brother maintains that my finest hour (journalistically speaking) was a a feature I wrote for the short-lived UK “Internet culture” magazine (yeah, I know) Escape called “Better Than Sex!” I'm not entirely sure I agree with him on it being my best work, but the research and production of this particular piece makes for a good story.
The gist of the piece was that I had to scientifically test the oft-quoted proclamation (at the time) that “Quake is better than sex,” which ages the piece, obviously. To do this I wore a heart-rate monitor while performing a variety of tasks that included playing multiplayer Quake, bungee jumping, buying pornography, hitting on a stranger at a supermarket, and having sex. Readings were taken during each activity, and this was all calibrated against test results acquired in a lab where I had to provide an orgasmic baseline reading for comparison. To do this, I had to drive to a heart lab in Devon on the south coast of England and… how to put this delicately? Pleasure myself while under observation.
I don’t actually have a copy of the magazine to hand at my home in the U.S., but my parents very graciously dug out a copy back in the UK and scanned it for me. They must be so proud.
Rather than paraphrase or try to downplay the content any further, here's a link to a PDF of the whole sordid thing. I should preface this with a note that this was produced during the high point of “lad mag” culture in the UK. Loaded, Maxim, FHM and their ilk were all killing it on newsstands, so this kind of salacious, raucous, knob-joke gonzo journalism was very much the norm. Hit the link below to see the whole, sordid six-page article. Also: Bonus! Pictures of skinny me with very long hair.