Green’s Dictionary of Slang

short strokes n.

also hard strokes, short digs, short shoves

the final stage of sexual intercourse, immediately preceding male orgasm.

[UK] ‘Job Halls And Mike Hunt’ in Lummy Chaunter 83: Yet hard strokes has oft been endured by Mike Hunt.
[UK]‘Walter’ My Secret Life (1966) I 118: I spent, laid my head upon her bosom, and opening my eyes, saw Fred in the short shoves. The next instant he lay his head down.
[UK]C. Deveureux Venus in India I 40: I had arrived at the exciting, furious, ardent, almost violent short digs.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 341: You should see me working on the short strokes; / I use my hand. It’s simply grand!

In phrases

on one’s/the short strokes (also down to the short strokes, getting to the short strokes)

1. of a man, approaching orgasm.

[UK] ‘Baker’s Boy’ in Bold (1979) 11: When he was on his shorter strokes / He said to the Chandler’s wife / That he would like a rub-a-dub-dub / Every day of his life.
posting at www.condomdepot.com My girlfriend loves these [i.e. Lifestyles Ultra-Ribbed condoms] as even on the short strokes you can feel the ribs!

2. in fig. use, running out of time, approaching the end, nearing a conclusion.

[US]T. Thackrey Thief 279: We were getting to the short-strokes, though. The watch, that cheap sonofabitch, said we had three minutes to go.
[US]Phila. Inquirer 3 Jun. [Internet] Take, for example, the tax cutters in Congress as they got down to the short strokes of their tax bill last month. At the 11th hour, they needed to make the bogus but expedient numbers of this package work.
posting at www.ridinghigh4x4.com 6 Jan. [Internet] I’m on the short strokes of finishing the jeep build (not counting painting).