The Coming War: A Military Doctor's Field Guide To Masturbating In Afghanistan

The past decade of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan has given military physicians such as myself the important opportunity to gather unprecedented data on some of our most pressing medical issues. This data set has spurred advances in the care of trauma, hemorrhagic shock, traumatic brain injury, and other occupational injuries common to young men and women in combat. Our job, and indeed our temperament, is to make observations, gather data, test hypotheses, and solve problems all day long—all while in the middle of a combat zone.

Which brings me to one of the most common medical inquiries I receive in combat: "How the hell am I supposed to jack off up in this motherfucker?"

Whether you're in the military of civilian sector, many of you will be faced with this problem, and I want you to benefit from the cumulative experience of the bold young Americans of the Marine Corps infantry. Collectively, they have MacGyvered themselves out of scenarios that you and I have never even dreamt of, and I don't want you to feel stuck when a solution has already been devised, implemented, revised, and optimized.

I present to you a series of real-life scenarios that Marines and sailors in my infantry battalion have faced over the past several years, as well as the field-tested solutions they devised to handle each one. None of what follows is hypothetical. All have been successfully completed, and I have even witnessed a few of the outcomes. Following each solution, I present a rub (or friction point) that I hope you might avoid as you negotiate your own obstacles.

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Scenario #1

You are embarked on a naval vessel and you decide to masturbate while in bed. Unfortunately, you lack the traditional "happy sock" in which you would normally deposit your ejaculate. Climax is imminent. Where will you deposit your knuckle babies?

Field-tested solution: Simply push the covers down to your thighs, roll over onto a hip, and ejaculate away from the wall and into the aisle between your bed and others' beds.

The rub: The beds, or racks, in the enlisted berthing areas of most naval vessels are disparagingly called "coffin racks" because they are tiny and arranged in columns of five. They are also in aisles so densely packed that any semen arcing down from your rack will be in plain sight to up to 30 of your comrades. This was the experience of the top-rack user in this scenario. Needless to say, he was immediately put to work cleaning the decks.

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Scenario #2

You are in the shower aboard a naval vessel and decide to masturbate. You wish to avoid a repeat of yesterday's mishap when a senior-ranking member noticed the jellyfish turds on your shower shoes—evidence of reckless ejaculation. Climax is imminent. Where will you deposit your tub babies?

Field-tested solution: One may square one's shoulders to the bulkhead (shipboard term for "wall") and from near point-blank range be rather certain that the entire load is safely deposited on the bulkhead, away from one's shower shoes. Leaving it on the bulkhead is the most reliable way to ensure containment.

The rub: There is a special place in hell reserved for you. You will eternally clean the floors in a demonic porn theater where all the films feature old women doing Swedish drill and where everlasting ropes of electrified jizz will lash your back as you squeegee the tiles around your laughing patrons' frozen, hooved feet.

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Scenario #3

You are on a defensive overwatch post at night, alone in your shallow fighting hole, maintaining a vigilant defensive posture upon which your sleeping comrades' safety depends. After hours of darkness and only periodic radio checks, you grow sleepy and need to restore your alertness.

Field-tested solution: One may restore alertness by masturbating furiously while on post.

The rub: Masturbating while on post is frowned upon and considered a dereliction of duty. That radio you have been periodically using to check in with the Combat Operations Center (COC) should be kept handy during your revival jerk, but you should be careful not to press the button that transmits audio. If you do accidentally lean on the talk button while jerking, then all your slapping and panting will be transmitted to all the other radios currently being operated on your channel. There will be many. Because you cannot receive transmissions while broadcasting your emissions, nobody can alert you via radio and someone from the COC will have to check post-by-post to find the offending jerk artist. He will be unhappy with you once you meet.

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Scenario #4

You are in a mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicle (MRAP) maintaining night-time overwatch of a critical piece of ground and your crew of four is growing bored and tired. You wish to restore your vigilance by masturbating, but do not want to jerk it in a vehicle full of dudes.

Field-tested solution: Everyone jerks; nobody talks.

The rub: If anyone talks, the spell is broken, and in the minds of its passengers the MRAP is transformed into a Castro Street bathhouse, and a gay panic ensues. To avoid inconvenient urges to speak, you may listen to an iPod or other media device. If you do not have one of your own, ask nicely and someone may give you one of his ear buds. It is not recommended that you critique the song choice under any circumstance. Like in commuter slugging, all goodwill depends on your silent acceptance.

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Scenario #5

You have been doing an awful lot of jerking in the MRAP, and you're curious just how much fluid loss you are experiencing.

Field-tested solution: One may store many days' worth of ejaculate in a Dasani water bottle. These bottles are amazingly crush-resistant and allow easy viewing of your accumulated seed swamp.

The rub: The 115-degree air temperature and the astounding radiant heat absorbed by your little greenhouse bottle cause ghastly curdling and vapor production that is most apparent when climax is imminent and you choose to open the bottle. You and your friends' progress to orgasm is repeatedly thwarted by the rancid fumes of your improperly stored juices.

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Scenario #6

You have forcibly secured a hostile walled agricultural compound and established a forward fighting position that serves as the living quarters for 200 men. They frequently decide to masturbate and wish to have a relatively private place to do so.

Field-tested solution: One may designate any room or crudely constructed booth as a "jack shack." The most effective procedure for establishing a jack shack is to (1) ensure no other function has been assigned to the space; (2) make a sign that says "jack shack"; (3) make a flippable sign that reads "vacant" on one side and "jerkin' it" on the other; (4) hang the signs; (5) jerk it.

The rub: As you somehow approach orgasm while surrounded by fleas, goat droppings, and untold zillions of camel spiders, and even though the space is clearly labeled and you have turned the sign to the "jerkin' it" setting, some dumbass may still barge in and say, "Oh shit, I didn't know that was serious." A temporary fix for this is to add a quick "no, really" to the "jerkin' it" sign.

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Scenario #7

During a winter night in a defensive position in Afghanistan, you do not wish to leave the warmth of your sleeping bag to masturbate in the remote, frigid, infested jack shack. Perseverant, you decide to masturbate. Unfortunately, you lack the traditional "happy sock" in which you would normally deposit your ejaculate. Climax is imminent. Where will you deposit your knuckle babies?

Field-tested solution #1: One can remove his polar-fleece beanie hat and use it to catch and isolate his load from his body and bedding.

The rub #1: Laundry is nigh-impossible; it's below freezing everywhere you go; and you're going to want to wear the hat. If you choose the warmth of the beanie, you must choose whether to wear your beanie butter side up or butter side down. Your choice will either publicize your perversion or test the limits of just how dirty your hair can become.

Field-tested solution #2: If one is particularly thin in stature and confident in his muzzle velocity, he may choose to simply jizz into the far distant regions of his sleeping bag and sleep soundly in an isolated zone of the bag that is calculated to be semen-free.

The rub #2: In an infantry unit, everyone is issued a sleeping bag—nearly all of them used. While talking loosely about your new technique, you confirm the blood-curdling fears of everyone else who sleeps in previously issued gear. You will single-handedly crush the morale of your unit for no less than eight days and nights.

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Scenario #8

You are minding your own business, squatting on your haunches for a quick rest between moving crates of supplies. You have not masturbated very recently, nor do you plan to. Yet upon standing, your flaccid penis erupts with semen, and the new sogginess in your pants is not even accompanied by an orgasm. This also happened the last time you took a nice big shit.

Field-tested solution: One may present to medical with the chief complaint of "when I shit, I nut," and the doctor soon names your condition "defectory ejaculosis."

The rub: To rule out the most likely reason for semen in the toilet in the absence of an orgasm, the doctor must ask about sexual practices. He suspects that your section chief is in fact the love child of a hickory tree and a bulldozer. This will remain an open question until five of your buddies develop the same symptoms and experience immediate, synchronous resolution when you run out of a weightlifting nutritional supplement that you have all been sharing. Your doctor alerts the supplement manufacturer of their potential side effect of unprovoked jizzbombs.

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Scenario #9

You have worked 200 consecutive 18-hour days without a beer or a hug or real contact with anyone you love. You're sick of it, and routine masturbation has grown stale. You need a new form of stimulation or you're going to flip the fuck out.

Field-tested solution #1: Using simple procedure available on YouTube, one can MacGyver a water bottle, a glove from a first-aid kit, a sock, and a dollop of lube from a corpsman's pack to create a field-expedient pocket pussy.

The rub #1: There you are, standing on one bare foot, stuffing your johnson into a mangled plastic bottle with loose fittings and sharp edges, doing all this under threat of attack and with no real end in sight. It is at this moment that you may gain a poignant disgust for the life choices that led you here. The experience of employing your field-expedient pocket pussy may be more of a downer than you had planned.

Field-tested solution #2: One may choose to locate the comrade who, with great foresight, packed a slick silicon replica of a vulva and vagina—a true store-bought pocket pussy—and respectfully ask to borrow it. Astounding to outsiders, but reasonable to those who have been in the situation, your buddy may permit you to defile his precious.

The rub #2: Your buddy has many buddies, and in a bind up to 12 buddies have been reported to knowingly share one communal pocket pussy. This relationship may suddenly develop an emotional component when one of you falls ill. Whether it was Dengue fever, malaria, or appendicitis that caused your buddy's feverish vomiting and hospitalization, someone will likely tell the group, "Don't worry, it was just real bad syphilis."

In closing, I hope this data may contribute to advances in the field of masturbation that will afford warfighters, missionaries, and scientists alike a higher quality of life when working in austere conditions. Ideally, members of other communities will rally behind this salvo by publishing data gathered from austere workplaces such as forestry preserves, archaeological excavation sites, oil rigs, space stations, and Boy Scout camp. It is only through such military-civilian dialogue that we may disseminate our advances in technique, forged of ingenuity and tempered in sacrifice, in order build a more perfect world.

The pseudonymous Dr. Watts joined the Navy in 2006 during medical school and is still serving with the Marine Corps infantry. He enjoys hunting for residency programs, reading about the Afghanistan force draw-down, stitching hand lacerations, and teaching Marines about their foot rot. His last piece for Deadspin was about blood.

Image by Jim Cooke.