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26 Years of Masturbation Month!

By: Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations, originator of National Masturbation Month, is proud to join its sibling store Babeland in celebrating the 26th year of this annual sex-positive, awareness-raising international holiday.

Lee Daniels Lyons GIF by Empire FOX

In 1995 Good Vibrations staff were reeling after the recent firing of Surgeon General Dr. Joyceleyn Elders, the first Black woman to serve in that role, for a simple and truthful statement about masturbation: when asked about whether it should be part of sex education curricula, she stated, in light of the pressing need for safer sex information, that it was something “that perhaps should be taught” about in the context of sexual health information. Her dismissal by then-president Bill Clinton (who perhaps should have spent more time masturbating, just sayin’) shook sexual health and pleasure activists and led to an historic meeting at Good Vibrations: the declaration of May as the first-ever National Masturbation Month. Babeland and other progressive sex shops soon signed on.

Since then, masturbation has become a less-taboo subject—though there is still work to be done to erase this form of sexual shame for everyone. This foundational element of human sexuality should not be a source of distress or a topic we can’t talk about, because when this is the way a culture thinks about solo pleasure, it sends a message that the important positive elements of masturbation don’t matter. Via masturbation we learn more about our sexuality and arousal; we learn how to have orgasms; we experience the stress- and pain-relieving elements of solo sex; we might find it helps us sleep and helps us get through lean times without a partner, and research has shown it is often an expression of our heightened sexuality even when we have a partner. Masturbation is near-universal and might be the most significant sexual building block there is—so when people are denigrated for masturbating, it has negative effects on many aspects of sexuality. We need to talk about all this and make masturbation completely acceptable for anyone who chooses it—and that’s what Masturbation Month has always been about!

Good Vibrations and Babeland launched and have promoted Masturbate-a-Thons (“Come for a Cause!”) to raise money for sexual health nonprofits; done countless press appearances to help people understand the significance of masturbation; and introduced a vast number of people to the pleasures of sex toys, one of masturbation’s useful adjuncts. Well into the 21st century we still realize that many people have yet to hear all the positive messages related to masturbation, and we are glad that others—sex educators and influencers, sex-positive companies and journalists and many more—have joined the cause.

Kitty-petters, money-spankers, and all other solo sex practitioners, regardless of gender and body configuration and identity, deserve these pleasures without shame. We want to continue to spread the International Masturbation Month message to all: Give yourself a hand!


Join us in May for events celebrating solo sex! The first will be Wednesday, 5/5, 6pm pacific: 

Masturbation May: Celebrating 26 Years of Self-Love

Educator Andy and Carol Queen PhD consider the changes Masturbation Month has inspired!


About Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations is the premiere sex-positive sexual health and wellness toy retailer in the US. An iconic brand and one of the world's first sex toy shops to focus specifically on women's pleasure and sexual education, Good Vibrations was founded by sex educator/therapist Joani Blank in 1977 to provide women with a safe, welcoming and non-judgmental place to shop for erotic toys. Still a feminist-owned business, Good Vibrations has since expanded to include all people across the gender spectrum, and is a place where customers can come for education, high quality products, and information promoting sexual health, pleasure and empowerment. Customers can shop Good Vibrations' expertly curated product selection across any of its ten retail locations or on the website, where they can also find a wealth of information pertaining to sexual pleasure, exploration and education.