Masturbation in America in the 21st Century
To understand what masturbation will be like in both practice and attitude over the next 94 years, we must first look back at the previous century.
Entering the year 1900, American masturbation was looked at as essentially an illness that both men and women needed to be cured of. Although this was the case, it was seen as far more ?problematic? in boys and men, as females were simply less likely to participate in it. Reflecting back, its impossible to ignore the influence of the various Christian churches on sexual pleasure. Since masturbation, oral sex, and anal sex were not pregnancy inducing sexual practices they were deemed immoral. Over most of the 20th century, morality and religion were considered practically synonymous.
Sexual relief was available to people, though. Prostitution was widespread, and far more acceptable for a man to partake in than masturbation. Women could actually go to their physician to be treated for "female hysteria." The physician would use a rudimentary vibrator to bring the woman to orgasm, and thereby curing the hysteria. Again, note that it was more acceptable to have a practicing family doctor bring a sexually frustrated woman to orgasm, than for her to do it herself.
It wasn't until the sexual revolution of the 1960's (which we should note coincides with widespread availability "the pill"), that sexuality became something that Americans could begin talking about.
As with all "taboo" topics, the ability to communicate openly about the subject lends to less mystery and guilt on that subject. Both The Kinsey Report and The Masters and Johnson studys on human sexuality were instrumental in starting the American dialogue on sex.
In the past 46 years there have been proponents of masturbation such as Betty Dodson, who taught the virtues of "self love" to women. There have been many sex toys invented for the sole purpose and intent of masturbation, such as the Fleshlight for men, and the Sybian for women. The market is flooded with differnt kinds of lubrication, meant to enhance pleasure during masturbation. Pornography, or Erotica is now a multi-billion dollar business in the USA.
Attitudes toward both female and male masturbation as of 2006 are more liberal than ever. With the birth of the information superhighway, came bulletin boards designed to support and encourage masturbation creating an online community of masturbators.
So what can we look forward to in the future? Many manufacturers are looking toward merging computer technology's virtual reality and robotics to create a "virtual partner." If we look closely we can see how technology is working toward meeting this goal. Real Doll, Venus, and the Rocker are all devices that could eventually be synchronized with technology to open up a new dimension to masturbation.