Since we just passed our ten year mark working together as equal partners, I took a moment to reflect. Looking back, I realized I’d spent more time looking for a business partner than looking for Mr. Right. The man I married was Mr. Wrong so I couldn’t even trust my own judgment. After the divorce, I was dedicated to art, enjoying working alone in my studio. Standing in front of a canvas, I was the Queen who answered to no one.
As the sixties went into full swing, I was having a time of my life in a non monogamous relationship with Grant. Our affair was on and off again over a span of forty-six years. In 1973, the women’s movement consumed me and my first partner was Sheila Shea who left banking to help me distribute Liberating Masturbation and to assist with the Bodysex workshops. In our third year, Sheila admitted that sex wasn’t her thing and she moved back to Florida to get involved with the healing arts. I abandoned the equal partner idea realizing it was too much like a marriage. Instead I had part time assistants. There was Nancy, Linda, Amy, Arlene and finally Eric. Grant always hovered near by with endless advice and criticisms.
Other than a marriage license, I never had a written contract with anyone. As an artist from a family of wage slaves, I was painfully uninformed about business. However, I did learn that a partner who didn’t have up front money but could help build the business was called “sweat equity” which seemed fair. My video career was handled on a job to job basis with verbal agreements. When I ended up in a lawyer’s office to break up with my first DVD partner, from that day forward I always had a letter of agreement.
In 2009, Grant had his fourth and final stroke and was not long for this world. I also knew Eric had to move along for his sake more than mine. It was painfully clear that I needed to get very serious about finding someone to handle the website. The Internet was the first time I wasn’t censored which made it the most valuable of all mediums. Time was running out. That’s when you entered the picture.
Carlin Ross called for an appointment to do a “pod-cast” with me and showed up a day early. When I opened the door, there stood a very attractive gal who apologized and said you’d come back tomorrow. You were already here so I invited you in. As you followed me into my office, I noticed you had a small metal case on wheels. We sat down at my desk that had been a drawing board in the sixties. It was now level with two red Freedom chairs opposite one another. As you set up your computer with two microphones, I saw how smoothly you handled the equipment and commented on it. You loved computers and online media. When I asked if you could work a camera, I was assured that anything dealing with electronic equipment and computers, you loved it all.
Suddenly I realized there was a “girl geek” sitting opposite me and my heart started beating faster. You had already identified yourself as a “feminist” which was something quite rare among young women at the time. You began the interview by telling me that you’d gone online and pulled some quotes that had been attributed to me. After reading one, I exclaimed, “I never said that!” We were off and running. As we continued, I made a comment on what a quick mind you had, whereupon you smiled and thanked me. After 15 more minutes of going back and forth, I extended my hand and blurted out; “We’re going into business together. Shake on it” When you took hold of my hand that’s when I learned you’d been searching for a woman partner versed in sex who was also a feminist. We had found one another.
The best way to get to know if you are compatible with a person is take a trip. Traveling brings out the best and worst in us all. We had a week in my friend’s vacation home in Cuernavaca NM. I’d invited Mark Schoen who was also being considered as a partner. Your current lover Geoff joined us and when he asked why we were all together, I told him I was getting my new crew together. Mark succumbed to an unhappy marriage while we were very compatible. I’ve always considered our time in Cuernavaca to be our business honeymoon. Finally I’d found a woman who loved sex, had lots of experience and could handle all forms of online media. The cherry on top of my business parfait was your background as a lawyer, on Wall Street of all places.
Our first year together included great joy with periods of awfulness; it was a nightmare of mistrust, lies, fears but also hope. At one point you were going to walk out so I grabbed you in a bear hug and wouldn’t let go. In my late seventies, I had no more time to screw around so you had to stay. Now ten years later, we are covering the planet with orgasmic women many of whom are certified to run Bodysex workshops. That was your idea. We also have established the Betty A Dodson Foundation, inc., which was only a dream of mine. Our BAD Foundation will eventually fund all things sexual to benefit womenkind.
One of my biggest lessons was letting go of control which allowed me to embrace a new kind of art form based on teaching. I continue gathering unique information by answering sex questions daily online without charging a fee. Our current stats: D&R is accessed in every country in the world except 3 in West Africa & Turkmenistan (they have some dictator who shut off the Internet). Our site gets 1M page views/month. We have 30 women in our certification program working in 7 countries. My dream of an army of orgasmic women is taking shape. We are creating the next wave of feminism and this time sexual pleasure will be front and center.
All of this is to say: Carlin I love and admire you more every day. Your brilliant quick mind continues to create our next move as we go forward freely offering sex information and education from a woman’s POV freely. Yes, sex information needs to be free and easily accessible. We continue to agree as we move forward to change our sorry world.
You are my favorite Valentine of all time as you continue to make many of my dreams come true. I also thank you for being an example of the finest wife and mother I’ve had the honor to witness, other than my own Mother. Bess Dodson continues to smile down on us in my minds eye. Baby G will have the advantage of being raised by an orgasmic mother with a hands-on sober Dad. Your devoted husband is the Father of the century. I love you, Steve and Grayson on this Valentine day 2016 and forever more.