So maybe every month is Masturbation Month for some of us – but May is the time to absolutely celebrate the act.
Though it is now an international holiday and well celebrated here in Australia, Masturbation Month originally took off in America.
Imagine that it’s 1994, and your country is a little neurotic when it comes to its own solo-playing tendencies. So uptight that its own surgeon general, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, gets fired by President Clinton for suggesting that masturbation be mentioned in sex-ed classes.
As it so happened, a sensible sex toy shop in San Francisco was paying attention, and they didn’t like what they were seeing. So in May 1995, Good Vibrations declared the inaugural National Masturbation Month as a way to promote sex positivity, sexual health, and self-love.
“We were astounded,” say the folks at Good Vibrations on their website. “It was one of the most sensible things we’d ever heard a government official say – and it cost Elders her job! We started National Masturbation Month – now International Masturbation Month with people celebrating across the globe! – to raise awareness and to highlight the importance of masturbation for nearly everyone: It’s safe, it’s healthy, it’s free, it’s pleasurable and it helps people get to know their bodies and their sexual responses.”
Since its inception, Masturbation Month has proven to be a rather satisfying endeavour. Good Vibrations and its cohorts have been using the occasion as a way to promote masturbation as a means to better and safer sex.
In 1999, the Masturbate-a-Thon wanked itself into being: a literal fapping-for-charity event. Participants would self-pleasure to raise money for women’s health and HIV charities, as well as to take a whack at all the existing shame and cultural baggage surrounding masturbation. Special recognition has often gone to those who could either raise the most money or, ahem, perform exceptionally well.
This is precisely where the phrase “Come for a Cause” originated, and it quickly spread to other sex-positive toy shops around the world. London held the first “Wank-a-Thon” in Europe in 2006, and Montreal joined the party in 2013.
Clearly this had farther-reaching effects than encouraging highly publicised bouts of exhibitionism. In 2009, the UK joined other European governments in promoting daily masturbation among teenagers as a means to reduce STDs and unwanted pregnancies.
Though most Masturbate-a-Thons involved private acts of self-love, Good Vibrations sexologist Carol Queen recalls a few especially colourful moments from the public events. Of particular note, she told Salon, was one man who jerked off for nine hours and 58 minutes.
“Oh, and the friend of a friend who brought his violin along and played lovely music for the masturbators, sans pants,” she told the news source. “Classical music just gives masturbation so much more gravitas! We had opera singers one time, too.”
How to observe the holiday
Aside from masturbating with a renewed sense of political and social purpose, what are some other ways we can do justice to this month of self love and self exploration?
Taboo Radio (in conjunction with Lovehoney Australia) are giving away one Lovehoney Desire Luxury USB Rechargeable Remote Control Love Egg Vibrator (valued at $109.95) and one Lovehoney Sqweel XT for Men USB Rechargeable Oral Sex Simulator (values at $99.95).
We will also be posting (probably, too much) information about bashing the candle, bleeding the weasel, bleedin’ the weed, buffing the banana, bopping the baloney, burping the worm, choking the chicken, cleaning your rifle, corking the bat, cranking the shank, cuffing the carrot, fisting your mister, flogging your dog, floggin’ the frog, flogging the hog, flogging the log, flute solo, jerkin’ the gherkin, looping the mule, manual override, painting the pickle, pocket pinball, pocket pool, polishing the banister, polishing the rocket, pounding your flounder, pumping the python, roping the pony, spanking the monkey, teasing the weasel, tossing the turkey, walking the dog, whipping the willy, wonking your cronker and yanking the crank, all month.
How will you celebrate Masturbation Month?