Listen, I get it. The line between office and home has become so fine that we can’t tell the difference between, say, when it’s acceptable to masturbate and when it’s absolutely not. Since we do honest service journalism at Lifehacker, I want to share personal tips I’ve learned to keep you from making an “embarrassingly stupid mistake.”
By way of credentials, I’ve masturbated everywhere. Teenage me was the Sam-I-Am of masturbating; jerking off were my green eggs and ham—late start, but I caught up quickly. You might relate, which is my first piece of advice:
Consider not being a cis man
Statistics show that 100% of men accidentally caught masturbating during a Zoom call at work today identified as men. You have the choice of adhering to binary genders, and while being a woman or queer may result in misogyny and increased danger, it will reduce your likelihood of exposing your genitals and incidentally sexually harassing people who don’t want to see them.
When given the choice, women and queer professionals often choose to masturbate before work begins or after it has ended, so not being a man might help reduce your risk of being caught masturbating on Zoom. It will also decrease your likelihood of threatening violence, or offering unsolicited feedback of others’ work through direct message.
Set a masturbation alarm before each meeting
Men need a cool-down period after orgasm, where we typically lose our erection and desire to continue masturbating. Take advantage of this by scheduling a calendar hold before each meeting so you can masturbate before turning on your camera. Worried about needing a nap afterwards? Combine coffee with your pre-meeting ritual twenty minutes before your Zoom meeting begins. The jolt of caffeine should kick in just as your meeting begins to lag but before your next erection arrives.
Build a time machine
Consider building your own time machine that would allow you to rewind time by 60 seconds when you’re caught beating off at work. Don’t bother with fixing those longer-term mistakes—you’re just going to mess up the timeline—but invent a smaller device that can give you just enough time to press the undo button after you realize your team of colleagues are being sexually harassed/horrified.
Before you create your time machine, consider establishing your own time control rules: Do you want to rewind time, thus undoing your action and living on a singular plane of existence, or do you want to go back in time, creating a separate timeline where you can watch original you begin masturbating on Zoom, warn him, and then begin your separate life as a duplicate version of yourself. So much to consider!
For more practical advice, check out our other coverage on how to prevent Zoom embarrassment.