Should lunchtime exercise be confined to the park?

Should lunchtime exercise be confined to the park?

During lunch times, people often do more than just eat. Some mid-work-day activities are more appropriate than others, like exercising for example. Exercising over lunch is considered quite acceptable.

Masturbation? Less so.

Why?

It wasn’t so long ago that exercising on public streets was an eyebrow-raising endeavour. President Thomas Jefferson may have quothed “if the body is feeble, the mind will not be strong" in promotion of physical fitness, but going for a jog downtown during the working day was hardly common happenstance. Especially for ladies (delicate constitutions, dainty extremities, and flibbertijibbety dispositions do so impede ones sporting progress).

Not so today. Since corsets and notions of feminine impropriety were chewed up by the same machines of industry that launched the great sloth we’re now desperately trying to overcome, ideas about health and physical exertion have become far more fashionable, and imperative besides.

Now, men and women are seen stretching and sweating in stretchy, sweaty fabric. They do this as and when they please. And where! Park lawns are no longer mere places to promenade – they’re grounds used for daily physical abuse. Bodies splay in boot-camps and whistles generally disturb the peace. A stranger would regard these shenanigans and wonder, ‘what an earth are they doing?’

Especially when you consider the broad range of bizarre bodily rituals foisted upon us. Think yogic postures that are borderline erotic or tandem lunging which leaves little to the imagination. These rituals reveal flesh and form, contort faces and result in laboured, audible breathing.  It’s all rather confronting when you think about it, but we endorse this otherwise highly embarrassing, personal behaviour as something utterly acceptable in society.

Yet we do so because society needs to. We promote active lifestyles and public, physical exertion because if we do not, we will suffer. We need to exercise for the sake of our health – mental and physical – and we need to exercise for our sense of self. Even if all this running and jumping and lifting and bouncing makes us look silly, or interrupts our daily routine, or takes place in the public sphere, or leaves us feeling flushed, we think it okay because it’s good for the individual and great for the collective.

So why not treat the exercise of one’s sexual energy in the same way? When it comes to socially acceptable bodily stimulation, why do we baulk at self-love? Could we one day see group training sessions finished with a warm-down release of a different kind?

Probably not.

Probably because too many people would find it offensive (as offensive as women sweating over a Swisse ball may have been to a Nineteenth Century dandy? I wonder). Offensive because too many people don’t really understand, or enjoy, or have ever really experienced, happy and healthy self-satisfaction. Too many people still believe masturbation is a bad, immoral, perverse occupation, reflecting a view that wasn’t really established until the 1700s and is fast becoming outdated.

But I believe a bit more positive promotion of private pleasure could go a long way to helping cure some of the ills associated with poor sexual health. Indeed, there’s research that suggests masturbation may yield many broad social benefits.

And many of us won’t need a study to show how wonderful a good wank can be for both sex life and state of mind. Could we have some love-gyms please? Private rooms for requirement? Self-love hotels? At the very least, we could start regarding masturbation as a normal, healthy exercise.  

So, should we start being less shy about self-love and more active about its promotion? Yes.

What’s stopping us?

You tell me.

Would you ever duck off for a bit of sexual exercise during work hours? Why/why not?

@katherinefeeney

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kfeeney@fairfaxmedia.com.au

 

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