I seem to have hit a real dry spell lately. I’ve got one girlfriend who seems to have settled into wanting sex only about once a week. Another girlfriend dumped me over a month ago over anxieties about safer sex and open relationships. I’m going through some huge relationship struggles with another girlfriend, which has resulted in sex happening sporadically, if at all. And because of that drama, I’ve given up pursuing any new relationships. Sigh.

But there’s always masturbation.

Even when sex happens regularly for me, I’ve always continued masturbating a few times a week. It’s safe, it’s pleasurable, it’s good stress relief. And these days, when my libido has very little outlet, it’s a necessary way to … err, umm… “blow off some steam”.

Since I was a teen, I’ve been masturbating “dry”, by using my fingers to work the skin on the shaft of my cock up and down. This has the advantage of not requiring any lube and thus being way easier to clean up after, but if you’re masturbating frequently, it can lead to some chafing and soreness.

So I’ve been trying to mix it up lately. I’ve started using a very light oil and using my whole hand to stroke and pump my cock. I don’t think I’ve used lube to masturbate since I was a young teen, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find out how much I’m enjoying it.

I’ve also started attempting some mild “edging”, seeing how long I can maintain a vigorous erection without allowing myself to climax. One thing I figured out pretty quickly is that when I do finally climax, the volume of my ejaculate is greater, I’m shooting farther and the orgasm is more intense.

But not all of my experimentation has been fabulous. I bought a Fleshlight recently and have tried it a few times. Meh. Frankly, my hand feels better to me than the Fleshlight does. And if you’ve gotten lube on your hand, maintaining a grip on the slick plastic tube of the Fleshlight can be a real challenge. I’m opening to trying more male sex toys, but I think I’m done with this one. It’s a shame that hygiene and general “ickyness” makes giving someone a used sex toy pretty unpalatable. A Fleshlight is a pricy toy to just throw out with the garbage.