Function Follows Funmaking


Need tips on concealing erections, sucking face with a flourish or setting a classic dinner table in  three minutes or less? Visit, a site, founded in 2007 by defectors of YouTube and Google, packed with short, campy instructional videos created by users for users.

The videos, all of which are accompanied by comforting, upbeat elevator music and a clear, confident narrator, offer up their advice in helpful steps, are interjected with pertinent tips, and send you off with a final interesting fact as potential fodder for conversation. For example, at the denouement of How to Hide an Unwanted Erection in School, one of the more whimsically and artfully illustrated videos, you’ll learn that 5.1 inches is the average length of an erect penis.

And while it is not the most opportune time for selling out, as deep pockets are at their shallowest and still shrinking, an all-time favorite for artists is the instructional guide, How to Sell Out.  As with all Howcast videos, it offers things you need to hear like, “Throw your integrity to the side—you won’t need it where you’re going mister.”
As the videos are made by users, the site also offers emerging filmmakers a platform on which to exhibit their work. As  a result, the videos are not only clear and informative, but are, for the most part, artful, enjoyable and can be consumed in blissful bits, so you can learn how to get rid of a one night stand or cook salmon on your coffee break. While the videos range from the highly practical to pure farce, they all have a hallmark kitsch, cool humor and the sometimes moral questionability that is reminiscent of the early videos of the art collaborative the eteam, such as How to Catch a Millionaire, and How to Cut a Fence Straight (2001). While selling out is not as easy to accomplish in this market as cleaning the bottom of your refrigerator, it is good to be prepared for the future. And in the meantime, why not learn the secret erogenous zones of your partner.

Other Howcast favorites:

On the Couch with Tony & Nicki

How to Set a Classic Dinner Table

How to Kiss Creatively

Rozalia Jovanovic is a founding editor of Gigantic, a magazine of short prose and art. She is the Deputy Editor of Flavorpill and has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Columbia University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming from Unsaid, The Believer, Everyday Genius, Guernica, elimae, and She blogs at The Astonishing Egg and is The Rumpus New York Editor. More from this author →