We couldn’t miss out Betty Dodson in our blogging on great pioneers of women’s masturbation!
Dr Betty Dodson, author of ‘Sex For One; The Joy of Selfloving’, took a one-woman stand about masturbation in the late sixties and early seventies, and brought about a revolution! An artist by training, she set up an exhibition of her drawings in 1968, showing not only couples having sex but men and women masturbating. One showed a woman using an early, adapted vibrator (actually a scalp massager, designed to be strapped to the back of your hand). Fortunately we’ve got purpose-designed finger vibrators like the Finger tingles now, which do much the better job!
Reactions to the art display convinced her to start talking to groups of women about masturbation and how it makes sex better. She started to spread the word that the Wand Massager wasn’t just for tired muscles, and that it’s not only OK to masturbate – it’s fantastic!
She also reclaimed the female genitals from magazines aimed at men, by using her artistic skills to draw vaginal portraits and show the variation and beauty of the female genitals to women all over America.
In her Bodysex workshops, Dr Dodson got small groups of women talking about their own sexuality, introduced them to vibrators, and taught them to carve dildo shapes from vegetables to try out different styles of stimulation.
She also ran workshops for men focussing on the male body and male masturbation – and she broke down men’s assumptions by using her faithful vibrator on fellahs’ equipment too, to give them an experience of the mains-powered sexual revolution! (The brand new Cobra vibrator is the latest version of a men’s sex toy designed to give him a buzz – but Betty was there first!) In all her work-shops, she taught body positivism and increased self-esteem through the medium of sexuality and masturbation.
After running bodysex workshops for many years, she had lots of great ideas for sex toy designs, and created a stainless steel excercise toy called Betty’s Barbell, designed as a combination dildo, G-spot toy and excerciser – similar to the Energie Kegel Exerciser.
Dr Betty Dodson also discussed the importance of fantasy, a crucial issue for the sexual revolution. She argued that fantasy is OK and fun, and reclaimed women’s sexual fantasies as a positive force. Along with pioneering works like Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden, she recommended fantastising, talking sexy, and dressing up or using sex toys to add to the mood.
We’d add a recommendation of the various hot erotic books and DVDs that have appeared recently – getting your fantasty life going can be great for your sex life, both alone and with a partner.
Dr Dodson still writes, blogs, and teaches individual sessions, and has a fabulous website here. The Sh! Girlz recommend reading her articles – she’s a true pioneer!