11/8/2020: Betty Dodson died October 31, 2020, at age 91. I’m republishing this post from 7/12/11 to celebrate Betty’s life. Dear Betty, thank you for living audaciously and authentically and for teaching us so much about our right to sexual pleasure!
“There’s that pushy broad who drove me crazy!” I heard from inside Betty Dodson‘s apartment as I rang the doorbell.
Although Betty and I had corresponded by email, and she had written the fabulous foreword to Naked at Our Age, we had never met in person. Now, on this trip to New York in 2011, I was about to have the opportunity and pleasure of spending a couple of hours with this icon of sexual empowerment.
But — “drove me crazy”? Was she referring to me? Her memory was that I pursued her relentlessly until she agreed to write the foreword to Naked, after she told me a thousand times she was too busy.
My memory was that she had told me once that she was too busy. I had said, “Just read the table of contents and one chapter of the manuscript, and then tell me whether you can make time.” She had done so and said, “I’ll do it.”
I laugh at my unreliable memory a lot these days, and so does Betty at almost 83, though she’s as sharp, smart, and witty as any three young people combined, so maybe her version is right. Regardless, she loves the book and believes in my mission.
We bonded immediately. Within two minutes of my arrival, Betty lifted her tunic and flashed her bare booty at me, saying, “I haven’t finished getting dressed yet.”
“Woo hoo! Do that again,” I said, grabbing my cell phone camera. She repeated the action several times so I could get a good photo.
“May I post this on my blog?” I asked, showing Betty the best shot.
“Absolutely not!” she replied. So Betty Dodson’s naked butt resides on my phone photo gallery exclusively — sorry, folks!*
Betty gave me a tour of her apartment and showed me some of her extraordinary artwork. She took a couple of phone calls while I was there, from TV shows and interviewers. She’ll be celebrating her 83rd birthday at a huge event in Norway, is working on video projects, and is in no way slowing down. See her projects on her website: http://dodsonandross.com/.
Betty introduced me to the lively and lovely Carlin Ross, her business partner, who was sitting behind one of the three microphones set up in Betty’s bedroom/office. Carlin informed me that we were recording a podcast together. Oh!
The three of us chatted for an hour about senior sex, sharing and laughing and having a fine time.
I left Betty’s apartment joyful and even more impressed with Betty Dodson than I had been two hours before. What a woman. She called me “sister warrior” in an email after she read Naked at Our Age. On this day, she called me “friend.”
* 11/8/2020 update: Now that Betty is no longer here to object, is it time for me to share her naked butt photo? Nope. I pride myself on being trustworthy. But I’ll show you one of her paintings:
Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex is unique because it presents real people, ages 50 to 80-plus, telling their stories and describing their sexual challenges, with immediately helpful tips and solutions from top sexuality educators, therapists, and medical professionals.
I am indebted to these experts for contributing their valuable advice. I encourage you to read their books and explore their websites to see what else they have to offer.
Isadora Alman, MFT is a board-certified sexologist, California-licensed relationship therapist, and author of Doing It: Real People Having Really Good Sex. Her Ask Isadora advice column has appeared in news weeklies worldwide for more than twenty-five years. Visit her website at www.askisadora.com.
Lori Anafarta, MA, LAMFT is the clinical director and founder of Beyond Diagnosis Counseling, LLC, in St. Paul and Forest Lake, Minnesota. Visit her website at www.BeyondDiagnosisCounseling.com.
Megan Andelloux is a board certified sexuality educator (AASECT) and sexologist (ACS), who lectures at colleges, works as a gynecological teaching assistant and runs The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, RI. Visit her website at www.ohmegan.com.
Charles (Chip) August is a Personal Growth and Couples Intimacy Coach, host of Sex, Love & Intimacy, an internet radio show, and author of Marital Passion: The Sexless Marriage Makeover. Visit his website at www.chipaugust.com.
Ellen Barnard, MSSW is a sex educator and counselor on topics of aging and sexuality, cancer and sexuality, and facilitating intimacy at the end of life. She is the co-owner of A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resource Center, www.sexualityresources.com.
Libby Bennett, PsyD and Ginger Holczer, PsyD are clinical psychologists and coauthors of Finding and Revealing Your Sexual Self: A Guide to Communicating about Sex. Visit their website at www.psychobabbledocs.com.
Violet Blue is the author and editor of more than a dozen books on sexuality, including The Ultimate Guide to Cunnilingus: How to Go Down on a Women and Give Her Exquisite Pleasure. She is a sex educator who lectures at universities and community colleges. Visit her website at www.tinynibbles.com.
Sage Bolte, PhD, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C is an oncology counselor at Life with Cancer®, an Inova Health System service in northern Virginia. Visit the website at www.lifewithcancer.org.
Michael Castleman, MA is the author of twelve books, including Great Sex: The Man’s Guide to the Secrets of Whole-Body Sensuality and Sexual Solutions: For Men and the Women Who Love Them. Visit his website about sex after midlife, www.GreatSexAfter40.com.
Michele Cauch, MA, MSW is the executive director of Toronto-based SageHealth Network, www.sagehealthnetwork.com, an agency promoting seniors’ sexual health and positive aging. Visit her blog at www.seniorsex.blogspot.com.
Glenda Corwin, PhD, author of Sexual Intimacy for Women: A Guide for Same Sex Couples, is a clinical psychologist providing gay-affirmative psychotherapy and sexual-intimacy workshops for women who partner with women. Visit her website at www.drglendacorwin.com.
Carol Denker is the author of Autumn Romance: Stories and Portraits of Love after 50. Visit her website at www.autumnlove.org.
Barb DePree, MD is a women’s health provider specializing in menopause care in West Michigan. She founded MiddlesexMD to help women enjoy sexuality for life, offering clinically sound information, practical advice, and intimacy aids. Visit her website at http://middlesexmd.com/.
Jed Diamond, PhD, author of Male Menopause and Mr. Mean: Saving Your Relationship from the Irritable Male Syndrome, is a psychotherapist working with men and women over forty. Visit his website at www.MenAlive.com.
Betty Dodson, PhD, artist, author, and sexologist, has been a voice for women’s sexual pleasure and health for more than three decades. Her books include Betty Dodson: My Sexual Revolution, Sex for One: the Joy of Selfloving, and Orgasms for Two: The Joy of Partnersex. Visit her website at www.dodsonandross.com.
Dossie Easton, a long time player on the San Francisco S/M scene, is coauthor with Janet Hardy of several books on BDSM, including The Ethical Slut and When Someone You Love Is Kinky. She is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice. Visit her website at www.dossieeaston.com.
Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD, MSEd is a certified sex educator and the author of several books, including Sultry Sex Talk to Seduce Any Lover, Better Sex Guide to Extraordinary Lovemaking, and The Hot Guide to Safer Sex. Visit her websites at www.yvonnekfulbright.com and www.sensualfusion.com.
Francesca Gentillé is a clinical sexologist, relationship counselor, and contributing author to The Marriage of Sex & Spirit. She hosts the Internet radio show, Sex: Tantra & Kama Sutra. Visit her website at www.lifedancecenter.com.
Charlie Glickman, PhD is the Education Program Manager at Good Vibrations. He offers workshops and classes on a wide range of sexuality topics including sex-positivity, sex and shame, and sexual diversity and practices. Visit his website at http://www.charlieglickman.com/.
Joe Hanson is a life coach, grief and loss counselor, and the author of Soaring Into Acceptance: Moving through Change and Loss and into Acceptance. Visit his website at www.lifelessons.info.
Ken Haslam, MD, leads workshops educating senior citizens to be comfortable about their changing sexuality. He is a ten-year polyamory activist who founded a collection of polyamory archives at the Kinsey Institute, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Dr. David Hersh is clinical director of The Hersh Centre for Sexual Wellness. He is a sexologist, psychotherapist, and marital therapist in private practice, with offices in Calgary, Alberta; Nelson, British Columbia; and San Francisco, California. Visit his website at www.sexualwellness.ca.
Anne Katz, RN, PhD is the author of Woman Cancer Sex, Man Cancer Sex, and Breaking the Silence on Cancer and Sexuality: A Handbook for Health Care Providers. She is the sexuality counselor at CancerCare Manitoba in Canada. Visit her website at www.drannekatz.com.
Susan Kellogg Spadt, PhD, CRNP is a vulvovaginal pain specialist and Director of Sexual Medicine at the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute of Philadelphia, www.pelvicandsexualhealthinstitute.org.
Daniel Kuhn, MSW is Community Educator for the LIFE Institute of Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care, based in Park Ridge, Illinois. He has authored or coauthored more than fifty publications, including Alzheimer’s Early Stages: First Steps for Family, Friends and Caregivers.
Erica Manfred, divorced at sixty, is the author of He’s History You’re Not: Surviving Divorce After Forty. Visit her website at www.heshistory.com.
Michele Marsh, PhD is a certified sex therapist and licensed psychologist practicing at the Council for Relationships in Wynnewood and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She works with people of all ages and uses EMDR for trauma resolution.
Susana Mayer, PhD is a board certified clinical sexologist with a doctorate in human sexuality. Her Ageless Sex Life™ is a philosophy and program of techniques to assist with sexual drive/desire issues. Visit her website at www.SusanaMayer.com .
Laurie Mintz, PhD is a licensed psychologist, professor at the University of Missouri, author of A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex: Reclaim Your Desire and Reignite Your Relationship,  and a tired woman who has regained her once-lost passion. Visit her website at www.drlauriemintz.com.
Loren A. Olson, MD is a board-certified clinical psychiatrist, recognized as a Distinguished Life Fellow by the American Psychiatric Association, and author of Finally Out. Visit his blog for mature gay men at www.magneticfire.com.
Lou Paget is the author of five books, including How to be a Great Lover and How to Give Her Absolute Pleasure, translated into 28 languages; CEO of Frankly Speaking Inc.; an AASECT Certified Sex Educator; and a regular media expert on all things sexual. Visit her website at www.loupaget.com.
Carol Queen, PhD is a writer, speaker, educator, and activist with a doctorate in sexology. She is Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, and founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture. Visit her website at www.carolqueen.com.
Marnia Robinson, science journalist, is the author of Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow: From Habit to Harmony in Sexual Relationships. Visit her website at www.reuniting.info.
Candida Royalle, known for pioneering the genre of woman-friendly erotic films and the Natural Contours line of intimate massagers, is the author of How to Tell a Naked Man What to Do. Visit her website at www.candidaroyalle.com.
Rebekah Skoor, MA, MS, iMFT is a professor of Sexuality Studies and Counseling in San Francisco, California. She also counsels individuals, couples, and families, specializing in relationships and healing from interpersonal trauma. Visit her website at www.rebekahskoor.com.
Jeane Taylor, LCSW, a psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Rosa, California, has been helping people for more than thirty years.
Tina B. Tessina, PhD, “Dr. Romance,” is a licensed psychotherapist and author of thirteen books, including How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free and The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again. Visit her website at www.tinatessina.com and blog at http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog.
Yolanda (Landi) Turner, EdD is a therapist who specializes in online relationships. She is a professor at Eastern University (St. Davids, Pennsylvania) and Widener University (Chester, Pennsylvania). Visit her website at www.drlanditurner.com.
Rabbi Ed Weinsberg, EdD, DD, specializes in reigniting intimacy after cancer. He is a prostate-cancer survivor and author of Conquer Prostate Cancer: How Medicine, Faith, Love and Sex Can Renew Your Life with Robert Carey, MD. Visit his website at www.ConquerProstateCancer.com.
Diana Wiley, PhD is a board-certified sex therapist, clinical sexologist, marriage and family therapist, and gerontologist affiliated with the Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education and Research. Visit her website at www.DrDianaWiley.com.
Myrtle Wilhite, MD, MS is a physician and epidemiologist who specializes in prevention strategies to help maintain sexual health and wellness. She is the co-owner of A Woman’s Touch Sexuality Resource Center, www.sexualityresources.com.