I didn't grow up reading websites like Truthout. My understanding of government and money from childhood through most of my adult years was pathetic. I was not formally educated other than art school. The positive aspect of that meant my creativity was not dulled by rote learning.
A year of college while working after school in the advertising department of the Wichita Beacon newspaper demonstrated I knew more than the professor who was teaching us about commercial art. After I showed him how drawings were reproduced, I opted for on-the-job training and dropped out of school.
I moved to New York City and supported myself with commercial art as I began four years of art schooling at night with the help of scholarships plus one final year in Paris. Money was what I earned to pay rent so I could draw and paint. Other than saying I was a Democrat, I was totally apolitical, following in the footsteps of most working-class folks who lived from one paycheck to the next.
I became very good at drawing and painting the classical nude. A brief marriage allowed me to paint full time for five years. Following a divorce, I entered America's sexual revolution. Once my classical nudes began to have sex, my first exhibition took place when I was about to turn 40 in 1968. "The Love Picture Exhibition" was a big success. Two years later my second show of masturbating nudes ended my gallery career. I was a feminist dedicated to helping women learn about clitoral orgasms to get beyond the penis/vagina procreation model.
I wouldn't taste another bite of success until I wrote an article about masturbation for the newly formed Ms. Magazine. When it appeared in 1974, reader response was overwhelmingly positive. I wrote, illustrated and published 5,000 copies of my first book, Liberating Masturbation: a Meditation on Selflove, that became a feminist classic. Finally I had a product to sell that could be duplicated. I was a businesswoman with an artist's soul who refused all the offers that followed because they weren't "perfect." After this second financial success, I knew I had to teach sex to women, and I became poor again. It actually felt better living from hand to mouth because it was what I knew best.
The women's masturbation workshops I led for 25 years led to a PhD in sexology. But my experience during America's Sexual Revolution, attending sex parties along with teaching masturbation workshops was my REAL education. The same as art, I learned about sex by doing sex.
Now, in my 80's, I'm learning about politics and justice by interacting hands-on with the Truthout community, which I'm honored to support. My computer is my office and classroom. I can't wait to go there every day to check out my website, email, answer sex questions and read Truthout. The folks who read Truthout are my kind of people; they are still discussing and questioning subjects that matter.
Right now, Truthout's working to make its fundraising goal, with $20,000 left to raise. Will you join with me and help keep this crucial website going by making a tax-deductible donation today?
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Bestselling Feminist Author & World-Renowned Sexologist