Smartphones have made it abundantly clear that any public action could end up online – including masturbation.
Transit Police released a photograph Monday of a man with his hand down his pants while seated on a Red Line train.
According to police, the inbound train had just left Alewife Station last Tuesday when the suspect attempted to "initiate conversation with women while committing a lewd act," also known as masturbating.
That same day, another man was snapped touching himself on the MBTA. A T rider tweeted the photograph below, alleging that the suspect removed his penis while on the Orange Line.
Metro Boston has followed the unsettling trend of men masturbating and sexually assaulting women on the MBTA.
According to Dr. Carlos Cuevas, a Cambridge-based clinical psychologist, people who masturbate and expose themselves in public places, like the T, are likely turned on by exhibitionism, and will often justify their behavior by telling themselves it is a victimless crime.
“It tends to be more of a compulsive behavior. Because there is no (physical) contact, they feel they are less likely to get caught,” Cuevas told Metro last month. “It tends to happen in public because that is what is arousing to the person doing it. Whether it is the excitement of getting caught, or the idea that someone would be interested in seeing it, that public component is part of the fantasy.”
The guilt and shame doesn’t usually kick in until after they get caught, he said.
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS