SAN FRANCISCO — Good Vibrations says, "It's National Masturbation Month! Give yourself a hand! Or a vibrator, or something else stimulating, and don't forget the lube!"
Good Vibrations founded National Masturbation Month in 1995 in the wake of the controversy surrounding the firing of former Clinton administration Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who evoked conservative wrath when she opined that discussion of masturbation might have a place in sex education curricula.
Realizing that one simple, sensible mention of solo pleasuring was enough to lose this prominent woman, the country's first African-American surgeon general, her job convinced Good Vibrations staff that this most basic and accessible form of sex needed a serious image boost.
According to Good Vibrations, National Masturbation Month is still a necessary reminder that self-satisfaction is a healthy, accessible form of pleasure engaged in by almost everyone, of every gender and relationship status, at some time of (or throughout) their lives.
"Too many people still feel uncomfortable about masturbation and guilty about doing it," says Good Vibrations staff sexologist Carol Queen, Ph.D., one of the originators of the National Masturbation Month concept. "If only so much of U.S. culture were not so burdened with ideas that masturbation is shameful, a sin or a poor second choice to partner sex."
Though any toy can be used during sex with a partner, depending on what kind of activities are being enjoyed, certain toys are especially suited or frequently-chosen for solo sex: the Hitachi Magic Wand, favorite of masturbation expert Dr. Betty Dodson the Rabbit Habit and other twice-as-nice styles, the Pure Wand, and the G-Twist, to name a few very popular items.
Men can enjoy a range of sleeves and pumps designed especially for their self-pleasuring enjoyment, like the Cobra Libre stimulator for men and Tenga Eggs.