International Masturbation Month

Why We Celebrate International Masturbation Month

Welcome to May, when we celebrate Mothers, Memorial Day and Masturbation. That’s right. May is International Masturbation Month. We couldn’t think of an activity more deserving of a month-long celebration, although, we hope you exercise your right to masturbate during the other 11 months.

So, why dedicate a month to masturbation?

The holiday was started to encourage people to discuss masturbation in a positive, non-shaming way. It was originally a day-long holiday, first celebrated on May 7, 1995. Good Vibrations declared the holiday in response to Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders being fired by President Bill Clinton for her comments supporting masturbation education in schools.

When asked at a UN conference about AIDS, about whether or not she thought masturbation should be taught as part of a sexual education curriculum to prevent other, riskier forms of sexual activity, she responded that “

[Masturbation] is a part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.” This comment led her to being fired by President Bill Clinton.

In 1999, to increase awareness to the holiday, Good Vibrations started a Masturbate-A-Thon, where people would masturbate in private or with a partner and get pledges for each minute spent pleasuring themselves. And all for a good cause, 100% of the money raised went to Good Vibrations’ charities that focus on sex education and sexual health.

After the rise in popularity of private Masturbate-A-Thons, the Center for Sex & Culture created public events in 2000. At these live events, people pleasure themselves in public and compete for numerous awards, including longest time spent masturbating and the most orgasms. And these events have expanded all over the world in the past few years.

But, even if signing up for a Masturbate-A-Thon isn’t your thing, celebrating this holiday is one of the easiest things you can do. All month long, we’ll be discussing the health and mental benefits of masturbation, techniques for observing International Masturbation Month and tips and tricks you should continue practicing long after May is over.