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BateWorld hosts a vibrant community of straight men who enjoy masturbating together. How they make sense of that says a lot about the nature of male sexuality. Also Aliens ate my homework…

This post is part of Outward, Slate’s home for coverage of LGBTQ life, thought, and culture. Read more here.

In a September interview with GQ, Paul McCartney revealed that he and John Lennon once masturbated together when they were growing up in Liverpool. According to McCartney, they were with a group of their friends at John’s house: “The lights were out, and somebody started masturbating, so we all did.” The rock legend went on to qualify that “it wasn’t a big thing. … But it was good harmless fun. It didn’t hurt anyone.”

Predictably, McCartney’s quote about the circle jerk hit the Twittersphere, comedians trotted out their best Beatles-themed masturbation jokes, and the whole, uncomfortable matter seemed to go away within a few days. But while everyone was laughing, there was one place where people took the revelation that two of the Beatles once beat off together very seriously: the website known as BateWorld.

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