save the masturbation for nighttime

    Dear V,

    I’m living in the dorms with my roommate, whom I don’t really see often or talk to. When we do see each other, we trade pleasantries and get along on a superficial level. I am in morning classes, and he takes afternoon classes, so we really don’t see much of each other, which is fine by me.

    Three days ago, I returned from classes and my roommate was not there. I got on my computer, checked my email, and I don’t know how to say it, but I ended up masturbating to some pornography I downloaded. A few minutes later, I’m startled by the door opening, I rush to put my clothes on before the door opens, but I’m unable to. When my roommate walks in, I’m a deer caught in headlights, as is he… only for a moment.

    After a brief moment of utter awkwardness, he shuts the door behind him and stands there, staring at me. “Don’t stop on account of me,” he whispers. I put my clothes on and stormed out of the room. “Where are you going?” he shouted as I rushed out. I didn’t respond. I haven’t returned to my dorm room since. Honestly, I’m afraid to. What should I do?


    Dirty and disgusted

    Dear Reader,

    Well, like all other intensely awkward moments, you can either forget about what happened, leave it in the past and act like nothing out of the ordinary occurred, or you can rehash the incident and try and talk about it with your roommate.

    Let’s face it, masturbating to computer porn in the middle of the afternoon in your room was probably not the best idea. Perhaps you assumed that you were in the clear, the “knock or I will kill you” ribbon was tied around the door handle, and you were good to go. Whatever. Hate to break it to you, but your voyeur of a roommate sounds creepy, and if you’re not comfortable with someone, it’s probably time to close up shop and move out.

    In my opinion, some incidents are way too mortifying to even try and talk out. Plus, like you stated above, you don’t even know this kid-definitely a good thing-so it’s not like you have a deep friendship to salvage here. If you are an optimist, it’s not so bad that he caught you in this benign act as opposed to tangoing in the sheets; things could have been a lot worse. In the meantime, head back to your room, let him know that you’re moving out and make your peace before you get the hell out of there.

    Best of luck!


    Please send probing inquiries to or drop V a line in her box in the office of The Hurricane. All questions and comments will remain anonymous.

    This Dear V. originally ran on October 21, 2005.