Gooning is one of those things that many men don’t understand, and it is a very, very easy thing to make fun of. Gooning is, in fact, objectively ridiculous. It is also one of the things that holds a key to a freer expression of sexuality through mindful masturbation.

It doesn’t really surprise me that many avid masturbators—social and solitary alike—have no idea what gooning really is, and it’s actually a little hard to describe. In my own words: Gooning is a state of deep sexual experience in which one partially detaches from rational thought and acts more primitively, more feral. It is, by deliberate choice, irrational sexual pleasure that can include facial contortions, drooling, deep breathing through the mouth and non-verbal moaning.

It is “deep bate.”

I jack off with a lot of guys, probably more than a hundred in a year, and I have noticed a very controlled space that too many men get into when they’re in a sexual state, like they get more tense and tight as they get closer to orgasm. I see gooning as the opposite of that, allowing yourself to breath through your open mouth, make sounds organically, allow a deeper, more primordial sexual energy to flow freely, to look unabashedly at what you want to see, to essentially release control to indulge in an extravagant experience of deep, physical pleasure.

And to get to that free space, I had to fake it for a while, to act like a monkey or a dog or whatever, to allow myself to be silly, for want of a better word. I think the experience of gooning is not fake, though. I think it’s an organic, deep human process that we are generally cut off from in the sexually-strangled, civilized world. It’s very contrary to our daily existence and way of thinking and being, so for a lot of us, maybe all of us, it takes some work to set it free.

I have caught myself drooling when in a deep goon state, and that includes when having sex with a partner. The first time it happened, I broke into laughter, which also felt freeing.

Dan Savage once remarked in his podcast about how, in the heat of sex, we can act ridiculous, in ways that we would never behave outside of a sex act or a mental institution, and at the moment of orgasm, all that sanity rushes back to us and we experience a moment of embarrassed disbelief at what idiots we seemed to be just seconds before. I think that cultivating the deep goon is healthy and accepting that experience, embracing its primordial power, is part of being fully sexual and fully satisfied. The moment after the sexcraziness has passed can be one of awe and honor for our deeper selves instead of embarrassment.

I love meeting other men who can embrace the goon within.

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