Mommy, Guess What I Learned in School Today

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

The sexual climate, which in recent years has lifted all sort of taboos,seems of late to be smiling on masturbation. Oregon psychotherapist Joseph LoPiccolo uses masturbation therapy to help married women achieve first orgasm. Moving on down the age scale, recent advice-to-the-teenager books (The Sex Book, The Little Red School Book) give qualified endorsements to masturbation, and the sex education program of the Unitarian Church now counsels young believers on [masturbation's] "positive and beneficial aspects."

It was inevitable that sooner or later someone would recommend masturbation for preschoolers. Genevieve Painter, a Chicago educator and author of Teach Your Baby, told PT that wise parents will encourage their infants—especially the little girls—to explore their sexual zones. "Frequently, a non-orgasmic woman is one who has never experimented with her body," Painter says—an observation that tallies with LoPiccolo's. "If we had organized sex play at the nursery-school level," she added, "such cases would be rare."

--from "Tie Line" by Kenneth Goodall, March 1972.

Current Issue

Just Say It

When and how should we open up to loved ones?