Rest in power Betty Dodson. Without her trailblazing work around pleasure, we at LOVERS would not be able to do what we do. 10/24/1929-10/31/2020
The Importance Of Betty Dodson For Your OrgasmLet’s talk about masturbation. More specifically, The Mother of Masturbation, or, the woman formally known as Betty Dodson: a sex industry pioneer who has dedicated her career to helping womxn connect and confront themselves with their sexual satisfaction. You may recognize her from the much-discussed episode on GOOP Lab, or perhaps you’ve attended one of her famous workshops personally. Whatever your knowledge base, Betty is a name synonymous with pleasure and orgasm advocacy. Not new to the world of sex, she has been one of the principal voices for women's sexual pleasure and health for over half a century. We may even go as far to say she may have impacted the way you approach your own pleasure experiences. She certainly has for us at LOVERS.
“A real orgasm is something that no matter where it comes from, a womxn takes for herself [/themself],” says Betty Dodson
How Did Betty Get Into Sex?
Betty Dodson, PhD, was born in Kansas, and moved to New York to become an artist in 1950. It wasn’t until she divorced her husband in 1965, that she ventured on a quest for “sexual self-discovery.” She boldly held the first one-woman show of erotic art at New York City’s Wickersham in 1968. Shortly after that, she decided to quit the art world, and focus on the study of sex, becoming a certified sexologist.
“Everything in moderation, even moderation. Every so often, you gotta blow it out of your ass.” - Betty Dodson
After becoming very active in the sex-positive movement in the late 1960s, Betty eventually started to teach more formally. Her technique, “The Betty Dodson Method” was employed during her now famous “Bodysex” workshops, which revolutionized the way that women viewed themselves and masturbation.
In her classes, a group of around 13 women sit in a circle and become acquainted with their own vulva. Dodson conducts a sexual exercise routine of “lift, squeeze, and release” to teach others how to masturbate effectively and without judgment. Her kegel-like method encouraged women to forget what they’ve learned from pop culture, the internet, porn, etc. and to focus on the enjoyment of their own body. She also utilized The Hitachi Magic Wand in many of her sessions.
The Importance Of Masturbation
The notion of touching your own body, the one that you live and breathe in everyday, still feels taboo. Pop culture has influenced us to ask, “is it normal to masturbate?” Thanks to Betty and her trailblazing work, the answer is yes. She has allowed the shackles of stigma to slowly untangle and for positive reframes of those prior questions to emerge. Studies show that with increased inclusive sex education and open conversation, masturbation is actually more common and enjoyable. Knowledge IS power and leads to more powerful orgasms. Facts.
“When you look around the circle of womxn, you let go of the bullshit image they pump into the marketplace with the fashion magazines and the Hollywood movies and the fuckless porn,” she said. “The biggest problem for womxn is our body image and it starts with our vulvas. We think— all of us—that there’s something wrong with them.”
Thank You For My OrgasmFor over 60 years, Betty Dodson has become a feminist pioneer, who has devoted her life to improving one’s relationship with their pleasure - even writing several books on how to do so (see below!) We at LOVERS know that the conversations we have, the boundaries we push, and the explorations we pursue could not be possible without the fearless and important work of Betty Dodson. We will never forget her and will continue to use her teachings and influence in all that we do at LOVERS.
Read Betty's Books
Dodson, a seasoned author, has also penned renowned books which include Liberating Masturbation, Sex for One, Orgasms for Two, and Sex by Design. We highly recommend them.
- Understanding Sex and Female Pleasure: Goop Lab
- All About the Betty Dodson Masturbation Method: Refinery 29
- You Are Your Safest Sex Partner: Betty Dodson Wants to Help: NY Times