Five songs men listen to when nobody else is around

THINK you know the men in your life? Guess again. When left to their own devices, these are the songs they like to listen to.

Natasha Bedingfield – These Words

In company, men listen to respectable, manly music by Bruce Springsteen or Eric Clapton. But in private they reveal their true, cheesy pop-loving form. Natasha Bedingfield’s 2004 banger is a popular choice, not least because a man can do a fun little mime along to the record scratch at the beginning. A simple pleasure for a simple sex.

Aqua – Barbie Girl

Men don’t just listen to Barbie Girl. They have memorised all the words and choreographed their own special dance which has been practised to perfection. Oddly they only sing along to Barbie’s lyrics and not Ken’s. Make of that what you will. It probably just means they’re in touch with their feminine side so don’t worry about it.

Taylor Swift – Karma

The monolithic popularity of Taylor Swift is a mystery to men. When their partner pops out to get their hair done, men will covertly put on Swift’s latest single to try and figure out why she’s so beloved. Does she simply express their complex human experience in a catchy, empowering way? Or is she, like, just totally amazing and they wish they were her? They’re going to have to download all her albums now, just for research purposes, you understand.

Manowar – Hand of Doom

American heavy metal band Manowar is a guilty pleasure of every man. Their frenetic fretboard noodling and lyrics based around mythological wars tap into the primal gratification nodes buried deep in a man’s brain. Men know this music is not fit for public consumption though and would rather be caught wanking than listening to it, so they do their best to be discreet.

Hans Zimmer – The Battle

The signature arrangement from the Gladiator soundtrack livens up a man’s life as he potters around doing the hoovering or the washing up. It makes him feel like he too is the commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor. But if his girlfriend comes back early he’ll switch it right off because she f**king hates it.

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Seven unexpected things guaranteed to put you off wanking

LIFE is hard, but you can always rely on a wank. Or can you? These deeply unerotic intrusions will bring an end to solitary sex quicker than you can type ‘weird hentai porn’.

A porn actor resembling a relative

You’re innocently browsing filth when up pops a porn actress who looks uncannily like your Auntie Claire. Younger and with better make-up, but the spitting image of your close blood relative. You realise it’s just a coincidence caused by humans looking similar, but have to abandon your wank until you’ve stopped feeling like a Caligula-style incestuous pervert.

A traumatic encounter with Rule 34

The humorous Rule 34 states that if something exists or can be imagined, there’s internet porn of it. You’re sceptical – until you stumble on ‘furry piss-drinking videos’. Wondering what you’ve become, you vow never to look at internet porn again, which goes really well for all of 20 hours. 

Your neighbours having sex

There’s nothing better for your self-esteem than the people in the flat above having an active, noisy love life while you look at tatty porn sites. You’re even starting to think they’re pacing themselves just to draw out the agony for you. Oddly, it wouldn’t be so bad if they were hideous overweight orcs, but they’re not, the normal-looking bastards. Clearly it’s time to either get back on Tinder or move flat, whichever is less of a miserable, time-consuming hassle.

A power cut

Your phone’s out of charge, your router won’t work, and thanks to the death of print publishing you don’t have any old copies of FHM kicking around. A search quickly reveals there isn’t even any desperation-level erotica in your home – no Littlewoods catalogues, not even a copy of Cosmopolitan, a magazine probably more read by boyfriends for the beautiful swimwear models than actual women. Finally you give up and go to bed in the dark, strangely annoyed that the government has no civil emergency planning in place for a wanking material shortage.

Utterly random work thoughts

You finished work six hours ago but your masturbation activities are suddenly brought to a halt by worrying about some really overdue invoices Lisa dumped on you. You’re actually quite annoyed about the intrusion on your personal life, but you’ve got a feeling no employment tribunal is going to compensate you for lost wanking time, whatever the Daily Mail might claim.

Bad mental associations 

You’ve consulted your memory banks for a particularly good shag with an ex and all is going well. Then you remember their cat. Bella was sooo cute and fluffy. You used to give her tuna as a treat. Then she got cat cancer. You had to take her to the vet for the lethal injection. She’s a pile of ashes in a little urn now. You’re not sure what’s weirder, a quick wank turning into a depressing meditation on the inevitability of death or it feeling disrespectful to an incinerated cat. 

A sudden change in porn theme 

You may have noticed porn sites don’t have the highest professional ethical standards. Just one click can bounce you from something not much more explicit than Love Island to the realms of extreme dodginess, eg. scary BDSM or worryingly young-looking models. There’s nothing like paranoid thoughts of being sent to nonce prison to make you seriously consider a more wholesome hobby like 5,000-piece jigsaws.