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"I implore you. I implore all women everywhere on behalf of all men. Do not take the wrongness of masturbation from us!"
Steve, Coupling

Most people masturbate, although it's not something you'd bring up in polite conversation. However, it's given quite a different treatment in fiction. Unlike Nobody Poops or No Periods, Period (where the function is simply not mentioned because it would be Nausea Fuel), masturbation in fiction often fits into a few different categories:

Of course, there's a pretty valid reason why "normal" masturbation isn't depicted very often — it's actually quite a mundane and meaningless thing (see People Sit on Chairs). There aren't many ways that masturbation could advance the plot of a story, and because it's generally a solitary activity, there usually won't be any character interaction involved.

Also note that male masturbation is used far more often than female (except in porn, for the above-mentioned reasons)... though that's not to say that female masturbation isn't given any attention in fiction (the "Rumpelstiltskin" tale supposedly had the original message, "women who masturbate become infertile"). In older media, expect references to hairy palms and/or blindness, two widespread myths used to keep boys from masturbating.


No relation to Red Right Hand.

A Super-Trope to:

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • In the Aliens vs. Predator comic book, a Marine left to guard the base is told there's some petroleum jelly in the supplies "in case he gets lonely".
  • Deadpool: One story ended with him having to honor an old bet he made with a classmate when he was younger. He had to give him a set of porn magazines. Wade apologized for some of the sticky pages and said they had "extra love".
  • Empowered: The title character does this a lot, as does her best friend Ninjette. In Emp's case, it's because her super-suit massively enhances sensation and increases libido; she mentions that she never even bothers with "Mr. Shower Head" since she got it.
  • One Garfield strip gave us "Jon's Scariest Dates", with one of them being a sockpuppet. With lipstick. Eeeewwww... Notably, this one actually was removed from the strip when it reappeared in Garfield's Guide to Everything — apparently they could only slip that one past once.
  • Horndog: Issue 3 has a strip that reveals that Bob has the ability to perform oral sex on himself.
  • Happens three times in The Internship where all three main leads end up doing it once.
  • Discussed in Level Up. When Dennis is in the bathroom trying to poop for a lab assignment (as he's studying to become a doctor), the angels have no idea what he's doing and one of them comments, "Perhaps it's time we discussed how to properly manage a young man's...needs."
  • Lost Girls:
    • Dorothy masturbates for the first time while a tornado is passing through her farm and dangerously close to her house. According to her, she didn't know what she was doing, but thought she was going to die, so why not?
    • Alice masturbates in her hotel room before having a conversation with her mirror.
    • In Wendy's flashback, Peter Pan masturbates as he watched her initiate The Lost Boys in sex. She later confessed to masturbating four times later that night before going to sleep.
    • "The Captain" masturbates while watching Peter and Wendy have sex, spreading semen all over her back.
    • During Alice's boarding school days, she would share a bath with her netball team captain and play with herself while soaking the other girl's back.
    • On the island, Wendy takes opium and masturbates while Alice and Dorothy play sex games.
    • While her husband talks about the situation with Germany, Wendy masturbates to his erotica, later pleasuring herself with a banana.
  • Plutona makes much of Teddy's unfortunate choice to masturbate in the school bathroom. He was inevitably caught.
  • During Neil Gaiman's run on The Sandman in the early '90s, he was explicitly told by the editors that nobody masturbates in the DC Comics universe. In Gaiman's own words, "actually, that explains a lot. That’s probably why the characters all dress in tight costumes and go around thumping the shit out of each other."
  • The plot of the porn comic Small Favors opens with lesbian Annie being informed by an aspect of herself that she's exhausted her lifetime allotment of masturbation time. The photographic evidence supplied is a stack of photographs at least a foot tall... all of her masturbating at different times, all taken on the same day.
  • Transmetropolitan: My name is Spider Jerusalem... I masturbate constantly and fling my steaming poison semen out the window onto your hair and food.
  • In "Werner fährt nach Kiel" in the German comic book Werner — Oder was?, the engine of the eponymous character's car explodes while he is on his way to Kiel. Fortunately, he has got one of those German automobile do-it-yourself automobile repair books whose title translates to "Now I help myself". Unfortunately, however, the only solution presented in the book is, "JERK OFF! Have fun!"
  • Y: The Last Man: Mentioned several times, seeing as virtually the entire male population has died. One woman casually mentions the difficulty of finding replacement AA batteries for vibrators, and titular last man Yorick tells of one extensive 'session' where the government installed open-air showers outside a hotel he was staying in.

    Films — Animated 
  • Shrek: Lord Farquaad is lying in bed ordering a disgusted Magic Mirror to show him the princess... again! Farquaad peeks under the covers as though confirming some pleasant surprise. The scene seems intended to make him more creepy and villainous.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Bible: An older name for masturbation, "onanism", comes from a misinterpretation of a passage in the Hebrew/Christian book of Genesis, thus making the trope Older Than Dirt. The actual event mentioned was Onan having sex with his late brother's wife (this was practiced to keep the dead person's line from dying out). Not wanting to sire a child that would not have been considered his, he "spilled his seed" (pulled out before climax) on the ground instead, and was stricken for his disrespect.
  • In Egyptian Mythology, this was how the world was created in one story, by the god Atum masturbating the universe into existence. It's even squickier in the R-Rated version of the myth, where Atum actually ejaculates into his mouth, whereupon he spits out his children Shu and Tefnut. No joke, Egyptian theologians debated for centuries whether the world's first female was Atum's hand or his mouth.
  • Classical Mythology: Hermes who, according to Diogenes, taught his son Pan how to do this while the latter was pining for the nymph Echo, to relieve his suffering (which must have been an awkward conversation). Pan, in turn, taught the habit to the shepherds. It gives "tending the flocks" a whole new meaning.

    Professional Wrestling 


    Tabletop Games 
  • Regent Fokuf in Exalted is regarded as a completely boneheaded puppet leader for the Realm for two reasons. One is that he rubber stamps anything that comes past his desk without a care for the contents. The other is that he spends the rest of the day getting off on the saucier passages in the Realm's religious documents.

  • Avenue Q: Just grab your dick and double-click for porn, porn, porn!
  • Be More Chill starts out with Jeremy (a single teenage boy) trying to get off quickly before school. He doesn't succeed. Jeremy doesn't seem too proud of it ("If I continue at this rate, the only thing I'll ever date / is my Macbook Pro hard drive!") and when he gets his hands on a Squip, one of the first things it does is tell him to stop masturbating.
  • Me and My Dick: Unsurprisingly has this as it's about sexual organs. Joey and Dick try to masturbate in the opening scene even! Later Vanessa and Flopsy imply they're about to.
  • RENT: Mucho masturbation!
  • In the musical Spring Awakening, it's mostly played for laughs when Hanschen is masturbating to a postcard of a girl, but he is also sexually disturbed as he dreams of raping her.

    Video Games 
  • When ordering a Riflemen squad to move something in Company of Heroes, the unit leader may reply to your order with: "Drop your dicks and move out!"
  • Crush Crush: during Peanut’s phone fling, she says that if three people having sex is a threesome, then she can be handsome. She then adds that the joke works better when her guy friends tell it.
  • Disgaea 2:
    • Tink mentions that old habits (taking long showers) die hard, even though he is a frog.
    • Lovely Rod: Makes a nice present for your girlfriend.
  • Don't Wet Your Pants: If you type in "fap", the game tells you that now is not the time for that.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, Oghren remarks that he deals with "tension" by "polishing his sword" and asks Alistair if he does the same; when Alistair reacts with shocked embarrassment ("I think that's private!" and "You do it in the open, where other people can see you? That's disgusting!") Oghren pretends to have meant the comment innocently. Considering he has a similar conversation with Wynn about Alistair 'twirling his pike' (it turns out he was being serious), it's possible he actually wasn't making any implications.
    • In Dragon Age II, Isabela notes that since she's usually the only female on her ship and doesn't typically let her crewmen touch her, she makes sure they get plenty of "alone time." If Hawke's sister Bethany is taken to the circle Isabela makes sure to send her plenty of erotic books to "help her through the nights".
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has several joke mods which turn The Lusty Argonian Maid books into skill books for the One-Handed skill (the text consists in a theater play made of sexual Double Entendre).
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a gag where Maccer, one of the Brit junkies, starts "having an appointment with Dr. Hans Jerkov" in Madd Dogg's studio. It's a sort of running gag—the guy is apparently addicted to it.
    • In Grand Theft Auto V, one of the character switch scenes for Trevor sees him aggressively jerking off over the toilet in his trailer and wiping his hand on the wall after he finishes. It's also possible to walk in on Amanda using a vibrating dildo on herself in her and Michael's bedroom.
  • Half-Life: One of the rewards offered to Combine grunts appears to be some sort of 'alone time' - especially useful given the suppression field preventing natural sex.
    Radio operator: Reminder: 100 sterilize credits qualifies non-mechanical reproduction simulation.
  • When Jak is challenged to beat a score in Jak 3: Wastelander, Daxter's reply is that Jak "beats" things all the time.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect:
      • There is a very subtle mention of this if a male Shepard decides to rebuff Ashley's advances toward the end of the game. She shrugs and says she'll head back to her own bunk to "find my own entertainment".
      • A specific dialog choice when asking Kaidan about his past will have Shepherd indirectly, but pretty obviously, ask if he and the other teenagers in biotics training coped with boredom, loneliness, and home-sickness with mutual masturbation; Alenko replies that it's not the sort of thing he does "lightly". That is a possible interpretation, though Occam's Razor would suggest Shepard thought they were hooking up and having rather than engaging in mutual masturbation...
    • Mass Effect 2:
      • There's a quarian on Ilium who mentions that she's had a neural stimulator (which "every responsible adult has") installed on her suit, capping off a background conversation about her breaking it off with her human boyfriend. Her turian friend (and probably the player) goes "what" at this knowledge. Sadly, it's only then that they notice that you're listening in...
        Quarian: Ugh, excuse me human, private conversation?
      • Tali's dossier in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC hints very strongly at this — along with her lingering crush on Shepard. All but confirmed in Mass Effect 3.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
    • In an optional (and hysterical) scene, Snake can call Otacon on his CODEC while playing... with his "Solid Snake" during the Tanker Mission. Snake's response removes all doubt.
      Snake: You were watching?!
    • Raiden can be indirectly accused of doing this later.
  • Leisure Suit Larry:
  • In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, pay attention to Travis after Henry wakes up from his dream fight with Mimmy. He's sitting in his chair jerking off, and freaks when Henry wakes up. It gets even funnier when you hear the Bizarre Jelly theme in the background.
  • Phantom Doctrine: One of the agent code names that you find when reviewing captured intel is "snake choker." This takes on an extra meaning if the player is familiar with the euphemism "the one-eyed trouser snake."
  • In Team Fortress 2, the Scout (a young 20-something) has a throwable weapon called the Mad Milk, a jar of what is described in-game as a "non-milk substance". If that isn't enough of a clue, characters that get hit by Mad Milk give the same responses as when they're hit by Jarate.

    Visual Novels 
  • Chop Chop Fruit salad Mystery Jam DokiDoki Dating Sim THingy: Apple can walk in on Banana masturbating in the school bathroom. Given the protagonists are sentient fruit without hands, it's anybody's guess how this works. It ends with Banana squirting fruit juice (which bananas can't actually squirt).
  • Danganronpa:
    • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, there are at least two occasions where Sonia is heavily implied to have masturbated. She refers to it as something dirty, and her country mustn't know about it or else she can't become the queen anymore.
    • Miu in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony jokes about this several times, insinuating that most of the boys are having "tug sessions" when nobody is looking, and even encourages this, giving Shuichi Saihara a box of fap material (of which two of the contents feature herself). She herself is also very open about when she does this.
  • Daughter for Dessert:
    • The protagonist has a moment near the beginning where he needs release (either from nudes of Kathy, or from “normal porn”).
    • Amanda has a scene where the protagonist can find her masturbating in her bedroom.
  • In Double Homework, the protagonist and Johanna each have these moments. They actually have a conversation in which Johanna admits to scheduling her “self-love sessions.”
  • Doki Doki Literature Club! has Yuri — whose obsession with the player has been cranked up to 11 by Monika at this point — admitting in a crazed state that she masturbates to both the player's poems and with the pen she stole from him. It's also suggested she cuts herself to add to her sexual stimulation.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • One of the side effects of Zouken's magical parasite worms on Sakura is increased sexual frustration, which she tries to cope with through masturbation. It doesn't work, but she moves on to Shirou soon enough.
    • Another is Shirou's erotic dream about Tohsaka in the same route. It's implied that this is something related to Rider and Sakura when we see Tohsaka's eyes, as they are the same as Rider's real ones. Also, he awakens with the same drained feeling as when Sakura has been leeching his magical energy. However, it's merely played as something to embarrass Shirou and never comes up again after talking to Tohsaka the next day.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: Mostly used for comedy, but in general the novel doesn't really skirt around the fact that its female cast masturbates. At one point Amane sneaks into protagonist Yuuji's room trying to surprise him, when she doesn't find him, thinking he won't be back for some time, she starts to get it on in his bed, much to the annoyance of the meanwhile arrived Yuuji. In one route the girls actually discuss using Yuuji as masturbation material.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Lilly does this while Hisao is blindfolded in their third h-scene.
  • A bunch of examples in Melody:
    • Melody is often seen masturbating in the early chapters to deal with her frustration.
    • Amy and Becca are seen doing the same in other scenes.
    • Mentioned, but not shown, with MC.
  • Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito has one of the only scenes where this isn't played for squick, comedy, or both. Hazuki gets herself off twice thinking of her best friend/adoptive older sister Hatsumi, with whom she is madly in love with. The second time is more subtle, but she does it on Hatsumi's bed...

    Web Animation 
  • In the Matt 'n' Dusty episode "We Are Legend", Dusty has to choose between pleasuring himself in an airport restroom or spending time with Matt (literally the last living thing on Earth). He ends up dragging the whole airport restroom down to the lobby.
  • The Spanish Super Hero spoof Cálico Electrónico has a Running Gag about every time Ms. Fanservice character "La Ladrona" appears, the title character goes to the bathroom, where some... particular sounds... are covered by Calico singing (badly) opening themes of several old cartoons, the one from the Spanish dub of Captain Tsubasa being the most favored.
  • The Flash series Pulp Phantom has the "Vincent and Mia" scene, but with Darth Maul and Queen Amidala instead. Maul is taking his time in the bathroom and talks into the mirror:
    Maul: You're going to say "good night" and walk out the door. Door leads to ship, ship leads to home, home leads to jerking off... [grins] Jerking off leads to the Dark Side.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • When Tex returns as a ghost and mentions that she's been watching the Blue team, Tucker awkwardly asks if she had been watching all the time, while nervously glancing at a rock with the words: "Tucker's rock! Keep out!" painted on. Tex then says he ought to be ashamed of himself.
    • In Recreation, this exchange occurs during an argument:
      Grif: You fucked a rock!
      Tucker: Your sister's name is "a rock"?
    • With the Gender Bender episode in Season 14, the female Red Team mentions how their base has a shower head with multiple pulse settings. With the way Fem!Sarge talks about it, it's easy to see why they're so excited about it.
  • From The Professor Brothers song about JFK:
    And if he shook your hand, you'd make love with it for hours.
  • Frollo Masturbate to a firefighter calendar in the first episode The Frollo Show to put off a fire in his house. This episode is appropriatly named Frollo Faps to a Firefighter's Calendar.

  • In Questionable Content, after a date in which everything went wrong, Steve gets off in Marten's bathroom.
    • Then there's the one where Faye's new shrink suggests it as an outlet for sexual frustration. It's no longer doing the job for Faye.
    • There's also a full story arc about Dora helping Faye to tame her libido.
    • Marten at one point tells a story from his adolescence when his mother (a fetish model/dominatrix) cheerily informed him she'd put a bottle of lotion under the sink in his bathroom. When he asked her why, she told him he'd figure it out.
  • Honeybee Samuel's curse afflicting Candi in the Ciem Webcomic Series makes it so that masturbation is the only thing (never explicitly mentioned in the comics) that keeps Candi sane when she begins having Erotic Dreams about Denny. When she decides she doesn't like resorting to that, especially after she gets Donte back, she has actual sex with him regularly to avoid the need. The books intend to give a little more mention to her issue.
  • Several characters in Ménage à 3.
    • Unbeknownst to him, Gary's activity is used as "background music" for Matt and Dillon's lovemaking.
    • Zii, watching all-male pornography while calling DiDi's name. She does not notice the contradiction there.
  • There's a weird example (which isn't actually masturbation) in El Goonish Shive. Elliot completely fails at fantasizing about women, which his girlfriend Sarah and her friend Susan discuss at length. Susan thinks he should be praised for his restraint, while Sarah thinks it isn't healthy.
    Sarah: Don't you remember what it's like being a teenage boy?
    Susan: I try not to.
  • In Jet Dream, while Marlene claims a lack of interest in romance of any sort after her sex change, she also makes several veiled references to using "the science of vibration" or her "Jet Dream Vibrostick" to deal with her new feminine urges.
  • The webcomic Sexy Losers had an entire storyline, "Mike's Left Hand", where the title character was a shameless, guiltless chronic masturbator. He even wrote books and taught classes on how to masturbate. His sister was later shown to be exactly the same way. Mike's roommate, unable to avoid him, steadily went insane (though he eventually recovered).
  • The Non-Adventures of Wonderella:
    • Wonderella shows here that she'd rather play "Hello Kitty The Home Game if you know what I mean" than save the city from monsters and stuff.
    • And there's "Lil' Pinky" the robot spy. The places he has been... the wonders he has seen...
  • In Sabrina Online, the title character gets walked in on by her roommate during a "hands-on" cybersex session with her (as yet unseen) online boyfriend, "RC". (Whom Amy dubs "Sticky Fingers").
  • In Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, due to the Attractive Bent-Gender of Yuuki to himself who turned into a girl, (s)he finds himself getting heated up by his own reflection in the bathroom mirror. After a brief self-Squick over this, he decides that a quick "hand-check" couldn't hurt. It swiftly turns not-so-quick.
    Caption: An Hour Later.
    Hermod: Yuuki! I'm hungry. Where's the food?
    Yuuki (off-screen): *PANT* D-Down *PANT* The hall, in the... Ki-Kitch... OHHHHHH YESSS!!
    Hermod (walking away): Not going near there for the rest of the night...
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Belkar recommend to a half-naked implied sex partner that, while he finished his sandwich(es), she should start a "solo adventure" until he could join the quest. This did not go over entirely well with the entire audience, or the presumed audience.
    • Belkar also made an onanistic reference when one of his party-mates was turned into a female by a cursed belt. Upon seeing that character restored to his proper form, he asked where the hot chick had gone off to; when told that 'she would never be coming back,' he responded with "that's okay, I can always preserve the memory of her for when I'm... alone." Of course, he's merely trying to Squick out Roy, who he knows was the girl during a moment of Gender Bender.
    • Therkla tells Elan that he's "Grade-A, lock-the-bathroom-door, 'No, Ma, I'm just taking a long shower,' fantasy material."
    • Eugene Greenhilt doesn't miss an opportunity to show off his (utterly lack off) tact during a ghostly visit to Roy, while the latter is trying to awake the powers of his magic sword:
      Eugene: You know, last time I interrupted you sitting alone in the dark trying to figure out how your sword works... your mother made me install a lock on bathroom door the next day.
  • The Lyrical Nanoha Fan Webcomic by Entropy Max, has another Gender Bendered example having a more intimate encounter with his new body in Yuuno. In his case, he was discovered in the act by Admiral Leti... who proceeded to give him tips on how to masturbate as a female.
  • Khaos Komix:
    • Quickly mentioned with Amber and her Homoerotic Dream of Nay, more relevant to the plot is Alex's habit; he borderlines asexuality, except for his masturbation habit, which apparently takes precious time he could use playing videogames. And then he meets Tom.
    • Jamie also has a scene of this nature about Charlie that's much more disturbing than sexy because of his massive guilt/sexuality issues.
  • Something*Positive: One of Davan's previous girlfriends nearly broke up with him because she was disturbed that he masturbated. They compromised; he could still masturbate, but only if she was doing all the work.
  • Girls with Slingshots:
    • It does this a lot with Hazel during the early part of the strip, emphasizing the fact that she hasn't had sex for a while.
    • It also has a very open view on masturbation and treats it as normal behaviour. Several strips revolve around the female characters buying or using vibrators.
  • In Dear Children, this is presumably why Devin keeps inserting his penis into inappropriate objects, resulting in his half-sister Emma having to help him get loose. If he and Emma are telling the truth about this, that is.
  • In Fairest Cruelest Princess Delilah has this while fantasizing about Stealing The Queen for herself
  • Living With Hipster Girl And Gamer Girl: In this strip, Artur effortlessly lifts a gigantic weight from on top of a man. When the man asks him how he has so much strength in that arm, Artur immediately introduces him to Sophie, emphasizing that they’re just roommates.
  • Leftover Soup: During a road trip gone awry, Ellen and Jamie have an intense conversation about the hot sex they could hypothetically have. (Hypothetically because a condition of Jamie's moving into Ellen's spare room was, in her words, “as far as you are concerned, I am a nun. An unattractive nun.”) When they get home, Jamie urges Ellen to take a shower while he takes a nap, by which he means they should each rub one out before addressing the fallout of that conversation. But it is not to be.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • In one of B. Dylan Hollis' cooking videos, a recipe called for a mixture to be stirred continuously.
    If your hand gets tired, just keep going. I'm single, so I'm used to it.
  • To quote the Brandon Rogers "Angry Office" sketch:
    "The lotion is for your hands and face, alright? I can hear it from my office."
  • In Look a Vlog, Will is dragged out of the bathroom by Emily. When she asks what he was doing, he says, "Masturbating." Then goes back in.
  • Beautiful Agony: It's full of this trope. Only, like, two or three of the video clips on that site show sexual intercourse. And even then they don't really show it since all the videos are only from the neck up. The most you'd see of a second person would be mad snogging.
  • The Onion News Network: "Americans Observing 9/11 By Trying Not to Masturbate"
  • Buzzfeed once did a video on the things girls do when they're home alone, which showed all sorts of funny/random/gross things someone might do without anyone else around. Later they made a follow-up video "What Guys Do When They're Home Alone", and let's just say it was a lot shorter.
  • I Dream To Cream, a parody of the song I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables. The song is Jean Valjean's lamentation that this is what he must resort to when his date doesn't end well.

(Opening door) Oops! Sorry! When you said you were going on the computer for a while, I just assumed you'd be on TV Tropes!-


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Masturbation, Touching Yourself, Ill Be In The Basement, Onanism


Mary Shelley's Frankenhole

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / ADateWithRosiePalms

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