In Honor of Reign's Shortened Self-love Session: TV's Best Masturbation Moments

The CW's brand-new-yet-totally-old drama Reign hits televisions this week. But online chatter leading up to the premiere of this ridiculously fun (and somewhat awful) teen drama disguised as historical fan-fiction hasn't really focused on the fact that somehow, some way, The CW greenlit a series about the very legit historical figure of Mary Queen of Scots. Instead, the focus has been on masturbating

See, there was a scene in the original pilot (which was sent out to critics several months ago) where one of Mary's lady buddies peeped on a "bedding ceremony," a.k.a. two royals f*cking while being watched by some pervy elders to ensure that the bloodline remained pure. Well, Mary's friend found the tradition so titillating that she just couldn't help herself, and only made it halfway to her room before putting her hand in her pants and doing some self-exploration. The scene, which I have seen 5,391 times, bothered The CW enough that the network cut it down for the final broadcast version. Now it merely implies that the character is going to town on herself. 

But in the spirit of healthy living and less grumpiness, we figured we'd counter The CW's prudishness with some outright lonely lasciviousness and celebrate some of television's great moments of masturbation.  


Seinfeld

No discussion of small-screen masturbation can even take place without a mention of the classic Seinfeld episode "The Contest," where Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine competed to see who could be "master of their domain," a.k.a. stop selfishly sexually pleasuring themselves. Just picture what George Costanza yanking it or a Kramer orgasm looks like. You're welcome!


Girls

Back in Season 1—and stuck with boring lay Charlie—Girls' Marnie got a hot talking-to from a sexy artist dude and it set her crotch on fire, so she retreated to a washroom to scratch some itch. And the internet went wild! Who knows what would have happened if this scene was written for the very un-shy Hannah. 


Louie

As the poster child old man for self-inflicted penile abuse, Louie's Louie has no problem talking about the act in a public forum. Not even one as public as Fox News, via a debate with an anti-masturbation pundit. Lady, trust me, you are NOT going to win this fight. 


Supernatural

In one of those classic "I <3 Supernatural" moments, Sam and Dean ended up in a weird town where some kid was bending the rules of logic with his own childish beliefs because he was the Antichrist. Old wives' tales started to come true, as Dean found out first-hand.* 

* Official runner-up, TV.com Wordplay awards.


American Horror Story

Possibly my favorite self-satisfaction scene of all time, this was the 48th moment in American Horror Story's first few episodes that made me say, "Umm, What?" Dylan McDermott's Ben, a totally horny skeezball, looked out his office window and spied on someone while letting loose on an innocent piece of office furniture. And then he cried. A fairly standard sesh that wasn't abnormal at all, right guys? Guys? Hello? 


Sons of Anarchy

Back when Otto had a tongue, Tara was helping out the club by talking to him while he was incarcerated. One of Otto's requests was for her to bring in the perfume his old lady used to wear, and after a sniff, Otto went into Otto-matic mode while Tara had to stand there uncomfortably and watch him crysturbate. Later in the episode, Tara went home and took a whiff of the perfume herself, and decided that right then and there was a great time to interpretively reenact an old Divinyls song. The truth behind this odd two-fer remains one of the series' biggest questions to date. Just what the hell was in that perfume, and how do I get some? (And let's not forget about Chucky's chronic problem, which led the club a Chinese triad to cut off all his fingers except his two pointers. Apologies for the error; SAMCRO would never do something as horrible as that since they're such saints!)


Orange Is the New Black

The king of on-screen jackin'-it returned to show us why the king is still the king when Jason Biggs practiced "edging" in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black for an article he was writing. I'll have you know all I did to research this story was some Googling, and that's not a euphemism.


Mad Men

As David Byrne once sang, "The less we talk about it the better." Sally Draper got caught playing with herself while watching The Man From U.N.C.L.E., and even though I have not seen this episode or this scene, I already feel like turning myself into the authorities. 


The Big Bang Theory

What's better than dead-arming it? ROBOT ARMING IT. But using technology as an aid can come with dangerous unintended consequences, as Wolowitz found out. 


South Park

Gross. Just plain gross.


For further reading on this matter, check out Time's James Poniewozik's piece on the hypocrisy of television to okay sex but tsk-tsk masturbation.


Comments (49)
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After reading this, the scene in Buffy 718 - Dirty Girls with Xander cranking one out and thinking about a three way with a couple of potentials while a pillow fight takes place in the room across the hall.
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Newton Minow will be so proud of this thread.
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Um, The Tudors? True Blood?
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So would you say that network oversight is one of the shortcomings of the broadcast model then?
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Jay from The Inbetweeners might be my favorite.
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"Oh, right...."
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This is one of TV.com's best articles ever.
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Well this dude had balls writing this article

(No? OK....I'll walk away quietly...)
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---"Just picture what George Costanza yanking it or a Kramer orgasm looks like. You're welcome!"

---"And the internet went wild! Who knows what would have happened if this scene was written for the very un-shy Hannah."

Well, Tim... since you're apparently a kinky young lad, mind sharing your preference? =D

Take your time, it's one of those "lesser of two evils" decisions.
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The South Park one would be gross....if it wasn't so accurate....

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Hah, the look on Howards face around 00:22 was insta-classic :P .
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Hi Tim

I now demand to see the scene, which U have seen 5,391 times !!! Please post it up ! Haha...!
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please keep this sort of writing up. This was one of your better ideas in a while
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I can't tell if that clip is from Louie or from the channel itself. Fox News is that whacked.
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Married With Children, Marcy given her Banker's Speech and Al being so tramaized he couldn't get it up.

I'm ashamed of all of you TV Watchers......
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Or Bud getting caught in the Library. Seriously Married with Children people.
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Super classy, folks. And thanks so much The CW for thinking a wannabe Game of Thrones might be appropriate teen viewing fare. I have no problem with this as artistic merit - Louie's scene had me laughing for days - but keep it in the realm of later TV, pay TV, or responsible TV.
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because giving teens the idea to explore their bodies is irresponsible???
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No, because presenting that material as salacious is irresponsible.
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Honestly?!? Because presenting "that material" NOT salacious would be the irresponsible thing.
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I don't think you know what "salacious" means. This is purely exploitative, it is exploiting sexuality not for artistic merit, and not for the good of the target audience, only to titillate and shock.
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I'm beginning to suspect more and more that it really is Farnsworth writing these....
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Professor Farnsworth lives in a time when all internet videos are porn, so it's no big deal.

The reality is that kids shouldn't be getting masturbatory education from TV, they don't have the tools to understand the meanings behind the use in a story, they don't have the breadth of knowledge to understand that masturbating for the camera is purely salacious and meant to titillate the viewer and has no substance beyond that.

I have no problem with sexuality in entertainment, but I do have a problem with irresponsible sexuality marketed to young people and anybody who doesn't is ignoring a very real problem in our society, the hypersexualization of youth.
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Where is the californication scene, where charlie got caught??
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There are just so many scenes in Californication that involve Charlie and masturbation that they've pretty much become a standard and acceptable part of the show, which may have been why Tim omitted them from this list.
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TMI. :)
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LOL If I remember correctly (and I should because AHS is my fav) Ben actually see's young maid manoeuvring about on the sofa. He then goes up to his room for the deed. The person outside the window was actually burnt face man (Russel from True Blood, Judge from Good Wife) and I'm pretty sure he wasn't looking at him whilst... you know...
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In SOA, wasn't it the Chinese who cut off all of Chucky's fingers but the pointers? I'm pretty sure it was.
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Yea you're right. The Triad cut his finders off.
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There was a woman in the UK version of Big Brother, who masturbated with a whine bottle, years ago. The greatest romance that ever was! LOL
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Wine not whine. Smart phones suck!
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There is also that awesome episode from Weeds where Andy talks to Shane about masturbation after Shane is doing it using a photo of his mother.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z7XGkimEhs
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And I had finally repressed that from my memory.
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Brilliant article Tim, well done.
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C'mon, who hasn't masturbated while watching The Man from UNCLE?
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corection: in Sons of Anarchy Lin's people cut off Chucky's fingers not the MC
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The Chinese cut of Chuckys hands if i remember correctly. not the sons
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Oh my that scene from Fox News with Louie is amazing! Somehow I doubt the woman understands the funny in her last statement, that she really do hope Louie will think of her later :-)
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You really seem to have put a lot of effort into this article - its obviously a subject close to your heart.
Some might say that your knowledge makes you an expert or to borrow a cowboy term, you are obviously a top hand on the subject matter.
This is, hands down, the most comprehensive list of TV diddling I have seen in the past 2 days
I'm sure you spent some time wrestling with yourself over what scenes to include, and what scenes to discard, like a used tissue
This article could have been a mess, but you pulled it off
So congratulations, give yourself a low high five on a job well done
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One-handed rounded of applause for this comment, sir!
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Or round, drrrr
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I guess that edit function would come in handy.
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I hope you didnt get carpal tunnel from this article
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