Each member of my school’s sexual health education group was given a summer reading assignment. Mine was a lengthy one: The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, by Cathy Winks and Anne Semans. Though I haven’t read the book in its entirety (come on guys, it’s long, and the book itself is HUGE), I have read enough sections to truly sing its praises.
I was particularly impressed with this edition’s 20 page chapter on masturbation. While most sex manuals give a nod to masturbation, Semans and Winks literally devote an entire chapter to it. They do a lovely job of making the material reader-friendly. The text is a combination of readers’ sentiments, historical context, masturbation tips and tricks, and personal stories.
The authors do a great job of breaking down the taboo that seems to go hand in hand (pun intended) with masturbation. Here are a few interesting tidbits that I learned from the section:
- Masturbation – or at least genital self-touching – starts young; ultrasound images have shown that fetuses touch their genitals while in the womb
- It wasn’t until 1972 that the American Medical Association declared masturbation a normal sexual activity
- There are references to masturbation in the Bible
- According to Chinese Taoist principle, sexual energy is gender-biased. A female’s “yin” energy is infinite, but a man’s “yang” energy can be exhausted, so men are taught to control ejaculation
I found that as I reader, I felt very much at ease reading this section. I would highly recommend this particular chapter to anyone that has ever felt that masturbation is wrong or taboo. If anything, it will remind you that you aren’t alone, and that masturbating is kind of like picking your nose- everybody does it, but nobody likes to talk about it. Of course the book is good for more than just this chapter, and I will keep you all updated as I read more!
You can also read more about masturbation in The Big Book of Masturbation by Martha Cornog.
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