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JackinQ&A

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE JACKINWORLD SITE

Why is it that you had 8 surveys in the first 5 years of your site, but only one in the last 5 years?
- age 15, Massachusetts


A good question with two answers. First, I, the JackinWorld editor, had more time to work on the site in years past than I do now, and surveys are very time consuming, both to write and to compile results. The site doesn't make nearly enough money to hire employees, and although many people have offered to help with things like surveys, I'm too much of a control freak to hand things over to volunteers.

The second answer is that there isn't a whole lot of point in conducting new surveys. It's unlikely that people are masturbating differently than they were 5 years ago. Because of the large number of participants, survey results are pretty consistent from one to the next, and we've asked most of the questions about masturbation that can be asked. We realize that surveys are fun to fill out, but I hope that at least answers your question.

I read on one of the pages that you've heard from someone who claims to have had 22 orgasms in a 24-hour period. Now, in honor of Masturbation Month in May, I have beaten said record. Starting at 9 PM on May 7, and ending at 9 PM on May 8, I masturbated 23 times. I kid you not. I would appreciate it if that record of 22 times were updated and maybe credited to a man known to his pals as "The Great Masturbator." Thank you.

Congratulations, I guess...I hate to say this, though, but the "22" figure mentioned in JackinHow-To is by no means a record. Over the years I've heard from a lot of people who claim to have beaten this "record" — some by a lot more than you have. By how much, you ask? I'm not saying, because I don't know who is and who isn't telling the truth. So, in fact, the whole exercise is pointless. Suffice it to say that the "22" number that's been up there for close to a decade will remain as is, although I've updated the statement so as not to encourage people to try to beat ... uh, shoot for ... uh, I mean, break that "record."

If you don't allow users under the age of 18 to register, why, in the Question of the Week Classic, are there people replying with the age of 13, etc.?

The people who answered the Question of the Week were regular JackinWorld readers, not necessarily JackInsider members. They didn't need to register for anything to answer, so people of all ages would respond.

I have reservations about JackinWorld. You often claim that many men try not to masturbate because they think it's a sin or otherwise immoral in some way. You seem to disregard this on the grounds that feelings of guilt are caused by either hormonal imbalances or a dogmatic upbringing. My personal objection to masturbation is that it is both highly compulsive and completely unproductive. When I masturbate, I am always left with the overwhelming feeling that I have just wasted a significant portion of time doing something very silly. This isn't hormones, this is a sober mind. I am never any better for masturbating. My mind is the same, I am emotionally identical, and my body is basically the same. This makes masturbation far less valuable than listening to music, reading literature, engaging in sports, or doing any other kind of recreation you'd care to mention. What bothers me most of all is that I feel like I have lost control of myself; it's such a mindless, self-indulgent act. There are so many more important things to worry about, and I find it upsetting that people are devoting such considerable time to this cause when there are more worthy ones.

I am trying to stop myself from masturbating, but when JackinWorld ridicules such attempts as being futile and silly, you make me feel like I'm a freak for wanting to stop. As well as breaking the current stigma against masturbation, do you not think you are creating a stigma against people who don't want to masturbate?


You make some good points. However, does masturbation not simply feel good? Isn't pleasure alone a reason to engage in a harmless activity, as is the case with enjoying a good meal? Eating doesn't make you a particularly better person. How is masturbation a less worthy way to spend a half hour than, say, playing a video game, or watching the World Series?

You mention that after masturbating, you have a sober mind. I would argue that if you masturbated because you were horny, then your mind wasn't exactly sober before you masturbated. It was preoccupied with sexual thoughts and feelings. And while some people are able to channel those energies into creative activities, for most of us, they only get in the way. Sometimes sexual urges can make a person go a little crazy and do irrational things. Masturbation only sobers you up!

There's nothing wrong with wanting to stop masturbating. A few people do succeed, but most fail, and in doing so, they blame themselves for having "lost control." My point is, why bother? Why this urgent need for absolute control over your personal universe? What's the harm in letting go every once in a while, whether that be a couple of times a day, or once a week?

As for your last thought (and it is an insightful one), maybe JackinWorld is creating a new stigma. But compared to the one we're fighting, there's no contest. It's a little like saying students shouldn't be educated about the history of racial injustice in the U.S., because it makes white people look bad. Regardless of whether that's true or not, I think most folks would agree that people are better off knowing, rather than not knowing, what minorities have gone through in this country.

And they're better off masturbating!

It's hard to find a place to submit questions. You might want to revise the "submit questions" section.

Believe it or not, there's a reason why it's so difficult. You would be surprised if you read the e-mail that we get — probably 90% of all the questions sent in are variations on the same dozen or so questions we've always gotten: Can I enlarge my penis, what are these bumps, etc., etc. We obviously can't answer these personally, so we've set up places like the FAQtree and JackinIndex where people can actually find an answer to their question, as opposed to sending it in and never getting an answer. The FAQtree, for instance, is set up so that if you follow the simple links, in less than a minute you'll either be brought to the answer to your question, or you'll be told how to submit it to JackinQ&A. It always amazes me how many people would rather write out a paragraph and e-mail it, rather than click through a half-dozen links — and this is after we've done everything we can think of to prevent people from doing it. Don't waste your time writing something we've been asked 10,000 times over the years — find the answer on JackinWorld! Do you guys at JackinWorld Central ever get aroused from working on JackinWorld and masturbate together mutually?

Actually, in the five or so years that Mike and Bruce have worked for JackinWorld, I've never met Bruce, and Mike and I have only had dinner once, when he was in town. So no, we don't get together to masturbate. As for getting aroused, I can't speak for Bruce or Mike, but for me JackinWorld is just work. Of course I'm human, so occasionally I'll read something in a submission that's a turn-on — but that doesn't happen all that often.

Does anyone really buy JackinWorld merchandise? I've been masturbating for 20 years, but I'd never admit to it, much less advertise it to everyone.

Yes, we've sold several dozen T-shirts and boxers, plus a few of our new items, like the coffee mugs. I think broadcasting enthusiasm for masturbation is kind of like going to a nude beach: Most of us wouldn't do it, but for some folks, it's liberating and refreshing. Tell someone sometime that you enjoy masturbating — you might feel a weight lifted from your shoulders.

I was recently reading your Raves & Rants page and was wondering what happens with all the threats you get. A father said he reported the site to the police — what happened with that? You should make a special column with updates on what happens with the threats.
- age 17, New York


It would be a pretty boring column, considering nothing ever happens. In over 6 years on the Web, JackinWorld has never been approached by the authorities. I do believe we've been the subject of numerous "sting" attempts; occasionally we hear from minors who claim to want to get personally involved with our staff. That's one of the reasons why we almost never respond directly to anyone. So long as we don't break the law (in some cases even replying to a sexually oriented inquiry from a minor is illegal), JackinWorld will stay out of trouble and stay online.

I really like your site, but more than half of it is blocked by AOL. I have the parental control "mature teen," so I think I should be able to access your whole site. If you could somehow talk to them or write them, it would be amazing.

"Hello, is this America Online? May I speak to Mr. AOL please? Mr. AOL, can you do me a favor and change your parental controls policy so one of my readers can visit all of the pages on my Web site? What's that? You'll do it, you say? Why, thank you, Mr. AOL — I never realized your company was so personal!"

The previous paragraph was a work of total fiction. I'm sorry, but as a former AOL customer who once took the company to court (it had nothing to do with JackinWorld), I can assure you that I could try for the next ten years to help you and it wouldn't work. Maybe you could talk to your parents about removing the parental controls. I'm afraid to say it's your parents' right to control what information does and does not get to you when you're online, so unfortunately we can't be very sympathetic to your cause. But I'll tell you what: We'll do everything we can to keep JackinWorld in business, so when you finally move out of the house and get your own computer, you can catch up on everything you've missed all these years. Deal?

A recent Question of the Week included the instructions, "Please do not submit any fictional stories or add any embellishments to your entries." How do you know if an entry is fictional? Do people really use JackinWorld that way, spinning ridiculous, fantastic lies and sending them to you?

Yes, they do. Some people are more obvious about it than others, however. Many of us are familiar with the "Penthouse Forum" style of embellishment: "I was masturbating, and my sister's best friends — who just happen to be identical-twin supermodels — came in and asked if they could help out." When we see that kind of thing in a QOW response, it usually gets the heave-ho. We're experienced enough with both fiction and nonfiction to be able to discern the difference. There are plenty of places on the Internet to read erotic fiction. JackinWorld is one of the few places where people can share their real experiences and attitudes, and we'd like to keep it that way.

A few weeks ago you had a featured "Technique of the Week," but I can't find it anywhere on JackinWorld. It had to do with holding the base of the penis straight up, and with the other hand, rubbing the "sweet spot" just below the head in circular motions. What is this called, and where can I find it?

All of the Techniques of the Week come from JackinExpert. The technique you're describing sounds like the Tiny One-Fingered Circle.

I have "mature teen" [parental control] settings on my computer, and I can't access JackinHow-To. I would never go to a parent about something like this, so there is no way I can learn the best way to masturbate without getting access to all parts of your site. So please unrestrict all parts of your site.

All such "restrictions" on JackinWorld (or any other Web site for that matter) happen at your end of the Information Superhighway, not ours. In other words, our information is freely viewable to anyone unless there's something at the receiving end keeping the information from coming in. There must be something on JackinHow-To (probably the definition of slang terms) that's triggering the blocking software installed on your computer, but for educational reasons we feel these terms should be listed somewhere on the site. Unfortunately, this is one reason why most of these blocking programs are crude substitutes for actual parental guidance. Want to visit U.S. Congressman Dick Armey's Web site? You probably won't get in if you have a blocking program on your computer. We suggest you take up the matter with your parents, or if that's not going to happen, the manufacturer of the blocking software.

Almost every week I have answered the Question of the Week. Why, for over a year, have I never had my answer published? Are all these made up answers?

No, we don't make up any of the answers. (Dealing with the hundreds of responses people send in each week keeps us busy enough.) Bear in mind that in any given week, only about one-tenth of the QOW submissions make it into the compilation. There are a few reasons why your responses might be getting passed over. If a particular question is very popular, sometimes responses that don't conform to our language policy are removed from the running to thin out the batch. If you don't list your age or list your state as "USA," you'll definitely be disqualified, and sending in multiple copies of a response, using all caps or all lower case, or not actually answering the question can DQ you as well.

I know you're a stickler for correct grammar and terminology, so how about the word "intact"? "Uncircumcised" is kind of a peculiar double negative if you think about it. It kind of has the sense that there is something left undone, whereas "intact" is more correct when you want the distinction to be clear.

At the risk of hearing from militant anti-circumcision activists (believe me, they're out there), I have to say "intact" is a somewhat charged word. It implies that someone who has been circumcised is not intact, or is somehow defective. Whatever you think of circumcision, we don't want people to be any more unhappy about their bodies — especially their penises, an organ that's the subject of far too much personal obsessive worrying — than they already are. Circumcision is a procedure, and those who have not undergone the procedure are uncircumcised. For comparison purposes, how about saying someone is "unmarried"? I don't have a problem with that, either. ("Single" is okay, but I'd have a problem with "free," or "lonely" for that matter.) Neither "circumcised" nor "uncircumcised" implies any kind of judgment, or creates divisions between people, whereas I feel words like "intact" and "whole" do.

On the Question of the Week page it says: "Please do not use profanity or sexual slang in your response" — but your site is entitled JackinWorld. Just alerting you to possible rant-fodder.

The basic rule of thumb we use in our language policy is that if TV censors would bleep a word or phrase, then we avoid using the word or phrase on the site. I don't think a censor would bleep "JackinWorld" if someone said it on TV. It's abstract; it doesn't specifically mean anything. You could say "I was jacking up my car yesterday" on TV without getting bleeped, or even "I like jacking!" You could not, however, add the word "off" — that would give the phrase a definitive meaning (which some consider obscene), and therefore it would get bleeped.

We don't have this policy to be uptight — if we were uptight we wouldn't host the site in the first place. We do it: (1) to maintain a mature, responsible language tone throughout the site, which we consider important, and (2) to keep it from degenerating into a source of titillation and mild smut. A lot of teens visit JackinWorld, and we want parents who visit to feel it's safe for their kids to be here. If they dialed up JackinWorld and were greeted by a bunch of four-letter words, their opinion of the site would be immediately tarnished.

Why don't we call it something like MasturbationWorld, then? Because we like the name — the site has always been called that (well, it was originally "Jackin"), it's a little edgy, and it's memorable. So JackinWorld we are, and JackinWorld we shall remain.

In the latest JackinWorld survey [Preferences & Practices] you mention that the average age when a male loses his virginity is in his early 20s. Doesn't this conflict with previous surveys, as well as the general knowledge that the age is around 16? If not, then this really changes my perspective on a lot of people I know.

The survey was of JackinWorld readers, not the general population. For somewhat obvious reasons, male JackinWorld readers probably lose their virginity later than most males in the general population (which we consider a good thing). But because of the way guys are in general, many lose their virginity later than they say — and I'd bet that's true among your friends as well. (As far as I know the survey results don't conflict with any previous JackinWorld survey.)

Why do most of the JackinWorld illustrations show the circumcised male penis? I'd say the large majority of your readers are uncircumcised, so you might want to think about that.

Actually, according to our Survey #2, over 70% of JackinWorld readers are circumcised. (Although that Survey is admittedly a little out of date.) Also, oftentimes a penis looks circumcised when erect, as many males like to retract the foreskin at least part of the time when they masturbate.

How many flames do you get?

Fortunately, JackinWorld gets surprisingly few flames (angry or harrassing letters with little or no useful content). On average we've received only about 1 flame per month for the last 2 years. However, when we receive more than 1 flame from the same person (which happens occasionally), we block the address — so future messages sent from that address never download when we check our mail. As a result, the total number of flames sent to us may be a little higher.

I've been having a hard time getting to your site because my mom put JackinWorld as Web-restricted. I have many questions I want answered that my mom can't answer for me. How can I ask her to let me access JackinWorld?

If she's read the JackinWorld Message to Parents and still doesn't want you going to JackinWorld, there probably isn't anything you can do. That's her choice for what you should be reading, and you should probably respect that. If she hasn't read the Message, show it to her. Just say, "Mom, there's this Web site I like and want to visit but I'm blocked. Could you take a look at it?" and give her the URL (/misc/parents.html). And if you don't feel comfortable discussing the matter with her face to face, leave her a little note along with the Message to Parents URL.

Do you [the JackinWorld editor] have any credentials in sexuality, or are you just experienced?

No, none of us here at JackinWorld has any sexuality credentials, but we do have plenty of experience. (There's probably over 25,000 masturbation sessions among all of us.) I personally took a few sexuality and reproduction physiology courses in college, and I know a great deal about human masturbation habits and practices from running this Web site for all this time — but that's about it. So if you choose, you can take everything we say with a grain of salt.

You should consider having a response age limit for the Question of the Week and such. It's kind of gross to see "Male, 51" on the response! I think it should be limited to ages 21 and under, with all others weeded out.

Absolutely not! I understand it's easy for young people to feel like sexuality is for them and them alone. (One adult reader once commented how youngsters act like they're the ones who've "discovered" sexuality for the human race.) But I'm certain when you're 51 years old you will realize sexuality and sexual feelings extend far, far beyond the teen years. Remember, JackinWorld is for people of all ages, because people of all ages masturbate and need information about masturbation. And since people of all ages write to us, you will always find what they have to say posted on our pages. You can always skip any response written in by someone who doesn't meet your age criteria, but I have a better suggestion: Read what they have to say, and learn from them. I have always found older people's writings to be thoughtful, interesting, and wise, so the older set will always be welcome here.

You say JackinWorld will show no pornography and that you use illustrations instead — but there are two pictures on your site that aren't illustrations. The picture on the first JackinHow-To page isn't an illustration (and isn't necessary, with all the other illustrations on the How-To pages). The Circumcision picture should also be changed to an illustration. There are many people who would use those pictures to accuse you of giving pornography to minors, so please change them to illustrations.

You're mistaken — both items you mentioned are, in fact, illustrations (just very realistic ones, probably based on photographs). Concerning the circumcision illustration, that was borrowed from a book put out by a major publishing house (see the copyright info on the bottom of the page), and since it is entirely non-sexual I can't imagine how it could be considered "pornography." The other one, on the first JackinHow-To page, is a little more questionable; it was adapted from the same book but originally showed someone putting on a condom. (Erection and all.) It has been a part of JackinWorld for almost 18 months and there has been no problem. I would like to use an original illustration there, but we don't have a replacement at this time.

With all the people out there who hate this site and are trying to "take you down" (and I'm sure there are a few), how do you ever manage to stay up?

I'll tell you exactly how: I haven't done a damn thing wrong. I live in the U.S., and in the U.S. the First Amendment of the Constitution allows for free speech and free press. Considering that the Supreme Court has decided pornography on the Web is protected by free speech, how could a non-pornographic, educational site like JackinWorld be taken down?

The only way I could imagine JackinWorld forcibly being taken off the Web was if I used it to break the law. I have a pretty strong suspicion those people you mentioned have tested me and tried to trap me by posing as kids and sending lurid letters or requests for pornography, but I'm a brick wall — I won't answer them. Why? Because to do so would be wrong. I wouldn't answer them even if I knew for a fact they were genuine. That's why it's so ridiculous for people to call me a pervert, just because there are teenagers who write into JackinWorld concerned about sexual issues (as well they should be).

We're staying here for the long haul, folks. Ain't nobody taking out JackinWorld!

How did you compile the data from the Surveys in JackinLibrary?

It was actually a pretty complicated procedure. My ISP has a utility (CGI-run, I think) that allows me to format data that comes in from HTML forms being posted. Each submission came in as a series of codes, one code per answer. I copied each submission into a word-processing program, formatted the data so each submission was a single line of codes, and then imported everything into a spreadsheet program. That allowed me to sort and figure averages and percentages very easily.

Do you ever masturbate while working on JackinWorld, or while reading it?

It's interesting — although JackinWorld was somewhat erotic to me when I first started it over a year ago, that wore off after only a few weeks, and now it isn't erotic to me at all. It's still lots of fun, though. When I work on JackinWorld these days, it's just like working on anything else on the computer. That's why it's so ridiculous for people (as on the Raves & Rants page) to accuse me of hosting JackinWorld just for my own sexual jollies. Believe me, nothing could be further from the truth.

As Woody Allen said in Annie Hall: "I thought if you didn't feel guilty having sex you were doing it wrong." I'm of the opinion that we need taboos and apprehensions to heighten the experience. Why does it have to be so open and "dealt with"? It should be mischievous and naughty. The same goes for masturbation. Any thoughts?

For masturbation to seem mildly "naughty" is one thing — but for people to become very unhappy about it, to convince themselves they're homosexual because all of their friends tell them "only fags masturbate," or to be miserable because they think they're going to hell for enjoying their bodies...that's another matter. Masturbation should make you happy. It shouldn't make you feel miserable.

In reading the responses of younger readers of your site, I realized either kids are getting far more articulate and are perfect spellers or you have been correcting the entries for spelling, grammar, and content. While doing so does make the entries more readable, it reduces the authenticity and makes some people (as evidenced by some of the Rants you've gotten) suspicious of who's really writing the posts.

Yes, reader entries are edited for clarity, brevity, and style. (Hey, I cleaned up your letter a little!) While it's true this might take away from some of the immediacy of the readers' letters, as a professional in the publishing industry, I find it important for all of the material on JackinWorld to hold up to a certain publishing standard. My work is modeled after that of such noted sexuality writers as Shere Hite and Beth Winship, both of whom employ "publish-quality" standards of editing, even for very young reader contributors. In doing so, however, let me make it clear that I don't significantly change the intent or actual content of the letters. This is especially true in the Raves & Rants page, which I edit more delicately, for obvious reasons.

I agree with some of the ranters who say JackinWorld seems to be a little oddly run. It's supposed to help calm people's fears of masturbation and to help bring it out in the open — but you don't put your real name on any of the things you write. This accomplishes the exact opposite effect of bringing masturbation out of the closet. You say it's all right to talk about masturbation and to do it, but at the same time you seem to be saying it's wrong to admit that you do it. At least that's the mixed message the site sends.

I choose to use a pseudonym and mask my face because as the editor of a magazine that's read in about 40 different countries worldwide, both my face and name are known to probably about 100,000 people in the world. The magazine has nothing to do with masturbation, and I'd rather keep those "lives" separate. Also, there are people who occasionally threaten me because they consider JackinWorld dangerous to society, and for personal security I've done everything I can to anonymize myself. I don't make enough money to hire a bodyguard or buy a house with a security gate.

I hope you can see that for practical purposes, revealing JackinWorld identities is difficult at this time. Let's hope that in the not-so-distant future, this will all change.

Can you add some links to other masturbation sites?
- age 16, New York

As far as I know, JackinWorld is the only frank, detailed masturbation site that's committed to being appropriate for males of all ages. I won't link to "adult" sites, because a large number of teenagers enjoy JackinWorld, and I can't be responsible for sending them there. So for now, I offer only a few select links on JackinLinks.

On what day of the week do you update JackinWorld?
- age 15, New York

Usually on the weekend — Saturday and/or Sunday.

You dedicate the site to former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. What are your feelings about the reason she was fired — her comments (in answer to a set-up question) regarding teaching masturbation in schools? Any idea why an activity in which in excess of 95% of males engage is treated as such a secret, even between brothers?
- age 49, New York

Well, if it were up to me, masturbation would be a required sex-ed topic as early as 5th grade. Dr. Elders' firing was tragic, but at least it got people talking about masturbation a bit more. As for why it's such a taboo, I have no idea, but I'm trying to do my part to change that.

 
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