Dim the lights, drop some Bon Iver onto the turntable and spend some quality time with yourself. May is National Masturbation Month, no we’re not making this up. So it’s totally cool to take that guided tour of your own pants.


National Masturbation Month was introduced in 1995 by the sex-toy store Good Vibrations, in response to the dismissal of U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. At a World AIDS Day presentation, an audience member had asked Elders about masturbation’s role in discouraging risky sexual activity among youth, and Elders had responded, “I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.” President Clinton subsequently fired her.

National Masturbation Month is intended to reduce the stigma surrounding the discussion and practice of masturbation. You’ve probably been observing it all along without even realizing it.


Since the inception of National Masturbation Month, various organizations have highlighted it by sponsoring “Wank Weeks” and (I am still not making this up) “Masturbate-a-thons,” where people raise money for sex-education groups by playing with themselves.

As charity fundraisers go, you can’t beat it. On second thought, you can!


LGBT people should pay particular attention to National Masturbation Month, for two reasons:

First, the squeamishness surrounding frank discussions of sexuality has been particularly damaging to those whose sexuality is perceived as “deviant” or “unnatural.”

Second, much of the contemporary academic opposition to same-sex relations comes from natural-law theorists (such as Robert P. George at Princeton) who condemn homosexual conduct for the very same reason that they condemn masturbation: Both allegedly treat the human person as a mere object.

The month ends with a Masturbate-a-Thon in San Francisco. “I tell people that it’s like a walk-a-thon, except at the end your feet don’t hurt … unless you masturbate in a very unusual fashion,” sexologist Dr. Carol Queen said.

So, how will you be celebrating?

1 comment
  1. I’ll be beating my meat that’s for sure. HAPPY MASTURBATION MONTH TO ALL. If you don’t beat off, start, and If you’re a Master Masturbator….well keep up the good work men

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