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. We were astounded. 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 to raise awareness, and because we 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 "D.I.Y." Do it yourself! Nobody does it better!
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.
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. We think 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, we 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 cause 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 our 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 on Saturday, May 26, 2007. They send their pledges to Good Vibrations and we distribute every cent of it to a worthy cause. This year, we're pleased to promote sex-positive education through our beneficiary organization, The Center for Sex & Culture. The first Masturbate-A-Thon raised $8500!
How is the Masturbate-A-Thon judged? Where does it take place?
There are no judges -- it is strictly on the honor system. People will mostly do it in privacy, although we encourage couples to do the Masturbate-A-Thon together. It can be enlightening as well as arousing! If you really want a live event, with judges, visit www.masturbate-a-thon.org and www.masturbate-a-thon.com (Saturday, May 26, 2007 in San Francisco).
Are you planning anything else to celebrate National Masturbation Month?
Yes! Our Masturbation Master Classes are FREE and will be held on Saturday, May 19th, 2007 (with Carol Queen, at our Polk Street location, everyone welcome) and Saturday, May 26th 2007(with Heather Powers, at our East Bay Store, women only).
On Friday, May 25, 2007 Good Vibrations co-sponsors the Center for Sex & Culture benefit reading, Perverts Put Out. This regular quarterly reading series.
And as always, the newly-designed, better-than-ever GV Weekly (Magazine) will feature a variety of "one-handed reading" and other relevant news and essays.