Beating the bishop. Choking the chicken. Painting the ceiling. Punching the clown. Spanking the monkey. Polishing the family jewels. Stroking the pussy. Feeding the bearded clam. Muff buffing. Finger blasting. Polishing the pearl. Rubbing one out. Depending on who you ask, it can be thought of as self-love or as self-abuse.
95% of men and 89% of women admit to having tried it, with almost half of the men and nearly a quarter of the women indulging themselves daily. Since May is National Masturbation Month, I thought I’d explore the historical and cultural significance of self-exploration:
Flying Solo Is Common When the Co-Pilot Isn’t Around
Its a common myth that people in relationships don’t masturbate. Alfred Kinsley’s landmark 1948 and 1956 surveys found that almost 40% of men and 30% of women in relationships masturbated, and that number has steadily grown since then. Current figures from Playboy and Redbook put the number for both genders closer to 70%.
A sex shop in France is attempting to capitalize on the “video game widow” syndrome that many couples were facing after the release of the hotly anticipated Diablo III. They hosted a Facebook contest where people posted a picture of themselves with a copy of the game responsible for stealing all their partner’s time, and they would receive a voucher for a free small sex toy.
What Cavemen Did With Their Boners
Pretty much as early as human figured out that it felt good to touch themselves down there, they’ve looked for ways to make it even easier and even better. The oldest dildo on record is carved from stone and dates back approximately 28,000 years. Unearthed from a German cave, it measures 3 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters long, about 6 centimeters longer than the average German man’s erect penis.
I Knew There was a Good Reason NOT To Eat Corn Flakes!
Masturbation had a really bad reputation throughout the 1700 and 1800s, started by the publication of an anonymous text entitled “Onania; or, The Heinous Sin of Self Pollution, and all its Frightful Consequences…” With a lively title like that, it’s easy to see why it was a best-seller! During this time, masturbation was associated with a score of mental and physical ailments including mental retardation, epilepsy, insanity, leprosy, and vision problems.
One of its most outspoken critics in the 19th century was cereal mogul Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. He was adamantly against masturbation and advocated circumcision and anti-masturbation devices like bandages and cages for boys and the application of carbolic acid to young girls’ clitorises to curb masturbation.
Another tactic he used in the fight to end self-pleasure was diet, namely controlling what people ate for breakfast. Certain foods were thought to heat the blood and provide excitement, so Kellogg invented a bland, unstimulating cereal still popular to this day: Corn Flakes. Other products from this time with a similar origin include Grape Nuts and Graham Crackers.
Would you Spank a Monkey for Spanking its Monkey?
Human beings aren’t the only ones that have been caught pleasuring themselves. Masturbation is quite widespread in the animal kingdom, especially amongst primates such as the rhesus monkeys, Japanese macque, and bonobo. Scientists now are considering the potential for an evolutionary aspect to the development of this behavior.
Certain animals have even developed specialized methods of masturbation. Female porcupines have been observed straddling and riding sticks like makeshift dildos. Male and female birds rub their sexual organ, the multipurpose cloaca, on an object or a perch. But really, its moose who have it best of all: they can reach orgasm simply by rubbing their antlers on trees.