NYC Is Not Installing ‘Public Masturbation’ Booths

A "public masturbation booth" in NYC was a publicity stunt for a sex toy company.

Claim

The city of New York is installing public masturbation booths.

Is it true NYC is installing masturbation booths on the streets for men who feel stressed?

Rating

Mostly False About this rating

Origin

In January 2016, a photograph purportedly showing an officially sanctioned New York City public masturbation booth called “GuyFi” started circulating around the internet:

While the above-displayed image is real, this isn’t truly an officially sanctioned “public masturbation booth” that was installed by New York City. The “GuyFi” booth is a marketing gimmick for an adult sex toy company called Hot Octopuss.

The company issued a press release for “GuyFi” on 15 January 2016:

With a staggering 80 per cent of Americans saying they suffer from workplace stress, award-winning sex toy brand Hot Octopuss has launched the world’s first ‘GuyFi’ male stress relief booth in Manhattan.

According to Time Out, a remarkable 39% of New Yorkers ‘self-soothe’ in the workplace to alleviate stress. Hot Octopuss has created the GuyFi booth to take this habit out of the office and into a more suitable environment designed to give the busy Manhattan man the privacy, and the high-speed Internet connection, he deserves.

Adam Lewis, Hot Octopuss co-founder and designer of PULSE, the world’s first Guybrator, said:

“There’s no denying that working a nine to five job can be stressful on both your mind and body, especially in a non-stop city like Manhattan. It’s really important for guys to look after themselves so that they can stay healthy and focus properly on the task in hand. We’re told time and time again how beneficial it is to have a break away from your desk.”

While Hot Octopuss really did convert an old phone booth into what it called a “public masturbation booth,” New York City has not legalized public masturbation. A representative for the company told Mashable that they are not encouraging people to actually masturbate inside the “GuyFi” booth:

“We may be insinuating that these booths could be used in whichever way anyone would like to ‘self soothe,'” a representative tells Mashable, “but the brand is not actively encouraging people to masturbate in public as that is an illegal offense.”

In summation, the GuyFi booth does exist, but it is a marketing gimmick for Hot Octopuss, a sex toy company, and not an officially sanctioned public space for masturbation in New York City.  Public masturbation remains illegal.

Dear Reader,

Snopes.com has long been engaged in the battle against misinformation, an effort we could not sustain without support from our audience. Producing reliable fact-checking and thorough investigative reporting requires significant resources. We pay writers, editors, web developers, and other staff who work tirelessly to provide you with an invaluable service: evidence-based, contextualized analysis of facts. Help us keep Snopes.com strong. Make a direct contribution today. Learn More.

Donate with PayPal