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?
“I adore looking down at his face, his mouth and chin wet with my pussy,” she sighs.
An unmistakeable internal wince triggers the 20-second rapid-fire movie reel of analysis playing before my mind’s eye:
“Why the discomfort at glimpsing a peek into her fucking? It’s not like I’m intruding. Certainly I have outgrown my culturally infused hang-ups about nudity and pleasure long characterized as pornographic guilt sources. And the word “pussy” ceased to make me bristle decades ago, ” I muse.
She and I confess daily details hidden from the public in the corners and crevices of our lives each week for years now. “From whence does this auto-shame come?” I hear a feigned British accent ask inside my head.
I watch her circle her hollow straw round the inside of the half empty mocha blended drink she seemingly speaks into. Her fingers are long, delicate and deceptively thin for how strong they are. I have seen them finger guitar frets and forcefully rip out knotted laces of a five year old’s shoes with ease. And her lips belong to a much younger woman, half her age, the way they remain stained pink-naked like the color of her fingertips after strumming that guitar.
The rolling analysis halts at the sound of her voice.
“But he still can’t make me cum.”
Shaking my head, “After all these years…?”
“I know, right? You would think he could figure it out. Of course I don’t give him much help finding his way. I give hints like it’s some sort of treasure hunt or game of you’re-getting-warmer…put your finger here, circle like this, now move here… but I lose interest when the whole lesson becomes teachy and disruptive to the flow. I prefer to masturbate for cumming and leave the loving to him.”
“Hmmm…” I intone. Funny how we parcel the sides of ourselves out like that, almost a division of labor delegation to those who specialize according to training and capability. Who is more trained at knowing a body than its long-exploring owner? And it’s far greater, multiply abundant, to love physically with another than alone.
“How ’bout dem Ducks,” she mocks, and we’re off to more surface ground.
I was trying to come up with a title for a blog post I wrote for one of my will-write-for-food sites, a post describing a massager and vibrator section of an online catalog of “romantic toys.” The copy was pretty straight forward: selling sex toys with luscious descriptions of need and success in the bedroom. But the title–a real grabber–is always challenging for subjects I know a lot about and so are enthused about, let alone for topics I know or care too little to whisk up a flavorful title.
It’s not that I don’t like vibrators. I just have been sort of meh on them. Some have suggested that I may not have found the right one or are too accustomed to “other ways” of achieving the same results, both of which may be true. But I haven’t really thought about it much until I wrote up this blog piece.
Curious whether I could find commiseration in my take-it-or-leave-it attitude about vibes, I went to the internet. Wading past the ads disguised as informationals, I found lots on the topic but only a couple of good reads: The Secret to Having Mind-Blowing Orgasms with Your Vibrator in YourTango.com and Psychology Today’s Vibrators: Myths vs. Truths.
Beyond the obvious of all obvious recommendations in the one–to experiment and try what feels good (duh, really?) and not to drill your sensitive areas to death–I did take up the solo solution of massaging the rest of your body first as foreplay–sorta. Imagine that, using a massager as a…well, massager.
And while both tackled some myths about becoming addicted and desensitized to using a vibrator, one confirmed that too much of a good thing could lead to less of a good thing in other areas. In other words, orgasming with a vibrator may make it more difficult to orgasm without one. The psychology writer’s opinion was more a “it depends on the person” comment but clearly denied addiction danger:
Do carpenters become addicted to power tools? No, power tools just get the job done faster. Many women really love their vibrators, but that’s a personal preference, not an addiction.
Not sure about the analogy as altogether apt, certainly is cliché, but like most habits, it seems to me it would depend on so many other factors like the person’s relationship(s), mindset, attitude and existing personality traits as to whether vibes are habit-forming. And so what if they are?
Maybe it’s my prejudices. Solo sex is utilitarian, accomplished with or without powertools and a good imagination. Beyond solo, connection with others, well that’s my preference–with or without the tools.
The Huffington Post featured four women confessing masturbation misshaps in delightfully amusing stories of cringing embarassment, shock and humiliation. The real treat, however, lies in the frank delivery of the details by these clearly bold, tickled yet slightly discomposed young women relating early masturbation experiences. A study in rich human expression, the video reveals not just fodder for the prurient interests of some ill-intent viewers nor merely a sensationalism meant to draw readership, but a display of complex emotion evoked by the age old pastime–storytelling.
To boot, this video joins the growing dissemination of women’s sexuality imagery in the media, a necessary deployment in the continuing project of feminism’s de-sculpting (a chip at a time) the sedimented profile of and attitudes toward women in American society–all the while Huffpost gets points for edginess and the interviewees for bravery. It’s a win-win for all (except for those cynical ones who chalk it all up to exhibitionist tendencies of a selfie population and the marketing ploy of a savvy for-profit journalistic enterprise).
Every day is a thrill to be alive, to be human–even when it’s not. Nothing pleases me more than settling into my writing routine each day with nothing on my mind. Reading around the Internet, then, is an adventure: wide open.