May is National Masturbation Month. In support, I’m going to attempt to write something about masturbation every day this month. If you enjoy what I have to share (or if you really don’t) please comment. Your participation helps me a lot. Join me in celebrating the most common sexual act of our species and add your thoughts.

I’m right-handed. I’m also a creature of habit (like pretty much every human on the planet). Most guys have a “primary masturbation mode” and mine goes like this: I generally jack off with my right hand, with a steady massaging stoke up and down my shaft, focusing mainly on the top four inches of my dick and speeding up a bit as I approach orgasm.

It is also my routine to fight against the urge to speed up a lot, and deliberately go slower than my instincts tell me. Once I start to ejaculate, I stop jacking my cock, hold it steady and watch my cum squirt. After the first spurts of semen, I will give it a couple more strokes, finally wringing out the last drop of jiz before wiping up and getting on with my day…This is my personal “old faithful.” I know how to time it, I know exactly what to do to coax out a load fast or slow, but I tend to masturbate just like this at least 85% of the time. If I didn’t consciously switch it up, I would probably jack off like this 99% of the time.

But I know about boredom and I have a commitment to myself to make my sex always good, including the sex I have with myself. I want quality orgasms and quality ramp-up time. I want good sex, not utilitarian sex. This is why I like having sex with others, letting other guys jack me off and sticking with it, even if their technique is not what I would choose. I need the variety so I don’t fall into the death-grip trap.

The “death-grip” is the addiction to one way of getting oneself off, usually with a tight fist no mouth, butthole or pussy could ever replicate. Once can actually render oneself incapable of orgasm any other way when one becomes addicted to the death-grip. It’s a real thing that affects a lot of men.

Now, I’m nowhere near in danger of the death-grip. I have always treasured variety in my self-love and I’ve never been into a very tight grip. I frequently have to coach my jack buds on exactly how to handle my cock to get the results they crave, particularly if they’re hooked on the death grip and try that shit on me… It just don’t work on my more discriminating penis.

But even I fall into the familiarity trap. It feels instinctual, like autopilot. No matter what kind of bate fuel I may be using, what kind of bate talk I employ externally or internally, whatever fantasies I may roll out, whatever porn I may lose myself in… the mechanics of the stroke itself tend to be the same.

And this is inevitable—this is human nature—but I have consciously chosen to foster deeper contact with my sexual self, to let my masturbation be more self-loving and that means switching it up.

So this morning marks the start of a one-week break for my right hand. I will allow my right hand to play with my butt or my hole or my nuts or my nips, but until I have shot my load, I may not touch my own dick with my right hand for another week. This week, my left hand gets all the dick, no matter what. It is not easy. Not at all easy.

But I love it. My dick loves it and my left hand loves it. My cock feels twice as big when my left hand applies long, slow strokes to my full cock. I feel harder and while the orgasm is much slower to rise and erupt, it is more intense. It’s a game I have played with myself before and I always love it… and it is never easy to keep my right hand off my cock. I really want it there… but I’m the master of my bate. My right hand will just have to be happy squeezing my meaty butt cheek for a while.

Next week, I may do something else to switch it up. I may only jerk my cock through underwear or while standing at public urinals. I might decide to leave the head of my penis untouched or I may focus entirely on the head. I may jack off into condoms or I may simply use only an overhand grip, as alien as my left hand.

I invite you to join me, to get to know your penis from a slightly different perspective. Switch it up and deny yourself whatever your most routine technique might be. Stroke it in the total darkness, in new rooms, with agonizingly slow strokes, in broad daylight or in public (but… please be very safe with any legally questionable public play and don’t get arrested, my friends. Seriously. Public masturbators who get caught can get saddled with a lifetime on sexual offender watch lists. You do not want that).

Switch it up starting with your very next bate session. Determine what your routine is, whatever is most familiar and comforting, and then decide on a period of time without that one thing. I like one week, but for you, three days, two weeks or two months might be what you like best. Change your perspective and become a better self-lover.

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