2.06.2016

Random Hite Report #16



Hello, welcome again to one of my favorite segments on the SSL blog, Random Hite Report! It's simple really. I flip through the pages of the The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality  (or sometimes The Hite Report on Male Sexuality) by a one Ms. Shere Hite and copy the contents of the page where I land - no more no less. Anyone who reads my blog will know that this 1976 book is a fave of mine; not only because of its shockingly realistic and progressive insight about the female orgasm,  but also because of its very touching insight into the lives of the women who took part in this huge, comprehensive survey. This is an under-appreciated and under-read book if you ask me.



 So, sit back, getcha a beverage, and enjoy a little...Random Hite Report...you never know what yer gonna get!

The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality Dell. 1976.
Pg. 50 From chapter "Who Answered" in the section showing women's answers to the question, "Why did you answer this questionnaire? How did you like it?"

...to find out what's really happening. And what could happen. I hope no new set of assumptions ever assumes the coercive, limited character of the old Judaeo-Christian set of assumptions. I also hoped, through answering these questions, to help jog myself out of old ruts and to get more of an idea of what sort of woman I am, sexually. Good luck to you!"
    "I liked the questionnaire. I've been doing it at work for the past week and have hurried home at five o'clock every day horny horny horny. As I've said, I've started to becoming more creative sexually because of these questions. also, I've become more insistent on climaxing, which is great."
    "I got the questionnaire from my mother-in-law's copy of Sexual Honesty, and I was moved and fascinated by the diversity of replies. Women telling it like it is! I'd never really thought before about how arrogant men are telling us what we feel or should feel. I felt for those women who wonder if there is something wrong because they don't have orgasms, as I had this problem for many years. I'm sure many women read the book and realized they were not abnormal after all!"
    "I thought this was a very good questionnaire. The different questions seem to give an opportunity to think about various aspects of sex from more than one angle. This type of study is very much needed. The book was very supportive, especially in clearing up my own feelings of uncertainty about how long it takes me to have orgasms and that I didn't have orgasms during intercourse. It was helpful to see that there do seem to be a wide differences in the amounts of stimulation and time women take to have orgasms and that many women don't have orgasms during intercourse at all, or only very rarely. The most immediate results of this for me was that I decided to ask my husband to help me have an orgasm when I wanted one during intercourse instead of not asking because I had felt maybe I was somehow asking for too much."
    "I answered because I went through such hell figuring out what was 'wrong' with me, and only after read-..."

2.02.2016

Eva Longoria, Her Vibrators, and Her Orgasm Equality Awesomeness



This post is an Orgasm Equality shout-out to Eva Longoria, the actress who caught her stardom playing Gabrielle on Desperate Housewives. She has candidly and apologetically said in interviews that she didn't orgasm until 26 - with the help of a vibrator. She's's also boldy touted the importance of women knowing our own bodies before before ever expecting a man to.

It's not common for any woman to speak out so genuinely about her own personal experience with orgasming, especially when she is admitting that orgasming was elusive to her for a good chunk of her adult life. Now, make that person a beautiful, famous actress known for her role as a rather sexy lady, and I'd say that takes some low hangin' lips. Her frankness on the subject helps illuminate  the distinction between a woman's sexuality and her sexiness, which is too often lost in a culture that repeatedly assumes sexy is sexual.



The very real truth that women are simply not orgasming as much as men, that this affects our lives, and that we all have struggles to differing degrees with this orgasm gap is just not talked about, so that Ms. Longoria did it is important, brave, and frankly just pretty awesome and bad ass. She speaks the truth not only to reporters, but to her friends, and that's about as much of an Orgasm Equality Soldier as I could expect any person to be.

I think she's probably just a genuine person keeping things real, and likely not saying these things with any sort of specific revolutionary aim, but that's kind of the beauty isn't it? It makes me feel like we're coming to  point 1. where we have powerful women who feel more free to speak candidly, 2. where their voices can be heard, 3. where the current culture and their backgrounds have led them to question their experiences of (less) orgasms (than they want and deserve), and 4. where they're investigating solutions and sharing them with other women. That's kind of the goal. We just need even more women hearing and sharing.

Anyway, I loves me some Eva Longoria and her frank, thoughtful words to women about their orgasms. Here are a couple quotes:

In this article at The Daily Mail, Longoria tells Rebecca Hardy:
"I spoke about vibrators and Brazilians in an article about women finding their sexuality. I didn't have my first orgasm until I was 26. That was with a vibrator. And yes, I said that every woman should try a Brazilian wax once. The sex they have afterwards will make them keep coming back. Taken out of context it looks as if I'm running around talking about vibrators. But I hate censoring myself and dancing around things."

Here's a piece of the Q&A from this cosmopolitan interview with Jennifer Graham"
C: You've been quoted as saying that you didn't have your first orgasm until you used a vibrator. Do you think it's important for women to experiment with their own bodies?  
E :Yes, because you get better at sex when you know your own body. How are you going to expect a man to know your body when you don't know what pleases you? It's really important to have a healthy sexuality and to be open about it. It's not a taboo. It's normal. By the way, after my vibrator quote was published, I literally got boxes and boxes of vibrators and pocket rockets [free from sex-toy companies]. So I was constantly giving them away. Even before that, I would give them as gifts to girlfriends for their birthdays, and they'd be so excited.

1.30.2016

A Big Ol' List of Summarized Journal Articles Relating To Female Orgasm



Below you will find links to all of the posts I made in the "A Journal Article I Read" Series. For each one, I read an article, summarize it, and sometimes, if I want to, give a little discussion about what I think the contents of that article mean to the broader understanding of lady-gasms. I try my best not to skip details that are important in understanding what this study did and did not touch upon. Ideally, I want to make these like 20 times more readable than an actual article but also really comprehensive, and I do the best I can to make that happen. Hopefully you enjoy them a bit.

Honestly, these are one of my favorite things to do on this blog, and if I didn't have an actual job, I'd be all all over this. I think it really helps me understand the science available on this stuff much better. It is one thing to read an article, but when you have to tell other people all these details about it, it really start to sink it into your brain and you can see things you missed in the first read-through. Anyway, I like do this, and when I do more, I'll continue to add them here.

Enjoy!

p.s. As I've always said in this blog and in my movie, I have never found in a scientific article an instance in which stimulation inside the vagina (without additional external clitoral area stimulation) elicited the rhythmic pelvic muscular contractions known to be the physical expression of orgasm in both men and women (You can see more about that HERE). These articles are no exception, but if I do find one, rest assured I will post it here and amend this paragraph to let you know about it.




Articles about female orgasm that include recording of pelvic muscle activity

The journal article: "The female orgasm: pelvic contractions." Bohlen JG, Held JP, Sanderson MO, Ahlgren A. Arch Sex Behav. 1982 Oct;11(5):367-86.
The summary is titled: Good Orgasmic Pelvic Contraction Study from 1982 - A Journal Article I Read.

The journal article: "Relationships Among Cardiovascular, Muscular, and Oxytocin Responses During Human Sexual Activity." Carmichael, et al. Archives of Sexual Behavior Vol. 23, No. 1 1994.
The summary is titled: Oxytocin, Orgasm, Muscle Contractions, and Blood - A Journal Article I Read


Articles about female orgasm that do not include recording of pelvic muscle activity

The journal article: "Vaginal Erotic Sensitivity By Sexological Examination." Hoch, Z. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1986;65(7):767-73.
The summary is titled: Vaginal Erotic Sensitivity By Sexological Examination: A Journal Article I Read

The journal article: "Vaginal erotic sensitivity." Alzate H, LondoƱo ML. J Sex Marital Ther. 1984 Spring;10(1):49-56.
The summary is titled: Vaginal Erotic Sensitivity - A Journal Article I Read

The journal article: "Brain activation during vaginocervical self-stimulation and orgasm in women with complete spinal cord injury: fMRI evidence of mediation by the vagus nerves." Komisaruk BR1, Whipple B, Crawford A, Liu WC, Kalnin A, Mosier K. Brain Res. 2004 Oct 22;1024(1-2):77-88.
The summary is titled: Cervical Stimulation and Orgasm in Women with Spinal Cord injuries - A journal Article I read

The journal article: "Measurement of the thickness of the urethrovaginal space in women with or without vaginal orgasm." Gravina GL, Brandetti F, Martini P, Carosa E, Di Stasi SM, Morano S, Lenzi A, Jannini EA. J Sex Med. 2008 Mar;5(3):610-8.
The summary is titled: Thicker Urethrovaginal Space = Vaginal Orgasm?: A Journal Article I Read


Female genital structure and sensitivity

The journal article: "Women's clitoris, vagina, and cervix mapped on the sensory cortex: fMRI evidence." Komisaruk BR1, Wise N, Frangos E, Liu WC, Allen K, Brody S. J Sex Med. 2011 Oct;8(10):2822-30.
The summary is titled: MRIs of Stimulation to the Clitoris, Cervix, and Vagina - A Journal Article I Read

The journal article: "Physiological Changes in Female Genital Sensation During Sexual Stimulation." The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 4 (2) – Mar 1, 2007.
The summary is titled:   Sensitivity of Clit and Vagina While Aroused and Unaroused

The journal article: "A prospective study examining the anatomic distribution of nerve density in the human vagina." Pauls R, Mutema G, Segal J, Silva WA, Kleeman S, Dryfhout Ma V, Karram M. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2006 Nov;3(6):979-87.
The summary is titled: Vaginal Nerviness and What I would Say Differently If I Made This Movie Now

The journal article: "Pilot echographic study of the differences in clitoral involvement following clitoral or vaginal sexual stimulation." Buisson O1, Jannini EA. J Sex Med. 2013 Nov;10(11):2734-40.
The summary is titled: Ultrasounds of clit and vaginal stimulation: A Journal Article I Read

The journal article: "Coitus as revealed by ultrasound in one volunteer couple." Buisson O1, Foldes P, Jannini E, Mimoun S. J Sex Med. 2010 Aug;7(8):2750-4.
The summary is titled:  Coitus as revealed by ultrasound in one volunteer couple - a Journal Article I Read


Articles about female orgasm in relation to the distance between a woman's vagina and clitoral glans

The journal article: "Clitoral size and location in relation to sexual function using pelvic MRI." Oakley SH1, Vaccaro CM, Crisp CC, Estanol MV, Fellner AN, Kleeman SD, Pauls RN. J Sex Med. 2014 Apr;11(4):1013-22.
The summary is titled: A New Study about Clit Size and Orgasms!!!

The journal article: "Female sexual arousal: Genital anatomy and orgasm in intercourse" Kim Wallens and Elisabeth A. Lloyd. Hormones and Behavior 59 (2011) 780-792.
The summary is titled:Distance From Clitoris to Vagina: Does It Matter to Orgasms?


Articles about female ejaculation and fluid expulsion during sexual activity

The journal article: "Female ejaculation orgasm vs. coital incontinence: a systematic review." Pastor ZJ. Sex Med.2013 Jul;10(7):1682-91. 2013 May 1.
The summary is titled: Fluid Expulsion During Female Sexual Activiy - A Journal Article I Read


Unique case studies

The journal article: "Sexual function in a woman with congenital bladder exstrophy and multiple pelvic reconstructive surgeries: a case report." Vaccaro CM1, Herfel C, Karram MM, Pauls RN. J Sex Med. 2011 Feb;8(2):617-21.
The summary is titled:Vaginal Orgasm in Woman With Unique Pelvic Anatomy? - A Journal Article I Read

1.26.2016

Gemma Askham - Writing Orgasm Equality for Women's Magazines Like A Boss!!!!



Women's magazine sex writers get a lot of jokes thrown their way - they bring to mind things like Cosmo sex positions that involve throwing doughnuts around an erect penis and then eating said doughnut.

It ain't no joke to me, though. Women's magazine sex writers are important, and what they write means something. Women are starved for sensible, accurate, realistic, non-frivolous information about our own orgasms. So, when a popular women's magazine publishes information about sex and female orgasm we ingest it even if it's bad. Their words impact women and our understanding of ourselves - they just do.



What that says to me is that when it comes to preaching orgasm equality, sex writers at women's magazines have incredible power to make change and sway the status quo, and what I really want to talk about is the cold hard fact that there really is some good, progressive-as-shit writing out there in this genre. And further, I would like to talk about how important good quality lady-gasm writing must have been to these writers for them to get that shit published. That kind of writing is not the norm, and so the very fact that it gets published means that they had to be a little pushy and a little brave, and their editors had to be a little brave too.

In fact, I have talked to a few of these women over the course of writing this blog, and I know that good writing on this subject isn't usually what the decision-makers are comfortable with. Every little tidbit of true progressiveness is hard fought, and I respect the hell out of these ladies for doing it. They are paving roads. You can meet some of them in my Orgasm Equality Hero's list, and today I'm going to introduce you to one more.

Gemma Askham is a freelance writer. She was a feature editor at British Glamour, and she's written for all kinds of magazines including Elle, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Glamour, Cleo, etc., etc. Anyway, my point here is that she writes for women's magazines, and she sometimes writes in them about sex...and she cares about doing it right. In fact, she is doing it right because she's pushing to be more realistic, more accurate, and more progressive. I think she's kick ass on the Orgasm Equality front, and I know of at least 2 articles she's written that will prove it.

Article 1
In Bedroom Equality, (a pdf of a differently titled print version HERE) a rather appropriate title if I might say so, she talks about the bullshit of so much sex ending when the man comes, about the abundance of crappy, unrealistic sex in porn, and about how too few women masturbate. Most importantly, though, she tells us that women need to start believing we deserve our share of orgasms.

My 2 favorite quotes in this article:

of orgasm..."But when a third more Australian men than women admit to masturbating, what are we telling the world about our right to having one."

"We fight to overturn Australia's 18.8 per cent gender pay gap, yet we're laying back and just letting our 26 per cent gender gap happen. In sex, women aren't only coming second; frequently we aren't coming at all. This isn't the equivalent of being paid less, it's the equivalent of no pay at all."

Hells. yeah. Let's get this fight a goin'!

Article 2
Beating the Orgasm Gap in Australia's Cleo Magazine (pdf HERE) is chock full of orgasm equality and good advice.  She speaks the truth about the clit and its rightful place as the organ of female sexual pleasure. Granted, I may have a few quotes in this one, so I might be biased, but I LOVE that she was so bold about really, specifically pointing out that vaginas do not orgasms make (as far as science has found so far). That's not at all common to see, and I can only imagine it's not super easy for editors to swallow. It's brave, and I am overjoyed she's done it.

However, that's not the only great stuff. There's some wicked insightful thoughts about what our culture has to do with this, what parts we play in it, and what we can do about this orgasm gap. You'll find quotes from the awesome Tumblr, How To Make Me Come (really - check it out if you haven't). Also from Dr. Lisa Wade, author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, Dr. Vivienne Cass author of The Elusive Orgasm, and Elizabeth Armstrong, author of this big ol' survey having to do with orgasm and relationships. ,

You'll also find some sensible and kinda cool starter masturbation activities from Carlyle Jansen, author of Sex Yourself: The Woman's Guide to Mastering Masturbation And Achieving Powerful Orgasms.

Now, that's the kind of sex writing we should be seeing in magazines aimed at us, ladies, amiright?

Gemma kickin' ass and takin' names
Gemma is pushing her medium forward. She speaks to large audiences, and her progressive writing is just the kind of thing that could really give Orgasm Equality a sizable nudge in the right direction. My hat is off to you, Ms. Askham. Welcome to my List of Orgasm Equality Heroes!

I believe there is more to come (ha - come) from Gemma Askham. Keep up to date with her HERE at her site.

1.22.2016

AnC Th-AnC-s You!!!!!



This is the SSL Blog. It's clearly related to the movie Science, Sex and the the Ladies and surrounding subjects. But...what about the people who made SSL? What about AnC Movies? I don't talk about AnC all that much (and for unexplainable reasons, we do not pronounce it A. n. C. We pronounce it as Aink). A large part of that is because we were entangled in making and promoting SSL for so many years, that there wasn't all that much else to talk about.

We have done some this and that, though. A recent little experimental short called Glorious Boring, for instance. We've done a fair amount of commercial stuff for the ol' paycheck recently too, but we're excited to get back into the groove of movie-making. We're excited for upcoming projects, and we're excited to get back to old-school AnC, which brings me to the subject of this post - the AnC Holiday Card.

We have sent a holiday card to our mailing list most years since 1998. The mailing list in 1998 was pretty much just our families and the mostly high school cast of our very first taped-on-VHS-and-edited-deck-to-deck-VCR movie, Viral Animocule (maybe one day we'll upload that to Vimeo...if you're lucky). It has certainly grown since then, but we still like to keep the card in a particular AnC style.

Charlie, Phil (former yet still loved AnC), me, Alex (former AnC, but the A in AnC), and Barnaby looking sexy as hell circa summer 1999 shooting another classic, When War Was all We Knew. 

So, we sent our holiday card out a few days ago. In true AnC fashion it was a little Christmassy themed, but sent out in mid-January.  The physical card always tells the people what we've been up to, what we are planning, and most importantly there's always a big thAnCs (get it Thanks?) to everyone - and that is the part I want to share with you because you all have been pretty awesome.

I've met a lot of super cool people through this blog, and even though it might not seem like it since I don't get tons of comments, you readers out there have been growing steadily over the approximately 7 years since I started it, which means the orgasm equality movement and other such similar ideologies have been growing steadily too. So, Thank You, and Keep on Keepin' on!

Our AnC Holiday Cards usually are more physically interactive. In the past we've included things like DVDs, paper dolls, and a ring of laminated cards. This year we decided to send a normal(ish) card that pointed people to the web where they could find videos of us giving them 'AnCfirmations'...so all the people who have supported us, repped us, and been good 'ol friends to us over the years get a reminder of how great they really are and how much we here at AnC love them. That means you can enjoy these AnCfirmations too, and you all certainly deserve that!

So, sit back and let Ranch Hand Charlie, Barnaby on the Streets, and Trisha at Home tell you how great you really are.











If you want to know more about ol' AnC Movies, check out our site - HERE.


1.17.2016

Harvest Lake - The SSL Review



So, this is an SSL Review, which is a very specific thing. We here at the SSL blog only review depictions and discussions of female orgasm and female masturbation in movies. So, clearly, not all films are eligible, but thank the good lord, Harvest Lake definitely is. I'm looking for realism ('cause goddamn, it's like 95% of people making sex scenes have never heard of a clit before). I'm also investigating a bit about how these depictions and discussions add to the larger cultural conversation and knowledge about ladygasms and female sexuality.

Harvest Lake (2016) still Forbidden Films
This all means that it's possible to give a movie I like a bad SSL Review (Dallas Buyer's Club, Nymphomaniac Volumes 1&2, or Coming to America for instance) or to give a shitty movie the good SSL Review it deserves. Although, looking through my Master List of SSL Reviews, it seems like movies that get good SSL Reviews are also actually pretty good movies in general, and I'm happy to report that Harvest Lake follows suit.

Before I begin, let me give you full disclosure:
We know the actress who plays Jennifer. Ms. Ellie Church is actually in Science, Sex and the Ladies. We cast her for a couple re-shoots about a year after our principal photography in 2010, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think ours was the first movie she ever did. However, post production took a long-ass time for SSL, so I don't think it was her first released movie. We all loved working with Ellie, and wished we would have met up with her earlier in our production. Sadly, her one line got cut when we chopped most of the end off that scene, so you don't hear her voice. However, she rocked all the non verbal on screen shit - including rowing the fuck out of a cardboard boat.

Ellie Church in Science, Sex and the Ladies rowing the fuck out of a cardboard boat. Headed towards Harvest Lake perhaps? 
However, don't think I'm softballing this. I wanted to do a review of Harvest Lake after I happened upon a sneak peak, and frankly, if I didn't have anything good to say, I would have just said something like, "oh that was fun." and never spoken of it again, but I was impressed, and I truly would not say that about most local indie movies I see...and I see a pretty good amount of them. It was a simple story, done well. It looked great. The creatures were terrific. It was wierd as fuck, and it really handled the creation of quiet tension beautifully. Most of the time with Indy Indies I am just hoping it's not too boring. Harvest Lake is anything but, and I found myself immersed in its strange, sexy world.


SSL Review 
There are only 2 scenes that are unquestionably SSL reviewable, but there are 3 more that are questionably reviewable, and another that isn't, but I just want to talk about anyway. I'll go over each scene in detail and then give my overall SSL Rating at the end. I'll try to be as vague with the plot circumstances as much as possible so I don't give anything important away. So lets say - light spoilers?

Lady-bation Lake Scene
This one came (you see how I said came?) early in the movie, and I was all like, "fuck yeah!!!" because I knew it was going in the right direction, and I knew I needed to SSL Review.

 Let's just say the characters were gettin' real horny, and so Jennifer ended up standing waist high in the lake masturbating.Here's 2 reasons I love this scene.

1. It was an absolutely realistic way a woman might masturbate. We actually get a good solid underwater look too. Her hand was down her bikini front, and her fingers were clearly over the general clit area, and she was rubbing in a kinda circular motion. Beautiful.

2. I'd also like to add that there was a tentacle in this scene, and I think maybe another movie-making group might have chosen to show the sexuality in this scene by making that tentacle head into the ol' vag, because ladies putting things inside themselves is such a common way to show how horny a woman is. But, instead, the character expresses her horniness in a way that actual women most often express it when by themselves - by workin' that clit. It's a more surprising and creative choice that better respects the motivation of the character. (Also, I'm not anti tentacle-in-vag, of course, I just would find it a bit sad to know that she's getting monster banged without a little reach-around, ya know?)

Campfire Truths
So, technically there is a quick discussion of orgasm. Two character are giving rapid-fire questions to another as part of a truth-or-dareish type campfire game. It's all played with good natured humor.
Questioner 1: Mark, have you ever brought a woman to orgasm?
Mark: Yes.
Questioner 2: Have you ever brought a woman to triple orgasm?
Mark: (not answering)
Questioner 1: I'm gonna need an answer, Mark.
Mark: I can neither confirm nor deny 
I'm thinking that this question was used strategically in the script to give some insight into ol' Mark that could be considered during later plot points. It also goes with the sexual discussion happening around the fire, and I don't think anything particularly deep is meant by it, but I will quickly dig into it for digging sake.

I'm always sensitive to discussion that seem to insinuate men give women orgasms with their dicks ('cause the truth is vagina-stimulating does not ladygasms make), and I think sometimes that  banging-her-into-a-universe-shattering-orgasm is the first image brought up when someone says "brought a woman to orgasm." However, this quote does not have to mean that, and there is really no insinuation that it does. Mark there could have rubbed off a woman, or sucked on that nub, or used the trusty Magic Wand on her. She could have even rubbed that clit up against his pelvis while he was all up in that (but honestly I'd say that should be considered more her working those hips to get herself off than him "bringing her to orgasm," but I'm not mad if he's taking the credit - as long as she came).

Campfire First Time Story
This is not technically SSL reviewable, but it is a little because it gets into lack of female orgasm. Jennifer is asked whether her first time was good or bad. She tells her story of Roger (who's also having sex for the first time), a 15 year old that ignored her requests to take it slow, and was way overconfident of his abilities to make it great for her.
"That horny little fucker jack-hammered me for about 20 whole seconds till it was all over. The only thing I got out of that experience was a split hymen."
Now, don't get this wrong. The story was not all sad and rapey or anything. It was just a pretty normal story of a normal woman's first sexual experience, and the actress played it that way. It was pretty funny actually. My point with this is just that her acknowledgement that she got nothing from a short, in-out bang is a completely realistic account of things that don't cause orgasm for ladies. Also, I think this scene is important because just for a minute consider how not strange of a story that was - one in which the first time a woman has sex it is non-orgasmic and maybe even non-arousing, and the first time a man has sex, it is orgasmic. Just think about how that pretty common reality might possibly affect the way a woman vs. a man approaches sex in the future and how arousing the potential of future sexual experiences might seem. I think this little simple scene played for humor and character building is actually pretty poignant and progressive.

Oral!!!!
So, quickly and not to give away many details, I'll just say that there is a sex scene where a woman asks for a man to do a little cunnilingus. He happily gets to it. There's some good solid close-ups (without actually seeing anything pornographic), that make it clear he is mouthing the ol' clit area. Plenty realistic.

The woman on the receiving end is also playing it realistically. She's clearly enjoying it and sorta focusing on herself and the pleasure. We can tell she's getting closer to coming through her breathing, but it never gets showy or porny - super well-done.

It stops for a particular reason before she comes, so again, not technically SSL reviewable, but I LOVE seeing a woman get eaten out in a movie. Why? because getting eaten out is the FUCKING BEST, and I'm all about giving dudes ideas to do more of it. Plus, I liked this scene in particular because it was a woman unabashedly asking a man to pleasure her in a way other than straight up fucking her, and she wasn't made to seem wierd, freaky, or grossly over-sexual in a distasteful way as often happens in TV and movies when women speak too freely about getting their own in ways other than intercourse.

First Sex Scene
This is also not technically SSL reviewable because during this sex scene there was no discernible orgasm, so I really can't judge how it depicts orgasm...but I can judge a bit about how it depicts sex, and I'm gonna judge because I think this movie has been so super progressive in every other ladygasm way that I want to just throw this constructive criticism in, 'cause I feel this could have been progressive too.

It was a gal and a guy very early in the movie doing it in the grass. It was missionary. Her feet were on the ground but her knees were bent. There were closer and longer shots cut together and some time was cut out, but is was pretty clear that he was moving in and out of her, not in a particularly poundy way, but it wasn't grindy at all. It was clear that both his and her hands were not on her clit area at all so there was no additional manual clit stim happening. It was also clear that she was not grinding her hips up against him while they were fucking, so she's not finding a way to get some clit stim either. In fact, besides her hands on his back, her body was largely still. Again, nobody was shown coming, so who knows what happened physically when this character actually came or maybe she never came - who's to say.

However, I will point out that in this scene these people were supposed to be crazy horny, like out-of-body kinda horny. Wouldn't it have been cool to see her ravenously grinding her junk up against him while he was doing her, or for either of them to have their hands down their getting that clit worked? I mean, I always think that when it comes to sex scenes, whether you're playing for humor, shock-value, uniqueness, realism, or straight hornifide-ness, having a woman or her partner paying attention to the clit is just plain good. In our current world, ya just don't see it depicted much and it just seems stranger and dirtier when you do see it. Anyway, I'm just throwing that out there because I know these people will be making more movies, and they are always stepping things up a notch, so I thought I'd throw a little of my clit and ladygasm propaganda in their ring.

Additional Stuff I Want To Talk About
Okay, there is undoubtedly an imbalance between the amount of sexy skin we see of women vs. men on the big screen. I'm not against some sexy ass women, but can I get some hot male ass to check out too, please?

Harvest Lake, my friends, says yes.
Firstly, there are more scenes with bare cock in it than I can count on one hand. Thank ya Jesus.
Secondly, there's male on male action. (You been checking my porn queue, Harvest Lake?)
Thirdly, it wasn't homophobic. That shouldn't have to be said, but sadly that's still pretty progressive.
Finally, there was this badassicle scene in which Cat (played by Tristan Risk) insists her boyfriend change into the red briefs she bought him. She, and Jennifer standing next to her, obviously, are in super hot string bikinis that show just a touch of top ass crack for those ass lovers out there.
Cat: Look at what I'm wearing! Look at what I'm wea...I dress sexy for you all the time. The least you could do you is dress sexy for me.
Jennifer: Quid pro quo.
Oh and also there is this one scene where a tentacle is butting up against a dude's closed lips, and well, I just really love it a lot.

Conclusion
Harvest Lake is a sweet blend of seductive, sexy, and strange. Its a beautiful accomplishment and progressive when it comes to the depiction of female orgasm and female sexuality. It's realistic. It acknowledges the imbalance of sexiness among genders in movies, and it reflects a female perspective alongside the male perspective when it comes to what is sexy and what is sexually pleasurable. I can't tell you how pleased I was with this movie, and hope all the people creatively involved with this film take this progressiveness into their next project and continue doing kick-ass work.

I bestow upon Harvest Lake a 5 out of 5 Vulva Rating!
(!)(!)(!)(!)(!)

1.12.2016

Random Male Hite Report #16

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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 really haven't changed that much in 40 years, and it's an incredibly insightful read.

Then in 1981, she dropped The Hite Report on Male Sexuality where over 7,000 men give detailed answers about sex, relationships, and women. It too is revolutionary, and the honesty, vulnerability, 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 760

The following page is in the chapter Paying Women for Sex. The page is filled with men's answers to the question,"Have you ever had sex with with a prostitute?" It's preceded by the following section header:
This question brought about a surprising assumption about the relationship between men and women; the most common reaction was "You always pay anyway."
page 760 

   ... "I have had sex with a prostitute. I have no feeling about paying for sex. After all, marriage is paying for sex by contract."
    "The fact that I paid for sex, of itself, never bothered me. To me it was really not much different from dating a woman and spending perhaps twice as much money on her, ending up in the same way."
    "A prostitute is a hell of a lot more honest than the domestic prostitutes that go under the label of wives, at least you get what you pay for."
    "I feel a man is always paying for it one way or the other,"
    "I have had sex with a number of prostitutes over the years. I have felt many times that there is little difference in paying a lady fifty dollars on meals, etc., and then receiving sexual entertainment. One does it for fun and one for a living."
    "I am a firm believer that all women, once they pass eighteen (some even before), are prostitutes  at one time or another. All wives are prostitutes, that's for sure. Just let them want something that a man doesn't provide and see how soon the sex is cut off until they get their way."
    "You pay for it one way or another - actually it's cheaper  with a whore! Also, she's a pro, doesn't play coy games, and no pretenses."
    "I don't like paying for sex, but really what's the difference if a guy pays twenty-five or thirty dollars on a date, then 'maybe' has intercourse, or just picks up a prostitute off the street and pays her the same? Actually a person is money ahead with a whore."
    "Paying for sex never made any difference to me. You pay for all of it."
Many men gave similar answers to the question "Did you ever feel a woman was having sex with you because of something you could give her - your prestige, position, or economic advantage?":
    "I sure do, in fact in just about every relationship I try to fathom what the woman thinks I am going to do for her. At this point in my life I am well used to being used."
    "After about two years of marriage, I came to realize that my wife had used sex for a home and security. We separated and I made up my mind it would never happen again."
    "In my opinion a wife makes a so-called professional prostitute look like an amateur!"
    "My first wife would say, 'if you do this or that (housework, or take her somewhere), I'll let you love me.' If I didn't, I just got horny. She used sex to get what she wanted. If we argued I was cut off for a week or so. She is no longer my wife."
    "With my wife, I felt she only did it as a payment for the security I supplied. It took a lot away from our relationship."
    "Economic advantages are probably all I get laid for. I've never felt that a cunt has wanted just me, because eventually, they've all gotten too demanding. The status is having an old man, a car, a house, nice furnishings; but this is one old man that can't be manipulated into the rut that has destroyed so many."...

1.09.2016

Gabrielle Union Thinks Masturbation Is Fun...Because It Is



Gabrielle Union stars in the show Being Mary Jane, which I admit that I have not seen yet, but now realize I probably should check out.

You see, she was being interviewed on Conan, and when he asked her about her character being a very sexually open woman, she said,

"My character actually beats off at work in the first season. I don't know where we go from there."

To which Conan got all squeamish and Conan-y and said that he didn't know women called it that, so she said,

"I think masturbate sounds so clinical...and it doesn't sound that fun...but it is...so you need to come up with something that indicates the joy one can have with oneself."

Andy and her and Conan were all having a fun ol' time with it, but by god, I have to give her hardcore orgasm equality props for being so unabashedly pro-masturbation. The sad truth is that you simply don't get to see a lot of ladies (real or fiction) that freely admit to masturbating, so it's still a very brave and bad-ass thing to do. You go the hell on with your bad self, Ms. Gabrielle Union! The more ladies are made to feel that masturbating is fun and normal, the more ladies will do it, which means more ladies will be having more orgasms by themselves, which means that more ladies will feel more comfortable, capable, and worthy of orgasms with a partner...which means we might just start approaching orgasm equality. You, Ms. Union, are an Orgasm Equality Hero! (Here's a link to the video if the embedded one below stops working) 

 

1.05.2016

The Clitoris Festival!!!!!



It seems a little town in Spain holds a festival for some green leafy vegetable called grelo - which happens to be a kinda old-timey slang for clitoris in Portuguese. I think you see where this is going. When they advertised their festival they had written it in Galician, which is, I believe, a Spanish dialect and "one of the official languages of the northern Spanish region." But, as you might expect, Google Translate got confused a bit with the dialect, translating from Spanish to English. It's Google Translate after all. One thing led to another, some surmise that the Portuguese meaning got picked out, and wam bam, it became the Clitoris Festival. Here's the article I got my info from.

I actually can't find anything about when this festival actually takes place because all the articles seem to be just re-writes of one original article. None of the ones I found link to the original post, and I'm too lazy to investigate it really at all. Anyway, most of the hub-ub about it was in early November of 2015, so I'm assuming it was around then. It's no big deal, I guess, but I just wanted to tell you all when it was in case you wanted to check off that life-long dream of going to a clitoris festival.

Honestly, a clit festival would be pretty cool. Sophia Wallace's Clit Rodeo would be there (and obviously, The 100 Natural Laws of Cliteracy would be hanging up everywhere. Maybe even a contest for Laws of Cliteracy knowledge - kinda like a weird spelling bee or something.)

Clit Rodeo by artists Sophia Wallace and Kenneth Thomas - Photo found at Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/28/cliteracy_n_3823983.html
We could do a film festival. I'd have to program my movie Science, Sex and the Ladies, because if you had a drinking game for it where you drank on the word clit - you'd be fucked up. There could also be a heavily juried collection of top-notch porn clips - ones that ONLY involved pleasuring the clit TO ORGASM. None of that tickle the clit for a sec and then jam it in bullshit. In fact, if we could just get a series of ladies getting ate the hell out while eating ice cream and watching movies, that would be fantastic. Or while eating giant vats of popcorn at an actual movie theater. Whatever - as long as she is doing something she likes and not paying much attention to the person pleasuring her to orgasm. I just think we need more of that kind of thing - you know to balance things out.


Science, Sex and The Ladies from AnC Movies on Vimeo.

We could also have people making some of those vulva cupcakes - like a vulva cupcake eating contest, a vulva cupcake decorating booth, a vulva cupcake contest where they are judged on both looks and taste.



It might be fun to have a 5K with people dressed in vulva costumes where their face is the clit.



Also, a amateur photo contest where people take pictures of things out in the world that look like clits, vulva and clit combos, or even like the full inner/outer clit situation. It’s up to the artist’s interpretation. Anyway, this whole clit festival was all just a misunderstanding, but maybe, just maybe, a clit festival is the right thing to do.

1.02.2016

Good Orgasmic Pelvic Contraction Study from 1982 - A Journal Article I Read



I was starting to do a summary (in the ol' A Journal Article I Read Series) of some other article, but in it I saw it referenced that this article claimed to have found women who orgasmed but had no rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions. So, obviously, I wanted to check it out, and obviously it wasn't on the stupid site that I stupidly pay a monthly fee to, and obviously I had to pay 40 stupid bucks to get it...cause 1. I didn't want to deal with travelling to a college library searching through the stacks or 2. trying to ask my local library to get me access, because they always give me side eye and sigh a lot and it takes at least 2 week. So, anyway, I got it and it's here for you. I don't mind sharing if you need it. Anyway - here's my detailed, but hopefully not too detailed, summary of the following article...with a little of my personal thoughts at the end.

The female orgasm: pelvic contractions. Bohlen JG, Held JP, Sanderson MO, Ahlgren A. Arch Sex Behav. 1982 Oct;11(5):367-86.

My intro / super quick summary
So, very quickly, this 1982 article took 11 women and put probes in their anus and vagina to record muscle contractions while these women 1. relaxed for 5 minutes, then 2. stimulated their clits to orgasm. Each woman did it 3 times on 3 different occasions. When they perceived the beginning of their orgasm, they pushed a button and then pushed it again when they felt their orgasm had finished. For 6 of those women, a set of steady, regular muscle contractions were recorded followed by a set of irregular muscle contractions during their perceived orgasm. For 3 women, a set of regular muscle contractions were recorded during their perceived orgasm, but no subsequent irregular contractions. For 2 of the women, no regular muscle contractions were recorded during their perceived orgasm at all, and the recordings between their 2 button pushes (their perceived orgasm) couldn't really be differentiated from the readings before their perceived orgasm while masturbating.

So, this article is important for a couple reasons. 1. it further corroborated what has been anecdotally known for a long time, and what Master's and Johnson and the small amount of physiologic research between this article and M&J had said - that orgasm is accompanied by rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions. However, it found some different patterns for the rhythmic muscle contractions than have been described so far, and got more details about timing and quality of the muscle contractions. It also obtained information about when orgasm was perceived by women versus what was happening to them physiologically.

It also identified 2 women who perceived having an orgasm, but did not have discernible pelvic muscle activity associated with that orgasm. So, this article brings up the questions - did these women have an unique physiological experiences that was not detected physiologically, or did these women experience something non-physical....and if it can not be described physically what is it and how should it be discussed alongside the physiological orgasm?

So, I think this is a useful piece of the lady-gasm study puzzle. It's actually quite a good one too. Here's the deets.

Introduction

  • Association of women's pelvic contractions with orgasm has been well documented since at least 1876. Direct observation, palpation, intravaginal air chamber pressure measurements, surface electromyography, direct electromyography, and unspecified methods have all been used for detection. However, as yet, only number of and frequency of contractions have yet been reported. Now (remember this is 1982) with computer operated data-collection systems things like" muscular force and exertions, frequency, waveform, and overall temporal pattern can be directly recorded and automatically compute."
  • "The purpose of this paper is to elucidate some of these physical characteristics in order to lay a better foundation for understanding the mechanism of pelvic muscular activity during sexual response."


Methodology

Subjects
  • recruited out of human sexuality classes at University of Minnesota or conversations with previous subjects
  • 11 subjects chosen between 24 and 33 years old
  • none have ever given birth
  • all were self-defined mentally, physically, and sexually healthy, on some type of birth control, and had no abnormal finding from their pelvic exam
  • 7 subjects have "regular" periods and 4 have "usually irregular" periods
  • before the physical recordings, all the women visited the lab 4 different time to tour the facilities, take several different sexual and psychological surveys, and give a sexual history
  • each signed informed consent, were informed of the aims and methods of the experiment, and each was assured she could discontinue her involvement at any time
  • all were voluntary, unpaid participants
  • "Manual self-stimulation was a common means of sexual gratification for all of the subjects. In the week preceding subjects' sessions, the number of masturbatory experiences to orgasm averaged 2.3 times, and total sexual outlets to orgasm averaged 3.8 times. None of them had orgasms during the 24 hours before a recording session, except one session of one subject."

Protocol
  • "Vaginal and anal pressure were collected on each subject during three separate masturbation sessions. The format was the same for each session. The subject lay supine on the bed. After the vaginal and anal probes were inserted, the subjects were left in privacy. Her resting pressures were recorded during 5 minutes of relaxation. She was then instructed by intercom to begin clitoral stimulation and continue to orgasm. Although the probes limited the possible masturbation techniques, subjects reported that the stimulation was typical and replicable from one session to the next. Subjects had been instructed to signal as precisely as possible with an event marker button the perceived start and end of orgasm. Recording continued for 5 minutes of relaxation after orgasm while vaginal and anal pressures returned to baseline."
  • They probes were sterilized - so don't worry. They detail that out too.
  • Heart beat, respiratory rates, vaginal and anal blood volume and blood pulse, skin conductance response were also measured during the sessions
  • The subjects also completed subjective questionnaires before and after the sessions, but the results of those are not included in this study.


Equipment
  • They used probes to quantify pressure changes. It could be set specifically for use in the anus or use in the vagina. (Bohlen and Held 1979). They were placed by researchers in a standardized placement. 
  • "the processed signals were digitized by a computer and the data were stored on flexible diskettes." (I like the quaintness of that sentence, don't you?)


Analysis
  • Several parameters of the pelvic contractions during orgasm were calculated
  • Abrupt pressure increases with peaks above a specified minimum amplitude were located, and these "contractions" were then numbered consecutively, and the following parameters were calculated to describe each: contraction amplitude, area, net area, and intercontraction interval
  • a total number of contractions during orgasm was counted
  • The number of seconds between the stop and start signals were calculated as duration of subjective orgasm
  • For the 9 subjects showing regular contractions, these parameters were averaged over each subject's three sessions


Results

Orgasmic contractions: regular contractions

  • "...nine of the eleven subjects had a series of regular contractions that were clearly distinguished from the steady tension during relaxation and the irregular and arrhythmic pressure changes during early stimulation."
  • "Intervals between contraction peaks were shortest at first and gradually lengthened."
  • "About 7-13 contractions occurred over a span of 5 to 14 seconds."
  • "Because of its abrupt onset and termination, uniform wavelength, and linearly increasing intervals, this initial series of contractions has been designated as the series of regular contractions(Bohen et al., 1980). "

Orgasmic contractions: further irregular contractions
"For six of the nine women, the perceived orgasms continued past the series of regular pelvic contractions. The uniformity of waveform, amplitude and interval increase characteristics of the regular contractions ceased during those subsequent contractions. Pressure still rose sharply at the onset of a contraction, but the relaxation back to baseline was more gradual than in the series of regular contractions. Intervals between contractions were variable. The non-uniform contractions have been designated irregular contractions (Bohen et al., 1980)"

Lack of regular contractions during orgasm
"Two of the subjects showed a marked difference in orgasm record. Although they signaled orgasm, their records did not show a series of regular contractions during any of the three recorded sessions. Instead, the pressure records showed only gradually fluctuating pressure and nonuniform contractions. consequently, the portion of records during reported orgasm could not be distinguished from those prior to orgasm."

Vaginal and anal contractions
  • "Pressures recorded simultaneously within the vagina and anus showed synchronized contractions at orgasm."
  • The wave forms of the anal vs. vaginal contractions had different specific qualities: for instance, baseline anal pressure was higher, the anal contractions had greater amplitude and had a greater range of variation during contractions


Contraction Pattern Types
  • "Each woman's contraction pattern was highly similar from one session to the next. Patterns among the eleven subjects were discernible as three discrete types." 
  1. Type I - the orgasm signaled by the woman included the series of regular contractions without the subsequent irregular ones. (3 women) (Average Length of Type I orgasms: 13.1 seconds)
  2. Type II - the orgasm signaled by the woman included the series of regular contractions and also additional irregular ones afterward (6 women) (Average Length of Type II orgasms: 50.6 seconds)
  3. Type IV - Records of the two remaining subjects consistently did not reveal a series of regular contractions during signaled orgasm (Average Length of Type IV orgasms: 24.4 seconds)
  • "(Type III contraction pattern, of a divided regular series, had been found only in men so far,)"
  • "all type II orgasms were longer than all type I orgasms."
Average Characteristics of Women's Anal Contractions During Orgasm of Three Pattern Types (Bohlen et al., 1982)

Contraction Parameters
All the contraction parameter summaries presented are from anal measurements. This is used instead of the vaginal data because:

  1. anal had more precisely defined peaks
  2. anal data was free of artifacts caused by pressure from fingers during the stimulation that sometimes appeared in the vaginal data
  3. anal data can be directly compared to data recorded by the same method in males

"Calculation of contraction parameters began with the onset of the series of regular contractions, regardless of when the subject signaled the start of orgasm. For only one subject, however, did the series always begin before orgasm was signaled. Contraction parameters were not calculated for the two subjects whose records did not reveal regular contractions."

"For subjects with pattern type I, the average interval between the first and the second regular contraction was about 0.5 seconds, whereas this interval was 0.9 seconds for subjects with pattern type II. For both groups, the intervals increased at about the same rate."

"Amplitude of anal contractions at orgasm in both types I and II increased for the first five or six contractions before leveling off and then decreasing. The irregular contractions that follow in the type II pattern, show no recognizable progression."

The article speaks in more detail about specific mathematical qualities of the contraction graphs (that you can go check out if you are particularly interested). However, one thing that is discussed is that differences in base anal pressure among each woman can be blamed largely for a large dispersion line in the amplitude, contraction area, and net area increases.

Perception of orgasm start
  • The moment the woman pushed the button to signal her start of orgasm in relation to the start of regular orgasmic contractions ranged from about 4 seconds before to 1.5 seconds after the first regular contraction. 
  • The perception of orgasm start did not have a discernible difference between women with type I and type II patterns
  • There was some variation in perception of orgasm start for each woman in terms of the 3 sessions she had.  
  • 4 subjects had a range  in perception among sessions of about 1 second
  • The remaining 5 women had a broader range of signalling the start of perceived orgasm, with one woman having a range greater than 5 seconds


Discussion

Comparison of anal and vaginal contractions
  • "Results showed that anal and vaginal pressures responded synchronously when contractions occurred during orgasm."
  • The authors pointed out that although other authors (like Masters and Johnson) had reported anal sphincter contractions along with the vaginal contractions, they hadn't stated that the contractions were synchronous, and in fact reported that they largely occurred only in intense orgasms and included fewer contractions. 
  • It was also noted that the differences of resting pressure and orgasmic contraction data received from the vagina versus the anus indicates some differences in physiological properties of the respective muscles.
Physiological typology of orgasm
  • Creating distinct types of contraction patterns as has been done in this paper has only been done in other papers thus far using self-reported perceptions from women. (Masters and Johnson identified different patterns of how a person moved between plateau level arousal through orgasm and back down to pre-arousal conditions, but did not identify specific types based on contractions qualities - I'm saying this not the paper). So this is important in that it is using actual physical, observed properties to categorize.
  • The authors also point out that all the women in this study orgasmsed through clitoral stimulation and so this article has nothing to say about the controversy between "clitoral" and "vaginal" orgasms.
  • I'm going to quote a large block of text next because I think these authors do a fantastic job of asking the important questions that this research clearly brings to light.
"Individuals were assigned to pattern types based on the presence or absence of a series of regular contractions and of additional irregular contractions during the signaled orgasm. Pressure waveforms of the irregular contractions were less sinusoidal and less regular in amplitude than those in the series of regular contractions. These irregular contraction waveforms were similar to those of the voluntary contractions performed before subjects were instructed to begin clitoral stimulation. In both the irregular and the voluntary waveforms, amplitudes were large and the pressure return to baseline was initially rapid, but then slow. Do the similarities between voluntary contractions and irregular contractions during orgasm mean that some women have control over irregular contractions? Might irregular contractions be the result of continued voluntary stimulation beyond the initial series of regular contractions? If a woman stopped stimulation at the end of the initial series of regular contractions, would the irregular contractions not occur and her perception of orgasm end? Or, if a woman who had only regular contractions continued stimulation beyond the initial series, would irregular contractions occur, thereby extending her perception of orgasm? Do some women learn during their early masturbatory experiences that they can continue stimulation beyond the initial series of regular contractions and thereby extend heir perception of orgasm? Or, instead, do women have an inherent pattern type, and, through their masturbatory experiences, develop toward that capacity? These questions suggest the need for further physiological and developmental data collection and analysis." 

"Two of the subjects did not demonstrate the distinct muscular evidence of orgasm that the other nine did. During none of their orgasms did the initial series of regular contractions occur. Were these subjects interpreting some less pronounced change as orgasm? Should orgasm be defined by what is perceived or reported, or by physiological criteria? At this early stage in recording pelvic muscular activity, we are not yet prepared to conclude that physiological characteristics are more valid than self-reported perceptions for identifying orgasm. At least until more data are collected, especially of the ontogeny of contraction patterns, we will continue our analysis of physiological changed based on subjects' self-defined orgasm."
  • "Contraction patterns types I and II reported here have also been found in male subjects recorded intra-anally at orgasm during self-stimulation (Bohlen et al., 1980). Among eleven men, six had type I pattern, four had type II, and one exhibited a double series of regular contractions (type III), not yet recorded in any women. The number of subjects is too small to conclude that there are any differences in incidence of pattern type between men and women."
Comparison with other data
  • Generally the average number of contractions during orgasm match between this study (18 - that includes regular contractions and the irregular ones for those that had them) and others done before (they note studies showing 8, 10, 20, 3-5 and 10-15 contractions during female orgasm). However it's hard to compare because other studies don't discern between contraction patterns.
  • "The data from this study do not show the extreme within-subject variability in number of contractions during orgasm reported by Masters and Johnson. Also, in contrast to Masters and Johnson (1966), no correlation was found between number of contractions and level of satisfaction, perceived intensity, or sexual gratification (Bohlen et al., 1982)."
  • "Duration of signaled orgasm among subjects in the present study ranged from 7.4 to 107 seconds."
  • Few other studies have reported perceived orgasm length, but against the ones that have at least alluded to it, the 36 second average length of orgasm reported in this study was a bit long.
  • The linear increment of time between each contraction during the regular intervals was a consistent characteristic in this study.  Using a equations that I don't really understand, the authors compare this finding to previous studies and found it matched others - particularly a previous study about male orgasm by this author, but did not match what can be inferred from Masters and Johnson - although it's actually a bit unclear what M&J meant by their discussion of this so it is hard to compare or understand the discrepancy.  (Personally, it makes sense to me to put more value on this study for these specific details of orgasmic contraction qualities because M&J likely gained a large amount of their data from direct observation of vaginal musculature and any waveform readings were likely done externally. So this study is a good expansion of what M&J started. Their measure of both vaginal and anal contractions internally give a better picture of the pelvic muscle activity during orgasm).
Perceived start and empirical onset of orgasm
  • The perceived start of orgasm compared to the start of regular contractions is varied among studies, but the authors rightly ask as yet unanswerable questions about why this might be. Is it that people merely perceive and/or interpret the same thing differently? Do some people have a higher sensory threshold? Is something physical happening for some and not others that we don't yet detect? 
Perspective of physiological research

"Of what value is the quantification of pelvic contractions during orgasm? Simultaneous recording of the many physiological variables during sexual response reveals that only anal and vaginal pressures provide distinct physiological evidence of orgasm. Although other variable (e.g., hear rate) change rapidly during sexual response in a pattern similar to that during nonsexual arousal, anal and vaginal pressure in the series of regular contractions is unmistakably different from the pressure recorded both before and after orgasm. The regular series has an abrupt onset near the perceived start of orgasm and has a unique pattern of waveforms that is dissimilar to that during nonsexual arousal and that cannot be produced voluntarily. However, the series of regular contractions is not the sine qua non of orgasm (two of the eleven subjects did not produce regular contractions during their signaled orgasms)."

The authors finish the paper by pointing out that quantification of pelvic contractions are important because:
  • they can be compared among subjects and be related to subjects' perceptions
  • they can be used to identify a subjects pattern type which can help determine if pattern-type correlates to other things
  • the data can allow discernment  between contraction patterns which can help make comparisons from one study to the next in a variety of ways

My final thoughts
I think this is a really fabulous paper. It lays out physiological data about orgasm and does not overstep its boundaries in making conclusions. It builds upon the data M&J put out there about orgasmic muscular contractions, expanding on it, using better tools, and giving more detailed, specific information. It reinforces the understanding that orgasm is deeply related to the onset of regular pelvic muscle contractions, but breaks it down, identifying contraction patterns that are comparable even between the sexes. It also brings up the important question of whether women (cause only women so far have shown this) who say they have orgasmed but do not exhibit regular pelvic contractions, are orgasming? It is clear that they are experiencing something physically different during their orgasm than those who do exhibit regular contractions, but is it best viewed as "another type of orgasm" or as a lack of orgasm. As I have often said, until researchers find a way to physically identify and characterize this "other type of orgasm," I find it hard to categorize that experience in the same bucket as one that exhibits the clearly identifiable physical reaction of regular pelvic contractions . Wouldn't it be awesome to use the two women in this study and run experiments to see if they have similar brain activity and hormone release as women who have the contractions? Do their bodies go back to pre-arousal levels after they orgasm as quickly as the other women? How many other women are out there who do not show any orgasmic contractions when they claim orgasm? Are there any men? Is there something in common that would put them all in that category?

Ah - much work to be done - work that has absolutely not been done even though it is completely possible for it to have been done.  This paper is a great start though...too bad such little follow-up has been done in the 30 years since it was published.







12.29.2015

Orgasm Inequality Ain't Due To Lady-parts Being Weird



Someone posted a link to this article called 12 Reasons Why There's Orgasm Inequality (And No, It's Not That Women Are 'Harder To Please'), and I said Hallelujah, Sister Suzannah Weiss! Speak that truth, speak that damn truth! The female orgasm is not a mystery.

So, if you read my blog, you know that I believe deep, deep in my soul that there is a New Sexual Revolution on its way, and you know I think it has to be based in Orgasm Equality. You also know I've been collecting articles and people and things out there that seem to reflect the stirrings of this revolution. I call it the Orgasm Equality Allies List, and Suzannah Weiss and her on-point article were immediately added to that, because she laid it the hell down, and I love it.



Honestly, her message as a whole was simple. Women are orgasming less than men not because females are biologically less capable of orgasm, but because our sexual culture is toxic to the female orgasm. She goes on to point out some of the ways our culture inhibits lady-gasms, but that's the basics. The thing is, it is actually a quite simple concept, but that toxic sexual culture is so deeply ingrained in us as people it's hard to see it clearly, and it makes the discussion incredibly complicated. In fact it's so complicated and so ingrained that it's kinda hard to speak about because you first need to convince people that a problem even exists to begin with. She does a fantastic job, though, and tackles some of the really important sticking points of this topic quite well.

It's a fantastic, poignant, brave article, and I highly recommend you check it out. Here's a quick couple of my fave things about it.

1 She has none of the orgasm-isn't-the only-important-part-of-sex talking point that often get brought up in these conversations and ends up dumping a big cold bucket of water on any interesting discussion about women's right for orgasmic sex with a simple, to the point line.
"Orgasm doesn’t have to be the focus of sex, but if a woman wants one, she should have as much of a right to request it as anyone else does."
2 She points out the many-faced issues that pop up with 1-1 interactions that keep orgasm inequality strong.

The lack of interest from (some although not all) men in trying to get a woman to orgasm, the pressure women feel to make sure men orgasm, the privilege men feel about their right to orgasm, and the ingrained insecurities women feel about their own capability for and right to orgasm. It's a hot mix of trouble, I tell ya, and she touches on all of it.

3 She also acknowledges how incredibly tricky and persistent this whole thing:
"Orgasm inequity is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When men believe women’s bodies are an impossible puzzle, they don’t try to solve it. Neither do women who are taught their own pleasure is inaccessible."

Seriously, when I read great stuff like this, it excites the hell out of me, and I feel like I'm seeing more and more stuff like this. One, it tells me that I'm not that crazy - because although I know this really is an issue and an important one, sometimes it gets to feeling like it's too big and too few people are willing to see it. So, it feels awesome to be reminded that there are women all over who are feeling this inequity and are able to verbalize what they are feeling. Two - I just love that there is one more thing out there in the world that is realistic and thoughtful on this topic to counteract the silly, inaccurate bullshit that makes up the vast majority of writing on female sexuality.

Keep grinding away, Suzannah Weiss - You're doing the good work!

12.26.2015

What Does Dr. Phil Say about Female Orgasm???? I Knew You'd Want to Know.




I thought some of you might be wondering what the world's most well-known living psychologist has to say about the female orgasm. So, because I care, I googled "dr. phil female orgasm," and immediately found his female orgasm page. It kinda sucks, but it's also kinda not the most craziest or outta wack advice. It's pretty close to what a lot of others are saying, but I will say it has a bit more emphasis than usual on the 'your lack of orgasm is definitely a personal problem' situation, which is fairly annoying. I'll let him talk, though.



Research shows that 90 percent of the problems women have in achieving orgasm stem from a psychological nature. That's good news because it's all about you and it can be overcome. Dr. Phil offers the following advice:
  • If you can achieve an orgasm alone, but not with a partner, you may have performance anxiety.
  • Being anxious, worried or feeling pressured to have an orgasm with your partner can work against you. Anxiety is an arousal response — it can cause tension. An orgasm is a relaxation response. Those two are incompatible.
  • If you're wondering, "Am I doing this right? Is he judging me? Is he having fun? Does he like this?" during intercourse, the anxiety can take you away from your pleasure.
  • Give yourself permission to change your internal dialogue. Say, "You know what? I am part of this exchange and I do have the right to ask for what I want. And I don't have to have expectancies that I have to perform in some way. I'm going to enjoy this." Give yourself permission to relax and go with the flow.

Okay, so let me just make a couple quick points:
  • Wouldn't put money on the '90% of women's orgasm problems are psychological' thing. There's no citations here, and I'm just gonna be frank - it really doesn't make much sense.
  • It's bullshit to jump straight to personal psychological issues. Women as a whole engage in an unfortunately ridiculous amount of sexual interactions that in no way involve stimulating their main organ of sexual pleasure - the clit. It's a reality that would seem simply preposterous if it were switched. Men having as many sexual acts that don't involve their penis as women do that don't involve their clit is unheard of. Given that there is clearly a widespread and under-discussed problem associated with not stimulating the appropriate genital areas, maybe that should be the most prominently considered thing on websites about helping women achieve orgasm.
  • Still, there is an important psychological element that needs to be considered, but I would argue a huge component of that stems from the above problem about too much sex with too little clit lovin'. Women do engage in a lot of sex throughout their lives that doesn't involve orgasm, so it is not crazy to think that female bodies learn to become aroused during sexual interactions with much more trepidation than male bodies. I mean if your body and mind only associate the beginning parts of sex with an eventual orgasm 70%, 50%, 30% of time or less, then the mind and body might start associating sex with a chore instead of something that is sexually arousing. Where there is no arousal, there is no orgasm, so psychologically training yourself to start associating sex with sexual arousal again could be important, but let's be clear here - that would include beginning to have physically more arousing sex on a more every-single-time kinda basis than was being had before, so the physical element is still quite important. 
  • I agree that anxiety takes away from pleasure. In particular, anxiety can inhibit the physical process of sexual arousal, and since the orgasm is a release of the muscle tension and blood pooling brought on by arousal, then no arousal, no orgasm. Also, his second statement about anxiety, arousal, orgasm and relaxation uses those words in really confusing ways. Although I think I understand what was meant by it, and it seems fine, I would just ignore that one. 
  • I completely agree that giving one's self permission to enjoy sex, to really be part of the activities, and to ask for what one wants is super important. I also love the idea that one should rid themselves of expectancies  about performing a certain way. Love it. However, I really think all of that advice turns into useless shit if there is not proper understanding among both people about how women orgasm and about how huge of a wall our culture has created blocking that understanding.
  • I'd say that first one this way.  If you can achieve an orgasm alone, but not with a partner, it's probably because you are rubbing your clitoral/vuvla area when you masturbate and getting your vagina boned when you have sex. 

Dr. Phil's statements are followed by information from a few other sources, and actually there's a bit more talk about the importance of the clit there. However, as with pretty much all sex advice, taken all together it seems like the clit is just an extra thing that the unlucky among us must utilize to get the orgasms we should be getting from our vag's - and that's bullshit.