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Like monkeys and Pokemon, masturbation is evolving. Our ancestors used to put a stick covered in termites in their proto-dicks to get off. Nowadays, we have robots that will give us space-age handies with a kung fu grip and lube designed by NASA, I assume. The NASA security guys won't let me snoop around, but I know what I know.

As with all things, though, we must ask: Is newer better? Sure, if you're dying of a terrible disease, you can go to a hospital for treatment with modern medicine, but some people still like the idea of using herbs to clear up a sucking chest wound. Who knows what might work? So with that in mind, I have decided to put my very body on the line to help you, fellow jackers, determine just what is the best method of wanking. Do the olden ways stand up to today's modern superjackoffery? Science will tell us!

4
Handy Dandy

XiXinXing/XiXinXing/Getty Images

I don't have a degree in anthropology or dick tuggery, but I am an amateur in both. It is therefore my nonprofessional belief that the origin of masturbation is connected to the right wrist. Even for you lefties. Back in the day, you wouldn't dare touch your precious genitals with your sinister devil's paw. Only the right hand would do.

Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
Not that this stops them from masturbating into actual toilet paper, of course.

So we can agree that masturbation probably first happened with a bare hand -- probably well before the 1920s, if you can believe it. Maybe one day, our monkey ancestor was sitting in his tree, lounging under a palm frond, enjoying some delicious papaya, when some of it slipped and landed on his little monkey dinky. He reached for it, grabbed both together, pulled, and suddenly we had nuclear power, iPhones, and Hot Pockets.

MaZiKab/iStock/Getty Images
Behold, the missing wank.

As it happens, I have tried this old chestnut myself once or twice, but for science, I did it again. So I hope that right now, you're picturing me literally stopping my writing of this article right here, pushing my chair back a little bit, pulling out the mayo, and starting to churn my own butter. Try to imagine some sound effects, like a grunt of consternation, a chipmunk-like tittering, and the bass growl of a tired and hungry bear.

Did you picture it? Monster. Anyway, I'm sure nearly all of you are aware that this is aces. It's hard to beat the good cheer brought about by your own hand. It knows just what you like, and if you're not too callused (or maybe you are and you dig texture), then it feels just fine, too. For you ladies, try to imagine something you really enjoy the feel of, repeatedly and rhythmically working your lady flower. I'm told by our research team that female masturbation is actually a thing these days as well, and has more fans than paddle boarding, so maybe imagine that.

iprogressman/iStock/Getty Images
Girls: They can masturbate and use lotion for its actual intended purpose.

Rating: 4 out of 5 squirts

3
Warm Meat

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As many fellows will tell you, about a year or two after you've mastered the hand technique, your mind starts wandering. Your hand is one thing in a world of many things. Probably, like, 400 things. What would those other 399 things feel like if they were jerking your gherkin? So you start experimenting. Maybe it's Halloween and you have a pumpkin handy. Maybe your beanbag chair sprung a leak and has an appropriately-sized orifice barfing beans in your room. Maybe you have a slice of ham.

AndreySt/iStock/Getty Images
You'll be porkin' the pork more than Kermit.

I'm not saying there's anything inherently sexy about ham. I'm not saying you can't use turkey, or even tofurky, if you swing that way. I'm really just advocating the texture more than anything -- which, upon rereading this sentence, is somehow even more gross. Still, an industrious-yet-lonely man with a boner is basically a sexual MacGyver.

Aine / Wiki Commons
Anything to give this crap some flavor.

If you're not picking up what I'm putting down yet, allow me to elucidate. For this particular solo mission to Dribblesville, you need to take a slice of deli ham -- and in this case, you don't necessarily want it super thin -- and maybe pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds. Maybe you want it in a piece of bread for added grip, I don't know. I don't want to be the conductor on this train to penile trichinosis; I'm just sharing information. Point is, you wrap warm meat around your cyclopean flesh carrot, and strum away like Clapton performing his final concert.

This is a lot like regular masturbation, only the smell is much more off-putting. Have you smelled deli ham lately? Give it a try. Then rub it aggressively on your crotch for a few minutes. The porcine groin bouquet is a bit sweet and a bit musky -- kind of like what you might expect from a corpse, or a Kardashian when no cameras are around. I can't recommend it.

J.D. Pooley/Getty Images News/Getty Images
If you want to experience this smell but not unzip your pants to do it, just visit your local Subway.

Also, for safety's sake, you may want to give the ham a few seconds of downtime before drafting it to the big game, since microwaves are all programmed to heat on the 10/70/20 pattern, whereby 20 percent is lukewarm, 70 percent is mostly what you had in mind, and 10 percent is a state of bubbling plasma that could burn through an engine block, or in this case, your dong.

Rating: 2 out of 5 squirts

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2
Fleshlight

Fleshlight

Fleshlight has apparently sold over seven million units worldwide. Heh. "Unit." Each one is like that horrible monster that Coach pukes up in Poltergeist, only instead of a demonic preacher's face, it's a molded rubbery vagina or bumhole. There's a reason Fleshlight hasn't hired me as an ad man. That aside, the inside of a Fleshlight is soft, squishy, and textured with various nubs, swirls, and ridges. The basic goal of a Fleshlight was to make a vagina into a handheld device; an idea that will get exponentially creepier the more time you devote to thinking about it.

Fleshlight
It's like if Ed Gein got into porn and collected just one body part.

Patented in 1998, the Fleshlight was the answer to the warm meat conundrum: How can I rub my chub in a way that is more exotic and satisfying than using my hand, but will not leave a slime trail of salmonella bacteria on my sack? Many people claim the Fleshlight is even better than the real thing, at which point we're left to consider whether by "real thing" they mean their hand -- which of course they don't mean -- or an actual human vagina -- which, sadly, they do mean. The existential sadness of anyone claiming that a disembodied rubber vag-sleeve is better than having sex with another person is something no Cracked columnist can dare take on without some serious alcohol to fuel the poetic ennui that will follow. I refuse the challenge, because I have masters to bate and a soul that still glows a little when you say nice things to it. Maybe one day, if I ever willingly take a nap on a back alley mattress and start agreeing with things Donald Trump says, I'll be able to revisit this idea, but until then, no. No sir.

VPRO Metropolis
Get this man some bags of sand, and he's ready to party.

Now, this isn't to say a Fleshlight is an unpleasant experience. If you have the chance, you go ahead and pork that little rubber fun hole. It's not bad at all. I would argue that a Fleshlight is to sex what Taco Bell is to a Mexican banquet. It's not really in the ballpark, and sure, some snotty people who think they're better than you will make fun of it. But you know what? When you're drunk at 2 a.m., that shit is a godsend.

The major downside to the Fleshlight is that it's a lot like manual labor. Masturbating with your hand affords you that flesh-to-flesh connection. It's not work; it's personal grooming. You're cleaning your pipes. But the Fleshlight in hand makes it a bit more like mixing a never-ending martini that you can't drink -- and instead of an olive, you're garnishing it with man nectar that you need to hose out the end of a length of flopping, disembodied, pseudo-vaginal canal.

Gritty Woman
At which point, your only hope is to become turned on by tapeworms.

Rating: 4 of 5 squirts

1
The Autoblow 2

Vice

I want you to put on your 3D glasses, hop on your hoverboard, and start eating astronaut ice cream, because the future of tugging on your tuber is now. The Autoblow 2 is the most advanced form of wanking mankind has to offer. After this, we can only design robot arms with gentle-yet-firm jacking motions. And you know after the preliminary trials, the whole project is going to be set back when one goes haywire and yanks some volunteer's dick off with such force that it gets javelined across a room and embedded in a brick wall.

The Autoblow takes the basic premise of a Fleshlight -- a fake, semi-realistic vagina with a tail -- and adds a new dimension of awesome that the old Fleshlight failed miserably at achieving. This dimension is, of course, autonomy. You can read a damn book while this thing grinds your organ. You'll probably need to balance it between your thighs a little, or wedge it slightly between yourself and a pillow. But with only a little effort, you're doing your taxes, you're eating pudding, you're braiding your hair, whatever. Sky's the limit.

Letsgasm
Be mindful of which pudding you eat, however.

The clear upside of the Autoblow is that it finally takes masturbation out of your hands. You just have to be comfortable with a Donkey Kong-esque barrel on your junk. It has variable speeds as well, so you can go from lazy Quaalude mumble-munch to Furious 7 Vin Diesel power gulp. The downside to the Autoblow, depending on how you feel about noise, is that it sounds like you're being blown by the factory from the end The Terminator. Just a cacophony of churning, rumbling gears, and actuators slouching along towards Jizzrael.

Orion Pictures
"Live with me if you want to cum."

The other issue here is one of balance. The Autoblow's big selling point is that it saves you the dreaded carpal tunnel and wrist stress of all compulsive masturbators before you, but it's still not entirely hands-free. It's got girth -- it's like you're trying to fuck a two-liter bottle of root beer that's really into it -- but you either have to hold it up or, as I said, find some way to balance it. Or as a last ditch effort, you need to stand and place it at wang level with something to weigh it down and just be there, in the moment. A dude with his dick in a blowie machine.

Jeremy Glass / Thrillist
At least you'll always have someone to share a post-coital cigarette with.

Rating: 4 out of 5 squirts

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Conclusions

John Lund/Sam Diephuis/Blend Images/Getty Images

Has technology improved the wank? Have our advances in texturized rubbers improved our alone time? Is the handjob your grandfather's handjob? After thorough consideration, weighing all pros and cons, I have to conclude that traditional, you-and-your-dirty-kielbasa-claw masturbation is still the best form. Why? Ease of use. It's as simple as that. Sure, the Autoblow is an impressive sensation, but can you do that on an elevator with a hole cut in the pocket of your dress pants without anyone else noticing? Not at all. Are you taking a few minutes out of your workday to "go to the bathroom" and bringing a Fleshlight? Do you dare smuggle a ham sandwich into a movie theater?

Michael Blann/DigitalVision/Getty Images
If you do, make sure to do it where no one will see you, like a matinee showing of Steve Jobs.

Fact is, your hand belongs on your arm, so no one is ever suspicious when you have it. You never need to plan to bring it anywhere, and you never need to hide it or prepare it or sanitize it and put it away when you're done. These other methods are like those kitchen gadgets they advertise in infomercials. Sure, maybe you could buy the Bullet home smoothie-making kit and use it a few times, but for the most part, you're just filling a plain old cup with vodka and drinking that. It's simple. It's what you've been doing your whole life. It's efficient, and at the end of the day, it does the job perfectly.

So in a way, technology has indeed changed the way you jerk off -- and maybe even made it feel better, or at least different. But did it improve it? Will it replace it? No. No it won't.

Masturbatory scientists have been at it for a long time (heh). Check out their progress in 7 Important Historical Breakthroughs (In Masturbation). And see their greatest breakthrough yet: Masturbation Cream. No this isn't a lubricant for sex. This is Masturbation Cream. Read about it in 5 Products That Let People Know You're Desperately Lonely.

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