Sunday, 15 May 2011

A bird in the hand

When it comes to the complex world of human sexual expression I'm no Alfred Kinsey. But even I understand that one of the fundamental differences between men and women lies in their approach to maturbation. Whereas many men are so comfortable with their one-handed habit that they're happy to knock one out on the early bus to work, it seems that women attribute much more significance to the act. Some still take classes in it, squatting over hand mirrors to explore their inner-sanctum. OK, we can laugh at the earnestness of it all, but at least the homework's fun.

For some inexplicable reason, women who wank are still seen as taboo-worthy, at least where movies are concerned. Remember the great shuffle kerfuffle when Natalie Portman let her fingers do the walking in Black Swan? There was an awkward silence in the cinema where I saw Darren Aronofsky's ballet drama, not least in the seat next to me. Note to self - think twice before taking your mum to the pictures.

So here's hoping that Ana Catarian Bezerra becomes something of a folk-hero, for standing up her (self) love rights. The 36-year-old Brazilian suffers from a chemical imbalance that can trigger severe anxiety and hyper sexuality. As an OCD sufferer, I can fully empathise. But when my chemical imbalance kicks in, I spend twenty minutes making sure that the gas hob is switched off. Ana's manifests itself in frantic bouts of fingering.

Unfortunately, not everyone in Ana's accountancy firm was comfortable with her sticking her hand up her skirt every few minutes to relieve her anxiety. She told the press "I got so bad I would masturbate up to forty seven-times a day. That's when I asked for help, I knew it wasn't normal." Well, maybe if she was a fourteen-year-old boy.

As a result of her debilitating dexterity, Ana ended up in a legal battle and even had to go to court. I'm guessing no-one badgered the witness, since she was probably busy doing that herself. Now she's receiving professional medical help and has been prescribed with a 'cocktail' of tranquillisers. The good news is that she's now down to eighteen wanks a day, and has full legal protection every time she gets the tingle in the office. She's also allowed to watch porn on her work computer to help her along.

It'll be interesting to see whether the plight of this modern-day suffragette inspires a bunch of copycat cases. If so, we're looking at the biggest threat to workplace productivity since Facebook. And if someone in the cubicle next to you develops a similar condition that requires regular release, just remember Ana's struggles and try not to point the finger. Unless she asks nicely.

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