Social Question

SmashTheState's avatar

[NSFW] What is the appropriate social response to catching someone [XXXXXXXXX]ing?

Asked by SmashTheState (9603 points ) March 10th, 2012

Forbidden word cleansed from the topic under the imprimitur of Fluther’s Ministry of Truth: [XXXXXXXXX] = masturbat-

Recently I walked into my living room to find my roommate masturbating in front of his computer. Apparently he didn’t know or didn’t care that I was home. He quickly zipped up his pants and I just walked through and pretended I didn’t see anything.

It’s not the first time this has happened, either. In my lifetime, I’ve probably caught a half-dozen people masturbating (and not all of them men, either). Each time, I’ve had to figure out how I’m supposed to respond to this.

Once, for example, I was visiting a friend in a rooming house and leaned in his doorway to see a man I didn’t even know lying in his bed, jerking off with a porno in his hands. Why he was there, to this day I do not know. He looked up at me and made eye contact, slowed down the tempo of his fist-pumps for a bit, then went back to his magazine and continued. I wasn’t quite sure whether I should wait outside the room for him to finish, depart without asking where my friend was, or stand with my hands on my hips and demand to know “WTF?!” (I ended up doing the first. The dude left the room and wandered away when he was done without speaking a word to me.)

Is there some sort of unspoken social ritual around masturbation which I’ve missed? I’m asexual, which means I’m not always au fait with sexual standards and rituals. What is the appropriate reaction when walking in on someone engaging in self-pleasure?

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55 Answers

creative1's avatar

Its a natural thing to maturbate and you seem to have very bad timing to catch so many people doing it.

Shippy's avatar

I think it’s a bit like if you catch someone on the toilet. You leave without comment, I’m not sure you need to respond? Unless they are in the middle of the lounge or public area. People do masturbate, from time to time, some feel less embarrassed about it than others.

ragingloli's avatar

It is simple, really. You slice his penis off.

Thammuz's avatar

“Join in or get out” is my personal policy.

ucme's avatar

If it was a friend i’d pretend I never saw or laugh it off.
If it was the wife i’d ask to join in
If it was my mother/grandma i’d most likely vomit.

cookieman's avatar

I’d likely wait until the next day, perhaps over breakfast. Room is quiet save for the clinking of spoons against cereal bowls. Just as he’s in mid sllluuurrrppp of last few drops of milk – I’d say quietly,

“so…how’d that work out for ya yesterday?” – and just keep on eating as if you said nothing.

stardust's avatar

Depending on the person, I’d either cheer them on, leave quietly or scream.
It’s completely natural, so unless it was my brother, I’d find little reason to feel embarrassed.

KoleraHeliko's avatar

“You look like your arm/hand is tired, let me take over for you.”

noraasnave's avatar

“Can you take a break from that for a minute, I am looking for my friend”

Wow…you know…there are bathrooms here…they are perfectly suited for that, or in the comfort of your bedroom.

God, Man!!!! PUT THAT THING AWAY…we got company.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Say “oops” and walk out. And don’t mention it. Why embarrass the poor soul?

fremen_warrior's avatar

“Hey man have you seen the *(whatever it is you were looking for in there)?”

rebbel's avatar

“Hey, careful…, don’t point that thing at me.”

filmfann's avatar

“What’s up, Doc?” works for me.
I have never caught anyone doing this. If I had caught 5 or 6 people like you, I might consider wearing a cow bell, or have keys on my belt that jingle loudly.

SmashTheState's avatar

@filmfann I don’t like to make noise. Even as a child, I used to pad silently around the house, carefully closing doors and cupboards, feeling for creaky floorboards with my feet, so that I wouldn’t make a sound. To wake my parents up, I’d creep silently into their room, lean over right next to their heads and whisper, “mooOOOooOOOoommmm, daaAAaaaAAAAaaaad,” repeatedly, just at the level of audibility, until, inevitably, one of them would jerk upright with a shout of terror. No matter how many times they cursed and swore, they couldn’t get me to stop.

My roommates often get angry at the way I ghost silently around the apartment, carefully edging the refrigerator shut and gently lowering the toilet seat so I can’t be heard. I had one roommate who would knock on my door once in a while just to make sure I was still living there and alive.

I think that may be the reason I’ve caught so many people pulling their collective puds.

Keep_on_running's avatar

“Well this is awkward…”

Then slowly retreat out of the room.

Shippy's avatar

@SmashTheState I had to giggle at the way you explained scaring your parents half to death. But you’d make a great roomie, apart from well, when I wanted to xxxxbate.

Luiveton's avatar

It’s time for The Uncomfortable STARE.

deni's avatar

I don’t believe I’ve ever walked in on anyone masturbating. Actually, once recently, I was living in the same house as my ex boyfriend briefly for a month after we broke up. We lived in separate rooms and were still on good terms, and of course without thinking I wanted to ask him something so I barged into his room the one night and he was whackin it, and it was so weird because it was the first time I’d seen his penis in years that I couldn’t just jump in and help. I believe I yelled “Oh god!” then shut the door, sprinted 2 feet to my own room and laughed hysterically. He heard me laughing, I didn’t try to hide it, I don’t even know why I thought it was so funny. I guess just his reaction when I barged in. We both chuckled like jolly santas about it later.

Yeah, but any other situation, I’m pretty sure my reaction would be the same, probably minus the laughing. Just “OH!” “OH DEAR!” “WOOPS!” Something like that.

ETpro's avatar

I’m with @Thammuz “Join in or get out.” If it’s somebody I find hot, I probably suggest they let this professional “Take masturbation out of the hands of an amateur.” If they don’t turn me on, then I just apologize for interrupting the fun, and beat a hasty retreat.

majorrich's avatar

Just walk away. Then buy a keyboard membrane for him. :) It can be kind of awkward walking in on someone diddling, but it’s just nature. Not a lot different than catching people in-act at a party.

cookieman's avatar

@filmfann: Yet another example of any situation improving with more cowbell.

Symbeline's avatar

I don’t think there’s anything particular to do, other then to leave them be. In some certain scenarios, like if you share a place with a roommate and they’re whacking off in the living room, which you both share, I’d talk to them after and ask that they do this in private. Or that dude who was in your friend’s room. Whether he would have been masturbating or not, I’d be wondering what the hell he’s doing in there, and would find it necessary to inquire, at least after he was done, I guess. Did you ever ask your friend who that could have been? But eh, I’ve lived in rooming houses, weird stuff can happen sometimes haha.
If there’s a good reason why the act should be brought up, then remain polite, but if not, I’d just act like nothing happened, especially if you happen to walk in on someone who’s in their own private quarters.

blueiiznh's avatar

Turn and walk away or pretend you did not notice. I think the more interesting reaction is the one they will have.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Lock eyes and finish like a boss.

Blackberry's avatar

“Now watch as these homo sapiens finish their copulation technique…...”

lloydbird's avatar

Billy Connolly has some helpful advice for those who get caught.

Hmm? Is @SmashTheState Billy Connolly in disguise?

Ron_C's avatar

It’s happened to me. I just said “sorry” and left then never talked about it. I caught my dad with his girlfriend, I may be scared.

mazingerz88's avatar

I would smile then yell, Hey! And then do some Irish stepdancing ala Riverdance!

wundayatta's avatar

I’ve caught people fucking more often than I’ve caught them masturbating. I guess some people don’t really care. It’s rude, as far as I’m concerned. But I do as you do. I back off and pretend I didn’t see them.

I wish I had the balls to walk in on them and stare or not stare (do whatever I wanted, anyway) without saying anything. I guess this works better if people are having sex. I mean, if they are doing it in public or where it is easy to see, doesn’t that mean they want to be seen? So to be polite, I should watch, right?

Yech!

Bellatrix's avatar

Turn around and leave and don’t discuss it further.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Just grin and say, “Me next!”

Cruiser's avatar

I carry Olympic Judging Scoring cards just in case and flash the appropriate number along with applause if warranted.

SpeedskaterMan's avatar

The most appropriate social response? Do and say nothing, and pretend you didn’t notice or care.

If the guy’s embarrassed, giving a response would just exacerbate the embarrassment. I know if my roommate walked in on me, I’d want him to pretend like he didn’t notice. Things tend to be forgotten more quickly if they’re not spoken about or brought to one’s attention. Besides, to embarrass him would be an affront on his manhood.

@ETpro You would join them?

@ragingloli Even as a joke, that’s terrible. Can you imagine if I said “Slice off her clitoris” if she was a woman?

ETpro's avatar

@SpeedskaterMan That’s certainly one option. Of course, it depends heavily on who the “them” is. Gender. Attractiveness and attraction to me. Girls wank too, you know.

SpeedskaterMan's avatar

@ETpro I see what you mean. Doing it mutually can be titillating, I suppose.

ragingloli's avatar

@SpeedskaterMan
Of course I would not slice off her clitoris. I would carve out the entire vagina!

SpeedskaterMan's avatar

@ragingloli Oh my!... what a mind you have.

ETpro's avatar

@SpeedskaterMan Doing it mutually can be most rewarding, and yields interesting smelling fingers.

SpeedskaterMan's avatar

@ETpro Interesting smelling fingers? Huh?

ETpro's avatar

@SpeedskaterMan Try diddling a clit for a bit, then take a sniff and you will get my drift.

SpeedskaterMan's avatar

@ETpro Oh my… geezus.. i don’t know what to say.

ragingloli's avatar

and then you can catch fish by simply holding a finger into the water

wundayatta's avatar

Can you say “culture shock?”

SpeedskaterMan's avatar

@wundayatta I’m new here, so it’s kind of a shock to read such titillating and unabashed answers. It kind of opens up my eyes you know. geez..

Thammuz's avatar

Lol you traumatized @SpeedskaterMan guys

wundayatta's avatar

I know, @SpeedskaterMan. What is sometimes hard to remember is that the way we are here might be something unusual for people who just arrived. This site is pretty open about sexual issues. They make you write “NSFW” on questions about sex (not safe for work), but other than that, as long as it is not gratuitous titillation, I think we can say just about whatever we truly want to say. But we try to act like grownups, unless we are being silly.

Please don’t be offended. We are not trying to offend anyone. It’s just that, like I said, the culture here is open about sexual issues. It’s not for shock value. It’s just because they are interesting issues. And it’s ok to have fun with them.

And by the way, you are very welcome here. There are a lot of good people here. For God’s sake! They even are willing to put up with me!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yeah, and ^^ *that*is a real chore, right there!

wundayatta's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate True, true. And especially hard for some, eh? ;-)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Hey, putting up with me is no picnic either. :D

ETpro's avatar

A couple of days back, somebody got a response moderated out for being too obscene, and it was in a thread marked NSFW. I’d dearly love to know how far they had to go to rate being censored. Goodness knows I have tried, but to no avail.

One thing about NSFW protocol, @SpeedskaterMan. Questions that might provoke titillating answers must be labeled NSFW in the question itself, and they can’t contain any obscene words in the question, because those might be seen if someone brings up the Home page or their “Just for You” list while at work, or with others around they wouldn’t want seeing lewd contend. That’s why this question had [XXXXXXXXX]ing instead of masturbating.

The juicy stuff needs to be down in the question details and in the discussions. And anything short of pure obscenity is fine there. Fluther users should know not to click on any question with the NSFW label in it if they are in the company of others who might be offended.

majorrich's avatar

Did Spanky on the little rascals have a theme song?

blueiiznh's avatar

ask them to wax the dolphin somewhere private

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

People masturbate. Big deal. Try being at sea on a 66 foot yacht with four healthy males for five weeks. That sound you hear at night? It’s not applause.

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