Thoughts on the Betty Dodson Masturbation Class Article

Betty Dodson at the Class
Ol' Betty Dodson's at it again. She ran one of her famous female masturbation classes, and a NY Magazine writer went to report (I recommend reading the article by Rose Surnow HERE). Although Betty's still a busy activist (check her website with Carlin Ross HERE), she doesn't do a ton of these classes anymore, so it's cool to hear some people are still getting a chance to experience it.

I have noticed the article getting a bit of press, and I'm pretty happy about it. I have a lot of respect for Ms. Dodson and the work she has done for Orgasm Equality. I was actually able to interview her for this blog, wrote a series of posts about her, and she even contributed to our Kickstarter fundraiser for the movie to which this blog relates, Science, Sex and the Ladies. So, quickly, here's what I liked or found interesting in the article.

1 The author said, "I was on my way to a female group masturbation workshop where I was going to be “playing the clitar” in front of strangers for approximately five hours." I like the term "playing the clitar," and I like that masturbation was clearly and accurately associated with clitoral stimulation.

2 About how Betty got into this, the article reads;
Originally a fine artist, Betty changed careers in the '70s when she discovered feminism and the sexual revolution. She started going to group sex parties and while watching couples get down she noticed a pattern: All the men were climaxing and all the women were faking it. Not a single woman was having a real orgasm. She was so upset she decided to take matters into her own hands, and when I say “matters” I mean clits.
 Again, I love the clit love, but also, I'd like to point out how very real this men-are-orgasming-but-women-aren't problem still is. For one, just look at porn. Faking is what female porn stars do, they even say as much on documentaries. Also, the stats about how often women come during intercourse hasn't really changed  since then. Only about 1/3 of women claim to come on a regular basis during intercourse (our most common of sexual interactions) - even though all it would take for us to regularly orgasm too would be for us to work our own clits during the act. We have a lot more work to do in this culture to make women feel entitled and comfortable pursuing their orgasms in realistic ways - i.e. clit stim causes orgasms - not vaginal stimulation.

3 Betty said this, which I think is a pretty realistic and thoughtful thing to say;
“My mantra is vaginal penetration with clitoral stimulation,” Betty said. She believes that it’s crucial not to focus solely on clitoral stimulation when you jill off because then when you have partner sex, you’ll be totally lost.
I mean, she's got a good point. Most of the time women spend in sexual situations is going to be dominated by the act of intercourse. Yeah, it'd be nice if non intercourse activities were more of a main course in sexual interactions, but for the moment - reality is reality. Ladies, for us, getting off during partnered sex largely includes rubbin' one out while there's a wang up our vag. Having something in there and not having something in there feels a little different, and it's a good idea to become familiar during masturbation with the sensations that will be present during intercourse. Plus, it's a good idea to have some variety in your masturbation routine - for men and women alike. The way we masturbate sort of teaches us how to orgasm, and the more variety we have in our jerkin' repertoire, the more varied we can be in our sexual interactions with other people.

4 In general, the author was really open and positive and didn't get al wierded out by a big naked masturbation / show and tell circle. It was just kind of a sweet article.

Photo of Betty Dodson by Bek Anderson at http://nymag.com/thecut/2012/11/i-went-to-a-female-masturbation-class.html

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