And Betty Asked "How Do You Want Me?"

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 11:46
Submitted by Carlin Ross

The first bit of press from our Norway trip is out.  This article ran in Dagbladet which is Norway's USA Today.  Our intern, Karen, translated it into english - here's the full interview with Betty:

- How do you want me?

An eighty-two-year-old woman is standing but naked on the floor with a fur west hanging lose over a pair of milk-white breasts. She’s laughing at the situation she’s in. This is the lady who’s studied woman’s lower bodies closely through many years, she’s arranged masturbation courses, talked about vulvas, drawn vulvas, and had both male and female sex partners. Still, she’s a little shy.

- For crying out loud, I’m an old woman… a pin-up at my age? Show a little respect! But sure sure. Give me the glass of champagne. Do you want me to have an orgasm here in the bed, now? Ah, Ih, Oh, Oooh!

The American sexology legend Betty Dodson is something special.

Maybe you thought you knew everything about the body and sex, all there is to know about the body and sex. But this grey-haired, born long before the word “masturbation” even showed up in the Great Encyclopedia of Norway, has a message that she, for more than 40 years, has tried to make men and women take seriously.

- Your boyfriend kisses you, squeezes your boob a little, and then – bang! In he goes. Nobody cares about what’s going on around the vaginal opening and the clitoris has been ignored. That’s why men need sex education, not sex entertainment. But are women taught to say, “I know what turns me on! Look, this is how you fuck me”? No, we have to be passive.

Betty snorts out loud, while she throws her head back.

- Women measure their sexuality by men’s sexuality. That won’t work. Guys can get off in their pants only by looking at a cute girl in the street. For women it’s harder. They have to get an erection the same way; it’s just inside them. But we hurry too much in bed. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve been on a date, we get home, have sex, he ejaculates and then takes a shower while I lie there stressing myself to orgasm before he comes out of the shower again, says Betty, who answers “masturbation, my friend” to the question of why she doesn't look-82.

In November she’ll have the chance to share this philosophy with all of Norway. Betty Dodson, Artist, New Yorker, Writer of the best seller “Sex for One – The Joy of Selfloving” – the world’s first book on female masturbation, is joining the program “Trekant” on NRK 3. She has a little of everything to teach us.

- I’m a cowgirl from Kansas, I don’t have a fancy education, but I do have a degree in sexology, because I’ve been around the world and did unique fieldwork by having sex with the natives. But mostly with myself.

Ms Dodson has always been a good hostess. In the sixties, in New York, she held “the most fantastic sex parties” with friends and acquaintances that arrived at her large Manhattan apartment, before they took off their clothes, had a bit of fruit and got started.

- Frankly, it was like a dinner party. But after a while I noticed something. I would look around the room and see men pumping away while the women were arranging their hair, trying to look their best, moaning and pretending. The problem was that few of them were actually having orgasms.

When Betty saw this she threw out the men. Instead she opened the doors for what would make her world reknown “bodysex groups”, where she gathered women, girlfriends, neighbors, wives naked in a circle on the living room floor, where they went through the good old, “show me yours, and I’ll show you mine”, that Betty calls “Genital Show and Tell”, in order to learn how to get clitoral orgasms. Again and again.

- Everyone started out by holding back, but when a woman was brave enough to say, “I actually never had an orgasm” that would start a wave of honesty. It turned out that a lot of women, of all ages, never or rarely had experienced an orgasm. On the second day we’d be jumping around naked, hugging each other, saying things like, “You’re so hot, Marie” or “Johanne, you’re not fat at all”.

The workshop wasn’t a masturbation circle, there wasn’t any romance involved, but it wasn’t a gym class, either. It became a sisterhood. Of the type women had never experienced before, which just felt so wonderful and recognizable.

- I’m an artist, not a gynecologist, so I have a trained eye for discovering beautiful things. Therefore I, as a mentor, could point in the mirror, that was put up in front of “Marie’s” vulva, the mirror we looked into sitting side by side and say: “Look, your inner lips are lovely, it’s natural, it’s beautiful.”

The girls cried during the day and slept heavily throughout the night.

- There are no more secrets after you’ve exposed yourself like that, and the women formed a special bond. Something like that grounds you, and as long as women don’t get to that point together, feminism doesn’t exist. Women catfight over men. Think about it, women fight over men’s attention on a daily basis. That’s why, when it comes to sex, we protect their ego so they don’t get hurt and leave us.

When Betty was five years old, the family moved from Kansas to California. It was a long drive across the US. Little Betty was sitting on the backseat by the window, she had found a pillow, and when she saw that her three brothers were sleeping, she pulled the pillow up tight and rocked on it between her legs.

- Mamma saw me in the rear view mirror and said nothing. I felt a little tickle, it didn’t take long. We aren’t talking about an adult orgasm; it felt good, and then it was gone. “Oh Betty Anne”, Mamma said when I talked to her as an adult; masturbation is a natural thing for a kid. She wasn’t an educated woman, but she knew her way around, you might say. Still, until the age of 36 I believed that I was genitally deformed.

- Were you?

- No!

But because everyone can see penises and nobody’s looks at vulvas, I mean really looks; I didn’t know how it was suppose to look. When one of my first lovers asked if he could turn on the light and have a look, I was terrified. But he said, “Sweetheart, this is my favorite style”. Style?

But he went to his closet and got a pile of porn magazines. I was astonished; I hadn’t seen any other women's vulva but mine. That’s when I knew that we had to look at vulvas. A whole lot more! After that day, I begin to draw women’s sex organs in my art. I discovered that women were eager to see what other women looked like down there.

My masturbation pillow wasn’t exchanged for a man’s hand until Betty met Bob in High School. Bob was a football player who almost every night for two years, pulled his yellow car into the driveway at Betty’s family’s house and gave a little honk. That's when Betty would sneak out in her pajamas and into his arms.

- He had the best fingers in the world. As the sound of The Beatles got higher and higher, so did I. After that when I found out that not all men are that nice, I was deeply disappointed.

Betty’s never been that interested in having children. She was married once to someone who paid her rent, and whom she therefore refers to as “sugardaddy”, even though there wasn’t that much “sugar” as she puts it. She stopped believing in monogamy and cheated after the first year. The marriage lasted seven years and she got to paint fulltime. After that she experimented with all kinds of people and shapes. When she was in her early seventies, she finally lived with a boyfriend again. Eric had a three-day-beard and was only 22 years old.

- He wanted to learn everything. How could I say no to that.

But then he came home and started talking about the G-spot, Betty says and shakes her head.

- The G-spot is so overstated bullshit. That's, the sponge-like form surrounding the urethra inside the vagina, and it’s part of the clitoral system. Ever since the phenomena came up in the eighties guys dive in there, and they push and prod and yes it can feels good, and yes you ejaculate a liquid that nobody knows exactly what it is, and there you have it – the guys have proof she's come from the wet spot on the sheet, and they feel like rock stars, but ejaculation doesn’t always mean that she's had an orgasm.

- What about the A-spot and P-spot that some people claim exist?

- Forget it. Information on female orgasms is not that easy to find, and yet orgasm is really quite simple. But how do you sell books without turning something simple into something mysterious and new? All these spots and the new names they have, is something authors use to sell books.

Back at the photo shoot, Betty asks her business partner and lawyer-friend, 38-year-old Carlin Ross, if she’s going to pose naked for the magazine. She does it without a second thought.

- Now, isn’t she beautiful, Betty says and pats the seat next to her for Carlin to come join her.

Carlin sits down and says in a girlie voice:

- Hey Granny, I’ve been a naughty girl and I’m up to something bad; can I sleep with Turkish waiters, just because I think it’s fun? Carlin asks while she laughs out loud.

Betty also laughs until a wrinkle appears in her forehead.

Hush now, they write down everything you say, Carlin. She’s kidding you know. But this you have to remember: The only thing I want in life is for women to stop being on their backs all the time, and to always always always enjoy orgasms. Is that aking too much? That’s it. Enough with the pictures. Where are my clothes?

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

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Fountain of Youth

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 12:05
Rio (not verified)

"I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve been on a date, we get home, have sex, he ejaculates and then takes a shower while I lie there stressing myself to orgasm before he comes out of the shower again, says Betty, who answers “masturbation, my friend” to the question of why she looks so not-82." Wonderful!

You continue to inspire me!!

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 12:18
EveLynn (not verified)

What a beautiful picture and portrayal of you, my friend.  I am truly inspired once again.  Growing wiser and juicier as the years go by continues to be my journey.  Sharing yours with you continues to be my blessing.
Much love to you - you juicy vamp!! 

Betty I haven't read the post

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 12:20

Betty I haven't read the post yet but I have to say that picture's really nice! you have fabulous legs!!

Hi, I just read this article

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 12:28


I just read this article today in the paper (Dagbladet) and so I discovered YOU...I've browsed your site for hours now and I'm speechless of how much I haven't discovered about myself yet. I'm very happy that you'll be part of the show (Trekanten), I think there's much to learn from you. 
I'll keep reading your articles, there's a lot to catch up on :)

Looking good

Fri, 09/23/2011 - 20:28

You're my inspiration.

I'm laughing!

Betty Dodson's picture
Sat, 09/24/2011 - 09:07

Of course I realize this is a translation from Norwegian to English but when I came across the bit about listening to the Beatles, that broke me up! We had Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey's big bands Baby! It was back in 1945! I've finally learned to take the media errors and misrepresentations in stride. I loved our time in Norway. It was challenging, entertaining and just plain ole fun!


Sat, 12/01/2012 - 21:02


Excited to read your memoir

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 19:52
Intrigued (not verified)

I don't know how I missed the memoir in the first place, but I can't wait to get my hands on it. Thank you for all you do for all of us. And I think you look so much more gorgeous now than ever!

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