I've noticed a theme in sitcoms, more from the 80s/90s than now, that a bottle of hand lotion would be used a sign that a character has been masturbating.

I don't get it. I imagine that lotion might look a bit like semen but I would think that PVC glue would be a better analogue.

How has a lotion (of all things) become a metaphor for masturbating? Why not (say) deodorant?

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    Huh? Surely because it's used in the act? – Walt Nov 17 '14 at 0:32
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    @Walt I think you're doing it wrong. – billpg Nov 17 '14 at 0:37
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    I think I'm getting you wrong, because I'm lost. But in any case, I strongly advise against the application of glue unless you want to provide an entire ER staff with an epic story. – Walt Nov 17 '14 at 0:40
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    Yes, tissues I get as a neccessary part of cleaning up, but lotion? Who uses lotion when masturbating? – billpg Nov 17 '14 at 0:43
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    Masturbation practices, whether or not they occur in movies or TV shows, really is not an appropriate topic for this stachexchange site. – wbogacz Nov 17 '14 at 1:34

Lotion is not a metaphor for masturbation. It's evidence that the act has transpired, because it's a tool used in the act of masturbation. Kleenex is also used in the act.

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    People really do that? (This follow-up question is probably off-topic for TV&Movies.) – billpg Nov 17 '14 at 1:05
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    People really do that. – Ben Plont Nov 17 '14 at 1:07
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    Okay then. Please excuse me while I look for a stack-exchange on sexual practices. – billpg Nov 17 '14 at 1:10
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    I would think you only see this in American comedies (since the majority of American men are circumcised and need lotion) and not European comedies (since most European men still have their foreskin and don't need lotion). – pacoverflow Nov 17 '14 at 4:16

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