Guest Writers

Female Masturbation: An Interview with Dr. Betty Dodson

Female Masturbation: An Interview with Dr. Betty Dodson

Betty Dodson | May 02, 2019 | 5 min. read

May is Masturbation Month and there is no one I’d rather kick it off with than the queen of self-love herself. It is my pleasure to welcome revolutionary sex educator and one of my personal heroines, Dr. Betty Dodson, to the Lust Zine. Betty will turn 90 this August and let me just say – this woman is living proof that pleasure keeps you young. Betty has been advocating to normalise and prioritise self-pleasure for over 50 years. Now, I want to know what has happened over the past half of the century, what does Dr. Dodson think about porn and why is masturbation so important?

So, Betty you started your career in feminist-based sex education in the early 70’s, an exciting time for feminism and the movement for sexual liberation. What made you start giving workshops and providing information about female masturbation?

Feminism started with consciousness raising groups where women would get together and speak first person about their lives. I was coming out of the group sex movement and knew I wanted to focus on sexuality. I was sick of hearing women complain about their husbands. My CR group was focused on “physical and sexual consciousness raising” which I later shortened to “Bodysex”.

I think I watched everything Betty Dodson online. One thing that I LOVE about your workshops, is that you start them by making the participants look at their vaginas. Why do you do this?

The number one issue blocking healthy sexual expression is genital shame. We all think that there’s something wrong down there. By displaying our vulvas in a supportive group of women we see the beauty in our sex organ and the variety of vulva styles out there. I’ve never seen an ugly vulva. They’re all beautiful.

“Masturbation is the foundation of all human sexuality.”

What’s the most fun part about your job?

That’s easy. I get paid to jerk off with women (laughs).

Tell us about the Betty Dodson Method. What exactly is it?

It starts with self love and independent orgasm. Masturbation is the foundation of all human sexuality. By breathing and squeezing/releasing our pc muscle as we roll our hips forward with a dildo in our vagina and a vibrator on our clit we are building up sex energy to create arousal for partner sex and deepen the orgasms we have with ourselves. Women are bottomless pits of sexual energy.

Why do you think so many women come to seek your guidance in your workshops?

They want more pleasure in their lives. They aren’t having orgasms or they’re having small orgasms and want to go further.

“Masturbation is the foundation of all human sexuality.”

What are the most common mistakes women make while masturbating?

They tense up their muscles and hold their breath – they’re having small orgasms but it’s not fulfilling. Also, women don’t fantasize enough.

Why is it so important that women learn how to make themselves orgasm?

How you masturbate is what you bring to partner sex. If you’re not having orgasms alone, you’re probably not going to orgasm with a partner. Masturbation is free and its fun.

Even in 2019, solo sex still carries a stigma. But compared to when you began your career as a sex educator, do you think society is now more able to acknowledge female masturbation? What are the most important areas that we need to work on and where are we, as a society, right now?

The culture has embraced vibrators and sex products for women which is a step forward. We’re finally recognizing women as sexual beings and a market for sex product. I would like to see more information about the internal clitoris and the female model of sexual response. Young girls need to be encouraged to explore their bodies and engage in partner play when they’re birth control is in place and they can express their desires.

“Young girls need to be encouraged to explore their bodies.”

What do you think about porn?

Most porn caters to the male model of sexual response and the world cultures view of sexuality: male dominance and female submission. I would never censor pornography but I would like to see more variety, lubricant and authentic female orgasm.

As a pioneer for self-pleasure for women, how do you feel about Masturbation Month? Do you think it is a useful initiative?

Any time you can get the word “masturbation” out there it’s positive.

And last but not least, I’d love to hear your feedback about my porn for women “Female Pleasure Circle” – What did you think? Give me the brutal truth!

Your film is what most people think my workshops are like – a beautiful, lesbian circle jerk. My workshops are focused on women stimulating their own bodies together but alone. It’s more about sisterhood and less about group sex. My only criticism would be your dildos. You can’t angle them like my barbell but they did look beautiful.

Betty Dodson, artist, author, and PhD sexologist has been one of the principal voices for women’s sexual pleasure and health for over three decades. Betty continues her private practice as a sex coach in New York City. Her first book, Liberating Ma... Read More
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