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child_friendly National Masturbation Day

National Masturbation Day protects and celebrates the right of everyone to masturbate, and it raises awareness about masturbation and highlights its importance. First held on May 7, 1995, it was started by Good Vibrations, a sex-positive sex shop in San Francisco, in response to the firing of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders by President Bill Clinton the previous December. Elders was fired after she made a statement suggesting that masturbation be part of sex education for students. When asked if masturbation could help discourage early sexual activity, she responded by saying, "I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught." She was fired eight days later.

Although the day was first celebrated on May 7, it switched to May 28 in 2005, although some state that it can be celebrated on either date. It's not too odd that people would mention the day taking place on two different dates in May—the whole month is International Masturbation Month, after all!

One of the ways National Masturbation Day has been celebrated is with the holding of a Masturbate-a-thon on or near the day. For example, a Masturbate-a-thon was held on May 7, 1999, where money was raised for AIDS organizations and participants were given bumper stickers that said "I came for a cause." Masturbate-a-thon events have raised tens of thousands of dollars for women's health initiatives and clinics, and for organizations devoted to the prevention, education, and treatment of HIV. The events have helped lessen the stigma associated with masturbation, and have contributed to the conversation about safer sex and safe methods of sexual expression.

Almost everyone masturbates, but it is often seen as taboo by society. Historically it was looked on as being wasteful and as an act that could induce weakness, illness, and insanity. There even were treatments to prevent people from masturbating. Nowadays it is sometimes seen as being immature and selfish and is often still not viewed as an accepted sexual activity. In contrast, Good Vibrations, the creators of the holiday, see it as being safe, an expression of self-love, and as something that provides health benefits. National Masturbation Day helps to raise awareness about these positives and celebrates the right of all to masturbate.

How to Observe

Here are some ideas on how to spend the day:

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