The 2012 Masturbate-a-Thon: Who’s Coming?

National Masturbation Month is one of our favorite times here at Good Vibrations. And what better way to celebrate it than to raise money for the Center for Sex and Culture?

CSC is an amazing organization. Carol Queen & Robert Lawrence have created a venue for all sorts of sexuality events, community groups, and performances. They host art shows, discussion panels, and social gatherings. Plus, the library is simply staggering- if you want to see one of the few sexuality libraries that’s available to the public, visit CSC.

The Masturbate-a-thon is a great time. Instead of getting pledges for each mile you walk, you get them for each minute you masturbate! And you can do your bit at home, with a friend, or anywhere you want to. As long as everyone participating or watching is consenting, of course!) For the more adventurous, you can come to CSC on May 27 and join the group event. Here’s all the info, from the CSC website. And remember- it’s for charity!


Sunday, May 27, 2012, 10:00am
To Monday, May 28, 2012 

Sunday, May 27, 10am-midnight
Arrive by 9pm
$40 minimum self-sponsorship; or bring sponsorship form with pledges. DOWNLOAD PLEDGE FORM

Come for a Cause while supporting CSC’s operations and programs. All genders and all orientations are welcome to explore self-pleasure in a supportive group environment at this one-of-a-kind event. 18 and over only, please.

The Masturbate-a-Thon began as part of Good Vibrations’s National Masturbation Month. Started in 1995 after then-Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders was fired for saying that “masturbation… is perhaps something that should be taught” about in the context of sex education classes, NMM was intended to get people to talk about self-pleasure, which is so frequently a silent element in our sex lives. Every year Good Vibrations added something new to the mix: the Masturbation Hall of Fame, lists of favorite masturbation euphemisms and places to masturbate,  and finally the Masturbate-a-Thon was born. In that context a private event (one person, or a couple would get pledges from appropriate people) in which money was raised based on how long people spent masturbating (comparable to the way a Walk-a-Thon is based on distance). Good Vibrations disbursed 100% of the money to its NMM charities, which focused on sex education and sexual health.

A few years later, after CSC director — and also Good Vibrations Staff Sexologist — Dr. Carol Queen had been doing morning drive-time radio interviews with shock jocks who all wanted to come be judges at the Masturbate-a-Thon, and having to protest that it was not a group event, she and Robert (her life partner and co-founder of the Center for Sex & Culture) looked at each other and said, “WE could hold one.” The live Masturbate-a-Thon, while not administered by Good Vibes, has the originating organization’s blessing, and has been an annual event since 2000.

Participants may sponsor themselves at a $40 minimum level, or bring a sponsorship form with pledges they have collected from others (form will be available soon on All funds go to support CSC, a non-profit which subsists on event fees, donations, and fundraising events. Participants are responsible for collecting and remitting all pledges.

Awards are given for longest duration spent masturbating and most orgasms (while CSC doesn’t think masturbation ought to be competitive, this has proved to be a real crowd-pleaser). Interested people who cannot attend will be able to follow to Masturbate-a-Thon via live-blog and Twitter; of course, they are urged to participate from home.

The Masturbate-a-Thon is a comfortable and good-humored event which attempts to create a safe and friendly space for self-pleasure. Co-founder Queen says, “We try not to take this event too seriously; I like to tell people that it’s like a walk-a-thon, except at the end your feet don’t hurt… unless you masturbate in a very unusual fashion! If so, we’d like to interview you about it. But we are utterly serious about the rights of people to masturbate and to feel comfortable about it.”

Part of the room blocked off for women only, another area for men only; the larger part of the room will have all genders. A stage at one side will feature entertainment off and on through the day. Most participants say they attend the Masturbate-a-Thon because they love to masturbate and want to be in a space that validates that; others say they are so nervous about doing it, that they realize it might really help them break through fears.

If space allows, a voyeur section may also be included. Please see CSC’s Twitter feed on May 27 for updates: @CentrSexCulture.


Location: CSC, 1349 Mission Street (at Grace Street between 9th and 10th streets) in San Francisco

Dr. Charlie Glickman

Charlie Glickman is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He also writes, blogs, teaches workshops and university courses, presents at conferences, and trains sexuality educators. He’s certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and loves geeking out about sex, relationships, sex-positivity, love and shame, communities of erotic affiliation, and sexual practices and techniques of all varieties. Follow him online, on Twitter at @charlieglickman, or on Facebook.

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