SAN FRANCISCO—To celebrate May as Masturbation Month, adult sex-positive retailer 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 Masturbation Month in 1995 after former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders was released form her job after encouraging discussion of masturbation in sex education curricula.

Some things have changed since 1995, but National Masturbation Month—now International 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: It's relaxing, allows people to learn more about their own sexual response, is a basic recommendation of sex therapists that can help people with many different sexual concerns, relieves menstrual cramps, and helps keep the genitals fully functional. On top of that, it's the safest form of sex a person can have.

To mark International Masturbation Month, Good Vibrations staff sexologist Dr. Carol Queen who was inducted into the Masturbation Hall of Fame in 1995, will offer a free lecture on Thursday, May 16.

“Ask Our Doc! Masturbation Demystified with Dr. Carol Queen” is slated for 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109. Whether you've been doing it for years and are looking for some new methods or haven't yet found your groove, celebrate Masturbation Month at this fun and informative workshop. Learn about human anatomy, the physiology of orgasm, masturbation techniques and sex toys. All genders and sexualities are welcome.

"Too many people still feel uncomfortable about masturbation and guilty about doing it," Queen said. "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."   

Over the years Good Vibrations has done hundreds of press interviews about masturbation, encouraged other sex businesses and organizations to help celebrate Masturbation Month, engaged customers' creativity in compiling lists of favorite masturbation euphemisms, places to masturbate, and stranger-than-fiction masturbation stories, and curated a show of video clips from the great masturbation educators, like Dr. Betty Dodson, author of Sex For One. Good Vibrations also created and promoted the Masturbate-a-Thon, a charity event that encourages people to get pledges from their friends and raise funds via masturbation. (This event was celebrated privately by individuals; it has since morphed into a public event, not conducted by Good Vibrations, that raises funds for the Center for Sex & Culture, and Masturbate-a-Thons are also held in other parts of the country and world—the other largest one is an annual event in Copenhagen.) 

Good Vibrations continues to celebrate masturbation as each individual's pleasure birthright, and as a basic pleasure that is the foundation for our other sexual experience, confidence, and empowerment. Visit Good Vibrations for information (in books, videos, and from the retailers’ trained sex educator sales associate staff members), pleasure products of all kinds (vibrators, dildos, and of course lubricants), and inspiration (erotic books and movies). Whether shared with a partner or kept as a solo secret, self-love is accessible to, and good for, everyone.

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