Workshop Highlight: Erotic Recess, Masturbation at MOTHERSHIP ’18

Solo sex among women and vulva-owners has historically been marked as a taboo. One of MOTHERSHIP’s missions is to change the dialogue surrounding masturbation and encourage other women to explore their sexuality, on whatever level they feel most comfortable.

Former teacher Laura Bogush shares the same attitude. She’s all about shifting the conversation surrounding masturbation, focusing less on shame and more on play and pleasure. Lean in to what feels good—literally.


It’s so nice to virtually meet you! Can you tell us a bit more about your work?

As a sex educator and Bodysex leader, I am passionate about providing opportunities for women and/or vulva-owners to explore their sexuality, heal body shame, and maximize pleasure. It’s my goal to create a warm and safe space to gain knowledge, share experiences, and explore yourself in my classes, and workshops.

Why is masturbation so important?

Experiencing sexual pleasure is our birthright. Masturbation empowers us to take charge of our own orgasms while fostering a positive connection with ourselves and our bodies. Unfortunately solo sex has been viewed as a social and religious taboo, especially for women and/or vulva owners, creating the expectation that our partners will fulfill all of our sexual needs. Regular masturbation helps women and/or vulva owners explore our pleasure and become more orgasmic. It helps us have better partner sex too.

You’re leading a “Joy of Masturbation” event at MOTHERSHIP. Tell us what we might expect. 

My events at MOTHERSHIP are intended to break the shame surrounding masturbation and open the conversation about how to have better solo sex. Most people use the same masturbation technique as practiced during childhood. Those who attend my “Joy of Masturbation” workshop will gain new ideas and tips to try during self-pleasuring sessions to enhance orgasm as well as learn about the benefits of a regular masturbation practice. 

The “Group Masturbation: An Erotic Recess” session will give us an opportunity to practice masturbation, as experienced in Betty Dodson’s Bodysex workshops. The goal is to feel explore your own self-pleasure in a group, with or without an orgasm. We’ll begin the session with some breathing to help us relax and center ourselves. The focus is on feeling sensual pleasure as we touch our own bodies.  Participants will bring their own towel or yoga mat plus vibes, toys, and lube if desired. Clothing is optional, so undress to your level of comfort.

Who is Betty Dodson? Why is she important?

Betty Dodson is a badass, pro-sex feminist and renowned sex educator as well as an accomplished artist.  In the 1970’s, she held conscious-raising groups to help women explore their sexuality and have better orgasms.  Betty developed her Bodysex Workshops as a method for helping women overcome body shame, pleasure anxiety, and increase their capacity for orgasm.  She is strong advocate for masturbation, stating “masturbation is the foundation for all of human sexuality” and is known as the grandmother of masturbation. Currently at age 88, Betty still teaches Bodysex Workshops and is building an army of orgasmic women to continue her work after she leaves the planet.  I am lucky to be studying with Betty and am a certified Bodysex leader.

What do you think is important for MOTHERSHIP participants to know about your work? 

Our right to sexual pleasure is a feminist issue. Normalizing masturbation empowers women and/or vulva owners to take control of our sexuality, heal our body shame, and own our orgasms.  I’m here to support self-exploration and more pleasure through masturbation.

How are you inclusive in your efforts and projects?

Self-pleasure is for every body–literally!  It’s my goal to help everyone in my sessions feel welcome and comfortable. My work is for all ages, body types, physical abilities, genders, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities within those who would attend MOTHERSHIP.  I’ve had limited experience in working with transwomen and look forward to more opportunities. I’ll use inclusive language and do my best to accommodate any physical disabilities.

As for me, I am a white, plus-sized, almost 60-year-old, cisgender heterosexual female who prefers the pronouns she/her. Although this will be my first visit to a Mothership Festival, my guess is that I’m both inside and outside the normative of typical attendees.  Diversity is strength.

Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us. Anything else you’d like to share?

Here is a blog post that I wrote about my most-recent Bodysex Workshop.  Although I won’t be doing this workshop at Mothership, it might help give some insight about what I do.

My websites are all a work in progress! Check out Body Sex Cleveland, Joyfully Orgasmic, and Pleasure Kitty.

Check out ALL of the MOTHERSHIP programming/music and snag your tickets: here

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