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Masturbation Means Sexual Frustration

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"I masturbated once a week for medical purposes. I knew it wasn't good to let things build up."

Sexual frustration is something that can drive or motivate a character in a number of ways, but it's something difficult for a writer to properly illustrate. One of the most popular ways of doing it is to show a character masturbating.

In Real Life, masturbation is seen as a normal thing that all kinds of people do, even ones that are in happy relationships, if private. But due to The Law of Conservation of Detail, writers won't just add random masturbation scenes, if not to denote something. In fictionland, a character masturbating is done to illustrate that they're sexually frustrated, unfulfilled, or repressed. A character who is Happily Married or in an otherwise fulfilling relationship will never be shown doing it since masturbation is seen as a shameful last resort for someone who can't get laid.

The type of characters this can happen to and how they're framed can vary.

For characters like the Hormone-Addled Teenager, a Lovable Sex Maniac, or have an Extreme Libido, they masturbate to deal with their extreme horniness, which is usually either played for crude humor or to denote them as a Loser Archetype. A sexually repressed character who thinks Sex Is Evil, and I Am Horny may masturbate in secret while hating themselves. A Stalker with a Crush will be portrayed as creepy if they are shown masturbating to their Lust Object while watching them in secret or with the items that they stole from them.

But this can also be framed in a sympathetic or even melancholy manner. It can also happen to characters who Can't Have Sex, Ever, are confused or in denial about their sexuality, are lusting over someone they can't have or has passed away, or even someone who Really Gets Around but is facing a dry spell. In single-sex settings such as a prison, boarding school, or military vessel, if the character is uninterested in a same-sex encounter, they’re portrayed as masturbating constantly to deal with the loneliness. Sometimes a character may actually have sex, but their partner is such a lousy lover that they're forced to take matters into their own hands to achieve orgasm.

Sometimes a character will masturbate to invoke a form of Situational Sociability: Masturbating just before an event where they'll interact with someone that they have an Inconvenient Attraction to, so it can lower their libido, they'll be more relaxed and clear-headed, and be less likely to make an unfortunate choice or embarrassing blunder due to their attraction. This may help a character who is a Shrinking Violet or Cannot Talk to Women to be able to talk to the object of their affection without it being a Gibberish of Love. Alternatively, they might relieve themselves before meeting the one they're attracted to to avoid experiencing a premature orgasm.

A common form of Self-Deprecation involves a self-aware character alluding to their hand being their lover. This can also happen to anyone experiencing or immediately waking up from an Erotic Dream, with the frustration usually stemming from not having finished the dream in question, or alternatively the one dreaming wanting more out of it.

See G-Rated Sex for masturbation depicted in a non-graphic manner. See Fetishes Are Weird for when a character having a specific fetish is used to make them seem weird or creepy. See I'll Be in My Bunk for when a character alludes to going to masturbate. Man, I Feel Like a Woman if the character has changed genders and "experiments" by masturbating. See Self-Abuse for portrayals of masturbation as unhealthy. See Sex for Solace for when a character has sex to deal with other forms of despair. See You Need to Get Laid for when masturbating or sex is suggested to an uptight character as a diss.

This can be Truth in Television, so No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Momoha is the first girlfriend to straight up ask Rentarou to have sex with her, and she mentions that while she's currently a virgin, she has plenty of "solo experience". Meanwhile, Hakari is one of the more lustful girls in the harem, but she's also a virgin, though her skill at handling a game controller is attributed to "Mwehehe practice".
  • Ayakashi Triangle: When Suzu forms her first omokage from feeling she has no chance of actually dating Matsuri, the framing and position of her hands subtly imply she fell asleep touching herself. Later scenes get progressively more blatant, to the point of showing Suzu in the shower, her hands off screen while she calls out Matsuri's name in ecstasy.
  • Berserk: Farnesse is a sexually repressed Rebellious Princess with pyrophiliac tendencies, tending to get turned on by people being burned alive, which she deals with by masturbating in secret. This gets toned down as she undergoes Character Development.
  • B Gata H Kei: Since the series is a ecchi Romantic Comedy whose main characters qualify as Hormone-Addled Teenager, masturbation comes up often (more so in the manga) and is the primary method in which the leads Yamada and Kosuda deal with their Unresolved Sexual Tension, which leads to a Running Gag that has the fourth panel featuring both Yamada and Kosuda simultaneously retreating to masturbate. Yamada states that there are two types of masturbation: the "good" kind (doing it to relieve frustration) and the "bad" kind (doing it out of boredom). She is then shown making a tally of the dozens of times she's done the "bad" kind in the last few weeks.
  • Booty Royale: Never Go Down Without a Fight!: Early in the series, Misora has a one-night stand go awry because her would-be partner took a pause to snort some cocaine, ruining it for her. The end of the chapter has her furiously jilling off before she can get to sleep. (While plenty of other masturbation scenes happen in the series, this is the only one motivated by frustration.)
  • Code Geass: Nina Einstein has a huge obsessive crush on Princess Euphemia li Britannia, who saved her from the Japanese rebels. At one point, she's nearly caught masturbating on the table while looking at the photos of the princess but lucky for her, the person who strolls in is Nunnally who is blind.
  • Domestic Girlfriend:
    • Natsuo accidentally sees Hina masturbating while muttering the name of her ex-lover Shuu, showing she's still pining for him, much to Natsuo's distress.
    • Momo innocently reveals that she "does it" almost every night, to further denote her eccentric sex-obsessed personality.
    • Natsuo's two friends, while showing Rui around the various sports clubs, absentmindedly mutter to themselves, "I'll definitely fap to club activities (specifically, the sweaty girls doing sports) tonight." Cue the shocked look on Rui and Natsuo's faces.
    • After Serizawa is told she's not seductive, she becomes depressed and frustrated. She deals with it by masturbating while watching romantic movies.
  • My Dress-Up Darling: Gojo is in a constant state of sexual frustration due to Kitagawa being a Shameless Fanservice Girl who doesn't mind being seen by him in states of undress. It's often implied he resorts to masturbation to deal with the pent-up frustration of their Unresolved Sexual Tension.
    • In Chapter 5 / Episode 3, after Gojo suddenly wakes up from having an Erotic Dream of Kitagawa in her Shizuku-tan cosplay. When he looks under his sheets, he's clearly aroused and asks his beloved hina doll head if she could "turn around" while he takes care of it. Shortly after when he's at school, he wonders how he can possibly face Kitagawa.
    • In Chapter 24 / Episode 9, Kitagawa sends him a photo of herself in a swimsuit to ask for his opinion on it, which gets left as "read" on the messaging app. The next day, when she asks why he never replied to her, Gojo muses, "A lot happened after seeing that photo." The anime makes this more obvious by having him look toward a box of tissues in the foreground when he states this.
    • Chapter 36 / Episode 11 is far more explicit, after a series of awkward moments while doing a cosplay shoot at a Love Hotel while Kitagawa wore a Stripperiffic succubus costume, the final panel of the chapter is a bust shot of Gojo as he's very clearly in the middle of masturbating to thoughts of Kitagawa, indicated by him saying her name while one of his hands being off-panel with motion lines by the associated shoulder. The chapter even ends with the cheeky narration "The lingering memories were amazing". The anime downplays the implications by having Gojo's shoulder remain static during this scene.
  • Franken Fran has a Black Comedy example. When beautiful young policewoman Kuhou visits a death row inmate in the hospital after a failed attempt to execute him, he's so attracted to her that he promptly masturbates on the spot, within full view of everyone present, and even ejaculates on her. Then he says he's good for one more, which sends Kuhou running away screaming.
  • Full Metal Panic!: While the Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu anime only hints towards Tessa having an Erotic Dream after sneaking into Sousuke's bed, the Sigma manga goes a step further by having Tessa slide a hand between her legs and start rubbing herself during said Erotic Dream.
    Sousuke: ...I don't want to sleep under the same roof as the Captain anymore.
  • Both husband Makoto and wife Yura are shown to masturbate to deal with their pent-up libidos in Futari Ecchi. Makoto does it out of frustration at not having been able to have sex with Yura for several days. Yura does it on her sister's advice to teach herself "what feels good", complete with a survey and pie chart of how women feel afterward.
  • In Gankutsuou, Héloise is shown masturbating while thinking about the Count and the poison ring he gave her.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: Nanako finds a lot of objects in Onizuka's apartment that show he masturbates frequently, even using an instant noodle cup. Fuyutsuki and others even stumble on Onizuka masturbating while watching a porn movie, and he tries his best to tell them it's Not What It Looks Like. He hasn't changed much since he was a hormone-driven teenager.
  • Despite Hajime of I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying being Happily Married and having a fulfilling sex life with his wife Kaoru, there's one time he's resorted to this. In S1E12, Kaoru has to go to bed early because she has to work the following day. Hajime then goes into a Corner of Woe and reaches for a box of tissues, implying he feels blueballed and needs to masturbate off his frustration. What's worse, earlier that episode their married friends indicated they are intending to have sex that night, owing to Japanese usually treat Christmas as a date night.
  • Kokoro Connect: Played for Laughs in episode 4, where two of the Hormone-Addled Teenager characters, Taichi and Inaba, reveal to each other that they've masturbated while thinking of classmates before, including each other. Inaba thinks it's funny, but Taichi finds the whole ordeal embarrassing.
  • Love Hina: Shortly after Kitsune allows Keitaro to grope her in exchange for a month's rent, Naru catches him in his boxers with a box of tissues next to him. Not too difficult to guess what he was about to do.
  • Maken-ki!: Usui is sexually frustrated because his lust for Himegami is unrequited. The 61.5 and 66.5 omakes both lampshade the issue by showing him having two separate wet dreams about her. Both of which, end with Usui dry humping his mattress in his sleep.
  • At the beginning of Midori Days, Seiji bemoans that becoming a chronic masturbator is his fate, as his badass Delinquent status actually seems to make it harder to get a girlfriend. He specifically says being stuck "with his right hand for a girlfriend", then it happens literally. Ironically, having Midori on his hand effectively prevents him from masturbating, and she even throws out all his porn to prevent it. A few chapters are dedicated to Seiji attempting to relieve the built-up pressure using his left hand, but Failure Is the Only Option.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion opens with Shinji in a suicidal state after the events of the previous few episodes. When he tries to wake Asuka up from her coma in the hospital, he accidentally exposes her breasts. Torn between his attraction to her and his stress from fighting the angels, he instinctively masturbates to the sight, complete with a close-up of his semen-covered palm. Afterwards, he immediately feels as revolted as the audience is. What Shinji then says in the ADV dub sums up his actions best.
  • Osomatsu-san: While all of the Matsuno brothers are shown to be sexually frustrated to varying degrees (and they each have their own hidden Porn Stash), Choromatsu is the one who gets hit with this trope the most due to being more of a Covert Pervert. Osomatsu claims he actually spends his time masturbating when he's supposedly looking for employment, which Choromatsu himself confirms in "Accident?". When Osomatsu catches him in the act using one of his own porn mags, it earns Choromatsu the nickname "Fappymatsu" (which comes up more than once in later episodes) and when forced to draw his face from memory, Osomatsu simply draws the outline of a head and writes "Fappy" over it.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt:
  • In one episode of Parasyte, while screening people for parasites, Uragami gets turned on by an attractive woman brought in front of him and starts masturbating to her. This freaks the woman out and leads her to believe he has a parasite.
  • Rent-A-Girlfriend: Kazuya is shown to be a chronic masturbator since he is a virgin who is constantly sexually frustrated, to the point that his Establishing Character Moment in Chapter 1 has him sadly masturbating in his bedroom while fantasizing about his ex-girlfriend Mami having sex with an imaginary new boyfriend. After he starts renting Chizuru, she becomes the Lust Object he masturbates to, and even more often since she's also his neighbor, and he tends to get horny even from everyday things like hearing her taking a shower.
  • Semelparous: Kitamura has a serious crush on Yorino and is shown masturbating to a fantasy of her in a couple of chapters. Kitamura's crush is completely one-sided: Yorino is one half of the Official Couple with her fighting partner Youko.
  • Serial Experiments Lain: Alice has a Precocious Crush on her teacher, which she deals with by masturbating in secret. Unfortunately for her Evil Lain catches her doing it and spreads it all over school, which causes Lain's friendship with Alice to break down.
  • One very disturbed individual in Shigurui (that is, more disturbed than all the other batshit characters) performed auto-fellatio while thinking about the dead young man he was out to avenge.
  • Shimoneta: The sexually repressed Anna does it right in front of her Lust Object Tanukichi and Ayame during episode 5. She gets so ecstatic from watching Tanukichi eat her cookies that she starts grinding the edge of the table in the student council's conference room.
  • Tales of Wedding Rings: Sato is married to five different beautiful women who are ready and willing to have sex with him, which will grant him incredible power. He has moral objections to the whole arrangement, so he is very hesitant to cross that line. It's implied more than once that he's keeping himself in check with masturbation.
    Saphir: [thinking] Looks like he got a load off...
  • Ax-Crazy Sako of Upotte!! gets far too turned on by the heat of battle in episode 5 and fondles her magic spot out of pleasure behind a tree. Moments later, she masturbates, with the stuff visibly dripping off her hand — er, if anthropomorphized assault rifles actually can do that sort of thing.
  • Wandering Son:
    • One chapter has Hormone-Addled Teenager Nitori masturbating when his girlfriend Anna calls her. It's as awkward as it sounds but Anna doesn't notice.
    • In the flashbacks where Yuki describes her past it's implied twice that she was masturbating to thoughts of Shiina.
  • Welcome to the NHK: The protagonist Satou is an anxiety-ridden Hikikomori who's often sexually frustrated due to his anti-social tendencies, which he deals with via constant masturbation. He is shown to reach for a tissue every now and then, and after discovering that there's lolicon on the internet, he is shown surrounded by empty tissue boxes. In the manga, this goes further — his porn obsession eventually leads him to build a massive customized rig just for pornography, complete with a cavernous hard drive, several monitors, high-fidelity headphones, and a leather massage chair. In his parents' spare bedroom.
  • Konuma Ryuuko of Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest is a nymphomaniac middle-schooler with what appears to be profound psychological damage from repeated rapes in her past, but she's such a nihilistic sociopath that even this isn't enough to make her sympathetic. Notable acts include breaking into the protagonist's apartment to masturbate and (unsuccessfully) seduce him and climaxing on a school rooftop after a bloody shooting.

    Comic Books 
  • Alias: Jessica is shown masturbating while she's a teenager looking at her Johnny Storm poster. This is while she's too shy to tell Peter Parker her feelings about him, with her masturbating clearly being an outlet.
  • In The Boys, Hughie was just overcoming the death of his previous girlfriend and Annie had been sexually assaulted, so on their first date they decide to take things slowly, going their separate ways at the end and not even kissing. While Hughie seems happy to have finally moved on, the chapter still ends with him masturbating and crying.
  • The Chronicles of Wormwood: God is an insane Loser Deity (and stated to have gone nuts shortly after giving free will to humanity), appearing as a Grandpa God constantly masturbating with one hand under his robes. Even after he and Satan are impaled on the Spear of Longinus and cast adrift through space he's still going at it.
    Satan: Jesus fucking Christ, can't you STOP IT?!
  • Empowered:
    • Because Elissa's super-suit massively enhances sensation and increases libido, she's constantly horny and often resorts to masturbation to deal with it. She's apparently very acquainted with "Mr. Shower Head".
    • After hanging out with Thugboy and Emp, a horny Ninjette left the room to "work off some tension from the conversation", Demonwolf asked if she was going to fantasize about her with Thugboy, Emp, or both at once. 'Jette looked like she wasn't even sure before saying "Wouldn't you like to know?"
  • Preacher: Herr Starr complains that his sexual urges won't go away no matter how much he masturbates.
  • Saga: Prince Robot IV is once seen preparing to masturbate after joining the family on their quest, and frustrated at there being no females on the ship besides married Alana (which makes it even more startling when she shows up naked in his fantasies).
    Robot IV: Let's clear out this cannon before it backfires.
  • Y: The Last Man: Seeing as virtually the entire male population has died, it's mentioned several times that masturbation became very commonplace among straight women. One woman casually mentions the difficulty of finding replacement AA batteries for vibrators, and the titular last man Yorick tells of one extensive 'session' where the government installed open-air showers outside a hotel he was staying in, and the girls flocked to it.

    Fan Works 
  • As Fate Would Have It: Following waking up from the middle of an Erotic Dream where she recounts her and Nate's first time, Yancy ends up touching herself a little too much afterward during the middle of the night, she herself having been frustrated at not being able to do the deed with her now-boyfriend ever since then. This ends up causing her to suffer from sleep deprivation the very next morning. Thanks to not having done this before, however, she initially ends up scared that she'll eventually be consumed by her own lust. It takes her talking to Rosa for her to realize that it's a natural thing to do.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Bolt is described on a few occasions as resorting to self-pleasure when he has no female around.
    • In "The Imaginary Letters," Bolt is away from his sweetheart Mittens while on a book signing tour with Penny. He describes at various times having taken advantage of a chair leg or a couple of throw pillows to relieve his sexual tension.
    • In "The Cameo," Bolt remembers his sometimes utilizing a copy of the magazine Dog Fancy during self-pleasure after shooting sessions while alone in his trailer. He has no girlfriend at the time.
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • In one of the earliest scenes that show that Weiss is attracted to Blake, Weiss attempts to masturbate while fantasizing about her but gets interrupted by Pyrrha.
    • Yang tries to fantasize about Weiss but is stopped by memories of how Weiss loves Blake, not her.
  • Vow of Nudity: Fiora's origin story revolves around two plots that are both sexually stressing her out:
    • She's growing up in a clan of Cat People where the guys have penile barbsnote  that make sex incredibly painful. Even worse, her clan's upcoming Mating Ceremony requires all young adults to hook up and birth the next generation, meaning she's had to sleep with multiple young men hoping to become her date.
    • She's currently sleeping with the clan's matriarch hoping to curry her favor, and the power imbalance means the matriarch is an extremely selfish lover who takes Fiora's services and never gives anything in return.
    • Given this, it's no surprise that when she masturbates in bed to blow off steam, the narration mentions it's the only time she feels like someone's actually servicing her needs to any degree.

    Films — Animated 
  • Shrek: Implied as much as possible in a PG-rated movie, as Lord Farquaad is lying in bed ordering a disgusted Magic Mirror to show images of his wife-to-be Princess Fiona, with the implication being that he's doing it to masturbate.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls: When the Wachati princess performs a seductive dance, Ace tries to resist her advances, talking about his Vow of Celibacy. Later, his associate catches him masturbating in his tent. His excuse is he was just "practicing my mantra" and will finish his "meditation" in 10 minutes.
  • American Beauty: The film opens by showing Lester's miserable daily life, which among other things includes him glumly masturbating in the shower thanks to his dissatisfying and dysfunctional Sexless Marriage with Carolyn. The fact that he does this out of sexual frustration is further highlighted by how he only begins to rebel against the confines of his joyless life after becoming sexually fixated on Angela. Later, when Carolyn catches him jacking off, the two get into an argument about their shared sexual frustration, with her refusing to engage with him when he says that he's ready to take care of that.
  • Anazapta:
  • April Fools' Day: While the various couples are getting it on, Arch sits down with one of Chaz's porno mags to relieve his frustration; before falling victim to a booby-trapped chair.
  • Art of the Dead: Having been corrupted by the Lust painting, Gina gains an Extreme Libido and exhausts her husband Dylan in the bedroom. When he staggers off to try to get some work done, she finds herself still craving sexual satisfaction, so she plants the kids in front of the television, tells them she needs some "alone time", and retreats to her bedroom to masturbate.
  • ''Baghead (2008)': A frustrated Matt heads up to his bed with a bottle of shampoo after making out with Michelle but stopping just shy of sleeping with her.
  • Below Her Mouth: After getting worked up by seeing the Butch Lesbian Dallas work on a roof, Jasmine takes a bath and uses the bathtub's sprayer to stimulate herself while thinking of Dallas.
  • Better Than Chocolate: Lila, after complaining that as an older woman she may never get to have sex again, finds a sex toy in Maggie's apartment that she uses and really enjoys.
  • Cherry Blossoms, a film based on the life of Chinese writer Yu Da-fu during his college days, have Yu (played by Chow Yun-fat) visiting a Ginza Red Light district and pleasuring himself with a Japanese blow-up doll in his dorm afterwards (seen from behind), being a sexually repressed student and all that. And regretting it the following day.
  • Cop on a Mission: After the night stake-out where Mike unintentionally saw Pauline undressing in a storeroom, the subsequent Shower Scene shows him masturbating in the shower while fantasizing about Pauline wearing only her lingerie.
  • Drive-Away Dolls: Jamies starts using one of the dildos on herself after Marian fell asleep after she ate her out without her reciprocating.
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High: After seeing Linda in a bikini, Hormone-Addled Teenager Brad masturbates while daydreaming about her doing a Sexy Surfacing Shot out of a pool and taking her top off. And then the real Linda opens the door on him.
  • A character in Full Metal Jacket was nicknamed "Hand Job" for his habit of masturbating at least ten times a day. It's also an example of the "mental health/sexual frustration" variety of masturbation in that the other recruits referred to him as a "crazy fucker" and that it ultimately got him scheduled for a Section 8 discharge* when he was caught doing it in the waiting room after being sent to see a Navy psychologist, and he ultimately would have gotten shipped out if not for him getting killed by a VC booby trap.
    Cowboy: Tough break for Hand Job. He was all set to get shipped out on medical.
    Joker: What was the matter with him?
    Cowboy: He was jerkin' off ten times a day.
    Eightball: No shit. At least ten times a day.
    Cowboy: Last week he was sent down to Da Nang to see the Navy head shrinker, and the crazy fucker starts jerking off in the waiting room. Instant Section Eight. He was just waiting for his papers to clear division.
  • Garage Days: After Freddy is unable to satisfy Tanya because he was too caught up in a rockstar daydream during sex, she unapologetically reaches over for her vibrator, much to his distress.
    Freddy: Oh, for Christ's sake!
    Tanya: Pay attention! You might learn something.
  • A Good Woman is Hard to Find: Struggling Single Mother Sarah, one lonely night, decides to use her vibrator to take the edge off, only to discover that it needs batteries, causing her to scramble around the house until she finally removes the batteries from one of her children's toys with a butter knife, showing how desperate she is to experience just a modicum of pleasure.
  • The Guest House: A depressed Rachel masturbates on the couch while watching lesbian porn, which Amy sees, after she recently broke up with her boyfriend. This is the first hint both she and the audience get that Rachel isn't straight, which Rachel may have been repressing before getting involved with Amy.
  • High Tension: Marie masturbates after seeing her Best Friend Alex showering through the bathroom window earlier that night. Since she's listening to her Walkman during the act, this prevents her from hearing the killer get into the house until the murders are well underway.
  • Holly Slept Over: Pete tells Noel he's taken to masturbating as his wife Marnie always turns down his overtures for sex. He's masturbated on her when she's sleeping out of bitterness, which disgusts Noel. Later, she woke up and was outraged while he did this. She was so mad she'd hit Pete and demanded a divorce. They get into marriage counseling though and save their relationship.
  • In the Cut: Frannie masturbates while thinking about Malloy, the detective who came by her apartment earlier to tell her about the murder investigation. In her fantasies, she also suspects Malloy could be the same man she observed getting a blow job from the murder victim—in other words, the murderer himself.
  • Instead of Abracadabra: Thomas is a 25-year-old loser/dork still living with his parents. He has dreams of being a stage magician, although he hasn't really gotten any paying work. While his father is badgering him about getting a real job, Thomas is falling in love with lovely Monika, a single mom who has moved in next door. Thomas is frantically masturbating to thoughts of doing the "saw a woman in half" routine with Monika, when his mother calls to him from outside the door and ruins the mood.
  • Junebug: One scene has Ashley masturbating to a picture of a young Johnny, back before they were married and their relationship became sour, showing she longs for the man he used to be, rather than the man he became.
  • The Lobster takes place in a dystopian world where single people must find a partner within 45 days or else they will be forcibly turned into an animal. At a hotel where single people attend in search of a partner, masturbation is forbidden. When Robert is caught attempting to relieve his frustration like so, the hotel staff punishes him by putting his hand in a toaster.
  • In Margarita with a Straw, protagonist Laila has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, which doesn't completely inhibit her social life but does complicate her sex life, especially as she still lives with her overprotective parents. Early in the film, she's seen resorting to waiting until her parents are asleep and then performing some self-service.
  • My Animal: Heather masturbates while she watches the Glorious Ladies of Wrestling on TV. This is before she romances Jonny, the girl she likes, with them eventually having sex.
  • Naked Killer:
    • A twofer with the two leads, Kitty and Tinam, who had fallen for each other, jerking off simultaneously while thinking of each other.
    • Kitty later says she knows Cindy hasn't had sex in a while as she's masturbated twice in the last five nights.
  • In Operator, Joe is programming an AI voiced by his wife Emily and becomes obsessed with making it a "perfect" version of her. One sign of his increased dependence is when he masturbates while having a conversation with it, having it repeat his name over and over. Later he and Emily are fighting and she claims that he would "fuck [the AI] if he could", at which point he looks away guiltily.
  • Piggy: Protagonist Sara, who is constantly bullied for being fat, masturbates while reminiscing about the stranger who abducted her bullies and returned her stolen clothes.
  • Pitch (2009): Jim masturbated over the football team in his high school yearbook, having lusted after them in secret.
  • Psycho: Implied. When Norman is staring at Marion through the peephole, something is causing his body to shake. We also see Norman go in to stare at the dead Marion, then later see him leave the room and wipe his hand on his shirt. The Psycho (1998) remake recreated the original virtually shot-for-shot... except that, at the end of the peephole scene, Norman glances downward, and the sound of a closing zipper is plainly audible.
  • Vincent of Pulp Fiction spends some time in the bathroom psyching himself up to not give in to the temptation to have sex with Mia Wallace (because she's the wife of his boss), and mentions masturbating to relieve the tension and "get over it" once he gets back home.
  • A Reflection of Fear: Marguerite indulges in this, while her father attempts to make love with his girlfriend, apparently out of frustration and envy at him not having sex with her.
  • Secretary: Lee indulges in masturbation before getting up to go to work and again inside a public bathroom stall while fantasizing about her boss Mr. Grey "punishing her" for her grammar mistakes.
  • Serenity: Kaylee is getting rather tired of her dry spell, which is just one of the reasons she's unhappy Simon (her crush) is leaving the ship. One scene has her griping that "going on a year now, I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries!" Much to the dismay of most of the crew, who was standing near her when she mentioned this:
  • In The Shape of Water, Elisa masturbates furiously as part of her daily routine, as she is both extremely lonely and sexually frustrated, and, being mute, it's very hard for her to proposition men. Word of God says it's also meant to humanize her character, to avoid the perfect and innocent character that people could read her as.
  • Spanking the Monkey: Ray is a Hormone-Addled Teenager who repeatedly attempts to masturbate, but he keeps getting interrupted by the family dog. His attempt to have his first time with the cute Girl Next Door goes nowhere either. This sexual frustration has disastrous consequences.
  • Survival of the Dead: The female member of the National Guard unit masturbates openly in front of her fellow soldiers because there aren't any women available.
  • Terror Firmer: Jennifer, masturbates while picturing Casey shirtless and flexing his arms at the foot of her bed.
  • Thelma: Thelma masturbates during her Erotic Dream about having sex with her Lust Object Anya.
  • There's Something About Mary: Dom is a firm believer that it is essential for a man to masturbate before any big date, so he has better control of his own libido during it. He explains it to Ted via a Hurricane of Euphemisms:
    Dom: You choke the chicken before any big date, don't you? Tell me you spank the monkey before any big date. Oh my God, he doesn't flog the dolphin before a big date. Are you crazy? That's like going out there with a loaded gun! Of course, that's why you're nervous. Oh, my dear friend, please sit, please. Look, um, after you've had sex with a girl, and you're lying in bed with her, are you nervous? No, you're not, why?
    Ted: Cause I'm tired...
    Dom: Wrong! It's 'cause you ain't got the baby batter on the brain anymore! Jesus, that stuff will fuck your head up! Look, the most honest moment in a man's life are the few minutes after he's blown his load — now that is a medical fact. And the reason for it is that you're no longer trying to get laid, you're actually... you're thinking like a girl, and girls love that.
  • Unfaithful: Connie masturbates while thinking about her recent extramarital tryst with her lover Paul.
  • The White Orchid: As Claire investigates the murder of the eponymous Femme Fatale bombshell The White Orchid, she becomes more and more entranced by the idea of her, with one scene showing this by having her masturbating in bed while fantasizing about The White Orchid.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): Steve Trevor asks Diana how she knows about the pleasures of the flesh if she lives on an island with only women. She holds up her hand and he instantly understands.
  • In the Israeli film Yossi the (closeted) title character is shown masturbating to soft-core gay porn, which is used to illustrate how lonely and sexually repressed he is.
  • Young & Wild: Daniela is a Hormone-Addled Teenager who's sexually frustrated due to the restrictions of her Egocentrically Religious family. She deals with it by secretly masturbating, which she's shown doing in her very first scene. She also talks about doing it at length on her blog too and later masturbates thinking about a handsome boxer she'd watched.
  • Your Highness: Leezar is confident he can perform with Belladonna as he's "tested" himself via masturbation. Near the end, Thadeous was also preparing for this when Fabious comes in.
  • Youth in Revolt: The film opens with protagonist Nick masturbating to pornography, to denote him as a horny Unlucky Everydude who's unsatisfied with his life.

  • In the second Adrian Mole book, the title character writes to an agony aunt, telling her that he has taken to self manipulation because his girlfriend won't sleep with him and that this helps for a bit, but it quickly wears off. At this stage in the story, Adrian is a Hormone-Addled Teenager.
  • Earth's Children: At one point in The Valley of Horses, Jondalar is so overcome with desire for Ayla he rushes off into the bushes, making an excuse about needing to urinate, and masturbates. Ayla appears unresponsive to his flirting, so he assumes she's not attracted to him or has taken a vow of celibacy for religious reasons, leaving masturbation his only outlet. Ayla doesn't buy his excuse and knows what he was really doing, which embarrasses her - not so much because of the act in and of itself but because in the Clan, men would only masturbate to relieve sexual tension as a last resort if there were no suitable women available. Ayla assumes that Jondalar finds her so unattractive he'd rather masturbate than so much as touch her.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: Rielle loves Audric but is forbidden by her father from becoming a couple with Audric; her father fears she'd accidentally kill the prince with her unpredictable powers. Since Rielle only loves Audric and isn't willing to have sex with just anyone, she'll sometimes masturbate to release any pent up frustrations.
  • The Fifth Season: When Alabaster and Syenite's Teeth-Clenched Teamwork hits an even more stressful snag, he asks if it would improve her mood to give her some time alone to masturbate. She refuses to give him the satisfaction of admitting that it would.
  • Fools Die: The ex-wife of one of the characters is advised by her psychiatrist to set aside some alone time each day to use a vibrator. Everyone in the house, including the children, refers to it as the "Happy Hour."
  • Girls Don't Hit:
    • Echo masturbates in bed opposite Joss after witnessing her first hit. Joss's thoughts indicate she had done the same thing and that it's common as a reaction. Echo later masturbates once again in the wake of killing someone.
    • Joss also masturbates when she's looking at risque photos of her husband's mistress.
  • Last Night at the Telegraph Club: Lily masturbates when thinking about the characters in a lesbian novel she finds, Strange Season, who have an erotic encounter between them.
  • In Like a Fish Understands a Tree, George masturbates while he thinks about Tracy. He's never received any sex education — he only knows that he wishes Tracy could be there while he does it, and maybe even touch him, but he's worried she'd find it rude.
  • Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty: In "Transformation", the narrator has some alone time while thinking of their crush, the frog prince.
  • Portnoy's Complaint runs on this trope, to the point where one entire chapter of the book is dedicated to it.
  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: Discussed in volume 4. Main character Oliver Horn had several run-ins with the Perfume of part-succubus Ophelia Salvadori in the preceding volumes, and getting glomped by his drunken Love Interest Nanao Hibiya in a bar forces him to run to the bathroom with a Raging Stiffie. Their friend Chela McFarlane follows him, having realized the problem, and reminds him that if he's still feeling the effects of Salvadori's Perfume after this long, he's going to have to release the pressure with somebody other than himself. She accomplishes this with what amounts to a magic-assisted handjob through their clothes, and Oliver does feel better after.
  • Rebuild World: Implied in the Web Novel version's 83rd chapter, when while Sheryl's relaxing in the bath, she keeps on replaying the moment Akira saved her life from a Hostage Situation that day in her head. This shifts into a dramatized Imagine Spot until it barely resembles the real event, and in a bit of symbolism, the relaxing Sheryl nearly drowns three times before ending her bath.
  • To Sail Beyond the Sunset: A wife, who has an open relationship with her husband, asks him over the phone if he's going to pick up a woman that night, and he admits he's too tired, it will just be "mother thumb and her four daughters."
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: While in Astapor, Daenerys feels lonely, missing her deceased husband Drogo. Unable to trust any of the men around her, she starts masturbating in her cabin. She's caught by her handmaid Irri, who proceeds to have sex with her.
  • The Stand: While traveling to the Boulder Free Zone, Harold, who is an unpopular nerd, develops feelings for Fran, but she bluntly turns him down. Later, he secretly reads her diary and finds out that not only is she repulsed by him, but she had also started a sexual relationship with Stu, whom Harold had come to see as a rival. His immediate response to this is to masturbate.
  • In The Survivalist series by Jerry Ahern, Sarah Rourke is hit on by a doctor who tells Sarah her husband John is still alive but appears to have hooked up with Natalia Tiemerovna (not true). She rejects his advances but masturbates afterwards, though it's John Rourke she's thinking of.
  • Tales of the Pack:
    • After running away instead of having sex with Archer, Lexie's still very turned on by this idea, so she masturbates at home fantasizing about it.
    • In the sequel Hungry Ghost, Lexie masturbates while she listens to some of her friends having sex, while having no girlfriend at the time herself.
  • These Words Are True and Faithful: Since Sam and Ernie never move in together, they masturbate when they cannot be together. Also, since they are in a Dominant/submissive relationship, Sam masturbates after taking care of Ernie. Later, Ernie's inability to get off to his favorite twink porn shows his metaphorical emasculation.
  • You (Kepnes):
    • Joe masturbates a lot, especially when thinking about Beck but when they can't be together (because he's a Stalker with a Crush who has just seen her).
    • He also mentally criticizes Beck for continuing to masturbate when they get together because they're having sex. It doesn't occur to Joe that she might be doing it because he isn't satisfying her, which is implied in what she later says to Dr. Nicky about their sex life.
    • When Joe breaks into Peach's apartment, he finds private smeared pictures of Beck. He realizes that Peach masturbates to the pictures and touches them in between, which illustrates her existence as a thwarted, repressed lesbian.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Implied in a 30 Rock episode, Frank mentions he has plans for Valentine's night. When asked with who, he replies "nobody".
  • Banshee:
    • In "Half Deaf Is Better Than All Dead", during a Bathtub Scene, a frustrated Ana can't stop thinking about her New Old Flame Lucas and starts touching herself while flashbacks to their old relationship play. When that isn't enough, she has sex with her husband.
    • In "The Thunder Man", sex-obsessed Rebecca is shown masturbating in her room while fantasizing about having sex with Lucas and her uncle.
  • The Bisexual: A frustrated Leila tries to masturbate, but is turned off by Gabe's student loudly moaning while they have sex.
  • Black Books: Fran's subplot in the episode "The Big Lockout" has her getting aroused by the voice of the guy on the Shipping Forecast, to the point that she masturbates to it.
  • Bones:
    • In "The Doctor In The Den", Lovable Sex Maniac Angela has taken a Vow of Celibacy on the advice of Sweets, so she can work on her intimacy issues. But her unsatiated libido has made her incredibly horny to the point she's hitting and flirting with any male she meets. This leads Clark to introduce her to his psychiatrist girlfriend, who quite sensibly recommends some solitary release as an alternative.
    • In "The Princess And The Pear", when Mr. Fisher the depressed assistant gets in trouble for sleeping with a suspect, he replies:
      Mr. Fisher: Can I please keep my job if I promise never ever to have sex again with anyone, which, by the way, suits me temperamentally? I happen to be very self-sufficient.
  • Bottom: Richard is a chronic masturbator and there are constant jokes at his expense due to it. He even called his autobiography: "Richard Richard: I Did it My Way. On My Own. Quite a Lot. Now I've got a Sore Hand."
  • Dark Desire: Alma masturbates at one point thinking about Darío. Later he does the same thing when fantasizing about them having sex.
  • Dear White People:
    • Part of Lionel's Coming-Out Story is realizing his attraction to his roommate Troy, which comes to a head in "Chapter II" when Lionel masturbates to the sounds of Troy screwing the women he has over, and it's made clear Lionel is fantasizing about Troy in specific since his fantasy crops the woman completely out of the frame, focusing on Troy's muscular torso instead.
    • In the Season 2 premiere, Sam masturbates while fantasizing about being with her ex Gabe, showing she still has feelings for him. Joelle approves, calling it "prebating", which means Sam gets her attraction to Gabe "out of her system" so she won't make any dumb decisions when she meets in person.
  • Euphoria: At the beginning of "'03 Bonnie and Clyde", We see Rue in her bedroom lamenting that she's missing her drugs. She decides to instead focus on her attraction towards Jules and starts masturbating. The audience only sees her hand diving below the bedsheets, which is interplayed with a montage of scenes with Jules, to illustrate how Rue is fantasizing about her. The scene comes to an abrupt end when her mom walks in to call her for dinner, leading to an awkward exchange.
    Leslie: Are you coming?
    Rue: Yeah. No. [Beat] Yeah. For... Yeah, for dinner. Just give me a second.
    Leslie: [gives her daughter a skeptical look] Okay.
  • Farscape:
    • In "Suns and Lovers", Aeryn Sun suggests sex would be a practical means of relieving the Unresolved Sexual Tension between her and John Crichton, without all this weird human emotional-attachment stuff he's into.
      John: You know what? I got two hands [makes masturbating gesture] I can alternate, I can release all the tension I want. I don't need your charity.
      Aeryn: And I don't need your emotions. But we can have sex if you want.
    • In "Look at the Princess", John is pointing Braca's gun at different parts of his own body. Including, at one point, his hand:
      John: My sex life! Kill my sex life!
  • Father Ted: After Ted gets local milkman Pat Mustard fired for taking advantage of his job to have sex with half the women on Craggy Island, and Dougal is hired to replace him, a naturally angry Pat phones Ted later on to call him out for getting him sacked, primarily because "Now I'm havin' to yank meself off 'round the clock because I haven't had any proper sex with girls!"
  • Firefly:
    • It's suggested that Jayne is often sexually frustrated due to being trapped on that ship with attractive women like Inara, Kaylee, Zoe, and River, and not able to touch any of them, and he deals with it by masturbating in his bunk.
    • In "Our Mrs. Reynolds", Mal admits to being on a dry spell when he comments that "no one but me's taken hold of my plow in a good long while."
  • Friends:
  • Glee: In "The First Time", Blaine is having a conversation with his boyfriend Kurt about sex. Up to this point, they have agreed on taking things slowly, but now they're exploring the possibility of doing the deed. When Kurt asks him if he's ever tempted to go there with him, he replies that yeah, he is, but "that's why they invented masturbation", implying as a bonus that he thinks of Kurt when he engages in such activity.
  • How I Met Your Mother: The opening of "Noretta" reveals that Nora and Barney haven't had sex yet, contrary to Barney's usual sex-crazed ways. Barney believes they're finally going to have sex and launches into a Hurricane of Puns (i.e. that he's headed to "Pork Authority Station"), but it seems that Nora is just going to go ice skating with him. James pats Barney sympathetically on the back and says, "Pork Authority's closed, little buddy. Looks like it's Hand Central Station for you tonight!"
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer (2021): In "If Only Dogs Could Talk" Margot masturbates while watching the video of Lennon and Dylan having sex.
  • In a Deleted Scene in Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere, despite his disdain for Paddy's lewd antics, Max proves himself to be Not So Above It All by masturbating over Paddy's copy of Razzle in the bathroom. Sadly, he forgets to lock the door, and Paddy walks in on him. (We later learn that Max has only ever loved one woman in his life, and after years of not seeing her, he's naturally getting frustrated)
    Max: Man has needs!
    Paddy: Man has a lock on the door.
  • Mad Men: Betty Draper leans against a running washing machine and orgasms while fantasizing about a door-to-door salesman who had visited the day before. She's sexually frustrated because her husband is rarely home, and when he is he often claims to be too tired. The real reason? Like any self-respecting early-'60s executive, he has multiple girls on the side.
  • My Wife and Kids: Hormone-Addled Teenager Junior is such a chronic masturbator he managed to "sprain" his penis from overuse on one episode.
  • Person of Interest. Fair Cop Joss Carter is interrogating a criminal in prison, who says that afterward he's got "a date with a sock".
  • Private Practice: The female doctors are surprised that Addison doesn't do that. She's equally shocked that they do. One of them suggests fantasizing about a male coworker in the shower while using a pulsating massage shower head. The episode ends with Addison getting in the shower, clearly intending to give it a try.
  • The crew of Red Dwarf generally don't have much choice about this, there seldom being any women around:
    Cat: You mean after all this, I still haven't got a date? Damn! Another year when I have to send a Valentine's card to my hand!
    Rimmer (On learning he has (briefly) become alive again): Kryten! Unpack Rachel, and get out the puncture repair kit!
    Fem!Rimmer: How could you even contemplate making love to yourself?
    Rimmer: Well, why break the habit of a lifetime?
  • In on of Saturday Night Live's "Boston Teens" skits, Denise taunts her boyfriend Sully about the time "he nearly gave himself carpal tunnel syndrome!" during a week in which they'd broken up.
  • Scrubs:
    • JD, who has a spotty track record with women and relationships, gets more than a few jokes about masturbation thrown his way. After Turk gets tense because his fiancé Carla wants to swear off sex before the wedding, JD asks him why he doesn't masturbate. Turk claims that he's only masturbated twice in his life. JD says that he's only masturbated twice too, but the narration clarifies he's referring to since he returned to their apartment.
    • Dr. Cox also advises Turk to masturbate in order to take the edge off.
      Dr. Cox: I'll be more than glad to tell you what a lot of doctors do to relieve the stress: Just take a little trip to "Palmdale."
      Turk: What?
      Dr. Cox: Okay. Give yourself the old "low-five."
      Turk: I'm not getting it.
      Dr. Cox: Physician, love thyself.
      Turk: Are you talkin' about downtown, Lester Brown?
      Dr. Cox: Lowers the heart rate, releases the endorphins. It's basic physiology.
  • Sex/Life:
    • Billie masturbates by using a vibrator after giving up on having sex with her husband Cooper as he's more interested in the football game than her.
    • Cooper is later shown masturbating while he reads Billie's racy diary accounts about her Sex God ex Brad.
    • Billie masturbates while watching Brad and Sasha have sex over FaceTime.
  • Single Drunk Female: In "Sober For the D and V" Sam tries to masturbate with a vibrator while looking at a hot, muscular guy, but hearing as her mom has sex with her boyfriend stops her.
  • In the first season of Sirens, Brian decides to romantically pursue co-worker Voodoo, only to learn that she's asexual (though not aromantic.) In season 2, when one of the other guys asks him how it's going, he confesses that he's been masturbating a lot, because of the sexual frustration compounded by his fear that Voodoo will dump him if he shows any outward signs of lust. She ultimately breaks up with him anyway, out of fear that she's making him miserable.
  • Star Trek:
  • Taboo: Cholmondeley asks James if Laura Bow is free for him to pursue, luridly exhorting that she's so pretty that she's not just someone he wants to sleep with but masturbates about.
  • That '70s Show: Given all of the young cast are Hormone-Addled Teenager, constant masturbation due to their newly gained libidos is a constant source of jokes and plotlines. Eric, Kelso, and especially Fez have mentioned their fondness for hands-on love. We don't know about Hyde, but he voiced his support for the practice — when Fez asked how much masturbation is too much, Hyde responded, "There's no such thing as too much."
    • In "Happy Jack", Donna and Jackie walks in on Eric masturbating much to the embarrassment of all. Jackie brands him a pervert and a loser, but Donna is more understanding and a conversation between the two of them reveals that Donna herself masturbates, much to his shock. Donna also thinks the fact Jackie doesn't do it is why she's so high-strung, saying "she won't even go to a self-serve gas station."
    • In "Black Dog", Nina, Fez's co-worker and later girlfriend, lampshades this by noticing that Fez's right hand is "stronger" than the other. Fez just says he's taken up fencing.
    • In "Who's Been Sleeping Here?", someone has been breaking into the record store, so they set up a camera, and they find out Fez has been living there.
      Fez: I thought I was alone...
      Hyde: Okay, I know Fez pretty well and if he thought he was alone, we need to stop this tape right now.
  • Trigonometry: Gemma masturbates watching porn and starts having phone sex with her boyfriend Kieran, as he's off on his job as a paramedic. They don't have sex much initially as his shifts are at night and he needs to sleep during the day, as she complains of.
  • Trinkets: Discussed. In the third episode, Moe suggests that Elodie try this in order to feel more comfortable with her body and lay off some stress before engaging with a sexual partner. Elodie shoplifts a sex toy to use.
  • True Blood:
    • After drinking vampiric blood to heal herself, Sookie has her libido amped up, and she begins to stroke herself at night. In a later scene, she's seen rubbing herself through her shorts to satisfy her lust.
    • Jason has a much worse run-in with vampire blood. He overdosed, and he didn't need healing, so it all went to his libido. He jacked off until he developed a sore on his hand, and finally had to go to a doctor to deflate his penis
  • Two and a Half Men: Alan often has trouble getting women, in contrast to his brother Charlie who is The Casanova. The show makes many jokes about how often Alan masturbates. Charlie's even caught him having sex with a vacuum, he admits to masturbating before dates to get the right enthusiasm out of women, and once masturbated seven times in several different locations just to use up pills before they expired (eventually getting arrested when he was caught in a movie theater). In an episode where Charlie's girlfriend wants to wait to sleep with him, he goes to Alan for advice on how to deal with sexual frustration. Alan suggests many hobbies and activities he can do to take his mind off of sex, but then admits that this doesn't work and he just masturbates.
  • You:
    • After having a quick and unsatisfying tryst with Benji, Beck has to resort to masturbating to finish herself off, to illustrate how little he cares about her.
    • Stalker with a Crush Joe is portrayed as particularly creepy when he masturbates to his Lust Objects while spying on them without their permission.
      • One scene even has him doing it while hiding in the bushes as he watches Beck.
      • When he discovers a picture of Beck in a swimsuit among the hundreds of photos of Beck that Peach has on her laptop., he masturbates to the picture all while thinking Peach is a creep for having said picture.
      • Joe attempted this during his first day at work with an illusion of Love. However, in trying to break himself out of his habit, he stops midway and doesn't do it again during the season.
      • In the next season, Joe promptly masturbates with the pictures of Marianne he found in Ryan's house.
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?: One "Hoedown" about marriage ended with Ryan singing he's glad he's married because it sure beats sitting around and masturbating.
  • Yellowjackets: In the pilot episode, present-day Shauna is introduced as masturbating to a picture of her teenage daughter Callie's boyfriend in Callie's bedroom. This sets up an immediate contrast with Jeff and Shauna's younger selves when they were Callie's age (and Jeff got her pregnant in one of their many hookups). It's later demonstrated that Shauna is unhappy in her marriage and is unwilling to participate in the role-play Jeff wants to use to spice up their sex life. Ultimately, Shauna ends up cheating on him with Adam.
  • You Me Her:
    • Emma catches Jack masturbating to football, of all things, in the pilot, which showcases their marriage's lack of a fulfilling sex life.
    • Emma sets her cell phone on vibrate to use as a makeshift vibrator while fantasizing about sex with Izzy when she's working.
    • Similarly, when he's in the office, Jack masturbates at his desk to his own Izzy fantasy.
    • Izzy later also starts to masturbate as she fantasizes about Emma.

  • "Touch of my Hand" by Britney Spears is about appreciating self-love in the absence of one's partner.
    'Cause I just discovered
    Imagination's taking over
    Another day without a lover
    The more I come to understand
    The touch of my hand
  • Buzzcocks: "Fiction Romance" is about the singer longing for a romantic relationship like in fiction, with the lyrics heavily implying they're masturbating. Giveaway phrases include references to "magazine pages", and that the fantasized lover(s) "can be yours just by taking hold."
  • The Dresden Dolls: "First Orgasm" is about a lonely girl masturbating on a Thursday morning and eventually declaring, "I think I could last at least a week without someone to hold me".
  • Jackson Browne: The song "Rosie" is about a roadie who has to "hand it to me" (i.e. masturbate) after the groupie he was flirting with is swept away by the more glamorous guitarist, and he laments that it "looks like it's me and you again tonight".
  • "U + Ur Hand" by P!nk has the singer telling her Abhorrent Admirers at a bar that they'll have to settle for "their hand" tonight because she's not interested in sleeping with any of them.
  • "Thinking About You" by Radiohead is about the singer longing for a woman that he used to be close with, but they drifted apart when she became a famous star. The lyrics heavily imply he's masturbating in bed as he thinks about her.
    Been thinking about you, and there's no rest,
    shit I still love you, still see you in bed.
    But I'm playing with myself, and what do you care
  • It's strongly implied that some porn found in the trash is the "woman" that the Casanova Wannabe protagonist of Red Vox's "There She Goes" ends up settling for after his multiple failures in dating.
    Got a new woman
    Found her in a trash can
    Think this is the woman, baby, I really do
    Better tell my hand
  • "Homemade" by Sebadoh is about becoming addicted to masturbation due to depression and loneliness.
  • "Sorry Jack" by Scratch21 is about a 'nice guy' who screwed his chances with "the girl that was meant to be with me" and one ways he copes is with "a tissue for his issue and a date with his hand".
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "One More Minute" has the singer lamenting that they'll save to settle for masturbation now that their girlfriend has left them.
    I guess I might seem kinda bitter
    You got me feelin' down in the dumps
    'Cause I'm stranded all alone at the Gas Station of Love
    And I have to use the self-service pumps!
  • Weezer's "Why Bother" from Pinkerton is about giving up on romantic relationships due to fear of heartbreak and briefly mentions masturbation as a substitute for a relationship.
    But it's just sexual attraction
    Not something real, so I'd rather keep whacking

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The Bible: An older name for masturbation, "onanism", comes from a passage in the Hebrew/Christian book of Genesis, thus making the trope Older Than Dirt. The actual event mentioned was Onan ordered to have sex with his late brother's widow (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 (or in some translations/interpretations, masturbated before the act), and was stricken for his disrespect.
  • Classical Mythology: Hermes, according to Diogenes, taught his son Pan how to do this while the latter was pining for the nymph Echo, to relieve his suffering. Pan, in turn, taught the habit to the shepherds. It gives "tending the flocks" a whole new meaning.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Exalted: Regent Fokuf is regarded as a completely boneheaded puppet leader for the Realm, which is further emphasized by the fact he's a horny The Fool who spends most of his days getting off on the saucier passages in the Realm's religious documents.

  • Be More Chill: Jeremy's Establishing Character Moment is him trying to masturbate, as he's a very lonely and sexually unfulfilled geek, but getting stuck because his porn site won't load. The SQUIP puts a stop to this quickly (via electroshock punishment) so Jeremy can actually try to get laid.
  • Me and My Dick: At the opening, Joey and his Dick talk about his crush on Vanessa and Dick gets so excited that he has to convince Joey to "take care of it", which is visualized as Joey giving Dick a shoulder massage as he talks about how hot Vanessa is.
  • 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 
  • Dragon Age:
    • 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.
    • 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 lonely nights".
  • Half-Life: One of the rewards offered by The Combine to their human 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.
  • Jet Force Gemini: Fernando, one of the three Amazing Mining Brothers, begins feeling sexually frustrated due to his loneliness, derived from having to guard the entrance to the mines in Rith Essa. He asks Vela to give him something that can ease his mind (he doesn't directly tell her about the true nature of his "boredom", to avoid incommoding her); as a Fetch Quest, she can find an adult-oriented magazine in Eschebone and give it to him. As a reward, he gives her the key to open the entrance to the aforementioned mines.
  • Killer7 has Andrei Ulmeyda make reference to this concept. After discussing a "Stacy concert", he talks about how the sort of men who attend a Stacy concert "beat off four times a day!" The implication is that only men with nothing better to do with their lives attend such concerts. Ulmeyda then pantomimes an orgasm right before the arena holding the concert explodes, implying this is how he uses up his energy.
  • Leisure Suit Larry: Horny Loser Protagonist Larry did this a lot, prompting him to start his Quest for Sex.
  • Mass Effect:
  • No More Heroes: Travis is a Loser Protagonist who's a horny porn addict who's implied to be often jerking off to anime. This is further emphasized by the fact his Beam Sword is a Phallic Weapon that has a Unorthodox Reload that resembles the act of masturbating, with him pumping the sword up and down in front of his crotch while breathing heavily. In No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, one scene even heavily implies he's masturbating while Henry is asleep in the next room. Notably, the masturbation jokes are toned down in the sequels after he and Sylvia have a Relationship Upgrade.

    Visual Novel 

    Web Animation 
  • The Spanish Super Hero spoof Cálico Electrónico has a Running Gag about every time Ms. Fanservice character "La Ladrona" appears, the title character deals with his pent-up sexual desire caused by her by going 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.

  • Atland: In this strip, when Lily does a public Nude Nature Dance to commune with her goddess, causing a frustrated Barry to make a lame excuse for an I'll Be in My Bunk session.
  • Ciem Webcomic Series Honeybee Samuel's curse afflicting Candi 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.
  • Fairest Cruelest: Princess Delilah's obsession with The Queen is revealed to be sexual in nature when a scene shows her masturbating while reminiscing about the time in her childhood when she walked in on the Queen and her lover having sex.
  • Girls with Slingshots: Hazel masturbates often during the early parts of the strip, emphasizing the fact that she hasn't had sex for a while.
  • 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.
  • Leftover Soup: Discussed. 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 so they're not sexually frustrated when addressing the fallout of that conversation. But it is not to be, as they find the apartment is occupied by Max and his friends.
  • Living With Hipster Girl And Gamer Girl: Being roommates with two extremely attractive girls who don't care about wearing skimpy outfits in front of him often leaves Artur sexually frustrated, and it's hinted he deals with it via constant masturbation. This is played for laughs in this strip where Artur effortlessly lifts a gigantic weight from on top of a man with one arm. 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.
  • Loserz In this strip, Jodie is annoyed that Ben doesn't want to High-School Dance and accuses him of being a loser who's just going to have a "lonely evening with his hand", only for him to tell her to "leave Righty out of this", proving that her assumption is correct.
  • Questionable Content
    • In this strip after a Bad Date in which everything went wrong left Steve with blue balls, he nonchalantly goes to masturbate in Marten's bathroom.
    • In this strip, Faye is having a session with her shrink, and the subject of her Inconvenient Attraction to Angus and Sven comes up. The shrink suggests self-stimulation as an outlet for Faye's sexual frustration but Faye reveals she has been doing that, but it's no longer doing the job for her.
    • One story arc focused on Faye's sexual frustration after breaking up with Sven, which got so bad that it's affecting her sleep. Dora helps her out by taking her to a sex shop to buy her a vibrator so she can tame her libido.
  • Something*Positive: One of Davan's previous girlfriends nearly broke up with him because she was disturbed that he still masturbated, offended that she isn't enough for him. They compromised; he could still masturbate, but only if she was doing all the work.
  • Wapsi Square: In this strip, Monica is frustrated her boyfriend Kevin isn't around, so she goes to take a shower to "unwind" and the dialogue overhead by Dietzel makes it obvious she's just masturbating while fantasizing about having a Shower of Love session with Gerard Butler.

    Web Original 
  • Asexuality Archive: Several times on the site, it's mentioned that society thinks that masturbation means you're attracted to someone but can't get laid. However, it also notes that this isn't actually true, and asexuals may masturbate even though they're not attracted to anyone, simply because they like how it physically feels.
  • Tales of MU: Mackenzie unconsciously masturbates in her sleep due to her nature as a repressed and frustrated half-demon.

    Web Videos 
  • Referenced in Auralnauts Star Wars by the song "In the Zone" as the downside of being Just Friends.
    Baby, I'm in the zone,
    like a king without a throne.
    I'd rather have you by my side,
    than play the skin trombone!
  • B. Dylan Hollis occasionally drops one-liners in his cooking videos that lampshade him, well, compensating.
    • One recipe called for a mixture to be constantly stirred while it was cooking.
      If your hand gets tired, just keep going. I'm single, so I'm used to it.
    • In the "pickle cheesecake" video, after the filling ingredients are combined:
      "Beat until soft." Honey, I don't need instructions. I'm single.
  • 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.
  • Dragonball Z Abridged: On the trip to Namek, Krillin makes a "captain's log" about how frustrating it is that Bulma walks around in her underwear, but he can't release it because he has no privacy (the toilet yells at him). The first thing he does upon reaching Namek and finding shelter is relieve his frustration.
    Bulma: Oh, god, it's everywhere.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: It's a Running Gag that Hormone-Addled Teenager Steve masturbates excessively. One episode even has him suddenly bulking up and gaining a deeper voice after stopping it cold turkey, which, tying in with the show's lampooning of American conservatism, references a widespread rumor among right-wing groups which falsely claims that masturbation feminizes men. In another, when he finally gets a date with a hot girl, he tells her he needs to "check his schedule", so he opens up a day planner and we see that his plans for every night say "Whack it".
  • Big Mouth is a show about puberty, and often depicts its many Hormone-Addled Teenager dealing with masturbation.
    • Andrew Glouberman, a pubescent boy, masturbates to deal with his spontaneous erections, as well as after he discovers porn. By Season 4, he's created a whole routine to prepare for masturbation sessions, and by Season 5, he's jerked off at a funeral, his best friend's living room, and an open house.
    • Played with regarding Jay, who essentially turns his pillows and other household furniture into sex toys. However, they appear to actually be sentient, making it less masturbation and more a very weird series of Cargo Ships.
    • Nick, as a late bloomer, is unable to masturbate until the end of Season 2, when his new hormone monster Connie shows him how.
    • Missy apparently humps a stuffed worm to pleasure herself. She's humiliated when she does it in her sleep at a school sleepover. Season 3 also has her new hormone monster, Mona, encourage her to use a shower head to "make it rain upside down."
    • The Season 3 episode "How to Have an Orgasm" has Jessi learn to masturbate and goes over how women have pleasured themselves over the years, including a flashback to the invention of the vibrator.
  • Family Guy:
    • Chris is portrayed as the stereotypical Hormone-Addled Teenager who deals with his sexual frustration by being a chronic masturbator, which is often Played for Laughs. In "German Guy", Lois shows the family Chris' blanket, which is completely hard as a rock and then shatters to pieces when Lois drops it because of Chris doing nothing but masturbating in his room all day (Lois believes that the washing machine got pregnant somehow). When Chris comes downstairs to see everyone, his own clothes shatter to pieces the same way his blanket did.
    • In "Perfect Castaway", Lois and Brian get married when Peter is lost at sea and presumed dead, but Lois isn't quite ready to go all the way in terms of sex. After another failed attempt at coercing her, Brian says he's going into the basement; when Lois asks what for, he replies "What do you think?". The same exchange happens at the end of the episode, prompting baby Stewie to ask what he's really doing down there.
    • In "Fresh Heir", Carter breaks his leg while his wife is away, and he's frustrated because he can't go to sleep without having sex first. Fortunately for him, Chris is all too happy to help.
      Carter: That... was... amazing! And Linda Carter wasn't actually here?!
      Chris: No, that was just in your mind!
      Carter: Incredible! S-So you can do that, like, once a year or something?
      Chris: No, you can do it basically whenever you're not doing something else.
      Carter: Cool! Hey, next time, I wanna try it with my hand.
    • In "Saving Private Brian", when Brian and Stewie join the army, many of the soldiers are portrayed as frustrated chronic masturbators. One night when Brian and Stewie are talking, one guy yells, "You know, you guys are really making it hard to masturbate!" prompting another guy to yell, "Not for me!"
  • Futurama: Fry has a masturbation habit that comes up frequently, as he's (usually) not getting much action from women. He apparently does this enough that his hands automatically touch the Robot Devil in "places" when they switch hands in "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings". Noticeably, these jokes die down once he gets a Relationship Upgrade with Leela in favor of jokes about their sex life.
  • Speculated by Big Greg about the titular hero in Koala Man:
    Big Greg: Normally I'd have my assistant Kevin throw you out on your arse for barging in here, but he's been in the bathroom for some time now. Between you and me, I think he's having a wank in there. He's quite repressed.
  • Metalocalypse: "Going Downklok" shows that the band members resent having to resort to masturbating so much due to having no fans to sleep with. The episode has them developing carpal tunnel syndrome, and they have to deal with trying to release their sexual tension without masturbation, ranging from exercise to attempting to get into the pants of their female producer, Abigail. Nathan succeeding in seducing Abigail was the final straw: after a series of bad decisions on Nathan's part, him getting the girl Pickles wanted caused Pickles to quit the band.
  • Rick and Morty: As a typical 14-year-old boy, Morty is a chronic masturbator. He awkwardly warns Jerry not to come into his room when he's on the internet because who knows what he could be looking at, and only makes a half-hearted attempt to explain away that he's using an alien sex doll robot in his room before just giving up and going back to it.
    • In Season 2's "Total Rickall", a flashback reveals Summer coming home early to find him masturbating in the kitchen. When she demands to know why the hell he's doing it in the kitchen, in embarrassment he angrily declares that he does it in every room of the house (and as she flees, he defiantly shouts after her that he was thinking of her Best Friend).
    • In "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", after Morty spends a few months trapped on a primitive alien planet without his laptop, he admits to masturbating to "an extra-curvy piece of driftwood".
    • In "Rickdependence Spray", Morty discovers that his mom's horse vet clinic has a machine for extracting their semen, and he secretly uses it to pleasure himself. This backfires horribly when Rick tries to use a vat of "horse" semen from the clinic for a new experiment, with Morty too embarrassed to tell him the truth, resulting in a race of sentient sperm-based monsters wreaking havoc. And when Morty is brought before their queen, she calls him out for seeing them as a byproduct of sexual frustration.
      Sperm Queen: How many millions went to their graves for you?! Hurling themselves into the void, only to discover a grody sock or a carefully-folded landing strip of toilet paper!
      Morty: How do you know all this?
      Sperm Queen: Oh, honey, because we're the very essence of you. We're your shame incarnate!
  • Robot Chicken: An episode has Zelda refuse to have sex with Link after saving her from Ganon. So Link says to his hand, "Then I will save you, my princess."
  • The Simpsons: In "Homer the Whopper", Homer is told that he deals with stress by being a Big Eater, and he replies "Well, you don't always have time to masturbate."
  • Played for Drama in the Tuca & Bertie episode "Plumage". Bertie has been dealing with a crush on her boss, Pastry Pete, as well as coping with daily fears of sexual harassment. When Pete pushes her head into a boiling pot of banana roux, Bertie retreats to the bathroom in a fit of anxiety and masturbates to cope with the stressful experience. This foreshadows her childhood sexual trauma.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • 24 is portrayed as being sexually frustrated due to the low chance of meeting women in his henching job and has to resort to porn and masturbation to deal with it.
      24: Don't knock or anything! It's not like I live with 80 guys and no women, so there is no chance that I am masturbating!
    • In "The Trial of the Monarch", it's shown that Phantom Limb still lusts after his ex Dr. Girlfriend when it's revealed that he kept masturbating over her Stripperific 'Queen Etheria' costume after she left him, much to her disgust when he has to hand it over to her and she notices "hard chunks" in the fabric.