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Love, Liberty and the Pursuit of Public Masturbation

How one act of public masturbation helped renew my marriage.

By TestPublished about a year ago 6 min read
Love, Liberty and the Pursuit of Public Masturbation
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

“Look,” I said with the excitement of a child seeing an elephant for the first time, “that man over there is masturbating in broad daylight!”

My husband, who moments before was feeling glum and downtrodden, glanced to his right while still keeping an eye on the busy road.

“Oh my God,” he replied upon locking onto the sight, “he’s really going at it!”

We had been driving home from an appointment with our accountant. This was one month after closing down our business after a bad run of financial luck. We had just been told that we’d be unable to recover any of our financial loss with the company, and we were now irrevocably in debt.

The mood was grim in the car that sunny afternoon.

Jamie and I had always been the it couple. This sounds boastful, but in all reality, it’s the truth. Out of all our friends, we had been the ones who stuck the longest. We'd often receive comments on our Facebook photos, saying, "OMG, you two are so adorable!" or "Wow, #relationshipgoals" and because I love to suck a stone dry when it comes to feeding my ego, I'd play that banjo all night long.

What I wanted deep down in my blackened soul was to let other people know how much better we were than them.

And by God, it was working.

I'd post hundreds of photos of us frolicking in fields of canola, kissing under the stars, laughing our heads off, not at a joke but because I said it would make for a great Instagram post.

Jamie doesn't so much fit this description of self-obsessed lunatic, so mostly, this task landed squarely on my shoulders.

There I’d be, late into the evening, conjuring up cutesy posts to pin to my social media networks. Constantly nagging Jamie that he needed to be more diligent in displaying public displays of affection because if he didn’t, what might others think?

Except in recent months, this task had become more and more difficult.

They say that financial burden is the leading cause of divorce, and I can attest to this claim 100%.

We were quickly falling from our prestigious perch of best couple in the world and learning our new title of, meh, they seem content with one another.

Instead of posting photos of sneakily making out at our children’s fun-fair school events like in days of yore, we were quarrelling about how we were going to pay the electric bill that month.

It seemed that all of the magic had seeped out of our marriage with the sudden collapse of our financial security.

If you are the sort of person who has their shit together and has never had the pleasure of looking poverty square in the eye, there are certain things you may not understand.

  • When there is a constant fear of losing your worldly possessions—your home, car, redwood patio set, you become afraid to do anything. Afraid to go to the movies or order the sushi you so loved to share with your children on special nights out.

  • Spur-of-the-moment trips to your hometown to visit family on long weekends become a thing of the past because what if your vehicle breaks down during the long four-hour drive? You cannot afford a new car. You can’t even afford to take it into the shop.

  • To keep the debt collectors off your back and maintain some semblance of normality for your children, you must solely focus on making money for the foreseeable future. No. Joy. Allowed.

For us, living with even the merest of luxuries had become a thing of the past.

We found ourselves fighting more and more. Usually, these arguments would start about money but quickly transform into something direr. The underlying issues of why the business had failed. Resentments that had been harboured for months or even years regarding some unresolved issue.

The grimness of our situation was showing in our lack of love language towards each other. We had now plummeted from our previous title of Best Marriage Ever, likely never to resume our former glory.

Jamie didn’t care about this because he is the sort of person who doesn’t give a hoot about what others think. I, on the other hand, was devastated. I make a living off of allowing people to lavish in the fantastical stories about my life. But who the hell wants to read a downer about how a relationship is failing?

(Big sorry to whoever is reading this right now.)

It was for all of these reasons that, as we drove home from the accountants that day, I asked my husband in a sobering voice, “Is this going to break us, Jamie?”

He didn’t answer. Tears were welling in both of our eyes, and memories about happier days came flooding to my mind. Maybe I was too shallow of a person. Perhaps the money problems we were having just brought to light all of the other issues we’d been sweeping under the rug with our admissions of love on Facebook and Instagram. Maybe, this was the end.

And that’s when I noticed the man masturbating on the side of the road.

He was dressed in an oversized bomber jacket and ratty cargo shorts. His hair appropriately mussed from the exertion of his efforts, he stood proudly outside the Sexxxy Kitten Adult Toy Emporium, gazing into their windows at the scantily clad mannequins.

I only questioned if I should bring the sight to my husband’s attention for a mere second because if I couldn’t tell him about some dude whacking it on the side of the road, what could I tell him?

Jamie slowed the car down, oblivious to the vehicles behind us, and together we gazed upon the man with nostalgic fervour. If only we could be so passionate nowadays.

The man’s climax was abrupt and evident as he folded his chin down to his chest, allowing his relief to drain through his entire body. The scene provided me with a feeling of great good luck that I had been able to witness such a spectacle.

For if this man could bring himself to ejaculation on a bustling city street, with seemingly not a care in the world, then what was to say that I couldn’t uplift my life and situation too?

As Jamie sped up to resume the speed limit, he grasped my hand in a tight squeeze.

“This isn’t it, Linds,” he said quietly. “We’re going to get through this.”

It’s been two years now since our business’s closure.

Although the path has been long and challenging, we are building a new life for ourselves.

We may not wear the title of Best Marriage on our socials any longer, but what we have now is much more important. Instead of boasting about how great our relationship is, we live each day working hard to make it better from within.

It is a private thing that gives us a secret sort of promise that we can always grow together.

You’d think a story about stopping on the side of the road to watch some guy masturbate would be embarrassing, but for this old married couple, we’ve got no regrets.


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