I am a really good liar. I spent most of my life lying.
I lied in middle school when I spent the summer having sleepovers with my best friend.
–Our all-night makeout sessions were just an experiment.
I lied when I stared at the models in Seventeen magazine.
–I was a normal girl interested in fashion.
I lied when I said I was saving myself for marriage.
–I was “picky,” and “shy.”
I lied in high school when I decided I should not have female friends.
–They were dramatic and annoying.
I lied in college when I said I loved the boyfriend I wasn’t attracted to.
–He’s a good guy and I want a family.
I lied when I graduated and took that job, and that cute lesbian used to come by my desk a few times a day to have a friendly chat while she leaned on my cubicle wall.
I pretended I didn’t know we were flirting, or that I looked for her as I passed her office. I convinced myself that telling her I was dating a guy was friendly conversation instead of a way to make her go away before we got too close. I was not like her. Nothing like her AT ALL.
I told myself that all girls did this. I had promised God I would wait until marriage. I was a good girl, not one of those other girls my age.
So what did it matter if I didn’t make friends? I wanted a family and the only way I knew to do that was to get married and live happily ever after as a good Christian wife.
When I finally married my husband, we would sit together and I’d point out pretty women as they went past. I was such a fun wife. Every woman should be as easy going and not jealous as I was. There was no harm in looking, right?
I lied and I lied and I lied until I was numb and robotic in my perfect life behind a white picket fence with a sweet Christmas card photo complete with baby makes three and the dog and cat on the floor. Smile, and you can almost believe it.
When you lie to yourself and everyone around you long enough you can justify anything, explain away anything to maintain an image of yourself. I wasn’t depressed, I was tired and a little stressed out lately. Don’t worry, everything is fine.
One day I was so fine that I was driving down the freeway staring at overpasses and steep embankments wondering just how fast I would have to hit one in order to ensure I died quickly and didn’t end up on machines in a hospital somewhere. I didn’t want to be in a wheelchair, I wanted to be dead. I could hear the bumps rumbling under the tires as the car moved just out of the lane. This is probably fast enough….
The noise woke up the baby in the backseat and the crying snapped me out of my thoughts, and I drove home shaking at the idea that I would think these kinds of things.
That night I lay in bed sobbing and begging God to tell me what to do. “Help me!!” I cried, “what is wrong with me?”
I heard the still small voice of God in my ear as my prayer was answered. “You need to get a vibrator.”
If you wanted to scratch the record of my life, have God tell me to get a vibrator.
“I’m sorry… what?” The crying had stopped as I fought to understand the words I was hearing. That couldn’t be right. God would never tell me that.
The voice repeated itself, “Get a vibrator.”
He might as well have asked me to fly to the moon with popsicle stick wings. Wasn’t God supposed to be dignifed and holy? These are not the topics a woman like me discussed, least of all with the almightly, as if I should get some milk on my next trip to the store. I had no idea what my suicidal feelings needed with a trip to the adult novelty section. Was I losing my mind?
When I woke up in the morning I decided I had already been ten kinds of reckless so if God wanted me to get a marital aid I would need to know more about them. I asked Google to help me. I found a woman on the internet named Betty Dodson.
I loved Betty the moment I saw her videos. I watched them all and realized that she was fearless and larger than life and I wanted to be just like her. She had all kinds of advice for me and it all started in one place.
I needed to masturbate.
This pissed me off. It had been months since I had masturbated and I could barely remember the last time I had been in the mood for anything besides oreos. I had never touched my vulva with my hands during sex and I fully resented the idea that what I truly needed in the world was a good come.
I was also scared and desperate and God had told me to get a vibrator and there is nothing to do with a vibrator except have an orgasm so it was worth a try. It wasn’t going to hurt. Betty insisted I get some oil and set a timer.
I huffed as I laid myself down on the bed. As my head hit the pillow, my irritation at being required to be sexual at someone else’s request gave rise to a barrage of thoughts. I was mad, and all of my good Christian upbringing was balking at the audacity of the challenge that had been laid before me.
Masturbate!! Who does this old woman think she is?!? I stomped and raged and threw my fit and finally decided to get it over with…but she couldn’t make me like it. I raged at God, “Betty has ten minutes, then she can go fuck herself.”
I had an orgasm in eight.
Lisa 0: Betty 1.
I relented. A little. “Fine, you have my attention. I’ll give you have a week to make me a believer. “
Like a surly old cat needing medication, I forced myself to masturbate every day for a week. I hated to admit that I felt better after seven days. At this point my new vibrator had arrived and decided I might as well give it another week and try out my new toy. You know… for science.
By the end of week two, my libido was so big I was starting to worry that something was wrong with me. After a nearly twenty year hibernation my body seemed to be in a continuous state of arousal and I hadn’t thought about sex this much since I was a teenager.
A few months later I arrived in New York City to take Betty Dodson’s workshop, and I was petrified. I took deep breaths when I opened the door. I reminded myself that I wanted to believe I could have more, that I deserved more. I wanted more than this desperation for intimacy. Walking through that door was the scariest thing I had done in a long time.
In two days I got myself back. I had gotten naked and faced not only myself but the big, scary, serious business called sex. I walked out of that weekend with permission to be sexy on my own terms, and permission to find out what I wanted and to experience it for myself. I was no longer afraid. I was worthy of pleasure and for the first time, I was free.
Betty gave me my life back. She taught me about my body and gave me permission to be my truest self. It took a few years to peel back my awful body image and layers of shame to find myself again. By the time I attended the first bodysex certification group and I had come out to myself, and my family. I went from a 37 year old women who had never had a sex talk with anyone in my life to teaching women how to reclaim their pleasure no matter what road they took to get there. I became the first woman in the United States to become a Betty Dodson certified Bodysex instructor and Orgasm coach.
I talk loudly about what used to be my biggest fear and heaviest shame. No longer do I drown in self-hatred and disconnection from my body and my emotions. I am happier than I have ever been, and my life is filled with incredible passion and honest self-expression.
I know what is possible when you take the journey back to yourself. I won’t tell you it’s easy, but you won’t regret a single second.