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Masturbation Month Comes to Town


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In Philly at least.

Masturbation Month Comes to Town

If you didn’t know May was National Masturbation Month, you’re not alone—nor are you even necessarily Catholic. The annual observance doesn’t have a hugely high profile. It started in 1995 in—where else?—San Francisco, as a response to the forced resignation of U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. After a speech at the United Nations World AIDS Day in 1994, an audience member asked Elders about masturbation’s potential for discouraging early sexual activity. She replied: “I think [it] is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.”

That was the end of the first black surgeon general’s Washington career, but the beginning of National Masturbation Month, a protest effort started by the company Good Vibrations. This year it has its Philadelphia debut.

Elicia Gonzalez, 34, is spearheading the local self-pleasure education effort in conjunction with the Mazzoni Center, Philadephia’s LGBT health center, where, as manager of the Collective, Gonzalez addresses sexual practice and drug use among men of color. We spoke with her about the fine art of onanism.

What motivated you to start a National Masturbation Month observance in Philly?

“I initially had the idea to do it primarily because at Mazzoni we talk about masturbation quite often with clients, and I talk with my staff about talking to their clients about masturbation as a way of expressing their sexuality, but doing so with very low risk. I knew that May was coming around and that raising awareness about masturbation in general would be a good idea.”

And it seems to tie into the workshop you offer to women on the subject.

“I’ve had a longstanding mission to help empower and educate females. I did the workshop at the LGBT Women of Color Conference and at Sister Song. The workshop helps women dispel the myths surrounding masturbation and encourages women to talk openly about their values and beliefs about masturbation, which is also the goal is for the Hot Button event.”

So the Hot Button event is a party?

“We’re having a sort of Hot Button lounge, if you will, in the basement of the Fuse party and we’re going to have a Masturbation 101 workshop, a sexuality Pictionary and masturbation Quizzo. So that’s going to be a very fun and interactive way of getting education out there but also raising awareness and helping people talk about it. Because a lot of the shame and stigma that I’ve heard comes from not being able to discuss it openly and honestly, and being really ashamed about it.”

Hot Button Party,

May 16, 10pm-3am. $5.

Fuse Party at XO Lounge,

15th and South sts. (behind FISO).

mazzonicenter.org

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The workshop helps women dispel the myths surrounding masturbation and encourages women to talk openly about their values and beliefs about masturbation, which is also the goal is for the Hot Button event.

Yeah, I got a half-chub:evilg:

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