Sunday, August 06, 2006
WankAThon Wears Weary, Worries Some
The Thon has its roots here:
The Masturbate-A-Thon is the brainchild of two American sexologists, Dr Carol Queen and Dr Robert Lawrence, and has run in the US for the past six years raising over $25,000 for women's health initiatives and HIV prevention, education and treatment organisations. This event will also benefit HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust.
Participants ask friends and loved ones to sponsor them for a certain amount of money for every minute they masturbate during the Masturbate-A-Thon, or simply for having the courage to turn up and take part.
The participants, who had to be over 18, were almost exclusively male, and included gay men, transvestites with body piercings, an artist's model and a porn actress hired by the Daily Sport. They waited patiently on a cramped staircase before being invited up to a photographic studio which had been decorated with Moroccan-style lanterns and cushions, red and gold drapes, ornate mirrors and erotic pictures and statuettes. Lubricants and pornographic magazines were provided, as were bottles of water, boxes of Capri-Sun and packets of Cadburys shortcake biscuits.
I like the headline from the story in the Guardian, Dozens Join Hands-On Event, (Hands-on...):
The masturbate-a-thon has its roots in the culture wars in America. In 1994 Jocelyn Elders, the surgeon general, was sacked by President Bill Clinton after being accused of saying that masturbation should be taught in US schools. It is perhaps no surprise that the backlash began in San Francisco, standard bearer for flower power and sexual libertarianism.
Participant Neil Crawforth, 28, left his wife at their home in Cambridge while he came to do his thing. 'I'm not a good swimmer and I can't run very far, but this is something I can do for charity,' the software engineer said.
The Guardian story tells about one lone protestor:
Matthew Ball, 34, a local primary school teacher and Christian. He stood outside the building and publicly debated with volunteers while holding placards which said, 'People of Islington? Do you want this? Are you not offended?' and 'Masturbation or public degradation? Did Islington council ask if you wanted this event?' Ball denied that he had been planted by Channel 4 to make good television. He insisted he is 'not against masturbation' but explained: 'If my five-year-old son sees this in a newspaper I don't want to have to explain to him what it's all about. I find the whole thing offensive and I don't want it in my borough. Look at the people standing outside. Are they porn stars or are they really here for charity? Doesn't anybody draw a line anymore? I think it is immoral.'
All in all, events that raise money for charities are a good thing. We may disagree on the nature of the event and how it's publicized. Nor do children need to be made aware of, or exposed to, the more risque specifics of the event.
By the way, did Bill Clinton participate in this charitable event? I'd think he'd be the first one in line to...ummmm .....errr...want to ...contribute to the cause.
The Ex-Ejaculator/President, Bubba attends the WankAThon: "You don't happen to have a blue dress I can use as a target, do you? And can I have me some of them Cadbury Shortcake Biscuits, now?"
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