Work The Shaft: Pleasure A Gay Car In Stick Shift

“I’m in love with my car,” sang Roger Taylor in a Queen song named just that. They didn’t let him sing lead vocals often, so I guess he’d been bottling that up. Robert Yang’s latest short game is about a man who is, at the very least, in lust with his car. And his car – his gay car – is totally into it.

Stick Shift [official site] is the third game from Yang in the past few months that has been so absurdly, wonderfully, and charmingly gay. You’re trying to get your car off, see, working the gear stick and smoothly changing gears. Oh yes.

It’s silly and funny, embracing the absurdity of some guy wanking off his car, but I got really into it. I moused back and forth vigorously to rev the engine while the soundtrack built and nodded along with the driver as he rose into euphoria. Accelerate smoothly, don’t grind those gears, and work the shaft well, and both car and driver may end up satisfied. Vapour oozes and drips from the exhaust pipe. Have a cigarette and wait for a timer to run down until you’re both ready to go again.

Or you might stall it. Oh dear, you.

Or you might get pulled over by the cops, two armed policemen who’ll stop you from riding again for a few minutes. You can blow kisses in protest but each increases the penalty by ten minutes.

Here, do read this fine statement explaining more about the game, his inspirations and his intentions. It’s pretty fascinating, getting into topics from Andy Warhol to the Stonewall riots.

Yang also dabbled in time-outs with the first of these gay games, Hurt Me Plenty. If players break the boundaries of consent with the guy they’re spanking, they might end up blocked for days from playing. I’ve really enjoyed this gay trilogy (the second being demonic ice lolly-sucking game Succulent). The games have felt around issues of representation and expression with a lot of cultural and political underpinnings, but still been quite fun and funny.

Stick Shift is pay-what-you-want for Windows, Mac, and Linux from Itch.

[Robert Yang has written for RPS before, interviewing devs while collaborating on games and levels in the Level With Me series. Do read those if you haven’t: they’re ace.]


Top comments

  1. scab says:

    This article has resulted in the inadvertent, mindless removal of all my clothing.
  1. Mint says:

    Everytime i see a article written by this Alice it is about sex, gay sex and nudity and i see the word “cock” about 15 times per article…

    • mattlambertson says:

      I think that says more about the articles for which you decide to check the writer than it does about what Alice writes, considering that she is one of the main contributors and 90% of the articles have nothing to do with sex… food for thought ;)

      • Mint says:


        link to

        “It occurs to me, as my character is in the middle of a quite graphic fantasy about being ‘examined’ by a hot blonde anatomy professor, that this is the first time I’ve played a game where someone has touched someone else’s dick. I mean, not just touching a dick. Touching a dick with enthusiasm.

        Lamentably, there aren’t many good dicks in games. You don’t even get to see a brutally hot guy like Geralt’s dick. You don’t get to see Sam Fisher’s dick. I’d be a lot into seeing Kyle Hyde from Hotel Dusk’s dick, rendered in grayscale silhouette, but no. Hotel Dusk is for ‘children’ or whatever. Fine.

        I am really enjoying screenshots today wow”

        “The last time I saw a decent dick in a game I think it was that Skyrim dick mod I wrote about, and those were just dicks for show. No one could touch those dicks. They were just museum dicks. And I guess there’s also Sepe’s Cumshot, the infamous and really quite charming masturbation browser game, which although it does require you to stroke Sepe to the proverbial, it’s via a disembodied hand that isn’t attached to anyone but your cursor. It’s a detached, absurd experience. And there’s also Anna Anthropy’s Sex Cops Of Tickle City, but the dick is in text, which though it’s a pretty powerful and fairly erotic experience to play through, sometimes you just want to look at a person touching a dick.

        In Coming Out On Top: bam. A hot guy touching another hot guy’s dick. And they look like they’re having a good time.”

        “The sex scenes are, at least to my eye, hot and extremely graphic. It’s very difficult to make anything about a game even approach erotic, especially concerning the kinds of characters you usually get in video games: Unrealistically proportioned people, doing unrealistically outlandish positions, in a sort of clumsy mechanical manner.”

        • Philopoemen says:

          While ambivalent about this article, you’re referring to Cara’s work, which is definitely all about sexual undertones, but seeing as the article series s titled SEXE, I’m pretty sure it’s well established what you’re in for before you click.

          Alice is forever adding news about new stuff, and is more “breaking news” than Wot I Think.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          You linked and quoted an article by Cara Ellison from a series specifically about sex in games in order to prove your point about Alice – ?? I am confoos.

          • Low Life says:

            Not only that, but the article doesn’t even have the word cock in it!

        • Alice O'Connor says:

          I honestly cannot tell whether you’re joking or not.

          • Sarfrin says:

            I think it’s more of a cry for help.

          • Synesthesia says:

            Well he definitely had that effect on me, for what it’s worth.

          • 7vincent7black7 says:

            I think its safe to say that he’s probably just attracted to the fact that you seem to enjoy content of a more…sultry?…nature, and just doesn’t want to admit it. As for me, when I see one of your S.EXE articles, I click on it with one part morbid curiousity, and 2 parts amusement. Your literary prose makes it feel, to me, like that quirky kind of british humour that can someties touch on sexual jokes yet still be…quirky and fun, without feeling depraved with the United States Seal Approval stamped on it. If you know what I mean…

          • Damn Rookie says:

            @ 7vincent7black7

            Again, the S.EXE articles are written by Cara Ellison, while Alice O’Connor, the person whose post is highlighted in pink just above this, is the writer of this news piece. Mint, for whatever odd reason, seemed to be confusing/conflating the two, which you are now doing as well.

        • Sam says:

          You realise that article you linked and quoted is not written by Alice?

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          tinyurl without a lemon party on the other side. What’s the point then? :(

        • DXN says:

          I love these games! They’re so playful, almost childish, and yet they have a grownup perspective on sex rather than the boringly obvious soft-porn in most vidyagames so far. Also, they’re funny, but absurd/adventurous enough to make me think a little newer.

          For that matter, I could say the same about most of the RPS articles on this subject, so thanks for making that a thing despite the inevitable comment-section dorkflood. :P

          • DXN says:

            Whoops, that wasn’t supposed to be a reply, just a general comment!

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          At least all this quoting was inspiring, i have to use that “museum dick” thing some way.

        • mattlambertson says:

          John Cleese is not pleased.
          link to

    • FuriKuri says:

      I know what you mean, her CPA rating of 15 is on the flaccid side.

    • lowprices says:

      I know what you mean. I also love Alice-penned articles.

    • JohnnyPanzer says:

      Even if you hadn’t been completely wrong, I fail to see what your original point was. Were you just in the mood to state (incorrect) facts, or did you have an actual opinion about such articles? You sorta never got around to that part…

    • John Walker says:

      See, what you’ve done there is, is tell a lie. Alice, as is abundantly obvious, writes posts on a huge array of topics from large mainstream news to tiny indie treats.

      Perhaps someone’s scrawled “cock” on your monitor screen?

      • Premium User Badge

        neffo says:

        No not true at all, my monitor is dust free. In fact it’s so clean I can see my own reflection.


      • schlusenbach says:

        Alice O’Cara… Cara Aliceson… not easy to distinguish the two… especially with a cock in your eye.

        • Sarfrin says:

          I do like it when she does the Cockwick Papers though. It’s just really confusing that the only female games journalist on the internet keeps using different names everywhere.

          • mattlambertson says:

            It’s part of the extreme left’s evil plot to seem like there are so many more of them then there actually are, obviously.

  2. scab says:

    This article has resulted in the inadvertent, mindless removal of all my clothing.

  3. RaoulDuke says:

    Oh yes, your note at the end reminded me the next “Level With Me” series is hopefully coming soon: “Level With Me 2: United Colours of Benetton Edition”. Can’t wait.

  4. RARARA says:

    The gearstick isn’t the the penis equivalent, silly.

    The handbrake is.

    No, really.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I’m not sure it’d work quite so well if it were a game about gently parking up on hills, though. Or even making daring handbrake turns. No whole repeated rev-buildup thing to work with.

      • pepperfez says:

        Those advertisers must have had a very dim view of sex.

    • Flit says:

      Haha, that means my car goes flaccid every time I drive it and maintains a boner while I am away.

      All night, every night!

      • LionsPhil says:

        Maybe its not arousal after all, but a serious case of nocturnal penile tumescence.

        What we’re saying here is that every day you kill your car’s morning wood.

  5. Philopoemen says:

    I really, really wish I could say this was just a game, but i have been one of the aforementioned police officers traumatised by such a vehicle stop…

  6. Morcane says:

    I think this must be his best yet since it’s so deliciously subtle.

  7. Ejia says:

    There is no better game to photoshop onto the monitor of Screaming Joystick Woman.

  8. Geebs says:

    I thought Americans all drove automatics. Make of that what you will.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      And the cars are optimized to turn to the left, amirite!??

  9. Buuurr says:


    • John Walker says:

      Please don’t go off topic. This isn’t a thread about your mum.

      • Buuurr says:

        Nice one. You should do comedy lessons.

      • Premium User Badge

        Risingson says:

        It’s so incredibly classy to insult the anonymous commenter’s mother being a site administrator, as the user will never be able to respond back for the threat of bans and such.

        Having said that, I have a problem with this article, being [memememe time] a gay man with a love for superficiality. Cannot quite point it at the time.

  10. AbsoluteShower says:

    What is it with the women fetishising gay men? Cara Ellison has a habit of it too.

    • jonfitt says:

      Yeah, every straight man knows that gay women are just yucky. Two women going at it is the worstest.

      • AbsoluteShower says:

        Nice deflection, as if somehow the two were related.

        • Splattercakez says:

          How on earth aren’t they related? Straight men fetishize gay women, straight women fetishize gay men, it’s not really a complicated concept.

          As for the original question of why people do this, one would presume because they find it attractive and presumably also find some sort of novelty in it. There’s also an argument to be made that with the way gender role and sexuality stereotypes work you get a lot of people who presume gay people are going to get along with them better, see the notion of lesbians being ‘one of the guys’ or gay men knowing about traditionally feminine concepts and the whole idea of ‘pocket gays’ which probably also ties back again into the novelty of knowing somebody you perceive as ‘different’ or worse ‘special’ because of a given characteristic.

          You see people do this with race & ethnicity as well

      • AbsoluteShower says:

        Two wrongs make a right so? You literally responded to criticism of writers with a ‘what about teh menz’ argument.
        That’s deflecting attention.

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      That’s it. You nailed it. It’s the sexualization. I mean, in case I needed to know how women feel when game articles talk about heroines in a very nerdy sexualized manner.

    • hprice says:

      It is extremely unfortunate that RPS posts such crass nonsense. But that’s life I suppose.

      Someone has to now create a game that involves a woman trying to please another woman with, oh I don’t know, some sort of amazingly huge vibrator or something … because that would be good that would. It would not objectify them at all. Nope, not in any way. What a sad society we live in now. Sigh …

    • Sarfrin says:

      Gay men are often pretty buff. Plus more penises per couple.

  11. LionsPhil says:

    Pffft, that face when he changes gear.

    Probably shouldn’t be upshifting much past third in a built-up area, though. Think of the children!

  12. Rad says:

    I live in ‘Murica, I drive a car with a standard transmission (by choice).

    Does that make me gay? By one definition of the word…indeed it does.

  13. vorador says:

    That’s a stoned face if i ever saw one.

  14. RobF says:

    I’m loving these.

  15. MrBehemoth says:

    Thank you RPS. I didn’t even read the article because the game concept didn’t “grab” me, but I’m glad you covered it.

  16. unit 3000-21 says:

    I wonder what Ballard would think of this game.