At the end of 2009 there was a small media storm in Spain when it came to light that the Junta de Extremadura, in socialist hands, had organized, within its curriculum of sex education for students, masturbation workshops for girls and boys over fourteen years of age, a programme that it entitled, somewhat mischievously, ‘Pleasure is in Your Hands.’

[…] How many things have changed since my childhood when the Salesian Fathers and the La Salle Brothers – who ran the schools I went to – scared us with the idea that ‘improper touching’ produced blindness, tuberculosis and madness. Six decades later we have jerking-off classes in schools. Now that is progress.

Or is it really?

My curiosity sparks any number of questions. Do they take notes? Do they have examinations? Are the workshops theoretical or also practical? What feats will students need achieve to get a good grade, and what fiascos would warrant a fail mark? Would it depend on the amount of knowledge that the students could memorize, or on the speed, quantity and consistency of the orgasms produced by the girls’ and boys’ tactile dexterity? I am not joking. If one has the courage to set up workshops to enlighten child development in the techniques of masturbation, then these questions are pertinent.

– Mario Vargas Llosa, Notes on the Death of Culture (2015)


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