Yo! Science, Sex and the Ladies played at its first Festival over the weekend, and it was pretty damn fun. It was in Louisville, less than 3 hours away, so we drove down there on the Friday it started, got into the hotel, and checked it all out. It was attached to a creative writing convention, which I have, unsurprisingly, never been to, but am glad I got to experience.
Being that our movie played at 5pm on Saturday, we took some SSL post cards out to the main convention area with all the booths and started talking up the screening. We were definitely passing out post cards, but we mostly jibber jabbed with lots of the vendors there. They were mostly authors and publishers of Speculative Fiction (Spec Fic), which I learned was an umbrella term for stuff like fantasy and superhero and science fiction and horror and all the more fantastical fictions. Seriously there were books about every possible combination of fantastical stuff than I could have ever imagined. Superhero, steam punk werewolves in space...is not one that I saw. I came up with it just now, but it wouldn't be out of place at this convention. I just can't specifically remember any of the ones I heard. Point is, there's a whole other world out there that I know so little about.
I haven't read much of anything over the last 15 years except for non-fiction female orgasm related books. Plus, other than stuff I had to read for school, I haven't much read fiction for fun since the 80's and early 90's. I did like science fiction mostly back then (A Wrinkle in Time, anyone?), but I know nothing of this modern and quite independent world that I had entered. Point is, I learned a lot and had a blast talking to some passionate, funny, interesting people.
We also got to see some movies, go to some writing panels, eat some pretty good food (brie, bacon and apricot burger...pretty good). One of the panels, called "Make Me Scream," was late Saturday night and had a bunch of genre erotica writers. They had a give-away for a basket of sexy goodies, which I didn't win, but I desperately wanted to because it had some Sea Salt and Caramel Ghiradelli Squares, and I was hungry and wanted candy...and I love those. I asked the question "What is your philosophy about writing female orgasm, as far as realism?" Mostly the panelists said that every situation is different, and they go with what makes the most sense. Most of them pointed out that they wrote rather fantastical erotica (yeti alien erotica is on its way to ya, people!), so they said that the orgasms are not really human, and human realism isn't as relevant in their writing.
One of the older ones on the panel said when she used to write romance for a more traditional large publisher, she fought a lot with her editor. She said she used to think that if she had to deflower any more virgins, she might kill herself. She would add pain and mess into the scene and the editor would give it back with "no pain" "no mess" and then they'd go back and forth until the editor just did what she wanted and sent it to publishing. This woman said there are definitely unwritten rules about how the orgasms should go, and that during that time she wrote a lot of eternal, universal floating into ecstasy orgasm stuff but working with independent publishing, it's just not like that for her anymore.
Barnaby asked, "What are some terms that you hate in sex scenes?" Their answers? man root, pike staff, fuck stick, sopping wet love cave, fucking wet slop hole, spasm chasm, although they were torn over that last one. (Need more talk about his from romance writers? Check HERE)
It was a fun panel, and I have to say that my favorite writer name was Crymsyn Hart. she was pretty cool, and her shape shifter romance novels Jingle Balls and Hairy & Hung are, well, they just are what they are. If anyone reads them, I would love - I mean LOVE - a guest SSL Review.
Well, that's about it. We had a few of the authors there ask if they could do a review of SSL on their blog, and I was all hell yeah, so I'll keep you posted on that. We had to leave before the awards banquet on Sunday night, and I don't know when they'll post the winners, but if SSL won anything, I'll let you know.
Hello, friends. It's time for more Random Hite Report. In 1976, Shere Hite dropped The Hite Report where she compiled detailed survey answers from over 3,000 women about sex, masturbation, orgasms, and relationships. It's insane to me how revolutionary this book still is. Read it, seriously. We haven't changed that much. Then in 1981, she dropped The Hite Report on Male Sexuality where she over 7,000 men give detailed answers about sex, relationships, and women. It too is revolutionary, and the honesty and detail in this book is so important and moving, I think everyone should read this too.
So, I give you a taste every now and then to entice you to get these books. Seriously, they are both like 1 cent online. Anyway, what I do is flip to one random page and copy the contents of that page, no more-no less, directly onto this blog. Enjoy.
The Hite Report on Male Sexuality
Knopf, 1981 pg 64
This is from the chapter Being Male. In the section "What Does It Mean to Be a Man?"
Most men said, in addition to the characteristics already listed, "masculinity" was the opposite of "femininity." The real way to be a man was not to act like a woman:"It's the opposite from femininity."
"Knowing that you are not a female and should not act like one."
Feminine traits were considereed to be loving, caring, and being supportive (see pages 108-10), whereas male qualities, as we have seen, were active, independent, doing, creating, and being in charge, dominant.
Most men, when asked, "how would you feel if something about you was described as feminine or womanly said they would be angry;"Enraged. Insulted. Never mind what women are really like --- I know that he's saying: He's saying he thinks I should be submissive to him."
"Outrageous demand. I may not seek to dominate, but I will never submit when I'm shown wrong."
"To be called 'like a woman' by another man is to be humiliated by him, because most men consider women to be weak, and a man doesn't want to be considered weak."
"No matter what it was or who was making the comment, I'd be hurt, angry, and insulted.
"Chagrined. I may appear soft, but I carry a big stick, so watch out."
"When a man compares another man's behavior to a woman's, he's looking for a fight."
"Ver nervous, tense, threatened ---as if I were going to be singled out and ostracized for it."
"If I was described as having something 'like a woman's,' I would be outraged. I would defend my masculinity almost automatically. I wouldn't like being compared to a woman's anything."
But some men pointed out the stereotyping contained in these remarks, or said the wouldn't mind:"I'm sure some of my behavior is thought of as 'like a woman's' and i feel fine about it. i think it's unfortunate that men have been conditioned to think that they cannot have nay feminine qualities or they are thought of as being sissies. Men have feminine qualities and women have masculine qualities. It's as simple as that. Denial and repression of these only leads to tension and I think it's too bad that men are so instilled with the idea that they have to be 'men' all the time."
"I feel that women's characteristics are usually soft, caring, gentle, etc., and i hope people will find them in men."
"Since women are stereotyped as showing their emotions very readily, if someone said I was like that, I would be proud to have overcome my macho training."
"To be honest---I would not feel bad. If men had more characteristics of..."
As promised, here is the detailed list of all SSL Reviewable moments in Nymphomaniac Volumes 1 and 2. If you'd like to see my actual SSL Review of these movies - the sort of overview assessment - go HERE. Also, I found a surprising amount of stills from this movie that are relevant, and I have a still to prove a point I made about a bloody clit that isn't actually bloody. Point is....don't let these pics come up at work, ya know?
So, an SSL Reviewable moment must include at least 1 of the following:
- a female masturbating (no orgasm necessary)
- a depiction of a female orgasming or ejaculating - some type of physical sexual release
- a discussion about female orgasm, masturbation or ejaculation
- a depiction of sex that specifically and obviously doesn't include female orgasm - not simply that the scene cuts before an orgasm might possibly happen
- any time that the clitoris is mentioned...it happens so rarely
That's it. Snippets of sex scenes without showing the orgasm don't count, and talking about sex or sexuality without also specifically talking about the orgasm doesn't count. All that said, I'm in charge and so I can change the rules at any moment if I feel it's interesting to talk about, but mostly those are my guidelines. Enjoy the list. It goes chronologically from the beginning of the movie to the end.
- Playing Frogs - Joe and friend about 6 years old filling bathroom floor with water and writhing around with no underwear under their skirts, pelvises pressed to the ground. Both girls' faces are shown concentrated on masturbatory pleasure - as if working into an orgasm.
- Climbing the Rope - Joe said she'd climb the rope in gym class and stay up there for ages with the rope between her legs - feeling the "sensation."
- Anatomy - Joe was looking at her dad's anatomy books (he's a doctor) and was in the reproductive section...I think. She was reading the names of the anatomy outloud - including clitoris.
- First Time - At 15 she found it imperative to lose her virginity. The guy owned a moped, so she thought he was sophisticated.
Joe: "If I asked you to take my virginity would that be a problem?"She does exactly that with her skirt and all other cloths still on, an lays back on a crappy little bed. He non-nonchalantly stands above her on the edge of the bed by her feet, uses one foot to kinda gently kick open her legs and then leans back against the wall jerking it a little bit. Then he gets on with it, and she describes it this way in voice over.
Dude: "No, I don't see a problem."
Dude: "You should probably take off your knickers, yeah?"
He then goes back to trying to fix his moped. She puts her panties back on, fixes his moped quickly as she passes him and walks up the stairs out of his place in just the manner one would expect a person who was just dry-fucked in the ass to do. She described it as humiliating and said it hurt like hell and swore she would never sleep with anyone again. There was specifically no orgasm depicted here.
Just before the 3 then 5 thrust situation"He shoved his cock inside me and humped me 3 time, then he turned me over like a sack of potatoes and he humped me 5 times in the ass."
- The Contest - A couple years later, her friend B had an idea. The two girls put on Fuck-Me-Now Clothes and go on train trip - no need for tickets. The one who fucked the most men when they got to our destination would win the chocolate sweets. On the train as they are about to start, her friend is giving some advice on how to hook them, and Joe says, "What if it hurts?" (or maybe it was "what if it's the worst?" It's hard to tell.) Anyway, in voice over she said she found it was easy, and here are the depictions.
|Joe and B on a mission|
2. Same position almost exactly. She was still, looking bored over his shoulder into the distance, almost rolling her eyes. He was pumping away.
- 4 Guys - There is a sequence in which we see Joe getting banged by Guy 1, Guy 2, Guy 3, Guy 4, at different times, each in a different positions (below are the details). We then see her in the same positions with each guy as before but this time we see her orgasm sequentially with all 4 of those guys, followed by her sequentially telling all 4 of those guys that she has never orgasmed before. It obviously makes the men happy, and one even says, "I have to admit, quite a lot of girls say that."
Dude 1: Joe in bed on her back, head head hanging off the bed. Dude on his side next to her, pumping her, with his closest leg bent and up against his chest. No hands in use or direct clitoral glans contact.
Dude 2: Dude on back in bed. Joe bouncing up and down while on her knees straddling him. She is sitting straight up so there is unlikely to be direct clitoral glans contact, and there are no hands in use. She bends forward slightly, but there is still plenty of air between her clitoral/vulva area and his body.
|Joe with Dude2, leaning forward|
Dude 4: Joe is standing upright against facing a door with dude standing upright behind her and pumping. No hands in use. It's possible that the clit could be rubbing against the glass, but there is a door frame that puts her legs about 2 inches back from the glass. She would need to reall press forward with her pelvis to make some contact between her clit and the glass, but she is not positioned that way.
- The Little Flock - Joe says in voice over: "The train trip had increased my appetite, and B and I started a club called 'The Little Flock.' It was about fucking and having the right to be horny. We masturbated together, that kind of thing, but it was rebellious. We weren't allowed to have boyfriends - no fucking the same guy more than once. The were rebelling against love.
- Seligman's Creepy Fantasy - Seligman (the man Joe is telling her story to) imagines Joe masturbating, straight-faced and non passionately while teaching in a school girl's outfit. The sequence is laid out with Joe in different scenarios in the same set, and styled as if she's in an old-timey educational video.
1. Sitting down on a desk with her panties down and hands under her skirt moving in small circular motion.
2. Slouching back in a chair while using one hand to hold a large triangle ruler under her skirt between her legs. One point is possibly inside her or she's just rubbing against it. Her panties are not around her ankles in this scene (and they are in every other), so it indicates to me that she has her panties on and is just rubbing not inserting.
|Seligman's Joe Masturbation fantasy...probably not suggesting insertion?|
3. On her stomach on the desk, with her panties around her ankles and a hand between her vulva and the desk, writhing gently. There is a stuffed fox on the desk with her too for some reason.
4. Standing, legs shoulder width apart next to the desk with her panties down at her knees and hands under her skirt moving in a small circular motion.
|Another of Seligman's Joe fantasies|
- No Touching - Joe is discussing a time in her life when she was interested in one particular man, and says "and during this time, when I was with other men, I forbade them to touch my body with their hands." There is a quick cut to her from the chest up bouncing naked, presumably cowgirl style and pushing away the male hands that come up from out of shot to touch her breasts. Both her and his hands were clearly not on her vulva and she was sitting straight up and bouncing, so no vulva touch there, yet she is orgasming in the same way she did in previous scenes.
- Train Masturbation - Joe also tells Segiman, that she masturbated on the train, and the scene shows her with her hand in her lap, covered by her bag, moving almost in-discernibly. We see her orgasm as a close-up of her face as her mouth opens slightly - she was in need of being discreet on the train, of course.
- Laundry Worker Hospital Sex - She is aggressively bouncing up and down on top of him, cowgirl style on a bed, and her face seems pained, as if she's trying her best to come, but it doesn't seem to be happening. However the scene ends before one could tell if she does or doesn't come. She again has sex with this guy, but now she is on her back and him on top missionary. We are only seeing from the chest up, and at first she has a pained concentrating face like before, but it cuts and she is orgasming...then she starts crying, but that's another story. Anyway, she's clearly being banged and neither his nor her hands are on her junk. However, she is holding him close to her, and she could be grinding against him during this, so I have no particular qualms with this one.
- The 3 Guy Music-Related Part - She says she was having sex with 7 or 8 men a night, and she's talking to Seligman about 3 of these men, One in particular involved discussion of orgasm. In voice over, Joe says,
"...and he knew exactly what I wanted when we had sex. No, I'd go even further and say that there was a kind of telepathy going on when we had sex. Without words, he knew exactly what I wanted, where he should touch me, and what he should do. The most sacred goal for F, was my orgasm."During this we see him going down on her. She is laying on her back on a bed, and he is above her and moves down he body until his mouth makes steady, full mouthed contact directly over her clitoral vulva area, and after a moment, we see Joe beginning to orgasm.
- Loss of Orgasm - Joe is with the dude played by The other was Shia LaBeouf. She told him to "fill all her holes," That's pretty much what he's doing, but one small clip makes it look like he has his hand down around her vulva while he's doing her missionary style. It's most likely supposed to be him puttin' it in, but I thought I'd mention it. There was no orgasm though. Volume 1 ends, with Shia doing her (banging and clearly no hands), and she quite desperately and panicky, says she can't feel anything.
- Floating Orgasm - Joe was 12 and on a field trip in the hills,. She's lying in the grass and had this spontaneous orgasm where she floats into the air with these 2 ghostly, religious-like women figures next to her in the sky. When Seligman man asks her about it, she says it was and orgasm, although the doctor described it as an epileptic seizure.
- Desperate Masturbation - So, she has lost her orgasm all together suddenly, and we see her awake in bed with Jerome (Shia LaBeof). She is furiously rubbing her vulva (in a realistic - although quite rough- masturbatory motion), but it's obviously not working. So she goes into the bathroom and slaps her vulva with a wet towel. Clearly she's upset and trying anything at this point. Joe describes in voice over that she "lost all sexual sensation - my cunt went numb"
- Desperate Sex with Shia LaBeouf - She, of course has no orgasm, since she ain't having those anymore, but apparently, she keeps trying, and there are cut-up scenes of her and Jerome having sex. Her legs wrapped around his waist, getting banged against the wall. Her on top in bed both sitting upright and then laying down on him. He seems like he is just getting tired and they just stop."If Jerome had hoped for a break from what was now for him mostly strenuous work, he could forget about it."
- Tied to a Couch - She gets her orgasm back while enduring some masochism, and it happens because she was able to move her pelvis and stimulate her clitoris against the book she was tied against. Rather realistic....for those who can keep aroused while getting whipped like a horse.
|Joe, vulva against book, while being whipped|
- The Weird Anatomically Incorrect Bloody Clit - Joe is in an office bathroom stall, sitting on a toilet with the lid down. She has her pantyhose and panties down around her knees and is rubbing her vulva, but then sees blood. Joe says in voice over says, "Some years later, the body abuse began to have an affect. First, rare bleedings from my clitoris, but then they became more and more frequent." As we get a closer view, there looks to be a sore on her inner thigh, but her clitoris looks just fine (and we do see it close up - I even paused it.). She then takes a make-up mirror and uses it to look at the parts of her junk she can't see, but she can see her clit area, so it's weird. I'm not sure if the moviemakers don't know where the clit is, or what, but it didn't make sense to me.
|See, the clit and everything around it are blood and sore free - looks quite healthy actually|
|This is Joe, investigating the source of the blood by using a hand mirror to check in the vaginal hole area|
- One Big Sore - Joe doesn't really have sex any more in the movie and at one point says in voice over, "My groin was one big sore from my abuse that wouldn't heal and made even masturbation impossible." She suffered abstinence symptoms.
Nymphomanic Volumes 1 and 2: How could I not make every effort to see these movies when they touched down in Indianapolis for a couple days? I'm reviewing them together because they are kinda a cohesive piece, and it'd be hard for me not to.
From the previews, it was clearly going to show some depictions and discussions of female sexual release and masturbation. I was pretty certain about that, so I knew I could do an SSL Review. I also like to see a Lars von Trier movie. Notice I didn't say I love a Lars von Trier movie - cause I can't really say that, but I feel like they are always worth a watch, ya know? I don't know how to express this correctly, but it's something like this: His movies usually have some things in them that intrigues or excites me from a movie making perspective - in a way that doesn't happen all the time, and that's actually really cool. However, as a total package, they can be kinda...not my favorites. So that's me and ol' Lars.
Now, back to the Nymphomaniac preview - I was definitely intrigued, but honestly I felt like I would really not like it. I thought it would be incredibly annoying to me. There was a certain type of sexual darkness coming through in the preview that just rubbed me the wrong way. As it happens, though, I liked the movie...I mean in the earlier explained way that I like a Lars von Trier movie.
Which brings me to the SSL Review part. Whether I enjoy a movie or think it's a quality cinematic experience is a separate issue from my SSL review. My review of a movie could be bad and the SSL review could be quite good and vice versa. In this situation, the SSL review is mixed, but I lean fairly far toward bad. After I saw it the first time in the theater, I'd say I felt my leanings were a little more to the good side, but it shifted a bit after a detailed watch through where I paused it a lot, wrote down quotes, and looked all careful like at each SSL reviewable scene. There were a lot of SSL reviewable scenes, and don't get me wrong, some were realistic, even progressive depictions of lady-gasms, but on a whole, I felt the movies reinforced crap understandings of lady-gasms.
My next post will be a detailed list with detailed descriptions of all the SSL Reviewable moments, for your curiosity and reference. This post will be the actual review with a bit less detail in scene description. Here we go.
The way Joe's (she's the main character - the "nymphomaniac") ability to orgasm is depicted is so, so very much the status quo way that female orgasm is depicted in this culture, which means it's overall unrealistic. Even though there are certainly moments of realism in this movie, the highly unrealistic assertion that women can orgasm easily from nothing more than penises moving in and out of their vaginas, rings out loud and clear, obscuring everything else. I truly do understand that there are women who claim to orgasm in just this way, but the truth is that even if every claim is true, it's still a minority of women (in surveys only about 15-30 % of women claim this), and on top of that, this type of orgasm has never actually been verified in scientific investigation. You would think that it has, but it has not. An orgasm that happens from stimulation inside the vagina just simply has not been physically observed the way an orgasm resulting from stimulation of the clitoral glans has been observed and documented in numerous studies. I would (and do) argue that even though 15-30% of women claim this type of vaginally induced orgasm happens, the numbers are probably much, much less if at any at all. But, even if there is a small amount of women who do come from a good banging, it's still a small minority, and yet it is by far the most common way of orgasming one sees in porn and movies and reads about in erotica and romance novels.
That discrepancy is a little crazy to me, and movies that get good SSL Reviews are simply ones that are overall more progressive, daring, and realistic - daring in that they show realisitc acts that simply aren't common in movies such as a woman rubbing her clitoral glans to orgasm during the act of intercourse. Nymphomanic was daring in that it was a "normal" movie that showed sexual encounters fully - kinda like porn. However, those sexual encounters were just that - like porn and as unrealistic on the ladygasm front. Let me get a touch more detailed.
Orgasming during intercourse with no clitoral/vulva stimulation
So, pretty much every time we see Joe having intercourse, she orgasms while there is clearly nothing at all stimulating her clitoral glans.
- After she is on her own, we see her getting banged by 4 different guys on separate occasions, orgasming each time
- We see an example of her having sex/orgasming with a man during a time that she didn't want men touching her during sex
Intercourse that specifically doesn't result in orgasm
- Her first sexual experience, which just consisted of a dude thrusting in her vagina 3 times and her ass 5 times, then coming.
|Right before the 3 in vagina, 5 in ass situation|
- The very next time she engages in sex which was when she was a teenager. Her and her friend have a contest in which the girl who has sex with the most men on a train gets a bag of chocolates. We see two instances in which she has intercourse during the contest. Both involve no touching of the clitoral glans. We don't see her have an orgasm in the snippet we get to see, and she looks rather bored and disinterested in both, so it's pretty clear that she will not be having one at all.
Both of those were actually pretty realistic portrayals. She wouldn't likely have an orgasm during intercourse at all, much less when a dude barely touches her at all before flipping her over and going all anal. Painful intrusions of the butthole (and it's clear in the movie that it was painful), do not orgasms make. She also wouldn't during some quick P in V on a train. There was clearly no manual clitoral stimulation happening, and her bored and fairly motionless body was clearly not trying to work the clit against his body while it was happening, so no, an orgasm would be unlikely.
These on their own in a movie would actually get a fairly good SSL review for realism. However, on the wider view, it seems to me as though these were just holding to a stereotype that sex is bad for girls when they are young. Granted, that's probably more true than not, but that's another post all together. My point here is that the banging she got on the trains was really not physically different than the banging they showed her getting, and orgasming to, later in her life. That change seems a little unmotivated and thoughtless. What was the difference? Her age? Her attitude? I mean if the movie is saying that her vagina is one of these lucky ones that stimulates to orgasms during a ramming, then why not on the train? It's kinda like if a movie depicted a teen boy all bored and stuff while getting his dick bounced on by a girl, but later showed the same physical actions making him orgasm when he was older - with no indication of what changed? It's weird, and frankly I don't think much thought beyond what people surfacely hear about girls and sex went into it.
Orgasm during intercourse that's realistic enough
- An encounter much later in her life involves an orgasm during missionary intercourse, but the shot is more close-up and although no hands were on her vulva, there is a slight possibility that her vulva could be rubbing against his pelvis since she is holding him close to her.
Again, on it's own, I wouldn't have a problem with this scene. It's not portraying anything progressive or interesting on the female orgasm front, but it's not portraying a blatantly unrealistic lady-gasm either, so whatevs. However, mixed with the rest of the movie it's just neutral, and the rest of the bad depictions win over.
Lack of orgasm during intercourse
- The other non orgasmic penetrations happen during the time that she mysteriously "loses" her orgasm while having intercourse. She says she can't feel anything.
I have a slight distaste for this whole storyline in the movie because 1 - it assumes, she should be having orgasms during intercourse with no additional clit stim and 2 - it sets the female orgasm into a realm that's mystical, beyond rational physical properties. In fact, when she is talking about this "loss of orgasm" she describes a childhood orgasm, and it goes something like this: field trip in the hills, 12 years old, laying on her back in the grass, and she has this spontaneous orgasm where she begins to floats and sees two ghostly religious figure women in the air. It's mysterious, just like this "loss" of her orgasm.
Hey, I get that people have feelings about their orgasms that bleed into the realm of religion and spirituality, and that's all cool. Everybody has unique feelings and ways of describing their orgasms. My problem, in a nutshell, is that female orgasms are spoken about in this way (even by professionals) so very much more than male orgasms are. Lady-gasms are too often stereotyped as having a element of emotional or spiritual control that men's don't - as if they are mysterious, other-wordly, and unpredictable. The truth is, if you look at the scientific literature, female orgasms are clearly understood, as patently physical and no more tricky than male orgasms, and there is no real indication that women are any more varied in their biologic orgasmic abilities than men are.
The mysterious stereotype it gets results more from the fact that people misunderstand the physical aspects of how female orgasm happens as opposed to lady-gasms actually being tricky. I feel like speaking about female orgasms as these mysterious beasts lets everyone off the hook of actually seeking understanding. Why learn about the physical nature of female orgasm when we can all just flippantly throw up our hands and say, "well women's orgasms are complicated, ya know - I mean the hormones and the emotional stuff, and ya know women are all just so very different, so....what can ya do?"
Non-intercourse orgasms - i.e. the realistic ones
Now, there are more depictions in this movie which are realistic and would be SSL Reviewed well if not for the larger scope of this movie. I want to point these out real quick.
- Joe and a friend "playing frogs" when they were about 6ish, I guess. Basically, they pour water all over the bathroom floor, take off their panties (they are wearing skirts - nothing is revealed) and they sorta writhe separately on the floor on their stomachs. (I would be really annoyed about that water on the floor thing if they were my kids, btw).
- Also, we see that she likes to wrap her legs around the rope in gym class and rub against it (which can't help but make me think of a particular line from Wayne's World).
- Seligman, the man Joe is telling her story to, briefly imagines what Joe getting higher education might be like. Spoiler, it's her in a schoolgirl outfit, masturbating in weird, school related ways. At one point, there's randomly a stuffed fox next to her on the desk. To my delight, all the depictions involve something stimulating the clitoral/vulva area, and never something penetrating. It's realistic...I mean as realistic as this fantasy sequence could be.
|Well, there it is. Stuffed fox and masturbation with school stuff|
- We see her masturbate on a train. The indication is that she's making tiny circles on her crotch under the bag that lay on her lap - realistic!
- We see her masturbating in a bathroom stall at work, and she is rubbing her vulva in a circular motion - also realistic.
- The only depiction of cunnilingus happens when she was talking about a man who put her orgasm above all else. He goes down on her and clearly is stimulating her clitoral/vulva area, although the scene ends before she orgasms.
- She orgasms during a session with a dude who has tied her up, face down, bent over the arm of a couch and is whipping the shit out of her. She figures out how to allow herself slight movement in the ropes and begins rubbing her clitoral/vulva area on the books that her pelvis is tied against, and she orgasms. I'm not gonna explain this scene, you'll just have to see the movie, but I will say that besides the fact that it's happening while her ass is being ripped with a knotted whip, the orgasm makes sense.
|Joe being tied to the couch, no whipping just yet|
I can get behind those scenes, but let me just point out one thing. Isn't it odd that every single time Joe is depicted masturbating, it involves stimulation of the vulva and clitoral glans. I mean, that is her choice for what works well, but when she's having sex with another person, she is suddenly depicted as pursuing orgasm through vaginal penetration (the exception is the 1 act of cunnilingus, of course). Why not penetrate herself during masturbation? Why not manually stimulate the clitoral glans during intercourse?
Oddly, this actually mirrors real life. Women do masturbate the way Joe does - which is not with vaginal penetration (The Hite Report has good numbers on this). The way women (and Joe) masturbate actually works for attaining orgasm, and there's lots of scientific studies to prove it. However, my guess is we don't add this into our sexual encounters often enough because it seems weird to touch ourselves down there during it, leaving many women to simply not orgasm or to fake orgasms. So, I imagine the movie was made with this masturbation/sex orgasm discrepancy because that's what the filmmakers and actors see and experience as normal, so that's how it is in the movie.
One more thing. At one point Joe is in a bathroom stall masturbating her clit/vulva, and her voice over says,
"Some years later, the body abuse began to have an affect. First, rare bleedings from my clitoris, but then they became more and more frequent."She sees blood, and takes a closer look. We get to see the whole deal down there. There's blood on her inner thigh. It looks like it might be a sore or blood that came from another sore. The weird thing is, we see her clitoris and most of her whole vulva pretty clearly, and there is no blood at all or any discoloration or injury on her clit. It's only that area on her inner thigh. Seriously, I even paused and really checked this out. She then seems worried about it and takes a make-up mirror to look at her vaginal hole area - a place we can't really see. I really don't know what to make of this. I would think the movie makers have a basic understanding of anatomy...like where the clit is, but if I were to go by this scene, I would assume they think it is in the vaginal hole. I'll just hope this was some mix up where the voice over was supposed to say vagina instead of clit or something, but it's super strange.
Okay, that's about it. As you know, I'm not giving this a very good SSL Review. It's getting a little credit for the good realistic depictions in there, but as a whole it reiterated all the misunderstandings about female orgasm that I'm trying to fight....that it is caused by Ps moving in and out of Vs, that they are mysterious, and that the clit is in the vagina?...I guess. I do judge this a bit more harshly because it is a movie so specifically focused on the subject of female orgasm, and I hope so much for some element of progressiveness from it - especially because it's such an avant garde movie. I give slight leeway, though, because all the orgasm and sexuality stuff is probably meant to be all symbolic and metaphoric and shit, so who knows what ol' Lars von Trier was trying to say. But still the review is not great - 1 and a half vulvas out of 5. (This is my first half vulva. Believe me - I hate cutting a vulva. That's really gross to me, but I couldn't decide between 1 and 2).
Stay tuned for a list with description of all depictions and discussions of female sexual release or masturbation in Nymphomaniac Vol. 1&2. ****Find the list HERE
Oh - and P.S. The gross-ass, over-zealous, stiff tongued, throat-cleaning kissing that Shia LaBeouf was doing, particularly in the last scene of Volume 1, was making me want to vomit my popcorn back into the tub. I did not like it.
May I just take a moment and give you all out there a little bit of an overview about what is going on here in SSL land. I figure this blog is partially about the experiences and so forth of making this independent movie, so maybe I should catch you up on the background work from time to time.
|This is AnC...posed for the camera (on a timer). This was for our 2012 AnC Holiday Card|
I would put our current state of affairs squarely in the 'press kit hell' zone...well kinda. I actually like the press kit part. I mean it is time consuming as hell and tedious and it feels like I am never going to get things finished and out in the time frame I was hoping for. That's all true for sure, but I could say that for every single part of the movie making process - it always takes forever, consumes my life, and involves an annoyingly large amount of attention to detail...and I feel like I'm on the brink of failing at every step. It's all terrible, but you know, not really that bad. The whole movie making process is also one where I feel creative and excited, where there's constant fun bullshitting with people I like. I laugh a lot and make new friends and feel like I'm doing something that I want to do. It's very satisfying actually, and the press kit part of the process is really no different. I would say, though, that it has a slight advantage in that at this stage, I know that we've succeeded in making a movie that we are proud of (otherwise we wouldn't be promoting it). So, maybe I should say we're in press kit heaven...or maybe purgatory is a better description...yeah, cause it does feel like I'll be pushing this damn movie for the next quadrillion years. It's gonna be slow process. I'm in for the long game. The way I see it, endurance is the key when promoting a movie by nobodies from nowhere with no one famous in it and about a subject that is not for discussion in polite company.
So, point being we're doing press kits. We had to get some out to Louisville and Minneapolis for the festivals pretty quickly since the turnaround time between finding out you're in and the festival dates are often closer than you think. We didn't get elaborate for this one. We just went with a basic package containing a DVD and a simple color printing on paper - mostly leading people to our more detailed online press kit. We always do snail mailers though for press kits, but have clear direction to easy online content also. We assume people pay more attention to a package, but want their info easily accessible online.
For our Indy premiere in November (details soon btw), however, and for future press kits, we are creating something more elaborate. It's how we do. We like them to be unique, handmade-ish things that almost feel like a weird little piece of art (with clear and pertinent information, of course). These that we're conjuring up now will involve lots of strangely designed business cards, a lovely box (not that kind...although it may be pink...), ribbon, and lots of other surprises. The brainstorming and research that went into this is kinda stupid, although the three of us at AnC are pretty damn good at this kind of shit. In an odd way, we are like a well oiled machine for these things. We price shop, shoot down each other's ideas, make new ones, go through scenarios, and it's long and involved and kinda hard, but we always have a blast doing these. I'll put up some pics when we're done with them.
So, just for some nuts and bolts of our lives here. Here's the stuff that's been on our to-do list the past few weeks.
Pre-work for press kits
- update online press kit (add festival laurels, ad events, add press quotes and links to reviews)
- update SSL movie site
- burn lots of DVDs (we use blank DVDs pre-printed with the SSL logo)
- create DCP and Blue Ray exhibition copies of SSL
- investigate possible places to send press kits
- assemble contact names, email, and mailing addresses
Paper press kits for Minneapolis and Louisville
- design work for quick paper press kit
- write copy
- investigate possible places to send press kits
- go to post office and mail them
- follow up through email with individualized letter a week later
- investigate possible venues / visit venues
- negotiate details of event with venue
- create online ticket purchasing site to sell tickets through
- Send ticket and movie info to venue for their site
Indianapolis Press Kits
- Investigate pricing for boxes, cards, etc and create budget
- order all pieces
- write copy for all pieces of press kit
- design work for all cards, stickers, etc
- create individual cover letters for each press kit
- assembly line for press kits
- go to post office and mail them
- follow up through email with individualized letter a week later
- enter 3 festivals (these bitches can get expensive, so we just try to enter a few at a time, but consistently do so)
- investigate blogs, etc that may have an interest in reviewing SSL and query them (this takes a lot of searching and a lot of writing personalized emails to people you don't know)
- communication with people hosting small group showings (sending DVDs, following-up, etc)
- dealing with needs for more data space (cause we made this huge, space eating movie)
- discuss next script (ya gotta keep moving forward, right?)
We were chillin' this Labor day weekend, and decided to watch a little Indy indie movie. We saw this director's (Zack Parker) prior movie Scalene after Charlie met the director briefly at the local Indiana Filmmakers Network event, and so when we saw his new one on Netflix, we cued that shit up - cause why go outside on Labor Day, am I right?
Anyway, the movie is called Proxy. It's a thriller with strange-o plot twists, and wouldn't ya know it? There was a scene that was SSL reviewable (favorably), and so here we are. This should be pretty quick, actually. The SSL Review only pertains to depictions or discussion of female masturbation or sexual release. Nothing else matters.
Turns out some lady sneaks a peak on another lady masturbating. It's not some freaky, voyeuristic sexual stuff or anything. Neither lady should have been where she was, and they intersected - simple as that. There was no orgasm at the end of the masturbation. She stopped before it could happen. From the context of the situation, I assume it was because she was upset/sad/angry and just couldn't get her mind right. I'm happy to say, though, that the motions she was using were realistic and clit-centric, which is all I ask. It's not much, really. I mean if women by and large masturbate by stimulating their clitoral/vulva area, then by golly, that's how it should be mostly portrayed in our media (The Hite Report is a great resource for stats about how women masturbate). In this particular situation, the woman was on her back, legs spread and using her hand in a circular motion (a bit roughly for my taste) on her vulva area. There was no silliness with vaginal canal stimulation/penetration types of pornish masturbation or anything - just your simple clit jigglin'.
Oh - and there was also a scene where a woman is banged P-in-V style, standing up, from behind. There was clearly no stimulation happening to the vulva/clit area, not from his nor her hands and not from anything else. There was certainly a penis in that vagina, but the clit was out there on its own, with nothing to stimulate that poor little glans of nerve endings into an orgasm. Unfortunately, in porn and romance novels and definitely movies and TV too, that scenario of PinV banging, minus clit stimulation, is one that is often depicted as eliciting a lady-gasm, but not in Proxy, I'm happy to say.
There may have been other more character based reasons that she was shown to look disinterested and very non orgasmic in this sex scene, but I'd like to think it's also because her organ of sexual pleasure was not being stimulated and there would simply be no sensible reason to depict her coming. Now, I know this scene was not strictly a depiction of sexual release, but I think it's important to include it in the SSL Review anyway. I make the rules here, people, and I think realistic depiction of not orgasming during a sexual act need to be pointed out also.
So, I'm going to give this one 4 out of 5 vulvas. It's a good rating. There was realistic masturbation movements and a realistic depiction of not orgasming from getting banged. Yay Hoosiers! And Yay Richmond (cause you're an Indiana town and your streets are in this movie)!
(!) (!) (!) (!)
As you might have known, Science, Sex and the Ladies is making its way around the country doing small private screenings, hosted by people who just want to share this movie and the conversation this movie evokes with their friends. It's been super cool talking with all the people who've contacted me about these screenings - finding out where they heard about it, hearing about them and their interesting endeavors, and then sending the movie off to their neck of the woods. We've sent to Brooklyn, Michigan, Oregon, Los Angeles, San Francisco, D.C, right here in Indy and more. Then, all of the sudden, I started getting some international inquiries, and I was a little flabbergasted.
They mostly seemed to find us through Reddit posts and the write-up SSL got on the In Bed with Married Women blog - so much thanks to Jill Hamilton over there. The first was from India, then Australia, then Canada, then the UK. All these women were just so damn cool and funny and gung-ho about female sexuality. I love that I have the chance to meet them, and I love that one of them will be hosting SSL's international debut.
India and Australia went out the same day, but India's took longer than we thought to get there. We were biting our nails waiting, but just Thursday, I got word that the eagle had landed. Australia received their copy about a week earlier. Canada should get the drop any day now, and the UK has about 7 days left (She's on holiday anyway, so I fear the Brits ain't gonna win this one.)
Honestly, I feel that India is the most tenacious, but as we all know, getting people together all at once can take more than tenacity and determination...sometimes, my friends, it takes time...so who knows what will happen. I will, of course, keep you posted. And, ya know, no matter what, each of these women will be hosting the premiere for their own country, so at least there's that.
So, just since I watched Felix the Cat, Netflix suggested I watch Up in Smoke, and I thought why not? I'd never seen it. Cheech and Chong. It's a classic, right? It was kinda funny. It would probably be a lot funnier if it was 35 years ago, ya know? Things lose their bite with age and imitation.
However, it just so happened that the person I found most amusing in the movie was also the one involved in the SSL Review eligible moment. Of course, a movie must depict or discuss female orgasm or masturbation in order to even get an SSL Review (the most coveted of all reviews!), but this one is a little interesting, because it is a completely fake orgasm, and I don't mean it was a woman faking an orgasm during a sex act. It is a woman named Jade (played by Zane Buzby) telling a story of this other woman having sex. Basically, she's giving a vivid account of this woman's ridiculously over-exuberant orgasm noises that go on through the whole sex act, and it's clear that Jade sees it and the woman doing it as silly and annoying. So, I think it's actually pretty right on, because it kinda calls out the incredibly unrealistic porny perma-gasms that are so common in our sexual media. Although my assessment of this lady-gasm depiction is actually a little more complicated, and I'll get into that later. For now, let me set up the scene.
|This is the Up in Smoke orgasm scene...before Cheech wakes with a cramp|
Jade is supposed to be this like ditzy, free-spirit that is just constantly talking. She's also a drug aficionado and has a case with all these pills and shit in it that she uses and gives to other people. The movie will just cut to her, and she'll be in the middle of telling someone some story that sounds crazy as hell. That's how we get to the orgasm scene, actually. Chong and another girl are sleeping in a van made of pot next to a line of people waiting for a concert. Jade is just calmly sitting there in the van brushing her hair and telling this story to 2 sleeping people. Even when the story gets all heated, it never stops just being a story to her. It's very matter of fact. She's still just brushing her hair and not really caring who's listening. Here's my by-ear transcript of her story. I had to pause and rewind a lot to get this, so at least read it and make it worth my while.
She was like nuts. You could always tell if she was in the hotel Bono(?not sure if that's the right word?) man ya know. Like everyone'd be dozin off and all the sudden she'd start up. First you'd hear it, it'd start up like ya know, ahhh, ahhh (real gentle and slow) but then she'd like really get goin' and she'd be more like ya know uh uh uh (a little rougher sounding) ya know and she'd start going like a motor boat, ya know fuu-uu-uuu-uuck me Alex. His name was Alex. Ya know, Fuu-uuu-uu-uuuck meeeee. fu-uuu-uuck mee-eee-ee fuck me Alex (loud and staccato reapeated about 4 or 5 more time)Then Chong wakes up. He has a cramp, and says so out loud. He starts grunting and stuff and moving around erratically in the van trying to work out his cramp. The van, my friends, is a-rockin' and the woman is still just chillin', brushing her hair and telling this story. She's getting louder and wilder sounding though.
yeah, yeah oh, yeah, oh yeah (repeated many times). But she's like this - she'd do this...oh yeah, oh yeah (repeated many times and then winds it down like she's finished up an amazing orgasm)...and then she'd have like 2 tears runnin' down her face...At that point, Chong's cramp subsides, and he gets out of the van. All the people in the line cheer like wild.
So the complication I mentioned with my assessment is that during Jade's story, people outside the van begin to hear what's going on and think that some crazy wild, highly orgasmic sex is going on. They cheer Chong when he comes out, so this whole joke is done with the understanding that the fake sounds Jade is making (as a way to make fun of another woman's craziness) are still taken as real and as an indication to the crowd outside of what a bad-ass lover the dude inside the van must be. So, it's complicated. Does the crowd's misunderstanding of the situation point out to the audience how ridiculous it is that these over-exaggerated orgasm shows seen in things like porn are taken so seriously? Or does it just add one more instance of an exaggerated porn-gasm for audiences to un-critically take in as possible way women might orgasm. It's probably the latter, but I don't feel I can hold Up in Smoke to that too harshly. In the end, it was just a joke, and it was at least partially based on making fun of the porn-gasm.
I'll give Up in Smoke a very wishy-washy 3 vulva rating.
It took all the power in my being to write "coming" in the title instead of "cumming." There's no reasonable explanation why I'd want to do that. It's not really funnier or more clever, and it doesn't really even make sense. If I maybe titled the post "Minneapolis and Louisville, SSL Is Cumming Inside Your Theaters" or "Minneapolis and Louisville, SSL Can't Wait To Cum Into Your Town," or "Minneapolis and Louisville, SSL Will Make you Cum Right Away To A Theater Near You" - I mean any of those make better use of "cum" vs. "come" than the title I picked and would simply make more sense in a pun sort of way.
Anyway, I am regularly giggly inside my head whenever the word "come" is used, no matter how innocent. That's just true. It's the same way when I hear "fish taco." I can't even believe that people say it with a straight face. I just truly can't fathom how people go about their lives thinking it's perfectly sensible to order fish tacos and then proceed to eat them without even a hint of joke-iness. It's insane to me. Maybe part of that is that I really didn't actively realize that fish tacos existed as a valid menu item (and not just a crude term for lady bits) until I was about 22 years old - and I will not have you judge me for that. I've lived in land-locked Indianapolis my entire life, and I'm not a big seafood eater anyway. I have friends who feel the same way (although probably less intensely), so I know I'm not insane...although it may indicate the level of worldliness and class of my close companions.
That was not the point of this post though. WE HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED INTO OUR FIRST 2 FESTIVALS!
The Minneapolis Underground Film Festival in, well, Minneapolis obviously. It will be taking place from Thursday October 2nd thru Sunday October 5th.
The Imaginarium Film Festival in Louisville. It's actually part of the Imaginarium creative writing convention, which is kind of cool, and it is held Friday, Sept. 19th thru Sunday, Sept. 21st.
We don't have the specific details on the times our movie will be playing, but we'll post as soon as we know. So, if you are one of my very mysterious readers who lives in or near Minneapolis or Louisville, tell ALL your friends and caravan down to the theater to catch Science, Sex and the Ladies! And if you do get out to see it, say hi. The other 2 co-directors and I will be there, and we'd love to talk or hang out, or grab a drink - we don't care, we won't have to go to work the next day. Seriously. I'd love to meet you.
There will be more announcements in the next weeks and months for showings around the country. We're gonna start touring with this damn movie. Keep an eye out. We might be cumming to your town!
Okay, I've been doing a thing called Random Hite Report. Sometimes it's from The Hite Report on Female Sexuality and sometimes it's from The Hite Report on Male Sexuality. Both simply ask intimate detailed questions of its participants, and we hear their story in their own words. I think that they are both amazingly insightful and important works, but I have a special love for the male version.
Maybe it's because the female version gets most of the attention - granted, it was the first one; the really, head exploding, groundbreaking one, and the one that really made the point that our culture is just plain ignorant about the physical nature of female orgasm. Believe me, I'm so very much behind all that, and thankful for Shere Hite's efforts. I just always like to root for the underdog, and the male version is just that. It seems like it wouldn't be that interesting. I mean, men, sex - we get it, right? Ah, but you are wrong. This book will pull you in. It is so very human and raw. As much insight as the female version had into aspects of female sexuality that our society ignores or misunderstands, the male version has that too. It's just often different aspects than the lady stuff. It also is an incredible snapshot of men of a certain period in our history. These are men smack dab in the middle of all the cultural changes that accompanied the sexual, civil rights, and women's revolutions, and we are hearing their intimate thoughts about the most intimate parts of their lives. I just think it's beautiful and touching. It's not all pretty, but nothing that's real ever is.
Anyway - in this series, I just flip to one page and then copy it directly into this blog. This particular page is from the chapter "Relationships With Women" in the section "Do Men Like Being Married?" and in the subsection "What were some basic reasons men gave for wanting to stay married or for liking marriage?" Enjoy.
p. 209 The Hite Report on Male Sexuality by Shere Hite
Alfred A. Knoff. NY. 1981
...the friendship, having someone special to love. It's fun, healthful, and keeps things in perspective. It softens difficult times. It is nice to be wanted and needed."
"Yes, I like marriage. I need and depend upon a wife, good or bad."
"Yes, I need another person to bounce my deeper feelings off of."
"I love being married. Having a life partner is exciting, fulfilling, and comforting."
"I like being married. My wife is my backbone in my business. She takes care of everyday problems that i do not want to handle. She is a very good mother to my children, even though she does not turn me on sexually anymore."
Having people around you who love you is a very secure feeling. I love my wife and children and they love me."
"Home serves as a 'secure' base of operation, a place where I can be me, a place I can always come back to, and a place where I can share my successes and failures. Of course it's a give-and-take process, and much of the importance is my part in listening to my wife."
"It's the best arrangement for maintaining security, sanity, child raising, and economic well-being."
"Most times I like being married (married thirteen years.) Why? Because it it physically and psychologically stabilizing."
"I like marriage because there's a sense of family and permanence most of the time."
"I am married because I like the companionship it provides, I usually like being around and talking with my wife, it seems to be a sound financial arrangement, and it is usually a convenient sexual arrangement."
"The most important thing about our relationship is the stability we have because of our affiliation. Being married is good for both of us."
Many men stressed the aspect of security: "Sixteen years. I am happily married and think it is the greatest. I have one partner ready to do anything for me, whom I so deeply love. I know she will be there so long as we both live. It gives me a great feeling of personal security."
"Twenty years. I am married for the security it gives, the pleasure, and the convenience. A framework to live my life in."
"Twenty -nine and a half years. Marriage is restrictive in one sense, but gives a secure feeling in another."
"I've been married thirteen years. I like being committed to one person. It gives me a good feeling and I feel secure about at least one part of my life."
"I have been married almost twenty-four years. I like it. The sense of family community is one of the cornerstones of my life."
"I've been married six months. I like being married. I like to share my days with someone and to share her days with her. I like to have someone to make long plans with and to look forward with someone to fulfilling those plans. I...."
I decided to watch The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat. Why and what is it, you ask? Well, I watched it because I needed to pass some time and saw it on Netflix. What it is?....well Fritz the Cat was a late 60's early 70's underground comic strip by Robert Crumb that became an animated movie in 1972. The movie I watched is the sequel to the original Fritz the Cat movie, but neither the director of the original nor Robert Crumb had anything to do with this sequel.
Fritz is constantly high, on welfare, and lives in a shit apartment with his wife and son. Basically the movie is his wife yelling at him as he smokes weed and stares blankly ahead, going through his other possible 9 lives in his head. It's a trippy 70's deal, and I really didn't find it that funny or good in any way. It was weird though, so I'm glad I watched it, I guess. There's a lot of rapey shit in there, which if I remember back from similarly styled dirty 70's comics I found when I was a kid, it seems to be part of the genre.
So there were 2 things in here which can be loosley SSL reviewed. The first is not really a specific discussion or depiction of female orgasm or masturbation, but it pertains to myths about lady-gasms, so I thought I'd include it.
As I mentioned before, Fritz's wife is bitching him out hardcore every time she's on screen and one of the first things she says is.
Harvey and I made it....What do you think of that? We made it, and he's better in bed than you are. You know why? Because he's hung like a horse - that's why.So, this is comedy reinforcing the common misconception that a bigger dick causes better/more/any orgasms for women. The truth is, unless that dick sprouts something to diddle the clit it's not gonna be great a causing orgasms. Big or small, stimulating the inside of the vag - as dicks tend to do during intercourse - is not how ladygasms get made. If somehow that intercourse (with either a big or small dick), can be worked out to also involve stimulation of the clitoral glans, then by golly orgasms might just happen. My point is that although one might enjoy looking at a big ol' dick, or might find the idea of climbing on top of a giganto dick super hot, a big dick - in and of itself - is not any better than a small dick at getting women off.
Okay the second one was an actual cartoon depiction of a lady orgasming. Fritz was going through one of his nine lives and it involved something about space. I'm being vague not because I'm trying to keep this SSL Review spoiler free or something, but because I'm genuinely not sure what was going on. Anyway, Fritz and some chic with big protruding nipples (because every woman on here had giant, I say giant, protruding nipples) were doing it inside a rocket that was about to lift off. They were both in space suits, and he was on top with her legs up in the air. There was lots of cartoony flailing limbs involved in this sex act, and it would keep cutting away to the rocket they were doing it in. This rocket had a penis-ish look and it was moving kinda like it was thrusting. Then, a voice said
We have ignition.And, well, the rocket started out to space and these two nasty love birds were ignited too.
Felix: Ya-hooo-hooo-hooo!!!!!Only the rocket was being shown during those final outbursts, and all I saw of the two before that involved them both being fully clothed in space suits with him on top and flailing limbs, so I'm not going to venture at how realistic these cartoon movements were for actually getting a real woman off. That would just be silly. What I will say is that this at its core was a scene of basic hetero sex that ended in both partners orgasming at the same time. Sex is almost always assumed to be a dude putting his penis in and out of a lady, and what we did see in this scene did not seem to stray from that basic idea. So, the insinuation is that the basic in-and-out will eventually lead to ladygasm...at about the time the dude gets off. It's just a reinforcement of the most basic of understandings our culture holds on the matter of sex, and it's misleading. Intercourse is not a great way for women to orgasm and simultaneous orgasm is not common, given that a woman would need additional clitoral stimulation to come during the nasty while a man needs some in-out rubbing in the vagina. It's two different movements, so there's more likely to be turn taking for the orgasm.
Protruding Nipple Astronaut Woman: Me too, baby! Oooo babby oooo wowwwww. It's so good!!
Okay, that's my weird 70's SSL review. I'm giving this a 0 vulva [ (!) ] rating. It reinforced all the normal everyday misinformation that permeates our sexual knowledge, and it was rapey, so I won't even give it 1.
So, a good friend sent me a link to an article on LiveScience called "Sexting Lies: The New Orgasm Faking." Contrary to the title's insinuation, the study discussed wasn't about orgasm faking. It was about lying in general during sexting.
Nearly half of the people in the study who had ever sent sexual texts had lied to their committed partner about what they were wearing or doing while sexting.It went on to say more women admitted to lying than men, at 45% of the ladies vs. 24% of the gentlemen. Why?
Most people who lied did so in order to fulfill the needs of a partner in some way...The article's title is annoying in the way so many over-exaggerated or straight-up misleading science related internet titles are. Plus, I do want to say that the article doesn't have any references, and my quick Googling didn't bring up any original studies, so it may not even be a real study...or it's badly misrepresented. Who knows, but the idea of faking text-gasms is interesting anyway.
I see why the author went straight to the orgasm when the topic of lying was brought up. People fake. Over half of women have admitted to faking. I'm always interested in hearing things about how, why, and when people fake orgasms. I have suspicions that the amount of women faking orgasms is probably underrepresented, probably a bit unconscious, and probably not investigated as comprehensively as it could be. So, I thought this seemed interesting. Particularly because the reason over 2/3 of the people give for lying during sexting was that they were trying to fulfill their partner's needs in some way. Basically, they were being nice - which is one huge reason women tend to fake face to face as well.
So, there's no huge revelation here - just a possible interesting similarity between real sex and text sex...and a reminder that faking things during sexual situations is usually out of niceness and politeness and not out of any type of malice.
I watched Monster's Ball in the theater when it first came out in 2001. This was about a year before I started researching for Science, Sex and the Ladies, and about 8 years before I started this blog, so I didn't SSL Review it, obviously. However, I've often thought I need to go back and review this movie. It had, I remembered, one of the first going-down-on-a-lady scenes I ever remember seeing in a Hollywood movie. Plus, there's that super hot sex scene with Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton. So 13 years later, here's the SSL Review for Monster's Ball.
I liked the movie a whole lot, and rewatching it, I found that it still stands up. It's a good one to check out if you haven't caught it yet, although it's currently not on Netflix, so you'll have to do some searching. I'm happy to say, it also will be getting a pretty good SSL Review, so there's that too. There were 2 scenes that discussed or depicted female orgasm or masturbation and one that depicted sex with a clear lack of female orgasm - which I think is just as important, so let's start with that one.
Sonny and Vera's Scene
One of the characters, Sonny - played by Heath Ledger, has a prostitute into his motel room. It's a quick cordial interactions.
Sonny: Vera, how you doin'?At this points she stands with her hands on a table in front of her and Sonny pulls his pants down and penetrates her from behind. He pumps into her - not too harshly, of course - and comes. She is unresponsive in her body and voice during the sex - just sorta getting the job done.
Vera: Good. how are you?
Sonny: I'm Good. Here. (he gives her money) Sorry. You want a drink?
Vera: Oh yeah. Thanks, hon. (She undresses)
Sonny: Wild Turkey. (They drink)
Vera: Now, I'm sore, so go easy, Darlin'.
Sonny: Yes ma'am.
Sonny: Thanks Vera.It's a realistic scene (especially the part about being sore, am I right?). He's paying for the use of her vagina as a masturbatory tool. They're both on board with this, everyone is getting what they came for, and one of those things is not a lady-gasm. Which is right on point because a penis moving in and out of a vagina is not really something that would cause an orgasm anyway. I think this is a good example of how a vagina is a top of the line masturbation tool for males, but a penis is not a top of the line masturbation tool for women (unless it's vibrating and sitting against her clit, of course).
Vera: You're welcome.
Leticia and Hank's Big Ol' Sexy-Ass Scene
Okay, the next scene is the big hot one that was talked about so much when the movie came out. Basically, Hank (Billy Bob Thornton) and Leticia (Halle Berry) are strangers put together by a tragic situation and end up back at her house. She eventually asks him to "make her feel good" as she's taking off her shirt. It's as if the sex is a way to lessen the pain she is feeling, and the sex the two have becomes passionate and raw. They are at a couch with a coffee table in front of it and, and they get into several positions on the floor and the couch. It's cut into kind of a montage and is shot voyeur style from another room or something. Except for a small shot where it seems she sucks his dick for a minute, it's all intercourse happening.
They are both on their knees; her bent over the couch seat, him behind her. She is grunting from the thrusting but not orgasmically. She looks at him, turns around and flips over so she is sitting on the couch straddling him as he kneels in front of her. She sits upright so her upper body and pelvis are pressed against him. There are quick disjointed cuts here, but it looks as though there might have been an insinuation of an orgasm - which is believable enough to me because her pelvis (and thus her clitoral glans) in many of the cuts seemed to be aggressively grinding against his body and she even seems to be grabbing his butt and pulling his pelvis towards her to keep the friction.
Okay, so then he rolls on top of her on the couch as her legs wrap around his body. There is definite pounding that is heard (certainly good for a male orgasm), although the voyeur camera goes out of focus for a sec. She says, "Fill me up," a few times and after a few more good pounds into her he seems to do just that without much vocal fanfare, and we see him end breathless as he relaxes a bit. She also makes some guttural, screamy sounds that could be orgasmic, and just might be meant to be seen that way, but I don't think that's the case. I think it could be viewed as just the intensity of the moment that caused the sounds to come from her. I don't think it's uncommon for a woman to vocalize at the same time a man is orgasming. Of course, that's probably a common time for women to fake. It's also probably often misunderstood by the partner as an orgasm and can be wrongly viewed in movies as signs of an orgasm, but I think it was clear that she was focusing on his orgasm here, and she did continue on pursuing her orgasm right after, despite his finishing.
Leticia quickly rolls him onto the ground, making sure he stays inside, and get on top. She leans forward onto him and moves her body back and forth, doing him slowly. There are quick cuts and they continue to do it in this position, although she has sat up and is more bouncing on him. She seems to come again in this positions, although there was clearly no hands in use and her pelvis/vulva was not touching anything for stimulation. He eventually comes again still in this same position, but this time he gives us more vocal fanfare.
After he finishes, she falls forward, kissing him and is really rolling and grinding her hips on him, slowly but urgently. She keeps her pelvis tight against his body through all her rolling and grinding, as she has a non-porny orgasm. It's about as realistic as I've seen in a movie. Not only is there closeness of her pelvis to his body, showing the possibility of clitoral glans stimulation, but she is actively moving her body in such a way that would really cause that friction on her clitoral glans. She is in control. His body is still. He has already come. He is looking at her with awe as she does this. This last part is about her helping herself get hers, and I feel like that had to be an intentional creative choice in this movie.
There is a lot of stuff in this long sex scene, and I may not have all the intentions right about which part was an orgasm and which is not, but I'm clear about where her body was in times when it seemed like an orgasm was happening. I'm also clear that she had at least 1, maybe 2 orgasms that could have actually happened to a real woman. The one in the middle seemed closer to a classic, bouncing on a dick orgasm that we see in movies all the time, but I'll forgive that one. To me, at the heart of this scene, it was two people unabashedly enjoying the pleasures, both mental and physical, that come with a passionate sexual encounter. Now that's not really all that strange of a thing to see in movies, but there was more than that. What was particularly exciting to me about this scene was that it also seemed to show those two people sharing and taking turns giving each other orgasms. That's so fantastic because sex always seems to be depicted ending with a man and a woman who just orgasmed at the same time, and that is simply not likely. A man needs his penis stimulated and a woman her clitoral glans. They need different movements. It's just how it is. Showing couples always coming at the same time is just another fantasy way of insinuating to women that him pounding into her should make her come too. This scene was also more graphic than most, so it allowed the audience to really see how Halle's hips grinded and pressed into him. I think that's just too dirty to show sometimes, but it is the way that women can orgasm hands free during intercourse. Anyway, I found it progressive and refreshing.
The Goin' Downtown Scene
The last scene is simple. There is a shot of the two in bed, from the chest up. He asks her if he can touch her, and she agrees, and then he moves down her body and out of shot. We just watch her face as he performs oral sex on her, and she eventually comes in a fairly non-porny, realistic way. I don't think I have to tell you that a mouth on the vulva, which is insinuated here, can certainly and realistically make a lady come. I can get behind a sensible scene like that.
This movie showed both a non-ladygasm sexual situation, like the prostitute one, and a lady-gasm inducing situation, like the going-down-on-her scene, with realism. It also showed a long sexual scene between a man and a woman that, although not perfectly realistic to my ridiculously high standards, beautifully emphasized taking turns for orgasm, a lady's need to really grind during intercourse, and the power of her doing the work to get herself there. This gets a 5 out of 5 vulva rating - not because it's perfect, but because it made an attempt to be better, and it mostly succeeded...and it was hot to watch.