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“I Can’t Fap to This” is an expression indicating that a person is unable to masturbate using a specific stimulus. The phrase is often used to comment on YouTube videos and as a caption for image macros.
While the phrase “I can’t fap to this” is rumored to have originated on the imageboard 4chan, the earliest known posting was submitted by Fark commenter KickahaOta on September 10th, 2008, in response to a rare photograph of British social reformer Florence Nightingale (shown below).
On October 27th, 2008, an anonymous 4chan user responded to an argument on the /a/ (anime & manga) board about masturbating to an anime by saying “So I can’t fap to this?” On December 15th, 2008, Ebaumsworld user MisterCrackers uploaded an image macro of a man wearing a disgusted facial expression with the caption “I can’t fap to this” (shown below, left). On August 21st, 2009, DeviantArtist TonyTheZ uploaded an illustration titled “I Can’t Fap to This,” in which a sexually frustrated anthropomorphic fox throws its computer out of the window (shown below, right).
On July 28th, 2010, the “Can’t Fap to This” Tumblr blog was launched, which features posts containing sexual or disturbing imagery. On November 20th, 2011, Newgrounds user Sexual-Lobster uploaded a flash movie titled “I Can’t Fap to This,” featuring two men sitting at a computer screen watching YouTube videos to become sexually aroused. On May 18th, 2013, Imgur user aebrules submitted a Brazzers image macro titled “I can’t fap to this” featuring two embracing lions (shown below). On July 12, Redditor mikey_mike24 listed “I can’t fap to this” in a post about overused phrases on the /r/AskReddit subreddit.
I Can Fap to This
The inverse phrase “I can fap to this” is also used in discussion forums and image boards, having spawned a separate series of image macros as well (shown below).