John Corvino on National Masturbation Month.

Did you know that May is National Masturbation Month?  Knowing even the limited amount I do about biology, it would seem to me that every month is National Masturbation Month…

The great John Corvino has an article up at HuffPo about it.

May is National Masturbation Month. I am not making this up.

National Masturbation Month was introduced in 1995 by the sex-toy store Good Vibrations, in response to the dismissal of U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. At a World AIDS Day presentation, an audience member had asked Elders about masturbation’s role in discouraging risky sexual activity among youth, and Elders had responded, “I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.” President Clinton subsequently fired her.

National Masturbation Month is intended to reduce the stigma surrounding the discussion and practice of masturbation. You’ve probably been observing it all along without even realizing it.

My absolute favorite quote from the article:

Since the inception of National Masturbation Month, various organizations have highlighted it by sponsoring “Wank Weeks” and (I am still not making this up) “Masturbate-a-thons,” where people raise money for sex-education groups by playing with themselves.

As charity fundraisers go, you can’t beat it. On second thought, you can!

I groaned, but it was the good type.

In the article, Corvino makes the point about how our reticence to discuss things like masturbation perpetuate the stigma around sexual content deemed deviant.  This results in a pretty strong societal aversion to behavior which has all kinds of upsides (reduced stress, better physical and emotional health, fun) and literally no downsides.  It also solidifies negative attitudes toward the very normal people engaging in “deviant” behavior.

Look, I masturbate.  I also enjoy particular kinks.  And when elderly virgins try to sell me on never feeling pleasure around my naughty bits, as though my life could be improved by this, I can only point out that I’m the one with a basis for comparison.  I’ve been a virgin.  It sucked.  But I didn’t realize how much it sucked until I actually had sex.  It was like playing Atari.  Sure, it was great, but only because I had no idea what a PS3 was like.

And, frankly, not masturbating and remaining a virgin should be considered the deviant behavior.  If anything is abnormal in the face of our biology, that’s it.

Corvino also includes a new video in his “What’s Wrong With Homosexuality” series about masturbation and Thomas Aquinas (not to be confused about the forthcoming porno I’m making of the same name).

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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