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  • Bruce P. Grether

Henry David Thoreau: A Great Masturbator!


The sturdy, bearded young man of some thirty years, wearing only a long linen nightshirt, lies back on the simple cot in his tiny cabin surrounded by second growth trees. Night voices from outside enthrall him. He feels a warm surge of blood flow into the organ of manhood that hangs between his legs, a delicious twinge of arousal, though for a short while he does nothing about it.

Pale silvery light from a crescent moon barely sifts its way down through the trees into one of his two partly opened windows, onto him where he reclines with strong arms folded behind his tousled head. He listens intently to the voices of crickets and frogs, the occasional hooting of an owl over the small lake nearby. Despite his reputation as a hermit who spends a lot of time walking through these woods, friends often visit him here, something he very much enjoys--and at last they have departed from his door. Still, his thoughts drift to his dear friend Mr. Emerson, on whose land he has built this cabin, an occasion when they privately discussed whether or not the notorious "Sin of Onan" was actually harmful at all, and decided not. They agreed it was natural and benign. Then, the private room in New York, apart from his family for a year, had proven revelatory by demonstrating to himself the possibilities.

Presently he savors his after-midnight solitude, when his mind still churns with thrilling ideas, the progressive enlightened concepts of his social sphere, where all sorts of timely philosophical, scientific, political, even sexual and social ideas are thoroughly shared and discussed. He himself has always felt strongly about abolition, a subject now coming to a head in the mid 1840s, the period of his prime. He's no anarchist, but believes the systems need major reform. What he has written about in his prolific journals, though he might not speak of so openly to others, is how he loves to swim naked in nearby Walden Pond, and how much he sometimes enjoys watching the groups of boys who come there to strip and jump in, frolic and play together… how their bright grins flash, how their phalluses swing about wildly and sometimes grow stiff…

With this flicker of thought--those bare young men, each a burgeoning Adam in the sensual Eden of Nature's enchanting thrall--Henry's arousal which has waxed and waned a few times since he lay down, now demands his attention, so he hauls his nightshirt up from below his knees to bare his abdomen, to allow the swell and upright lift of his phallus from its nest of soft brown curls, its unhindered expansion. He spreads his legs, lifts his knees. He is a strong man, though he has suffered a few bouts of illness, and sometimes still grieves for the loss of his brother John, but he has learned to take comfort and lose his sadness by enjoyment of what many would consider a sin. From experience he knows this to be not only a harmless joy, but one of life's greatest and most beneficial delights.

No one is with him to observe this frequent ritual of self-admiration and self-pleasure, but if anyone was, they would see a full bearded man quite handsome, with wavy brown hair, high noble brow, a long aquiline beak of a nose, deep-set blue eyes now grown dreamy in the suffused moonlight upon his cot. Capable, talented hands that have learned much, now moving onto his bared chest to toy with nipples, to his belly. Fingers move out onto his pale thighs, then back to his loins where that proud organ of manhood, unspeakable in most company, delights his gaze. The sway of its rigid shaft and the tender helmet of flesh now emerges to wink at him from as the soft pod of foreskin slips down from he tip.

Now the sensitive organ delights to the touch of his fingers, as well, the unique blend of silken and velvety soft textures with the rigid inner core that makes it stand up. Most precious of all to Henry, is the glorious radiance of indescribably sweet sensations that invade his limbs as he so tenderly, attentively caresses his fully aroused manhood, without haste. He has learned to relish this in his solitude.The flow of nectars from the apex of that swollen wand the Hindus call the Lingam, floods the cup of the prepuce with lubrication. While one of his hands drops to lovingly feel, to pull the hairy balls between his thighs, the other hand's fingertips he employs to swirl this lotus petal of delicate skin over the spongy dome of the organ's head.

Time dissolves--a suspended irrelevance to this beautiful man, Henry David (whose last name is pronounced not in the French manner of its spelling, but more or less as we now pronounce the word "thorough"). He has entered a kind of levitation, a self-induced trance in which that busy intellectual mind of his is also suspended in a realm of limitless bliss, an experience he might call Heaven on Earth, or a return to Paradise, though he never speaks of it at all. Still, this is for Henry a secret power that provides him with great happiness throughout his days, for he sometimes enjoys this practice in the woods where he walks, where he opens his trousers, also when alone and naked on a hidden shore of the nearby waters.

Not quite ready for his blissful self-pleasure to end as yet and hence to plunge into the oblivion of sleep and the business of his vivid dreams, he slows down his touch to stillness, breathes deeply as he has read that the Far Eastern mystics called yogis teach. Thus he transcends the urge to end this delicious session by the silvery glow of the waning crescent. For measureless time he extends the ineffable ecstasy of his body's capacity for pleasure… then as the lunar light dims with the passing of the reflective orb into the west, darkness descends suddenly. It seems the crickets and frogs grow louder and his heart sprints like a naked Greek athlete in his chest.

Henry faces a decisive crossroads: hasten his strokes and set free the white fountain of total oblivion and mild regret? Or continue indefinitely? His large blue eyes admire the shadowy shape of the turgid Lingam he holds; he searches inwardly, and the eyelids close gently. This feels too fine to let it end so soon. For now at least, he chooses the latter path of original innocence prolonged towards blissful infinity.


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