The Great Freedom Fighter, Betty Dodson, has left the planet.
She taught more women how to have orgasms than anyone else ever–no small feat.
I called her when I was a graduate student working on my thesis on masturbation in the mid-90s. I asked for support, which she generously gave. She was so happy I was doing the work, and carrying the torch. That led to a 25+ year friendship/mentorship unlike any other I have had in my life.
She always called me “kid.” No matter how old I got, I was one of her kids. She was the sexual mother I never had–that most of us never had. She played that role for many many people. It was a great gift to be in her presence, to soak up her wisdom. And to be a part of the constant irreverence that made her who she is. I laughed more with Betty than I do with most people because she found the humor in everything.
We would go to dinner and the wait staff would ask questions, knowing they were in the presence of greatness, which she was never shy to corroborate! She was a shining light for sexual liberation, for the freedom to live our lives however we damn well please, for democracy, for the liberation of masturbation and of women. A brilliant artist, a hilarious story teller and a loving powerhouse of a force like no other this world has ever known. She knew who she was, she never diminished her own power for others, and she lived full fucking out.
She gave everything she had in her life, inspiring scores of young sex educators and feminists and the gifts she gave me personally are innumerable and forever in my heart.
I will never forget her coming to Brooklyn and doing the champagne toast at my book release party even though she was sick and never crossed the bridges! She was always there for the important moments and I was blessed to share many with her.
Betty chose to leave this planet on Halloween, when the veils are thin. How perfect. We get to continue her legacy & keep liberating the people, liberating sexuality, finding joy in our bodies and our “Play-sure” as she always called it.
Thank you Betty for the gifts you gave us. You are truly one of a kind.
Betty was my mentor and my dear friend. I can’t believe she’s gone and that I’ll never hear her gruff voice and her sharp humor again.
I’ve cried a lot this week. I gathered a group of Betty’s closest friends for a transition ritual and it was beautiful to be in a Zoom room with so many sexual luminaries and revolutionaries who loved her because that’s who she surrounded herself with.
I found this interview I did with her in 2015 and I was so happy to remember I have this. You see exactly who she was and how she was in the video. And our love was evident. This made me so very happy and I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse of this brilliant, beautiful and singular woman. She was a superstar and now she’s shining brightly in the heavens.
I will be forever grateful because she made an indelible mark on me as a sexuality educator, an activist, and as a human being.
Viva la Vulva, Betty Dodson!!!!!