May Is National Masturbation Month

Or, as I prefer to call it:
May is Celebrate Solo Sex Month!

It all began in 1994 at a UN conference on AIDS, when Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders (the first African American and only the second woman to hold the position) was asked a question about promoting masturbation as a means of decreasing riskier behavior. She replied, “I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.”

Oh, my! A hesitant advocacy for solo sex! For taking matters into your own hot little hands! For touching yourself, in that way, down there! What will our top health care proponent say next? Well, we don’t know because she was canned shortly thereafter for her cautious admission that sex with yourself is a normal part of being human. And for suggesting that it might be something we would want to encourage.

In response, the following year three feminist sex shops deemed May to be National Masturbation Month, 31 days of celebrating sex with yourself. It seems appropriate when everything is bursting and blooming.

And here it is 17 years later and where are we with promoting, advocating and celebrating masturbation? You would think with our current climate of abstinence-only fear-based sex education that we’d be encouraging our teens to self-pleasure. And teaching them how. After all, as Woody Allen so famously said, “At least it’s sex with someone I love”.

Yet since the definition of abstinence is unclear we don’t even know if most sex-ed programs for teens include solo-sex as an option, much less as a behavior that we encourage. The most common sexual behavior is still shameful, mocked and not celebrated or taught as the empowering self-loving, healthy act that it is. It doesn’t seem like we’ve made much progress!

However, at least on a personal level, you can reclaim you right to delicious self-pleasure right now! And all month! Are you being a fabulous lover to yourself? When was the last time you had a hot date with you? Perhaps you need to spice up your life with more solo-quickies! Whatever else you do, remember to take time this month for your pleasure. Dedicate a few orgasms to Jocelyn or your other heros and heroines of sexual liberation, including, I hope yourself! Go on, go play with yourself, all month long. And why stop there? You can celebrate self-love for your whole life!

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