National Masturbation Day, also known as International Masturbation Day, is an annual event celebrated on May 7 or May 28, to protect the right to masturbate. The first National Masturbation Day was first observed May 7, 1995, after sex-positive retailer, Good Vibrations, declared the day in honor of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders who was fired by President Bill Clinton for suggesting masturbation be a part of sex education curriculum for students; she was terminated on December 9, 1994.
International Masturbation Day has since been expanded to include the entire month of May as International Masturbation Month.
It’s more than a little bit insane that a Surgeon General of the United States could even remotely possibly lose her job for talking about a perfectly natural and normal part of human sexuality and suggesting it be taught in classes about, y’know, human sexuality. Our country has this bizarre, freakish reaction to sex and sexuality in general, and masturbation is near the top of the list of specific triggers for pearl-clutching about the subject. International Masturbation Month was established to give the prudes (the anti-wanking wankers) the finger (or two, or three, or five, if that’s how you roll).
I’m bewildered by the policies of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, who demand anything sexual (or even particular body parts in completely non-sexual contexts) be covered up or hidden. If you don’t want to see my photography, for instance, there’s a very simple way to not see it. Don’t look. Don’t follow my page. Don’t read my blog or visit my website. It’s not hard at all to unfollow or unfriend me if you want, and I wouldn’t even be offended. I probably don’t even like you anyway. So why should my social media presence be governed by the ridiculous and arbitrary rules of someone else’s invisible friend?
But I’m not at all bewildered by the platforms of political conservatives and the religious who demand it be censored. Their own shame and guilt and self-hatred is used as an excuse to make sure nobody else is enjoying their lives. I suppose if you can convince someone else to voluntarily cede control of such a basic biological drive, you can pretty much talk that person into ceding you control of pretty much anything, including their mind. Prudery, in the end, is about power – power over other people. And of course every single day a new news story brings us a tale of yet another such person breaking the very rules that person demands be imposed on everyone else. “Do as I say, not as I do.” I’m pretty well convinced by a mountain of data points that the louder a person screams about other people’s sexual proclivities, the more likely it is that person is secretly engaging in that exact proclivity, and is miserable and ashamed and self-hating about it. I’d pity such people, if they weren’t such assholes to everyone else. If you didn’t see the Ted Haggard thing coming, you weren’t paying attention, to cite just one of a bajillion examples.
I’ve often said I’m not afraid to straddle the murky gray area between art and pornography. (I don’t really think they can be separated, frankly.) And I’ve also often said that if you’re going to get behind the camera, you should also be willing to get in front of it. This piece captures the spirit of both those statements.
It’s International Masturbation Month, so go knock yourself out. Well, not literally. …unless you’re into that sort of thing.
Take a few minutes to be kind to yourself, release some stress, feel good. It’s your body, treat it well. Take pictures. Send them to someone sexy (get consent first!). Or video. Better yet, do it live, and take turns watching each other. Or do all of the above, whatever floats your boat.
The world could use a little more wanking and a lot fewer anti-wanking wankers.
To repeat the disclaimer, this is a project about re-discovery. It’s about remembering who I am, what I’m about, what I love and what I do not. Fair warning, this project will be posted here rather than at my SFW site because there will be nudity from time to time. Some of it will be of me, some not, some artistic and pretty to look at, some just raw.
I don’t intend to think of something every day and then shoot it, though I may do that sometimes, too. But sometimes I will just shoot, and then find something about myself in the frames and post about that thing, whatever it is.