Betty Dodson Series #1 - A Little History

I got in touch with Betty Dodson this past December, writing back and forth a few times.
She agreed to an interview, which happened about a month ago - and so here we are. That short email interview, plus some of my own small research into her life has spawned a short Betty Dodson Blog Series. Here is the first installment. 

If there were such a thing as a Golden Clit Humanitarian Award, Ms. Betty Dodson would have many. Now, you may know Betty well, or you may be wondering who this lady is and what she did that's so great for clits. You may be saying, "Well, Trish, I'm sure she certainly did not make lovely erotic art that featured feminist things like masturbation, cunnilingus, and lots of male nudes." What? Of course she did. She had the first one woman show of erotic art, baby - 1968. (Check her 50 some years of art HERE)

"But what about vulvas, though? Does she even care?" Really? Are you kidding me? Betty draws the hell out of vulvas. She loves 'em. She produced and presented a feminist slide show of vulvas for the 1973 NOW Conference to let ladies know that their junk is not abnormal or malformed. She showed that they all just look really different. (Honestly, crazy fold-y, crumple-y, hangy down bits are all just part of the having a vulva thing- unless you don't happen to have much of that. That happens too.)  She pretty much invented the feminist cause of checking your own lady parts in a hand mirror. Please - she's been building up ladies' confidence in their own naughty bits for over 40 years. Death to genital shame, ladies!

"Uh, yeah, but she hasn't done much for masturbation, I don't think." OMG, pretend naysayer! She is like the Gandhi of advocating masturbation. She created Bodysex Workshops in the 70's where she would lead small groups of women in overcoming genital shame and in masturbating to orgasm, and she lovingly ran these groups for over 25 years. (Watch the video below. It's for a Kickstarter fundraising campaign that's now over, but it explains Bodysex Workshops well.)
She penned an article in the August 1974 issue of Ms. Magazine called "Getting to Know Me," that sorta brought the, I would say wildly progressive and revolutionary, act of female masturbation out as a topic for feminists to care about. From the mucho love she received from readers, she was motivated to finish a book on the subject, and self-published, Liberating Masturbation, a frickin' feminist classic later that year. It eventually morphed into the not self published book, Sex For One: The Joy of Selfloving in the mid 80's. To this day, at 83 years old, she's still fighting the good fight to liberate masturbation. (Which unfortunately is still not quite out of the cage - just ask Jocelyn Elders, Pee Wee Herman, ans our current sex education standards).
She teamed up with Carlin Ross in the late 2000's to start up a really fantastic website http://dodsonandross.com/ with the kinds of realistic, female based sexual information that my movie supports. Honestly, if anyone were to ask me where I would recommend them to go on the web for sex advice or information - it would be there. There are other sites out on the web that are pretty good, with nice feminist leanings, but they never go all the way and really boldly support the clit first, masturbation heavy kind of push that is needed if female sexual culture is ever going to move forward.

That's all you get for today. I'll be back Monday with more (and maybe Saturday with something fun).

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