Good Vibrations Executive Vice President Jackie Strano Acknowledges Dr. Joycelyn Elders for her Courage around Sexual Health and Wellness
In 1994 at a United Nations conference on AIDS, when asked whether masturbation ought to be promoted as an alternative to riskier forms of sex, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders replied, “I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.” This simple statement cost Elders her job and revealed the depth of shame around sexuality and masturbation, even at the expense of public health.
On September 29th, 2013 Good Vibrations Executive Vice President Jackie Strano had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Joycelyn Elders at CatalystCon in Burbank, CA. Strano honored her courage and informed her that Good Vibrations launched Masturbation month in response to her brave statement.
Good Vibrations, the trusted San Francisco-based company that takes pride in providing accurate information on sexuality and quality sex toys for grown-ups, founded National Masturbation Month in 1995 in the wake of the controversy surrounding the firing of former Clinton administration Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who evoked conservative wrath for her practical acknowledgment of masturbation. Realizing that one simple, sensible mention of solo pleasuring was enough to lose this prominent woman her job convinced Good Vibrations staff that this most basic and accessible form of sex needed support.
For the last 19 years Good Vibrations has dedicated the month of May as “Masturbation Month” in homage to Elders’ bravery and commitment to pleasure, sex positivity and sex education, and to remember the sound advice from ‘America’s Doctor.’ Elders is distinguished not only for her candid and sensible views on sex education, but also for being the country’s first African-American and first female Surgeon General. Dedicating a month in her honor seemed like a fitting tribute.
Others have embraced Good Vibrations’ declaration of May as Masturbation month, but Good Vibrations pays tribute most sincerely to Dr. Elders’ work with dedicated education around the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, transmission of HIV and other STD’s, and sharing the merits of pleasure in the realm of sex education. Elders inspired Good Vibrations, and the company is happy to inspire others.
“Dr. Elders is one of my personal sex positive icons for her bravery and for telling a simple and necessary truth during a climate of intense fear around sexuality in this country’s history. I was so honored to meet her and let her personally know that her life’s work is celebrated every year by us and means so much to me”, says Strano who was part of the Opening Keynote Plenary Address at CatalystCon, the vital and compelling conference held twice a year on alternating coasts. Dr. Elders delivered the Closing Keynote address and confirmed her commitment to helping people and was pleased to hear about Good Vibrations’ work in the field of sex education and providing a safe place to access accurate information and quality sex toys.