In The Field

Sprucing up the Masturbatorium

Sherilyn Levy the Nurse in Charge at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Reproductive Medicine says that she knows what guys want. In ART, the woman’s job — from hormone injections, to harvesting, to implantation, and hopefully pregnancy and delivery — can be pretty harrowing. The man’s job is simple really, but Levy and a colleague Bonnie Campbell decided that B&W’s aging ‘men’s lounge’ an important part of most fertility procedures at the hospital, was due for an update.


They surveyed 100 males who had used the lounge asking them to provide feedback, anonymously, on things like the ambient noise level, the preferred subject matter (surprise surprise 95% preferred heterosexual encounters), and their general impressions of the experience.

Sample question:

When compared to other situations when you have been required to produce a semen specimen this men’s lounge was ____ than the others.

A. Better, B. Same, C. Worse, D. NA

The survey gave them lots of ideas for improvements to the lounge. Some men were worried because they could hear people in the hallway. It was distracting to some, others worried that outsiders could listen in on their progress. Many, Levy said, were less than impressed with the furnishings. Not surprisingly most guys wanted a bigger TV. Also, she said, “The lounge chair was a bit intimidating.” A drooping leather chaise, similar in shape to a dentist’s chair apparently put some guys on edge. And when there’s a task … erm … at hand you really don’t want nerves getting in the way.

Levy and Campbell have yet to institute their renovations, which will include better soundproofing, a more traditional recliner, and a computer based media centre with a touch-screen interface. When I asked if the idea of a touch-anything might be a bit out of place in a masturbatorium, Campbell reminded me that touch screens wipe down easily. A traditional remote control has the potential to get “a lot funkier.”

And keeping all of the inspirational media centrally stored has another benefit, they told me. One of the common complaints their anonymous respondents made was over the lack of material. Apparently their porn has a tendency to grow legs.

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