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Self service

Betty Dodson PhD, bestselling author of Sex for One, discusses the importance of 'self-loving'

Masturbation is sex for one. Self-sexuality had to be established, to become part of the conversation about human sexuality. We can't just talk about sex for two and think that's the only kind of sex. We have to go back to our roots - sex with ourselves. Then we can grow up more natural, normal, healthy and happy, without all the sexual damage that the repression of masturbation has caused people. Masturbation is the way we all learn about our sexuality.

Just because I'm talking about sex for one doesn't mean I don't do sex for two, three, five and up. I have had more sex than most people who are just doing one on one. One person for a lifetime, monogamy, marriage? That's a myth. They are the ones who are having a minimum of sex. Heterosexual fucking can be enormously satisfying, but not the way most people are doing it today.

Heterosexuality is a dying form of sexual expression, the way it is being practised today in most parts of the world. Women are repressed and subservient to men. Women are supposed to be monogamous while the men fuck around. I will always love Bill Clinton for bringing extramarital sex out of the closet. Everybody knows most married men are fuck- ing around, and the ones who are not can't get a hard-on, have high blood pressure or they're on some kind of medication. Otherwise they would be having extramarital sex too.

Sex is about everything, every emotion you can have. But I emphasise the body because women are too much into emotions. We want romance, but it's a myth. This 'perfect person, perfect sex and the perfect relationship' is mostly based on a fairytale. We can have those feelings for a very short time, but when reality comes crashing in, the pain and the hurt and the suffering and the breakdown follow.

Probably a better way to deal with sex and marriage would be to pick somebody you had a lot of warm friendly feelings towards, rather than hot passion. Because the hot passion is going to cool off and then what are you left with? Friendship is closer to something that is more like love than the hot romantic stuff that we see in the movies and on television.

I'm having a sex affair with a young man. He came and spent a week with me and we had extraordinary sex. I'm at the end of my sixties, he's in his twenties. We are like an erotic mother and son - or grandmother and grandson. It is like adult play. It isn't about power, who's dominating who, or proving I'm sexy and desirable, or that he can keep it up - it isn't about any of that. It is about having fun: using sex energy and taking it to really high places; having orgasm after orgasm and going into an altered state of ecstasy; having somebody who will play with you without judgement. If I'm with a man who doesn't like vibrators because his cock has to be the creator of my orgasms, we're in deep doo doo. It's not going to work.

Any young man today, if he's smart, will start reading sex books and getting himself sexually educated. And if he wants to know what women want, he shouldn't read a book written by a man, because he is going to end up telling you what he thinks they want. He should read books written by women. Young men today have the advantage of a lot of sex information being available. And the biggest, most important part of that sex information is what we said back in the 1970s - the clitoris is the woman's sex organ.

A young friend of mine is in a religious college in the southern part of the USA, and they feel the Christian way to have sex is intercourse, the penis and the vagina. If a woman doesn't come that way then it's her problem - there is something wrong with her. The fact that we don't acknowledge the clitoris as the woman's sex organ is the dark ages of human sexuality. It shows you how little progress has been made in terms of heterosexuality.

There has been enormous progress made in queer culture, and that is certainly where I identify myself. I'm part of the queer nation. I'm not married, I don't want to have a family, I don't want to settle down, I don't want to be monogamous - I want to have multiple sex partners, I want to have sex with men and women, I want to have sex with myself, and I want to be honest about it, I want to talk about it, I want to read about it openly. So that makes me queer.

We have to redefine and reconsider how we structure long-term partnerships. Monogamy is the killer of desire. Young people get married because they think that they are going to be able to have a sex life, and it turns out that after you have been married several years, the sex begins to fade. Men can't get it up, they have too many problems. The couple get angry with each other. Finally sex totally disintegrates. Then the wives start reading all these books about how to get your man interested again and all that crap - when the way to get him interested in sex again is to have an extramarital affair.

As a matter of fact, most marriages would be sexually healthier if both husband and wife had an occasional threesome, dated another married couple, went to a sex party several times a year. Most people would agree that variety is the spice of life, and that includes sex.

Betty Dodson was talking to Jennie Bristow

Reproduced from LM issue 120, May 1999

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