“I fucked enough men for a small, sex-starved country.”
Dorothy Freed, an amazing 70-year-old sex maven and erotica writer, was coming of age 1950s and 60s, when quoting Sigmund Freud was all the rage. During our interview, she told me about some crazy beliefs from back then — beliefs that led to her sleeping with 100 different men in search of the penis that would give her a vaginal orgasm.
As smart he was, Freud had a tendency to get a little overconfident when it came to talking about women’s vaginas — and it had some gruesome consequences for women for the next 50 years or more.
You see, Freud wrote numerous essays stating that when a woman hits puberty, her erogenous zone moves from the clit to the vaginal wall. He also claimed that the best kind of orgasm was a simultaneous orgasm between man and woman, in which the woman comes from internal stimulation.
I know. I know.
Basically, Freud was so emphatic about this, women all over the western world were thereby CONVINCED by the great psychologist that there was something wrong with them if they didn’t orgasm when a penis was going in and out of their vagina
* Read more about Freud at the bottom of the post
But back to our interviewee.
The whole P-in-V orgasm myth did not escape Dorothy, who was 16 when she had her first orgasm. It happened on the day she had borrowed her mother’s “neck massager.”
“That vibrator looked like a gun, with a gun-type handle and three things (one like a cup, one that was flat and one with several nubs) that screwed onto a vibrating metal disk.”
Dorothy “accidentally dropped” the massager into her lap and POW just like that, “I came so hard my legs buckled. Just, over and over and over and over again. I thought, wow! I wonder what my mom does with this? I had a feeling she probably massaged her neck, like she said,” Dorothy told me with a smile.
So there it was, Dorthy could come, and how, with a vibrator. But according to the common mistruth of the era, that was like, nice and all for little girls, but real women came when a penis was inside them, not from vibrators.
So Dorothy got married at 17, to the first guy who showed her his cock. Sex with her first husband kind of sucked, in part because he was always pressuring her to come from P-in-V sex.
“I once confessed to my idiot husband that I masturbated with a vibrator. He said, patronizingly, ‘That’s ok,’ because I would learn to do it ‘properly’ afterwards. But he never really gave me enough time. And I have a very small clit.”
“It was rare but sometimes he would eat me. But most of the time he considered that a warm up for the ‘real thing.’
Then when we’d be having sex, he would hover over me, waiting for me to come. Because in the 60s it HAD to be simultaneous. So he’d go, ‘Are ya close yet? Are ya close yet?’ And that little whisper would freeze my blood, ending any chance I had of coming. Because when you’re timing it, it’s pretty scary. So I faked it. And I hated him for it and I hated me.”
I’ll get into this more in part II of Dorothy’s interview, but after more than a decade of marriage, Dorothy left her husband after finding him in bed with one of her best friends.
Then she moved to San Francisco and proceeded to sleep with 100 or so men over the course of the decade, searching for the penis that could bring her to mythical, vaginal, orgasmic bliss. Really, 100.
“I had fucked enough men for a small, sex-starved country,” she said.
But guess what? After all that fucking, it still didn’t happen for her.
Dorothy had a realization that her quest was misguided. It happened, as so many important realizations do, at an orgy. There were people on top of other people, banging every which way imaginable. And after some quality menage a cent, she excused herself to go to the bathroom.
It was there, in the dimly-lit bathroom that she washed her hands, looked into her own eyes and asked, “Am I even having fun anymore?”
And really, she wasn’t.
So Dorothy left the orgy that night with a new plan in mind. Soon after, she adopted her first dog. That made it easier to stay at home alone. She began painting more and working on her art. She stopped trying to fuck every promising penis in sight and decided that maybe she was ready for something else, like love, and clit orgasms.
* Ladies, it might sound crazy, but people took Freud’s opinion really seriously — especially elite, well-educated women who had the most access to Freud and his ideas.
Princess Marie Bonaparte is a prime example. This woman, the great-grandniece of Napoleon and princess of Greece and Denmark was smart. She was worldly. And she really, really wanted to get off. Baaaaaaad.
Bonaparte met Freud in 1925 when she approached him for help with her “frigidity,” defined then as failure to have orgasms in missionary position. I guess everyone just wanted to be able to say, “Look ma, no hands!”
Unfortunately, Bonaparte, she didn’t just lie down on Freud’s famous velvet couch and talk about how sexually frustrated she was. She took matters into her own hands (get it?), first by doing a study on 243 women and measuring how often they orgasmed. Then she compared that with the distance between their clitoris and their vaginal opening. She found that women like her, whose clits were more than 2.5 centimeters away from their vulva, had a hard time coming from P-in-V sex alone.
With her head fill of Freudian opinions (read: lies) Bonaparte was determined to fix her faulty vagina. Unlike most women, she had the means to do so by undergoing a gruesome, ill-fated surgery.
She had a surgeon named Josef Halban surgically move her clitoris closer to her vagina. You read that right. Tragically, but predictably, it didn’t work. In sheer desperation, she even repeated the insane operation. Can someone please pass the Zoloft and the Kleenex box?
Flash forward to 2016, and we know that 75% of women need clitoral stimulation to come. So basically Freud’s early century mansplaining made three-quarters of women believe that they were fucked up.
This story just amazes me and leads me to ask, how many other lies have women internalized over the last 100 years? Lies based on the seductive, destructive, oppressive mistruth that whispers in our ears: There is something wrong with you.
The idea that every woman needs to be model-skinny, as hairless as Mr. Biggelsworth, as barbie-doll white and blond as Heidi Montag to be sexy … are just as damaging, pervasive and wrong as Freud’s stupid orgasm theory.
And by the way, Freud, when you famously said you couldn’t figure out what women wanted, maybe you should spent a little more time letting them rub on that couch of yours, a little less time making them lie face up. Capisce?
Read about Dorothy’s amazing relationship with her husband, who is her BDSM “top,” and what it’s like to be 70 and still sexual, in our next post.