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masturbatePhiladelphia is hosting this year’s Masturbate-A-Thon. The event began Wednesday and is slated to run through May 27. The sex-positive event marks the celebration of National Masturbation Month, which takes place every May, reports the Huffington Post.

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Masturbate-A-Thon is a yearly event that began back in 1995, where participants raise money for charity and increase public awareness to get rid of the stigma of shame attached to this form of self-love and to encourage self-pleasure as a safer and healthier form of sexual expression. Over the last few years, Masturbate-A-Thon has raised thousands of dollars for countless organizations that have benefited causes such as HIV/AIDS awareness and women’s health initiatives.

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The event’s organizers claim that masturbation is something of a cure-all! Masturbation, organizers claim, relieves stress, increases stamina, helps to secrete endorphins (feelings of well-being) in the body, improves cardiovascular health, cures insomnia and menstrual cramps, decreases bouts of prostatitis in men, helps combat depression and anxiety, decreases candidiasis in women (yeast infections), improves pelvic muscle strength in women and overall sexual relations.

The monies given by sponsors of the event is based on duration–basically, the length of time for which a participant masturbates

The Masturbate-A-Thon is monitored by officials who verify that all of the methods used are within the event’s guidelines and ensure that there is no cheating involved.

Thus far, the world record holder of the “Longest Time Spent Masturbating” is Todd Campbell of South Wales, U.K., whose 2009 record of masturbating for 9 hours and 58 minutes has yet to be beaten.

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