Betty Dodson, Sexologist Who Taught Women How to Masturbate, Dies at 91

Betty Dodson, Sexologist Who Taught Women How to Masturbate, Dies at 91

Betty Dodson, a second-wave feminist who began her sex education life creating erotic art has died at the age of 91. She used the art and the time spent with women she invited to her Manhattan apartment to teach them that vulvas come in a variety of shapes and colors. She also taught plenty of women to masturbate.

Dodson became a feminist icon in sex education over the years, famously preferring the Original Magic Wand (previously known as the Hitachi Magic Wand) over any other vibrator. She called it the Cadillac of vibrators. She taught women to place a towel over their vulva when using the Magic Wand to muffle the intense sensation. Dodson believed if women could learn the art of sexual pleasure through masturbation, they could become independent from men.

Some second-wave feminists of her time disliked her intensely because of the graphic nature of her work. They often referred to it (incorrectly) as pornography. She wrote a memoir-style book called Sex for One: The Joy of Self-Loving, hosted group sex parties, and preferred masturbation but had no problem enjoying sex with partners of multiple genders.

Most recently, Dodson appeared on an episode of Goop Lab with Gwyneth Paltrow on Netflix. Her second memoir, Sex By Design: The Betty Dodson Story, was published in 2010. 

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