May has come! (pun intended) For those of you who are not aware, May is the International Masturbation Month and May 28 (tomorrow) is the International Masturbation Day. While we agree that every day is good for self-loving, the International Masturbation Month/Day serves as a reminder of raising awareness around the importance and benefits of masturbation, as well as breaking the stigma that surrounds this healthy and pleasurable sexual activity.
Feel The Self Love
The history of International Masturbation day/month
The story begins with Joycelyn Elders. Joycelyn is a paediatrician and public health administrator who served as Surgeon General of the United States from 1993 to 1994. She is known for her progressive views on controversial topics such as sexual health.
In 1994, after a speech at the United Nations World AIDS Day, Joycelyn was asked by an audience member about her thoughts on using masturbation as a means of discouraging early sexual activity. Her answer was “I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.”
8 days after that claim Joycelyn was forced to resign from her role as Surgeon General.
In honour of Joycelyn’s work, Good Vibrations, a sex-positive shop is San Francisco, organized the first International Masturbation Month in 1995. Why May? According to them, M is for May and also for Masturbation. Simple as that. Initially, Masturbation Day was celebrated on May 7 - in 2005 it changed to May 28.
Celebrate your sexuality. Love yourself and be unapologetic about it
Why Masturbation month/day matters
Joycelyn was forced to resign for suggesting that masturbation should be part of the sexual education curriculum. Like masturbation is such a shameful act. It’s not.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma that surrounds this topic. Whether for religious reasons or from a lack of education, the topic and act of masturbation remain a taboo in today’s society. And as it’s common with taboos, they come with a lot of guilt, shame, and misinformation. These negative sentiments keep many people from developing a healthy relationship with their body and sex in general.
It’s past time we break these taboos.
There is no shame in self-pleasure. Masturbation is a natural and healthy expression of self-care. It’s not ‘second best’ or a substitute to sex. It’s one way of experiencing sexual pleasure on your own, without depending on others. And that on itself is empowering. This form of pleasure is indeed part of human sexuality and very important in fostering healthy sexual relationships - with yourself and others. As such, it should be taught in schools. Joycelyn Elders was right. Here at Frenchie, we have a few things to say ourselves about the current state of sexual education. Education is important when it comes to breaking taboos.
And that’s why the International Masturbation Month matters - to help educate people and break the stigma around masturbation. This month is about encouraging conversations around self-love and sexual wellness.
Masturbation is a natural and healthy expression of self care
How to celebrate Masturbation month/day
The International Masturbation Month reaches its climax on May 28. You can join in on it ;) Some organisations host a Masturbate-a-thon when participants “come” for a greater cause; for example, to raise money for charities with a sex-positive focus. Keep an eye out for the events of this year.
At the heart of it, these events are about raising awareness around this joyous sexual activity. You can also do that by educating yourself and starting conversations about this topic with the people around you, when appropriate. Talking about masturbation as a normal part of everyday life might help someone see past the shame and not feel guilty about enjoying this simple pleasure. Or it might inspire them to try it out.
Either way, we encourage you to explore the power of solo-love, get in tune with your body, and learn what makes you quiver with pleasure. Celebrate your sexuality. Love yourself. Be unapologetic about it.
Happy Masturbation Month!