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The Scarlet & Black

Column: Masturbate to help relieve your midsem stress

With midsems week quickly approaching, I’m here to remind to you take care of yourself. No, I’m not going to preach to you about the importance of sleep, warn you against caffeine overdose, or even remind you that asking your professor for an extension is sometimes the best thing you can do for your life. Instead, I’d like to reinvigorate the importance of self-love. When goings get academically tough, students tend to ignore their bodies in order to survive the hellish onslaught of exams, take-homes and paper proposals. We’ve all done it.
This time last year, I managed to pull two all-nighters in a row, feverishly writing papers while downing Red Bull, walking to Kum ‘& Go to buy more supplies before ARH locked, and taking ‘breaks’ to run and jump through the halls in vain attempts to make my brain actually work. I wrote through the nights and spent the days taking tests and working lunch shifts at the Phoenix, all the while attempting to simultaneously maintain a sane and pleasant demeanor and not lose my shit. Needless to say, I don’t recommend all-nighters. I didn’t shower even once in the two weeks before Spring Break, much less attempt to indulge in carnal pleasures.

I’ve since realized the error of my ways. Self-love (and maybe sleep) is crucial to the success of my academic and social life, especially when stress is at its peak. Instead of overindulging on big cookies in the Grill, I recommend taking a little time to be alone. Masturbation is an excellent stress reliever, not to mention that it’s super fun. And what’s better than getting off exactly the way you like to? No one knows you and your desires better than you do—you can be your best and most efficient lover, which is especially important when time is precious and being alone is rare.

Most students at Grinnell are at their least reliable during midsems and finals, so it’s already hard enough to rely on each other for emotional support. Everyone is stressed and busy, and no one wants to compare war stories to hear how much more academically screwed they are than you. And with conflicting schedules, maybe you can’t even manage to make time to spend time with your partner or lover or f*** buddy (if you have one).

You are your most reliable friend, and you’re always with yourself when you need to sleep, to get off, to eat, to cry, and (regrettably) to write papers. It’s a good time of the year to play solitaire, and I’m not talking about cards.
There is, of course, a very important etiquette to use when taking a break from literally doing your homework to “do your home work.” For instance, there is nothing more distracting, inappropriate, and disturbing than walking by a cubby in the library to see someone wanking off. There are legal repercussions for doing that kind of nasty.

At least go to one of the gender-neutral bathrooms and make sure you lock the door—but don’t think you’re original. Anyone who has read Secrets on Plans knows that the walls of Burling Fourth bathroom are practically coated in the … ahem … memories of multitudinous solo and partner trysts. If you’re alone in your dorm room, lock the door and turn your music up. Be courteous to your neighbors and roommates.

Most crucial, though, is to be good to yourself. I know most of you who read this take my words as seriously as a higher power’s, and sometime next week you’ll be thinking “I have five minutes free and should probably ‘liquidate my assets’ because that pretty awesome senior with emo glasses told me I should.” At some point next week, I’ll probably be hoping that very few people are thinking of me while masturbating. The point of this article is to encourage you to show a little body some loving, not force you to. Do it when you want to, do it how you want to, and do it well.

So take some time out of your busy schedule, lovely and horny Grinnellians, and relieve some stress the old-fashioned way. Self-govern your way to pleasure. No limits!

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