Illustration by Dave van Patten
If everything else about me has changed since I was a teenager, shouldn’t I be jerking off differently, too?
by C. Brian Smith
“Am I pleased with the way I masturbate?”
“Should I stop masturbating the way I have been since I was 13?
“Have I been masturbating the same way since I was 13?”
“Do I even want to masturbate better?”
“Shouldn’t I be more focused on getting laid with someone other than myself?”
These are a few of the questions I’m asking myself as I speed through a rare Southern California monsoon toward Palm Springs on the eve of New Year’s Eve.
My masturbation coach will be expecting answers to these questions.
Or at least to the first four.
I’d heard about the female equivalent on Real Sex years ago and thought of it again recently, after which I Googled “male masturbation coach in California” to see if such a thing existed. The most immediate search results yielded a smattering of SoCal sex therapists (e.g., “Naughty Lifestyle Expert” Sienna Sinclaire), and stories about a San Diego Chargers security guard who was recently filmed masturbating in front of the team’s cheerleading squad. The second page of search results, though, revealed exactly what I was looking for: Masturbation coach Ed Ehrgott, the middle-aged, dual-nipple-ringedowner of Sacred Touch for Men who asks on his website, “Could your solo sexual practice use some juice?”
You bet it could, Ed.
The fact is, save for the occasional lube adjustment, I masturbate exactly the same way I did when I was 13. There’s nothing particularly pleasing about it, though it’s one of the few remaining dopamine dumps my sober brain is permitted, and it helps me fall asleep in the absence of a blissful fog of booze and benzodiazepines. I’m single, so minding my solitary erotic life is relevant. And I’ve resolved to cultivate a number of self-care practices in 2017; in addition to enhancing my wank, I’m exfoliating and trying to drink eight cups of water a day.
My search also turned up two of the other male masturbation coaches on the planet — Bruce Grether in Texas and Osher Elias in Madrid — as well as Vanessa Marin, a female coach specializing in helping women find their orgasm. “There’s no real certification for masturbation coaches,” Grether tells me, but there are “plenty of people who do it informally. For example, there’s a video called the ‘nine golden keys of mindful masturbation’ that my young friend Blue Tyger produced. He’s a film student, so it’s really well done.”
Across the pond, Elias leads an online Tantric Masturbation Course For Men. Coaching Europeans presents unique challenges and opportunities, he says. “Most men in Europe are uncircumcised and lose a lot of pleasure by not masturbating effectively. They just move the foreskin up and down with two fingers and experience what people hate the most with condoms. When I teach them to make contact with the glans and frenulum, it generates another level of stimulation with a direct connection to the nervous system. They feel like they’re going to explode!”
That all sounded well and good, but I’m circumcised and plenty acquainted with my frenulum. Nor was I looking to fly to Spain (or even Texas) to improve my wank. So I settled on Ed, who was a mere two hours from my L.A. apartment. After a brief phone call, I scheduled a 90-minute, in-person session at his “studio” — a generous term, since it turned out to be the master bedroom of his beige ranch house in North Palm Springs. Despite the rain, I arrived early and killed 30 minutes or so parked out front, awkwardly waving to passing residents of Ed’s gated community…