Aware of treading on dangerous ground I was always mindful of the defenders of the status quo. Most of the attacks on me were in the form of name-calling that was meant to degrade me personally or to demean my words and art. The first label hurled at me was “pornographer.” I was angry and hurt. How could anyone find my beautiful classical nudes pornographic? But I soon learned that name-calling was at the heart of censorship. The real issue at stake was freedom to think, freedom to fantasize, freedom to imagine the unimaginable –in short, the freedom to be creative. My healing began when I stopped defending myself and embraced the label. “Yes, I’m a feminist pornographer who believes in artistic freedom.” Next came the pejorative hiss, “Lesbian!” which was supposed to intimidate me back into passive female conformity. “Yes, I’m a lesbian who loves both men and women.” When the ultimate degradation of “Whore!” was hurled at me, I welcomed that label, too. “Yes, I’m a whore, a sacred prostitute, an ancient temple priestess who serves the goddess of love and abundance.” Taking on all the labels allowed me to claim my personal power, and to stand my ground [xiv-xv].
Dodson, Betty. Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving. New York: Crown, 1996.