It’s an enigma, Soggy Biscuit: a decades-old social meme; a word-of-mouth cultural phenomena like the pencils-up-the-nose finals suicide that gets everyone in the exam hall an A; a game nobody claims to have played, but plenty are adamant that their friend’s cousin’s friend’s cousin sure did.
Soggy Biscuit is the best-known version in my native Britain, but it’s referred to by various names around the world: Jizzy Jiscuit, Wet Biscuit, Limp Biscuit, Milky Biscuit; Ookie Cookie, Kekswichsen in Germany, Soggy Sao in Australia. But despite the differences in title, the core components remain the same: a bunch of dudes standing around a biscuit (or cookie, as you would say), jerking off, with the last guy to finish having to eat the newly frosted comestible.
It’s not a game that’s been enormously well documented, despite its relative cultural ubiquity. Even Fred Durst, who founded and named goonish nü-metal band Limp Bizkit, claims the name was chosen simply to roll off the tongue (like Led Zeppelin) but be memorably odd; it didn’t actually have anything to do with the game. (He also reportedly considered Gimp Disco, Split Dickslit, Bitch Piglet and Blood Fart, which, wow, okay.)
The somewhat more respectable writer, actor and broadcaster Stephen Fry, the U.K.’s official posh, know-it-all uncle, did reference the game in his 1995 boarding-school-based novel The Liar, and describes the rules thus:
A Wykhamist friend told me of a pursuit at Winchester called the Biscuit Game. The players stand around in a circle tossing off onto a Wholemeal Digestive. The last one to spit his stuff on the biscuit eats it. A new cream filling well in advance of anything McVitie’s have got round to thinking of. Packed with potassium and vitamins, too.
(N.B.: A Wykhamist is a student or alumnus of Winchester School, while a Wholemeal Digestive is not dissimilar to what Americans might call a graham cracker. McVitie’s is a large biscuit company, naturally.)
Right away, the logistics of the game seem tricky at best. Is the biscuit resting on a special little table? If one person is holding it, must he stay completely still, or does he port it over to each contestant at the point of arrival and try to stay out of the way? Does everyone in the circle have their own biscuit, resulting in a gift basket of semen-glazed snacks? I reached out to Stephen Fry for the answers to some of these questions, but did not hear back, if you can believe it.
Despite the game making no practical sense, the concept really lingers, to the point where it’s pretty much become a derogatory shorthand for inbred, affluent types who went to boarding school. To say someone has played it is essentially to suggest that he is a warped but privileged asshole (think former Prime Minister David Cameron and his dead-pig-fellatio antics at Oxford).
But did it ever even exist in the first place?
“I don’t think it was ever a thing,” says Cameron — not David Cameron, but rather a man named Cameron, who’s now in his thirties and who spent five years at boarding school. “It seems to be a big U.K. boarding school cliche, and I got asked about it a lot when I went to university, but I don’t know of anyone ever playing it.”
“We talked about it as something boys from rival schools did,” says Richard, who attended one of the most expensive schools in the U.K. during the 1970s. “We all shared dormitories, and we shared showers after rugby, and baths were all in a row, but the ’70s were an institutionally homophobic time. There was zero homosexuality — I mean, obviously some of the boys were gay, but it was an alien concept. Nobody daisy-chained or made biscuits soggy any more than your mates did in state school [public school, in U.S. parlance].”
“I don’t believe I’ve ever met anyone who has admitted to playing that game,” says Mike Lousada, a psychosexual therapist and former boarding school pupil. “But a lot of boys will sexually experiment when locked away in an all-boys environment. Putting semen on food is definitely a thing — you used to see a lot of it on Tumblr — and pretty much anything you can imagine doing sexually is likely to be someone’s fetish. The reality is likely to be that it’s a lot less common than the public imagination would have it, but it has almost certainly happened. There are people out there ejaculating into raw chickens. Compared to that, eating a biscuit with some cum on it is pretty mainstream.”
If you take the biscuit away, in fact, the whole concept is relatively pedestrian: Group masturbation in adolescence is fairly common, after all. As Dr Lauren Rosewarne, author of Masturbation in Pop Culture: Screen, Society, Self writes, “In a variety of narratives, boys masturbate in one another’s company to convey intimacy, kinship and closeness and to spotlight an activity that is very much connected to youth because to do it after adolescence — to engage in group masturbation once the world of real sex is available — would be unthinkable (at least for heterosexuals).”
If that’s the case, then, why won’t anyone own up to adding the rogue element of the biscuit? And why does such a timeless rumour not have even one celebrity face, the way Richard Gere is inextricably linked to gerbil-based ass play? The team at U.K. celebrity shock-gossip mailout Popbitch, who know all there is to know about famous people and where they deposit their bodily fluids, kindly trawled through decades of rumors, anecdotes and hearsay at my request and still drew a blank when it came to high-profile biscuit-creamers. Considering the fact that the British media is still so dominated by the upper classes, it seems absurd that, if this is really a common practice, there has never been even a whisper associated with any of the numerous household-name celebrities who attended swanky schools.
Even Reddit, the Mecca of off-piste sexual confessions, is light when it comes to tales of dough-based deposits. Fairly exhaustive searches turn up a few tales, but there’s very little that’s verifiable out there, considering what a culturally ubiquitous idea it is.
One of the few times Soggy Biscuit has definitely happened was in Massachusetts in 2011. Basketball players from Andover High — once attended by both Jay Leno and Michael Chiklis — were expelled and suspended after a hazing incident involving what the press called “ookie cookie.” The foodstuff used on this occasion was an Oreo cookie rather than a more traditional biscuit, but the far more important difference in this case is that it sounds, from the reports, as though the experience was completely nonconsensual. While most accounts, including the description in Fry’s book, describe it as an entirely opt-in experience — not everyone’s cup of tea, certainly, but there if you wish to partake — this instance seems to be another sad case of grotesque bullying disguised as a harmless, team-building hazing prank.
With the only prominent on-record example being so odious, why, then, does the idea still exist in the public consciousness at all? In the U.K., at least, it’s partly due to the entirely justifiable hatred of a system in which even the most half-witted offspring of wealthy families habitually get every opportunity handed to them on a silver platter via the old boy network. The idea of these idle, double-barreled bastards chomping down on jism-spattered biscuits on the regs just feels right: You look at contemptible Old Etonians like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg and think, yeah, they’ve probably soggied a few biscuits in their time. It’s a way of feeling better about not having had the same gift-wrapped opportunities as them: Sure, they’ve got all this stuff now, but have you heard what they do with biscuits?
You could certainly hazard an educated guess that the same is true of the U.S., where Ivy League frat bros circle-jerk their way into top-level positions through an endless feedback loop of nepotism, chomping on that fully loaded cracker while the country spirals rapidly and deliberately into a full-on plutocracy.
The problem here is that it all smacks rather of homophobia, since the all-dudes element of the game is clearly part of what’s meant to gross people out. If what we’re really implying when we fling the moistened confection slur is that “posh rich people suck because they’re gay,” it goes without saying that we should all be aiming a bit higher. Aren’t there better ways of lamenting the inequality of privilege than bringing this kind of bigotry into it?
We might be doing other kinds of damage in perpetuating the jizzy biscuit tale, too. Sexual abuse in boarding schools is widespread, with many decades-old cases just coming to light now. How many people might have tried to tell their stories earlier, only to have them dismissed as “just the kind of thing that posh weirdos do in boarding school?” Or longed to mention how harmful their experiences had been, but worried their abuse would be reduced to a punchline? Richard, quoted earlier, casually mentions later in our interview that his headmaster went to prison “for diddling boys.” Might this man have gone to prison earlier if the whole “ha-ha-boarding-school-dexual-deviancy” idea wasn’t so pervasive? Not necessarily, but it doesn’t seem out of the question, either.
Look, I grant you, Soggy Biscuit is a really funny idea: Upper-class toffs eat a biscuit with spaff on it! But the fact remains that there are more imaginative, less morally dubious and frankly far more legitimate ways to make fun of elites. Hate them for what they do — not for snacks they might or might not have shot their load on.