From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011
Entrant: Dr. Tuppy Owens
Nominee: Dr. Betty Dodson, Pioneer teacher, writer, and artist
Betty is the GrandMummy of female masturbation and the unsung heroine of the century. If she had been working in any field other than sex, and masturbatory sex at that, she would be world-famous, Dean of a University, international authority with her own her own sex castle, island and yacht. Glamorous mass media star.
As well as everything else, Betty is an extraordinary erotic artist. Betty is beautiful, warm and outspoken, and has devoted her life to women’s pleasure. After asking her mother if she masturbated to orgasm in the 70’s, Betty asked the rest of us. Soon her Manhattan flat was the home of workshops for pre-orgasmic women, and these workshops continue today, run both by Betty and by her disciples around the world.
Betty’s first book, “Liberating Masturbation: a Meditation on Selflove,” was written, illustrated and published by herself. She wants all women, including disabled women, to be able to read and learn about masturbation. Betty decided to have an EEG whilst masturbating and apparently, immediately when she flicked the switch on the vibrator, her brain waves went into alpha and stayed there all the way through the sexual build-up.
Then, just before orgasm, her brain waves dipped way down to theta, confirming what she intuitively knew, that masturbation is a delightful form of meditation.
After a long time of working alone, Betty got a book published, “Sex for One – the Joy of SelfLoving,” which sold over a million copies and was translated into eight languages.
“For partner sex to be good, the woman must know what she wants and be able to show her lover,” says Betty. “Women have to teach men about female sexuality, not pattern our sexual desires on what men want. That’s the opposite of what typically happens – young men who know little or nothing about sex end up taking the lead, and young women blame themselves when they can’t have orgasms.
Betty Dodson is now 80 and still pushing the boundaries. Two years ago, she made a film “The Internal Clitoris” which shows her drawing the clitoris from the long horse-shoe structure deep inside, all the way through the tissues to the external glans, which most people still think of as the clit. This film is free to view on YouTube, and became a finalist in the 2007 Erotic Awards as Independent Film of the Year.
When Betty was 70, she started a live-in love affair with a 25 year old man and here is how she described the sex:
“Hey, I’m feeling my years. I still love sex, but I can’t fuck around the clock like I used to. Sexual frequency isn’t the issue. It’s sexual quality. Sometimes we spend all morning in bed sharing orgasms. Sometimes we don’t fuck for a while. It depends on what’s happening. Of course, we also masturbate. I walked into the living room the other day, and Eric was beating off to some porn. And I keep a vibrator within easy reach.”
Betty keeps a very lively website www.bettydodson.com where she declares her beliefs loud and clear:
Masturbation is our first natural sexual activity. Masturbation is the ongoing love affair that each of us has with ourselves throughout our lifetime. Masturbation is an erotic meditation. Masturbation inspires creativity. Masturbation is a way to gain sexual self-knowledge. Cultural denial of masturbation is the basis of sexual repression. Sharing masturbation with a lover enhances sexual intimacy. Being responsible for our own orgasm gives us a choice when it comes to partnersex. Threesomes help us overcome society’s conditioning to hoard sex for one person. In the tradition of many cultures, some people enjoy celebrating sex in a group. Selfsexuality is our daily bread, partnersex is an evening of dining out, and groupsex several times a year is a grand banquet. Selfloving allows us to design a sexlife like an ongoing work of art.
Organising a sex positive movement with millions of activists joining me on the barricades against sexual ignorance. If you’re a friend of sex who would like to take a stand, start today by enjoying your own selfloving sessions without any guilt or apology. Go public by telling a few friends about your favorite masturbation techniques with a description of one of your better orgasms. Finally, sharing masturbation with a friend or lover qualifies you as an activist in the erotic renaissance of the millennium.
I know I have been nominated myself, and that I will never be voted in, but I think of all the people in the world who deserve to, it is Betty.