May is Masturbation Month … Are You Missing Out?

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. Masturbation Month lets us emphasize how great it is: its natural, common and fun!~ Good Vibrations

When I first contemplated writing about masturbation, I must admit I was a little conflicted. Not because I think there’s anything wrong with it (insert Seinfeld reference here), but because I’m well aware that there’s still a lot of confusion around the subject.

As with so many of the different faces of sexuality, for some people masturbation is still shrouded in guilt, shame, embarrassment and emotional pain. In a time when sexual dysfunction and estrangement from genuine intimacy are bigger problems than ever, it’s hard to ignore the concerns of the social context in which our sexuality exists. After all, if masturbation makes a person feel worse about him or herself (as it can, for instance, for people dealing with the effects of porn addiction) then it necessitates a new perspective.

Masturbation Month was started in response to the fact that (at least in the United States) masturbation is still so taboo, so frowned upon that, in 1994, the US Surgeon General was fired after simply agreeing that perhaps it’s a subject that ought to be incorporated into sex ed. As explained by one of its creators Carol Queen,

Ordinary people who do it think theres something wrong with them, and its painted as a pathetic third choice if you cant get someone to have sex with you. In fact, if you can shake off this bad rap, masturbation is amazing. It can provide extraordinary pleasure, or just help you get to sleep, teach you about your body and sexual responses, and help keep the blood flowing in the nethers…

Indeed, advocates claim that it offers a myriad of health benefits, including the reduction of stress and anxiety, improved sleep, and the relief of menstrual cramps, headaches and muscle tension. Not only that, but masturbation may also improve the immune system and contribute to overall physical health, as well as strengthening muscle tone in the pelvic and anal areas, building resistance to yeast infections, preventing the development of prostate cancer, and even helping to ease the symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome.

Perhaps at least some of these beneficial effects are linked to the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that can improve mood and relieve depression, as well as the production of oxytocin, a natural pain reliever.

Healthy (shame-free) masturbation can also help to enhance our relationships by creating a sense of well-being, helping us bond with our partners both physically and emotionally, increasing the ability to have orgasms, and thereby raising self-esteem and improving body image.

Betty Dodson is dubbed the Godmother (or, to some, The High Priestess) of Masturbation because, amongst other things, she wrote the book on it in the early seventies. She is an 85-year-old sex educator who offers masturbation classes. Yep, that’s right. Starting in the early seventies, Dodson spent 15 years offering “bodysex” classes to small groups of women. Now she’s bringing them back, for the benefit of a new generation perhaps more in need than any of Dodson’s lessons in self-love:

Most of them havent even seen their genitals in a mirror. You show em and they go eek! Or ugh!

As stated on her website, Dodson believes that the prohibition of childhood masturbation forms the roots of our sexual repression as adults, and that self-pleasuring is a way we can learn to love our genitals, discover our sexual responses, and build sexual self-esteem.

Educators such as Dodson and her team are joined by many other advocates who view self-pleasure as a healthy physical, emotional, and even spiritual practice. As the High Priestess of Masturbation herself explains:

I believe sex energy is not only the life force, but also the source of all creativity. Each orgasm is a precious moment of joy. Sex quiets the mind, deep breathing brings oxygen into the bloodstream, the heart is exercised as it pumps blood through the veins, hormones and endorphins are released, the skin sweats, muscular tension is heightened and then drained, followed by deep relaxation and a sense of well-being with feelings of contentment through an intimate connection with ourselves or another person. As we awaken our bodies through the senses, we awaken our minds to the knowledge that all living things are connected – on Earth and throughout the vast universe.

This sexual health op-ed is written by an anonymous contributor.


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Julia Cabrera-Woscek

Hehehehehehe, Karen .

Martha B.
Martha B.2 years ago

I think that the designation of May as MB month so many has been such a help to so many women. Orgasm is so important and essential after all. This gives us permission to focus on our own pleasure, to try new things, and develop our orgasms. As the flowers blossom in May, the passion parties heat up and so do our needs. We all find ourselves practicing and enjoying it just a little more with each passing May. It has really helped melt the old, outdated, misunderstandings associated with MB in the past and we all enjoy it so much more these days.

Roberto MARINI
Roberto M2 years ago

masturbation can be a way to discovering our sexuality

Karen P.
Karen P3 years ago

So shall we have 'Abstinence April' and 'Coitus Christmas' as well?

Karen P.
Karen P3 years ago

Wot about the rest of the year?

Angela P.
Angie P3 years ago

Too funny. Never knew there was a month for this. Some of the comments - TMI.

Kevin Brown
Kevin Brown3 years ago

Lol, Dotti, maybe some of us are not finished yet?

Dotti Lydon
Dotti L3 years ago

Why hasn't this article been taken down? No answer expected. This is November!!

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson3 years ago


Don Vreeland
Don Vreeland3 years ago

I tried to ask my 'insurance company nurse' and told her it bugged me to ask.

One hung up on me.
The other yelled at me, "ASK YOUR DOC!"
My PhD, Ed told me and I then had to confirm it out on my own.


WEB MD: 20 X A month delays and ONLY DELAYS the onset of prostate problems.
- as soon as possible (even 12 y. o.) and as often as possible.

2 X by TV Dr. Oz. "6 X a week" / "5 X a week" - A euphemism: PROSTATE THERAPY.
TV: The Doctor's (intimations).

P. T. isn't 'M', it's 'seminal ejaculation' by ANY means possible.

email me for 'jokes':
... to delay 100% certainty of onset. - OR U R dead to not have 'onset' is the only way.