So May has been declared National Masturbation Month. Although the movement is gaining awareness and media attention, it most likely will not be officially recognized, or show up on your yearly Hallmark calendars anytime soon. The proposed observance and hype was created by a San Francisco based sex toy store, which stemmed from a controversial statement about masturbation from former U.S. Surgeon General, Joycelyn Elders which led to her forced resignation. As a liberal advocate for sex education, she thoughtfully stated, “With regard to masturbation, I think it is something that is a part of human sexuality and something that should perhaps be taught.” That didn’t go over well with disapproving conservatives.
Well I happen to agree with Elders, as to censor and suppress such a natural instinctual behavior such as sex and masturbation, as the much of the American culture has done, is unhealthy and can actually be harmful to our self cultivation. Whatever is repressed will eventually come up one way or other. Sex and masturbation is completely natural. And if you repress it, sooner or later you will find some other way to express it, perhaps in perverted ways or destructive obsessions. We should promote masturbation as a healthy, safe and natural way to express our sexuality, as well as educate youth about the human body, healthy pleasure, and reproduction.
My ex-mother-in-law would refer to her young boy’s private parts as “post-a-nots” – because “you’re posta not play with them or talk about them”. This is the most ridiculous thing I’d EVER heard! By suppressing the innate urge to explore our bodies, especially our sensitive sexual organs, then how are we ever going to feel comfortable with intimacy or discussing personal health concerns? People have associated masturbation with feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment when really it should be a celebrated act full of nurturing, self love, enjoyment.
Masturbation is the first sexual act experienced by most people. In young children, masturbation is a normal part of the growing child’s self exploration. In one national study, 95% of males and 89% of females reported that they have masturbated. It is the most popular and frequently engaged sexual activity around the world. In fact, many sexual health educators often refer to it as one of the cornerstones of sexual health and mental development. Studies show masturbation has documented emotional, physical and psychological benefits. In addition to being physically pleasurable, masturbation is a good way of relieving stress and sexual tension that can build up over time, especially for people without partners. Masturbation also is a safe sexual alternative for people who wish to avoid pregnancy or STDs. Masturbation is a very common behavior, even among people who have sexual relations with a partner.
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