The origins of masturbation month
Though it may seem a little gimmicky, the San Francisco-based sex shop Good Vibrations actually invented this month-long celebration in 1995 in response to the firing of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders. In 1994 at a United Nations conference on AIDS, Elders was asked if she thought promoting masturbation might be an effective way to prevent young people from engaging in risky sexual activity.
Elders, who for years had been deeply engaged in campaigning for sex education at all levels of schooling, replied, “I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.”
She was relieved of her post one week later for “values contrary to the administration.” That would be the Clinton administration, whose leader’s own values vis à vis appropriate sexual conduct came into question throughout his career.