May is officially the masturbation month worldwide. It started on May 7 1995, in honor of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who was actually fired by President Clinton in 1994 for suggesting that masturbation should be part of the sex-education classes.
According to masturbationmonth.com, when Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders was asked about masturbation’s impacts on one’s 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.”
It was moved to May 28th with the purpose of protecting everyone’s rights to… well, masturbate.
Breaking Self-Play Stigmas
Just like basically any other sex-related matter, masturbation has a lot of stigma flowing around it, along with shame and misconceptions.
Back in the 18th century, people used to believe that masturbation was a new “disease” that requires medical intervention. Many religious people are convinced that it’s a sure way to hell. Old medical studies suggest that it can cause blindness, madness, and pretty much everything unexplainable.
By the 19th century, the anti-masturbation movement was so powerful that you could find “protection” devices, such as erection alarms, penis cages, mittens, and hobbles for the girls, so they wouldn’t be able to spread their legs. (Luckily, these devices are still used today, but usually repurposed.)
20th Century Changed The Views
Starting with the mid 20th century, people started to wake up to the masturbation misconception. And in the ’70s, women started embracing masturbation as a way of expressing their freedom.
They started the work of making masturbation “normal” by writing books, holding workshops and developing vibrator businesses. (Completely denying Freud’s theory of sexual development, which suggested that clitoral orgasms and masturbation, in general, were infantile behaviors.)
Now, what do we do with all the stigma? We simply ignore it and move on with our lives. After all, no one needs to know the details of everything we do, so we might just as well appreciate the fact that we live in a free world and be happy about it.
It doesn’t matter who you are or what your sex, sexuality and general view of the world is. As a free person, you can masturbate “freely” without worrying about judgment or stigma (disclaimer: “freely” does not mean “publicly”). So let’s all be adults here, and enjoy masturbation together!
There is a Masturbation May community forming, and the internet is joining efforts to promote the month-long event.
It all began as a form of social activism and a way for people to speak up about masturbation and of course, its benefits. Today, it is also used as an opportunity to promote sex toys, educational workshops, and even pornography. Best month of the year?! Should be!