We’re gonna two-part this interview with Mitch Fatel because something this good should be enjoyed over time instead of all at once.
During a Tuesday morning phone interview, Fatel, a veteran stand-up comedian who is returning to Raleigh to headline Goodnights Comedy Club this week, and I discussed why he gave up masturbating when he got married, and let’s just stop right there for a minute.
Fatel is known for doing sexual material in his act, but he could not be considered a dirty comedian by any adult with a fully functioning brain. Much like the man himself, Fatel’s comedy has evolved and matured, and he credits his relationship with his wife and the decision to be pornography and masturbation free for his improved mental, physical and sexual health.
It was fascinating to hear Fatel talk about his journey from being a kid who started watching porn when he was 13 to being a young, successful stand-up comic enjoying groupie pleasures on the road to being a man who is now happily married to his “best friend.”
Today, we’re covering Fatel’s sexual and marital evolution and tomorrow we’ll dive deep into his stand-up career, which began when he was only 15 years old.
Enjoy the interview, follow Fatel on Twitter and don’t forget The Best Tweet I Can Find in Five Minutes at the end.
Tony Castleberry: I remember reading something about you giving up masturbating around the time you got married a few years ago. Are you still an ex-masturbator or have you gone back to self-pleasure?
Mitch Fatel: That is absolutely true and I don’t know how it lasted so long, but I think I just got into the swing of things. [coughs, sniffles] Excuse me. I’m just getting over a cold. Maybe it’s because I’m not masturbating enough. [interviewer laughs]
Basically what happened is, after my wife and I got married, I made a decision that I was going to stop watching pornography because I feel that my wife is very cool. She lets us, on select days, fool around with other couples and other girls. She’s very open-minded so I wanted to be fair to her and make sure that I never cheated on her and I felt that watching porn would be something that might kind of lead me in the wrong direction. I’ve been watching porn since I was a really young kid and I began to think that it was really evil and that it has a very bad effect on guys’ minds. Since that was the only way I ever masturbated was watching porn, I decided to cut it out. When I decided to cut porn out of my life, I decided that I didn’t really need to masturbate. When I’m away from my wife and I don’t masturbate, I never get in that kind of mindset of being sexual without her and it also makes me feel more virile when I’m with her. I’m only 5-5 and all of a sudden, I can have sex like I’m 6-5 so I think that’s been a good thing for me.
TC: That’s an enlightened view for a man to have. I applaud that. Was it tough to give it up?
MF: By the way, I applaud you for being the only person who has asked me that question right off the bat, my friend. You’re already somebody that I’m going to get along with very well.
As far as it being tough, no. You know, it’s really weird. It wasn’t tough. My wife and I, if you really want to go deep, after we met each other we dated for a year and we became best friends. I had been a serial cheater before I met her. I had cheated quite a bit. When we met and were dating I was cheating on her. One day, I realized that she was my best friend and I wanted to marry her. I realized that I couldn’t because I didn’t want to lie to her, so I admitted that I cheated on her and she admitted to me that she had actually cheated on me too. We were obviously both very damaged individuals at the time.
We said, “Let’s go to couples therapy. We’ll start from scratch and do everything the right way now. We’ll bring each other up. No third chances.” We gave each other a second chance and I made a promise to myself that day. The promise was that if I couldn’t be faithful to my wife, I would leave her because I respected her so much. I made the decision immediately that one of the ways to be a good husband was to never lie to her. I told her when I watch porn, it makes me think about having sex with other women when I’m not with her. So I told her immediately that I was going to give up porn and giving up porn was the easiest thing in the world. I guess I didn’t realize how much of a bad effect it had on my brain until I gave it up and realized that I felt a lot healthier. I was actually better in bed now and could last longer and all kinds of stuff. (Porn) just kind of sets a guy’s mind to just think they can come whenever they want. In porn, it’s just you. It kind of resets your mind to think that you’re there for yourself. … I decided that I would stop and in my mind, that was the easiest way to get my mind out of that (cheating) scenario.
I never really quite made the decision to never masturbate again, but I started to think to myself that it was such a waste of time and I always felt really dumb and stupid afterwards anyway. [Fatel chuckles, interviewer laughs] Being in a room all by myself felt kind of pathetic and I thought to myself, I don’t wanna be that person anymore. It’s been six years now.
TC: Wow. What you just said reminds me of Marc Maron’s porn brain bit. He did that obviously to get laughs, but I think it’s a real phenomenon. Watching porn is an isolating thing and it can maybe limit what you can do sexually if you get into a rut. Does that make sense?
MF: Look, I was watching porn from a very young age, 13, 14 years old, and I think it totally had a detrimental effect on my life. It became the only way that I was satisfied and from a very young age, I was asking girls to do weird things that most boys my age wouldn’t want them to do. My dad, he never played ball with me. He never took me driving. He never went to a ballgame with me, but he told me that I was allowed to rent porn at the local video store. That was my dad’s claim to fame. I was renting them at a young age. I think I grew up thinking that was normal and I think it had a detrimental effect. As a matter of fact, I think it’s messing up a lot of our kids.
I gotta tell ya, I think I had the best life you think you could have as a guy. I became a successful comedian and I was having sex with groupies and everything. Quite honestly, having sex with my wife has become the most incredible thing in the world because of the fact that I totally staved off porn. I think most people who would tell you that they’ve given up porn will admit that their lives and relationships are a lot more successful.
TC: Would you consider yourself a sex expert at this point in your life?
MF: That’s a good question. (pause) Yeah, I think I would, and it’s not that I’m really good at sex. It’s that I understand sex more. Ironically, I’m better in bed with my wife than I ever was with any groupie. Groupies to me were just porn. In a way, I set myself up to live a certain kind of life. As soon as I gave up porn, I could last a lot longer with my wife. I noticed that immediately. I think it rewired my brain.
As far as becoming an expert, yeah, I think I do understand sex a lot more. I’m only 5-5. I’m not like an MMA fighter. I’m not exactly what girls would think are going to be the greatest guy in bed, but I’ve had a lot of girls tell me I’m decent in bed and I think the reason they tell me that is because I understand that there’s a whole emotional aspect as well. It’s not just pounding away like you’re going to work in a construction zone. [interviewer laughs] I think a lot of those alpha males think that’s what sex is. I kind of love the sensuality and the connection of sex. I feel like that’s what makes it more of an experience. Most guys are obsessed, when they’re having sex, with just proving how good they are. They never even really enjoy their own experience. They’re just in their own heads the whole time. How can you ever really enjoy something if you’re in your own head the whole time, trying to prove something? I think that I’ve hopefully moved out of that aspect and more into mutually enjoying it with another person.
Here is it, The Best Tweet I Can Find in Five Minutes:
I wanted Ben Carson stuck in an elevator to be an all day thing we could enjoy together as a nation.
— Morgan Murphy (@morgan_murphy) April 12, 2017