Sex For One: The Joy of Selfloving DISC - guides to a better sex by Three Rivers Press - review by Happy Camper

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Sex For One: The Joy of Selfloving review

I wouldn't particularly consider this book informative, but if you're researching pro-sex feminism, I guess it might be educational. While I didn't feel a radical change in my own selflove, I did learn to love the author and her personal voice. I particularly enjoyed her collection of "pussy portraits" and other artistic sketches. An interesting read, but as far as instruction goes, you might want to look elsewhere.
Interesting; very frank and honest voice; sense of humor; sketches from the author included.
Not particularly instructive; a little outdated; slightly repetitive.
Rating by reviewer:
useful review
Upon opening the book you will come across a title page, a second title page with copyright information on the back, and then the dedication page which reads: "This book is dedicated to me. Without my selflove it could never have been written." The pages that follow it are filled with Betty's selflove. It was kind of annoying at first. It seemed so self-involved and reminded me of what most people complain about when they read Elizabeth Wurtzel. But I continued to read and just as surely as Betty learned to love herself, I learned to love Betty. I followed the early days of her pro-sex feminist revolution. Although I had some trouble relating to a few of the problems that the older generation faced, many of the issues she struggled with are still relevant today. I didn't see a lot of instruction...I didn't see a lot of dialogue. I saw a lot of monologue. And that wasn't what I paid for when I bought this book.

But I did learn to love Betty and her stories from a past generation. I loved the fantasys she shared, even if they seem far-fetched and a little eccentric (a masturbation lobby in Congress promoting sexual satisfaction amendments would be a prime example). I loved her honesty and her sense of humor. The book was a quick read, and while most of it didn't contain any new information, it did present it with a different voice. Part way through the book, I realized that this was the woman responsible for some of the groundwork that The Vagina Monologues was based on. The famous bodysex workshops, and one monologue in particular, "Reclaiming Cunt". As a performing arts major and feminist, I was delighted to read further into the book of a woman who I had learned to admire without even knowing her name. Now that I did know her name and now that I had her book in my hands, I was able to enjoy it in context of the movement she fueled.

As an artist, she includes a lot of her sketches through out the book. I particularly appreciated a collection of female genitalia. I know there are other books dedicated to pictures of pussy after pussy, but her small collection of eight "pussy portraits" were so diverse and beautiful, that they gave me a better idea of what diversity meant. Books often talk about how we're all unique and different down there, but rarely do they show you.

Overall, I felt that the book summary and description was a little misleading. I don't consider it particularly instructive. But it is a very interesting account of one woman's struggle with sexual activism. And she's gives her personal and professional account of the events of her life in such rich, artistic, humorous detail. I've definitely learned to love Betty Dodson. But I didn't particularly feel a radical change in my own selflove. But I've always had a pretty healthy level of selflove so I can't complain too much about it.
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  • Lara
    This is such a wonderfully written review! Thanks for all the detail about the content - I would have assumed it's a guide to masturbation rather than a history of the pro-sex/feminist movements.

    I've always had the same ambivalence towards Betty Dodson (once I figured out who she is) and it's great to know I'm not alone with it.
  • Very good review. I've had that impression of Dodson, too- that her writing is very egocentric.
  • Nashville
    Great review!
  • Lady Neshamah
    great review
  • M121212
    I enjoyed reading about the moment when you recognized that Betty inspired other facets of the feminist movement.
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