27 Years of Masturbation May!
When we at Good Vibrations started National Masturbation Month 27 years ago, we were responding to a shocking event that challenged our very purpose in the world.
In 1995 Good Vibrations staff were reeling after the recent firing of Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn 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 ’) shook sexual health and pleasure activists and led to a historic meeting at Good Vibrations: the declaration of May as the first-ever National Masturbation Month.
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!
Kitty-petters, monkey-spankers, and all other solo sex practitioners, regardless of gender and identity, deserve these pleasures without shame. Whether you prefer to go hands on with some hot erotica, or regularly rotate in new vibe and dildo friends, we've got all the pleasure products you need to keep you going, just don't forget the lube! Together we can all continue to spread the National Masturbation Month message: Give yourself a hand!