I'm broke, my hours at my shitty receptionist job keep getting cut, and I can't get another one because I'm not Francophone enough. My friends are on luxury vacations, my boyfriend's across the world, and I've read all the books in my apartment. I'm going crazy with poverty and free time. Thank Christ I live in one of the most academic metropolises in North America, where psychology grad students grow on trees and have grants for clinical research studies. They pay $10 an hour to listen to beeps on headphones. Beer money does not get easier. I saw a study that paid a whopping $80 for 4 hours of "clinical visit" time. I called immediately, only to find out it was an orgasm study.
I was a little uncomfortable at
the prospect of rubbing one out in front of strangers, but $80 for some self-love was pretty
convincing. I filled out the paper work and scheduled my first appointment.
When I got there I filled out
questionnaires about my last experience "masturbating to orgasm" (a
phrase which lost meaning after its copius repetition). Toys? No. Porn? Not
this time. Fantasy? Err... I technically don't think it's fantasy, becuase it's
absolutely possible for Dwayne Johnson to call me out of the blue and teach me
the real meaning of "The People's Elbow," except that his elbow would be on his cock.
One of the sheets was a yes/no questonnaire of adjectives. Shuddering? Yes or
no. Throbbing? Yes or no. Pulsating? Calm? Radiating? Internal? Flowing? After
those intensely personal and oddly poetic questions, I met the examiner.
Her name was Melissa, a cute girl about 5 '6" with a snub nose and Shirley Temple hair. She looked like a receptionist at a bank that instead of money was full of bunnies and ribbons. She was absolutely sunny and professional, speaking in a chipper but moderated voice and keeping a straight face when she said "anal beads." I met her in her office in this Soviet-era school building and we moved to the equally outdated exam room, where she filled me in on the logistics of the experiment. After rubbing one out, I would get a 15-minute break. During that period I could do anything. "Read, relax, listen to music. Anything except masturbate more." Then she was going to poke various parts of my junk with a thread.
It all seemed fairly painless, but then she turned the tables. "This time, we're actually going to ask you not to orgasm. We'd like you to masturbate to a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, ten being an orgasm and one being no arousal at all." Hey you tricky motherfuckers, this was supposed to be an orgasm study, not a sexual frustration study. Melissa the Tease said I'd get to come in the next session. Next, she straight-facedly started the most invasive line of questioning I have ever endured, including, but not limited to, asking me point-blank if I had ever had a finger up my ass. Once my privacy was thoroughly invaded she unveiled a tray of scissor clamps. First thought: WHAT THE FUCK. It turns out each of the clamps had a tiny piece of thread in it to do the "sensory testing." Melissa cozied up to the foot of the bed, pointed the lamp between my legs and said: "If you could just pull your clitoral hood back we can get started."
Not a phrase that inspired comfort. I spent the next 15 minutes spreading my junk while she diddled away down there. Once Melissa had gotten her first set of data, she left the room for me to start my finger press. On her way out, she turned the lights down low, pointed out the Dave Matthews Band CDs she brought to get me in the mood, and told me to "use your normal style of masturbation." I Googled some porn and got to work.
FYI: Stopping at a 9 is just as annoying alone as it is with a partner who fails to deliver. Melissa came back in and did the whole string thing again. During the 15-minute break between pokings, it occured to me that she's only about five years older than I am. I'll probably see her around. Is it weird to be like "Hey! Remember my vagina?" Is this what a lesbian one night stand is like? I refuse pretend she didn't spend a large part of her Tuesday bent over my cunt.
After the last round of pokes, she told me to put my clothes on. I tried to make some jokey comment about us being "really good friends now." Not even a smile. I met her in her office and she handed me $40 cash without looking me in the eye. I was fucking sick of her "strictly business," attitude but luckily I've got a second appointment next month.