Running Time 94 minutes. Bonus Features 20 minutes. DVD is region free, NTSC
Betty took it one step further and had women talk about their sex lives. It's how she learned that most women had genital shame and didn't know how to stimulate themselves to orgasm.
Betty, Sheila Shea (the woman who assisted Betty's early groups), Marisa Black, Liandra Dahl, Davina Ingenue, Sayaka Adachi and me, Carlin, we're all in the circle.
NY Mag sent a reporter to our last bodysex workshop. Betty was nervous but I talked her into it. The article is live - Rose covered it all: the genital show & tell ritual...the importance of clitoral stimulation with vaginal penetration...Betty's rock 'n roll orgasm technique. Here's my favorite part:
One of the women from our last bodysex group sent me this email *sigh*:
I woke up this morning wishing that I was heading to our Bodysex workshop. All week I've been writing and re-writing an email to you - trying to capture my experience last weekend and to express my gratitude to you and Betty for running this group again. I realize now that anything I could say about the workshop, you already know... To be part of the group is to experience a profound sense of warmth and community - I guess Betty would call it sisterhood.
Hurricane Sandy decided to crash our bodysex workshop. Three women had to cancel because they didn't want to get stuck in New York. We were down to six women - eight total with Betty and me in the circle. I decided not to listen to one more weather report...we were going to move forward with the workshop.
This group was going to be unique. A writer from New York magazine heard we were having a workshop and pitched the idea of writing an article about her experience. They bit. Betty freaked. I lobbied...Betty consented (that's kind of how most things happen at D&R).
My eyes filled up with tears as I read this fan letter. We put everything we had into Betty Dodson's Bodysex Workshop. So happy:
I got your "Bodysex Workshop" video a few weeks ago just before we left for a two week vacation in Cuba (the land of Che & Fidel, revolutionaries in another realm). So we set video aside to watch when we got back.
I just got this email that Carlin sent to all the women in our Bodysex documentary. It's a perfect example of how fortunate I am to have the kind of real caring quality she brings to D&R:
"We're working on the second film and today I watched your interviews. I'm so fucking proud of all of you. Looking back on the project, I was afraid that we missed some critical points - no, my women were right there. You were all amazing.
Sheila - oh my god, you are so beautiful on camera. Hearing you talk about meeting Betty...not having any sex ed...wanting to be thinner as a young girl just touched me. And then you brought it back to Grant which was so important.
With the lights dimmed, I sat at the back of the room. Flickering light and shadow were flung across the faces of eight women sitting on couches and chairs in an arc around the screen. It was my first time watching Bodysex with anyone other than my partner.
The wisdom of Consciousness Raising Groups began with 70’s feminism. It was based on the concept that, “The personal is political.”
When women talk about our personal lives, we are describing the political system we live in. We are not isolated cases of misfortune, but victims of a male dominated authoritarian system determined to control our bodies and our sexuality. The CR solution was simple: By sharing the truth about our lives, we could find solutions through our collective efforts to change ourselves.
Eric Francis asked me to grab some stills from Betty Dodson's Bodysex Workshop. Watching the video I fell in love with these women all over again.
The experience with Betty, Sheila, Marisa, Sayaka, D and our crew was magical. These women are just amazing. I decided to post each woman's introduction - who she is - in the film. Helen aka Liandra Dahl wrote about her "bodysex effect"....how being in the circle changed her life. The rest of the women will follow with their posts. I guess I'll have to write mine too.
There are some memories that make hard days easier to get through. There are some people who do the same. I feel this way about The BodySex Work Shop Documentary and all the women involved. When I think about the BodySex Workshop I remember 2011 with a profound feeling of warmth and privilege that is indomitable. When the DVD arrived in my mailbox last week, it's timing could not have been better.
It seems like yesterday that we all gathered in the circle and answered the question, "how do you feel about your body and how do you feel about your orgasm".
My favorite part of the film is genital show and tell. It was the second scene we shot that day and it was flawless from beginning to end. We didn't make one editorial change. It flowed, the images were captivating, and the stories were moving.
That's the healing power of looking at real images of real vulvas. I tear up every time I watch it.
When you read comments like this it makes all the sleepless nights, round-the-clock devotion, and criticism worth it.
Betty and I hope that women across the globe will hold their own bodysex groups and experience the power of sisterhood.
Thank you so much for such a wonderful workshop.
(photo credit: Eric Francis)
The second of the two questions in our Bodysex circle framed my answers to both. How do I feel about my orgasm? I hadn't considered it before. At least not directly. Do I feel anything specifically about my orgasm? I asked myself. Or do I simply feel my orgasm?
The first question, how I feel about my body, was one I chewed on at length. But mulling how I felt about my orgasm was unfamiliar. Taking my time to consider the questions before, during, and now after the Bodysex filming, has in itself been enlightening.
I just sent over the final edit changes for Betty Dodson's Bodysex Workshop. We're releasing it online by November 16th in time for our debut on Norwegian television. Then, we'll have dvds authored and ready for release by xmas.
Thank you for your support and donations. We couldn't have pulled it off without you. I can't wait to send out the dvds to our Kickstarter donors. It's more exciting than words can express.
I cry every time I watch it. It's so moving and I was in the circle. There isn't a moment that I'm not completely riveted. One hour and 40 minutes - it just flies by.
How do you feel about your body? How do you feel about your orgasm?
These two questions focused and grounded my Bodysex experience into a tangible, personal narrative. They rang in my mind over several months, peaked with the documentary's filming, and have continued clanging since I returned home.
In tandem, the questions bounce off each other. Taken together, they intertwine, snaking into and around the other until they cannot be pulled apart easily.