Masturbate-A-Thon Kicks Off This Weekend

SAN FRANCISCO — The Center for Sex and Culture is gearing up for its annual fundraising Masturbate-A-Thon set for this weekend.

Because of the center’s recent move to a new venue, located at 1349 Mission St., event organizers say this year’s event will be a simple affair. As of now, there will be no live webcasting online, tracking of masturbation timing records and events will be shorter than usual.

But participants will still be able to enjoy themselves. On Saturday, from 7-10 p.m. women and couples are invited to attend. A mens-only and couples session is scheduled for Sunday, May 22 from 2-5 p.m.

Although this year’s Masturbate-A-Thon will be low-key, CSC co-founder/executive director Carol Queen told XBIZ, “Our intention is to be back up to full speed by next year’s event.”

Organizers said the original intent of the Masturbate-A-Thon is to encourage people to talk about masturbation in a positive, non-shamed-based way.

“The goal is twofold,” said Dr. Robert Lawrence, co-founder of the Center for Sex and Culture. “One is to raise consciousness about the pleasure and safer sex aspects and to reduce the shame about a natural human behavior and the other is to raise money for deserving underfunded nonprofits.”

There are three ways to participate in this weekend’s event. Participants can collect pledges from others (organizers suggest a minimum of $10 per hour), collect pledges and do the Masturbate-A-Thon at home, or participants can pledge themselves and take part in the event for a minimum bid of $20.

Lawrence said the event has benefited various organizations and deserving charities around the world, including London, Copenhagen, Toronto, Portland, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and Madison. 

According to the company, sex, toy and novelty shop Good Vibrations started the Maturbate-A-Thon in 1998 as part of a study group after introducing Masturbation Month in 1995 to protest then-President Bill Clinton’s firing of Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders, a supporter of self-stimulation.