Police will be holding their truncheons tightly this weekend on standby to protect the controversial screening of Europe’s fist ever sponsored Masturbate-A-Thon.
Protests are rumoured to be arranged from groups opposed to pornography or sex on television this weekend outside Drop Studios in Clerkenwell Road, where Channel 4 is filming a programme seeking to raise awareness of, and dispel the taboos that persist around the sexual activity.
The event, open to both the straight and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, is organised by sexual health agency Marie Stope International, HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust and ID Lubricants.
The studios will provide soft lighting, softer furnishings, relaxing music and dedicated areas to suit all tastes, from solo booths, to men only and women only spaces, and a mixed sex area for the truly adventurous.
Marie Stopes International’s Tony Kerridge said: “As a global family planning agency, at its core Marie Stopes International is concerned with promoting the individual’s right to enjoy sex safely and, should they choose, without the risk of conception.
“In our work all over the world, every day we see the consequences of fertile orgasms, in the form of unplanned pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS. So it is absolutely right that we associate ourselves with this initiative to promote this risk and consequence free method of sexual expression.”
ID Lubricants (UK) were asked to sponsor the event, Jane Bowles of ID said: “We were delighted to ‘come’ on board. The use of personal lubricants such as ID is perfect as part of safer sex and masturbation.
“With lubricant specifically developed for male masturbation and a variety of options available for male and/or female masturbation, people are sure to have sensationally smooth satisfaction. Lots of samples will be available at the event as well as educational literature and guides. So have some fun!”
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.