Answering Critics of Clitoraid

Fri, 04/16/2010 - 07:50
Submitted by Betty Dodson

In 1990, I was invited to speak at a conference titled: "Say Yes to Masturbation".

It was in Montreal Canada sponsored by the Raelians, a world-wide organization who follows their prophet Rael. He claims to have been contacted by extra terrestrials, or ET's. Sort of like Moses receiving a message from God through a burning bush, or Buddha receiving enlightenment while sitting under a tree. Who's to say these things are impossible, although I tend to lean in that direction.

At the time, my webmaster Grant, always the suspicious academic, said I'd be crazy to deal with "kooks" who believed in flying saucers. Friends worried I'd be kidnapped by this cult and flown off in a saucer never to be heard from again. (I had a few sexual fantasies with that one).
Others thought it would discredit my already difficult message about the beneficial aspects of masturbation. In twenty years of dealing with the explosive topic of self-induced orgasms, no one had ever invited me to a conference that endorsed masturbation, so naturally I accepted.

I explained that although I was not a true believer in ET's, part of me hoped it might be true. As yet, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or any other creation myths had never acknowledged the humble activity of masturbation- except one. In ancient Egypt, the popular religion was based on masturbation and was commemorated in a daily ritual that took place in the Karnak temples built over 4000 years ago: at dawn every morning, priests and priestesses re-enacted masturbation at the shrine of Amun Ra. They believed Amun created the world with his self-induced orgasm. Christianity's creation myth had God creating the world in seven days.

When I first met Rael over lunch, I liked him immediately. I was charmed by his relaxed manner with all things sexual. His followers were also comfortable with the subject of sexual pleasures. At one point I teased Rael about setting up a meeting so I too could meet a few ET's and visit a flying saucer. He explained he had no way to contact them directly and I chided him: "Oh, so you're not like the Catholics who can go through a priest to reach God"? Rael claimed the Elohiem, the plural form of the Hebrew word for God, are ET's who created us. They want him to build an embassy so they can safely land and communicate with us. So far there is way too much violence on planet Earth. We can all agree on the importance of reducing violence. Obviously more sexual expression would help people honor all living things starting with the human body- the opposite of body loathing and waging wars with killing machines like America is doing.
The conference was in French. They had an instant translation of what I was saying to a large audience wearing head phones, just like the UN. The Raelians are hated and feared by many and have received death threats, so we each had a body guard. Mine was a big handsome kid I wanted to bring home with me. They are also loved by many others the world over.

Several years ago, I was contacted by Sylvie, a lovely French Canadian Raelian who was working on Clitoraid. When I discovered their mission was to help African women who had their clitorises removed, I wanted to know more. When she claimed these women could experience orgasm again through a surgical procedure followed by learning to masturbate, I said "Yes" to Clitoraid. Later I began to wonder if the operation really did work or was it simply cosmetic by eliminating excessive scar tissue. Dr. Fouldes, a French doctor in Africa who was performing the surgeries was difficult to reach. Before I was able to contact him, my masturbation information was already on Clitoraid's website. Whether this was a scam or real, I believe in copyleft. That means anyone can use my information as long as it's attributed to me.

When Dr. Fouldes taught his surgical technique to Dr. Marcie Bowers, a Colorado surgeon working with the transgendered community, it was easy to contact her. After we spoke on the phone, I was convinced this was the real thing. Dr. Bowers said the operations success depended on a woman's age, amount of scaring, how much of the clitoral stem remained, and the success of her post-op recovery. The physical therapy depended upon a woman's motivation to massage her vulva and practice masturbation. During all the years I've taught women about orgasm, the part about practicing masturbation is essential. Western women the world over have been sexually damaged through negative messages from organized religions that instill genital shame. Many are unable to accept their vulvas as normal or beautiful. Added to this is a lack of sex education and information which leads to unwanted pregnancies, sexual abuse, and lack of orgasms. These women have been genitally mutilated psychologically.

I knew that a battery operated vibrator would be a great help for African women the same as they have helped my demographic of women. My business partner Carlin and I agreed that Good Vibrations would be a good choice to donate vibrators, so I contacted Carol Queen. In no time there was a shit storm on her end. An African American academic feminist teaching at San Francisco University objected to our interference in a culture that we supposedly know nothing about. Good Vibrations pulled out. The store depends upon the good will of a community that has its share of nit picking academic sex negative feminists. Since dodsonandross is a website we have all the freedom in the world to do and say what we choose. It's called freedom of speech!

Something to be concerned about is a Pope who pays large sums of money to cover up his own priest's sexual abuse of young boys. So far Clitoraid has demonstrated that some women can be restored through surgery. Meanwhile, I continue to share my information in person or on our website to all women who have been damaged through organized religions. The first prize for religious cults goes to Muslims with Catholics next. Third prize goes to Fundamentalists with other Protestant cults falling in behind. Honestly, I'd prefer ET's to these other religious cults. At least ET's would be more advanced in their thinking.

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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On what basis do you know

Fri, 04/16/2010 - 20:40
Jonquil (not verified)

On what basis do you know that Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg is "sex-negative"? She disagrees with you on the most effective way to help African women; is everybody who disagrees with you "sex-negative"? Why, out of all the people who criticized this program -- Dr. Petra Boynton, Dr. Elisabeth Wood, Matthew Greenall, Caille Millner -- have you chosen to demonize the African woman, in particular, as sex-negative? Distinguished researchers on sex have said that the Clitoraid program is ill-thought-out and disrespectful. That doesn't make them sex-negative.

You don't inherently know more about African women than an African woman who does philanthropic work in Africa. Various women, including Dr. Elisabeth Wood, have pointed out that Clitoraid is ignoring work that is already being done, by Africans, in Burkina Faso, and is thus redirecting funds that could be used by existing programs that are already in progress. This is a deeply problematic so-called charity, and being dismissive toward the people who informed you of this won't change that fact.

You have to be very gullible

Sat, 04/17/2010 - 12:31
doe791 (not verified)

You have to be very gullible to even think Rael or any other such cults (and even historic religions) have any shadows of truth in them...

these repsonses remind me of

BellaFigura's picture
Sun, 04/18/2010 - 18:32

these two responses remind me of that old saying "no good deed goes unpunished"...keep your chin up ladies, it's a good idea regardless of what the post-feminist intellectuals pontificate...

Cultural Tides

Tue, 04/20/2010 - 01:01

Say yes to masturbation!  Yes, indeed! I am gratified to be introduced to two ceremonial/philosophical/religious examples that embrace giving oneself an orgasm. The comment above about "truth" brings me a wry smile because I certainly didn't hear you discussing truth, but rather Positive Outcomes, or Things That Are Pleasurable. And as far as I'm concerned, by whatever means necessary, embarcing Pleasure, for pleasure's sake, is certainly worth pursuing. The cultural tides may be against us. Religions and cultures of oppression have long and entrenched stakes in their grip. Resistance, by varied means, is warranted.

And always, always, say yes to masturbation. That's a path worth promoting.

Thanks, Betty. It's a pleasure to hear you speak it how you see it.


The point you're missing is slightly to your left....

Tue, 04/20/2010 - 17:28
LoloBloggs (not verified)

If a cancer research charity decided to create a scheme whereby a caring and concerned individual could adopt a breast, a genital, or ovary to help pay for surgery, would you not be at the front of the line discussing a clear breach of dignity? Great cause, but why objectify a part of someone's body like that? That is the issue here.

Good intentions alone are not a blanket approval for irresponsible and/or offensive behaviour in any world and the adopt a clitoris scheme being pushed by Citoraid is offensive to ALL women.

Your outreach for women is valid, your concern about FGM is valid, but in allowing the Raelians and Clitoraid to use your name, and then defending it means you've put yourself right where your main opponents generally live: you just don't get it.

So for all the

ElisaDay's picture
Sat, 04/24/2010 - 02:01

So for all the anti-Clitoraid people, what are we supposed to do to help the women already victimized by FGM? Is it just tough shit for them while you try and help the other girls? Of course tons of work needs to be done to keep FGM from happening to anyone else but we still need to help the women it's already damaged.

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