It’s Fathers Day so I’m taking a moment to appreciate my Dad and a few other “Father Figures” in my life. There is always a certain amount of sadness when I think about my birth Father. I always called him “Daddy.”
Today it sounds a bit corny when I think of the current expression: “Who’s your daddy?” Does that mean who is the man I turn to in the time of need? Or the person who took care of me financially? Or is it referring to a lover or a husband? Or does it just mean the man whose sperm impregnated my mother? Perhaps it means all of the above.
My birth father was William Frank Dodson but everyone called him Frank. He was born in Pittsburg Kansas some time between 1890 and 1892, the fact that I don’t know the exact dates of his birth or death says a lot. Daddy was a silent man until he had a few drinks and then he became the life of the party until he passed out. Snippits of his past told by Mother portrayed an abused child with a mean father who had a short fuse and a bad temper. He had two brothers and three sisters. His youngest brother Howard and he were apprenticed to a local sign painter, a recognized art form back then.
Daddy was a periodic boozer. We never knew when he’d get drunk or sober up which caused periods of shame, anger and confusion for our entire family. Especially when I’d come home from school and he’d be passed out in his favorite chair in the living room. Or worse yet, he would go off into some kind of stupid drunk talk that would be utterly humiliating. However when he was sober, he had a marvelous personality with a killer dry sense of humor. Everyone loved Frank Dodson with all his charisma. He sang bass in a Barbershop Quartet that won recognition at the World’s Fair in the 1940’s. Mother said she married him for his good looks and to pass on his artistic talent to her children. Eventually I learned from Mother that he was a good lover “who had marvelous control.”
Since he worked in Men’s Wear designing store windows and painting what they called Show Cards, he was a very dapper dresser. Back then, hand lettered signs were the major form of advertising long before we had a gazillion ways to sell everything. He eventually designed neon signs for stores and movie theaters. When it first came out, Neon lighting was a big deal technology. Daddy ended up with his own little sign shop thanks to Mother, who was always the business minded one in our family. He sobered up for good when he was 65. He always said “Don’t forget your old Dad Betty Anne.” I never have but it’s true that I mostly tell stories about Mother.
My adopted Father was Uncle Howard, Daddy’s youngest brother. He moved to New York and was painting the big signs for Broadway Shows. Howard was also a handsome man. When I first arrived he was divorced a second time and had settled into a bachelor’s life spending his weekends in Englewood NJ at a fancy golf club that was predominantly Jewish. He’d been made an honorary Jew with the nickname Dodsky. I loved the Jews. They were so different, boisterous and far more expressive than the quiet repressed Christians I’d grown up with in Wichita. I tried to memorize all the Yiddish expressions I heard. Then they’d laugh when I’d say Gefilte fish or Yiddish for a “hole in the head” which I pronounced Lock in cough. Howard introduced me to many fancy restaurants where I sampled exotic cocktails and foreign foods. When I ate my first lobster, I felt like I was in a movie. His biggest gift was to pay for my first semester in art school at the National Academy of Design. Then for the next four years, I received scholarships. Uncle Howard eventually married again but we remained close friends until he died in 1966, two years before my first art exhibition in 1968. That broke my heart.
In some ways my husband Fred Lief was more of a father figure than a husband. One of the reasons I married him was because he said he’d be my art patron. Since our sexlife became non-existent by the second year, we lived together as compatible roommates and I was able to paint full time for the next five years until he ran off with secretary. He was a decent man, not very exciting but basically good hearted. Although he had agreed we didn’t have to have children, it became clear that he really did want a family. I finally got pregnant the beginning of our second year. I must honestly say I was totally relieved when I lost the pregnancy in the third month. I’m sure it was due to smoking, drinking and partying like a crazy fool plus being very unhappy. I had no sexlife except sneaky marital masturbation and elaborate sessions of masturbation in my art studio. It ended when Fred ran off his secretary. What a relief!
If I’m the Mother of Masturbation, Grant Taylor is the Father of Masturbation. A former English professor from NYU, we met right after I got divorced and that began the love affair of my lifetime. He was my longest and most intense love/hate relationship that lasted 45 years. He taught me that I was not genitally deformed and could enjoy vaginal penetration with clitoral stimulation at the same time and have loads of orgasms each and every time. He also introduced me to my first vibrator, an electric machine used by Barbers to massage men’s scalps. Finally he convinced me I could write and we collaborated for many years. He was a cruel taskmaster and I was competitive so we got along just fine until I would ban him from my sight. Then I’d get stuck with some problem and would end up calling him— push, pull.
Grant was the consummate English teacher who had published his own books teaching English as a second language. He retired at the age of 44 and lived off his investments. He became a fine sculpture using the ancient Japanese system of firing called Raku. We ended up trading places. He became an artist and I became a teacher, publisher and author. He was not only my most passionate lover but my best sex teacher, provocateur and task master. Together we liberated masturbation but he refused to stand by my side publicly saying only a woman could do this. I ended up being his sole support system because he’d alienated everyone else. I resented that. After I saw him through 4 strokes, dashing to the hospital as his only spokesperson, I told him the next stroke better take him out. I didn’t sign up to be his wife or nurse. I eventually sent my then house keeper to help him with food shopping and finally convinced him to marry her. She would inherit his rent stabilized apartment and I could stop worrying about him having a stroke and lying on the floor helpless for days. I miss him most of all to this day. Happy Father’s Day Grant where ever you are in the vast Universe.
Throughout the sixties I had a phase of no special boyfriends and preferred to be with couples as their sexual friend. I had many European adventures with My Dutch friend Albert Van Dam who was a very successful business man. He eventually married Meis and the three of us got along famously. Albert was a fabulous dresser and a skilled traveler who sailed through airports buying expensive gifts. One time when I questioned him about always spending money, he said that’s what rich people did, they had to spend the money they made. It seemed like another job to me. However he introduced me to the Ilse du Levand, a fabulous French nudist Island in the Mediterranean. That was a summer to remember.
The seventies were all about women’s liberation and changing careers. That’s when I became the publisher and distributor of Liberating Masturbation. Sheila was my main support system and I met her through Grant. He was always in the picture but during this decade he took a back seat. Sheila and I worked and partied together. She helped me during the start up of my Bodysex workshops until she moved back to Florida. The decade of the eighties I spent in the women’s SM movement. No men just all women. It was a blessed relief to take a vacation from the battle between the sexes.
I met Fred Howard, a bombastic German Jew who just escaped Nazi Germany, at the end of the eighties. He was a self-made man who was rich, fun and also insufferable in so many ways. To avoid being “One of the women who did whatever he wanted or rather demanded, including sex, I turned the tables. The third time I was at his gorgeous house in The Pines at Fire Island I showed up in his bedroom with a HUGE dildo strapped on with my black leather harness. Swaggering in like the Butch dominant I’d learned to own, I announced: “I can’t wait to fuck you in the ass.” We watched television instead. I was relieved from any further duties to please the King privately. Of course I eventually had a few threesomes, but that’s my favorite memory of Fred. I enjoyed the decade of the nineties as a regular summer guest and attended his many lavish parties in New York City. One of the best things about hanging out with him was being with contemporaries who were often successful Jews. They were always the most fun. Otherwise I preffered the company of much younger people.
I spent the next ten years with my young lover/apprentice Eric. And I mean much younger like forty some years. He has since moved along but I called his Dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Jerry is a good old boy living in Virginia who unfortunately has Parkinson’s disease, so we talk about sex and he sends me his favorite T&A images. I also wished my Superintendent Ibish a Happy Fathers Day. I nearly called Carlin’s boyfriend Geoff because we traveled together successfully several times in the beginning. Since Carlin and I have been partners five years now, at first we were like an extended family. In a sense, as a successful PR man, I could say Geoff helped me to see I was a successful brand, but he has since pulled away, so I didn't call him.
I’m open to the next Father Figure who might enter my life but I have very specific requirements. You must be in good health, a man of means, have a happy wife or girlfriend or be happily singlel and able to teach me something I don’t yet know/ Age does not matter but you must be intelligent, successful and accomplished. All interested Father figures can contact me through the website. Finally I will wished myself a Happy Father’s Day for being a self-made woman.