Pornography Helped Betty Dodson

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

I recently read in Sex for One that Betty Dodson was convinced that she had abnormal labia since one of them was longer than the other. As she tells it, when she was a kid she thought that she had deformed them by masturbating too much. She even made a deal with God that she would immediately stop masturbating if the situation was rectified, only to eventually make a compromise with herself, which consisted of only masturbating on the shorter side in an attempt to even them out.

It wasn’t only Betty was in her thirties that she came to realize that her labia were perfectly normal and in fact desirable. Her lover at the time asked if he could look at her cunt and ashamed she told him what was “wrong” with her lips. Fortunately he assured her that they were perfectly normal and in fact beautiful. In an attempt to reassure her and show her that labia came in all shapes and sizes, he took out some porno magazines and showed her photographic evidence.

This was the first time that Betty was exposed to that kind of material and the experience blew her mind. She came to accept her own body by simply seeing that other women had similarly shaped labia and that our bodies didn’t all fit into one image of how things ought to look. 

I know that a lot of people out there have strong opinions when it comes to porn and the sex industry, not all of them positive, and although I sometimes agree with some of these points (which I won’t cover here), I am not in any way opposed to pornography in-and-of-itself. In essence porn is “printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity”, and that is something I’m all for. Of course, it’s not always as simple as that, but if you want to read about why porn is bad, I suggest you do you’re own research, because this particular post is about how having access to “printed or visual” depictions of sex and sexual organs is a positive thing.

It’s about how pornography helped Betty Dodson. Images of sex or of our sexual organs have been and are still stereotyped as something bad or at least perverse, which ultimately relinquishes all such material to the x-rated world of porn and makes us feel shame for wanting and needing more. I mean, pick up any book that is meant for sexual education and you’ll mostly see drawings instead of the real thing, and from my experience the drawings are all very homogenous and bland, but then again you wouldn’t really be able to write a book for pre-teens about puberty using photographs of the real thing. I can see it now, pedophiles lining up to buy a book meant to educate younger people about their own bodies only to use it for other darker purposes.

Wouldn’t it be great though, to live in a world where that wouldn’t be an issue, a world where you could take a picture of a teenagers bodies in full development for the purpose of education and not have it turn into something else. I know that as a kid, I would have found such a book useful and much more informative than what I had access to at school. Betty Dodson was definitely on the right track with her cunt drawings, which were much more realistic and diverse than what I saw in my sex ed books. Could it be as simple as that? Maybe, the problem isn’t in the medium, but in the way in which it is used.

Crossposted from Cuntlove.

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