So believe it or not “circle jerk” has it own Wikipedia page! In fact when you Google the phrase lots comes up though nearly every other source seems to be directing you to a porn site. There is also a fair amount of psychiatric commentary on whether or not this is just one way of establishing male prowess or dominance. The winner in this game of jacking off with an audience in a circle could be based on who comes first or who comes last or who shoots the most and furthest. Take your pick I guess.
Rather incredulously to my mind at least a circle jerk is often not considered to be homoerotic foreplay. Sports are another way of exerting dominance I suppose though I must say a circle jerk sounds like much more fun than touch football. Perhaps this is why sports are pushed so strongly to young males. Participation in sports is really an attempt to keep them from forming the wrong kind of a circle and stick to a huddle instead.
The phrase circle jerk also on occasion gets paired with “clusterfuck” which does not have the same overt sexual connotation. Rather it most often implies that things are really messed up. I did find a rather funny piece from Slate a few years ago titled “Its Time We Got a Handle on Circle Jerks” that was originally published I think on a blog called Strong Language – link provided: file://localhost/. https/::slate.com:human-interest:2016:06:what-exactly-is-a-circle-jerk.html
In the interest of full disclosure I must say I have never participated in a circle jerk either as an adolescent or as an adult. There were a couple times where brothers and male cousins were lounging around nude on the banks of the Kankakee River after skinny dipping that might have qualified as the start of a line jerk, we were not in a circle, but that never was consummated despite the occasional hard-on. We were all in Catholic schools at the time and if the nuns had ever gotten wind of this activity, to say nothing of our parents, we might well have been sent off to the parish priest where of course the issue of male urges and sexuality were always addressed appropriately …ha!
Having spent an inordinate amount of time in bathhouses on my 20’s and 30’s I did a couple of times stumble on what seemed to be a variation of this phenomenon in the common rooms often showing porn on a wall mounted TV. I would always pass this activity by and continue my particular bathhouse cruise. Usually not being able to afford a room I would circle around and around looking for a person to trick with that shared my proclivities and had a room. This would often take a fair amount of time –too bad I did not have one of those devices that counted steps. I am sure I would have set a record many nights. I suppose this circling behavior looking for someone to fuck with could have been a form of circle jerk but for me no jerking would happen until we found a bit of privacy in his room or some dark corner. Perhaps it is a hang-up of mine but preforming sexually for an audience was just never my cup of tea. And then of course just masturbating or being jerked off would always seem like a wasted admission to the tubs if that were all that occurred. These days reaching a happy ending even with an audience of just one can be a challenge. And I am of course greatly distracted by the circle of jerks encamped in Washington who are ruining the country and the entire planet.