A whole month dedicated to celebrating masturbation? That’s right! Here’s how it started:
Back in 1995, the sex-positive sexual health company Good Vibrations declared May 7 “International Masturbation Day” in recognition of Jocelyn Elders, the Surgeon General whom Bill Clinton fired for her suggestion that masturbation be part of students’ sex-education curriculum. As the story goes, after a speech at the United Nations World AIDS Day in 1994, an audience member asked Elders about masturbation’s potential for discouraging early sexual activity. She answered,“I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.” Apparently this offended the president who would later be outed for having sex in the Oval Office!
The day has since expanded to the entire month of May. People all over the world take part in various…activities to assert their right to touch themselves however they like.
At Good Clean Love we are not shy about talking about masturbation — we feel it is a natural part of a sexually healthy life. We don’t think anyone should feel ashamed about doing something that comes naturally to humans, often starting when we are young. As we get older, we can become cut off from our natural urges as sexual, sensual creatures. At these times, self-pleasure can be healing — it reacquaints us with our body’s natural capacity for pleasure.
(Of course, religious traditions all over the world have their own views on masturbation. For a quick survey of what the five major world religions have to say, check out this article.)
For us, and for humans all over the planet, masturbation, and self-pleasure more generally, has been and remains an activity that, when practiced with moderation and as part of a healthy sex repertoire, is nothing to be worried about or ashamed of. So, enjoy yourself this month, and every time you practice this natural, human activity.