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Cory Silverberg

National Masturbation Month Comes of Age

By May 8, 2013

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It was back in 1995 when a group of political sex shops came together to do what they always did best: combine consciousness raising with politics with pleasure. National Masturbation Month (NMM), and the month's main event the Masturbate-a-Thon were inspired in part as a response to the firing of Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders for daring to suggest that masturbation might be something that should be mentioned in school based sex education.

The month was also a tongue-in-cheek response to the kind of Hallmark holidays that other industries create. Despite being the most commonly practiced sexual activity, and one that in most cases carries the lowest risk of any negative consequences, masturbation remains a second class sexual citizen. Who better to be out and proud about masturbation than those businesses that profit (financially, emotionally, and spiritually) from it each and every day.

Since 1999 the Center for Sex & Culture, under the leadership of Carol Queen and Robert Morgan Lawrence have kept the self-love fires burning, organizing events and a live Masturbate-a-Thon each year. This year they are celebrating NMM's 18th birthday by combining the Masturbate-a-Thon with the Jack-and-Jill-Off. As in previous years it is a live event you can participate in (if you're in the Bay area) or you can participate on your own by downloading a pledge form from their website.

I'll be celebrating this month by featuring articles about the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the ins and outs, of masturbation. Apparently I'll also be celebrating by dragging out every cheesy double entendre I can think of.

I hope you can find a more fun (possibly equally groan inducing) way to celebrate this month!

Read More: Paul Krassner on National Masturbation Month

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Comments
May 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm
(1) Jackie Strano says:

Good Vibrations originally pushed the idea out and call to action for National Masturbation Month in our response to the firing of Joycelyn Elders for promoting sex education around masturbation. We enlisted other sex positive retailers soon after to help talk about it and raise awareness as well but this was an original Good Vibrations campaign for sex education and sex positivity to the masses. Dr. Carol Queen and I were at that original meeting. Happy and elated to see that 18 years later so many people are talking about masturbation and self pleasure and self love!

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