Thursday, April 3, 2014

Adventures in Virginity: Exploring Masturbation with The Pink Panther

"Toddlers independently discover masturbation the same way they all instinctively figure out how to pick their noses"

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 12:17 PM

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The Pink Panther was my first sex partner. Each night I slept with him mashed so tightly between my thighs that I permanently deformed his protruding nose (I’m sure there’s a children’s book idea in there to rival The Velveteen Rabbit). Had my Pink Panther been magically brought to life a la Pinocchio, there’s a good chance he’d go straight to the police with a litany of horrific allegations from false imprisonment to date rape. But it was only later that the innocence of our relationship was tainted — when I discovered the doll had shared my sister's bed first.

It’s safe to say ours was a stepping-stone relationship. The Pink Panther was a surrogate for the mother who no longer allowed me to take refuge from night terrors in her bed, and a training doll for all the future women I hoped to bed myself; accordingly, the affection I showed this plush doll fell somewhere between snuggling and dry-humping.

I now know it’s common for toddlers to independently discover masturbation in the same way they instinctively figure out how to pick their noses or shoot spitballs. Stuffed animals are a natural conduit for sexual experimentation, as we're left alone with these protectors to pass nights that seemingly stretch on for a gazillion hours. Many children, particularly girls it seems, are much more adventurous when it comes to experimental masturbation, testing out household items like shower heads or the corners of couches.

The Pink Panther was a far cry from the plush vibrator known as the "Tickle Me Elmo" that children a generation after me received for Christmas; that particular kid-friendly sex toy probably caused more furry fetishes than all the costumed Playboy bunnies put together. By comparison, my doll-humping was relatively tame. It would be years before I learned masturbation had a natural endpoint, or that wet dreams meant something far different than soiling the bed.

At that age, I was living the dream, hanging out all day half-naked, playing with fast cars, shooting guns, digging holes, and sleeping with my Pink Panther whenever the mood struck. I couldn’t have asked for anything more — except maybe for more cookies. (There were never enough cookies.) That dream ended when my mother shipped me off to kindergarten. School was a difficult transition. Not only did I have to get dressed in more than just my superhero underwear, I had to leave all my toys at home, including The Pink Panther. My one consolation was that I got to bring my penis with me.

Just as Steve Martin replaced Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau, so did my penis take up the mantel of The Pink Panther. At school, my penis became my not-so-imaginary friend who occasionally got me into trouble. He was a pocket pet: a mostly housebroken creature who napped much of the day on a downy pillow of balls. When he stirred, I’d settle him with some soothing petting. I was like a miniature version of Lennie from Of Mice and Men: a hardworking intellectual dwarf with a penchant for giving too much affection to the bashful animals I kept in my pockets.

My knowledge base was built with a pencil in one hand and my fleshy fountain pen in the other. My initial style of gripping crayons was fashioned after the western grip I favored when wrangling my penis. (This may explain why so much of what interests me intellectually and artistically also appeals to my penis’s sensibilities.)

There was little logic behind my obsessive fondling. To be fair, few of my actions would be described as rational — at that age, thinking was not my specialty. (For example, my brother convinced me to join his club, The Suicidal Idiots, which consisted of him using me as his stunt double for testing ramps and cardboard wings.) I held my penis simply because I enjoyed it, just as fiddling with a computer joystick gave me hours of mindless pleasure. Unfortunately, adults were of the general consensus that excessive amounts of both activities would melt my brain.

I was wise enough to know not to keep council with The Pink Panther in church, partially because nothing but boredom was permitted in church. But a few encouraging strokes here and there at my school desk seemed entirely reasonably when coping with the monotony of mastering handwriting or reading about Dick and Jane's adventures.

Neither my kindergarten nor my first grade teacher ever punished me for diddling. Perhaps they noticed but didn't want to explain why this behavior was crude. Beyond my teachers, no one else in my class, including me, could pronounce masturbation, let alone define it. To me, my groin seemed a perfectly reasonable place to store my hands, certainly better than stuffing my fingers in my mouth or up my nose. I was simply following my teachers’ instructions and keeping my hands to myself. This was a time when my peers soiled their pants with such regularity that the nurse kept a box of donated clothes in her office. By comparison, some light penis play was progress, a victory of culture over nature. With my penis nuzzled snuggly in my lap, I was learning how to sit still for eight hours a day and focus on skills imperative to my future, like making hand-turkeys from construction paper.

At that age, my fashion choices favored my fondling. Summers I wore hand-me-down t-shirts that hung to my knees like dresses, providing a privacy curtain that concealed my pocket puppet shows. I favored loose pants with elastic waists that could be slipped under with ease; jeans felt as constricting as a chastity belt.

Winters, I wore sweats. On cold days it seemed all the more acceptable to tuck my hands between my thighs or to bury them deep in my pockets for warmth. In some ways this fashion is still a more accurate representation of who I am at heart. If I were to take my mother’s advice to just be myself, I’d show up to dates in an oversized t-shirt with one hand buried in my sweatpants.

So it was that I strolled into class one winter day dressed in the finest of mismatched sweats. As I stepped into class, the nickel I found on my walk to school hit the floor near my feet. Investigating the matter, I discovered a hole in my pocket. The realization was like finding a secret door to Narnia or a rabbit-hole to Wonderland. This hole had to be explored. Accordingly, I spent most of the morning excavating the rip. By noon, I could fit my entire fist through it.

While I practiced my secret handshake with The Pink Panther, my teacher, Ms. Shout — her real name — called on me. I gripped my penis tighter to give me the courage to answer her. The fear of popping a boner in class was still remote. Perhaps my hormones weren’t strong enough to induce a rager, or maybe my boners were simply lost in my bulky sweatpants.

I wasn’t in trouble. Quite the contrary; because I had been so well-behaved and quiet all morning, Ms. Shout wanted me to take a note to the office with another super quail. (Super quails wore plastic badges that distinguished us as super nerds who were submissive to teachers and rules — the kind of kids who would grow up to get midrange jobs working for other people.)

Ms. Shout matched me with an athletic girl named Rose. I thought Rose was pretty, but being a foot taller than me, she was far out of my league. Walking the halls, we were required to hold hands. Rose must have carried Ms. Shout's note, as my free hand was elbow deep in my pocket the entire time. Rose didn't comment on this peculiarity until we were at the door of our classroom. She asked why I had my hand so far down my pants. I wasn’t as much embarrassed as surprised she noticed.

"I have a hole in my pocket," I explained. As a hole was enough to captivate our imaginations during the monotony of school, I then asked, "Do you want to feel it?"

Rose leaned over and reached into my pocket.

I like to think she greeted my penis with a firm handshake on behalf of women everywhere. But, to be honest, my memory of what happened in my pants was erased by her reaction upon retrieving her hand from my pants. She looked down at me for a long, silent moment before stepping back into our classroom.

In a roundabout way, school was teaching me important life lessons. Rose had helped me discover that it wasn’t socially acceptable to play hide-and-seek with your penis in public, even if you though you had enough to share with the class.

While Rose’s reaction was shame-inducing, her initial investigation was sexual in a way my diddling and doll-humping wasn’t. While part of me worried that she would tattle to Ms. Shout, another part hoped she’d tell all of our female classmates, who would then line up in the schoolyard to pay a nickel for admission to the circus tent I was erecting in my sweats.

Reflecting on the incident now, I wonder what kind of penis habits men would develop if we were left to our own devices. Would we have masturbation breaks at work? Would all of our pockets be express tunnels to our penises? Would we regularly sleep with furry, life-sized dolls?

School socializes us. It civilizes our animal nature. Boys in particular learn to cage our sexual urges in constricting denim. We learn to channel our sexual energy toward skills that will not only make us more productive members of society, but also presumably make us more desirable mates to modern women. In essence, The Pink Panther lurking in my pants had to go even deeper undercover, while I developed skills that would help me smuggle him into secret, magical realms hidden the pants of women.



Read more Adventures in Virginity:
-Birth of an affection fetish,
-Building a Penis Pump at Age 10,
-The case of the aspiring vagina archaeologists

Follow Shawn Alff on Twitter or Facebook and email him here


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