Masturbation in the Media

Vitruvian Man, 1492, Leonardo DaVinci’s sketch of a naked man.Being a dedicated member of the Masturbation Liberation Army (ok, so I just made that up), I am always delighted when Solo Sex is mentioned or depicted in a favorable light anywhere, but especially in movies and on TV. These media not only reflect what is current in our culture, they take an active role in shaping the minds of our citizens and mores of our society. A favorable, guilt free, and often times humorous depiction can go a long way toward normalizing what needs to be seen as a simple, natural, shame free but private activity.

One of the earliest attempts at explaining to a teenage boy that masturbation is ok is the following clip from the 70s where a mother interrupts her son in the act. She doesn’t flip out or shame the kid. Rather, she apologized for invading his privacy and assures him that what he is doing is both normal, and good.

Many who responded to this clip on YouTube had negative things to say. I don’t really understand why. Dear Lord, how I wish someone had taken the time to share that with me when I was a kid. And they fail to realize just how revolutionary her approach was in the time period depicted.


Remember, the videos on this page have audio, so if you are somewhere that you would not want someone talking about masturbation, it would be good to use earphones.

The Invention of Lying

“The Invention of Lying” is a movie set in a world where lying is a totally foreign concept. No one lies. No one even knows such a thing exists.
At the beginning of the movie there is an excellent and hilarious reference to masturbation.

I wish I could have found a clip of this. For me, seeing it in the theatre, with Jennifer Garner saying those words, was enough to make me crack up completely. Failing that, here are the first few lines from the screenplay.

Jennifer Garner and Ricky Gervais in The Invention of Lying.

Mark arrives early for a date.
Anna (Jennifer Garner) - Hi. You're early. I was just masturbating.
Mark (Ricky Gervais) - That makes me think of your vagina. I'm Mark, how are you?
Anna - A little frustrated at the moment. Also equally depressed and pessimistic about our date tonight. I'm Jennifer.
Mark - I hope this date ends in sex.
Anna - Not me. I don't find you attractive. Come on in.
Mark enters.
Jennifer's apartment is new-adult, as if she just found out she was an adult yet hasn't had the time or the money to complete the transition.
Jennifer - I need to finish getting ready. While doing that I might realize I'm still horny and try to finish masturbating without you hearing.
Jennifer heads towards the bathroom. Mark stands alone in her living room, looking around.
Mark - (shouting to her) I feel awkward and I regret being early.
Jennifer - (O.S.) (shouting back) Yeah, I'm disappointed you're early and not really looking forward to tonight in general, but the thought of being alone the rest of my life scares both my mother and I equally.
It's completely silent for a long beat. Mark looks around, then sits on her couch.
Mark - (shouting to her) I have an erection now because I assume you began masturbating once we stopped talking.
More silence.
Mark – (shouting to her) I'm embarrassed because I think the restaurant I've made reservations at might not be expensive enough or hip enough to impress you, but it was the best I could do because I don't make very much money. You see, I'm forty years old and have no real financial assets to speak of, I've never owned a home, and never had a significant relationship. My boss even told me today that I'm most likely going to get fired tomorrow and...
Jennifer enters the room and Mark stops talking.
Jennifer - I just masturbated.
Mark - That makes me very horny.
Jennifer - Shall we go?
Mark - Sure.
Mark stands up. Jennifer picks up her purse and opens the door.


Earnest Borgnine.

Back | Next

Feedback welcomed.