Sex for One The Joy of Selfloving

79out of 100Good

What’s the hype?

“It’s safe to say that Betty Dodson is responsible for inspiring more people to take sexual pleasure into their own hands than any other force on earth. Sex for One has changed the lives of millions.” Susie Bright, author, Susie Bright’s Sexual Reality, editor, Herotica III, Best American Erotica of 1994

Does it live up to the hype?

I believe that if you’re someone that feels guilty about masturbating, or are having difficulties understanding why your parnter masturbates, after reading this book, you’ll feel differently. If you’re someone that has never had an orgasm before, after reading this book, I think you’ll start to. So yes, I think it lives up to the hype.

Initial Thoughts I’ve known for many years, that Betty Dodson is the “Mother of Masturbtion” and I’ve learned a lot from her, so I was genuinely excited about reading Sex for One. I figured it would be almost like a manual, teaching men and women how to masturbate, discussing different techniques on how to get yourself off like a pro, but what I found was something a little different and even better.

What I liked most about this book

Even though Betty Dodson is an advocate for masturbation, she shares with the readers her own life experiences with an unfulfilled sex life in her 1st marriage and how she dealt with it and got through it and also, how she felt about masturbating. It’s interesting to read about her guilt and the changes she made in her life. I think that sharing makes her a real person, not a superwoman, like so many sexperts and porn stars are seen as.

I love the way she discusses the roles of men and women in a relationship, the different games that we play and how that assists us into falling into these sexual ruts. Then she motivates you to change those thought processes, helping lovers understand what the other might be going through.

She also describes her own situation of how sharing a masturbation experience with her 2nd husband was so difficult, even though they had a very satisfying sex life and could honestly communicate about sex. Once again, showing how real this situation is for couples and that she understands it. And, most importantly, she shares how to deal with that situation and how wonderful sex can be once you both allow yourselves to masturbate with each other. She says, “Now that I knew I could continue by myself, the pressure was off both of us. I stopped trying to hurry up and come.” Sounds great doesn’t it?

I like the fact that she also discusses how there’s not a whole lot of great porn out there for women, but she gives you different tips on how to watch it and how to make it an enjoyable and/or arousing experience for masturbation.

What I didn’t like about this book

There are a couple of things that stuck out, but not enough to make me dislike.

The biggest thing that stuck out to me was that she kept calling lubricants, “love oils.” I don’t know if it’s because love oils sounds more sensual than lubricants, but as a sex educator, women shouldn’t use any type of oils when they masturbate. If women get oil in their vagina, it doesn’t wash out easily and promotes bacteria growth which can cause a yeast infection. She does explain quickly that you should use a water based lubricant early on in the book, but throughout the rest of it, until the second to last chapter, she continues to call it love oils and if you don’t read the book from cover to cover, you may miss that point. For example, Kama Sutra has an oil of love, but a woman shouldn’t masturbate with that. So calling them love oils, was a bad choice of words for me.

I was a little put off in the beginning about all her talk of financial security. In general, if a person is financially secure they may have more time to relax and experience masturbation in the details that she describes. However, the average middle income family, may have difficulty finding time for that. I just remember thinking and I even made note of it, “What about the wife who also has to work all day, take care of the children and house at night and cook dinner and do the laundry and run the errands…When does she find time?” I almost felt like Betty ignored that reader, but she does make suggestions for that situation later on.

Most Rockin Bits

Normally I try to pick just one aspect that really kicked some serious tail, but in this book’s case there were two. First, there are many women that have terrible body issues. Many women are also embarassed over the appearance of their genitals and for that very reason alone, won’t let their partner go down on them, won’t have sex with the lights on and so on and so forth. On pages 62 to 65, Betty illustrates the many different styles and types of vaginas she’s encountered over the years in her masturbation workshops and just to note, all these women were very happy to pose for her after learning to appreciate their own vaginas. It’s a very uplifting chapter for women that have such issues.

Betty also shares with us her experience in holding masturbation workshops for men. I did not realize that she did this before I read the book. Betty actually held workshops for men, in which any man, heterosexual or homosexual, would come in, take off their clothes, sit in a circle, learn and share masturbation tips with one another. And when everyone was finished, all the men wiped themselves off and hugged each other! After I read that, she was my hero!!! It was very interesting to read how she taught the men to masturbate in those workshops, even though she was a woman and didn’t have a penis. She was extremely clever, I’ll give her that.

Great Quote

Besides the one above, here’s another one that moved me.

Organized opposition to masturbation, like opposition to pornography, is actually oppostion to sexual arousal; to be turned on is somehow considered antisocial. In truth, it’s just the reverse: to be sexually repressed is antisocial.

Overall Thoughts on Sex for One, the Joy of Self-Loving

I loved this book, I especially loved the fact that it’s not a how-to-masturbate handbook. Even with all the exposure that we have to sex and sexual images on a daily basis, masturbating is still something that’s considered a taboo act and Betty Dodson does a terrific job explaining how that’s just not true. I would basically describe this book as being mostly motivational. However, there is a ton of techniques and information all mixed in and just when you think she’s all through, Chapter 12 contains detailed techniques for men and women on how to masturbate along with a full scenario of activities from how to get started all the way to what to do when you are finished. Once I finished reading, I realized that, even though it’s not a how-to-masturbate book, all the information about the vagina and the penis can be used to enhance your techniques during partner sex too. I think this book is important to read if you struggle with issues on masturbating, if you struggle with issues about your partner masturbating, if you’d like to incorporate mutual masturbation into partner sex or if your a woman who’s never had an orgasm. No matter what your situation or opinion is about masturbation, Betty Dodson does a terrific job in motivating you to get out there and start masturbating and ENJOY DOING IT!!!

  • Author: Betty Dodson, Ph. D.
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press
  • Format: Softbound
  • # of pages: 191
  • Erotic or Self-Help: Self-Help Easy or Difficult Read: Easy
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My name is Ann Andriani. Since 1999, I've helped millions of folks sort through their questions and curiosities about all things sex. There are tons of adult products out there and my goal is to help you find the gems and skip the losers.

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