A “Facebook for masturbators” is seeing a surge in interest — particularly from straight men engaging in mutual masturbation.
Launched in September 2009, BateWorld is a “premiere online masturbation community.” The aim of the site, which boasts more than 87,000 members, is to promote and encourage male masturbation.
While, unsurprisingly, the majority of users on BateWorld are gay, it’s also attracting a rise in users who identify as straight.
Members can interact with each other through chat rooms, instant messaging, and live videos. Behind a paywall, users can post explicit photos, comment on forum threads, and share their fantasies.
“It’s an encouraging and supportive, sexually provocative online environment,” explains BateWorld on their website. Further explanation said the site “allows men to freely and openly share their masturbation in a positive and enthusiastic manner.”
Slate recently conducted an investigation into membership data to discover just how many users on the site identify as straight.
The study saw that out of the 86,840 members on BateWorld, 50 per cent identified as gay. 10 percent (8,355 members) considered themselves to be straight. 30 percent said they were bisexual, 4 percent solosexual and 5 percent did not indicate their sexual orientation.
Masturbation enthusiasts “bate with a bro” but don’t want “a homosexual relationship”
Using the plethora of features on BateWorld, Slate’s study went further into the site to find out the thoughts of mutual masturbation. Slate asked members via user-created polling “Is mutual masturbation gay?” and the results (465 to 100) showed that it wasn’t considered ‘gay’ by the BateWorld community.
One voter was quoted as saying: “No. Being homosexual is an attraction. You can bond and bate with a bro and not want a homosexual relationship.”
Another user, when asked by Slate whether the sexual orientation of the man turns the experience from homosocial to homosexual, said: “I usually find more common ground with straight and bi guys since there’s usually firm ground rules and we can usually share more about what we enjoy together.
“We all have and want to share our cocks so don’t overthink it. I think it’s important all parties establish and respect boundaries, whether sexual or otherwise, and that you act as authentically as you can for a mutually good time.”
Straight men more comfortable with mutual masturbation
Lovehoney’s sex and relationship expert, Sammi Cole, told PinkNews: “In the last decade or so, attitudes towards sexuality have shifted, and people are beginning to recognise that, like gender, it’s not a binary thing.
“Many are realising that your sexuality is yours to define, whatever sexual practices you’re into. Add to that an increasingly open outlook on sexual pleasure as a whole, and it’s easy to see how men are becoming more comfortable with exploring those sexual happiness boundaries.
“It’s also worth noting that this potentially isn’t a new phenomenon,” Cole added.
Paul McCartney revealed in an interview with GQ that he’d had group masturbation sessions with Beatles bandmate John Lennon and friends.
“It was just the kind of thing you didn’t think much of. It was just a group,” he said at the time.