Nerve Classics: Under The Table

A paean to masturbating at work.

by Neal Medlyn

Maybe it's the bourbon, but lately, we've been feeling nostalgic. With writing this good, can you blame us? "Under The Table" originally ran in 2005.

Masturbating at work is fun and important, and I know whereof I speak, America. I used to work at a college's physical plant — the place that gets called when a light bulb goes out in the assembly hall. Hours of sorting through work orders had me so bored that I started looking for creative ways to pass the time. And since I was in my early twenties, the most creative I could get was to stare in fear at the door to my office while having frantic orgasms unlike any I'd had since the hatchback of my Honda in the parking lot on graduation day.

A few years later, I was working at a law firm when the Paris Hilton sex tape came out. This was exciting to me because at the time I was mildly obsessed with Paris Hilton for no apparent reason and wanted to be one of the first thirty million people to see night-goggled footage of her giving a blowjob. Even though my desk was the public front to the office — meaning I easily could have been caught by a coworker, a client, or even a lost do-gooder looking for the non-profit corporation down the hall — I decided it was time. I stayed late to "finish up with some things." I finished up all right, didn't get caught, and now I have a happy memory. Plus, I got overtime.

Masturbating at work requires some preparation. When I did it, I arranged my upper body in a pose of pulled-together-ness. It's a similar posture to the one you may have employed to nap at work: mouse in one hand or hand on chin, staring intently at something innocuous like the stapler. This way, at first glance, no one will know that below that particleboard desktop a flurry of activity is taking place. Keep in mind that the burden of effort should fall on the muscles of the forearm, keeping the upper arm as still as possible. Of course toward the end, some signs of impending orgasm will inevitably give you away should anyone pass by, but by that point your fate will be sealed. And you wouldn't much care if the Pope walked in at that moment, as you will be past the point of no return.

You don't want all this excessive time spent at work to make you an asexual corporate clone, do you?

There are plenty of reasons why it's a good idea to masturbate at work. The first is that it will train your mind to find normally unsexy things sexy. I haven't done any surveys or anything, but I think we can all agree that offices lack most things normally associated with increased blood flow. Fluorescent bulbs, copy machines and multi-line phones are all totally un-sexy — unless you think about jumping the UPS guy and making him have multi-line-phone sex! See? It's up to you to find a way to get turned on by filing cabinets and deadlines. Maybe the deadline you have is to come before your boss gets back from lunch. Maybe the file cabinets are full of people begging to have sex with you. Just keep this up, and you'll be able to get sufficiently excited. Work your hands into your slacks and put those leftover deli napkins to use.

The best part is that sexualizing the office setting will enable you to sexualize absolutely anything. Once you are able to finger yourself while listening to a coworker help a client with her file, it will be no time before you are getting hot for every single person who works at Subway's.

Secondly, it certainly passes the time. These days, people spend far too much time at their jobs. When you were a teenager and would get bored because your town didn't have any forms of entertainment, you'd resort to rubbing yourself silly on some random bit of cloth or soiling a stuffed animal. Now you aren't hanging out at the house watching Kids Incorporated, however. You are spending your time confined to a desk, so you have to work that much harder.

In fact, unless you take charge of the office setting immediately, you may become completely emasculated. If you don't masturbate at work, soon you will be calling the New Jersey office to request more Post-Its, and you will refer to them as "posties." No wonder you can't seem to get into the idea of sex! No wonder all the fuzzy items in your home, including your dates, have gone unmolested! You don't want all this excessive time spent at work to make you an asexual corporate clone, do you? It's not just about boredom and the health of your libido — by masturbating you are taking an important stand against the commodifying effects of a consumerist society! Subverting the system is easy — just rub up against your ergonomic chair.

Which brings us to the final reason why masturbating at work is extremely important. According to the New York Times and Katie Couric, we are a culture awash in pornography. Open the Chex cereal box and there's a penis spewing come. Turn on the air conditioner and pussies come flying out at you. And because of all this supposed permissiveness, children don't get spanked anymore and no one has near the guilt that the Medieval Christians had. They were so worried about their morality that it led to visions like the one Margery Kempe had about the devil showing her a bunch of men's penises and making her choose which one she liked best. That kind of creativity inspired by sexual repression just isn't to be had anymore — which is good in a lot of ways, sure, but we lose out on certain sexual benefits. The fear of getting caught masturbating by the person who signs our paychecks is about all we have left in this overly accepting world.

And now to the caveat: masturbating at work is considered very bad, very bad indeed. Work masturbation will almost surely get you fired, which will ruin your life. Now there's something to fear! Are you going to be the guy stumbling into the subway car asking for change because you lost your job in such a humiliating way? You'd have to reflect for the rest of your life on how you threw away your future for a few minutes of pleasure.

It's a scary thought. And it will make you come much faster.

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