OK, this is going to be an interesting one. I promise I'll attempt to steer clear of lazy innuendo, but I can't promise I'll be 100% successful, and there will be more than a few bad jokes. So be warned.
The Wankband aims to turn masturbation (male and female, though mostly male) into real, useable energy
The internet and pornography are inexorably linked like few other forces on this planet. Just a casual gander at the Alexa 500 will tell you as much, with adult sites showing up with alarming regularity. Indeed, four of the top 100 sites on the list are currently the kind that offer every variety of pornography under the sun, completely free of charge. These “Tube” sites have been accused of catalysing the death of the adult industry, and yet pornography is more popular, and more readily available now than it ever has been. One of four such sites holding pride of place in the top 100 is Pornhub, an online portal offering users access to literally thousands of explicit adult videos, the majority of which my teenage self would probably not believe even existed.
Of course, it's a different world now, a world built on information, where kids are forced to grow up before their time, and the kind of pornography that thrilled my 14 year old self would be seen as archaic, tame and embarrassing. I (personally) don't agree with the whole thing. Not at all. I'm not a prude (far from it), but pornography is far too readily available and will undoubtedly find its way into the hands of impressionable children who are simply not prepared for it. I'm not here to talk about that though. I'm here to talk about the by-product of sites such as Pornhub, Xvideo and Xhamster (I'm as confused as you are by that one), and arguably the solitary reason for their existence; masturbation.
Wankband – love the planet by loving yourself
Wanking, spanking the monkey, tugging the salami, spaffing one off; whatever you want to call it (and I consider that list to be quite modest), there is no other reason for these sites to exist. But what if I could tell you there was actually something to be gained from all this aggressively expended energy? Enter The Wankband; the device so daft, it has to be real. Right? The Wankband is the kind of device that would have once been the stuff of parody, indeed, even the official commercial (above) seems like a particularly lewd Fast Show sketch. It's a simple wrist strap that works using a small inner valve that sends a small weight up and down with every stroke (chuckle). The movement of this weight generates a small amount of power, which is fed through a USB port into any device the wearer fancies. From smartphones and tablets, to laptops, portable games consoles and more! In fact, why not hook it up to your girlfriends USB rechargeable vibrator? Talk about mutual masturbation (ba dum cha). Essentially it works in the same manner as a shake to charge watch or flashlight, only with a dirtier angle.
The Wankband is being marketed as not only a fun gag gift, but a device that genuinely saves energy
It's being marketed as not only a fun gag gift, but a device that genuinely saves energy. It's yet to be announced exactly how much juice can be cranked out of the Wankband, but it's unlikely that enough power will be generated during a single (ahem) session for a full charge (unless you're really into it that is). According to PornHub, the Wankband is all about “Guilt free electricity,” which is all well and good. Unless you're catholic of course. It's certainly a neat idea though, and actually makes a lot of sense when you really think about it. I wouldn't recommend thinking about it too much though.
Whether it's an elaborate prank, a genius advertising ploy, or a legitimate attempt on the part of the net's most famous smut peddlers to save the environment (not bloody likely) remains to be seen. Either way, The Wankband is still officially in the development stage, but you can head over to the landing page (don't worry, it's safe for work) and sign up to the beta round, which begins "In the coming months." The coming months you say? Oh well. I almost made it.
Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and struggling musician from Kidderminster in the UK. He sniggered like a schoolboy at least a dozen times in the 70 or so minutes it took him to write this piece. He has no regrets!