Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands: An Interview With Dr. Betty Dodson

2009 September 23

I recently wrote about how I came to discover the work of Dr. Betty Dodson and the universality of her advice to “Get on top and run the f*ck” as a general life strategy. Just for kicks,¬† I approached Dr. Dodson about doing an interview more in line with her area of expertise, sex-positive activism and advocacy, and she generously agreed to answer a few questions in her typical (and totally refreshing) frank and outspoken style.

2960782975_48e9ea46caPhoto by Leanne Surfleet

How has the public discourse about sex (everything from reproductive rights to sexual pleasure) evolved over the course of your career? In recent years, do you think it’s been moving in a more open or more¬†repressed direction?

The public discourse about sex is either blathering on and on about “abstinence only” or promoting excessive, pornified crap about “mind-blowing orgasms.” While sex is used to sell everything, sweet little is being done to promote sexual skills that would actually benefit people. I’d say the public discourse is flashier, but people are more repressed, unfortunately.

How would you explain the co-existence of the “voluntary” hyper sexualization of young women (i.e., sexting, risque photos posted to myspace or facebook, etc.) and the seeming ignorance¬† of these same women about the basic nature and functioning of their bodies and their own role as autonomous agents of their own sexual fulfillment? What explains this dichotomy?

Thanks to Sex and the City, too many young women are more interested in how they look rather than how much they enjoy sex. American women and girls are more egocentric and narcissistic than ever before, according to extensive research done by two leading psychologists. We have their findings posted on our website.

How integral is a sense of sex positivity to feminism?

The avoidance of sex with the second wave of feminism nearly ended our movement, especially when they went after men’s porn. I’m hanging in there and beating the drums about how we gotta make feminism fun and orgasmic or we will lose each younger generation that comes along. That’s what DodsonandRoss.com is aiming for: F*cking Like a Feminist! Check it out on our website.

How integral is sex positivity to being a happy, grounded, productive individual, male or female? How does a negative or fearful attitude about one’s sexual nature affect other areas of a person’s life?

It’s always been my position that people need to master their personal sex lives by at least being successful with masturbation. Otherwise, they will be ruled by creepy feelings of sexual inadequacy. Once we understand how to have our orgasms, we can get on with other aspects of our lives.

If you had to give a 15-second sales pitch on the benefits and importance of masturbation, what would you say to sell it?

After a lifetime of writing, drawing, filming, teaching, and liberating self-sexuality, I’d say that masturbation is the foundation for all of human sexual activity. That’s where we all must begin and happily end.

And, on a lighter note, any plans to start printing “Get on top and run the f*ck” tees? I have a feeling they’d sell like hot cakes.

Carlin and I have discussed this before. We have a bunch of ideas for tees. Stay tuned.

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