This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Betty Dodson (b. 1929) is an American sex educator, author, and artist. Widely known as a pioneer in women's sexual liberation, her fame has come from both advocating masturbation and conducting workshops for more than 30 years where groups of women would talk, explore their own bodies, and masturbate together. In 1974, she self-published a slim volume of 60 pages entitled "Liberating masturbation: a meditation on self love" in which she encouraged women (and men) to really understand their own bodies in order to have better sex – both alone and with partners. The book was considered a feminist classic for decades. Finally, Dodson reworked the material and republished it in 1996 under the title "Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving" (208 pages). This was followed in 2002 by the book "Orgasms for Two: The Joy of Partnersex".
Michael Castleman, a journalist, describes Dodson's start as a sex educator in this 2002 article, Too sexy for her rocker:
Dodson made her first splash as a sex educator in 1973 at the National Organization for Women's first conference devoted to sex. Before an audience of more than 1,000 women Dodson, then 43, presented a slide show entitled "Creating an Esthetic for the Female Genitals." People were not sure what to expect. She clicked the first slide, a close-up of the well-groomed vulva of one of the 15 friends who'd posed naked, legs spread, genitals wide open for her. The audience gasped. "All our lives," Dodson proclaimed, "we've been led to believe that our c**ts are nasty, ugly, smelly, and shameful. But I'm here to show the world how beautiful they are."
The audience was shocked. Some booed when Dodson used the word "c**t." But she pressed on, promoting her view that women's genitals are a joy to behold. As the slide show progressed, the heckling died down. At the end of Dodson's performance, the audience gave her a standing ovation.
That presentation certified Dodson as a sex educator to be reckoned with. She made more heads turn the next day with a workshop called "Electric Vibrators for Masturbation." Those appearances launched Dodson on a 25-year-long career producing weekend workshops around the world, bringing her message of assertive self-loving to thousands of women. Her motto is: How we make love to ourselves determines what we bring to partner sex.
The Last Bodysex Group
Ms. Dodson workshops or Bodysex Groups would consist quite literally of a group of 10 or 12 women standing in a circle armed with vibrators for a group masturbation session. While there are some videos of the workshops floating around on the Internet (only in "porno" related web sites), Ms. Dodson has put together a project to film her supposedly last Bodysex group in the fall of 2011 so as to preserve for posterity the work she has been doing for over three decades.
Uploaded by carlincherrybomb on Apr 14, 2011
We're Filming the Last Bodysex Group
We're raising money to capture on film for posterity Betty's infamous bodysex group – the workshop that changed the sex lives of thousands of women. Betty will be leading the circle…Carlin will be in the circle along with several of our bloggers. We're very excited.
Uploaded by carlincherrybomb on Jul 24, 2009
The women created genital show & tell. And the masturbation ritual started as a sexual fantasy. Betty ran Bodysex Groups for over 25 years and she's finally telling the story of how it all happened.
Betty Dodson is going to be 82years old on August 24, 2011 and from the videos, she appears to be still going strong. In reading her story, it is amazing to consider the impact she has had on women and the state of female sexuality. What she does and how she does it may be very much apart from the mainstream, but there is no denying her message of freedom and openness in the face of the traditional, puritan society of North America.
Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross – May 14/2011
What is "Bodysex"?
"Bodysex" is the word Betty coined for her work teaching women about their bodies and their orgasms. Back in the 70s when Betty left the art world to join the feminist movement, she had the idea of doing a workshop for women focused on sexual consciousness raising. The feminists had put together groups of women where they spoke first person about their experiences. These consciousness raising groups started the movement – Betty always makes the point that it was the first time she'd been in a room with just women.
Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross – July 23/2009
Sister Teacher: The Birth of the Bodysex Groups
After my involvement with the women's movement in the early seventies, I began to think about teaching sex to women in more practical terms. As I lay in bed one night, the words "Sexual Consciousness Raising" started to percolate in my mind. Instead of sitting around complaining about men as we'd been doing in my regular CR (consciousness raising) group, women could discuss sex in detail and share information on how to have better orgasms. These independent orgasms would lead us to having more independent thoughts on how to change our lives for the better. I figured that making our sex lives better would positively affect everything else.
Wikipedia: Betty Dodson
Betty Dodson (born August 24, 1929) is an American sex educator, author, and artist.
Google video search: "Betty Dodson"
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