I work in an office tower in Seattle. From time to time, I go to a bathroom on a mostly deserted floor, go into a stall and rub out a quick one.
Today, just as I was blowing a load into a handful of TP, someone came into the bathroom. This person walked up to the stall and stared through the door crack. He stood there for a second before walking over to the urinal. He finished and left. I flushed and washed my hands and left. A security guard came around the corner while I was waiting for the elevator. He rode the elevator down with me but said nothing. At the lobby, I got in the elevator that takes me to my floor. As the door closed, I heard someone say, "See that guy?"
Have I done anything illegal? I may have exercised poor judgment and been squicky, but is it illegal to masturbate in a closed bathroom stall on private property?
Suddenly Pensive About Noontime Kicks
It isn't, SPANK, at least not in Seattle.
"There is an expectation of privacy in a bathroom stall," says Seattle Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Sean Whitcomb. "What people do there is their personal business."
The guy who peered into your stall, however, could be in trouble.
"The person peeping into the stall is the person we'd be interested in talking to," says Whitcomb. "You don't need to be peeping into the stall to see if someone is using it, and looking into a stall long enough to make a determination as to what the person is doing in that stall, exactly, is an indication that you've been looking longer than you need to."
So, yeah, if anyone is going to jail here, it's the peeper who reported you to the office tower's crack security team.
HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! Forgive me for laughing, but if someone called the actual cops — and not, say, the Seattle PD's polite and reasonable spokesperson — about a toilet wanker, it's the wanker who'd wind up in handcuffs. Beat cops don't generally give the benefit of the doubt to guys rubbing 'em out in public toilets. They'll assume you were cruising the toilet, or that you get off to the sounds and smells of men taking craps, and they'll arrest you.
I'm stumped. In the novel Fifty Shades of Grey, which has been the subject of much discussion due to its controversial subject matter (a young woman gets involved in a BDSM relationship), the term "canning" is used numerous times. Despite my best efforts, I cannot find a definition for this practice.
Confused And Naive, New Era Definition
It's not canning ("a method of preserving food in which the food contents are sealed in an airtight container"), it's caning ("a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits with a single cane usually made of rattan").
I don't know if the author of Fifty Shades of Grey dropped that extra "n" in there, CANNED, or if you did. But here's hoping that millions of women all over the world aren't fantasizing about having themselves canned by kinky billionaires. A person can survive — even enjoy — a good thrashing. But being sealed in an airtight container? Not so much.
Full disclosure: I may be the only sex writer on earth who has yet to read Fifty Shades of Grey. While I plan to avoid reading Grey (I'm easily nauseated), I think it's wonderful this book is inspiring American women to get their kink on.
I'm a 43-year-old woman, married for 19 years, and I need your help! I read Fifty Shades of Grey, and it motivated me to spice things up in the bedroom. The problem is that my husband is not open to anything that isn't missionary or doggy. What do I do?
Woman Has Interesting Perversions
Here's what you do: Get in a time machine and warn your younger self not to make the mistake so many women make in their 20s. That is, dumping guys with relatively harmless kinks — the foot fetishists, the guys who wear panties, the guys who want their girlfriends to wear superhero costumes while they peg their ass — because kinky guys are "weird," "not normal" or "probably gay."
It is my informed opinion that men typically become aware of their kinks when they're teen-agers. Many women, on the other hand, don't seem to become aware of their kinks until they're in their 30s or 40s. Maybe it has something to do with the sexual peak, which men are believed to hit in their teens and women in their 30s (and which many people believe to be bullshit), or maybe it simply takes women longer to overcome the misogynist slut-shaming that they're subjected to as girls.
Whatever the cause, I've seen it happen again and again: A woman tosses aside decent but somewhat kinky guys until she finds a guy whose sexual interests are "normal," e.g., missionary, doggy and no-hands-on-the-back-of-the-head oral. That's the guy she marries. Then, 10 or 20 years later, she develops some "not normal" sexual interests of her own. She wants to spice things up, but — fuckadoodledoo — 20 years ago, she dumped a nice kinkster and married a sexual dud.
So get in a time machine and tell your twentysomething self that one day, you'll want to be able to say something like this to your husband: "You know how I've been jerking you off with my feet/letting you wear my panties/dressing up like Aquagirl and fucking your ass for the last 19 years? It's been fun, but it's payback time. I just finished reading this book, and now I wanna get canned."
If you don't have access to a time machine, WHIP, tell your husband that while he may be happy with the way things are, you're not. Which means things have to change.
CONFIDENTIAL TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Thanks, man.
Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.