In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

May is National Masturbation Month

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And I wanted to know why. I may be very late on this, but I was not aware of the back story to this national recognition just like great women in history month or Black history month or even yoga month. So how does masturbation earn its month?

So I googled. EmpowHer.com answered thusly:

So how does a hush-hush subject like masturbation get a month of its own? It started in 1995 in San Francisco as a response to the forced resignation of U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. After a speech at the United Nations World AIDS Day in 1994, an audience member asked Elders about masturbation’s potential for discouraging early sexual activity. She answered,“I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.”

That was the end of the first black Surgeon General’s career, but the beginning of National Masturbation Month. The founders of San Francisco based sex toy and education shop Good Vibrations said, “Enough is enough!” They wanted to do two things: keep up the conversation about Elders unjust firing and make people talk about masturbation.

Good Vibrations recognized many people needed support and advice about the very act of masturbating. One of the first things they had to do is provide reassurance. They made sure people knew it was okay to masturbate in the first place. For so long, shame and stigma have been attached to masturbating. Yet the truth is it is an activity so commonplace, natural, pleasurable and healthy it is said “ninety-eight percent of us masturbate, and the other two percent are liars.”

Not sure about those last stats but the subject does need air time. So how do you celebrate or honor the theme of such a month other than the obvious–doing what cums naturally?

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