“Masturbation is a meditation on self-love. So many of us are afflicted with self-loathing, bad body images, shame about our body functions, and confusion about sex and pleasure, I recommend and intense love affair with yourself.” – Betty Dodson.

 

Self-love is an integral part of our health and wellbeing and no one knows that better than Betty Dodson, a longtime sex educator and advocate of female masturbation. She wrote the book Sex for One and is perhaps best known for the workshops she’s hosted at her Manahattan apartment since the 70’s. Here, intimate groups of women gather to learn about orgasms, let go of sexual shame and masturbate together.

 

Intrigued? So were we—which is why we were thrilled when Suzannah Weiss attended a recent workshop and offered a sneak peek in Harper’s Bazaar:

 

“In a lesson on female anatomy, we spread our legs in front of the group and learned what type of vulva we have, before being asked to give it a name. I learned that my vulva type is rare, with small, symmetrical lips. I suggested the name ‘Storm’ and everyone approved.”

 

(See, we knew we weren’t the only ones naming our lady parts.)

 

Weiss had hoped the class would help her upgrade her orgasms. Instead, she walked away with a new desire to embrace masturbating in her own way—and without comparing herself to anyone else:

 

“You don’t often hear about men striving for better orgasms. Yet there’s a whole market of toys, books, classes and even vaginal injections marketed to women for this purpose. Society has been teaching us that orgasms, like the rest of our bodies, aren’t good enough …  I didn’t have to discover a new kind of orgasm; I had to free myself from the ideals that made me feel I should always be aiming for better orgasms.”

 

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