Our Favorite Masturbation Moments in Media - ONE®

Our Favorite Masturbation Moments in Media

From peaches and pies to bike seats and toys, the conversation about masturbation in pop culture has changed quite a bit over time. In honor of Masturbation Month, let's take a peek at some of our most memorable moments. 

A fresh peach on a summer’s day – as the crisp breeze descends from the Italian alps and caresses your cheek like the touch of a lost lover. The juices run down your lips and nestle in your chin. You can tell that this peach was plucked by a gentle hand. In the distance you hear the creaking of old floorboards harmonizing with the calls of a weathered goldfinch. 

As you contemplate the musings of Aristotle and Plato you think to yourself – “Why not? Why shouldn’t I whack off with this plump juicy peach? After all, Timmie did it – so what?"

Timmie who? Back in 2018, Timothée Chalamet inspired the world to move to a peach farm in Italy just from one scene:


Now you might ask yourself, how could a 3 minute scene have such a tremendous impact on your life? Sometimes it’s easy to forget that pop culture isn’t just a passive show, it’s an interactive and influential feature of modern life. People tend to imitate what they see in television and movies. For example, a famous scene in Sex and the City in 1998 sparked a national frenzy for the pink Rabbit vibrator (more on this later). From Forbes:

“Sex and the City took vibrators out of the shadows,” says Carol Queen, longtime staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, San Francisco’s legendary sex-toy store. Queen recalled in a telephone interview that she showed up for work the day after the episode originally aired in 1998 to see “a line of women waiting to come into the store to check out the Rabbit. I’m pretty sure we sold out of them that day. We had people asking for the Rabbit by name.”

Masturbation has a long and storied reputation throughout human history. From ancient Roman wooden dildos to 40,000 year old busty stone figurines – self-pleasure has been on our minds for generations. However, masturbation is only recently beginning to enter mass-distributed pop culture. The first time most people saw masturbation being discussed on television was during a 1992 episode of Seinfeld. George is ‘caught’ masturbating by his mother which ultimately leads to her fainting and having to go to the hospital. After further discussion of their individual habits, the group decides to enter into a contest to see who can refrain from self-pleasure for the longest.


What’s really interesting about this example is the fact that throughout the entire episode, the word masturbation is not uttered once. The characters dance around the terminology and use euphemisms and facial expressions to indicate meaning due to the limits placed on them by the broadcasting network and the sensibilities of American audiences at that time. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Larry David – the creator and lead writer on Seinfeld, actually based this episode on a real experience he had with his friends to see who could withhold from masturbation for the longest time. The episode ultimately won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing and is consistently ranked as one of the best sitcom episodes of all-time.

Despite some of the slightly outdated references and sensibilities, the episode holds up today. In fact, similar to ‘yada yada yada’ and ‘no soup for you’ - this episode popularized the term ‘master of my domain’ in everyday speech to indicate that someone was in firm control of their masturbatory habits. Additionally, the whole idea of a masturbation contest has gone society wide in recent years thanks to trends like No Nut November and other media moments. Along with many other television programs, Seinfeld is credited for introducing masturbation to the mainstream media. In 1998,  Sex In the City aired its episode named “The Turtle and the Hare,” where character Charlotte York becomes obsessed with her new pink, rabbit-eared “Rabbit” vibrator. This episode made waves and stunned viewers with its shame-free depiction of self-pleasure. If masturbation was a normal, accepted part of Charlotte’s self care regime, why wouldn’t it be for all women?

We saw further progress for humanity in 1999, thanks to the film American Pie. The entire movie follows a group of high school students who pledge to have sex for the first time before graduation. In one of the most iconic scenes in movie history, the lead character is caught by his father while sexually experimenting with a freshly baked apple pie. 


Although both of these scenes are centered around being ‘caught’, at least Jim’s father does seem to offer a tinge of support by stating they’ll just tell his mother that they ate the pie. It is interesting to see the difference between film and television when it comes to portrayals of masturbation. Obviously, a rated R comedy is going to be able to push more limits than a nationally broadcasted sitcom. However both Seinfeld and American Pie pushed the boundaries of their respective mediums and brought self-pleasure to the forefront of popular American media. 

We have made much progress in the past decades with sexual liberation and healthy sexuality and this is clearly reflected in pop culture. These provocative scenes laid the groundwork for modern shows, films, and even songs to talk about masturbation openly – as opposed to using metaphors and euphemisms. Now instead of a band like Steely Dan covertly naming themselves after a steam-powered dildo from a 1959 novel, you have Nicki Minaj saying “'Cause I'm feelin' myself, jack off (Uh)/He be thinking about me when he whacks off/Wax on? (Wax off)”. This is all to say that the leaps and bounds we’ve made as a collective serve only to broaden our artistic horizons and to pay the due respect to the institution of self-pleasure. There really are no limits.

Although…Maybe some artists among us are still pushing that envelope. For example, the sitcom ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ is known for finding new ways to offend people and engage their audience. The actors themselves show strong allegiance to progressive causes and the cast are partially famous for attending and marching in pride parades across the country – however the characters they play are some of the worst, offensive, and evil portrayals of humanity ever showcased on television. 

In a 2017 episode, the gang is trying to convince their friend Mac to finally come out of the closet. They do not care about their friend’s sexuality one way or the other, they’re just upset at the whiplash they experience as the character repeatedly acknowledges and then refuses to acknowledge his homosexuality. Eventually they become so fed up, they incorporate it into an arbitration related to the possession of a scratch ticket. They use a homemade exercise bike they found in Mac’s possession as proof of his homosexuality.  


Although here at ONE we are supportive of Mac’s journey with self-pleasure and frankly, impressed with his DIY skills, we are not planning on selling a product similar to the Ass Pounder 4000 in the near future. We see so many references to masturbation using hands and vibrators in shows like Sex and the City, but it’s often hard to find portrayals or even a convert reference to anal masturbation in popular media. Despite the many flaws with the way self-pleasure is being discussed in the scene, it's interesting to see a show that’s not afraid to openly discuss all avenues of preferences and practices. And almost in a perfect cosmic balance, we see the ‘Sunny’ gang pay homage to their masturbatory forefathers a season later: 


These days, we we continue to normalize sex and self pleasure with shows like Sex Education, Big Mouth, Broad City, and Insecure. We are truly in a sexual health golden age, there are so many resources available online and new generations of parents are teaching their teens that masturbation is safe, healthy, and perfectly natural. Before the onset of the internet, television and film were really the only places where masturbation was discussed, even if it was entrenched in metaphors and hushed tones. Nowadays, instead of trying to enhance your masturbation session by imitating someone you saw in a movie violate a peach or a pie, you can instead check out one of our other blogs or attend a workshop at your local community center. It’s important that we’re mindful of pop culture portrayals as they definitely can still have an impact – however it’s never been a better time to be a pipe pumping pirate. 


Keep on whacking,
Your friends at ONE
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