May is Masturbation Month, and I almost missed it. But that’s okay. I celebrate masturbation every month.
I’ve been saying for years that masturbation should be taught in schools.
And not just in sex education classes. Masturbation should be celebrated. Masturbation should be encouraged. Especially for teenagers. It’s our one and only truly safe sex. As Woody Allen put it, it’s “sex with someone I love.” Or it should be.
Mutual masturbation is a good, safe, alternative to full on PIV sex. No risk of pregnancy. No risk of disease. Shared intimacy. A nice way for a couple to get to know each other.
There is simply no downside to solitary masturbation. Not even the risk of emotional entanglement. You don’t need to ask for consent from anybody. You don’t need anything more than a few minutes of reliable privacy and possibly some Kleenex for the ejaculate. In my case, no Kleenex is needed and I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to why.
In my early teens I felt terribly guilty about masturbating. I worried that it could do me some harm. After about fifty-five years of turning masturbation into my own personal art form, I’ve come to realize that there is no harm in the practice. None.
And now, thanks to Mano Singham, I learn that there’s a whole month dedicated to the joys of the wank – the Merry Masturbatory Month of May. I shall never feel the same about this month again.
Mano also provides a link to an article by Hugo Schwyzer. If you don’t have time to follow the link, here’s a taste of what you’re missing.
The view of masturbation as benign and beneficial is a new one. The Judeo-Christian tradition has long been hostile towards self-pleasure, at least for men. The Talmud compares spilling seed to spilling blood; the Zohar (the central work of Kabbalah) calls it the most evil act a man can commit. The traditional Christian view was no more tolerant; Catholic and Protestant authorities framed masturbation as a deeply sinful (though forgivable) waste of precious semen. Women were left out of these prohibitions for the obvious reason that most male religious authorities didn’t consider the possibility that women were capable of or interested in giving themselves orgasms.
The article gives a fascinating look at the history and rationale behind attempts to curb masturbation. I have a particular bone to pick, so to speak, with the forces of sexual repression, those who tried to prevent what a pocket dictionary I once owned defined simply as “bodily self pollution”.
The campaign against masturbation became medicalized in the middle of the 19th century. Health reformers like Sylvester Graham (of the cracker) and John Harvey Kellogg (of the cereal) warned against the feminizing and enervating effects of male masturbation, describing it not as a sin but as a habit that could rob boys of their vital life force. At the same time, doctors began to warn of something theologians either hadn’t considered or dared to mention: the dangers of female self-pleasure. Beginning in 1858, Dr. Isaac Baker-Brown—the president of the Medical Society of London—began to encourage surgical clitoridectomies to prevent hysteria, epilepsy, mania and even death that would surely follow as a consequence of the stimulation of the clitoris.
The medical hysteria over the totally speculative and imaginary harm done by masturbation is one of the main reasons I’m missing a part of my body, my foreskin. Circumcision was promoted as a “cure” for the practice. I don’t think this worked for anybody. As a cure it was a total failure in my case, and for any circumcised man I’ve ever met. Certainly, circumcision reduces the pleasure of a wank. But it’s only a reduction, and once lubrication is discovered, it’s hardly a “cure”, hardly an impediment at all. And wanking off is one revenge against the assholes who called for a generation of mutilated dicks.’
Now, of course, comes the big question. What is the most appropriate way to celebrate Masturbation Month, more than I usually celebrate I mean? Hmmmm…. Let me think about it. Maybe my wife would like to get involved. A mutual hand job could be a nice variation, and she tells me that she gets off better with manual stimulation than with straight PIV.