At the beginning of the month, I thought, “Oh, hey, It’s May, so I ought to do a little fun blog post to celebrate Masturbation Month.” My first question was, do people still celebrate this? And the second was, How did it come up anyway?
If you’ve never heard of it before, don’t feel too alone in the world. I first heard of it a few years ago, but it’s still not something I bring up lightly at a dinner party. “Hey, it’s May, how’s the masturbating going for you?” doesn’t pop out of my mouth easily. Neither does, “Hey, I found this totally cool Lelo vibe that gets me off in about ten seconds, it’s great.” And therein might lie the problem. I write erotica, I spend hours of my day thinking about sex, and I still feel the need to be circumspect in my conversation with others. I am, clearly, not alone. And yet, I KNOW almost everyone masturbates.
A little bit of history: Masturbation month was first celebrated in May of 1995 as a response to Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders being fired for saying that “Masturbation is something that perhaps should be taught” as part of safe sex education. I’m not sure celebrating it ever gained a lot of traction across the American populace. After all, it seems like it should be about as necessary as celebrating “Pick your nose Month.” It’s something everyone does while maybe not talking too much about it. What’s the big deal?
Why then, am I posting this so near the end of the month? I started doing research on masturbation at the beginning of the month and got caught up in doing a lot of reading. And then, for a long time, I fell into a deep funk once I started reading some of the hate-filled sites and blogs that are out there. My first response was amusement…really? People still think this is a problem? That shifted, however, after reading just how vitriolic some people are about the subject. This basic fact has me bummed me out for weeks:
There are people…in 2012…who still believe there is something wrong with masturbating.
What’s worse, is that they seem to think that not only should they not masturbate, they think others shouldn’t either.
Here’s one example of the nonsense I am finding:
The truth is that a woman‘s sexuality doesn’t truly emerge until she has regular sex with her husband, someone who is committed to her welfare and being. Its a truth that feminists loathe, but can’t get away from and be happy.
I know. It’s hard to believe that people are saying stuff like that in this day and age. It certainly has me blinking with WTF screaming in my head. Sex with the man is awesome and wonderful, but it’s different than masturbating. No man (or other person, male or female) is going to give me the same kind of orgasm as I can give myself. It’s like oral providing a different sensation than actual intercourse–not to mention the different sensations found in different positions, but I digress. I’m the type of gal who enjoys it all and likes the variety. And, yes, I masturbate regularly. And, my husband does too. And, we even know that the other masturbates. Sometimes, *GASP* we even masturbate together! (Sorry, honey, I know you just love it when I over share.)
It’s no surprise that these same people who think sex with the husband brings out a woman’s sexuality are anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-sex, and anti-anything-that-doesn’t-fit-into-their-ignorant-tiny-world-view. You’d think these folks would be happy to get their hands on chastity belts again. It’s the same mind-set that has a number of states declaring hand holding as a gateway sexual activity.
However, in spite of all this crazy, ignorant moral-indignation, I found a bright light that has pulled me out of my depression. I was telling my daughter that I had started to write something for Masturbation Month but got caught up in this sense of hopelessness when encountering this type of anti-masturbation rhetoric. My daughter pointed out that people in her generation don’t have the same hang-ups as those in “my generation.” She added that even her more conservative friends are much more open to talking about masturbating. She has had conversations with her friends about this, and assures me that none of them think that hair is going to grow on their palms. Her take on it is that masturbation has kept her (and others she knows) from seeking out sexual partnerships at a time in her life when she doesn’t need the complication of sex in relationships. Booyah! My daughter is living proof that full-disclosure sex-education trumps “abstinence-only” programs that only tell partial truths. Statistics show that teenagers who have a complete knowledge and understanding of sexuality are less likely to have sex or partake in risky sexual behavior and are less likely to have early pregnancies than their counterparts who are kept in the dark.
Masturbation deserves a month of celebration. Hell, it deserves a lifetime of celebration!
Time to do some catching up, then, if you’re behind in self-pleasuring this month! (And if you think masturbating is evil, then FINE, don’t masturbate, but get out of my pants. You wouldn’t know what to do in there anyway.)