I thought I was well versed in (and around!) my vulva. After all, I’ve been playing with my pussy since I was 6. But a bodysex workshop with octogenarian Betty Dodson, the "Mother of Masturbation" showed me I still have lots to learn. Trust me, no one is more invested in female pleasure than Dodson.
During her famous group-sex parties of the '70s, Dodson pushed the boundaries for women seizing power in the sack. And she never stopped. This woman has written books (most famous of these is Sex for One), illustrated hundreds of erotic scenes, hosted a TV show, and maintains a private practice for her sex-positive work. She’s a pioneer of human sexuality and a true feminist liberator. Her mantra is "liberating women one orgasm at a time."
Oh -- and her initials are B.A.D.
Last month, I flew from Seattle to New York City to attend Dodson's two-day workshop. As a sexually aware women who likes to feel good, I didn’t hesitate to throw down a $1,000 cash donation for the weekend.
I descended upon Dodson’s Manhattan apartment with nine other women, as well as Carlin Ross, Betty’s sassy business partner and stunt cunt. Some women came to the workshop in order to heal body shame, image, or sexual guilt. Others came to share sisterhood. One came on her therapist’s advice. Women traveled from all corners of the United States, and from as far as Denmark and Switzerland.
Dodson knows sex "by doing it, not studying it," she says. And at 87 years old, she can still "come like a motherfucker." When I grow up, I want to be this woman.
Ultimately, bodysex workshops are all about connecting women’s minds and bodies to their orgasms. This is done by helping women find the power of their pussies through a series of activities like Group Share, Genital Show and Tell, Erotic Recess, and Guided Masturbation.
Here are nine things I learned from Dodson about orgasms.
Women need to run the you-know-what
"Running the fuck" is, hands down, my favorite Bettyism (and trust me, there’s no shortage of them). The expression dates back to the 1970s, when Betty hosted group-sex parties in the same space as the workshop, where I spent the weekend masturbating (a detail I consider pretty fucking exciting). The gist is for women to take charge during intercourse, to do what needs to be done to get off. This means using lube (especially if he's circumcised), maybe introducing a vibrator (for clitoral stimulation), and getting on top (to establish how fast and deep she’s being penetrated). It's like dancing, only the woman takes the lead. Betty says that you can also "run a fuck" from the bottom, but it takes more finesse. My advice is to get on top and screw like Michael Jackson intended: "don't stop 'til you get enough."
The combo orgasm is key
I hate to break it to you fellas, but very few women come by penetration alone. A small percentage of women may climax solely from vaginal penetration when they’re on top, or with a guy of a certain fit and size (more likely when he's uncircumcised), or in the throes of a sparkly new relationship. Otherwise, the key to intense orgasms lies in the combination, or blended, orgasm, which involves vaginal penetration AND clitoral stimulation. If your gal says she comes every time and there’s no clit stim, I’m going to call BS. Most likely, she’s faking it. Sorry.
It takes (most) women a while to come -- and (most) men don't last as long as they claim
After penetration, most men climax within four minutes or less. "In four minutes, I’m not even interested yet," said Dodson. The female orgasm requires more work, taking 20-30 minutes of clitoral stimulation, and we're not talking a few licks or a quick hand job.