SAN FRANCISCO — During the weekend’s CatalystCon, Good Vibrations Executive Vice President Jackie Strano commended former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders for promoting sexual wellness and informed her that Good Vibrations launched Masturbation month in response to her statement at a 1994 United Nations conference on AIDS.
In 1994, when asked whether masturbation ought to be promoted as an alternative to riskier forms of sex, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders replied, "I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught." The statement cost Elders her job.
Good Vibrations founded National Masturbation Month in 1995 in the wake of the controversy surrounding the firing of the former Clinton administration Surgeon General. The company says that “realizing that one simple, sensible mention of solo pleasuring was enough to lose this prominent woman her job convinced Good Vibrations staff that this most basic and accessible form of sex needed support.”
For the last 19 years Good Vibrations has dedicated the month of May as "Masturbation Month" in homage to Elders, and others have embraced it as well. According to the company, Elders inspired Good Vibes’ dedication to education around the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, transmission of HIV and other STD's, and sharing the merits of pleasure in the realm of sex education.
"Dr. Elders is one of my personal sex positive icons for her bravery and for telling a simple and necessary truth during a climate of intense fear around sexuality in this country's history. I was so honored to meet her and let her personally know that her life's work is celebrated every year by us and means so much to me,” says Strano who was part of the Opening Keynote Plenary Address at CatalystCon.
Dr. Elders delivered the Closing Keynote address and confirmed her commitment to helping people and was pleased to hear about Good Vibrations' work in the field of sex education and providing a safe place to access accurate information and quality sex toys.