Sophie Cullinane | Features Editor | Monday, 2 February 2015

The Politics Of Masturbating When You Work From Home

The Debrief: Freelance journalist Sophie Cullinane walks us through the ins and outs (sorrynotsorry) of wanking when your work from home

Caitlin Moran, in her infinite wisdom, once called wanking a ‘freelancer’s nap’ and I can honestly say that the written word has never resonated so deeply with me. Some might find this an embarrassing disclosure - especially as I did a philosophy degree - but the moment I read those words it felt like Caitlin had jumped off the page and tapped into my very being. You see, like Caitlin, I’ve spent the majority of my time working from home as a freelance journalist on and off for a number of years so am better equipped than most to tell you that there are no happier bedfellows (or sofafellows, or kitchendfellows or on indeed windowsillofyourbathroomthatoverlooksyourneighboursgaragefellows) than working from home and frigging yourself off. Furious wanking is the perk that freelancers get instead of paid holiday, sick leave, pay rises, any kind of pension plan or, indeed, security in our futures. This may seem like a poor exchange to some of you but, frankly, we’re all too busy to care. Plus, it’s the reason why we’ve all got such good skin.

When you work from home, the need to masturbate can strike you at any time. It can be a nice precursor to jump starting your day in the same way office workers might reach for an eye-wateringly over-priced flat white and a pastry. It could be your own personal ‘well done’ for finishing a piece of work in lieu of getting any actual feedback from your boss. It could be a fun alternative to getting out of your pyjamas and taking a walk on your lunch break or simply because you’ve finished your features for the day and have started to be driven slowly mad by watching cooking programmes when you have nothing but half a pot of taramasalata in your fridge. Or even when you’re grappling to think of the right word to write in a specific situation? Moment? Scenario? Oh hang on a second…right yes scenario, you can be tempted to alleviate the stress of writing the next Pulitzer Prize worthy run of prose by swimming, for just a moment, in lake you. I’ve been known to masturbate as many as six times in one day during one particularly stressful assignment. I probably didn’t need to tell you that, but I’m giddy from all the wanking.

But just because masturbating has become an integral part of my freelance routine - like tax returns - does not mean that wanking and working from home is without its problems. Having paper thin walls and neighbours on maternity leave has been an interesting development. I’m relatively vocal whenever I have sex - even with myself - and recently I have found that I finish myself off and immediately start panicking about if my neighbours and their new born child have heard me in the midsts of this most devious of acts. How could I explain myself in the (admittedly, unlikely) occurrence of them asking me what the hell I was up to? That I have a boyfriend and that we’ve been trying for a baby all day? That I’m inexorably clumsy and I stood on a plug, loudly, over and over again with increasingly voracity? Or maybe that I was incredibly religious and liked to express my appreciation for god whenever I can? Especially immediately before my housemates come back from work and I realise I don’t have that much alone time left?

I’ve been known to masturbate as many as six times in one day during one particularly stressful assignment

Leaving the, erm, tools of my labour around is another occupational hazard. Over the course of the years several unwitting members of the public have been made privy to my private goings on. My cleaner has seen my vibrator. The gas man has seen my dildo. The Amazon guy has seen porn on my computer screen. A bloody Jehovah's Witness once came knocking  once when I was knocking one out and I had to run to my door with that mid-orgasm glow and whatever I could find on my bedroom floor to wear, which happened to be a completely sheer beach cover up which left absolutely nothing to the imagination. I don’t think she had much interest in saving me after being met with that almighty sight. 

There is obviously a small (massive) amount of slatternly carelessness on my part leading to these embarrassing scenarios but the thing is, when you work from home, you assume you’re going to be left to your own devices all day and whenever someone invades your personal cave it usually comes as a bit if a shock. I’d go as far as saying it’s actually kind of rude. Yes, even when they’re delivering something you’ve ordered or, indeed, if you’ve actually invited them round to your house. People should wear a bell, or something, so as to let freelancers know that they're drawing close. It's simply polite. 

The other slightly irritating aspect of giving myself a good seeing to during the day is that I’m sort of set for orgasms come the evening - less than ideal when you’re dating. Obviously masturbating can never actually replace the Real Deal, but having a frig or two in working hours does somewhat alleviate the urgency for orgasming in the evenings so sometimes I’d rather just have a bottle of wine and a cuddle in front of the telly than bothering having IRL sex. This is less the cheering news for the man in my life who I’m almost certain is pushing me to hot desk in a shared office to stop this problem in its tracks. 

So after many years of experience I have some some simple words of wisdom from anyone about to embark upon the wonderful world of working from home. Firstly, limit yourself to one freelancers nap a day maximum if you ever want to get your work done (or keep the guy you’re seeing from losing his mind), keep the volume down, make sure you hide the evidence and always, ALWAYS make sure your nipples aren’t on display when you open your front door to religious types. There are registers for that kind of thing.  

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

I Caught My Boyfriend Wanking Without Me, Does This Make Me A Sex Failure?

In Which We Extol The Virtues Of The Danger Wank

What It's Like To Have A Wank With The Most High-Tech Sex Toy Ever 

Follow Sophie on Twitter @SophieCullinane 

Picture: Eylul Aslan

Tags: Sex, NSFW, Sex O\'Clock