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Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  882 ratings  ·  70 reviews
For more than 20 years, Betty Dodson has been dedicated to taking the shame out of masturbation, showing it to be a healthy form of sexual expression. With warmth and intelligence, and informative line drawings, Dodson explains how anyone can learn to fully enjoy the pleasures of self-love, pointing out that masturbation is still the safest sex.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 12th 1996 by Harmony (first published 1987)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  882 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Christine Piccillo
A friend handed this to me as she was packing her apartment. She read it for a sexuality class in college, and said it was a good read. I'll admit, Betty Dodson approaches the topic with the idea of liberating masturbation and allowing people to realize that self love is healthy and nothing to be ashamed of. She talks with a sense of openness and humor, and it was an enjoyable read. Although I will never understand how people are comfortable having sex talk groups in the nude, I appreciate the s ...more
Patricia (theinfophile)
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: The Sexually Inexperienced, I guess
Shelves: sexnonfiction
This book is really dated, and I can see how outstanding it must have been when it was originally published. I don't find it really helpful for people who are already sex-positive; however, for people who don't yet appreciate their bodies, I feel it's excellent. I suggested it to a friend who was almost 30 and had never masturbated and she said it really helped her learn to love and know herself.
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I know I flicked through this once in a bookshop, but I can't remember a damn thing about it. Anyway, great title.
Apr 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm not at all embarrassed in letting you know that I read this book. It was totally wild and eye opening.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was going to be simply a how-to-guide, but it's far from it. It's not until the end that Betty Dodson gives any sort of direction on how to give yourself pleasure and even then, it's not your typical masturbation book. The book is about feminism throughout the years and about how people need to love their bodies in order to experience sexual satisfaction. I read this book this summer during a darker period in my life and it brought me a lot of comfort and rejuvenated me. I wo ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This is not so much a book of "how to" as a book of "why not?". It is an important if, for no other reason, than it encourages us to develop a loving relationship with ourselves. Masturbation should be more than "getting off". It should also be a discovery of our own beautiful, amazing bodies. There are enough messages out there that encourage self loathing. This message of self acceptance is a breath of fresh air.
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
This really should be mandatory in women's studies classes. I wish I had read it sooner.

Although, I should point out that it's not just for women. Men should read it too.
May 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was eager to read something by Dodson, she is such a big name in the sex education movement. This book was kind of a disappointment, though. It must have been great when it was originally published, and I am happy to read about the many people who have benefited from her workshops. However, to me this books feels often painfully dated. Some of my main problems were:

+ Talking about female genital mutilation and male circumcision as if they're the same horrible act. These two are not anywhere cl
Miller Sherling
Sep 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Bad prose, impressive illustrations, really really great ideas. This woman has helped more people to be happy than pretty much any other single person I can think of. Coolest, to me, is her idea that seeing masturbation as a sorry substitute for a partner or partners, or as an activity exclusively for the lonely, is almost as damaging as seeing it as causing blindness. It remains a dirty little secret, and women _and_ men are preventing from figuring out their best forms of sexual happiness and ...more
Nov 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I feel that Dodson's book is a great read for beginner and expert alike. Its more than just a manual, it gives one insight on her own voyage to a "cunt positive" lifestyle and provides a bit of history too. The pictures are also fabulous, providing one with exquisite examples and ideas.

After reading the book and trying out some of her advice I must say that I feel 50x more comfortable with myself.

LOVE the book!
May 01, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone with self-image issues surrounding sex
I think I'm on my 3rd copy of this - I keep lending it out, and every once in a while it doesn't come back.

A great book. I highly recommend it for anyone trying to overcome issues regarding sexuality and feelings of their own self-worth (or lack thereof). Betty can be a bit political and "out there" in her writing, but it's a good book and solidly sex-positive.

Feb 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-fifty-book
This book was not particularly what I expected. It's not really a sex manual. It does contain some tips and ideas, but the bulk of the book is a sort of history of Dodson's own sexual liberation and the story of her work to liberate others. It's interesting and funny and I could see how it might be internally liberating for the person who is insufficiently liberated when they begin.
The Cute Little Brown-haired girl
My gay friend, Matthew gave this book to me. He was a book slut and only bought books on sex. I think I read three chapters of it. It is by far, very "open minded", and gives you things to ponder about your own sexuality and beliefs about "self love".
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Arianna by: Dawn Hall
I found the book to be empowering, interesting, relatable, and easy to follow and read. I would definitely recommend it. I found it easy to compare and contrast the similarities of today's society and society at the time she wrote the book. The book is geared more towards women, however does not exclude men and is helpful to all genders and sexualities.

With those being said, much of the supporting content is outdated. I was also annoyed that the author was often repetitive of her concepts. I fel
Apr 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: sex
This is an important book because not enough positive books are written about masturbation. It covers 101 type stuff. Self-love and getting over negative feelings about sexual pleasure, techniques, pictures of cunts (but for all the talk about the uniqueness where are the dick pics??).

But I'm really not for what she has to say about sexual fantasies -- that whatever one wants to imagine is okay. Incest, animals, rape. The first two are gross and wrong but fantasizing about rape (whether you're t
sheena d.
Dec 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-japan
People who have tiny little ice boxes down there should read this.

It might help you defrost.

And if you don't need to loosen up, maybe you can at least enjoy the drawings of genitals, and the funny faces you'll make when you consider how uncomfortable our society STILL is when it comes to discussing masturbation and basic human anatomy.

I read two chapters before bed every night and was rewarded with incredible dreams. Betty Dodson is the auntie who would let you get wasted at her house and total
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bodies, fem-gen-queer
Not at all what I expected, and I actually felt pretty disappointed in Dodson's staunch refusal to see sex as a valuable source of romantic intimacy. I felt like she really idolized the goal of getting off any way that felt good, and i think that ignores a basic human need for connection and sex as a primary vehicle for potentially forging that connection.

But yeah, sure, we should all masturbate more. Maybe this speaks to this book being rather outdated, but I think in 2017 there are plenty of
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sexuality
Gave a copy to my ex-wife as a divorce gift because I was a horse's backside back then.
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
First book about sex I ever read... That wasn't about how babies are made.
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In spite of the generational aging of some of the examples, the essence and intention of Dodson's mission to liberate masturbation (and by extension sexual pleasure as a whole) is clear and strong. Many of my beliefs and attitudes towards sex, masturbation, sexuality and my body as a woman were both reaffirmed and enlightened as I read through Dodson's experiences and journey. This book also showed me that despite the strides we may have made over the last five decades, as a society we are still ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Yea, I got this book in a crate from my grandmothers house after she passed. A diverse collection across the board. She was a book worm and interested in anything and everything.

Interesting at times. She's definitely all about this stuff. And you know what, I buy into a lot of the liberating the idea and all that. And there's worth in it, to me it's something that she's over passionate about, but I could bet for a lot of repressed people or had issues growing up or anything, they need someone mo
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
A very brave, groundbreaking woman who has helped people accept, indeed love, their own bodies and to seek their sexual fulfillment without relying exclusively (and unrealistically) on their partner. She also has an online presence (reviewing sex toys etc) and comes across as so witty, insightful and balanced.
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing. This has been exactly how I've been feeling for years. SO many women do not explore their bodies enough. Sex along with masturbation can enhance your experience. very good read.
Barb Ward
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was a great read for me or anybody who is ready to sexually free themselves and get to intimately know their own body. The author is extremely candid and has many great ideas for getting in touch with what pleasures you. It's very intimate.
Pamela Dailey
one of my all time favs
Aug 19, 2008 rated it liked it
I thought this book was ok. It was more about the movement in the 50's to have everyone know that masturbation was ok then the actual act. Betty Dodson is a cool lady -- a definite role model!
Kay Baird
May 19, 2010 marked it as to-read
The book, told in the first person, is a saga of her path.
Amii Morrison
Aug 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book goes through one womans life and how she learned to love herself through masterbation. it was an interesting read.
Dodson has imagined a utopia of sorts... if everyone masturbated, the world would be a perfect place! Haha. Still an interesting read, but anyone with a healthy sex drive probably should skip it.
Jan 01, 2011 rated it liked it
I love the ideas and exercises and of course the sex positivity is great. The book is a tad bit corny and the parts about getting in touch with your feminine/masculine side feel a bit outdated.
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Betty Dodson is an American sex educator, author, and artist. Dodson held the first one-woman show of erotic art at the Wickersham Gallery in New York City in 1968. She left the art world to teach sex to women. She is widely known as a pioneer in women's, and to a somewhat lesser extent men's, sexual liberation, having sold more than 1 million copies of her first book, Sex for One. Much of her fam ...more

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“Masturbation is the ongoing love affair that each of us has with ourselves throughout our lifetime.” 3 likes
“Antes estaba convencida de que la masturbación llevaba al sexo, pero ahora sé que la masturbación es sexo. La próxima vez que alguien te pregunte ‘¿Cuándo tuvo su primera experiencia sexual?’, debería responder que su primer contacto con el sexo fue la masturbación.” 2 likes
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