Spanking the monkey, flicking the bean, jerking the gherkin… Whatever you call it, now is the time for celebration of all things self-love.
Yes, May is listed in the Calendar as International Masturbation Month. And quite rightly so, as the advent of Summer term means exams, essays and assignments are taking centre stage. We’re all trapped indoors and both human contact and other sources of joy are increasingly scarce – it’s an obvious solution.
Hopefully you’ve all figured out by now that you’re not going to go blind or grow hair on your palms if you dance the five finger shuffle. But, that doesn’t mean some bizarre myths about masturbation haven’t persisted into 2014. Number one of course being that it’s a boy thing. It’s gross and sweaty and girls don’t do it. Anyone who still believes this in the twenty-first century, just mull it over for ten seconds – I mean, why wouldn’t we?
As a History student, I feel obliged to mention that the idea that good girls don’t touch themselves isn’t new. Unnatural associations of female masturbation have been going on for ages. In the Victorian times, women who wanked were particularly troubling. Sexual urges and desire could be indicative of insanity, and truly barbaric things were done in the name of controlling these traits. On the extreme end of these were the application of leeches to the genital organs (nope), or the clitoridectomy (definitely not). Thankfully the NHS has moved on from that, but taboos surrounding women’s self-pleasure persist.
Another myth is that it’s only people who can’t get any elsewhere who need to masturbate – this is also false. American research indicates that people who have sex actually masturbate more often than people who don’t. Too, some people are still spreading the idea that it’s bad for you – again, not true. It actually has a lot of health benefits; it helps everything from cramping, to lowering blood pressure, to prostate cancer prevention, to pain relief and even self-esteem.
So long as everything’s all legal and not inadvertently harming someone else (ie. using abusive or exploitative pornography) then it’s all good. There’s no real ‘normal’ when it comes to getting yourself off. People have different fantasies and fetishes. Some people use porn, some people don’t. Some use toys, some go manual. Some do it daily, others more sporadically. A minority of people don’t feel the need to do it at all, which is also fine, obviously. Whatever works for you and keeps you happy.
Personally, I’m a fan. It’s a stress buster, a sleep aid and of course, it feels good. The other day I got distracted mid-revision, and went downtown whilst the Communist Manifesto played on audio-book in the background (true story – I did say I was a History student). Which I mention only because if I had a penis, this would be the perfect place for an ‘Uprising in the Lower Classes’ pun. Sadly, I might have to make something out of being ‘an appendage to the machinery.’ Regardless, it’s a worrying indicator of my life to date.
Happy May, everybody. Go fuck yourselves.