Onanism

A poem from Yoon Yong. I had a debate in the pub the other week about onanism. I have a theory that the violence of men, may have its root in onanism: in one onanistic act, a man lays waste on a rag, to an entire population. Dylan Thomas was concerned with this. So is Yoon Yong.

 Onanism
 
…Reclined | tensing in the shallow relief of the sofa
his unimpressive prick in his left hand |
 
tugging it like a monk feeding prayer beads through
his pious fingers | the girl on girl porn panting
 
out of the Apple Mac—it tickled her
how he tucked it away quickly & closed the laptop lid
 
getting up to greet her with a peck on the cheek
& mumbling something quickly
 
“…about going out for dinner in Itaewon—pasta?”
I wonder if he just likes the one kind of porn |
 
is it habit & if he looks for women like me?
Mom called me when she found “sex magazines”
 
in her brother’s room.
Panicky as only our mother is she called | not sure what her
 
“duty to the situation” was— should she tell
the father | or have a private talk with her son
 
about the immorality of “touching yourself” | even
though she knows nothing about it
 
—this is what happens when no-one talks &
the “unspoken rule of thumb” is the solution
 
to taboos in polite society: no one
has the foggiest idea what to do…
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13 Comments

  1. You and your ‘unspoken rule of thumb’! 😀

    Depend upon it – we women masturbate too, you know. Overall, it’s cathartic, and with 7.53 people currently on the planet, making whole other species extinct and buggering up the ecosphere, I think more of us should do so for a few years, until we’re a more manageable plague.

    And I know several women of my orientation who enjoy watching videos of or looking at images of the kind of things they actually like doing. Scopophilia is not a wholly male thing.

    Anyhow… good poem. Another Yoon Yong. Don’t… uh… spend them too quickly. 😉

    1. The options I took may imply this, but I did think about Yoon Yong masturbating over scopophilic stuff, but I thought it obvious, for some reason. Yoon Yong might be some one who obviously masturbates anyway.
      I wanted her to be jealous of her self, almost. That is why she wonders if he masturbates over women like her. Her tone is that of someone more curious than emotionally overinvested. It raises an eyebrow for the reader though: how much does she care?
      I think male onanism is potentially more derogatory & seen as problematic in that it establishes an industry in which women aren’t always seen as empowered for being in porn, but rather abused. Look into it a little & women benefit from porn financially on a scale men don’t. Men are the props, women profit from. They hold the power really.
      Good to know everyone enjoys a wank though haha. It is one of the last free pleasures.

      1. I was commenting more about your introductory para than the thoughts of the voice of the poem. Highly commercialised, highly exploitative porn is the price society pays for its having become more open in its discussions on sexual matters since the1960s. Many people saw this coming (no play on words intended), and indeed it was inevitable in a society where everything that can be made a commodity IS made a commodity. My attitude has always been: 1) Actually sort out male sexuality at last, about which we haven’t a bloody clue, for all our ‘openness’; 2) Stop whingeing about the commodification of one particular thing, and tackle the whole system of commercial exploitation, the one that profits from sickness, hunger, war, vanity, lust…

        1. My thoughts entirely. I am interested in your encouraging us to “sort out male sexuality”. I think we are in an odd time as far as sexuality goes. I’d go so far as to say our fear of making an error of judgement is making us more conservative.

  2. In classical Rome it was the testicles that marked male genital attractiveness. Big balls “meant” virility, so you see classical statuary with big balls and little aesthetic attention paid to large penises. So it is interesting that Yoon Yong body shames “his unimpressive prick” (his Romanic-ly, scopophiliac-ily irrelevant prick). If he had a reasonably sized set of balls, he would at least have been popular in Rome circa 100 CE! 🙂

    I don’t know about Korea, but in Japan girlfriends/wives buy porn for their men as gifts. The reasoning is that between the porn and actual sex, the guy will be erotically sated ergo VERY happy. I had no idea this was a thing in Japan… so you can imagine what my first anniversary present (and the ensuing discussion) was like! LOL!

    Best. Relationship. Ever…

    1. That is very interesting. It must be remarked that Yoon Yong’s dislike of her husband is as much a reluctance to love herself. This is owing to her seeing her attachment to him as a loss of identity, just as her job, which is to speak English for a living, is its manifestation in job-form. She seems to be unable to escape from another language, which she equates with loss of self, or national identity. I am not saying this is a general truth, this is a fiction exploring a potential reaction to circumstances.
      In Korea, pornography is illegal. As far as I am aware, Christians pushed for it to be made illegal. I am not sure how I’d react to being given porn, I expect in the correct cultural context I’d be better equipped.

        1. I suppose, I really don’t know. It isn’t something Koreans talk about as it just isn’t present in their lives, it is a sort of unspoken taboo, I suppose. So when they visit Japan & see it in the 711 I have no idea what they think about it. Never asked oddly.

        2. When I first travelled to and/or lived in Japan (1995 – 2002) there were no laws governing pornography, other than medieval woodcuts of love making were illegal, and women’s groins had to be pixelated. That meant that you could find anything available for purchase or rent in certain video stores, no matter how illegal/criminal it was elsewhere in the world. A Japanese artist friend of mine even received an unsolicited letter in the mail from an unknown person in the Netherlands requesting some really illegal images for an “art project.” Thank God that kind of horrible shit got closed down in 2002. Japan was the Wild West for porn up until the 21st century…

        3. The attitude to erotica/porn/whatever in Japan could fill a thesis. Actually, it is illegal to show genitals, female OR male; this law only dates back to the post-WW2 American occupation. IT-age Japanese video-makers have used the work-around of very selective mosaic pixelation. That hasn’t stopped other Japanese makers basing an operation elsewhere, in countries with more liberal laws, and it is easy enough to find non-mosaic Japanese material online.
          [How do I know all this? I am Marie Marshall the Feminist, not Marie Marshall the Ignoramus. 😀 ]

        4. Well, it was pretty easy to find non-pixellated porn when I lived there full time. I never saw evidence of any kind of enforcement of porn “standards” beyond what the industry had to comply with. Non-pixelated porn was readily available. Either way, porn wasn’t really much of an issue for myself and others in my profession. Not much need of porn when you have an active love life thanks to the Japanese music industry.

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