Masturbation Month: Self-Pleasin’ Facts & Myths
April showers are over and May flowers are in bloom, but the roses aren’t the only things budding this month. Gear up, people! It’s going to be a busy month of getting busy—with yourself! Masturbation Month has arrived.
Masturbation is one of the most intimate acts we can have with ourselves, so the least we can do is have an entire month in its honor. Almost everyone does it, yet the stigma and shame surrounding it seem to be clinging hard to the towels of the status quo—no matter how hard we try to shake it off. So in a world where so few can talk about masturbation without cracking an immature smile or receiving a disapproving look, how is it that International Masturbation Month came to fruition?
The year is 1995. The O.J. Simpson trials are well underway, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is opening its doors and Dolly—the first cloned sheep—begins her life. Multitudes of infamous life events are happening all over, most of them pushing the ‘90s forward. However, there is a disturbing set back in one area. Surprise! It’s political.
The then-Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders started making suggestions about how sexual health should be taught in schools. She was sitting at her desk, when the thought popped up in her genius brain: we should talk about masturbation during sex ed! Finally, a government official who is making some sense about the subject of sex!
Unfortunately for the doctor (and for U.S. citizens), these seemingly great ideas cost Elders her job. She got fired for thinking that it’s a good idea to teach adolescents about their growing bodies, and the benefits of self-pleasure.
By now, you’re probably as worked up as the nice people at Good Vibes. The company was so outraged by this indecent termination, that they decided to create National Masturbation Month as way to raise awareness on the taboo topic and teach others all the of its wonderful advantages. Now, 22 years later, the self-love celebration has become a widespread, international month of gratification, with people from all walks of life joining together to honor their intimate time alone!
To help get you all in the masturbating mood (as if you needed help in that department), here’s a look at some outdated misconceptions and frisky facts about the world of self-pleasure:
1. Fact: It’s Healthy!
As weird as it sounds, masturbation not only feels amazing, but it’s good for you, too. For starters, the more orgasms that you achieve, the stronger your pelvic floor muscles become because those muscles are contracting more often. In turn, your orgasms intensify, and who doesn’t want that? Orgasming regularly also makes men less likely to develop prostate cancer and women less likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
To top it all off, masturbating more can also make your immune system stronger, so a wank before bed may just keep you from catching that cold that’s been going around.
2. Myth: It’s Something Only Men Do
It’s no secret that men masturbate. Even with the stigma attached to it, for men it’s pretty much expected. (You’ve all heard the tired old trope “Of course men masturbate, they need that release.”) For women, the story’s written a little differently. Women who masturbate are seen as promiscuous, sex-obsessed or overly kinky, which creates unnecessary shame or guilt.
In fact, women have been so forced into silence on the topic, many are shocked when they hear how regularly other women partake in self-love. Newsflash: a girl just wants to get off.
3. Fact: It Makes You Better at Sex
“Practice makes perfect!” —everyone has heard this at some point in their lifetime. And although it may be cliché, when it comes to masturbation, there’s a lot of truth to the sentiment. Masturbation is great practice for sex with a partner. The more you masturbate, the more you know how you like to be touched, what rhythms you like, and what your fantasies are.
Think of each masturbation session as a lesson you’re teaching yourself. Once you’ve figured out what you like, you’ll be able to communicate this more efficiently to your partner. Plus, that little thing called “muscle memory” will develop, so your body actually remembers how to orgasm, making it easier to have one.
Oh, and guys can train themselves to last longer. (Fleshlight even has a Stamina Training Unit to do just that!) The perks of the jerk really are endless.
4. Myth: If You’re in a Relationship, You Shouldn’t Need to Masturbate
Masturbation has been labeled as an alternative to the “real thing.” If you have a partner who’s willing and able to get it on, what’s the point of giving your genitals your own handshake? This common perception of masturbation is what keeps the subject taboo. Masturbation should not be seen as a replacement or an “instead of” kind of act—it’s its own, unique activity.
Self-love helps you get in tune with your own body and bond with yourself. Who loves you more than you, right? When you’re truly alone, you are able to move along at your own pace, figure out your fantasies and you don’t have to compromise. In order to truly love someone, you have to love yourself, so why not give yourself an orgasm?
5. Myth: You Do it Alone
Have you ever watched someone masturbate? Maybe it was a partner, or maybe it was porn, but I’m sure it was pretty hot to watch. Mutual masturbation is a great activity for couples for a variety of reasons. Yes, it’s incredibly arousing to watch your partner get themselves off. But while you’re watching each other, what you’re really doing is learning how you both like to be touched.
By seeing what someone does to themselves, you can try to mimic those movements when you decide to touch each other. Yet another great aspect of masturbating together is that it changes up your routine. It can amp up your foreplay game and help mix things up in the bedroom so it’s not the same old song and dance every night.
Now that we’ve cleared a few things up, it’s time to get rid of the stigmas and the shame, and embrace the act of self-love that we all adore so much. Why make pleasing yourself a guilty pleasure? Get out there and show yourself how much you love you! The benefits to masturbation are endless, so let this month be your most orgasmic, stress-free and pleasure-filled month yet!