The Poor Man's Fountain of Youth

[related stories: Gender Puzzle / The Connundrum of Men & Women /
The Inside Track on Happiness / Letter to an Imaginary Lady .. ]

@12 June 1998

Here's the genesis of a plain fairytale to live by. In days of yore, gents as rich as Croesus kept a stable of concubines on the principle that nothing excites admiration like envy, and that proof of virulence was the best qualification for being number one big man.

Nowadays we probably need a scientific justification to keep bonking, wanking or otherwise getting it off. Bonking gets some bad press with the specter of AIDs, STDs and ladies who are apt to get bored with the whole male thing. Still, it keeps the advertising industry solvent, so will definitely stay on the payroll. Wanking has always had a bad press. You can't really have a wanking party, just not the same social resonance as an orgy, so there goes its political power base. Then there's that large crew with a telephone line to god, who reckon that sex is nasty, but has to be put up with so that babies can be manufactured under license. This baby production business was written into the covenant as a sacred duty.

Now with autoeroticism, it's a case of one quick wank a day and there goes romance for another twenty-four hours. Uncrazed by any need to get it off fast, why wouldn't John & Jill take a cooler look at each other before signing up for the long-term contract? Nope, wanking was definitely a threat to the sacred baby manufacture industry and had to be KO'd with an ice pack. Blokes in black mourning clothes and white chokers therefore put the story around that your willy could send you blind, perhaps one of the stranger bits of logic in any shaman's bag of whispers.

Meanwhile, back in the mean streets of your typical urban misery ghetto, all the fellow's without a hairdo like John Travolta or the machismo to send schoolgirls and matrons weak in the knees, contemplated a bleak future as wanabes. And all the girls with the sex appeal of cane toads desperately pored over glossy magazines looking for the pair of shoes, lipstick brand or magic utterance that would make them a princess at midnight. This was a story as old as biology, and the story forever had been that Nature was indifferent to the losers. Being cursed with the psychology of humans rather than cane toads, these folk had eventually tended to go onto alcohol, barbiturates or prozac, get bitter and twisted, start political parties, murder their fathers, or enter a monastery.

It's a fair guess that a good proportion amongst the unloved of the earth have always groped their way through layers of cultural disapproval to finally settle for a wank instead of a bonk. The unlucky ones will have scoured themselves with biblical thorns of guilt. Most of the rest have probably gotten on with the ablution, and left it out of their social chatter, along the the usual proscriptions on discussing mouth wash and their brand of toilet paper.

There is unlikely to be any great fervour to "out" wanking, along the same lines as the gay cavalcade. For one thing, it is hard to see a quid in it. For another, there is too much cash and ego, culture and pride, tied up in social sex. However, there is probably a good psychological argument for reducing it to a ho-hum fact of life, and some medical defenses can surely be found to support that concession. For example, it does seem to be a fact that regular ejaculation drains fluids which can contribute to testicular cancer if left lying around. There's also the general life principle that if you don't use it, you lose it.

Nobody argues that walking is bad for your legs, or looking bad for your eyes. More locally, procreation is Nature's basic use for all living things. The general pattern is, the organism breeds and then dies. Sexual organs which remain unused, or rarely used, may well send the biological signal that the organism as a whole has completed it's natural cycle. Wouldn't it be ironic if one quick wank a day fooled Nature into constant renewal, a perpetual lease in lieu of immortality. Maybe those gents as rich as Croesus had a point, but were let down by their wily concubines...

All opinions expressed in Thor's Unwise Ideas and The Passionate Skeptic are entirely those of the author, who has no aim to influence, proselytize or persuade others to a point of view. He is pleased if his writing generates reflection in readers, either for or against the sentiment of the argument.

"The Poor Man's Fountain of Youth" copyrighted to Thor May; all rights reserved 2000

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