Oh! My! Talking Turkey With Betty Dodson,
author of Orgasms for Two

By Marianna Beck

Betty Dodson is an iconoclast, a powerfully independent woman, an artist of repute, an author and, lately, a heterosexual. Her ground-breaking book Sex for One and her famed masturbation workshops for women established her as the leader in women’s first-hand knowledge of female sexuality. Dodson has managed to break or bend society’s ideas about female sexuality for over four decades and she remains a respected elder in the field of human sexuality worldwide. Among her achievements:

  • She was the first woman to exhibit erotic art in a NY gallery in 1968.
  • She was the first feminist to publicly promote electric vibrators for orgasms.
  • She wrote the first book dedicated entirely to the benefits of self-sexuality. Sex for One has became a multimillion-copy bestseller.
  • She taught sexual skills to women in workshops for twenty-five years.
  • She received a Ph.D. in sexology based on her pioneering fieldwork.

Here she offers up her years of collected wisdom on some deceptively simple questions:

What would you say is the most destructive sexual myth?

There are many sexual myths that harm both women and men, from the myth of vaginal orgasms to the new one of wet, dripping pussies with huge quantities of female ejaculation. On the other side of the equation there is the myth of the large, pulsating cock that can stay hard forever – or at least until it shoots a load across the room. Although I would never censor them, the makers of porn and Hollywood movies create many of our non-constructive sexual myths.

Do women and men have different expectations about sex?

The cliché is women want love and men want sex. While expectations about sex vary from individual to individual, I think men and women have both similarities and differences.

Many women often want sex to be combined with love that will lead to a monogamous, everlasting marriage. Perhaps some of this is practical, considering a woman can get pregnant and can be stuck with the results of love making. So having a committed partner has benefits for raising children.

However, even more beneficial for women and children might be confusing the issue of paternity so that all the potential fathers are involved in child rearing instead of just the one. That is, I can imagine a situation where one doesn’t know who the father is, so that all the males involved would feel responsible for caring for the offspring -- as is the case among Bonobo apes.

Many men also want love, sex and monogamy to be combined. However, they have the sexual double standard in place for legitimizing extra marital flings for them but not for their partners. Hormones create a bigger sex drive in men than women. Any female-to-male transsexual will tell you about the incredible increase in sexual desire when they start taking testosterone.

Describe what you mean by sexual pleasure as a "healing force?"

Mother Nature, God or Evolution – whatever you want to call the motivating force of the universe -- destroys as well as creates. If we view sex as the driving force behind the continuation of plants, animals and people, nature has made the process of reproduction pleasant and desirable (except maybe for the poor Praying Mantis male who gets eaten after he comes). The life force behind procreation is a positive force just as a tornado is a destructive force.

When sex is experienced as pleasure for the sake of pleasure, that same positive energy feeds our desire to be creative instead of destructive. Sexual pleasure shared is one of the cornerstones of harmonious relationships; it makes people feel more generous toward themselves, each other and all living things. I believe the best antidote to social violence is experiencing more sexual pleasure. When people are having fun, they feel happy and they are more content. A sexually expressed person would rather fuck than fight.

What tips can you offer hetero couples for improving their sexual communication?

Here are ten sex tips for couples from Orgasms for Two.

  1. Ideally people would have mastered sex with themselves before attempting to have sex with a partner. How we make love to our selves is what we bring to partnersex.
  2. Always add additional lubrication during all sexual activities. With manual sex use a natural nut or vegetable massage oil. With condoms use a water-based lube.
  3. Demonstrate how you like to be touched, licked and sucked by actually doing it to your partner’s hand. Give each other feedback about what feels best.
  4. Sharing masturbation is the best way to learn about one another’s individual sexual response patterns and manual skills preference.
  5. Incorporate a woman’s preference for clitoral stimulation during intercourse. It’s best when she takes control of her own stimulation either manually or with a vibrator.
  6. Take turns giving and receiving pleasure with partner assisted genital, vaginal or anal penetration. Share lots of total body massage.
  7. Introduce sex toys into your lovemaking to add variety, more light heartedness and to enhance both of your pleasure with longer lasting orgasms with vibrators.
  8. Forget about having simultaneous orgasms. If it happens, fine, but generally women take much longer than men and some want to have more than one orgasm.
  9. Add some hot talk during your lovemaking and discuss what you liked best while you’re both basking in the afterglow of orgasmic pleasure.
  10. After sharing a few of your favorite sexual fantasies, agree to some fantasy role playing. Take turns deciding who is in control of the sexual activity.