/Betty Dodson, Women’s Guru of Self-Pleasure, Dies at 91

Betty Dodson, Women’s Guru of Self-Pleasure, Dies at 91


Betty Dodson, a feminist sexologist and evangelist of self-pleasure who taught generations of ladies the best way to masturbate in workshops, books and movies, seeing the do-it-yourself climax as a liberating social drive, died on Saturday at a nursing house in New York City. She was 91.

The trigger was cirrhosis of the liver, stated Carlin Ross, her enterprise companion.

Ms. Dodson was a second-wave feminist making erotic artwork when she started internet hosting consciousness elevating teams — however with a twist — in her Manhattan condo. The methodology concerned a genital present and inform, so that girls might see that vulvas got here in all shapes, sizes and colours; this was adopted by clitoral consideration with a vibrator. As she refined her instructing, she realized that she had discovered her calling.

“This masturbation business,” as she appreciated to say, was a form of social justice work. If ladies might be taught to pleasure themselves correctly, she reasoned, they may finish their sexual dependence on males, which might make all people completely happy.

“The most consistent sex will be the love affair you have with yourself,” she wrote in “Sex for One” a quasi memoir and how-to information that started as a brief primer in Ms. Magazine and that has been translated into 25 languages since Random House first printed it in 1987. “Masturbation will get you through childhood, puberty, romance, marriage and divorce, and it will see you through old age.”

Gloria Steinem, a co-founder of Ms. Magazine, wrote in an e-mail: “Betty Dodson was a brave and daring advocate for women’s right to sexual knowledge and pleasure. Her workshops turned women on to the beauty of our own bodies, and her outrageous honesty allowed more women to speak our truths.”

It was Ms. Dodson’s expertise with orgies — group intercourse, within the parlance of the day — that introduced house to her the truth that even in such a free-spirited setting, ladies had been performing their orgasms and didn’t appear to have a clue about the best way to get there on their very own. Also, she stated, the ladies at all times ended up within the bed room inspecting her assortment of vibrators whereas the lads talked store — shares and sports activities, principally — in the lounge.

Netflix declined to say how big the episode’s viewership was, but a spokesperson for Goop said that anecdotally it was the most popular episode in the series. Shown in a Manhattan movie theater last December, the episode received a standing ovation.

Betty Anne Dodson — she was proud that her initials spelled BAD — was born in Wichita, Kan., on Aug. 24, 1929. Her mother, Bess (Crowe) Dodson, worked in a dress shop; her father, Frank Dodson, was a sign painter and an alcoholic. She had three brothers, Rowan, Billy and Dickie, and leaves no immediate survivors.

Ms. Dodson said that she and her brothers played as equals when they were children, which not only developed her muscles but “added to my sense of entitlement as I got older,” she wrote in “Sex by Design: The Betty Dodson Story” (2010), her second memoir.

When she was in the ninth grade, she recalled, a family friend and drinking buddy of her father’s shoved his hand into her pants when she had asked to drive his car. She kept silent, she wrote, because she felt complicit in what she experienced as a transaction. But when the same man groped the breasts of her best friend in her kitchen, she threatened him with a knife. “You’d better get out of here before I shove this knife in your stomach,” she said she had told him.

In 1950, at age 20, Ms. Dodson moved to New York City to become an artist, supporting herself as a freelance illustrator of lingerie ads and studying at the Art Students League of New York. She married an advertising executive, but they were sexually mismatched, she said, and her unhappiness and shame about it accelerated her drinking. After they divorced amicably, she got sober, and it was in a meeting for alcoholics that she met a man who would teach her about self-pleasure. They maintained a sexual relationship until his death in 2008. (Ms. Dodson was essentially agnostic about the gender of her partners, describing herself as a “heterosexual bisexual lesbian.”)



Source link Nytimes.com

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