26 Jan Don’t Let Your Kids Learn About Jackin It From Someone Like Me!
Especially when there are great books like this out there.
As I’ve admitted before, sometimes I just type stuff like “dicks” or “penisbate” into search bars on Groupon or Amazon just to see what comes up when I do it. Most times it’s nothing of note. But sometimes, I find discount masturbation toys that are pretty great. And sometimes I stumble upon children’s books that I then need to buy for everyone I know who has a child.
Everybody Masturbates was written by Cristian YoungMiller (all one word, no space, no hyphen) who is a bit of an enigma, as authors go. In addition to Everybody, he also wrote a companion book for girls (unimaginatively titled Everybody Masturbates For Girls), a book about how it’s “not gay” if you have “those thoughts,” and then a book about an abusive, alcoholic penis who goes on a journey of self discovery where he learns various methods of penis enlargement and self acceptance. It’s… as weird as it sounds.
But the book we’re here to talk about today is smart, charming, and something I recommend if you are/have/know a child. Masturbation is one of those things that is often allowed to fall by the wayside in whatever discussions parents have about the “birds and the bees.” Or whatever people call it now. The “sexts and the selfies.”
I can remember being told explicitly what heterosexual intercourse was all about (in the context of making a baby, for the most part, but not exclusively), and although “doing it yourself” did come up, it was something my parents found more amusing than practical, and the idea was adjourned for a ‘later’ conversation that never took place.
As I discussed in probably too much detail in this post, I started jackin it youngly, and while I never had any sense that it was wrong or bad, nobody ever really told me it was ok. Just that I needed to stop doing it in the back yard when I thought I was home by myself because the neighbors thought it was weird. It would have been useful to have a book like this at some point (even just to read to myself) to reassure me that it was not just fine, but great to do. My sister and I had a ton of books growing up and whenever I wasn’t sure about something, I would do a lot of research about it (in books or online, depending on how much alone time I had with my computer) before I addressed whatever it was to a grownup.
Everybody Masturbates is a short and simple story about Billy (who is either a giant apple with a body, or a person with a giant apple head), who gets caught jackin it by his older brother, who then proceeds to tell him that he’s gonna get hairy palms if he keeps doing it. Billy is appropriately dismayed by this, and requires a talking-to from his father, who (unlike a lot of dads) has a casual and comforting talk in the park with his son about the realities of masturbation (it’s great and everybody does it) without it veering into pervy weirdness, or damaging religious nonsense. In fact, I’d like to share my favorite passage in the book, to demonstrate how evenhandedly and thoughtfully the subject is handled:
Billy and his dad walked a little further before Billy’s dad continued. “As you get older there will be people who tell you that it’s wrong to masturbate. And when that happens, you will have to listen to everything they tell you and then think about everything you know.
After that, you will have to decide whether or not you should stop. That is the type of decision that you will have to make as you get older.
But I can tell you that cavemen used to masturbate. Even those people that have their pictures on money masturbated. It is something we all do.”
I genuinely can’t tell you about a single children’s book from my youth that offered the mature and erudite advice to “listen to everything they tell you and then think about everything you know.” I’d be pretty hard pressed to find an adult book that offered such thoughtful civility.
With endearing and tasteful illustrations by Andrew Toutant, Everybody Masturbates should, quite frankly be the next Goodnight Moon, or Everybody Poops. Though I have little faith that we’re advanced enough just yet to treat our children with that kind of forthrightness and respect. The good news is, you can do something small about it!
If you know a kid that you think is an appropriate age for such a lesson, and who has parents who might not handle this particular subject with the sensitivity or good humor that it deserves, suggest this book (or just send it to them. It’s $8 on Amazon, and well worth it). If you have a kid who might need some guidance about how to avoid misinformation and bullshit, then that’s even better! If you’re on my site reading this, you’re probably already pretty enlightened, but this story is a great way for you to share your enlightened attitude with your kid, without inappropriate strangeness.
Everybody Masturbates, Everybody Masturbates For Girls, and Everybody Has Those Thoughts (So It Doesn’t Mean You’re Gay) are by Cristian YoungMiller and can be found on Amazon.com.
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