So, it turns out that a London-based sex toy company named Hot Octopuss has erected a "masturbation" booth in NYC on the corner of 28th and 5th Avenue. As described by RT and the Gothamist on their sites, the masturbation booth is really just a phone booth with a curtain, a folding chair and a laptop inside. A laptop? According to Hot Octopuss, 100 men used the masturbation booth on January 12th, it's "opening" day.
First off, public masturbation is a crime. And according to various statistics, public masturbation - especially on the NYC Subway system - is at epidemic highs. Hot Octopuss claims that their booth is going to help relieve (pardon the pun) some of those subway masturbators who now have a more private space to do their business. But, at the same time, the company specifically says that the booth is for men who work nine-to-five jobs and are stressed out and need a healthy release during the work day. In any case, is masturbation in a curtained off booth that is LABELED "GuyFi" with Hot Octopuss' logo on the side, is that considered private masturbation? And what the hell are bathroom stalls in guys bathrooms for anyway?
But way way more importantly is this: Do MEN really need ANOTHER place/accommodation/reason/permission to jack off? As far as I've heard, men are not having trouble finding spaces to relieve themselves. Obviously, some find it totally acceptable to do so on the subway, even. I don't believe they need encouraging.
WOMEN, however, DO need this space/accommodation/reason/permission. There are many women who are still having trouble climaxing. Many partners of women who don't know how to satisfy them. Many women who are embarrassed to have an orgasm or simply don't know that they can have orgasms. And with the still-current weight of sexism weighing on most of the women in Manhattan - having to work a nine-to-five job, deal with consumerist lookism everyday, cat calls on the streets, glass ceilings in the workplace and who knows what sort of unfairly divided up domestic chores at home, WOMEN are the ones who need the stress relief, most definitely. Not men.
If the world were run by women... And if this masturbation booth were made for (and by) women, it would be a small trailer parked on the corner of 28th and 5th. It would have a website, where women could sign up for their 30-60 minute slot. It would have an attendant who would wait outside while the trailer was in use and clean the trailer after each use. It would have lube and a wide selection of porn and movies starring a young Alec Baldwin, Gina Gershon, Sophia Loren, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Eddie Murphy, etc... to choose from. The trailer would have outlets for a BYOV (bring your own vibrator) and a small half bath for women to clean up afterwards. Of course, there'd be a donation bin for tips for the attendant and the donation bin would have a Square reader attached to it so that donations could be made by credit card. The trailer would be open from 7:30 am to 10 pm Monday through Friday and it would be decorated on the outside by local artists who would paint a sex-positive woman-centric mural across its walls.
But alas, the world is run by men. So, women are shit out of luck. Although we do get to walk over to 28th and 5th and gawk at the legs of some man jerking off to some kind of porn. Lucky us.