"For the bad mood, make love to yourself", recommends the Medellín mayor’s office in digital pieces illustrated with the image of a woman masturbating. The unusual campaign about the benefits of this sexual practice on physical and mental health sparked controversy in Colombia.

"Orgasm releases endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin: happy hormones that can make a bad day one to remember. Give yourself this intimate moment!"cite the messages from the local Youth Secretariat, which circulate on social networks.

Hundreds of people reacted on Twitter for and against, in a country with conservative roots and mostly Catholic.

"Those should not be policies of the main authority of a city. It is shameful"Philip wrote; "Talk about public health and sexual health without hesitation or taboos. Very good for the campaign"said Juliana; "Don’t you think there are much more important issues to resolve in the city?"Ivan wondered.

Santiago Bedoya, Secretary of Youth of Medellín, explained that the objective of the pieces is "recognize" masturbation like "a human practice that is natural, evolutionary, historical" Y "normal", "because many young people suffer penalization and moralization" about.

In addition, masturbation has "positive benefits from the biological, psychological and social perspective"added Bedoya in an interview with Blu Radio.

According to the official, it was chosen to start the campaign with the image of a woman masturbating "because this topic has been more forbidden and more stigmatized" with them.

For Dr. María Camila Torres, a sexual and reproductive health analyst at the Universidad del Rosario, the campaign is "relevant and necessary" for "educate in such a conservative, catholic and macho culture".

And while he applauded the spread of the benefits of masturbation, he noted how "unlucky" associate "the bad mood of women with the lack of sexual intercourse or self-stimulation".

The mayor’s office announced that men will also be part of the communication strategy, although they are evaluating the appropriate message when there are cases of harassment of women through male masturbation in public spaces.

"We are trying to consolidate a safer and kinder masculine gaze with women who have suffered" abuses, Bedoya specified.

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