Not long ago I wondered if I’d ever be invited to open a conference by delivering the keynote talk. After all, as a best selling feminist author who has also conducted countless Bodysex workshops worldwide, I’ve been teaching women how to harness the power of electric vibrators for independent orgasms along with overcoming genital shame and body loathing. As a one woman masturbation crusader, I doubt I’ll ever be embraced by any patriarchal/matriarchal system that makes up our so-called “democracies.” This is especially true in America where fundamental religiosity has consumed the Republican Party that’s now hell bent on controlling women’s sexuality. A project doomed to fail.
Last year I was finally invited to open the Chinese Sexologists Meeting in Hong Kong. What a tremendous opportunity! However, they only offered Tourist Class air fare and we couldn’t afford to upgrade travel arrangements at that time. Today I’d simply pay the extra air fare and show up! This was a missed opportunity to communicate with a super power where millions of Chinese women suffer the absence of orgasms due to the male model of sexual response that affects the entire world of women! In spite of the fact that most women do not orgasm consistently from a penis inside a vagina, this remains the popular image of heterosexuality. It seems mankind can’t separate procreation sex from recreation sex that would include orgasms for women.
Next up was an invitation to Key Note the Nordic Sex Conference in Iceland. Yes, yes, yes! Since Carlin had Baby G who was only four months old, I invited my BFF Marianna Beck to join me. She’s based in Chicago, but throughout the eighties we worked together producing my DVD’s. I’ve also spent many summer months enjoying her summer house on a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. Marianna teaches a class at the Chicago Art Institute where she does a slideshow presentation showing the relationship between sex and fashion throughout history that is fascinating. She was my escort and sister PhD sexologist who also presented at the conference.
Since Icelanders are so democratic, for my opening talk, I wanted to have a dialogue with educators instead of delivering a planned presentation. The women organizers loved the idea. The people could just ask questions from their seats or written ones. I can’t remember what I said, but I do remember lots of laughter which is my favorite thing rather than sex always being treated seriously as many academics tend to do. One clear memory survived. I encouraged everyone to avoid letting the thought police inside their heads when it came to sexual fantasies. Then I confessed some of my favorite ones involved my immediate family where upon I said, “Oh Daddy! It’s too big” and observed the entire room take a deep breathe. To cover my ass with humor, I confessed I was now considering the family dog. My inner voice said, “Dodson, STF up and change the subject.”
I ended by stating that fantasy was at the heart of the creative process, but I doubt it helped that much.
On the second day, Marianna and I took off to explore the shopping center in town and have a meal in a recommended restaurant. Following an exotic cocktail in a copper mug, I had the best damn duck dinner cooked to perfection with an excellent red wine. As we were leaving, I went to fling the exit door open and all three stacked rings I’ve worn on my left hand went flying off into the dark foyer of the restaurant. “Oh forget them” I said feeling so content from the meal, but Marianna asked for a flashlight that was not to be had. Later that evening I realized I’d worn those rings for years and I did miss them. However, I reaffirmed my non attachment to “things” and let go again. On our next trip into town, we walked by the same restaurant. Marianna went into the foyer, dropped to her knees and came up with all three rings once there was some light. Only then did I admit how attached I was of those three rings that I’ve worn for 20 years.
Iceland is far more beautiful and nothing like what I expected. It rained a bit, but the weather was temperate, there was no snow or ice and in contrast to the black lava there was green grass growing everywhere. Someone said people switched the names of Greenland and Iceland to balance out their populations.
On the last day, the entire conference took a bus to the Blue Lagoon to experience the extreme salty volcanic warm water. Extraordinary! Afterward, the entire conference was taken to a marvelous banquet hall where we were greeted with a glass of champagne followed by a delicious dinner. There was dancing and much camaraderie. People who are engaged in some form of sex education are fun to hang out with as they are more open minded and welcoming.
The women running the conference were beyond fabulous. On the last day they picked us up for brunch and then on to the airport. I was telling Sigga how she would be perfect to run Bodysex workshops. Her response surprised me at first. She said the population was so small that most women wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about how they personally felt about their bodies and their orgasms. That would require more anonymity similar to what bigger cities offered. Then I remembered my time in Amsterdam and Oslo. The Nordic laws dealing with sex are very liberal while people live traditional lives. Most are married, practicing monogamy and raising children. Just like here in America, but we lie and cheat with a double standard that gives men far more leeway sexually speaking. When I thought about it, America has the most progressive aspects of sexual expression in our bigger cities with sex clubs for Kink, group sex for couples as well as many gay bars for men as well as women.
In rhetrospect, I can’t imagine how Nordic sex educators view me. An interesting American feminist who is addicted to masturbation and vibrators? I know most women love me but I don’t know about the guys. I was a bit shocked and thrilled the local newspaper ran my statement about women being the first sex. That it was time for men to take a step back because they were fucking up the planet. I gasped when I first read it, then smiled knowing it was true.
Another fun aspect of being in Reykjavik was showing off my Vulva Vest created by an artisan friend of Marianna’s in Door County Wisconsin. Peter is a fine craftsman. He made Marianna’s red wedding dress. Yes, I said “Red” to go with her auburn hair. (She avoids tradition). I made several sketches of vulvas and my vest was reversible; black on one side with two brightly colored Pussy Pockets. The other side had a Vulva covering the entire back— A WOW of an outfit. The vest had to go back to Peter so he could make the arm openings larger to accommodate me. I’m only 5 foot 2 inches now that I’ve lost 2 inches as part of the ageing process, but I still have a thick rib cage. I can’t wait to show you my Vulva Vest. As soon as I get it back, I’ll post images. I’m now ready for the next adventure! I hope to have another chance to communicate with the Chinese sexologists. Fingers crossed, as Carlin would say.
I also spent some quality time with Terje, the creator of Cupido, the Sex Magazine out of Oslo. He’s my adopted brother. We’ve worked together many years now and I’m crazy about him. It was thanks to Terje that I was able to demonstrate how I teach women to uncover their orgasms via guided masturbation on National television in Norway. My clients learn to combine pelvic rocking, squeezing her PC muscle and exhaling on the forward motion while combining clitoral stimulation with a vibrator above, below or to the side of her clitoral body. I would only agree to do this if they promised a full screen view of a vulva to demonstrate what I was talking about. I’d already been censored by the UK and was tired of trying to explain something so basic. The female producer was in total agreement with me and we shook hands.
Of course, at the last minute the young girl who was the star of “Trekant,” a series about three teens living together backed out. Happily, Carlin volunteered to be my “Stunt Cunt” which will end up on a Tee Shirt once we go into production. The show was aired on National TV throughout Europe. Finally I got to “Show as well as Tell on television. Imagine anything like that happening in puritanical America. Even the European segment was reviewed by politicians, educators, scientists and TV producers. Finally the big wigs determined the educational benefits outweighed other concerns, primarily that it was too explicit or “pornographic.” Mind you, the male population of the entire world has been jerking off looking at images of female genitals for as long as we’ve had art forms. But showing a vulva for educational purposes gets everyone overly concerned and a bit crazy.
I leave you to ponder that one for a while. If you come up with some kind of rational, do email me. I’d love to know.