This file is about ways of sexual pleasuring with yourself and with
others, that use the hands and penis. This is masturbation (jacking
off), always popular, and surprisingly varied in the world of nature
Captive apes and monkeys, as well as other animals, have been seen
fondling their penis with hand or foot (or even taken into the
mouth). In one study, young male chimpanzees were noticed handling
each other's penis.
Other limbs can be used to, such as with free-living spider monkeys
and baboons, who use their tails. And elephants sometimes employ
A curious scientist watches a porcupine: His excitement was
evidenced by...holding a long stick in his fore paws and straddling
it as a child does a broom-stick. The stick was held so that his
genitals were stimulated by the contact, and the wood soon
accumulated odour from the urine and glandular secretions absorbed.
In consequence, it was a natural source of sexual stimulation.
Dolphins can be seen rubbing their erect penis against the tank
floor, and one individual had the habit of holding his in the jet of
the water intake.
In addition, larger males will attempt masturbation against the
flanks of smaller ones. Perhaps the most unusual way of masturbating
is found among red deer:
This act is accomplished by lowering the head and gently drawing the
tips (of the antlers) to and fro through the herbage. Erection and
extrusion of the penis from the sheath follows in five to seven
seconds...Ejaculation follows about five seconds after.
Masturbation has always been common among humans. In some ancient
western cultures, it was connected with religious worship. For
example, in Egyptian mythology the god Orisis "creates all living
creatures by an infinite act of masturbation." This was also seen as
the source of the Nile river, and the cause of its annual flooding,
which was the backbone of life in Egypt.
The ritual developed of Pharaohs masturbating before the god's image
a the time of their enthronement. This led to public masturbation
during religious worship, "to expel evil and honour the gods of
generation," and became a part of an ancient Egyptian, and also
Phoenician, Babylonian and Assyrian, sacred ceremonies. Masturbation
was also don for its own sake, without any sacred meanings; the
Bible gives us several instances of this (the "spilling of seed").
The Greeks and Romans thought masturbation was invented by the god
Hermes (Mercury in Latin). The Greeks called it thrypsis, "the
rubbing," and in Latin it was masturbatus. People doubtless
masturbated together at times, as well as doing it by themselves, in
these ancient cultures, even though we have no records of this. The
ancients were generally very relaxed about male sexual expression.
However jacking-off was later frowned upon thoroughly by the
In the middle and Far East, attitudes toward jacking-off have not
changed from ancient times. In most eastern cultured, Arabian,
Indian, Chinese, and Japanese, masturbation was allowed at an early
age, and at times even encouraged. For example, Ibn Kemal Pasha, in
On the Lengthening and thickening of the Rod quotes old Arabian
doctors in saying that "rubbing and constant handling both make the
virile member longer and thicker."
Masturbation was sometimes used on babies to quiet their crying and
Bernard Stern noted that in Arabia it (jacking-off) "has become
almost the custom of the land." Two scholars noted that Muslim and
Jewish boys who actively and exclusively engaged in solitary and/or
mutual masturbation, did so on the average of three to five times
per week during the ages of eleven and eighteen.
In Arabian slang the act was known as jeng, jelq, jerk, and
musht-zeni, jerking, flipping, juggling and fist-beating
respectively, referring to the different techniques. In Turkey it
was called istimney-bilyet ("the practice of self-control of the
stalk"), while in Persia it was called maulish-e-zubb ("shampooing
the cord"). Masturbation was especially popular in public baths,
where you and/or a friend, or a masseur and/or a prostitute, could
engage you in the practice, "Mutual or one-sided, as desired." Some
ribald poetry survives, such as two lines from "The Fabulous Feats
of the Futtering Freebooters:" "Felah and Negro did jerk off his
yard/For all of a week; hashish kept it up hard." And from the
Persian poet Abu Nuwas:
. Are not this child's eyes all fire?
. O Desire,
. Feel the flush of the eggs
. Between his legs!
. Dearest, seize what you can seize,
. If you please;
. Fill your boyish fist with me
. And then see
. Will it go a little way,
. Just in play?
In India, masturbation has a long history, going back to ancient
Hindu mythology, In one story, Lord Shiva was "masturbated by Agnee
the Fire-lord who, bearing his precious semen across theGanges,
accidentally dropped it and witnessed the miraculous birth of
Kartikeh (or Koomareh) the misogynist war-god." Krishna, as god of
Self-Contemplation, became the symbol of jacking-off and "the
favourite Hindoo youth. His practice, hautrus (manual orgasm)...was
deified as ritualistic." It was also called panimathana ("hand
churning") and "was relished extensively."
In China, Dr. Jacobus reports, young men would get together to smoke
opium, and then "abuse their generative organs for hours at a time
in a frenzy of mutual masturbation and anal copulation." Along the
same lines, one report explains that the Cossacks, who lived on the
middle Asian plains were more excited by self and mutual
masturbation than in sex with women, "having from infancy identified
sexual pleasure with masturbation alone."
Among other cultures, masturbation was often allowed or encouraged.
Of special of interest are cultures allowing the act to be shared
between males. These include the Hopi in Arizona, Wogeno in Oceania,
and Dahomeans and Namu of Africa. In certain Melanesian communities
this was expected between boys, and between boys and married men,
although no other kind of gay male sex was allowed. In the Cubeo
tribe of the Amazon mutual masturbation was "semi-Public." Among the
Tikopia of the South Pacific, men masturbated themselves as other
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