wank

Another follow-up to my posting on gay sex toys, this time on masturbation adjuncts (lubes and condoms, in particular), with a digression on the noun and verb wank.

[TMI Warning: The following posting contains information, opinion, or reflection that some readers might find uncomfortably or unwelcomely personal, private, or intimate in topic or content: too much information, as the saying goes. As a general observation, I’m willing to go almost anywhere in my postings, including some places that some readers don’t want to go.]

Jumping right into things: for many years now, jacking off has been my sex life (and I have an active sex life), so I think a lot about how to make the experience as pleasurable as possible. For quick release, just my (left) hand — the right hand feels odd, just not right (yes, little ambiguity joke), though it’s the hand I used to use for jacking off other men — maybe with some spit as lubricant, but for more extended sessions (and for easier clean-up afterwards), Trojan Enz (non-lubricated, reservoir end: “classic design with no added lubricant”), but with lube (Astroglide Premium Silicone Personal Lubricant) on the inside. Both easily available at drugstores, both dependable and effective.

But exploring the TLA sex toys website led me to more possibilities, some of them distinctly odd.

First I came across lubes designed to look and feel like cum. Metaphorical cum:

SPUNK Lube Hybrid & STR8cam Lube emulate the look and feel of natural body lubrication.

STR8cam Lube is the best personal lubricant to help prolong lovemaking, to make your own masturbation sessions better and it’s virtually required for anal sex. STR8cam Lube is a water based hybrid lube that resembles the look & feel of natural lubrication. It’s white & creamy, and feels unlike any other lubricant available. Our award winning formula cleans up easily and is long-lasting. STR8cam Lube is safe to use with all sex toys and condoms. It’s non staining & reactivates with water or saliva. STR8cam Lube contains the perfect blend of water and silicone.

With STR8cam Lube, quickies are no problem. Just apply & enjoy. Our award winning hypoallergenic formula enhances sexual intercourse and it’s not tacky or greasy. STR8cam Lube resembles natural lubrication for sex. It’s smooth & slick and not sticky or messy. Cleanup is quick and easy. You will be impressed! With STR8cam Lube you just can’t go wrong. It’s the perfect all around personal lubricant for any occassion [sic]. STR8cam Lube uses the highest quality ingredients. It will leave your skin feeling soft and conditioned. (link)

It’s essentially odorless and tasteless, which makes it good as a lube but somewhat lacking as a cum substitute, if you’re into cum. (Cum is a magical substance for many gay men, so verisimilitude is an issue here. On the other hand, one of the tropes of gay porn is Guy 1 coming on Guy 2’s body and then Guy 2 slowly rubbing the cum into his skin. STR8Cam Lube isn’t a bad substitute for cum in step 2 of that routine.)

The ad copy for SPUNK Lube Hybrid is exactly the same, right down to the misspelling of occasion. The company’s website lists other categories of products, but only the lubes are actually available. So this looks like another one-product, spoofish, company, like Dude Wipes.

These products give you the appearance of cum, but of course without the ejaculation. Not to worry: ingenious (but, in my opinion, misguided) inventors have come up with squirting dildos and ejaculating dongs, which squirt liquid from a reservoir. Jesus.

Then there are flavored lubes. The Rain brand comes in assorted flavors: vanilla, mint, cola, banana, strawberry, grape, chocolate or orange, advertised for cocksucking, anal intercourse, and vaginal intercourse. Ick. I *have* experienced flavored condoms, from men who wanted to be sucked super-safely but to avoid having me suck on plain latex. Trustex makes strawberry and chocolate flavors, Lifestyles offers Very Strawberry, Sensuous Vanilla, and Tropical Banana flavors, and there are more. Just appalling, in my opinion, though some women have given good grades to the chocolate numbers. But then I spent some time (back in the old days) practicing sucking on plain latex while jacking off, learning to find the experience thrilling; you can gain all sorts of skills by practice.

Back to lubes and on to wank, via my favorite discovery on TLA, Hardware Wank Wax. From a user review:

So you might say I am very happy with my different lubes. But my cock’s always open for a new product so I was intrigued when handed the Hardware Wank Wax – a “heavy duty masturbation wax” that is made of mineral oil, wax and some chemicals I best not know of. With its garage theme, the jar looks a bit like Turtle Wax (which just gave me an idea! – just checked, Turtle Wax costs about the same). I opened it and scooped a little on my hand and then on my already hard cock (thank you Johnny Hazzard!) and when warm gooey wax hit flesh, I was in masturbation heaven. It was smooth, slick and incredibly long-lasting. And as I furiously stroked, it even heated up things a bit, adding even more delirium. Fuck, this was great. Loved it. Recommend it. Buy it. But remember; use it for special occasions when you have the time to appreciate its amazing abilities.

From the container [mimicking Turtle Wax ads]:

For an ulta high-gloss shine, polish knob vigorously with a generous amount of Wank Wax.  Super slick texture glides on easily. For an award winning shine, buff knob up to 3 times daily. Not condom compatible.

This stuff is fantastic. But, as the reviewer said, you should open up enough time for an extended wank, and you need to calculate for the mess.

The container:

The Turtle Wax original:

And, as a bonus, this Wacky Pack play on the Turtle Wax original:

(Another bonus, on capturing the scent of a dick and the flavor of cum: a posting on the (artist’s invention) product Arôme Saveur Penis (here) and one on the (possibly genuine) product Yummy Cum — “optimize the flavour of your sperm” — here; what you eat does affect the taste of your cum, but this is not yet a science.)

Now on wank. The word seems to be surprisingly recent and until very recently, almost entirely British. OED2 has it first (by a hair) as a noun (slang: “This word and its derivatives are not in polite use”) in 1948, from an Eric Partridge slang dictionary (so it was in use at least a few years before this):

1948   E. Partridge Dict. Forces’ Slang 203   Wank-pit,..a bed. (Air Force.)

1951   E. Partridge Dict. Slang (ed. 4) 1220/1   Whank, (male) self-abuse: low: from ca. 1870. Perhaps echoic. [note the older spelling variant and the hypothesis about origin, which is otherwise unknown]

This wank is a count noun: you have (or enjoy or whatever) a wank. The AmE equivalent uses V + Prt (jerk/jack off), and there’s no straightforword equivalent of the BrE nominal syntax.

The verb appears almost at the same time as an intransitive:

Of a male: to masturbate. Freq. with off.

1950   P. Tempest Lag’s Lexicon 229   Whank, to, to masturbate.

1951   E. Partridge Dict. Slang (ed. 4) 1220/1   Whank, loosely wank, v.i., to masturbate: low: late C. 19–20. Also whank off.

1966   P. Willmott Adolescent Boys E. London iii. 49   Some boys..think, ‘I’m not going to tell anyone in case they think I’m dirty, wanking myself off.’ But me and my mates, we tell everybody we wank off.

1969   F. Norman Banana Boy 108,   I am certain that he could have wanked for Britain in the Olympics and won a gold medal with ease.

Here we get plain intransitive V (wanked for Britain), V + Prt (wank off, parallel to AmE jerk/jack off), used with reflexive semantics (we wank off), plus the explicit reflexive (wank myself off). This last use is transitive, and non-reflexive transitives turn up very quickly:

To masturbate (a man). Freq. with off.

1975   O. Sela Bengali Inheritance xi. 94   ‘You like for me to wank you?’.. ‘No… My wife would not like it.’

1980   ‘D. Kavanagh’ Duffy v. 93   Lots of punters wanted you to wank them off… You’d think that was the one thing they could do for themselves.

1984   J. Barnes Flaubert’s Parrot iv. 56,   I saw a monkey in the street jump on a donkey and try to wank him off.

In BrE, the derived noun wanker (and its abbreviated variant wank) has both the transparent sense ‘one who masturbates’ (attested from 1950) but also the sense ‘an objectionable or contemptible person or thing’ (both variants attested from the early 1970s, but surely earlier).

And along with these linguistic usages go two long-standing social attitudes (connected to one another) about masturbation. I’ve written several times about the idea that masturbation is unproductive sex, which leads to a thicket of metaphors about various activities (judged to be unproductive) as equivalent to masturbation. And then there’s the bad end of jacking off, reported by the OED under the heading of wanker’s doom, in its wanker entry:

One who masturbates; wanker’s doom, disability caused by excessive masturbation.

Jacking off makes you grow hair on your palms, makes you blind, makes you go crazy. (What you need is vaginal intercourse, preferably with your wife.) The idea is that masturbation is not only unproductive, but unnatural, against God’s will, hence dangerous and destructive. Fucking your wife a lot is good, indeed what God wants, but jacking off a lot is dangerous craziness. I think *that’s* craziness.

One Response to “wank”

  1. oblivia Says:

    As an Englishman, I understand the term “wank” very well, but am confused by the need for masturbation aids such as lube. Is this something that only circumcised guys have to deal with? And, if it’s true that circumcision makes wanking painful and difficult, why do American men allow their sons to be mutilated in this way?

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