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Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving Paperback – March 12, 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

For more than 20 years, Betty Dodson has been dedicated to taking the shame out of masturbation, showing it to be a healthy form of sexual expression. With warmth and intelligence, and informative line drawings, Dodson explains how anyone can learn to fully enjoy the pleasures of self-love, pointing out that masturbation is still the safest sex.

About the Author

Betty Dodson, Ph.D., received her doctorate in sexology from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and has been a public advocate for sexual liberation for more than three decades. Dr. Dodson lectures extensively and is regularly featured in the media as a respected sex expert. She lives in New York City.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (March 12, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517886073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517886076
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
... when coupling wasn't enough.
Although I'd purchased this book a year ago, I didn't get around to reading it until a friend loaned me Dodson's "Selfloving" video about her group workshops with women. Dodson was such an effective speaker that I dug out the book just to get more of the inside story.
Those who call this a partial autobiography and a "why to" more than "how to" book are quite right -- for "how to," I'd suggest her video. However, like with other forms of sex, there can be a difference between getting off from masturbating and actually feeling like a worthwhile person during and afterwards. To my mind, that's what this book is about.
Some of Dodson's ideas are indeed still controversial: she suggests non-monogomy, to the point of extra-marital affairs, as potential help for sexual problems; she suggests that people talk to each other, even to their parents, about masturbation; the medically researched link between masturbation and meditation/creativity was news to me.
I don't think the era we live in will determine whether this book is still necessary -- I think it'll be whether anyone still reacts to it with wonder and relief.
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Format: Paperback
Sex for One is the latest version of a book that Betty originally self-published as "Liberating Masturbation," in the early 1970s. I own all three revisions of this book, and treasure them all. This is a very important book to read if you seek to understand your sexuality.

I discovered it in the early 1980s, and was deeply moved by Betty's honesty and open attitude about sex. As a young man coming of age in the turbulent 60s, I was listening to feminists to try and understand what women wanted and where I fit in with that. Betty is a sex-positive feminist, and her rational, non-judgemental approach to sexuality really helped me come to terms with my own sexual energy. It was so refreshing to hear a woman talk so openly about her wants, needs and desires, and to see that women were indeed sexual creatures, too. Nowadays, we have Susie Bright, Carol Queen, Annie Sprinkle and many others who are sex-positive women speaking out, but Betty was an early and vital groundbreaker for this kind of material. She struck such a strong resonance with me that I wrote to her and we have been penpals ever since. I am therefore a bit biased, being a friend and fan of hers.

The book tells of her experiences with her own sexuality and the workshops she led for women to discover orgasm for themselves and open exchanges with other women. It has some of her own beautiful artwork of couples and single people, including drawings of female genitalia (some of which demonstrate the origins of the Valentine Heart), to illustrate the material she discusses in the text. It is very tastefully done, and educational for those who are not familiar with the bodies and behaviors of others.
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Format: Paperback
I know this sounds very corny, but Betty's book was truly a life-changing experience for me. A woman at the age of 48, I had never experienced orgasm and was on a downward track sexually in my marriage. I devoured Betty's book, appreciating her complete candor and honesty about sex. I finally realized that sexual satisfaction and ecstacy are everyone's birthright, including me. A year after reading Self-Loving, I have lost 20 pounds, am feeling like a teenager with my husband, and can finally say "I love myself!" Thank you, Betty.
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Format: Paperback
I am very happy that this book exists, because masturbation should not be pushed aside in sex books as easily as it is. It did not teach me anything new, however. If you love your body, are sexually confident, and have never had any physical or emotional issues with masturbating, then this book is probably redundant. The author writes the book by describing different periods in her life, and how her own sexuality evolved. She also describes how she taught a type of "sex therapy group" and what she learned from her students. It is an interesting book to own, and if you are in any way uncomfortable with your sexuality it would be a good book to read. (If you are over-comfortable with your sexuality, it's always fun to have books like these on your shelf!)
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By A Customer on January 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
Although some of the language used in this book was the sort of language which would normally have upset me, the author made it clear why she wrote as she did. The information was so valuable to me that I wrote to both Dr. Dodson and my own physician concerning several aspects which would have improved my physical and psychological well- being. This is a book that should be passed from mothers (and fathers) to both sons and daughters as a mean of taking away the fear and insecurity attached to the subject of masturbation. In addition to discussing masturbation the author also discussed self-loathing of one's body resulting from a lack of information about what constituted normality in form. I wish someone would have had a similar book available when I was growing up so that I could have read it before I was in my seventies.
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