The Origins of Masturbation Month

We’re a few days in, so by now we’re all pretty familiar with the fact that May is National Masturbation Month. And while everyone may be familiar with getting down with their own selves, does anyone know why this one time of year is when we really champion the cause that’s almost certainly practiced year round? The origins of Masturbation Month have some surprising political motivations associated with a figure well known for his sexual dalliances.

In addition to his iconic political achievements, President Bill Clinton will always be infamously remembered for having the biggest “sex scandal” of all times. But just a few years before his own sexual behavior was laid out for the world to see, President Clinton operated on the other end of the healthy sexuality scale. Beginning in 1993, Dr. Jocelyn Elders was appointed as the Surgeon General to the Clinton administration, and was wildly outspoken about her progressive views on sex. During her tenure, Dr. Elders was even nicknamed the “Condom Queen” for distributing condoms and other contraceptives to public schools to promote safe sex. However, these liberal leaning views on sexuality often made Dr. Elders a contentious figure to conservatives.

In 1994, Dr. Elders went a little too far with speaking her mind for the political sphere to handle. At a United Nations conference on AIDS Dr. Elders was asked a question about the need for a discussion and promotion of masturbation as a means to hamper the vast spread of the disease. Dr. Elders responded openly and frankly, as reported by the New York Times as saying, “As per your specific question in regard to masturbation, I think that is something that is a part of human sexuality and it’s a part of something that perhaps should be taught. But we’ve not even taught our children the very basics.” Naturally that caused some major controversy with conservatives who believed Dr. Elders wanted to teach children how to masturbate, when she actually just wanted to make students aware of it. Still, Dr. Elders had provided enough controversy for the Clinton administration and she was fired.

A sex toy retailer in San Francisco was astounded by the firing of Dr. Elders and in retaliation dedicated the entire month of May (for its handy alliteration) to promoting masturbation! We now have a whole month with a specific focus given to including masturbation’s importance and normalcy in human sexuality, even as it is (hopefully) participated in year round. If only President Clinton had taken to self-love maybe he would only be known for his political actions today.


Celebrate Masturbation Month with a free tube of Astroglide lube with any stroker or vibe purchase totaling $30 or more!

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