The average adult reads at 250 words per minute. That means that the average person will read this blog post in under three minutes. As you’re reading that online, most of you will naturally read faster than you would if you were reading print, potentially skimming through a few sections of text as you skip ahead to particularly fascinating subheadings.
Frantically rubbing my clitoris
As you read this post, I want you to imagine the stage you’d be at if you’d started masturbating at the beginning. During the first sentence you opened your fly, pulled down your pyjama bottoms, or lifted your skirt and yanked your knickers to one side – whatever best fits your own masturbatory routine.
By now you’re about ten to twenty seconds in. For some of you, you’ll be in the ‘early arousal’ stage – just starting to get wet, or hard, or tingly, perhaps licking your fingers or reaching for the lube to speed things along.
Others might get there a bit more quickly – you’ll have graduated beyond the initial fumblings and be furiously frigging yourself, making all the delicious slick-wet or dry-rub noises that you most associate with this pleasurable past time.
If you read at the average speed, we’re now about thirty to forty seconds in.
If you’re me, you will have come already.
Speed wanking, and why I’m a bit odd
As a child I was a big fan of the film Grease. Big songs, big hair, and John Travolta in a tight leather jacket – what’s not to love? Somewhere in that film there’s a line about sex taking “just fifteen minutes.” Because I was young and inexperienced, I took this not just as a casual joke but a cast iron biological fact with the result that, during my teenage years, I was beset with occasional bouts of intense worry. I thought that either:
a) I wasn’t doing wanking right, because it was taking me between 30 and 45 seconds to come, and that if I kept doing it for longer I’d experience a ‘proper’ orgasm. This didn’t work too well, because too much wanking post-orgasm caused me much sadness and occasional intense pain. So the only other possibility was that:
b) I was a biological anomaly, and when I eventually got into bed with a man he would scream and run as soon as the first waves of orgasm twitched around his totally normal, 15-minute-ready dick.
The grass is always greener in someone else’s pants
Now that I’m an adult, I’m pretty used to my personal body quirks, and although things naturally take me a bit longer when I’m shagging, as a general rule my wanking has remained pretty quick. Thirty seconds, give or take.
I don’t usually think about it but the other day I had a conversation with a guy in which he told me – in exquisitely growling and lustful detail – about evenings he spends treating himself to extended masturbation sessions. These are the opposite of 30-minute wanking sprints – they last from when he walks in the door after work to when he finally ejaculates at bedtime. Porn, more porn, toys, slow rubbing on the sofa, frantic bouts of near-orgasmic frotting, pausing just before he comes, breaks for coffee, cigarettes and phone calls. Everything you’d do if you had all the time in the world and nothing but your genitals to play with.
I’m sad that I can’t ever really enjoy the kind of extended sessions guys like him have told me about – edging for hours until they’re ready to spurt at the lightest touch, or calmly stroking themselves to a plateau of not-quite-coming as they enjoy a particularly horny video. But even when I try to do this I fail miserably. If I watch porn (which I do, although probably not as often as people who are conoisseurs of it) I’ll watch it for about five minutes, find a section that I really like, then immediately initiate the frenzied clit-rubbing that’s so speedy and loveless I can almost hear the Countdown theme tune in my head.
It’s not that I hate wanking and need it to be over as soon as possible, or even that I’m biologically incapable of drawing it out. I wonder if it’s because when I’m alone and horny, spending longer than is strictly necessary feels like a disgraceful and guilty indulgence. If it took me half an hour to come I’d feel that was half an hour well spent. But if it only takes 30 seconds, spending longer on it might seem a bit excessive. Like preparing a gourmet meal when I’m not hungry, or wearing high heels to do the gardening.
How long does it take you?
It’s a nice trick most of the time – I don’t know many people who could pop the kettle on then guarantee they’ll have frigged themselves to orgasm by the time the water’s boiled – I’m not complaining as such. I just wonder if I’m the only one. Perhaps I’m walking through a world where most people spend two to three hours a week on masturbatory self-care, in which case I’ll kick myself for being the overly-efficient robot who bashes them out in less than a minute, never stopping to truly enjoy the build up.
If you made it to the end in less than three minutes: congratulations on your reading speed. If you went back to the beginning and started wanking to see if you could finish before the last full-stop: well done, and I’m sorry it didn’t contain more filth. And if you managed to both read it and orgasm in less than 30 seconds, perhaps we should start a league.