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The Outbreak is a new blog that describes the different ways in which the coronavirus pandemic affects our lives.

I’m sorry to tell you this, the golden age of American television, but you’re not doing it for me anymore. Watching people walking in bars, gathering in parks, touching everything in a grocery store – I don’t know what kind of life you’re planning. I can’t connect.

I turned away from Netflix and turned to another modern – or in fact classic – sin. Constant masturbation.

It’s true, I’ve always said that. Masturbation. I’m not ashamed, and none of us should be ashamed, because we all are. I’ve seen memes – the sign on the left says what I thought I was going to do in quarantine, and it’s a guy who plays video games or cooks, and the right says what I’m doing instead, and they’re men hitting huge bags of hanging meat.

I’ve seen those meat bags in real life, in butcher shops. You always scared me. But that’s not the point. The fact is, I meet my lady’s flesh, and when you meet flesh, you get a lot more than normal.

I’m so bored with the coronavirus, I fell asleep four times the other day. Four times when my brain was talking: Oh, fuck, kill me to stop looking at the clock, I’ve paid a visit to our loyal friend Pornuhab. (Not to mention the fact that I’m doing a census here.) Although historians would be interested in, say, a hundred years if they found my diary of the pandemic, and that was just a list of times I did it. Sunday at 4:00 p.m., because in the name of God, what on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. when you think of Brad Pitt at the Fight Club at 3:00 p.m.).

I’m joking. I rarely use Pornhub – I don’t trust it at all as an ethical porn site. I get my juice from Reddit or, oddly enough, Twitter. Amateur equipment is better and it is easier to say that the women involved are not tortured and/or raped. I can’t go crazy over crazy violations of other people’s rights, you understand me? And in Pornhub, women are always too stylized with women’s stuff – I can always say that’s not for me, but for a man who thinks he knows how sex between women really works.

It doesn’t matter. Clicking on a bean isn’t so different now than it was before the pandemic, but I think we all agree we’re doing it out of the blue. And at least it was a lot harder for me to get in the mood. I don’t know about you, but worrying about my grandmother going to the supermarket isn’t exactly an aphrodisiac. I distract myself from the coronavirus for 15 precious minutes when I think of Alison Bry’s tight sweater at the Society, and then when I’m almost there, my treacherous brain looks like this: What if all the grocery stores close and your town turns into a tribe of factions who steal to survive? They haven’t raised more than 20 pounds since school. You may have to sell your body for chickpeas. What would you tell your parents? Wait, in this scenario, they’re dead. LOL.

Well, actually, forget it. Masturbation is different now. I think if I had a penis, it would be easier – from what I’ve heard, you can get it out in less than five minutes. My body doesn’t work that way, and my brain certainly can’t stop. It was a nightmare.

Regular masturbation, like before Trump started saying that the health of the stock market is more important than the lives of the American people, was already a small struggle for me. If you are busy with nature and too sensitive to the flow of consciousness, sexuality can be really exhausting and strange. One day I really liked this video with this British guy on his belt, but then I started thinking about it, wait, he moves without any lubricant, lotion or anything else, is he okay? What if he has to make another video after that? I mean, it’s his job, that’s all, he’s gonna hurt himself.

And then I remembered braxitis, another thing that could hurt that poor man. And what does this Braxite man think, I wonder? What effect will that have on him? If he has a family and kids, are they okay? What are their prospects for a job in the ever-changing British economy, led by a madman named Boris Johnson? Joris Bonson, I hate that guy. And my thoughts were like that, and I wasn’t excited, because you can’t get excited thinking about Boris Johnson. As Winnie the Pooh himself said, oh, worry.

But I’m still trying. I’m introverted and avoid the hustle and bustle just as much as the next player – but there are always activities that give me a kind of feeling. Touch yourself, there’s a couple of pints of Ben and Jerry, a couple of garbage cans, if I can’t open them, masturbate again. The cycle of life.

When all this is over – and I have to keep reminding myself that this is the case – I would like to believe that all of our masturbations will give us some sort of height. Perhaps not a spiritual exaltation, certainly not a professional exaltation, but a personal exaltation. Masturbation teaches you more about what you like sexually than real sex with another person. If you can learn to do good for yourself, you can also teach others to do good for themselves. And when we all feel good, we’re friendlier to each other. It’s a better world.