Annals of ejaculation

Some responses to my posting on masturbation in the showers at UMass Amherst, plus the speech verb ejaculate in ADS-L.

1. Volume of ejaculate. To refresh your memory, my masturbation posting concerned a putative UMass Amherst notice about semen gumming up the drains in showers. Readers were moved to reflect on the amount of semen involved — it was hard to believe that so many guys jacked off in the showers that the plumbing would be affected — and then to reflect on the amount of semen they had produced by masturbation in their lives (one estimated gallons, and that might well be accurate).

And now the

[TMI Warning: The following discussion 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.]

I did some quick calculations for myself. Roughly 60 years of jacking off, with an estimated average of one shot per day (in some periods, the average was considerably higher than that, in others lower, so 1 per day is a rough guess).  That’s 10,920 cumshots.

Several sources offering advice on men’s health give an average of 2 to 5 ml of semen per ejaculation. (For comparison, a teaspoon is 5 ml.) Split it down the middle, at 3.5 ml. That gives 38,220 ml over 60 years, or 38.22 liters. And that’s 10.1 US gallons. So, yes, *gallons*.

2. College sexual practices. Other readers wondered about living arrangements and sexual practices in colleges. Were these stall showers (unlikely) or gang showers (almost surely)? So, unlike jacking off in a closed toilet stall (which happens with considerable frequency), jacking off in a shower would either have to be a public act (unlikely) or would have to be timed for periods when the masturbator would be unlikely to be interrupted in his solitary pleasures — in which case the number of occasions would be fairly low, surely unlikely to produce enough semen to block the drains.

Why would guys jack off in the showers in the first place? That’s where we get to living arrangements — readers asked if men had single rooms (very few do, so almost all contend with roommates) — and sexual practices. In my college days, almost all guys jacked off, and frequently, but they kept that entirely private, stealing times and places (in their rooms when the roommates were away, in sparsely used men’s rooms, and, yes, sometimes in showers) for the deed. I have heard of men who gave their roommates private bedroom time for jacking off (though that requires admitting what you are about to be up to), and occasionally of men who just jacked off in their bedrooms regardless of who else was there (thus easily allowing for masurbation at the very beginning and the very end of the day, a common pattern for many men), but I have no idea how widespread these practices are these days. Certainly, in my college days, they were extraordinarily rare. Almost everybody jacked off, hardly anybody talked about it, and almost everybody treated the practice as something to be engaged in out of the sight, hearing, and knowledge of others.

3. The speech verb ejaculate. By accident, this verb came up on ADS-L in the past two days. Once a neutral verb, the ambiguity with the sexual verb ejaculate has pretty much driven it out of use, so that when someone these days comes across the speech verb in older literature, the effect is jarring, ridiculous, or laughable. Larry Horn supplied this example from Dorothy L. Sayers’s Busman’s Honeymoon (1937, p. 113 in the Gollancz edition):

She [Miss Twitterton] embarked on an agitated description of the previous night’s events, in which the keys, the chimneys, Crutchley’s new garage, the bed-linen, the ten o’clock bus, and {Lord] Peter [Wimsey]’s intention of putting in an electric plant were jumbled into hopeless confusion. The vicar ejaculated from time to time and looked increasingly bewildered.  “Most trying, most trying,” he said at length, when Miss Twitterton had talked herself breathless.

(The image of the vicar ejaculatng “from time to time” is especially delicious.) And Charlie Doyle reminded us of this sentence from Dickens’s David Copperfield:

The heartiness of the ejaculation startled Mr. Dick exceedingly; and me, too, if I am to tell the truth.

(Again a wonderful image, suggesting one of those projectile cumshots that porn flicks strive for.)

Addendum, from Chris Ambidge on Facebook:

funny you should mention this. Stephen Fry and the panellists on QI [the tv quiz program Quite Interesting] were having fun with this in the first show in the J series [the 10th series]. The initial question was, “what did Watson do twice as often as Holmes?”, and the answer is indeed “ejaculate” – in the sudden verbal comment sense. “There are 23 ejaculations in the Canon as a whole; Watson ejaculates 11 times, a Mr Phelps ejaculates 3 times, in one case, it’s hard to tell who it is (‘and a sudden ejaculation cased me to wake up’), and Mrs Sinclair’s husband ejaculates from a second-floor window.” All lots of fun.


4 Responses to “Annals of ejaculation”

  1. Robert Coren Says:

    While we’re on the TMI front: As far as your calculation of volumes is concerned, have you observed a decrease in volume with increasing age? (I certainly have.)

    • arnold zwicky Says:

      This is widely reported in the literature, but it’s hard for me to judge from personal experience, since my ejaculations are more and more spread out in time (lots of productive contractions).

  2. Bob Richmond Says:

    I recall learning at Central Catholic High School in 1951 that an ejaculatory prayer was an extremely short prayer. OMG! is an ejaculatory prayer. I found the usage rather strange even then, and I was only 12 years old.

    Quite a few years ago for some reason I read an ancient Harvard novel, Gamaliel Bradford’s “The Private Tutor”. It contained the perfect Tom Swiftie “Marriage! Tom ejaculated.”

  3. Sex sells | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] and its parts: 359 views Pub(l)ic notice: 345 views Cock tease: 131 views Bell pepper sex: 97 views Annals of ejaculation: 87 […]

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