Sex and the City S2 Ep5-6 S4 Ep7-9: A Retro SSL Review

My new little segment is back for a 3nd round (Here's the others). It's a modified, lazy version of an SSL Review. It's just me transcribing my notes, page by page, on all of the Sex and the City episodes. I watched them all - not necessarily in order - during 2007 and 2008, and I took notes on the depiction/discussion of female orgasm and female masturbation. It was my early attempt at this type of lady-gasm review stuff. Anyway, I never actually created reviews from these notes, but since they exist, I'd like to get them out there on the interwebs before they get burned in a house fire or something...thus this series.

Ramona and my SATC Notes

Anyway, the fun of this will be that I will transcribe these as word for word as I can while still trying to make it be a sensible read. I'll post a pick of the notes for your reference. I'll do one or more episodes at a time - from the beginning of the notebook to the end. I may add notes for clarification. Hopefully these won't make me look like a dumb asshole. I will add them in the TV SSL Review Master List  (of course you are also welcome to check out the Movie SSL Review Master List as well). Here we go.

The SATC Notes: S2 Ep. 5-6, S4 Ep. 7-9

Season 2 Ep. 5
Charlotte has sex (intercourse) - didn't look like she came when man came. She just looked emotionally satisfied
-showed happy yet non-orgasmic sex for women

Season 2 Ep. 6
  • "Men cheat because they can. It's in their biology"
  • "clit-tease" - wehn Charlotte was hanging out w/ lesbians (good wording instead of vagina)
  • Naked woman in steam room (boobs)
  • Miranda (red) on top, him sitting, bouncing up and down. She was coming (vocal), then just broke out of it (the orgasm) easily when she got mad at him for watching porn.
Season 4 Ep. 7
Brief glimpse of Samantha fucking; her on top, him sitting to laying down, she sounds like she is orgasming although not necessarily.

Season 4 Ep. 8
  • Sam wrestling with a guy. Looks like they have wresling outfits on, but seemed to be having intercourse; and he seemed to mount her and fuck her to orgasm in less than a minute, and Carrie narrating seemed to say she had an orgasm. It also seemed to be due to his expertise in 'positions.'
  • Extensive scene where she was trying different positions - all just him pumping her. Her - very little to no movement. (She was distracted here so she didn't orgasm).
  • Then Samantha tells her friends she couldn't orgasm. They say they don't have them all the time (sometimes it just doesn't happen), and they are surprised when she does have them every time. Carrie asked her if she was on top. Sam says that doesn't matter. She can do it any time, any way. Carrie says, "Now she's just showing off." Charlotte says you can have a good time w/o orgasm.
  • Sam masturbates; tries water, vibrator over clothes,  good depiction of masturbation - never penetrated herself. Never orgasmed.
Season 4 Ep. 9
  • Sam on top orgasm, then falls off him. Short, but looks like it's from intercourse alone.
  • Sam does farmer boy and she is straight up. She's bouncing up and down - doesn't lok like clit is touching anything. She comes hard.

A few things from modern day me
***As you can see, I watched them in the order that I could get them from the library...so I skip a bunch from time to time. In fact I think there were ones I could never get, so I eventually had to find a friend with a SATC DVD box set.

***That scene of Samantha doing the farmer boy in S4 Ep 9 ended up being a scene I used in Science, Sex and the Ladies movie (trailer below). It was used in between a porn scene of a woman really fakey orgasming while in the same position, and a scene we shot that was supposed to look like a 'real couple' having sex in the same position with the woman over-exaggeratedly porn-gasming the same way. The scenes were juxtaposed to make a point about how porn sex influences movie/TV sex, which influences real people's sex. 
    I remember looking at a lot of porn DVDs because we could rip high quality video from them (this was well into an era of abundant internet porn, so it was very retro to go to an actual porn DVD shop and rent) and also a lot of movie and TV lady-gasms. I needed to find two scenes that matched each other pretty well, and so I looked at a lot of movies at that time. I was also looking for a variety of scenes for a porn compilation for another scene in the movie. The compilation plays behind one of the narrators pointing out how porn is very much focused on male fantasy, desire and orgasm. I'm not gonna lie, it's one of may favorite scenes in the movie. All the hard work renting and watching tons of DVD porn was worth it!

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

***The way orgasm was treated in the scenes above is pretty par for the course in SATC. 
  1. Samantha gets banged any ol' way and comes quick, loud and hard...always. She is the archetype sexual woman character - a woman that is sexual in all the ways our culture wishes women were sexual (i.e. orgasming from doing things that are orgasmic for men) - even if the orgasms she has are almost always achieved through physical acts that are unlikely if not impossible to actually make a woman come.
  2. The masturbation scenes are almost always depicted in a physically realistic way - for all the women.
  3. The other gals are more orgasmically realistic than Samantha, but they all at times have unrealistic intercourse induced orgasm. They embody realistic depictions and discussions of women and orgasm at times and at other times they embody the cultural misunderstandings of how orgasm actually works for women. They are a mixed bag...which I would say is pretty status quo for women characters and their orgasms.


Vintage SSL: Pleasure and "Choosing" to Have an Orgasm

***Here's a blog post I wrote back in February of 2011. i thought is was worth a little dusting off and reposting. I changed it's wording a bit in a few places, but it's the same sentiment. enjoy the blast from the past.***

This article got me thinking
I read this post on BlogHer entitled "The Orgasm Gap: Are Women Faking It?" It and the comments for it, started me thinking more about the words "pleasure" and "choice." These are common words used in discussions about the female orgasm, and I think they are often used sloppily. But to get into that, let's first answer the question posed...do women fake? Of course the answer is yes. Lots of women fake it. The author points to a study of about 6000 people where 85% of men claim their woman climaxed in their last encounter and only 64% of women claimed that they orgasmed in their last encounter. This discrepancy is nothing new. One could find a number of surveys showing that there is a chunk of women out there faking orgasms. Since men don't seem to fake nearly as much as ladies do, she wonders if women are just too used to pleasing without return or too tired with work, kids, and home to make the time for getting turned on. (Maybe faking quick helps you get more shut-eye without feeling like you are always saying no to sex). Then she goes on to wonder the following:  
Or could it be something even deeper. Right now, I’m on a book tour for my new book, What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend Just today alone, I got these questions:
  • What does an orgasm feel like?
  • How do I know if I’ve had an orgasm?
  • My boyfriend is bummed if I don’t look like I’m having fun, but sex hurts me. What should I do?
  • I don’t really know what I like in bed. How can I find out?
What this tells me is that many of us honestly don’t know what gives us pleasure. Many of us don’t even know what an orgasm IS! 

Pleasure is one thing, but let's not confuse that with orgasm here
I think she's oh so right. Although I would make a small distinction. I think it is not pleasure that women are uncertain about. I think it is the orgasm in particular. Pleasure is easy, and we understand pleasure. We eat for pleasure, talk for pleasure, read for pleasure. We ladies really can tell if we like something or we don't  - and that is no different in sex. We can find pleasure in all sorts of sexual activity; the sensation of kissing, the emotional closeness, the intensity of rough touching, the high of risking someone catching you, the freeing feeling of being naked, the calming nature of romantic candles and scented oil, even the pleasure of having sex without someone trying to make you have an orgasm you feel you'll never have...I could go on forever. In our notion of what is pleasurable, we as people can be diversely unique. And sometimes, those unique personal pleasures can also cause physical sexual arousal or orgasm.

Ways of experiencing pleasure are as diverse as we are. Ways of experiencing orgasm are not nearly as diverse.
The orgasm, however, that could result from the pleasure and physical arousal is not so diverse. It is not so diverse because the female orgasm is a specific physical reaction that results from clitoral stimulation (however that stimulation happens to come about). This is in the same way that male orgasms are a specific physical reaction that results from penile stimulation. Although women's orgasms are often discussed as if they are more diverse, unique and mysterious, there is no good scientific reason to believe that. Lady-gasms are only as unique, diverse, and mysterious as male orgasms - which means they ain't that big of a mystery.

But lady-gasms are harder to figure out given how our culture teaches, discusses, and depicts them
The thing is; how to physically have an orgasm is are not so obvious for us ladies as it is more the gentlemen because we are constantly misled about how we should attain orgasm. The depictions of women orgasming that we see, the advice we get, the discussions that take place, the jokes that are said, the sexual education we receive in school, and the types of sex that are considered normal all point to women's orgasms resulting from vaginal stimulation through intercourse. Yet, there is simply no good scientific evidence that this is ever the case. Although there may be a woman out there who can have an actual physical orgasm through vaginal stimulation alone, she has not yet been recorded as doing so. The scientifically recorded orgasms out there come from clitoral stimulation - indirect or direct. That's just the truth, and that disconnect between how women actually orgasm and how everyone seems to think we orgasm makes real-life attaining of lady-gasms more problematic than dude-gasms.

Which brings us back to pleasure vs. orgasm 
So, we need to make a distinction when we talk about "pleasure" because due to all the confusion/misinformation around how women physically orgasm, "pleasure" is too often used as interchangeable with "orgasm" when it comes to women. We aren't confused as a culture about how men physically orgasm, so there is not the same problems with inappropriately mixing the use of "pleasure" vs. "orgasm."

The truth is, when sexperts say, as they often do, that achieving pleasure in sex can be done in a large variety of ways that are vastly unique to each woman (anal, vaginal, clitoral, backrubs, fantasizing, etc. I've heard much crazier - believe me), it is essentially saying orgasm can be achieved in a variety of ways - and that is just plain not true. Not making the appropriate and fact-based distinctions between what can cause orgasm and what can cause pleasure continues to perpetuate the myth that female orgasm is fickle, mysterious and deeply varied from one woman to the next - and confuses the fuck out of women trying to figure out how they might have orgasms in their own sexual experiences.

So, take for instance the most common of things 2 heteros do when they are having a sexual interaction - vaginal intercourse. Yes, it may be quite pleasurable to a woman, but that doesn't mean it is orgasmic. This is important. The ways of attaining pleasure can be as unique as the people themselves, and men and women can both find all kinds of pleasure in sex, but the ability to orgasm during vaginal intercourse is way skewed towards men.  Basic ol' PinV sex is PERFECT for penile stimulation and not great at all for clitoral stimulation, so the hard truth is that men, way more often than women, also often get an orgasm along with that pleasure.

Why is it that female sexual pleasure is so equated with female orgasm?
We as a culture know that women don't orgasm as much as men, and thinking (as incorrect as it may be) that the female orgasm is more fickle and mysterious than a man's is an easy way to sweep that blatant and unnecessary inequality under the rug. But another way to do that is to assume men naturally just care more about orgasm, and women just naturally have less inclination to care about orgasm. If we believe we ladies are just as satisfied to have pleasure during sex as we are to have orgasms during sex, than everyone's off the hook for actually putting effort into making sure women have orgasms the way we do for men. And indeed, this is often the story we tell ourselves. In fact, the comments added to the post I wrote about above show plenty of women saying that they aren't worried about orgasms too much; saying there is plenty of other things to enjoy about sex; that we're all just too damn obsessed with women orgasming; that they have never orgasmed and don't see why it's such a big deal; that they enjoy sex just fine without one...that pleasure during sex is just as good as pleasure and an orgasm. In a way these women are right, because there is a lot to enjoy about sex besides the big O.

Do we really choose pleasure of orgasm, though?
However, this isn't just a matter of women choosing to either have an orgasm during their sexual encounter or not. It's not as if when women get down and dirty in that one-night stand or the midnight sex with their husband, they get to a point and say, "You know, I'm going to not have an orgasm. I haven't just sat back and really enjoyed the feeling of a naked body against me or reveled in the pride of giving a man pleasure without asking for anything in return in a while." 

I mean, that is a valid choice in a sex act, and one that maybe men should feel is more legitimately available to them, but this is not what is happening for most women. Women are lacking orgasms largely for a simple reason - because they don't know how to with a partner. Women and men are both led to believe that orgasm should happen for women through intercourse, and that intercourse is the ultimate in sexual contact, yet that is not how women orgasm - except in porn, movies, tv, comics, jokes, etc... Women need the appropriate amount and type of sustained outer clitoral stimulation and men need the same on their penis. Problem is, status quo sex and our basic cultural knowledge of sex makes that easy for men and an uphill battle for women - if either of them even knows which hill to battle up. So, to speak about women's orgasm as if it is a choice whether to have one or not is bothersome to me.

Once we get to a situation where we have a generation who grows up understanding how males and females physically orgasm, and who sees depictions and discussions of sex accurately portraying the actions involved in both male and female orgasm during partnered sex - then I will concede that whether to have an orgasm during a sexual interaction is a choice. It is not a choice for most women*, and focusing on the other pleasures of sex is really their only choice. While acknowledging that women can enjoy and find pleasure in sex without orgasm, we should also be working to make the choice to have or not to have an orgasm an actual viable choice for women - the way it is for men.

*Thanks to some constructive criticism,  I'd like to point out "most" refers to the approximately 2/3 of women who claim they do not have orgasms always or most of the time they have sex. This is a pretty consistent finding, but specifically can be found in the 1976 book The Hite Report on Female Sexuality by Shere HiteBesides her own survey, she documents at least 3 others that are consistent with her own.


Flesh and Bone S2 and S3: The SSL Review

SSL Review Intro for Flesh and Bone S1 Ep 5- 8
As I described in an earlier post about Flesh and Bone, if one could pick a perfect genre for a TV show that Charlie and I would definitely watch no matter what, it would be exactly this show - ballet soap opera. There is only 1 season as of yet, and with this post (along with my first Flesh and Blood SSL Review), I will have the whole of the season SSL Reviewed.

There are 2 scenes I will be reviewing, one is technically eligible for review because it includes a depictions and/or discussions of female orgasm and/or masturbation. The other I decided to review because of the decided lack of female orgasm in a sex scene, so it's not exactly eligible, but I think it's important, especially in conjunction with the first scene. As always, I'm looking for physical realism (if a lady orgasms from butt spanking alone, I will call bullshit on scientific and basic anatomical ground), and I'm also looking for what part the scene plays in our cultural conversation about female orgasm and sexuality. Here we go.

If you want more TV SSL Reviews head HERE. Want some movie SSL reviews? Go HERE.

Season 1 Episode 5: Get that bath, girl
I will be vague about who the character in this is because I don't want to spoil any shows in these SSL Reviews if I don't have to. I will tell you the character in question is a ballerina, but most people in this show are, so that's not much of a clue. As a background, she is passionate about her career but she is somewhat of a sad person in a listless marriage.

The Details
In this scene she comes home to her husband, and sweetly and kindly demurs from his kiss saying that she's exhausted. She then goes upstairs and gets into a bath. It's a wide shot at first, so we see her knees up above the water and her upper body is propped up against the edge of the bath. The water hits at the ribcage area so the producers were able to get an extra set of boobs in the show.

Shortly after the scenes starts, she moves her right hand down under the water towards her crotch area. Obviously we don't see exactly what is going on down there, but it seems very effortless. There was no sense that she was sticking her fingers up inside herself or anything. It just seemed like she was touching her lady junk. So that was generally realistic - at least she was putting her hand in the general right area and not doing something ridiculous and fake-masturbatey like imitating intercourse with no additional outer clitoral stimulation.

As she's moving towards orgasm, we don't see her upper arm moving wildly. In fact her body seems to be moving more against her hand than the hand against her body, but there is subtle movement from both hand and body that sell this. To me, it looks completely plausible that she could be pressing her hand against her vuvla/clit area and getting the kind of constant grinding stimulation that could get a gal off. And she does get off. We watch her doing this grinding in the wide shot for about 20 seconds, and then it cuts to a close-up of her that cuts off just below the neck. With some exhales and strain/pleasure faces, she pretty clearly comes. So, I deem that this has met the most basic of realism requirements. It was pretty quick from start to orgasm, but there's no reason to believe there are not both men and women who can pop off in 1/2 a minute during masturbation. 45% of the 62% of women who reported masturbating in Kinsey's landmark surveys, said they could reach orgasm withn 3 minutes.

My Thoughts
It's realistic but, I mean, why be excited?
Like I discussed above, the physical things that she was doing are actually things that could bring a woman to orgasm, so I have no problems with that. I appreciate that because a depiction of female orgasm with basic realism is more rare than we'd all like to think, but I will give it no gold stars, because for god sake, isn't that like the least of what we should expect from a depiction of orgasm - male or female?

I like that her vocalizations and body movement were subtle. She was getting into it, but not overexerting her voice, breathing, or body in a way that would be, in my opinion, distracting from the focus on the pleasure happening in her body. She was depicted here not as over exaggerated, showy/porny, but in the way men tend to be depicted orgasming. As I discussed in the previous Flesh and Bone SSL Review, I think the realism allowed men (more than women) in depictions of male orgasm in TV and movies are partially because men are used to experiencing with partners (and watching in porn) actual male orgasm instead of performance of orgasm - which unfortunately is what we almost always see in porn and too often experience in real life. Point is, this actress acted this one in a way that is sensibly realistic and lacks the showiness often seen in depictions of female orgasm, and I appreciate this.

But it's masturbation orgasm, not intercourse orgasm...so...
Allow me a quick observations. I have done many an SSL Review over the years, and I find that depictions of female masturbation are consistently realistic and largely well done - just like in real life. It's when you put a partner, particularly a man, in the scene that the depictions start getting ridiculous (again, just like in real life). So, I'm not particularly excited about this scene, just glad it's not terrible. It's as it should be, and it's common to do this kind of scene adequately.

My guess here is that these scenes are done well because women masturbate well in real life. We do it, we orgasm, and there's much less of an alternative idea about how women should masturbate. The exception may be the idea that women masturbate and orgasm through intercourse imitation; by banging the insides of their vaginas with dildos. These depictions pops up in the world from time to time, but the truth is women get to masturbate on our own so we don't need to put on a show, and thus we listen to our bodies and do what works for our orgasm instead of for our partners, and it is by and large reflected in our depictions.

However, when it comes to partner sex, the sad truth is that many women fake orgasm, confuse orgasm for pleasure or excitement, put on shows, or just don't expect orgasm, and all those things get reflected in depictions. It's a confusing mess in real life, so it's a confusing mess in our TV, movies and porn. That's my two cents.

Season 1 Episode 8: Watch that ceiling, girl
The Details
In this scene the same women is having sex missionary in bed with her husband. The scene starts from a wide shot moving into the room. She is motionless, with her knees gently bent around either side of his body anf her feet on the bed. He is laying on her almost completely perpendicular (his upper body is not propped up with his arms). His movement is more a sliding forward and back along her body rather than a pounding up and down with his hips against her body. It cuts to a close up after just a few seconds. The shot is looking down, and her face is looking up. She looks sad and detached. The guy says, "you'll make a wonderful mom."

Through both shots of the scene we hear her breathing in a staccato way. It is not forceful, loud, or clearly vocal enough to be and uh, uh, uh situation, but it does sound a touch like she is enjoying the sex in a way that is moving her towards orgasm. It's actually a little wierd because her face and body movement do not look that way at all. She looks like she's just there for him to have sex on.

My Thoughts
Appropriately, she didn't come
She's not orgasming or clearly almost orgasming, and from her face she likely has no intention of orgasming. and that's a sensible outcome given what is physically happening...i.e. she's likely not getting the consistent, adequate outer clitoral stimulation that she needs in order to orgasm during this intercourse. I guess their position could be deemed more lady-orgasm-friendly than most, though. The fact that he's positioned with his pelvis close against hers means he could be putting pressure on her clit/vuvla area. That he's moving in a way that his pelvis is staying against her body with consistent pressure instead of bouncing against her body means his body could be giving her consistent enough clit/vuvla stimulation in order to orgasm.

However, (and this is important, people) her body, particularly her pelvis, was completely motionless. This, my friends, is common in TV and movie sex. I'm just going to draw a line in the sand and say that if a woman is not contributing to the movement of the intercourse, she probably ain't orgasming. A lady might get lucky every now and again with what's happening to her, BUT to keep that clit getting the kind of consistent pressure and stimulation it needs during intercourse, she's gonna need to get interactive. The dude on her might even need to chill the fuck out with his moving in order for her to work her hips without him impeding her. We as a society need to just start accepting that. Anyway, my point here is that she didn't come, and I'm glad from a realism standpoint because this physical situation is unlikely to have gotten her there.

But...at the same time, she was kinda orgasmy which was wierd
Her breathing really threw me off. It was so on the verge of being heading toward orgasmic-ish, and it was such a contrast to her face and body language. I am going from the assumption that the audience was not to assume she was that into this sex...so why the into-this-sexy-time breathing? I guess it could just be her breathing as he's moving in and out of her, because honestly being intercoursed on does sorta push a lady's breath out. I have certainly grunted rhythmically sometimes from shear body movement alone. However, it wasn't that forceful of sex.

Honestly, I think it's just in there because it's sex and the people creating this scene thought that breathing like she was doing is just part of the sounds of sex. I mean, her breathing could have been added in a completely separate, later, sound-creation session. It just seems to me like it's in there only because it's status quo, and there wasn't a lot of thought put into what she might actually sound like in that situation. The dude in the scene wasn't audibly sex-breathing...and he was definitely in it to win it. I guess breathing in a way that says "loving this sex, baby" is a lady thing not a guy thing. Anyway, the breathing sounded like she was way into it, but the actually acting in the scene pretty clearly showed how very not into it she was, so it ended up being a bit confused. I think that confusion is a good example of how thoughtlessness, misinformed and confused media makers tend to be about details surrounding female orgasm and female sexual situations.

And a little clarity about how emotion, stereotypes, and faking when we feel like it, but not when we don't
I just want to recognize that her lack of orgasm in the intercourse scene had very little to do with anything physical and everything to do with how she feels about her current situation. The context around this scene clearly shows us that she's decided to give up passion and settle, and the passion of her quick masturbation earlier helps show us that contrast.

Which brings me to ladies and sex and emotion. It's common to show women orgasming or not orgasming depending more on how they feel emotionally than what is happening physically. This sometimes happens for men in movies and TV, but rarely. Men with no emotion tend to still get their orgasm taken care of but show their lack of emotional connection to the sex in different ways. I think this is a poignant difference in gender representation.

I also think it's a bunch of bullshit because there is no actual biological reason to believe women's physical orgasms are somehow MORE dependent on our emotional state than men's. There just isn't but saying so is a good way to breeze over the fact that more women don't orgasm during partner sex than do. I mean, it couldn't possibly be that our clits get ignored when we're having sex, could it? No, of course not. It's just that ladies' crazy lady-emotions naturally make it harder for women to orgasm.

I joke, but there is this other part to the connection our culture and our media representations so often make between lady-gasms and emotion: it's kind of true. How, you say?
1. If we're having a lot of sex that isn't physically doing the things we need for orgasm (any status quo sex would be in this category for clit-havers) then yeah, we ladies need to kinda 'be in the mood' to put in the extra emotional and physical work to facilitate orgasm-having-situation despite the normal lack of clitoral stimulation we have come to expect in partnered sex.
2. Sometimes...maybe often...we women don't really physically orgasm, but we do put on an 'orgasm show' that might seem to our partner and maybe even to ourselves like we did physically orgasm. And maybe, just maybe we ladies as a group seem like we need to be emotionally connected to orgasm because we only care to and feel like putting on our 'orgasm shows' when we are happy and connected and when the dude hasn't pissed us off recently. If what I'm saying is not clear, let me be more clear...maybe we women fake a lot but we tend to fake a lot more when we like you and want to make you and ourselves enjoy the sex we're having. So chew on that.

Vulva Rating
This show in total was physically realistic when it came to the occurrence or lack of occurrence of orgasm. However, there was nothing progressive about these depictions. It played on all the gender stereotypes and visual and auditory tropes of status quo sexual depictions of women. So, nothing new.
This gets 3 and a 1/2 vulvas...an okay score.



My Mom, Chemo BS, Laughter, And Also Some Half-assed Lady-gasm Stuff

A half-assed lady-gasm related post for you
All, I'm sorry I'm a bit late on posting. I know you were anxiously awaiting my thoughts on some aspect of female orgasm in science or pop culture, but I just don't want to put the energy in today.

So, in lieu of a new post on lady-gasms, please feel free to check out:
Science, Sex and The Ladies from AnC Movies on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoy any and all of the above because that's what this blog is all about - the continued discussion about what's problematic about how our culture approaches female orgasm and how we can make it better; i.e. a continuation of subjects discussed in the doc, Science, Sex and the Ladies, above.

Some personal non-lady-gasm related stuff  just because
I don't have much personal stuff in here because of the pretty specific focus of the blog, but I did want to write a little about my weekend. My mom (Here's a little post I wrote about her for a Clitoris Awareness Week post in 2013) has lymphoma and her last round of chemo kicked the shit out of her. She ended up in the hospital, and she's been there for 3 days now. We're just kinda waiting to see if her body can make it through the bad case of mucositis. It's been real up and down. It's strange and wierd and sad and happy, but damn if I'm not a lucky woman to have so much love and support in my life - cousins, aunts, friends, dad, husband, and my sister who is just pretty much everything to me. They keep a gal grounded and fully entertained.

If I didn't have these people to laugh and cry with, this shit would suck so, so much more. And truthfully, there is much more laughing than crying, not because it's not sad, but because laughing is more fun than crying and if there's opportunity to laugh, that's usually what happens. For instance, my mom is hallucinating...a lot. It's fucked up. We aren't exactly sure why. It may just be something happening as she's moving towards recovery from this or it may be a pretty bad sign. It's actually quite sad and scary, but fuck if it isn't also hilarious. She was telling me today that there was a cheese man who had a little white mouse of his shoulder that's always trying to tell ya something. Apparently there's also a little guy with tea bags that takes care of her. She saw one of my cousins jump over his dog with all kinds of panache, and saw my sister, her husband and their youngest standing around in Sherlock Holmes costumes.

She gets to talking in her sleep and getting her right hand moving and pointing. Sometimes she moves it around so much she looks like she's trying to do hand ballet. Sitting next to her bed is like watching a fire. It's mesmerizing. You just can't take your eyes away. She just breaks out with some of the craziest shit sometimes. We text each other to document when she pulls out the real doozies, and we just crack our asses up talking about it later.

Truth be told, hallucinating, out-of-it her might be the last her we see or it may just be a never ending bucket from which to pull hilarious stories for her in the future. I hope it's the latter, but if it's not I know she'd want us all to get as much joy and comradery and love and memories from our last times with her and our times together as we can...even if it is sad.

So, that's what's up with me. I guess I wanted to write about it a little now while it's still fresh. Be well my friends, and if you are going through anything shitty right now, may it get better and may you make the best of it.


Random Hite Report #22

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 realistic and progressive insight about the female orgasm that is still shockingly relevant 40 years later,  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 - I suggest you buy it online (seriously, you can get them for like 1 cent) and read it.

 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. 83 From chapter "MASTURBATION" in the section called 'Types of Masturbation' under the heading 'Type IA,'

...and use 'dirty words.' And by the way, I have just turned myself on by writing this."
    "Oddly enough, although i'm right handed in most things, I always masturbate with my left hand. I lie on my right side and use my left hand from underneath me, the second and third fingers stroking my clitoris up and down the shaft. Usually I use a little vaseline to lubricate it. With my right hand, I gently press down on my lower abdomen. Sometimes I cross my left leg over my right leg and press down as I feel the orgasm coming. I move about a bit - sort of wriggling. I would like to try a vibrator, but I haven't had the opportunity yet."
    "Sometimes I dress in erotic costumes and view myself in the mirror. Usually I smoke a cigarette, and sometimes put on make-up. If there is time, I lubricate my breasts and genitals with oil or cream. I prefer looking in the mirror rather than directly at myself. Usually i begin playing with my breasts, rubbing my thighs together, then concentrating on orgasm, using my fingers on my right hand in a circular motion on my clitoris. I start with my legs apart, but enjoy having them tight together at orgasm, squeezing my muscles. At that point, I can't move very much."
    "I use only one hand and mainly rub up and down. Does everyone answer these questions so frankly? I feel a little wanton, but I feel you must be true or else why try to understand yourself? My legs are apart and i touch only my clitoris."
    "I just start right in rubbing my clitoris. I used to touch my breasts and stomach, but it seemed redundant. Now i just rub my clitoris, and generally admire the qualities of me!"
    "I masturbate by manipulating my clitoris in a side to side massaging manner, starting gently and increasing in intensity and pressure. I use my finger (one hand). The motion is slightly circulat combined with side to side, mainly. The other hand is manipulating the nipple of my left breast (the larger and more sensitive one). Legs are apart. I don't move much, in terms of body movements, until orgasm, when there is a raising of the but-..."


The Americans S2 and S3: The SSL Review

The Americans Season 1
As I've said before, I LOVE the Americans, so I'm gong to continue my SSL Reviewing. This time I have one scene from Season 2 that is not technically SSL Reviewable but I like it anyway and another from Season 3 that is still not strictly eligible, but more so. Either way, I like these scenes and I think they are relevant to this blog.

These are the only depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation in the second and third season, and as you know those are the specific things I review. I critique the realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman?) and also speak on what the depiction/discussion reflects from and adds to the larger cultural discussion around lady-gasms and female sexuality.

You can see all the SSL TV Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSL Reviews HERE).

Season 2 Ep 1 - mom and dad in the act
This is just a little scene where a daughter is curious about her parents' whereabouts and thinks they might not actually be in their room in the middle of the night, but when she opens the door to look, she finds them (Elizabeth and Philip - the main character Russian spies living as normal American parents...even their children don't know) naked and 69ing and quickly closes the door.

So, they are laying horizontal on the bottom end of the bed, both on their sides, head to crotch obviously, and facing each other. We see only a few seconds of this, but we can see that she is gently moving her head right at his crotch area, and we see his head pop up from being sandwiched between her legs.

There is no actual depiction or discussion of female orgasm or masturbation, thus it not being technically SSL reviewable, but hot damn, I love this scene. A child catches her parents in the act, and it's not just straight up intercourse? Um, yes. I like it for a few different reasons

1 It's just not that often that we see a married couple doing anything except for intercourse...and since intercourse is great for male orgasm and not for female orgasm...seeing more sexual acts on TV that ARE good for female orgasm is also good for orgasm equality.
2 It reflects a certain parity in Elizabeth and Philip's relationship; a sort of equal appreciation given that 69ing is beautifully orgasmic for both partners in a way that intercourse is not. This show, I think, takes the details and implications and realities of sexual encounters into consideration in its stories. It doesn't just write "sex scene" in the script and do whatever comes to mind first. I feel like that's what a lot of writing teams end up doing. There is often very little thought put into sex scenes and they end up stale and status quo, and since status quo also means misunderstanding how women physically orgasm, it's also usually unrealistic, clunky in the story, and bad for orgasm equality.
3 Because 69ing is a little more "freaky" in this penetration obsessed world, it's a little grosser of a thing to see your parents doing - which on a pure story level I also appreciate.

So, I can only assume these two were in the middle of a sex act with the intention of orgasming, and I think we can all agree that mouths on each other's genitals (clit and penis area to be exact) is a valid way both men and women could orgasm, so I deem this realistic and good for the world to boot.

Season 3 Ep 13 - one lady's story
So in this episode there is a scene in a self-help sort of group, and the class is called "Sex Expression is Self Expression." People stand up and share, sometimes very intimate things, with the group. A woman stands up and tells the group the following. (There is another story line kinda going on with a couple people in the audience during this time, but we hear her whole story front and center).
So, two nights ago, I decides I was going to confront my husband about how dissatisfied I was with our sex life, but instead of being supportive, he got really mad at me. He started yelling. I start yelling back which we always do. We have these terrible fights, but this time it's just about sex. and suddenly out of nowhere he says, just let me go down on you. He never said anything like that before to me. I immediatly got so...turned on. I was just ready - ready yo be responsible and accountable for all my own sexual desires. I was ready for him to go down on me.
This, again, is not technically eligible for an SSL review because it doesn't specifically talk about female orgasm or masturbation. However, she does say that she's 'dissatisfied' with her sex life, and in common talk about women, that tends to mean she isn't orgasming or finding 'pleasure' (a word that is often interchanged and confused with orgasm). Anyway, to me this was a story the writers wrote about a woman that wasn't orgasming or not orgasming much with her husband, but ended up initiating a situation in which her husband offered to do something for her that would allow her to orgasm with him. It was a turning point for them and her that was positive for her orgasm and sex life.

Again, I'm gonna list some thing that I think are cool about this.

1 Oral sex, of course, is a way that women can orgasm because, unlike intercourse, it involves direct, intentional, consistent stimulation to the outer clitoral glans and vulva area. That oral sex offered by her husband was a turn on and a turning point for her ability to be more 'satisfied' in their sexual relationship is realistic.
2 Of all the stories the writers could have chosen to throw into this scene, they chose one like this. i appreciate that.
3 She speaks of being responsible and accountable for her own sexual desires. I think that, in general, is a thing that needs more discussion and attention when it comes to women because there is a strong and problematic sense out there in the world that men should be responsible for women's orgasms. Granted, any partner should be held accountable for allowing space for and valuing their partners orgasm as well as their own, but men have long been expected to 'give' women an orgasm. Given that most men and most women have been handed terrible, incorrect advice and ridiculous examples of how women physically come, and also that many women are pressured against having masturbated so are not even aware themselves of how they orgasm, this is a terrible situation. Women would do well to work towards being more accountable and responsible for their own orgasm...then at least someone in in the sexual situation will know how to get it done.

The Vulva Rating
So, neither of these are technically SSL reviewable scenes, but I think that they are good examples of the thoughtfulness and general orgasm equality awareness this show seems to have. This is a normal ol' cable show so the sex in it is limited a bit. However, the writing of the sex scenes is still creative and realistic and actually add something to the story of these characters. I respect all of that, and I LOVE that of all the possibilities out there, the sex acts discussed and depicted in these seasons were not status quo and also were thoughtful of the female orgasm. To me, it makes this show better than most and super progressive in the Orgasm Equality department.  I give this SSL Review a 5 vulva rating.



The Mindy Project S4 Ep9: The SSL Review

The Mindy Project S4 Ep19 - "Baby Got Backslide."
We got into The Mindy Project when it started on network TV. Mindy Kaling, the creator and star of the show, was in The Office prior.  I never really watched The Office, just a few random ones here and there, but everyone talked about it all the time, so I felt familiar with it. However, I didn't really know her from that show. I remember people at the time saying telling me they didn't like her on The Office, and I figured they wouldn't like her show then because I think you needed to like her a bit because there's a lot of her in it. Anyway, I did like The Mindy Project a lot, and I thought the cast around her was really good - a good ensemble comedy.

There had to have been a lot of references to female masturbation and orgasm in that show that I could have SSL Reviewed, but I think at the time I started watching this, I wasn't so stringent about noting every single time I saw an SSL Reviewable moment in shows...or I noted it on a random envelope on my coffee table that eventually made its way to the trash. I have a system now, though. So, by the time that Mindy got cancelled on network TV and made its way as a Hulu original, I was taking notes, and that's why I'm starting on season 4. I will say, sadly, I don't really love the show any more. It had a lot of cast changes and tone changes and  really lost its charisma and humor for me, but I still watch from time to time if I just want a quick show.

All that said, here, my friends is an SSL review of S4 E19 - "Baby Got Backslide." As most of you already know, an SSL Review is a critique specifically of a depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation. I look toward realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman?), and I also look at what the depiction/discussion reflect from and add to the larger cultural discussion around lady-gasms and female sexuality. A show could be good with a bad SSL review or vice versa, and I really try to keep an SSL review to the SSL reviewable scenes, but if I feel like it, I can talk about anything I want to - because it's my blog.

You can see all the SSL TV Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSL Reviews HERE).

A Quick Lady-bation Joke

The Details
Here's the scene. Mindy is talking with a friend who just rode up to her on one of those hoover boards. He says, "I haven't walked in weeks. My pedometer thinks I'm dead." To which she says, "I threw my pedometer out because it wouldn't recognize masturbation as exercise..so..."

At that point, the conversation moves forward. there was no real discussion about her comment. There was no weirdness or anything. It was just a passing joke. It is also of note that the person she was talking to is a man she used to date.

My Thoughts 
This is one of my easiest SSL Reviews in a long time. I love that there is this show and the main character in it speaks about masturbating with such ease. She has no shame in the fact that she masturbates. I mean the joke here is not based on how wierd or funny it is that she masturbates. It's about the fact that she doesn't get exercise above and beyond what exercise rubbing off might give her and that she is indignant that her exercise counter won't accept it as exercise.

First off, obviously, I'm all for any normalization of masturbation - male or female. There's still too much stigma around jerking it. However, males are way further along on this normalization thing than women. We have a lot of ground to make up. Jokes about and depictions of men masturbating are pretty dang common. The jokes are often not about that men masturbate. That part is an obvious truth by now. That frees the comedy around it to be more about how they do it or how their masturbation fits in with other parts of life - like that the guy in American Pie masturbated by fucking a warm pie his mother made and his dad catches him in the act. It's how he did it, not that he did it.

For females, we're still not quite there yet. It's out there for sure. There's definitely comedians and jokes out there speaking on it, but they're kinda cutting edge because of just that (think Amy Schumer and Broad City). It's still so wierd and new that the simple fact a woman might masturbate is in and of itself something to bring about uncomfortable chuckles (think the sex crazed lady that scared all the guys in The 40 Year Old Virgin).

Anyway, Mindy owned her masturbation so much she used it in a joke that took for granted that, of course, she absolutely would orgasm. I also love that she spoke that to a person she has had sex with. Her ex-lover clearly knew and didn't worry that she masturbated, which means that neither of them see her need to masturbate as somehow contrary to a sensible sex life. And that, I think is important. There is a feeling in our culture that a woman should be fully satisfied sexually through sex with a man, that women need an emotional connection to really enjoy sex, and that just getting an orgasm for orgasm sake (as happens in masturbation) is not really that interesting to women. This simple joke breaks down all those stereotypes about female sexuality and female masturbation. And that's important, because if women are ever going to really reach orgasm equality, we need to figure out for ourselves what we physically need to orgasm. Then both we ladies and our sexual partners are going to have to get used to the idea that those things that make us orgasm by ourselves need to be fully and consistently incorporated into our parnered sex (spoiler alert: It's gonna include outer clitoral/vulva stimulation - and just ramming the vagina ain't gonna cut it)

Vulva Rating
So, obviously, I think this is a progressive step towards orgasm equality. Discussion of female masturbation that assumes women do masturbate and speaks about it without shame or making it seem exotic is exactly what we need. For this, I give this episode 4 1/2 vulvas (This is somewhat progressive, but I would have needed just a bit more progressiveness to give it the the final 1/2 vulva).



Flesh and Bone S1 Ep1: The SSL Review

SSL Review Intro for Flesh and Bone 
If one could pick a perfect genre for a TV show that Charlie and I would definitely watch no matter what, it would be ballet soap opera. So, when a friend of ours turned us onto an Starz show called Flesh and Bone, obviously, we watched. It is a dark little ballet soap opera, and it is a bit of what we like to call 'French' for reasons I can't explain because it would spoil something important in the plot line, but it is very much everything it is supposed to be.

Anyway, we got through Season 1 and there 3 scenes that I felt were SSL reviewable. I'm going to talk about the 1st here. An eligible SSL reviewable scene, of course, one that includes depictions and/or discussions of female orgasm and/or masturbation. That's the only thing I care about in these reviews. I'm looking for physical realism (if a lady orgasms from toe-sucking alone, I will call bullshit on scientific and basic anatomical ground), and I'm also looking for what part the scene plays in our cultural conversation about female orgasm and sexuality. So, thems the basics.

If you want more TV SSL Reviews head HERE. Want some movie SSL reviews? Go HERE.

S1 Ep1 Soft Core Sex  - The Details
A woman (I try not to give you too many unnecessary details about the characters and what they are doing in case you later watch these shows for reasons other than critiquing the sex scenes) is face up on a couch with her head hanging off over the arm. A man is face down above her - like an adjusted missionary - and he is banging her. When I say banging, though, it's a little wierd because it's like soft core banging. They are both very active pushing towards and away from each other, but it's like their pelvises aren't the parts where they are pivoting against each other from, like their chests are carrying most of the movement. It's also pretty obvious that their pelvises are not actually lined up in a way that actually works for intercourse, although they are obviously supposed to be having intercourse.

We only see them from the rib cage up, but he is close against her, so in theory, the positioning makes it possible for her vulva/clitoral area to be against his pelvis and rubbing - which could be a way for her to realistically get to orgasm in this situation. However, the wierd soft core movements don't make it seem like their parts are positioned right at all, and also their movements are not grindy. They're back and forthy against each other, like they are supposed to be banging in-out style even though it just looks super fake.

Anyway, this goes on for about 9 seconds and then they reposition while still intercourse-ing so that he is sitting on the couch and she is facing towards him, knees on the couch, straddling him. The same soft core problems that I describe above are still happening. Only this time, we can see fairly clearly (without seeing actual dirty parts), that her vulva/clitoral area is absolutely not against his body. Those parts are touching nothing but air - and there are definitely no hands on her junk. The soft core situation also makes it look like she's really just sitting on his upper thighs and moving her chest back and forth in lustful ways. This goes on for about 16 seconds, some of which includes continued sound from the couple while the camera faces the door as a new roommate knocks then opens and peaks in to find them doing it.

At this point, the guy spots the new roommate, says, "oh shit," and comes with some exhales and a pained orgasm look on his face. The girl kinda stops and then she says with harsh sarcasm, "Nice. Really? Thank you." At this point the guy points behind her to alert her to the unexpected new guest, and the scene ends.

During the whole 27ish seconds of intercourse, she is doing a continuous uh, uh, uh, uh thing, and towards the end, while the camera is looking at the door, she seems to get more into it, like she's getting close to coming. The guy is mostly silent except for a couple louder exhales - even while he comes.

My thoughts
So she didn't orgasm. In fact, she specifically didn't orgasm and was pissed about the guy coming to soon and messing up her chance at orgasm - or at least that's what it looked like to me. At the same time, the sense from her vocalizations and her disappointment, was that she would have come if the dude had not come first. So, I'm going from the assumption that the depicted sex was supposed to be something that would make her come.

So, a few things.
1 It's not a realistic depiction of what might physically make a woman orgasm. I'll forgive the general fake-ness of the look and go with my sense of what it was supposed to look like, which is a man and woman banging (the in-out status quo sort of wild sex banging) each other passionately. This sex situation was depicted as something that should make her orgasm, and I call bullshit. There was no outer clitoral/vulva area stimulation happening along with this intercourse, and frankly, ladies need that in order to orgasm. Some in-out, vaginally stimulating banging just doesn't seem to do the trick if you look at the whole of the scientific literature on the topic.

2 The whole thing where she kinda perma-gasmed with her uh-uh-uhs the whole time is problematic to me.

Reason 1 - If a man in TV sex made orgasmish sounding things the whole time, I think people would be wierded out by that because it doesn't seem realistic that a man would either be orgasming the entire sex act or that he would be that vocal. When we see women do it, it seems normal - not just that women make sounds like that during sex but also the possibility that she might be, like, kinda orgasming or in ecstasy the whole time...because when it comes to lady-gasms there is a lot of ridiculous, unrealistic, unverified, spiritualish/other-worldly-ish/non-physicalish notions about how women can come.

There's an underlying sense out there that women can orgasm in all these wierd ways that men can't and that they actually could orgasm for like an hour. It's a bunch of bunk, but it's not an uncommon feeling about women and their orgasms. My point here is that even if it is clear, as it is in this scene, that she didn't orgasm, these types of uh uh uh orgasmy sounds that last the whole act trouble me because they might give a sense to some of the audience that she is actually orgasming a lot (maybe they think she orgasmed at first but was disappointed in the end because she wanted more orgasms?...who knows what kind of wierd stuff people believe about female orgasm). It also just makes it seem like this is the way women should sound.

Which brings me to...
Reason 2 - Why do women always have to be making orgasmy sounds during sex? Men don't do that. In porn and TV and movies, though, women are always uh uh uh-ing and dudes aren't. It seems like BS to me. I think a lot of people and even sexpert advisers might say it's because women feel more comfortable with expressing pleasure and that men should be more like the ladies and let loose more, but I disagree.

I think, at least to some extent, women seem to make those sounds more than men simply because we think we're supposed to and men don't. I think ladies have traditionally put on a show - in real life and in porn - because we often aren't actually orgasming, so we need to do something to show we love it (because I guess we do love it??). Men don't need to put on a show because, well, because the orgasm. That's their show - an actual real life orgasm. Wouldn't it be nice if women could feel fine about shutting the hell up and focusing on their clit while doing sex stuff instead of thinking about how they should sound...just like men shut the fuck and focus on their penis instead of worrying about how they sound. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could feel fine just doing whatever and looking however they need in order to to get the job done? But man, I think we ladies are pressured into this sexy vocalization thing more than we'd like to admit.

So, point being, this scene is just one more scene out there normalizing the female permagasm, and I don't love it.

3 Okay, and finally, I hate that when he orgasmed, she just stopped and crapped on him for coming too early. First off, the idea that his hard dick against her inner vagina was somehow getting her to orgasm is unrealistic, so the idea that him finishing first would impede her from coming is also unrealistic.

Also, even if  whatever was happening to this woman was actually something that could realistically bring her to orgasm, it's still BS that him coming should make her feel as though that ruined her ability to come. That would only be true if one has a rigid unrealistic understanding of how to have a mutually satisfying sexual interaction... which, to be fair, is pretty much the kind of understanding most people have (i.e. that sexual interaction = intercourse to mutual orgasm)....but that doesn't make it right.

I mean if your partner orgasms while you're doing whatever it is that you're doing, then why is that bad? Why can't you two just adjust now that one of you has orgasmed and do something that makes the other orgasm? It's a pretty simple solution, and it's stupid that this isn't the go-to move for, like, everyone. It's as if the writers live in a world that cannot possibly comprehend that sex could be something more (and actually orgasmically much better for women) than a hard penis pumping into a vagina for an extended period of time until both woman and man orgasm joyfully from said pumping. Oh wait, the writers do live in that world, and for this scene, they didn't have the creativity or the care to think any deeper about sex than that surface, status quo way of viewing sex that is crammed down all our throats.

Vulva Rating
This scene was unrealistic in the way it depicted what physically would make a woman orgasm. It also reinforces old worn out ideas about what sex should be like - that the man's hard dick is needed for the woman to orgasm, that sex is over after the man comes, and that a woman who's having good sex should uh uh uh the entire time. We don't need that worn out, unrealistic BS in our lives. That shit is not a friend of Orgasm Equality. However, it's also just real life, because all the things we saw in that scene were reflect the way sex is largely seen in our culture. So, in that way, this scene is not exactly going backward even if it is not taking us forward. I'll give it 2 vulvas...because it sucks, but not as bad as some other scenes do.



SSL Advice On Best Sex Positions for Female Orgasm

Positions for Lady-gasm During Intercourse Advice is Bullshit
I was writing another blog post and started thinking about the type of advise women tend to get from sexperts in magazines and TV and internet about how to have orgasms hands-free during intercourse. What I thought was that it's some bull motha fuckin' shit. That's what I thought. Now granted there's some okay advise out there, but mostly it's not. Mostly, we ladies just get told how to squish and bend our physical needs into how sex is supposed to be rather than expand sex to mean things that meet our physical needs. I mean, it's not surprising. That's how it goes with ladies and sex . The 'norm' of sex and sexuality and sex drive and sexual imagery is all stuck revolving around male hetero desires, fantasies and orgasms. We ladies and our orgasms, fantasies and desires tend to be  afterthoughts - if thought of at all.

Anyway, this hypothetical sexpert advice that I allege is widespread, but am too lazy to go on the internet and get some examples, often say things about positions during intercourse so that the base of the penis or the pelvis slides against her clit or touches the clit on each entrance or each exit. I'm always, like, 'yeah, that's cool, but some dude's intermittent body pressure against my clit while he moves in ways that feel good for him ain't gonna do shit.' That body to clit touching already happens by chance a million times a day to a million different women as they take the D, yet still most women don't orgasm during intercourse AT ALL.

Ladies, if you want to orgasm during intercourse, you must stimulate your clit in a manner that would get you off...and do it while you have a dick up in you. 
That's how you will orgasm during intercourse. That shit is not going to happen while you lay motionless and let a man pump in and out of you. It's not going to happen while you ignore your clit, but bounce up and down enthusiastically on a dick. It's not even going to happen when a guy tries to do all the positions that keep your clitoral/vuvla area rubbing against his body while he fucks you. Okay, it might here or there during one of those things, but if it does, thank the stars because you got lucky and you won't know when it will happen again because you are not in control and aren't actively a part of the process to bring yourself to orgasm. We ladies got to actively move our hips and position our bodies in ways that give us the stimulation we need to orgasm. We know what feels right. We can make it happen...as long as we have willing partners that works with us and not against us, of course.

There is a refusal to acknowledge intercourse is good for male orgasm but not female
The thing is, I don't think many women or men know that the clit needs to be stimulated in order for a woman to orgasm, and they don't think about incorporating it into their sex. Or...people know that clits are REALLY important to female orgasm and know good and well how women masturbate (spoiler: it's with clit stimulation), but some kind of fucked up, mind-controlling, mass-hallucination spell keeps our brains from fully putting 2 and 2 together when it comes to our own personal sexual interactions. Like, "yeah clits are important and great, but...intercourse!" And then the active thinking ends.

I'm kinda over the top here, but I'm also quite serious. There is a block we people have about this. I know I had it real strong, and I see it all the time in how people talk. Annamarie Jagose hit the nail on the head when she wrote about the strange pervasive refusal for our culture to fully, specifically, truly acknowledge that the well known problem of women not orgasming as much as men will never end until we finally stop beating around the bush and admit that the idea of intercourse being mutually orgasmic for women as well as men is fantasyland.

But as a culture we have not admitted that yet. And that's why we get so much advise about male-female sex that acknowledges the importance of the clit to female orgasm (and really I'm just picking at the most progressive ones that even recognize the clit at all. There are plenty that completely ignore the clit and just tell women to get the dick in there the right way and hit the G-spot right or something), but doesn't go all the way and admit that the clit is not just important to female orgasm; it is female orgasm just like the penis is male orgasm. You don't hear people going around saying, "Now remember, the penis can be very important to most men's orgasm." Because that's obvious as fuck and you'd have to be a dumbshit sexpert to say something so obvious. We're too focused on intercourse and ignorant about the clit to have that kind of obvious knowledge about female orgasm, even though it is pretty obvious and we could acknowledge that...because contrary to popular belief, the female orgasm is not more mysterious or fickel than the male orgasm.

So, here's my take on how this advise should go.

The SSL Advice on Good Lady-gasm Positions During Intercourse
Hi ladies and gentlemen! Do you want to know what positions can help get a woman off during intercourse? Here's the down and dirty details that will set your love life on fire!

Here's the secret, ladies:

Do whatever the hell you need to do to get his body pressed in the appropriate way against your clit area (while still having his penis inside your vagina so you can technically say you orgasmed during intercourse) and then grind your hips however you need to for as long as you need until you come. 

Here's some points to remember:

  • It's very likely you will need to fight against his instincts to move in a particular way that his dick likes or that he think you likes. You may need to physically hold him still against you while you grind off or straight up tell him to stop pumping for a goddamn second so you can get some fucking clit time already. It might take some training. He may forget what you have clearly said and again start doing whatever he wants to, but keep at it and remember, there is a lifetime of bad habits habit and a culture full of wrong information inside both of you to overcome!
  • You're going to actually have to know what it feels like to make yourself come before you get to this point. During sex with a sweaty man pumping on you is not the way to learn how you can grind your clit into an orgasm. If you have never masturbated, this probably ain't gonna work for you. Go masturbate. Take as long as you need, try whatever. Be by yourself. Stick with it. If you practice, practice, practice, you can be ready to adapt your method to the less than ideal situation of having a dude who's trying to come be all up in your grill while you try and make it happen.
  • If you're worried about if your movements are wierd or bothering to your partner, then grow a pair of lips and just decide to get over it. Fuck his orgasm. He won't have any problem figuring out how to move his penis in your vagina to make himself come. He'll be alright. I promise. You do you. I feel pretty certain you've already spent too many months, years, decades not getting yours when you could have been. Don't waste another day. And if he gets shitty about it, fuck that guy. 
  • Or, for real, just rub one out while he's in you. It's awesome, and it's ridiculous that it even needs to be said. It should be obvious and common and we shouldn't even worry about whether or not there's a dick in you when you rub yourself off during a sexual encounter. But we as a culture do give a shit, so here's the trick: Don't give a shit if it's easy or not for him to get off using your vagina during it. Just get in a position where 1) you can reach your clit with a hand or vibrator; 2) you have good range of motion; 3) it doesn't cause hand/arm/body pain or fatigue if you are working that clit for any length of time. 4) there's a dick in you so you can technically say you came during intercourse. Then rub, grind, or vibrate (and ignore your partner if you have to) until you come.
  • Or, and hear me out here, maybe don't worry about whether his dick is inside you and just make sure your clit gets stimulated appropriately to orgasm. 'Cause that's an option too.

There. Lucky you. Now you are ready to find great sex positions for your orgasm!


The Americans S1 Ep13: The SSL Review

The Americans Season 1
First off, I LOVE The Americans. Charlie's brother told us to watch it, and we actually started watching it while we were in Brazil, but when the Russians spoke, the subtitles were in Portuguese, so we didn't know what the fuck they were saying, and they talk a lot in this show. So we had to stop. It was sad because we were like 2 episodes in and we really liked it. Months later, though, we got to watch, and I'm way into this shit.

There is plenty of sex in this show, but I believe - unless I wasn't writing stuff down during the very first episodes - this is the only depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation in the first season, and as you know those are the specific things I review. I critique the realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman?) and I also try to look at what the depiction/discussion reflects from and adds to the larger cultural discussion around lady-gasms and female sexuality.

You can see all the SSL TV Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSL Reviews HERE).

This depiction is a pretty simple and easy one, and one that will be getting a high vulva rating - 'cause frankly there's some good eatin' out happening.

Season 1 Episode 13

A Little Background
For those who know nothing about this show, it is about 2 Russian spies, Elizabeth and Philip, living in America during the very early 80's. They came into America in the 60's and began living as a normal American couple. They had children, and they have a travel agency that  is real, but they do all kinds of cold war spy shit when they're not doing normal American family stuff.

They are bad ass, and a lot of what they do is have these secret lives (they have, uh, the best disguises) where they make strong emotional bonds with informants, who may or may not know they are informants and may or may not know what/who they are informing to. But anyway, they invest a lot of time and energy into people to do their spy work - sometimes it's friends. Sometimes it sexual or romantic. They do what they have to do. They're incredibly good at reading people and giving people what they need to get what they want.

They also have this dynamic I like where they are co-workers that respect and trust each other's decisions for the most part, but they also are in every respect marital partners. They are housemates, raising children together and sleeping in the same bed, so they have to be partners in that regard as well. I really like the way the couple interacts. They have an evolving relationship, but they carry that understanding of people into their partnership, and strangely, they interact, I think, with a level of kindness and respect that is unusual for married couples in TV and movies,  Anyway, that's part of why I like it. Now let's get down to business.

The eat out details
So Philip has this lady in his secret life (and I'm going to try not to reveal too much for those of you who haven't seen this yet), that he is basically a boyfriend to. It's sexual, but it's also an emotional entanglement. They had a very 'special' day, something that was romantic and incredibly important to her, and we cut back to them that night.

She's laying face up in the middle of the bed when the scene cuts in. She's slightly propped up, her arms are outstretched to either side of the bed like a queen, and the covers are up around her chest area. He is face down under the blankets. Clearly his head is in her crotch area. As we cut in she's letting out a loud AHHH, and then some breaths and then another. She has about 7 good AHHs, but after the first it's like she's coming down, and by the 7th, she's just sort of breathing sighs like she's enjoying the aftermath. During it she also touches his head a couple times from above the blankets. That all happens within about 10 seconds, and then we see him come up from under the covers and put his glasses on.

It's clearly showing us their celebratory sexual encounter. After it's over, Philip tells her he'll never forget this day, and she oohs and ahhs about what an amazing day they had as they relax.

My thoughts
I actually really love this scene. Let me count the reasons why.

  • It's physically realistic. Ladies need outer vuvla /clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm and a man's face and mouth grinding around in the vulva area could realistically get her there. Oral sex is a big fave for lady-gasm release. So I like that basic level of realism - realism that really should be part of almost every lady-gasm scene (like it is for gentleman-gasm scenes), but it sadly is not.
  • Her vocalizations were surely loud and clear, but they were not going on for way too long. The female orgasm, like the male orgasm, lasts approximately as long as those rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions last. That's a matter of seconds. Some females regularly last a bit longer than males but we're not talking porn-style perma gasms for 10 minutes*. We're talking 10 - 40 more second range. So, her vocalizations were not silly and not based in porn-fantasy land.
  • Philip didn't seem bothered or grossed out. He seemed loving toward her after it. She didn't seem embarrassed or worried that he was bothered. It seemed natural and like a normal and loving part of their relationship. This is important because men are too often depicted as dreading, grossed out by, or overexerted after cunnilingus and women are depicted as feeling bad about getting it - because they feel gross down there, or they're taking too long, or because it's an inconvenience to the man (who maybe would just prefer to get off while he fucks her instead). So, it's nice and cunnilingus-positive, and we need this kind of easy relationship depicted more often.
  • He didn't finish and then go right into intercourse with her. Maybe they had intercourse prior, or she blew him prior, but after she came, they were done and relaxing and talking in bed. Either way it's awesome. If this was the only sex act - then that's bad ass. We often see a guy getting blown as a lone sex act. I think it's be good for sexual balance to see that for a woman as well; to see a man okay with not getting off in a sexual encounter from time to time the way women are supposed to be okay with that? If he was blown first, that's good too. That would be a mutual exchange and a sex act that didn't involve intercourse. We need more of that depicted too. If he fucked her first, awesome as well. That's traditionally been known as a gross thing to guys, but given all the truly gross shit that we see women do in porn, movies, and TV, a little indication that men are willing to get gross in bed is a nice balance.
  • As I said before, these spies know how to please people. They are thoughtful and sensitive to people's needs, and thus good at giving people what they want, and I think to some degree any interaction with their informants has an element of them thinking about making the person feel good and comfortable. What would make a woman that you had a great importantly romantic day with feel better about you and your relationship than giving her an orgasm with your mouth? Nothing really. I think in a lesser show Philip would have just fucked her because a lesser show would not think much about it and just blindly assume having intercourse is the same to a woman as it is to a man. This show, I think, took the extra step to not just throw a sex scene in, but to make it meaningful as a story point and in doing so put actual realistic thought into it..and as a result, it's a more realistic depiction of what women like and how women orgasm. I think that's bad ass.

The Vulva Rating
So, because of all those things; because this was a realistic depiction, because it went beyond status quo depictions of male-female sexual interactions, because it showed female orgasm as a valid and important focus of sexual encounters, and because of all I said above - this show gets a full 5 vulva rating.


*You can find more info about that in Master's and Johnson's Human Sexual Response and also in studies like....THIS and especially THIS