“You do it to yourself, you do. And that’s what really hurts.”
— Radiohead, Just
A few weeks ago, I blew your collective mind with a post about marijuana cigarettes and the lawyers who love them. Everyone agreed that it was a true revelation and a rare insight into the human condition. Lawyers stopped each other on the Subway, put down their five-dollar foot longs, and talked about pot use and what it means for lawyers who are still struggling to find jobs in an economy that deems them superfluous and sometimes even magnanimous about their superfluity. The words. They just pile up sometimes, one after another.
You know what else takes the edge off?
Good old ‘bating. Partner drops a big ol’ pile of suck on your desk at 5 p.m.? Might as well ‘bate. Judge says your motion is denied? ‘Bate. Your client is found guilty of ‘bating? Well, we’ll get to that.
When it comes to lowering stress, there’s not a single thing better than masturbation. It’s sex with someone you love, as Woody Allen once said (before he impeached himself on issues of appropriate objects of love).
Yesterday, New York Magazine highlighted a movement to deny oneself… oneself. And if you or David Lat or anyone else not named you or David Lat thinks I can’t stretch the connections between that New York Magazine article and the legal community into something approaching an entire post, you’re sorely mistaken.
Because we’re about to talk about the most Learned of Hands….
As I mentioned in that most onanistic of introductions, New York Magazine recently published an article that purports to profile a movement of internet denizens who have given up masturbation in an attempt to… well, on this point the article is unclear. Something about manhood. Energy, keeping girlfriends happy, Norman Mailer makes a cameo. Boiled down to its essence, it’s an article about self-hackers who have given up their previous lives as self-jackers.
I actually read the article on my smartphone in a bathroom stall at work. I’m not sure if that’s ironic because I have no idea what irony means. At any rate, the part of the article that jumped out at me was the one I’m about to block-quote. It’s about a law school student who is part of this nascent movement of self-abnegators. Here is the block quote I promised two sentences ago:
There’s also the particularly poignant demographic whose sexual lives are so inextricable from their computers that giving up masturbation is a way of unplugging and reentering the world.
“I never really had to get out there,” says a 24-year-old law student in California whose longest streak of not masturbating was 105 days (he did have sex with his girlfriend during this time). Though he started limiting masturbation because it fixed the erectile problems he experienced during sex with his partner, it was also about trying to more actively engage with life. “I was not a troll who lived in my room and played World of Warcraft all the time, but I didn’t really develop fully socially,” he says.
Unfortunately, the article gives us no more clues about who this law school holdacock denier is. It’s probably Steve though, huh? It sounds like Steve.
Now, you can read all about the little perverts who refuse to masturbate in the New York Magazine article. But back here in the real world, people masturbate. A lot. And if you don’t believe that this is a field both ripe and timely for lawyerly intervention, you haven’t Googled “lawyers and masturbation” like I did last night. Right below a picture of David Lat (this isn’t a joke… I think it’s, like, a Google Plus circles thing? I don’t really know) was a link for the preeminent masturbation attorney in all of Charlotte, North Carolina. The attorney’s name is Christopher A. Connelly and he’s here to lend you a helping hand. No, the other one. There you go.
Connelly has a helpful FAQ about public masturbation that includes the elements of a successful defense against said charge. I thought it might be fun to run through Connelly’s queries. Let us begin.
Was the conduct witnessed by a competent witness?
Who’s to say who is competent enough to witness my masturbation? Is this something they grant degrees in? They should. It’d be just as useful as my law degree.
Did the conduct occur in private?
This seems like a reasonable enough distinction when dealing with public masturbation. Another way of phrasing this might be, “Was the masturbation public?” Then nod your head, scratch your chin and look like a lawyer. Hmmmmmm….
How far along into the masturbation was the defendant? Partially or fully erect? Stroking? Ejaculation?
This is getting uncomfortable, counselor.
Does the defendant have a clean record?
It was clean before I ejaculated, yes sir.
Does the defendant have good standing in the community?
Before or after the public masturbation charge?
Can terms be negotiated for a dismissal?
I feel like this should have come first. That’s not an ejaculation joke. And finally:
Was the defendant enticed or entrapped into violating this law?
Enticement is a necessary element to this particular crime, Mr. Connelly.
I was enticed to write this post, for example. I wouldn’t say I was entrapped, because that would be overstating things. At this point it would be hard to separate my own motivations for committing this very public act from the ways in which New York Magazine is responsible for my behavior. Partially or fully hard? I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand your question, Mr. Connelly.