Dorothy Freed is the author of Perfect Strangers: A Memoir of The Swinging 70s:
inspired by her own life, as a newly single woman, and her sexual awakening, after years of discontent in an unhappy marriage. She hopes that her journey towards sexual liberation and personal empowerment will make not only for great reading but will inspire others to be true to themselves.
She tells us, “At seventy-three, I claim to be the oldest practicing erotic writer in the SF Bay Area—which may or may not be true—but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m pretty open about my real-life experiences influencing my erotic stories. Even the most fictional of my stories contains some seed of personal experience.”
Born in New York City in 1944, as the only child of white-collar parents, and raised in a suburb, forty miles up the Hudson, Dorothy describes her childhood as carefree, with a ‘provider dad and housewife mother’. “My upbringing was traditional: men brought home the bacon and women cooked and served it. During my teen years, girls who had sex before marriage were considered to be sluts—unless they married the boy they had sex with. Consequently, I found myself married to the first man I felt lust for and we began our family a year later.”
Sadly, it wasn’t a successful union; despite having great sons, a house in the suburbs, and a Fine Art degree from Syracuse University, Dorothy felt she was ‘failing’, due to having an unfulfilling sex life, in which she never managed to reach orgasm.
By 1974, Dorothy was twenty-nine and deeply frustrated. Then, she walked in on her husband, naked, on top of her best friend, Cassandra. “It wasn’t the infidelity that hurt me the most,” Dorothy asserts. “It was the sizzling sex they were engaged in! I thought, Damn! Twelve years of marriage. We were never that hot!”
Following her divorce, she arrived in mid-70s San Francisco. “It was an era when casual sex seemed as simple as a handshake, in a decade of unprecedented personal freedom, but for a woman to achieve orgasm, vaginal or otherwise… well good luck with that!”
Dorothy was not only single-parenting but managing a coffee house near Haight and Ashbury. She prioritized her children, but was keen to explore her sexual nature, after so many years of discontent. “I set out to find a replacement husband, still buying into the fantasy of marriage and monogamy. After a series of unsatisfying erotic encounters, I gave up on looking for love—and launched an all-out search for a sexually compatible ‘perfect stranger’. There was something plain hot about being alone in a room with a stranger, with nothing between you but sex!”
More about Dorothy Freed
Dorothy is now retired from running her ceramic art business. You’ll find her at yoga every Monday morning, or attending her two weekly Pilates classes, as well as walking her dogs daily. She’s a member of the Erotic Reading Circle, at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, and another writing group on non-erotic topics.
Dorothy’s work appears in several short story anthologies. She emphasizes, “Each story emerging from me is a small miracle of recalled experience and acquired wisdom.”
She’s been happily married to her second husband (and Dom) Lee, for thirty-four years. “We met on a blind date and felt immediate sexual chemistry. Even better, our fantasies matched up, kink for kink. We began a BDSM relationship and played an active part in the Bay Area Scene. Today, we live in a coast-side community near SF, enjoying our rescue dogs… and the occasional erotic fling.”
Dorothy is already penning her next book, Life After Promiscuity, about her years with Lee.
Praise for ‘Perfect Strangers’
“Dorothy Freed walks readers through the swinging 70’s, showing the very personal impact of the sexual revolution on her life as she goes from wife to erotic explorer.”
—Rachel Kramer Bussel
Editor of BEST WOMEN’S EROTICA OF THE YEAR, VOL’s, 1-3 and over 60 other erotica anthologies.
“PERFECT STRANGERS: A Memoir of the Swinging Seventies, a decidedly sex-positive memoir, takes the reader along for the ride as newly divorced Dorothy Freed undertakes an erotic journey into the real contours of the sexual revolution, seeking to discover her pathway to orgasm. Her story demonstrates just how hot the process of writing oneself whole can be!”
Founder/facilitator and author of Writing Ourselves Whole, co-editor of Sex Still Spoken Here, and co-facilitator of the Erotic Reading Circle.
MORE STORIES BY DOROTHY FREED
I Really Do Belong To You
featured in The Sexy Librarian’s Dirty 30, Vol. 2, edited by Rose Caraway
Full Body Massage
featured in Dirty Old Women: Erotica by Women of Experience, edited by Lynx Canon
featured in FOR THE MEN: And The Women Who Love Them, edited by Rose Caraway
Two Doms for Dinner
featured in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year Vol. 1, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
featured in Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
featured in Sex Still Spoken Here: An Erotic Reading Circle Anthology, edited by Carol Queen, Jen Cross, and Amy Butcher
A Timely Correction
featured in Cheeky Spanking Stories, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
featured in Twice the Pleasure: Bisexual Women’s Erotica, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel
After Twenty-Eight Years
featured in Ageless Erotica, edited by Joan Price
Adventure at the Casa Cervantes Hotel
featured in The Mammoth Book of Quick & Dirty Erotica, edited by Maxim Jakubowski
featured in Seattle Erotic Art Festival: Literary Art Anthology, 2012, edited by Kerry Cox
featured in Tonight She’s Yours, Vol 2, edited by Rose Caraway