May is Rockin’!
Masturbation has been marked a taboo act by most religions and our Puritanical culture, but it’s still the second most common sexual act amongst humans. Heck, other animals enjoy self-pleasuring too! I’ve seen my cat and my friends’ dogs get down with no shame whatsoever, so maybe we can take a hint from Fluffy and Fido and celebrate that May is National Masturbation Month.
Masturbation is so perfectly natural, yet so maligned. I’m happy to report that masturbation can actually be considered part of your health care regime:
Women report a decrease in menstrual cramps and bloating when masturbating, can increase their resistance to yeast infection, and build their pelvic floor muscles which can improve orgasms. For men, masturbation has been documented to improve their immune system and makes for a healthier prostate. Masturbation is also a great form of stress relief, releases endorphins, and burns calories (see my FitBit video here).
How did this fantastic holiday get started?
Back in 1994, the U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders caused a public furor when endorsed masturbation as a safe way to discourage early sexual activity. In response to an audience member’s question about masturbation at the United Nations’ World AIDS Day, Elders said “I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.”
For that simple statement, the torches were lit and Elders was forced to resign. So much for the first black woman Surgeon General…
The good folks at Good Vibrations, a sex-positive and female oriented sex store in San Francisco, (and, by the way, the place where I bought my first vibrator) decided to get a public debate going about the positive aspects of masturbation for men and women. Hence, National Masturbation Month was born.
(If you’re looking for a good hands-on experience to find your own sex toys in a non-creepy environment and don’t live in San Francisco, you can also visit Toys in Babeland in New York City and Seattle, or go to their website here.)
This May is also the 40th anniversary of the publication of Our Bodies, Ourselves, the seminal reference book on healthy sexuality for women.
This book was devoured by young women (and probably a lot of young men, too!) the world over who were hungry for straight talk and information about their bodies, hormones, emotions, and sexuality. If you haven’t read the book, or you know a woman who is exploring her own sexuality, pick up a copy here!
I’ll be attending a special party next week hosted by Belisa Vranich, nationally recognized “sexpert” and psychologist, to celebrate the authors and publication of Our Bodies, Ourselves here in New York City. I’ll be sure to post some photos!
Finally, if you’re curious about discovering true physical intimacy with others or yourself, you simply MUST listen to this week’s podcast from Ariel & Shya Kane titled “Let’s Get Physical!”
The Kane’s wonderful internet radio show Being Here will “support you in dissolving those old limiting ideas and inhibitions so that you can be free and natural with yourself and/or your partner.”