National Masturbation Month is here!
Our absolute FAVE month of the year has just rolled around the corner (and quicker than usual, right?), Masturbation May is finally upon us. Not that we needed an excuse before, we just love having a whole month dedicated to celebrating masturbation and our sexuality in all its forms! Like everything else, Masturbation May has an interesting history to it, let’s dive in!
The Firing of Dr. Jocelyn Elders
It all started in 1994, with Dr. Jocelyn Elders as Surgeon General in the United States. Elders had extremely progressive ideas for the environment in America twenty years ago and had already caught flak from conservatives through her progressive views regarding abortion and drugs. Dr. Elders had famously said that she felt that masturbation is merely something that is a part of human sexuality and ought to be taught as a part of children’s basic education. This seemed to be the breaking point for the conservatives in the country who called for her termination. Under immense pressure, this led to President Clinton (before his well-known ‘sex education’ with Monica Lewinsky was revealed to the nation) to remove her from her position as Surgeon General.
In Dr. Elders’ honour, Good Vibrations (Yes, that sex shop!) protested by declaring that the month of May would now be declared International Masturbation Month. The reasons they cited were that they were raising awareness and highlighting the importance of masturbation for everyone, as it’s safe, healthy, and most of all, pleasurable! The act of pleasuring yourself is something fun and should be talked about openly but back in the 90s it was considered a taboo topic as many people felt that it was ‘problematic’ in some way.
The History and the Origins of Masturbation
Nevertheless, the political war in the United States concerning masturbation over two decades ago is just one minor battle in what can be described as an ideological tug-of-war over self-gratification which has lasted centuries. The history of masturbation spans all the way back to the Egyptian god Atum who allegedly masturbated the universe into being (We wish we had that power!). It is also said that Atum continued to control the river Nile’s flooding through his ejaculations. The Kama Sutra also included rather athletic and unconventional (at the time) how-to instructions for masturbation as well.
Views on Masturbation in the 18th century
While the ideology concerning masturbation could have been considered as open-minded in the early eras, the Judeo-Christian tradition has often condemned and very rarely embraced the vice of masturbation. Even so, things got especially bad in the 18th century with the act drawing the ire of most people with some even saying it’s the reason for any manner of sins and ailments.
Views on Masturbation in the 19th Century
In the nineteenth century, inventors such as Reverend Sylvester Graham, of Graham cracker fame and Dr John Harvey Kellogg, known for making cornflakes were just two people who were known to warn the masses of the dire consequences of ‘self-pollution’ (their words, not ours). Graham warned against the supposed dire health consequences of a massive excess of masturbation while supporting a healthy lifestyle of exercise, bathing, brushing teeth, drinking clean water, and a diet of vegetables and whole grains, which frankly sounds like a modern daily routine. Kellogg on the other hand compared the act of masturbation to a crime and stated that it is two times as bad as libido. Worse than sex? Really? Ironically enough, both these inventors’ contributions to society initially functioned as a method of suppressing libido.
Views on Masturbation in the Current Day
Nevertheless, all this ‘education’ proved to be futile as masturbation has become (and is still becoming) more celebrated and accepted in society, it’s not without some stigma of course, but we’re working on that.
In a nutshell, National Masturbation Month, has proven to be extremely successful worldwide as it has helped to broaden the conversation regarding masturbation and sex. Additionally, Masturbation Month would allow one to appreciate and provide more love to their body. We should also be thankful that the world today is universally more open toward the idea and the conversation surrounding masturbation which allows for enlightening information about what would please you more. Essentially, this conversation should be promoted even more to show a more progressive attitude to deny the strong back-lashers (that have the same ideologies as Graham, Kellogg, etc) and spread the joy of self-gratification to the world.