Response: Masturbation

Editor Kirsten Larson, Editor's Choice, January 26th, 2015

"A blocky, bouncy, headless sex doll lover covered in rough beige wool."

brian mccarty art masturbation response nailed magazine

In our monthly Response Column, NAILED asks readers to respond to a particular word or topic. We are seeking raw, honest personal responses that aim less to answer questions and more to raise them. Responses in the form of art, photography, essay, story, poem, and rant will all be considered for publication. February’s topic is LIES, please email your responses to [email protected] by February 15th, for publication at the end of the month. (Word count limit: 1,000 words.)

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Response: Masturbation


Arms Race, by Kevin Meyer


There’s a girl in my office with tattoos all over her body and big silver eyes and a cleft in her chin. Skinny, tits too large for a girl built like her. She’s young, maybe nineteen or twenty. Her name is Brina, short for Sabrina I guess, but I don’t know her that well, so I don’t ask.

Brina’s wearing cat ears and a butt plug with a foxtail coming out of it and nothing else.

When I say office, I mean my home office, and when I say Brina’s in my office, what I mean is she’s on my computer. A camgirl. Her profile says she’s from Rivendell, Middle Earth, but her accent through the headphones I have pulled over only one ear sounds like she lives in Romania.

On the other side of the office door, my wife’s feet creak over the old hardwood floors. Charlotte. She’s out there doing chores in a part of the house where there’s no chores to do. It’s not like the house is ever clean. There’s dust on every surface dust can get on, a mineral ring around the water line in the toilet bowl, and piles of dirty laundry all over the floor of the bedroom, but as soon as I go into my office and close the door, all of a sudden Charlotte’s got all sorts of shit to do at the end of a hallway that leads nowhere but to my office.

The floorboards stop creaking and there’s the shadow of her feet cutting through the line of light coming through the crack under the door.

My dick goes back into my pants. Brina with her cat ears and her foxtail butt plug and her fake tits in the browser gets minimized, and the word processor behind the browser comes to the front of the screen. I’m a writer. I’m in here writing.

I start typing with one hand while the other pulls my zipper up slow, quieter than the sound of my typing, and when my zipper’s up I slip my noise-canceling headphones over both my ears so it looks like I couldn’t hear Charlotte tiptoeing around on the other side of the door.

I’m good at hiding shit. I’ve had a lot of practice.

Jealousy is a bitch.

I like a picture one of my very few female friends posted on Facebook, I hear from Charlotte about it later. If I follow a woman on Instagram, I have to explain why.

She’s a fucking musician. Here in this other picture, she’s on a stage with a huge lighting rig in front of thousands of fans in Tokyo so why are you flipping me shit for liking this other picture of her in a tiny little dress for her photoshoot in Vogue?

The irony is, back when Charlotte started rooting through my shit, we were still in love and I had nothing to hide.

It’s a fucking arms race, I tell you.

She goes silent one day when I mention a picture of her as a teenager, holding a tiny plastic dinosaur in front of the foot of a life-size concrete brontosaurus, and I come to find out she thinks only her closest friend has a copy of that picture, so I must be fucking her best friend. I get home and dig the picture out of an old shoebox and wave it in her face while I scream Fuck You so hard I spit.

A few months later, while Charlotte’s out of town, she digs through my Gmail account and finds an email from my coworker Nicole, where I’m trying to arrange a ride home from work while my car’s broken down. All of a sudden I’m fucking Nicole. I change my email password, but a few weeks later, Charlotte calls me out for changing my password, says I have something to hide. I give her the new password. Then I make a new email account she doesn’t know about.

Charlotte wakes me up at three in the morning one night, waving a book about breast-feeding from the 70’s in my face, screaming how this is it, she knew it, I’d gotten some other woman pregnant. Nevermind we’d moved all of her mother’s shit into the basement a few months earlier and my wife was a child of the 70s, nevermind how her mother went on and on about how she couldn’t breastfeed her only child because of the stroke she’d had during childbirth.

That book, my mother-in-law’s memento of her shattered dream, just one more weapon in the arms race between me and my wife.

I upped the ante after that by not fucking Charlotte anymore. Started saying I was gonna go write but instead I was getting off to Brina in the office when I needed to blow my load. Charlotte asks one day why there’s so many wads of used Kleenex in the trash can when she knows damn well why, so I tell her I had a cold and I stopped tossing my Kleenex in the trash and started stashing them around the room to flush them down the toilet the next morning while she was asleep instead.

So here we are. The brink of World War III, and really there’s nothing left to this arms race but the nuclear option.


The shadows move on the other side of the office door and the floorboards creak. The door handle turns and Charlotte steps through. She acts like she’s sorry for bothering me, says, “The dog wanted to see you,” and she lets the fucking dog into the room.

Even the dog is a weapon.

She follows the dog-weapon back behind me, where she can see my screen.

“Whatcha working on?” she says.

I shift a little in my seat to make sure my dying hard-on is hidden underneath the tail of my shirt, and I’m a writer, so I say, “Just trying to figure out where I’m going with this next chapter.”


Kevin Meyer is a writer and student teacher in Tom Spanbauer’s Dangerous Writers workshop. His work has been published in The Frozen Moment: Contemporary Writers on the Choices That Change Our Lives, SharePDX, and NAILED Magazine. His novel-in-progress, currently titled Two Shots, explores asthma, domestic violence, and why it’s not such a good idea to keep easy access to firearms on the worst day of your life. Learn more about him at his official site, here.

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Sofa Cushion Sex Doll, by Doug Chase


I can’t remember when I first jerked off. But the number of times I jerked off? Forget it. Ten thousand times. The same number of ladies Wilt Chamberlain said he fucked.

Masturbation is great. Look it up on the Internet. Everyone getting in touch with themselves. Lighting up their night, their bath, their pretty pink bedroom when they all of a sudden discover what they can do all by themselves.

Me, it’s just an ugly drive that has no hope of a lover. Demanding my attention.

Sixteen years I was married and most of the time we slept in separate rooms. We didn’t touch each other for years at a time. I don’t mean just sexually. In my bed in the basement, jerking off was me touching myself because she didn’t.

Masturbation isn’t what I do between lovers. It’s my hopeless response to the demand, the hopeless, relentless drive.

I was twenty-one, had moved in with my dad so I could afford classes at the Pentecostal college. I slept on a fold out sofa in his extra bedroom. Came home from Sunday night church, from after-church hot fudge cake at Bob’s Big Boy.

Jerking off into a tee shirt wasn’t real enough, so I took the three cushions from the fold out sofa and made my own love doll. Two cushions made the torso and one cushion made the legs.

You probably can’t picture it, so I’ll explain better. These are the cushions that go on the back of the sofa. These are the cushions that people lean their backs against when they sit on the sofa. The cushions are maybe three feet long by two feet wide. They’re filled with some kind of polyurethane foam and they’re covered with scratchy wool covers. Beige covers, but I kept the lights out so the cushions were some variations of shades of gray.

I put two of the cushions on the floor. I put the third cushion directly on top of one of the first two. My sex doll’s torso was two cushions. My sex doll’s legs was one cushion. A blocky, bouncy, headless sex doll lover covered in rough beige wool.

I lay on my sex doll made of sofa cushions. My torso on its torso (double cushion). My legs on its legs (single cushion). My pants and tee shirt are off. My underpants are shoved down and they hang off one ankle. (I always did it that way, underpants off one ankle. I didn’t want to lose track of them.) My hard dick is wrapped in my tee shirt and placed between the two cushions that make my sex doll’s torso.

Get the picture? I pretend the cushions are my lover and I jerk off into the tee shirt.

Which lover? Who did I pretend to fuck with my sex doll cushions? It was a girl at the Pentecostal college. It was the girl I liked before I left all the Christianity to marry the woman who never touched me.

The drive still there. Demanding.

It sounds ridiculous, the sofa cushions, the tee shirt, the underpants around my ankle. But it would only be ridiculous if someone were there to see. That’s my point. The awkward ridiculous things people do with other people isn’t ridiculous because they aren’t alone. They touch each other.

Wilt fucked ten thousand ladies. Fuck you, Wilt.


With no ill intention Doug Chase writes a lot about poop. This distresses some of his friends. He is sorry. 

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Celery, by Gigi Little


OK, I’ll admit it. I don’t do it.

Sure, I’ve tried. I want to experience things, I want to lead a full and happy life.

It’s just that when I’ve tried it

It’s just that, thinking about it

I don’t know. Maybe it’s that thing about it being dirty. Granted, I’m an adult and I know it’s not actually dirty, but when I was a kid, I heard it was dirty. Just from the world, I guess, because I don’t know who would have told me this. No one in my family was weird about sex. Except for me. It seemed all too gross. I remember, as a kid, telling my mom I’d never have sex. We were in the laundry room. The dryer was going and it smelled like soap and warmth and loveliness, and she said, Oh, someday you’ll find someone you love and you’ll like it. She said there was nothing wrong with it. She called it one of our bodily pleasures.

Bodily pleasures. That phrase grossed me out more than anything.

Not that we were talking about masturbation. See, I can hardly even say the word. Masturbation. Like squirmy little worms in my mouth, that word. Well, I don’t know who it was but someone must have told me it was dirty. Maybe it was Mrs. Showalter, my fourth grade teacher who scowled all the time and had a face that looked like someone had plugged it into a bad outlet and melted it a little. Maybe it was all those Saturday morning reruns of Davy and Goliath.

And the thing you need to know about me is that I’m very suggestible. Once in third grade we were playing kickball and I got to first base and the short stop said, “Run to second!” He had red, electric freckles and a big grin on his face: “Run to second!” It’s not like I didn’t notice he had the ball in his hands.

But he wanted me to run.

So I took off running.

Because I’m a winner.

OK, I’m fully aware that I could be a loser and still enjoy the fruits of an effective bout of, shall we say, self-love. Maybe it’s just that it’s too much of a reminder that I have that particular part. I mean, yes, I know, I have that part, I pee with it, and sometimes do other things with it when my husband is around, but when I’m all alone with no one but me, maybe I don’t want to think about having it.

Maybe I’m embarrassed by the notion of wanting pleasure. Of enjoying pleasure I give to myself—I mean, how egotistical is that! Or. OK, that doesn’t make sense because I’m plenty happy stuffing my face full of bread and cheese. Eating lovely food is just as self indulgent as, well, shall we say, anything else.

I guess to me masturbation is like a eating a bowl full of celery. It’s a lot of work that never leaves me satisfied.

Maybe I just don’t know how to eat celery. Lots of people eat and enjoy celery every day. Or, maybe not every day but sometimes. No, I’m sure there are people who eat it every day. They’re probably the ones who are fit and happy and run marathons and things.

Maybe I just need to put peanut butter on it.

Do you know what I really love? Stuffing. I’m talking the traditional kind with onion and sage. Stuffing has plenty of celery in it, but the thing about that celery is that it’s been cooked to death in loads of butter.

All this talk is making me hungry. You could interpret that in some metaphorical way, but you’d probably be wrong.


Gigi Little’s work has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines, including Portland Noir and Spent: Exposing our Complicated Relationship With Shopping. She’s also the graphic designer for Forest Avenue Press. By day, she works as lead visual merchandiser for Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, fine artist Stephen O’Donnell. Before moving to Portland, Gigi spent fifteen years in the circus, as a lighting director and professional circus clown. She never took a pie to the face, but she ’s a Rhodes Scholar in the art of losing her pants.

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Judy, Judy, Judy, by Edee Lemonier


Our friends, the ones who introduced us, the ones who thought a 35-year-old grown-ass man and an 18-year-old freshman would be a good idea, must be fucking in the front seat of their truck because it shimmies side-to-side and I can’t see their heads anymore from inside my 323, just her bare toes curling, gripping the driver’s side window. Four o’clock in the morning and we’re all parked in the paved pullout in front of the beach, freshly sugared from a Krispy Kreme run to sober up a little before they drive forty-five minutes back to their we’re-not-rednecks-because-we-have-a-red-light hick town and before I have to walk in the front door and face the bitch who stares me down with those icy blues and the tongue like a razor ready to slice me to ribbons.

Me and the guy with the acid washed jeans and Black Sabbath tee and acid washed jean jacket and curly brown Mel Gibson mullet and eyes a color I can’t remember because it doesn’t matter, we sit in the front of my 323 and I thank some sort of god for the stick shift between us. This guy, he kissed me in the sand before, and our friends, the ones who thought a 35-year-old grown-ass man and an 18-year-old freshman would be a good idea, they told him watch it, don’t take it too far, told me don’t be a slut.

So now me and this guy are in the front seat of my car waiting for the truck in front of us to quit shimmying, watching for the orange tip glow of the inevitable after-sex smoke, and he says he was born with a hole in the tip of his dick and has an earring in it, do I wanna see it and I just sit stock-still. He unzips his jeans anyway and his dick is hanging out because not even tighty whities, the big guy needs breathing room. And sure as shit there’s a little gold stud in the rim, the kind you get when your mom takes you to get your ears pierced at the mall. He starts talking about how some chick named Judy loves when he beats his meat and don’t I wanna watch and it electrifies my insides to see a dick in person for the first time since my teenage cousin when I was five and now bile singes my sinuses before burning its way back down my throat.

I slip a Marlboro Red from his hard pack and light it but my mouth is dry and my lips stick to the white-specked, honey-colored filter. And this guy’s talking about how this chick named Judy beats her meat and don’t you beat your meat and I say no because I think he’s trying to trick me into admitting I’m not at all normal for waiting for my roommate to fall asleep and then getting off and I have to do it thinking about watching other people but I don’t know yet that it’s normal for girls to get themselves off. So I just stare at the shimmying truck and I smoke and let the ash get long while my 323 jerks and shimmies from inside and he’s all Judy Judy Judy and who the fuck is Judy I wanna ask, but I don’t because I don’t think right now I really wanna know.

But then our friends, the ones who thought a 35-year-old grown-ass man and an 18-year-old freshman would be a good idea, they must be done because orange dots glow in the distance in front of me like tiny flares that might bring rescuers to their car instead of mine.

And this guy who’s all Judy Judy Judy ignores the tiny flares, grunts, asks if I wanna see and I don’t say anything because I know what he did and it’s totally gross and looking will make me just as gross, maybe more gross, which I don’t need because I’m already filthy dirty enough because of that time when I was five.

And so then this guy says how Judy loves to lick cum out the bottom of a shot glass and don’t I want some and I finally yell at him who the fuck is Judy and he says Judy is his wife, but it’s cool, baby, it’s cool, she knows, she knows and I turn the key and tell him get the fuck outta my car.


Edee Lemonier has lived in Vancouver, Washington for nearly twenty years. Her work has appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, Front Porch Review, and Scars Publication’s Children, Churches, & Daddies. She is currently working on her first novel, and considers herself lucky if the dogs don’t walk across her keyboard and obliterate everything.

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Marathon, by Jared John Smith


Ambitious? Bored. How many orgasms produced 1984 or A Brave New World? Male artists cum, on average, five-to-one against the non-obsessive common person. “I wrote 2,000 words this afternoon,” interspersed with three, maybe six prolonged jack-off sessions. Next writer pitching his manuscript—ask him how many busted nuts fueled that magnum opus. A-thousand-forty for my Confessions of a Death-Obsessed Never-Was Poet. Sold ten copies. Dragged my deceased folks into the narrative, along with the ex-lovers, ex-pals, and thirty years of emotional baggage—emptied onto the page, every last drop. I’ll squeeze out all these never-was-sons-and-daughters and tell a tale for no one. Me? Ambitious? Bored.

Consumers read dystopias these days. I’ll offer this: 22.7 million teenagers experimenting with their sensitive parts watching adults perform with their genitalia. Their first sexual moment is alone and compassionless and digital. A white American boy aged fourteen witnessing his first female nipple download onto his computer via dial-up Internet. That was me. The Internet exchanged packets of information at a rate one-hundred times slower than my hand-pumping. These flaccid, thoughtless worms. Sensitive, veiny sacs. These words. Consume me.

The day I hit a marathon, I bragged for weeks. Twelve times. Spit-dry. I turned fifteen. The girl I had a crush on said, “I have a birthday present for you.” Mom and Dad were out. We kissed on their bed. I unclasped her bra one-handed. What a pro, I thought. My hand felt inside her panties for what I had no visual image of. Damp hair curled over my fingers. She winced. I pressed in with my thumb. “Ow.” “I’m sorry.” “It’s okay. Turn over.” I lay on my back and she removed my jeans. Then my boxers. She swallowed the shriveled thing, sucking. It burned. The marathon had rubbed off the skin along the top and bottom. Her teeth ran across the tip. “Ah, shit.” “Feels good, doesn’t it?” “Um. Yeah.” She giggled, sucking harder. Twelve times, I had bragged. Ambitious? Bored. The afternoons while dad took mom for her chemo visits left me alone at home. “Sure you don’t wanna come?” They asked. “Not really.” The books on their shelves smelled of dust and death, inherited from their parents. The computer hummed nicely. Women displayed themselves for me.

“Are you gonna cum?” My school crush asked, staring into my eyes, lips bright blood-red. “Warn me first. I don’t like swallowing.” What was her name? I almost said, “Stop. I’m bleeding.” But all my never-was-sons-and-daughters rushed out, swimming into her airway. She threw her head up, coughing. “Asshole!”

What was not consumed painted my shriveling organ. Red colored my skin. My school crush screamed and ran out the front door, out of the house as fast as Mom exited her body weeks later. Dad choked down every pill-and-alcohol combination until I celebrated college graduation at their grave plots. Another five years of lovers and friends running out until I sold the house. I saved the dusty books. A year and a-thousand-forty jack-off sessions later, Confessions of a Death-Obsessed Never-Was Poet was written. Sold ten copies. People say, “You wrote a novel? That’s pretty ambitious.”


Jared John Smith submitted his first query letter at the age of fifteen. He graduated from a university with an acronym entitling him to say, “I majored in English Literature.” He can be found diving into his journal just about anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Rabbit is his first published novel.

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Self-Love Slave by Negesti Kaudo


There is want in your fingers. When you slide your hand down your belly fat and let it slowly find its way between your legs, entering the sticky hotness that sits caught between the skin of your vagina and the cotton of your panties. Breath catches as you let your hand hover about your lips, the second pair, the ones that wet themselves too easily, the ones that thirst for skin to skin interaction; the ones that have had more action than the lips on your face.

Masturbation has never bothered you, not since high school when you were trying to figure out exactly what you’d done to yourself one night and proceeded to do every other until you stopped blacking out and were able to lie there in bed, aware of every cell in your body trembling, your heart trying not to explode. You needed to know more, so you lapped up knowledge of the female anatomy and the physiology of the orgasm, finding out that you could make yourself come without doing anything but thinking: no mess. Each day you read, learning how your body worked so you could go home and try it, indulging in adult fiction, erotic literature and pornography. You learned how to love yourself with two hands, and then one, before you began finding smooth household objects to feed into your vagina, but you weren’t satisfied – still hungry for more.

You watch your lover get off after refusing to do the same for him. He can’t see you weak. His hand pumps slowly as he listens to you talk about anything: how your day went, what you’ve read lately, the things you want to do with him. Even when you say you don’t want him to watch, he wants you to do it, so he can hear the sound, but you won’t give him the pleasure of watching your face morph from enjoyment to panic as the hungry part of you forces your fingers to keep moving, while the prude inside you wants to stop. You won’t let him watch you spasm from the power of your own hand, but he lets you watch his dick jump as he comes, he lets you see what you’ve done to him. Watching him turns you on for later, when you’re not on camera in front of him, but tucked underneath your sheets with your hand beneath your waistband. You’d rather wait until later instead of doing it together, not wanting to let him see you weak and powerless, coming to the sight of him, the sound of his voice, the bass in his words that manipulates your hand.


Seventeen years old on your love sofa and he’s got two fingers in your mouth and your sweatpants bunched around your ankles. No one has ever put their fingers inside of you and there is hesitance in both of you as one of his fingers strokes your clit and waits at the base of your lips to enter you. You are afraid he won’t be able to do it as well as you do, how could someone know you better than you know yourself? How could he curve his finger inside of you and know that pace doesn’t matter, but he needs to attend to your clit and your vagina to produce a full-blown orgasm? You wait. Can I, he asks and you stare at him biting his thick lips and suck a little harder on the fingers in your mouth, nodding. All it took was a nod and he pushes into you deep with a single finger and twirls it around, asking to add another one, and another and you say “sure” without thinking because you can feel yourself becoming a victim to pleasure, vulnerable and exposed, stretching to fit his three athletic fingers inside of you.

Tell me you like it and I’ll stop. You don’t and he doesn’t, but he takes his fingers from your mouth, slides them down your shirt and shifts his weight on top of you to kiss your neck, wiggling his fingers inside you. Tell me you like it. Tell me it doesn’t feel good. Your body squeezes his deep fingers and you envy that you can’t reach inside yourself that far, that it takes a man – a boy – so you bite against the moans trying to erupt from your throat. He can’t make you come – you won’t let him, gritting your teeth and telling him to get off of you. Pulling his fingers from you, he wipes your juices on the leg of your sweatpants and pulls up your panties and pants for you.

Neither of you talk about it. But at home, the next day, you writhe on the bathroom floor and moan his name as you climax, hoping the sound gets caught in the rush of water from the shower, breathing heavily on the cold tile as you wait for the quiver in your legs to settle.


A slave to your hand, that is what you are and as you get older, you don’t deny it. You’ve learned to come without having to touch yourself, just thinking about being touched, about warm breath on your shoulder. You can make yourself black out, sometimes pass out, spotting your vision as you force your hand to keep rubbing, keep touching, keep exploring after the orgasm. You want to see how much you can take before you scream or die.

Only you know what you want. So it seems natural, better even, when you find yourself arching your back and shaking all over to the combination of your thoughts and your fingers. When you’re getting off, you’re thinking of the things you wish you could tell men you wanted. You imagine yourself being dominated: blindfolded and bound, being told what you want, begging, and sometimes your fantasy slips away and you’re whimpering and begging into the air or the cotton of the pillowcase while you’re tugging on the sheets.

It makes you sick when you go too long without. Eight minutes, twenty minutes, an hour and a half – you never ask for too much. The only time when you’re powerless, when you lose control and let yourself cave into your fingers, into the want. You don’t tell anyone, you don’t even let your lovers watch. You’re afraid you’re a monster, an irrational but constant thought that other girls don’t do this. Other girls must not be lying in their beds becoming victims to their own libido and desires. It doesn’t stop you from doing it. You’ve done your research: masturbation is how girls find out who they are, how women quickly resolve bouts of loneliness – it’s one of the few healthy things you do obediently. Why would you stop? This is how you learned to love yourself, how you learned to feel ecstasy without drugs, without sex, but with only a few fingers.


Negesti Kaudo is twenty-one years old and a senior English/Creative Writing major. She’s found the best way to reflect on her cliche, movie-esque, Midwestern life is through writing (almost too honest) nonfiction.

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Spank Bank, by Mrs. Jones


For me, masturbation falls into the category of Daily Maintenance. No different than making school lunches, loading or unloading the dishwasher, going to the gym, walking the dog. A self-induced morning orgasm is a healthy way to start each day, but my kids are right down the hall and the sound of my vibrator draws them to my room same way live people or gunshots attract zombies in an apocalypse. So I do what I have to do to get it done. Here’s how it goes…

It’s the pre-dinner hour. A pot of chili on the stove (which has been made with blood, sweat, tears, and not very much patience on my behalf). I’m tense. It’s been one chore after another all

day. My children are jumping around the living room in their post-school mania. Picture a baker’s dozen—emotionally, that’s how many kids I have. Shoes, backpacks, school papers all over the floor. I’m back and forth cooking, setting the table, and acting as referee.

Once the chili is on simmer I carry a bundle of folded laundry toward the upstairs. This laundry comes from anywhere in any room. A counter, the coffee table, a basket. My carrying laundry is a signal to the children that there’s nothing remarkable going on at all. If they were to follow me they know I’d ask for their help and they don’t want that, so they stay manic in the living room while I go upstairs alone. I shut my bedroom door. It’s an old rickety house with doorknobs that hardly work so there’s no lock but I won’t be long so it doesn’t really matter. I balance the clothes on a dresser already heaped with clothes. I take my vibrator from the side drawer and get to it. I’m a ninja with a vibrator. Quick, stealthy up and down buzz over my clothes. Several reliable fantasies in my spank bank…

  • Renaissance girl fucked from behind against a bale of hay, tight corset tied in back, fistful of my hair in a man’s dirty calloused hand—whoever he is, he’s a hard worker, that guy.
  • The beautiful young black man from Costco, tall with the smarty-face glasses and the giant hands. He tells me they might have one more pallet of dog food in back. I follow him and of course he leans me up against the Kirkland toilet paper, wraps my legs around him, and fixes me good for the rest of the day. What a sport.
  • Island Goddess Gang Bang. Slick, fit natives gather around me. Cocks of every shape, size, and color. A bed of palms. They’re hybrid palms designed to feel like memory foam. Everyone watches, stroking themselves. It’s a combination Gang Bang slash Circle Jerk, but the thing that really gets me off is that I’m wearing the most exquisite shell jewelry ever. Not the chintz you’d see on a tourist boardwalk, but true shell art. It clicks when they fuck me.

If I really drag it out, it takes me three and a half minutes to climax. Always. Then I sit up, toss my vibrator back into the drawer, and head back downstairs to feed the gang. It’s just the boost I need to get me through the dinner and bedtime hours. Sometimes after they’re asleep, if I can get through cleaning the kitchen early enough, I’ll make myself come again just for kicks. By the way, I much prefer a live cock but in the absence of one I do what I do to keep my house running smoothly.


Mrs. Jones is a clean cut, all-American soccer mom known for her chili rellenos and impeccable driving record. She is originally from Anywhere, U.S.A.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The NAILED team meets several times a month for creative meetings. In addition to everything else, we discuss upcoming topics for the response column. I have enjoyed editing the response column but was not excited when we picked ‘Masturbation’ for January’s topic. It’s on my list of most hated words along with “peeps,” “buffet,” “smoothie” and “luncheon.” Words that shoot hate bumps over my skin.

But, I’m a try anything at least once type of person. I expected to receive a bunch of sophomoric anecdotes. I was wrong. Themes of frustration, loneliness, self-love, self-denial, death, ambition, and stories of divorce and even housework emerged. They were so funny and honest and brave. There is something about turning to the body to console one’s self that is so human and humbling. They inspired me to write my own response.

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The Same Moon, by Kirsten Larson


I got separated in 2005 and then divorced shortly thereafter. Even if a divorce is the right thing, it always feels bad. It’s an act of splitting, dividing assets, and then you are alone. Loss, loss, and loss.

Two years later I quit drinking, which felt like more loss for a little while.

Unanesthetized and alone, I decided to sell a few things to go wander Europe, where I’d gone many times with my husband. Only this time I was going to do what I wanted to do, mainly study art, admire architecture, and just explore.

You tend to isolate deep into yourself when you travel to a foreign country, cutoff from language and in unknown terrain. Maybe when you are alone and unmoored like that thoughts are distilled and clarified. I just know everything felt possible and new again.

The first day in Paris I was in my hotel room, alone and tired. There was a choice before me, either to get up and face my fears, or to go along with my trip as planned, but stay in and read books the entire time, which was the type of depressed behavior I sometimes did at home.

I considered what had made trips with my ex-husband so fun. For one thing, we’d always had good sex. It was like we were different people away from home. We stayed in nice places, even the Ritz in Paris once. The hotels I chose were clean, safe and near where I wanted to explore. Fancy is not important to me.

I made the decision to get up.

For two weeks I saw everything I wanted to see and more. I drank coffee in tiny cafés, I flirted, I swam in clear, out-of-the-way lakes, I ate whatever I wanted to eat: thick coffee with real cream, baguettes of crusty bread with cheese and pâté, and fresh fruit and tomatoes, gelato, pasta, and creamy yogurt. I spent whole days in museums, rode trains alone in the middle of the night. I walked until my body hurt just to find what I might.

I made love to myself as an exercise. And I thought of it like that—making love, rather than masturbate, because yuck, that word. To think of it like love took the furtive, guilty word association away. Exercise meant it was not a quick and somewhat shameful physical necessity.

Making love to myself, for me, was the start of love for myself.

Halfway through the trip I was at a diner on Lake Cuomo, in Italy, and I met three Americans: a man, “Jason,” traveling with his daughter and sister.

I’d been so isolated, using foreign language skills at the level of a two-year-old only to order food or ask directions, it was a pleasure to talk with them. Jason was very good-looking and charming, a bit younger than me. Some time after dinner the women excused themselves.

Jason and I ate another dessert and talked. We were definitely attracted to one another. He invited me to spend my last week travelling with them. It would not have been hard to arrange, I’d just have to cancel my next two hotel reservations.

This is where my brain went: I’d finally started to like myself, and look – a man! Fate. What a story we’d have to tell, blah, blah.

But I knew the notion of some gift from the universe in return for being healthy was just a fantasy. I’d had enough experience to know it doesn’t work that way; relationships are a lot of work after about a six-month honeymoon of hormones.

I walked back down the cobblestone pathway to my hotel, alone. Almost immediately I thought maybe I’d made a mistake, but I was clearheaded—the same old thing is not enough anymore.

I’d always felt alone, especially in both of my marriages. The truth was that I’d wasted so much time struggling with relationships, I wanted to do things differently—the drinking, all of it. I didn’t know what was going to happen but I knew what I didn’t want.

I went back to my hotel and sat on the veranda overlooking the lake. The moon was full and lit a white trail across the water. The Alps were on the other side. I could smell that clean metal lake smell and some night blooming flowers.

There were three couples at other tables, all drinking wine. I started to feel a little sorry for myself but made the decision to get over it. The same beautiful moon that existed for those couples also existed for me, alone. It felt like I held a box of jewels inside of myself that no one else needed to see.


 Kirsten Larson loves words and is very curious. She studies writing both at Antioch University, Los Angeles, as an MFA student, and in Tom Spanbauer’s Dangerous Writing community. She writes for The Huffington Post, is a contributing editor at NAILED Magazine. Her work can be found in NAILED, Huffington Post, Pathos, M Review, and several other places. She is writing a book.

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Header image courtesy of Brian McCarty. To view a feature of his photography, go here.

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Kirsten Larson

Kirsten Larson is a Contributing Editor at NAILED. She lives near Portland, Oregon. She loves words and is very curious. She received her MFA in writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She writes for The Huffington Post, and is an Adjunct Instructor at Portland State University. Her work can be found in NAILED, Huffington Post, Pathos, M Review, and several other places. She is currently working on two books.