Masturbation will not make you go blind. Legal arcana related to masturbation, however, could do just that.
In San Francisco, the "Masturbatathon" is a cherished, local tradition: Men and women are sponsored to jerk and thrust for as long as they can in order to raise funds for a worthy (and, no doubt, sex positive) cause. In Utah, however, a judge last week ruled that masturbation is not "protected conduct." Along with a bevy of other fantastically specific practices -- be patient, we'll get to them -- fee-based jerking off is fair game for the state's new, tougher anti-prostitution laws.
Since masturbation for money is now verboten, it remains to be seen if a Masturbatathon-type fundraiser would be legal in Utah.
The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed last year by a trio of escort services, among them the incomparably named "Bushco." The escorts hoped for a judgment that the state's new laws aimed at combating prostitution are unconstitutionally vague, overly broad, and violate the right to free speech. (Pun alert: "Oral arguments;" "seminal" rulings; and "Subsection (1)(c) satisfies all four prongs of the O'Brien test.")
For the escort services, it was not the sexiest ruling.
District Court Judge Dee Benson did, however, find the following passage to be unconstitutional in its vagueness:
An intent to engage in sexual activity for a fee may be inferred from a person's
engaging in, offering or aggreeing (sic) to engage in, or requesting or directing another to engage in any of the acts described in Subsection (1)(c) under the totality of the existing circumstances.
A person is guilty of sexual solicitation when the person ... with intent to engage in sexual activity for a fee or pay another person to commit any sexual activity for a fee engages in, offers or agrees to engage in, or requests or directs another to engage in any of the following acts: (i) exposure of a person's genitals, the buttocks, the anus, the pubic area, or the female breast below the top of the areola; (ii) masturbation; (iii)touching of a person's genitals, the buttocks, the anus, the pubic area or the female breast; or (iv) any act of lewdness.