Running Time 94 minutes. Bonus Features 20 minutes. DVD is region free, NTSC
This DVD is also available on Amazon.
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.
Below is an email from a beautiful woman who took our last workshop *tingles*
I am still processing Bodysex. Still shaking my head in disbelief, marveling at all the beauty and courage within that circle. The depth of what I took away from the experience still confounds me. This started out as a thank you note to Betty and Carlin but then I thought, why not thank everyone? After all, it was the sense of sisterhood that made this so special.
Negative misconceptions born from the cultural double standard had darkened my perception of sex and my body. Bodysex taught me something so simple and yet absolutely fundamental; every individual is entitled to pleasure…and I’m convinced there was no better way to learn it.
Heading into this past weekend's workshop, I felt like this would be the last group of Betty's career, the last group we ran together. After a West Coast book tour and several private sessions, Betty was wiped out. I've never seen her tired before and it was sobering. Sometimes we forget that Betty is 88 years old. She has to retire at some point, doesn't she?
Trump's election was the icing on the cake of my despair. I felt defeated. I felt depressed. I felt beaten by hate and overwhelmed by the thought of this man - the posterboy for intolerance and misogyny - leading our nation.
I needed Bodysex.
There's a part of me that questions the significance of Bodysex. Betty and I go back and forth wondering if we "drank the koolaid". Is independent orgasm for women really such a big deal? Running the groups has been a personal challenge, it's challenged our partnership but, after a workshop like this past weekend's, we know that the work is profound.
If I had to choose one word to describe this workshop, it would be thoughtful. All the women were so composed and reflective during group share. When someone reveals their most painful memory or hidden secret, the trust between everyone in the circle intensifies. The generosity of spirit in this group touched us. We felt honored to have been able to create a safe space for personal healing.
As I sat down to write about Bodysex last week, I noticed the last lily bud from centerpiece flowers beginning to open.
I feel like that lily bud. Both attending and facilitating Bodysex has opened me so much and this workshop was no exception. It infused me with the strength to unfurl my wings in new and deeper ways.
All of our inner-buds unfurled to reveal beauty long held inside but kept private. When the world doesn't understand sexual pleasure as healthy and normal, even the most empowered woman feels at times she must hide herself to spare the judgment of a shaming world.
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.