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).

  • Glodson

    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.

    Finally! A practical use for my superpower!

    • Glodson

      Also…

      It was like playing Atari. Sure, it was great, but only because I had no idea what a PS3 was like.

      Bad analogy. I have a PS3 and I love it, but I’ve never had to install sex.

      • Baby_Raptor

        Another reason it’s a bad analogy: Yes, the PS3 is superior in technology, but there are days that I just want a simple time waster. Or I want the nostalgia factor of playing a game I played when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

        In short, both have their places, much like sex and jacking off.

        Also, obligatory PC gaming master race joke.

  • busterggi

    Just another plot by the cortisone manufacturers to make people need their product.

    • baal

      I’d be careful about over application of cortisone. It can thin the skin which leads to additional chances of micro tears and picking up a disease.

  • baal

    John Corvino is amazing! Biology aside, I want to have his man babies.

  • http://twitter.com/RhubarbTheBear Rhubarb The Bear

    Uhhh… okay, then.

  • Eli

    “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.”

    Oh, great, thanks for being so accepting of asexual people or other people who just aren’t interested. I’m honestly shocked you would say something so insensitive. We’re not “deviant” just because we’re not exactly like the majority.

    • ladydreamgirl

      This!

      I mean seriously aren’t there enough actually wrong things with the positions that religions and religious people take towards sex and sexuality to focus on rather than making a borderline ad hominem argument that does splash damage on an unrelated group that is already marginalized to near invisibility?

      • Eli

        Exactly, thank you!

        “Deviant” is just as terrible a moral judgement here as it is when religious people say it. “Abnormal” just makes me want to scream “there’s nothing wrong with me!” Not even all sexual people enjoy the same aspects of sexuality and that should be OK too!

        The religious obsession with defining “correct” sexuality is harmful enough, but it’s so much more hurtful when it comes from people who claim to to be more accepting of people’s differences.

    • John H

      The larger problem is equating “normal” with “good” or “acceptable”, a problem that you perpetuate when you insist that you/your group should not be marginalized because you’re normal instead of insisting that your group simply shouldn’t be marginalized, whether you’re normal or not. I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for people who want to keep normative hierarchies in place but simply add themselves to the privileged class. In the sense of “normal” that means “unusual”, asexuality is abnormal (so, for the record, is homosexuality, and so is actually practicing 100% monogamy), and it definitely deviates from the norm (that last sentence is simply a denial of the validity of the definition of “deviant” – contesting the definitions of words is a perfectly legitimate practice, but that’s not really how you’re framing your dissent); that’s doesn’t mean asexuality should be seen as bad or that asexual people deserve marginalization.

      • Eli

        *I’m* perpetuating it? I never used the word “normal;” I said “there’s nothing *wrong* with me,” but I never equated being wrong with being different. Call me different, a minority, etc., that’s fine, I don’t object to pointing out that I’m not average. And sure, you can argue both “abnormal” and “deviant” also just mean “different from what’s ‘normal’ or ‘average’, but both those words carry a negative connotation – inferior, less than, morally reprehensible, etc. – and JT was clearly using that connotation as a contrast to how the Christians he criticizes commonly use those words. And hey, maybe I did misunderstand the connotation he intended those words to carry. But I didn’t give them that commonly-used meaning, and I wasn’t trying to “reclaim” those words here. I do think that’s a legitimate approach if that’s the direction you want to take. But I chose to object to JT’s apparent application of that meaning, not whether those words should be used that way or not.

  • Zugswang

    Someone is missing a golden opportunity to host an event and using the homophonic portmanteau “May-sturbation”.


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