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Feminist Sex Educator Betty Dodson Has Passed

By Lori Perkins

The headline doesn’t begin to tell you who Betty Dodson was.  Force of nature is an understatement.


I met Betty when she was already in her 80s, but still teaching her female-centered self love classes in the oval living room of her Manhattan apartment. I was hoping to do some books with her (still might work with her estate) and was blown away by her amazing life force as she smoked her cigarette and showed me all the things in her apartment that brought her joy and has made her who she was. She was still on fire.  


I came of age in NYC in the 70s, and was an active participant in the feminist movement, so Betty’s  “radical” embrace of female masturbation at a time when men weren’t even sure women had orgasms was something I knew about decades ago.  When her book, Sex for One, became an underground bestseller, I was so glad it existed.  Decades later I taught a sex positive class for a chapter for NY NOW and found myself stu