For Immediate Release
April 30, 2004
For more information:
Good Vibrations Public Relations
415-974-8985 ext 203
Give Yourself a Hand! May is National Masturbation Month
Fundraiser Will Give a Rise to All Participants
San Francisco, CA -- April 30, 2004 -- Join Good Vibrations, the legendary San Francisco-based, women-owned and run sex toy, book and video store, in celebrating the 10th annual National Masturbation Month this May. Feel the love -- your own, that is -- and don't miss the local and nationwide festivities honoring the gratifying yet under-appreciated activity of solo pleasure.
Good Vibrations knows that sexual pleasure is a birthright and that masturbation is a powerful source of sexual gratification. Since practically everyone masturbates, but few people talk about it, they created National Masturbation Month, a month-long celebration recognizing the many ways we can pleasure ourselves. This year the theme is "Party of One!" Pamper yourself, enjoy your own company, take yourself out on the town -- even if you stay home to do it!
This year people all over the U.S. (and the world!) will celebrate the seventh Annual Masturbate-A-Thon, raising funds for worthy community-based organizations that focus on women's health, safer sex, HIV education and other sex-positive causes. This year Good Vibrations is pleased to donate funds raised through the Masturbate-A-Thon to The Center for Sex & Culture, a new San Francisco nonprofit that is raising money to open a library and archive, where they'll also hold classes, salons, art events and more. The CSC is holding its own Masturbate-A- Thon, too -- live.
Whether you enjoy it solo, with a sweetheart, or just talk up masturbation's pleasures and benefits, Good Vibrations invites you to join them in their celebration.
MASTURBATION MONTH EVENTS
General Information: Most people masturbate, yet many are ashamed or embarrassed to admit it. At Good Vibrations, we celebrate it! In their effort to encourage Masturbation Pride, Good Vibes is teaming up with other sex-positive toy stores and community organizations to invite you to put the "fun" back in "fundraising" with this unique philanthropic event. The Seventh National Masturbate-A-Thon Weekend is your opportunity to get off for a good cause.
Here's how to participate: the Masturbate-A-Thon is like a walk-a-thon, but a lot more fun -- you don't need to leave home to do it, and your feet won't be tired when you're finished! First, print or download our pledge sheet. Between now and May 16, ask people you know to sponsor you for every minute you'll masturbate during the Masturbate-A-Thon Weekend (May 15-16, 2004). After you masturbate for the cause, be sure to tell your friends how much money they helped raise. (Good Vibrations will announce the grand total in late June.)
Once you have collected the funds from your sponsors, please write a single check payable to "Good Vibrations" and send it to:
Good Vibrations, Attn: Masturbate-A-Thon
938 Howard St Suite 101
San Francisco, CA 94103
Please mail your check by June 15, 2004. Or you can bring the funds into one of our retail stores. Whether you raised $.50 or $500 we'll send you a 10% off coupon redeemable with your next purchase and a "Party of One" bumper sticker. There are also special prizes for the top fundraisers: the third-, fourth- and fifth-place fundraisers will receive an autographed copy of the Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, a bottle of GV Slip Inside lube, and Good Vibrations Condoms. The second-place fundraiser will receive these three gifts plus a $25 Good Vibrations Gift Certificate, and the top fundraiser will receive these three gifts plus a $50 Good Vibrations Gift Certificate.
Good Vibrations is happy to accept your pledges even if you don't take part in the official Masturbate-A-Thon Weekend (May 15-16). Good Vibes knows some of you might want to take your time training before you go the distance. You can hold your own Masturbate-A-Thon any time in May as long as you send in your pledges by June 15, 2004.
The proceeds of this year's Masturbate-A-Thon collected by Good Vibrations customers and friends will be donated to The Center for Sex & Culture, a new San Francisco nonprofit which is raising money to open a library and archive, where they'll also hold classes, salons, art events and more.
Masturbation Hall of Fame
Each year the Masturbation Hall of Fame honors authors, sex educators, and celebrities who have done something notable for the cause of masturbation awareness. Past honorees include the San Francisco Jacks, a group of like-minded men whose safe sex practice includes masturbating together; Dr. Betty Dodson, the "mother of masturbation," whose book
Sex for One
has turned many guilty masturbators into radiant supporters of self-love; Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Bill Clinton's first surgeon general, who got fired for saying perfectly sensible things about masturbation; and Howard Stern. This year's new honorees are: Martha Cornog, whose
Big Book of Masturbation: From Angst to Zeal
covers all the bases of solo sex; Dr. Leonore Tiefer, who reminds people who want a good sex life that "If you want to play Rachmaninoff, you've got to practice your scales!"; WHAM (Women Happily Advocating Masturbation), a one-of-a-kind student alliance from the University of Wisconsin at Madison; and sassy sex columnist Dan Savage, who raises consciousness about masturbation through his hilarious, entertaining sex advice column "Savage Love."
Masturbation Month Fast Facts
Good Vibrations began celebrating National Masturbation Month in 1995. Earlier that year, then-Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders was fired for saying that masturbation should be discussed as part of young peoples' sex education. The folks at Good Vibes were astounded. It was one of the most sensible things they had ever heard a government official say -- and it cost Elders her job! Good Vibes started National Masturbation Month to raise awareness, and because they wanted 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. Of all the kinds of sex people can have, masturbation is the most universal and important, yet few people talk about it freely -- worse, many people still feel it is "second best" or problematic in some way. National Masturbation Month lets us emphasize how great it is: it's natural, common and fun! This year's theme is "Party of One!" Pamper yourself, enjoy your own company, take yourself out on the town -- even if you stay home to do it!
Because "the merry, merry month of May" has long been seen as symbolizing sexual awakening. Also, because "May" and "masturbation" both start with "M" -- it's nice and alliterative.
Why talk about masturbation?
Because many people still feel guilty about it, or feel they do it too much, or feel it's a second-best substitute for "real" sex. Good Vibes thinks it's important to bring it out into the open and let people feel better about what they're doing -- and, for those who may not be doing it, they want to encourage it. Masturbation is, for many, the cornerstone to a healthy and good sex life. It isn't second-best -- it can give you the information and awareness you need to enjoy the rest of your sex life. Self love rules.
How does someone make it into the Masturbation Hall of Fame?
The Masturbation Hall of Fame features people who have contributed to the public profile of masturbation through advocacy, teaching or their public position (like Betty Dodson and Dr. Joycelyn Elders), or celebrities who have helped the cause of masturbation awareness with their high profiles -- most of these have mentioned self love positively in an interview (like Roseanne, Howard Stern and Jamie Lee Curtis), others are artists who have used masturbation as a theme (Prince, Madonna and the cast of "Seinfeld").
What about that Masturbate-A-Thon?
This is Good Vibrations' seventh year of celebrating with a pledge drive -- it's like a Walk-A-Thon, only different. Participants ask friends and loved ones to sponsor them for a certain amount of money for every minute they masturbate during the Masturbate-A-Thon Weekend, May 15-16. They send their pledges to Good Vibrations and Good Vibes distributes every cent of it to a worthy cause. This year, they are pleased to promote sex-positive education through their beneficiary organization, The Center for Sex & Culture. The first Masturbate-A-Thon raised $8500!
Over the past five years participants from Nunavut to Key West and from Baja to St. John's have raised over $25,000 for an important group of women's health initiatives, HIV education and treatment organizations, sex education groups, and other worthy beneficiaries. Here's a collection of sultry and sundry statistics from the history of the Masturbate-A-Thon:
Number of Masturbate-A-Thon pledge forms distributed since 1998: 65,000
Number of people who participated (those who returned pledge forms with money): 1,570
Number of countries with Masturbate-A-Thon participants: 6
Largest amount raised by an individual: $1,000
Longest time recorded by a participant in the Masturbate-A-Thon: 6 hours, 15 minutes
Total amount of money collected since 1998 through the Masturbate-A- Thon: $25,000
Number of television, print and radio interviews conducted regarding Masturbation Month: 375
Number of Masturbate-A-Thon winners who have conducted interviews about their experience: 3
Traditional fifth anniversary gift: Wood
Modern fifth anniversary gift: Silverware (we think most people would rather get wood!)
How is the Masturbate-A-Thon judged? Where does it take place?
There are no judges for our Masturbate-A-Thon -- it's private, and strictly on the honor system. We do encourage couples to do the Masturbate-A- Thon together. It can be enlightening as well as arousing! And at least two live Masturbate-A-Thons are planned: one here in San Francisco, and one in Portland.
How else can I celebrate National Masturbation Month?
Why not become a sperm donor? Get paid (up to $500) for something you're already doing and help create families! The Sperm Bank of California, a friendly, progressive, non-profit (the only non-profit sperm bank in the U.S.), is seeking healthy men of all ethnicities to become paid sperm donors. Visit The Sperm Bank of California or call (510) 841-1858 for more information.
Are you planning anything else to celebrate National Masturbation Month? Yes! We have planned several events in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Good Vibes Magazine will feature a variety of "one-handed reading."
SF Bay Area Events
The One-Handed Reading Reading
On May 29 we'll close out the month's festivities -- and get ready to celebrate our 10th anniversary National Masturbation Month in 1995 -- with one of our popular One-Handed Reading Readings. Notable local authors, including hosts Carol Queen and Thomas Roche, will read erotic stories inspired by and featuring solo pleasure. They'll be joined by many of the Bay Area's best sex writers. At the Jon Sims Center, 1519 Mission between 11th Street and South Van Ness in San Francisco. Doors open at 7:00, show at 7:30; $10 at the door, no one turned away for lack of funds.
The Live Masturbate-A-Thon
Good Vibrations is not its direct sponsor, but there will also be a live Masturbate-A-Thon in San Francisco on May 15, sponsored by The Center for Sex & Culture. If you've been celebrating National Masturbation Month in private all these years and want a little company, visit www.masturbate-a-thon.com for all the details. For more information about Masturbation Month, visit contact Andrea Burnett at 415-974-8985 x203.
About Good Vibrations
Established in 1977, Good Vibrations is a worker-owned and operated cooperative comprised mostly of women, who strive to help women and men realize and celebrate their sexual health and potential. They're a group of individuals committed to making the world a place where sex and pleasure are recognized as a birthright. Good Vibrations' branches include retail stores in San Francisco and Berkeley, California; a mail order catalog; web site, www.goodvibes.com; publishing company Down There Press; audio division Passion Press; Sexpositive Productions, the GV Video Production Team; and an Education/Outreach department that presents educational workshops nationwide.