May is National Masturbation Month, and as one who is proud to be a frequent masturbator, I wanted to honour the occasion on my site. At first, I was just going to put together a list of fun facts and interesting ideas, of which there are many where masturbation is concerned, but then I came across a fabulous article by Eric Francis over on Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross’s Sex Information Online site. And it got me thinking.
In his post, ‘What Exactly is Masturbation Month,’ Eric Francis wonders why most sites by and for singles, to promote and validate the single lifestyle don’t discuss masturbation. The surprising answer seems to be that masturbation is a subject even happily single people just aren’t comfortable discussing. But what intrigued me most was Eric’s speculation as to why that might be:
‘I would propose that masturbation is about a lot more than masturbation — and that’s the reason it’s still considered so taboo by many people, and in many places. First, I would say that masturbation holds the key to all sexuality. It’s a kind of proto-sexuality, the core of the matter of what it means to be sexual. I mean this in an existential sense. Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body. Whatever we experience when we go there is what we bring into our sexual encounters with others — whether we recognize it or not. Many factors contribute to obscuring this simple fact.’
I read this through several times, savored it, and read it again. The ancient Egyptians believed masturbation was a creative act in its own right. In the Heliopolis creation myth, the god Amen rises from the primeval ocean, Nun, and masturbates the divine son and daughter into existence, and they populate the world. Even if I look at the Judeo/Christian myth in the first two chapters of Genesis, where God speaks the world into existence, I am still looking at a solo act.
I love Eric’s line, ‘Masturbation is the most elemental form of sexuality, requiring only awareness and a body.
Awareness and Body. What a fabulous combination! Eric even goes on to say that whatever we bring from that proto experience of masturbation, we bring into our other relationships as well. In other words, it’s formative, that solo act, that original creative force. It brings awareness and body together. Isn’t that what it’s all about? The discovery of who we are in relation to ourselves is key if we are to be able to properly enter into discovery of ‘The Other.’ Doesn’t the act of creation, metaphorical or otherwise, begin with taking an inventory of what we’ve got to work with and learning how best to work with what we have to bring forth what we hope to create?
Every February, my husband and I get out the vegetable seed we’ve stored over the winter to see what we need for the veg patch in the spring. We spread everything out on the floor in front of us, and I get out my cunning plan, the mock-up drawing of what I want in our beds and where I want it. Then, we take inventory. It’s not just that we have three packets of peas and a packet of beefsteak tomatoes, but it’s reminiscing about how yummy those tomatoes were last year and how we didn’t have nearly as many peas as we’d have liked. It’s planning and scheming how we can have more, and discussing which is the best kind of sweet corn to plant, and making sure we have enough yellow courgette seed. Though it’s usually done with lots of wine or coffee for refreshment, depending on the time of day, the whole exercise is really all about how we’ll create this lovely veg garden we see in our minds’ eye now that we’ve inventoried what we have to work with.
Awareness and a body. Masturbating the world into existence. It happens all the time. At the risk of offering too much information, my understanding of sex, my deepest understanding of my own sexuality, comes from awareness and my own body. That’s what I have to work with. My understanding of writing, my deepest understanding of the creative forces in me also comes from awareness and my own self.
I’m astounded that in a world where solitude and the meditative tradition is a part of almost every religious discipline, we shy away from the very concept that could have well given birth to it, awareness and Body. Can there really even BE awareness without a body? And how can we possibly understand the boundaries and the limits of either without the two rubbing up against each other. Our act of one-ness, our proto-sexuality, as Eric Francis calls to it, I suggest is by its boundary-exploring nature, also our proto-creativity.
National Masturbation Month honours awareness and body and the discovering of our own boundaries, that which separates us from everything else. And beautifully, amazingly, astoundingly, it is discovery and exploration of our own boundaries that eases and enhances our journey into connectedness.
I just found out today that The Pet Shop will be released on May 12 on PDF and eBook through Xcite Books! Excited, who? Moi? I’ve just been over to the Xcite cite to check it out, and there it is complete with a really steamy excerpt. Go on, tak a peek… As soon as I know more I’ll be crowing all over the place about it, so stay tuned. The release date for the paperback and the launch party at Sh!, which may very well spill out into the streets in a froth of happy pink fizz bubbles will be in October. Oh yes! The fun is just beginning!
Coffee Time Romance started out the month of May with a Book Brew With Coffee Crew event entitled ‘love conquers all.’ Along with a group of other romance writers, I was interviewed by the fabulous crew and given the chance to talk about The Initiation of Ms Holly and what obstacles my characters had to overcome in order for love to conquer all. It was a fabulous start to the month, and I’d like to thank everyone at CTR who made it such a fun event.
Friday night, all the fun will be at Sh! Hoxton while I get to read just a few of the juicy bits of The Pet Shop as a sneak-view, and the totally yummy Kay Jaybee wil be reading from her hard-hitting, temperatur raising novel, The Perfect Submissive, as well as her new story collection, Yes Ma’am. We’ll be joined by the very talented Mayo, who will be exhibiting her gorgeous erotic art. Pink fizz, cupcakes and fun all around.
Then it’s home for two days and off, once again, for some fun, fell walking, and more research for Lakeland Heatwave in the gorgeous Lake District. Sigh. How I suffer for my art.
Still to come… poetry, music, more on the proper care and keeping of Pets, fabulous guests and lots more. Here’s wishing you a fabulous May!