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  • Robert Farago

Of Motorcycles and Masturbation


I was motoring down East Cesar Chavez on my Ducati when a twenty-something waiting to turn left decided she’d waited long enough. She turned across my lane and hit me broadside. I was catapulted over the Duck’s handlebars. I remember my thought as I was flying, bike-less, through the air: “This is going to hurt.” I wasn’t wrong.

I don’t know exactly how I hit the pavement but the word “gracefully” doesn’t spring to mind. The inside of my left leg stung like Hell. (Note to self: chinos aren’t the best road rash protection.) Other than that, I was fine. Or so I thought.

When the adrenalin wore off, my left shoulder began to make the transition from sore to painful to chronically fucked up.

I won’t trouble you with the subsequent MRI’s, doctors’ visits, chiropractic adjustments, rehab exercises, insurance paperwork, appraiser’s write-off or the ambulance-chasing lawyer’s slow-motion lawsuit. Suffice it to say, it’s been seven months since the “accident.” I still have days where my left arm is as useful as a kickstand on a Abrams tank.

The usual pattern: I begin my morning in painful immobility and gradually improve through the day, with notable afternoon and evening exceptions. Initially, I ascribed this pattern to sleeping badly; my injury necessitated a change from stomach sleeping to pillow spooning. But that didn’t explain my afternoon episodes. Then a thought occurred to me: perhaps my pain cycle coincides with masturbation.

For those of you of a gentle disposition, this might be a good time to bail. For the rest of you, let’s face it: men masturbate a lot. As Dr. Fauci reminded us – misleadingly in his case – follow the science! Masturbation frequency depends on the man’s testosterone levels, governed by testicle size.

A genetic variable.

Bottom line: if you have big balls, you’re going to spend a fair amount of your life jerking off. Guilty as charged. My name is Robert Farago and I’m a chronic masturbator.

I use that term despite the fact that it implies that men who masturbate frequently suffer from some sort of psychological defect. As stated above, it ain’t necessarily so. In fact, male (and female) masturbation is an evolutionary adaptation that’s critical to an individual’s health and reproductive success and our species’ survival. No really.

To understand this dynamic, the book Sperm Wars is our guide. You need to know an astounding fact from this indispensable tome: there are three types of sperm. This not a commonly held view. Here’s Chat GPT’s response to the prompt “list the different types of sperm,” illustrated by an image ripped from

There are no different types of sperm cells, but there are different categories of sperm cells based on their morphology or shape. The two main categories are:
  1. Normal sperm cells: These are sperm cells that have a typical shape and size. They have an oval head with a long tail, which helps them swim towards the egg for fertilization.

  2. Abnormal sperm cells: These are sperm cells that have an abnormal shape or size. Abnormal sperm cells may have a misshapen head, a short tail, or other abnormalities that can prevent them from fertilizing an egg or reaching the egg at all. Abnormal sperm can be classified as teratozoospermia.

Wrong! According to Sperm Wars author Robin Baker - and science! - “abnormal” sperm are normal part of a man’s reproductive armory. In fact, there are not two but three types of sperm: fertilization, blocker and hunter killers.

Fertilization sperm are the sperm we all know and love: tadpole-like swimmers with one head and one tail (described above as “normal”). An average male ejaculate contains around 100m sperm. Of these, roughly 200 may – I repeat may – reach a woman’s egg. All of those are “normal” sperm.

Ready for this? They constitute less than one percent of a man’s ejaculate.

Blocker sperm are the “mutant” sperm shown above: one or two heads, one or two tails, often misshapen tails and heads. They are incapable of fertilization. They exist for one reason and one reason only: to block another man’s sperm from reaching the egg. Hence the name of the book cited, and the now-common term “kamikaze” sperm.

You want kamikaze? Consider the third sperm type: hunter killers. These needle-nosed sperm attach themselves to sperm with a different chemical signature than the host’s sperm. And, thus, kill it. Here’s the important bit….

A man’s sperm tubes are “loaded” with sperm. The longer they stay loaded, the less healthy his fertilization sperm. When a man masturbates, he reloads his sperm tubes. The “fresh” ejaculate contains healthier fertilization sperm. Masturbation has well-known health benefits, but the main reason men masturbate? To control their fertility.

Excuse the pun, but there are all sorts of ramifications to this biological insight. At the species level, masturbation is part our collective strategy to create survivable off-spring. Where the rubber (or not) meets the road, this three-part sperm analysis accounts for human sexual patterns.

MMF threesomes? Sperm wars. Once-a-week sex with the Mrs.? “Top-up sex” to prevent a rival from impregnating a mate. Pre-penetration blow job? Makes a man more fertile (and gives a woman a chance to gauge his health and opt out of vaginal penetration).

If you want to understand your sexual proclivities and mating behavior, compelled as you are by subconscious genetic imperatives, Mr. Baker’s book is required reading. Meanwhile, back to masturbation’s impact on my motorcycle-related injury. Back to TMI, starting with this: I masturbate with my left, non-dominant hand (S&M joke deleted).

Digression! Chat GPT assures me “it is normal for people to have personal preferences when it comes to masturbation.” Thanks for nothing. lists four credible reasons for off-hand masturbation: if feels like someone else, delays gratification, limits porn addiction and/or facilitates porn surfing (with the dominant hand).

Whatever the reason, when it comes to self-pleasure, my left hand is my best friend. When I jerk off, my entire left arm - from my shoulder to my hand - tenses up. My muscles contract and stay contracted until I ejaculate. So I’m thinking that masturbating first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and any other time, aggravates my injury.

I don’t know about youunless and until you leave a comment below – but masturbating with my “wrong” hand doesn’t get it done. Can I retrain my brain to accept “the other”? Old habits die hard (so to speak), but the pain is so bad that continuing to do that left-handed voodoo that I do so well – OK frequently – is no longer an option.

Especially as I’m jonesing for a new motorcycle. So needs must. Mustn’t? Oh, and I’ve had a vasectomy that shrunk one of my testicles. Which hasn’t diminished my sex drive. It’s a strange world. Go figure.


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