May is Masturbation Month
May is International Masturbation Month. How are you celebrating? Photo: iStock

The merry, merry month of May is known as Masturbation Month or Masturbation May and if you’ve already started your celebrations, congratulations! Pardon us if we don’t shake your hand.

 

If you’re still wondering why everyone else has a smile on their face and their wrist in a brace, here are some facts to get you all caught up.

 

1. The woman who suggested public school kids masturbate sparked a self-love revolution.

 

Appointed in 1993 by President Bill Clinton and nicknamed the “Condom Queen” by Rush Limbaugh for handing out prophylactics to public-school kids, then-Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders often angered the religious right. In 1995, Elders was fired for saying that masturbation should be discussed as part of sex education.

 

The sex toy company Good Vibrations was “astounded” and started National Masturbation Month, which went international, later that year.

“Of all the kinds of sex people can have, masturbation is the most universal and important, yet few people talk about it freely – worse, many people still feel it is ‘second best’ or problematic in some way,” according to Good Vibrations. “Masturbation Month lets us emphasize how great it is: it's natural, common and fun!”

2. Does masturbation cause erectile dysfunction?

While masturbation has been vilified throughout history, it will not give you hairy palms or make you go blind. Self-pleasure won’t even cause erectile dysfunction – on its own. Excessive masturbation can cause difficulties and techniques like jelqing and prone masturbation can cause trauma to the penis, resulting in difficulty getting or maintaining an erection.

3. Nearly half of men and women surveyed think about a former partner while T.C.O.B. (taking care of business).

Lovehoney, a sex toy retailer “that aims to bring sexual happiness to all,” surveyed 4,500 people and found that 59 percent of men and 51 percent of women masturbate while in a relationship. About 58 percent of men and 48 percent of women think about a former partner, but the top sexual fantasy for couples is an encounter with their current partner.

“Most people have the odd struggle balancing the pros of monogamy (history, soul mate connection, love, comfort, kids, support) with the cons (having to say no to temptation because just because you’re in love doesn’t mean you don’t find others attractive),” Tracy Cox, a sex and relationships expert, said. “A rich fantasy life can offer the solution to keeping everyone happy.”

4. Flushing your pipes is good for you!

A study published in December 2016 showed men ages 20-29 who ejaculated 21 times or more each month were 19 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than those who ejaculated between 4 and 7 times per month. 

During sex and masturbation, endorphins and oxytocin – “feel-good hormones – are released and can ward off anxiety and depression and even promote sleep, according to experts. Just keep your session subdued; wild sex will make you feel more energized.

“Masturbation is good for you – it cheers most of us up and it can enhance the sex you enjoy in a relationship,” said Richard Longhurst, Lovehoney co-owner. “There are also lots of health benefits such as the relief of stress.”

Next time you have a headache, say “yes” to a natural pain minimizer. An orgasm releases hormones that one study found alleviated 70 percent of patients’ migraines. The endorphins are similar to those that give runners a “high” and can act like morphine, experts said.

5. The Kama Sutra isn’t just for sex.

The Kama Sutra, an ancient Indian Hindu text written by Vātsyāyana considered to be the book on human sexual behavior gives instructions on how to twirl the pearl: “Churn your instrument with a lion’s pounce: sit with legs stretched out at right angles to one another, propping yourself up with two hands planted on the ground between in them, and it between your arms.”

Huh? At least the book comes with illustrations.