This Is How I Masturbate

James David Cohn

Whoever you are who found my website by entering the Google search this is how I masturbate, I salute you!

My friends think I’m a techie because I am competent at installing replacement inkjet cartridges in their HP printers 78% of the time. My friends are mistaking familiarity with competence, though who’s to say these are not one and the same. Competence like familiarity breeds contempt and my contempt is not for my friends but for these printers, still being sold!, and I say God bless ‘em, God bless not the printers but my friends because after the installation of the cartridges comes the mad and maddening little HP inkjet printer-head dance which I can amuse people at cocktail parties by imitating with my entire body, stuttering my walk in two dimensions, left, right, forward, back, while I make guttural machine sounds and include silences like the Master himself, Beethoven, who knew that there is meaning in the silences as well as the notes, the music and choreography of the printer-heads being therefore romantic in their form and not classical. All this to the amusement applause and encouraging cheers of all the HP inkjet printer owners in the room but no one else, these others at the end of my performance asking if there are any more beer nuts or, failing in that, any more beer.

I am not a techie or I am a techie or I am somewhat of a techie, all three of these statements being true at the same time though perhaps any number of them might not be factual. What is factual is that I have employed the Google Search Console and Google Analytics to help me not understand how people come to my website. I have learned, for example, that people googling Ellen and Portia have found my website in their search results, because Google in its mindless democracy “knows” that my cats are named Ellen and Portia, a detail of which you, thoughtful reader, are aware because you have read my story, “A Note To My Critics.” Or if you haven’t, you will now.

And so it was, I suppose, that a person who googled this is how I masturbate found my website among the search results, for that same above-named story mentions masturbation, albeit in a non-salacious way played purely for laughs and I suspect therefore deeply unsatisfying to the googler, for in the story I do not give any specificity to my masturbatory practices. It was this Google research experience which led me to revise the story by substituting the phrase “masturbatory habits” for the word “masturbate” in hopes of avoiding such unintended websearch consequences, though now obviously as a result of the strings of words in this story the websearch hits are gonna keep on comin'.

For those who might be uninformed about how the above-named Google tools enlighten webmasters, allow me to explain. I can tell, to cite an actual example, that one particular user who accessed my website was employing a mobile device rather than a desktop computer. I can tell the time of day that my website was accessed and how long that user spent on each page. I can tell that the user was in the United States. I can tell that the user’s name is Bibbsy Dibbs, that her father is an officer in the United States Navy, and that she has a birthmark on an extremely private part of her anatomy. I can tell that her father will be suing me within a fortnight for this defamation. All of this because of my handy-dandy Google search tools, which on examination right now in real-time tell me that you shouldn’t have had that third cup of coffee. You know it, your doctor knows it, and I have emailed your doctor to tell on you. You should be ashamed. Of this and a lot more, because I know about your Internet porn habits.

Not that visiting porn sites should in itself be shameful. The votes are not in on this. On the issue of porn the nation is divided, as it is on so many other matters. Once upon a time porn was considered objectively objectionably objectifying, an Internet genre that degrades women, though anyone with even a little porn sophistication knows that porn is an equal-opportunity degrader that operates irrespective of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, or any other factor.

Just google Rule 34 if you don’t believe me.

But a recent slew of print and electronic articles has heralded the idea that porn has come into its own, so to speak, a “trove” of articles as the popular noun has it, which extol the virtues of porn in enhancing the sex lives of couples in addition to individuals; for porn, if these articles are to be believed, is now a couples activity, like skiing or watching rerun marathons of Star Trek on the BBC America channel.

It is true that porn objectifies intimate bodily functions but so does sex and for that matter so does going to lunch together which is weirder than we might like to admit with its shoving of slaughtered and then roasted animals into our drooling orifice while we discuss casually the news of the day. If you think about it which you are now about to do, going to lunch together is in far too many ways like taking a shit together, “What are you doing Tuesday at noon?”, “No, not at noon, everybody in town will be taking a shit at noon, there will be a wait for a commode,” this is how I eat a Stromboli.

There are marginally more people making lunch dates and even masturbation dates than shit dates. And now even this term “shit dates” will lead people to my website, think how many people go out on dates that end up being shitty dates and then they google shitty dates and now oh look here you are!

If I were simply trying to increase web traffic rather than showcasing serious writing, I would arbitrarily insert into my stories word strings like wild and crazy sex, Donald Trump hair, or lose weight fast. But this I will not do.

I don’t pander.

© 2018 James David Cohn except for the character Bibbsy Dibbs, immortalized in Hal Dresner’s endlessly funny The Man Who Wrote Dirty Books; I borrow her name and her story as an homage to Dresner. Google him.