(GIF via YouTube)
Like many other seemingly arbitrary holidays or themed months, May is Masturbation Month because a store wanted to make money.
But there’s also an interesting backstory that involves a trailblazing government official, an uncomfortable question and President Bill Clinton. In 1994, Dr. Joycelyn Elders — Surgeon General in the Clinton administration and the first Black person to hold the office — was forced to resign after saying masturbation was “a part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.”
The following year, in honor of Elders’ remarks, Berkeley, Calif.-based sex toy retailer Good Vibrations declared May 7 to be “National Masturbation Day,” which over the years expanded to a full month of awareness and self-love.
For the monthly celebration of masturbation, the company launched a website focused on providing educational content on masturbation. The end goal: “closing the climax gap.”
For cofounder and CMO Kris Fretz, there’s a tie between inadequate female pleasure education and the sexual assault tragedies seeing the light of day as part of the #MeToo movement.
“I was not taught, as a woman, to embrace my sexuality and natural ways of experiencing pleasure,” Fretz said. “The shame women feel shows in those who say they orgasm 30 percent less often than men during sex. Our Masturbation Month website offers a modern and entertaining way for women to learn about their bodies and feel empowered to orgasm on their own — each time creating their own sexual energy that will better their life and ultimately their communities.”
The site was developed in partnership with a Brooklyn-based sex club for millennials called New Society for Wellness (NSFW), a members-only organization which hosts “nights of sexual exploration” and believes “cannabis is a gift that should be enjoyed and studied for the purpose of healing.”
As a kicker to the monthlong celebration, Emojibator and NSFW will host a female-exclusive guided masturbation class in Brooklyn “aimed at helping women discover the best ways to embrace self-love.”
“We partnered on this event [with NSFW] to further our mission to educate women in a sex-positive and safe environment on how masturbation can enhance their lives,” Fretz said.-30-
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