Masturbation: Putting the Fun Into Self-Loving 2002
8min | Short, Comedy | Video 6 June 2002
Dr. Sigmund Winston, along with the help of his trusty sidekick Billy, teaches the students of the 1950s how to put more excitement into self-loving.
Can one understand Tepnapa’s film as a mere parody of 1950’s educational videos? Of course not, although focused only on humorous motifs one could suspect that his intentions as director conveyed greater meaning.
Each époque has approached masturbation through its own cultural baggage. For some people it might have been duly qualified as a sin, for others as a simple nasty habit. Even in the Victorian Age masturbation was seen as a threat to natural vigor, and a possible cause of harm for upcoming offspring, after all, wasn’t it healthier to save, much like a bank, all of those emissions so that the male could be well provisioned when the time of marriage would be upon him? Unlike popular belief, Victorian people were very concerned about sex, they didn’t ignore it, quite the opposite. In Histoire de la Sexualité, Michel Foucault explains that up until this historical period investigations about human sexual habits had been scarce, at best; from then on sex became almost a scientific obsession which tried to coerce intercourse or control it in order to cater to the needs of progress and production. Scientific minds would prove back then, just as conclusively as they would prove the superiority of one race over another, that masturbation (and any sexual practice that deviated from heterosexual normativity) would actually diminish physical health.
Some might say the Victorian age no longer looms over us. Perhaps it might be so. But then again, if it were truly over, we wouldn’t have such a hilarious film like “Masturbation: putting the fun into self-loving”, which is not only a refreshing take on the subject, spiced with many unique touches (like the very surprising masturbation techniques displayed in it), but mainly the redemption of self-stimulation practices. Perhaps, in the same manner people reacted when Jacques Lacan referred to masturbation as the jouissance of the idiot, this short film is Tepnapa’s most valid answer to a universal act that is still a taboo in the 21st century.
Director: J.T. Tepnapa
Writer: J.T. Tepnapa
Stars: Travis Michael Holder, Sigmond Winston, Adam Browne
Release Date: 6 June 2002 (USA)