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Few subjects have been as maligned and mythologized through the ages and across so many disciplines as masturbation, with descriptions ranging from self-abuse to self-love. This unique volume brings together a wealth of fact and opinion from the pages of linguistics, law, history, social science, philosophy, religion, spirituality, medicine, and many more. Carefully researched and attributed, the author's selections alternately entertain and entrance, while educating us about the breadth and depth of this practice common to all, taboo to some, celebrated by others. The BIG Book of Masturbation addresses the myths and questions that have plagued society for centuries, from whether you get hairy palms and/or go blind from masturbating to whether self-pleasuring is illegal. The author shares with us how porcupines and other animals pleasure themselves, attitudes about solo sex practices from the South Seas to South Africa, and Mark Twain's views on the subject. She also analyzes our culture's seemingly inconsistent responses to the masturbation brouhahas of PeeWee Herman, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, and Ann Landers. Presenting masturbation from a variety of perspectives, this is a thoughtful and intelligent look at the controversies that surround this intriguing and universally practiced--and until now snubbed--behavior.