What Degree Do You Recommend for a Prospective Sex Therapist Focusing on Female Orgasm?

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 10:58
Submitted by Betty Dodson

Dear Dr. Betty,

My name is M and I am interested in the field of human sexuality, particularly female sexuality.

I studied Somatic Psychology at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies for my undergraduate work. In my last year at Fairhaven I wrote an essay about masturbation and discovered that my true passion lives within the field of human sexuality, with an emphasis on female sexuality and orgasm. For my senior project, I designed a qualitative study focused on female masturbation--what it means to women and how it has shaped their lives. During this research project I discovered your book, Sex for One: The Joy of Self Loving, and fell in love with everything about your work!!

I've been wanting to contact you ever since...so here I am. I'm moving to San Francisco and looking into graduate schools now. Among the choices are California Institute for Integral Studies, John F. Kennedy University, and the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. My goal in life is to be a therapist and since completing my undergraduate work I've been interested sex therapy. I wonder if there is a school or particular degree you recommend that is best suited for this kind of work (I know you attended IASHS). Is there any way to enter this field before receiving an advanced degree? What kind of work did you do before you attended IASHS? Are there any institutions you know of in the city to work for or contact?

It's an honor to write to you and I'm incredibly grateful for your work.

Thank you for you time,


Hi M,

If you spend some time on our website, you'll see we are offering certification to women interested in running Bodysex workshops. My PhD from ISAHS was based on my fieldwork of running these workshops, writing Sex for One and producing a DVD of an actual Bodysex workshop. Seems I was the first woman to specialize in female masturbation.

I have never been interested in sex therapy but rather more involved in hands-on practical teaching. A degree as a therapist takes time, money and lots of mind numbing reading about theories by other therapists. Trained as an artist, finding my "style" "voice" or "vision" was always paramount.

Of course letters after your name impresses people but as I grow older and hopefully wiser, I'm far less impressed with academia. But it remains the main venue for establishing some sort of credentials. Widener University here on the East Coast has a doctoral student quantifying the effects of Bodysex. Naturally I'm thrilled to discover what she'll find out, although I already know these groups create an authentic sisterhood. Something many feminists have not experienced.

Most important to my way of thinking is your personal experience will always be your best teacher. So focus on enjoying your own sexuality while you find your way. Just know that we need many more people willing to educate Americans in this awful repressive climate where the war on women is really heating up.

Go get'em Little Sister. Americans need you.

Betty Dodson

Liberating women one orgasm at a time

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What people on the whole

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 06:55

What people on the whole ignore is the fact that sexuality is intimately related with psychology. When they hear about a degree like mentioned here they mostly do not understand what you study and laugh. If you are looking for graduate schools I recommend University of California at San Francisco which I'm going to leave in a year after I buy thesis here and graduate successfully.