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Facts behind the themes explored in A One-Sided Affair

It may seem out there to have someone wanting to improve public health by promoting masturbation to teens, people advocating against masturbation, or an eccentric leaving their large inheritance to cats but truth is as strange as the fiction in A One-Sided Affair.

The m-word

“America is at once the most licentious culture since Rome and the most puritan country in the world.”

— Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy,  Alfred Kinsey’s biographer

Dr. Joycelyn Elders was fired as Surgeon General after suggesting teaching teens about masturbation would be healthy. 


At a 1994 United Nations conference on AIDS, Elders was asked if she thought teaching children about masturbation might reduce unsafe sexual behaviors and replied, "I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught."


The Christian Right and right-wing extremists, like Rush Limbaugh, were outraged at her comments and pressured president Clinton to ask for her resignation.

Elders wrote a book about her experience Joycelyn Elders, M.D.: From Sharecropper's Daughter to Surgeon General of the United States of America, was included in TIME’s list of the most influential women of the past century and continues to advocate for comprehensive sex education.

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Modern Hoax Anti-Masturbation Organizations

Today, masturbation is widely accepted in the scientific community as healthy and in the mainstream culture as normal. This has resulted in confusing parody organizations like Stop Masturbation Now and Christian Mothers Against Masturbation.

Founder of the former, Eric Sean, says his faith in humanity took a huge hit after seeing how many of the site’s followers missed the satire.

The Real Modern Anti-Masturbation Movement

Despite wider acceptance of masturbation, like all historically morally questionable topics, there is a growing modern movement for old ideas. Besides the usual organized religion suspects (Catholic Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormon Church, Evangelicals etc.), there is now the NoFap movement.

With its roots in a Reddit forum, NoFap promotes ideas that harken back to mid-19th century health advocates Sylvester Graham (of the cracker) and John Harvey Kellogg (of the cereal) who warned against the feminizing and enervating effects of male masturbation, describing it not as a sin but as a habit that could rob boys of their vital life force.

Recently, NoFap has become focused on porn addiction and is raising money to sue the porn industry. In an article published in Psychology Today, David J. Ley Ph.D, wrote about the organization saying,“[NoFap is] linked with moral groups who oppose porn on feminist and religious grounds, and use the same brain-based language to mask that these are actually moral arguments, not medical ones.”

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Masturbation in Film

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Since film was invented, so has masturbation been on film. In the 1920's vibrators made their debut in pornography. Since then, the porn industry has stayed with the staple while cinema has told the stories behind the expression of human sexuality.

Some films focus their plot around masturbation, and many more have featured unforgettable masturbation scenes. Some reflecting the humor of self-gratification and some the horror. Here are our top 5:

1. Sticky: a Self Love Story (2016) is a documentary all about the portrayal of masturbation in film and pop culture in the U.S.

2. Hysteria (2011) explores theories behind Dr. J. Mortimer Granville's invention of the vibrator in 1883.

3. Spanking the Monkey (1994) is a movie about a man trying to find the space to get one off while living with his mother with an unexpected ending.

4. Mulholland Dr. (2001) It's no surprise that David Lynch's twisting dream of Hollywood depicts the disturbing side of human sexuality in a scene where Naomi Watts's character masochistically masturbates.


5. American Pie (1999) The 90's brought audiences many slapstick masturbation scenes, but this one takes the cake--or, ehm, pie.


strange beneficiary

"A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair." 

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Last year, fashion designer and icon, Karl Lagerfeld passed and left a portion of his $300 million estate to his cat, Choupette. Choupette, who was an income generator in her own right, is being taken care of by her nanny in Paris. France does not allow estates to be left to animals, but Lagerfeld’s trust must have been set up through his German roots. As of January, the estate still was not settled, so it’s unknown how big a piece of the pie Choupette gets to sit pretty on.

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Dog Grooming

Leona Helmsley, an 80’s icon and real estate mogul, made it clear that she liked her pets more than people in her will. She left her maltese, Trouble, $12 million, twice what she left her grandsons. The pooch lived up to its name after all, being labeled as “the world’s most hated maltese.” Helmsley left the rest of her estate to animal charities, and when Trouble passed the rest of her trust was also given to benefit other animals.

If you don’t have any obvious beneficiaries, how do you choose who to leave your fortune to? Well, Portuguese aristocrat Luis Carlos de Noronha Cabral da Camara went to the phonebook for the answer to that question. He chose 70 names at random and they inherited his estate when he died at age 42.

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A modern American finds out he is a long-lost relative of British royalty. In Hollywood, he would have to take the crown and shenanigans would ensue as in 1991’s King Ralph. In reality, John Hall got a nice chunk of change, almost $300,000, and more invites to family reunions.

A year after Slumdog Millionaire premiered, two cave-dwelling Hungarian brothers had their own real-life rags-to-riches rocket ride. The two were estranged grandchildren of a very wealthy German woman with an estate worth over $5 billion. They had to split it with the woman’s American sister, but didn't have to use any lifelines.

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