he’d done over the prior few months of isolation had created a worrisome disinterest in actual sex.
His submission garnered 168 upvotes — on the high end for the forum — and prompted a series of comments from others lamenting the same issue. One woman, nikkij25, responded with: “It’s not only you or even guys. I’m alone during the pandemic, and if I’m not working, sleeping or eating, my hand is in my panties.”
It makes sense. Locked inside with little else to do other than toil at work or vegetate on the couch, many of us have discovered that we can get away with a lot more auto-fondling than we could when we were going to work, seeing friends and running around. Plus, few people are having as much partnered sex as they did before the pandemic — what other sentient, non-silicone option do they have?
“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable masturbating while I’m bored,” Kristin Fretz, co-creator of the Emojibator, a line of vibrators designed to look like emojis, tells me. “At the end of the day, you’re your own best friend; you can really pleasure yourself and you don’t need anyone else.”
She admits that even after moving in with her boyfriend, if she has a few minutes to kill in the middle of the day, she’ll masturbate. Doing so sometimes gives her a burst of energy that carries her through the afternoon. Unsurprisingly, though the pandemic has been bad for the economy at large, the mass boredom it’s brought has been a boon for sex toy sales.
But while that’s great news for vibrating eggplant emojis, is killing some time really the best reason to bite your lip, close your eyes and take yourself away to “paradise”? Wouldn’t it be better to put that energy toward a time when you need some sort of sedation, stress-relief or mid-afternoon pick-me-up?
That all depends on why you jack off in the first place. When you masturbate, your body releases dopamine, a chemical that makes you feel good and improves your mood. Meanwhile, as you stroke yourself closer to orgasm, your body’s levels of cortisol — the main stress hormone — are lowered. Masturbation puts you at peace while wearing your body out, burning a handful (pun unavoidable) of calories in the process. Plus, the endorphins that are released act as a sleep aid, with an added effect on the brain’s opiate receptors like that of morphine, helping to relieve physical pain.
Thus, there could be advantages to waiting to get off until you really need to. One of them is that you can use your jagoff sesh to harness these benefits so you can solve some very specific pandemic-related problems. For example: Some of the most ideal times to get yourself off is when you’re feeling stressed, sleep-starved or achy from sitting in a banana position on your couch for 10 months. If you hold out until you’re anxious, sleepless or nursing a sore lower back, you’ll technically be putting that horny energy to use.
You might also want to wait until you’re actually horny — not just bored — and have no other means of release. Sometimes, the more aroused a person gets and the longer they wait to cum, the more powerful their ejaculate and the more pleasurable their climax can be. Back on Reddit, where people debate the merits and pitfalls of bored masturbation often, kostis12345 writes that they “never masturbate out of boredom” because, on the couple of occasions they have, “the orgasm effect was so lackluster that [they] found no point in having it done.”
In other words, going at it just out of boredom, and not titillation of some kind, may yield less-than-optimal results. But masturbation isn’t purely intended to “optimize results,” and while many people treat it that way, it’s also just a thing you can do for no reason other than because it feels good. Likewise, boredom can be just as distressing as sleeplessness, fatigue and anxiety, so if you’re jerking it to escape from sort of bland and unstimulating mental hell, then really, who cares when you do it?
You don’t need an excuse to feel nice, so unless you’re a person who believes their soul depletes a little every time they cum, there’s no real reason why you shouldn’t tune your turnip when the mood strikes.
Just please, please don’t do it to Green Day. That would be the real waste of cum.