Maybe self-loving does make you blind

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 06 Aug 2006 13:40:28 GMT  <== Philosophy ==> 

Frank Furedi at Spiked - today in London, at a converted photographic studio in Clerkenwell, a Masterbate-a-Thon is being held, to encourage this form of self pleasuring. Unfortunately, says Mr. Furedi, they are simultaneously discouraging intimate relationships. Funny and bizarre as this event is, it's actually a pretty good article. [grabbe]

The organisers of this spectacle claim the objective is to encourage people to 'explore safe sex' and 'talk about masturbation and lift the taboos that still surround the subject by coming to a public place and coming in a public place'. I have always suspected that sexologists love to talk 'dirty' -- that is why they attach such significance to 'vagina monologues' and talking about wanking. They claim that openly discussing masturbation is an important part of an overall enlightened sexual etiquette. According to a leaflet produced by the Family Planning Association, Masturbation -- Support Notes, talking about it 'encourages safe and non-judgmental environments in which people can explore their sexuality'.


But there are rules. The event sponsors, who clearly buy in to today's health-obsessed ideology, forbid participants from doing drugs, drinking alcohol or smoking. Though you can bring your own toys, you are asked not to 'share them or to offer them to anyone else after you', since 'this constitutes a clear risk to others'. And no cheating! There will be monitors on hand -- sort of -- to clock the duration of your contribution and count your orgasms. With a hint of self-parody, participants are warned that 'monitors shall carry a clipboard to keep notes on time and consistency of self-pleasuring'.


There is, of course, nothing new about warning individuals against the unrealistic expectation of romantic attachments. But what distinguishes today's warnings is that they recast the desire for passionate love, the exhilaration of intimacy and the painful disappointment of losing an intimate partner as symptoms of a disease. But actually, those things are what our lives are all about. Instead of encouraging people to escape from such risks and passions, we should try living them instead.

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