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Fund-raising: Diff'rent Strokes

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"There is such a stigma against masturbation," complains Donald Suggs, a 40-year-old journalist who is proud to say that not only does he do it, he can keep at it for an hour and for a good cause. May 20th was the Masturbate-a-thon, where 1,500 or so New Yorkers took some time off from being masters of their domain to raise money for the Federation of Feminist Women's Health Centers. Participants collected pledges for how many minutes they can keep going -- sort of like a dance-a-thon, only you dance alone. "It's about more than raising money for a good cause," says Claire Cavanah, an owner of Toys in Babeland, the event's sponsor. "It's about delivering the message that masturbation is a positive thing." While 40 folks went at it in a DUMBO loft (managing to raise only $213), for most it was a solo effort. Candy Halikas, a Lisa Loeb-ish Brooklynite, raised $270 while listening to reggae for an hour and a half. Suggs raised $220: "I'm in a long-distance relationship, so I've become a champion," he says.


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