Fictional descriptions of men trying to stave off orgasm?
January 28, 2010 6:01 AM   Subscribe

In all of fiction and literature, what's the best (or any) example of a male character thinking furiously about baseball, algebra etc. in a desperate attempt to postpone his orgasm?

I'm writing an article on the topic, and I could use some literary citations. Surely Roth? Or Mailer? Or one of the Amises?
posted by gelcap to Writing & Language (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The 1980s version of "The Singing Detective" (by Dennis Potter) when Philip Marlow (Gambon) is having his balls greased by a nurse played by Joanne Whalley (later Whalley-Kilmer). I think we can all see his point...

"Think of something boring – a speech by Ted Heath, wage rates in Peru, the dog in Blue Peter."

I'll see if I can find a video link anywhere :)
posted by BrokenEnglish at 6:22 AM on January 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Woody Allen has a stand-up bit from the 60s where he describes just this. It starts around 4:30.

It is a really good one, as he goes through the entire final inning.
posted by chiefthe at 6:30 AM on January 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

I can't remember any specific passage, but I imagine Portnoy's Complaint addressed this topic.
posted by albrecht at 6:42 AM on January 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

There are several such instances scattered throughout Chuck Palahniuk's Choke, but IIRC, he used these thoughts to keep his sex addiction at bay, rather than to prolong his pleasure:

"To keep from triggering, I picture airplane crash sites and stepping in crap... I imagine police photos of car wrecks and point-blank shotgun damage...I'm thinking of dead rats and rotten cabbage and pit toilets".
posted by hellopanda at 6:45 AM on January 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

There's the song "Baseball" by Pimpbot. Probably not relevant to what you're trying to do, but it's fun to listen to.
posted by vees at 6:52 AM on January 28, 2010

The best I can think of is the scene in the first Austin Powers movie, where the Fembots are trying to seduce Austin and he starts talking to himself about "baseball, cold showers, and Margaret Thatcher naked on a cold day". Not exactly literary, though.
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:16 AM on January 28, 2010

Here, after 1m 40 secs. Very anglo-centric, some of the subtleties will probably be lost in translation.
posted by BrokenEnglish at 7:23 AM on January 28, 2010

The Cameron Crowe movie "Singles" has a scene that fits your description perfectly. In the scene where Kyra Sedgwick and Campbell Scott get together, he envisions Seattle Sonic's player Mookie Blaylock (I think) giving a post-game interview.
posted by MorningPerson at 7:34 AM on January 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

In Glee, the football quarterback captain Finn remembers the time when he was learning how to drive and hit a mailman with his car.
posted by kathrineg at 8:32 AM on January 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

MorningPerson, it was Xavier McDaniels. And it was really him. At the end of the interview, he turns to the camera and says, "Steve, don't come yet!"
posted by peep at 8:33 AM on January 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

OK, his last name is McDaniel, no "s." Here's the clip.
posted by peep at 8:34 AM on January 28, 2010

I just read T.C. Boyle's The Road to Wellville. I can't remember exactly where in the novel all the instances take place, but Will Lightbody alternately struggles with impotence when he wants to perform and orgasming at inappropriate times and I recall there being some discussion of him thinking of other things to prevent the latter from happening. The descriptions were short, but quite vivid.
posted by zizzle at 8:42 AM on January 28, 2010

To be a completist on this topic, Bull Durham deals with the opposite phenomenon: obsessively postponing orgasm so as to think furiously about baseball.
posted by one_bean at 10:37 AM on January 28, 2010

one_bean's mention of the Bull Durham opposite approach reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where George goes for the "trifecta" of sex, baseball, and eating a pastrami and rye the same time. ("I flew too close to the sun on wings of pastrami.")
posted by webhund at 2:09 PM on January 28, 2010

I might be wrong (it's been a while), but I think there's a long series of scenes in Cryptonomicon where a character is basically stuck on an island, thinking about sex and math. Unfortunately I can't remember enough details to say whether it's explicitly about distracting himself from sex, though.
posted by you're a kitty! at 4:24 PM on January 28, 2010

Woody Allen uses a bit of material from that stand-up routine in "Play It Again Sam".
posted by chrchr at 10:54 PM on January 28, 2010

In I'm Alan Partridge, Alan starts asking his sexual partner what she thinks about the pedestrianization of Norwich City Centre. SCript here:

Alan:Sheathes, er, prophylactics, you know, rubber johnnies. Actually, being your age and everything there's probably no need for them. I'm talking about the menopau - whoooo! Jill you know your onions! Do you mind if I talk? It helps me keep the wolf from the door, so to speak. Jill, what do you think about the pedestrianisation of Norwich town centre? I'll be honest I'm dead against it. People forget that [increasingly breathless] traders need access to Dixons! [Regaining himself] They do say it'll help people in [half-sighing] wheeeeelchairs
posted by mippy at 2:59 AM on January 29, 2010

Very late to this thread, but Trainspotting has a good one (page 141 on Google Books), when Renton imagines rimming Wallace Mercer, the chairman of the Scottish football team Hearts.
posted by Beardman at 1:39 PM on July 8, 2010

« Older What is a shower jacket?   |   Sourdough muffins? Sourdough...cake? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.