Hey guys, I'm giving Trisha a break from blogging this week. She's been making a lot of posts about things related to Science, Sex and the Ladies, but what about the actual movie? Well, I'm here to give you an update. We have 70 minutes of rough cut footage. It looks like the rough cut is going to come in somewhere around 100 minutes. Its been really fun reliving all the exciting days on set as I build each of these scenes. I feel like our actors brought something that wasn't in the script everytime they were on camera, and I'm making a lot of use of that. This is an extremely information filled movie and its easy for it to get bogged down under a lot of Voice Over, and Explanation. The cure, I always thought, was creating interesting ways to impart that information, while maintaining a strong visual theme, that is supported by interesting characters who are fun but authoritive. Our actors have really helped us get to that point.
We recently recorded VO for our "Happy Hand" scene. Cathy Hammaker, who we have worked with before in our MD Hearts Series as Martinique ( a vengeful fencer and EX lover of Evan Evans who later plans to develop a WMDB "Weapon of Mass Destruction Bomb" in MD Hearts 4 which is my personal favorite of the MD Hearts Episodes although watch them all at ancmovies.com) was excellent. Recording for an animation was a first for us, and we're excited to have finished the first step in bringing the "Happy Hand" to life.
(Also you might notice our blog has added the 3d logo of Science Sex and the Ladies in the upper right.)
I Googled "Female Orgasm" and right up top on the first page was an advice column on AskMen.com asking what a female orgasm felt like. The writer asked friends to give their 1st hand opinions. Most answers seemed reasonable enough, however, one seemed particularly interesting to me.
"I can orgasm through penetration, but only if I'm incredibly turned on. Usually he's from behind and thrusting quite hard. It seems to help if he holds me around my waist so his penis is deep inside me and the thrusting movements are small. I feel an aching feeling that builds and then peaks. Then it's like waves of pleasure radiating. Often the waves will last quite a long time. Because it feels dramatically different than a clitoral orgasm, at first I wasn't sure whether I was actually having an orgasm or not through penetration. But all the girls I've spoken to say this is what they feel when they orgasm vaginally, too: It's a more general feeling than centrally focused."
I ask you, is she experiencing a "vaginal orgasm" or is she not experiencing an orgasm at all? Is it possibly that she is simply experiencing the aroused feelings of being pounded from behind during an intense, and maybe very exciting, round of non-orgasmic love-making, then assuming, like many of her friends, that this is the elusive "vaginal orgasm" we should all strive to achieve?
Just going from the first hand account here, it could go either way. Although, as longtime readers probably assume, I heavily tend towards the later of the two options, and I have solid arguments in the movie to back up a claim that more women than we think are not actually experiencing any kind of physical sexual release during what they claim are "vaginal orgasms." For now I'd just like to say that if you aren't sure you're having an orgasm...well - are you? And for that matter, if you are, is it that good? If you know clearly that you have had a clitoral orgasm, but have to consult friends to find out if the "general feeling" you're having is the vaginal orgasm - then is the elusive, much sought after vaginal orgasm all that exciting?
Can Women Actually be Orgasmicly Delusional? Surveys, Pre-Op Male to Female Transsexuals, and the Vaginal Orgasm
A little more in relation to the survey we created for this movie... There was a particular group of people that surprisingly filled out the survey in numbers and gave me some thoughts to chew on. The group is pre-surgery Male to Female Transsexuals who tended to be 45 and older. In case you're not up on the lingo, these are people born as males who are currently living as women, often taking hormonal supplements to assist in the transition, and are awaiting surgery to physically change their genitals from male to female. The survey answers all came in during the same period of time, and they were all generally similar in age. From that I assumed someone found this survey on the internet, thought it helpful, and passed it along to her group of friends or her support group. There is always the possibility that these were just written up as jokes, but if they were, there was considerable care taken in the answers, and I applaud the ingenuity of whoever did it.
Technically, these people shouldn't have been filling out the questionnaires because I specifically asked for only people who have lived with female genitals, and since none of these people had yet lived with female genitals... You get my point, but I'm glad they filled it out because their answers were interesting.
I believe, and discuss in the movie, that many women, not able to identify with any available models of physical female sexual response, make a mostly unconscious decision to experience their sexual response as how they believe it is supposed to be and not what it physically is. These pre-op transsexual males trying to navigate through being a woman are in the same boat. They have little to no realistic models for understanding female sexual pleasure and release, and I noticed a strange thing in their answers. They all spoke about "orgasms" that happen because of anal penetration, and they spoke about them in much the same way as women do who claim to have "orgasms" because of vaginal penetration. Given the research I’ve done, I can be pretty sure in saying that a male did not likely have an orgasm simply through penetration of his anus. It is possible for a man to ejaculate - which is separate from an orgasm - from stimulation of the prostate through the anus, but it is fairly clear from the surveys that no ejaculation was happening. Also in these MtoF transsexual surveys, they were pretty explicit that only penetration was happening - no stimulation of the penis, yet they all spoke about these "orgasms." Like women who claim to have vaginal orgasms, they often used vague reference to joy/overwhelming emotion/love. For both, often no actual physical description of the feeling of an orgasm was discussed. They also often spent a lot of time and added great emphasis to (for instance a lot of exclamation marks and gushing adjectives) discussing the emotional connection instead of the orgasm; as if they chose to speak about the emotional part that they actually felt instead of the physical part that they were sort of creating in their mind. Most importantly, though, the discussion of orgasm in both these groups almost always turned towards the respondents partner; discussing his orgasm and how wonderful it made her feel, or discussing his knowledge and expertise in her orgasm, as if the women were not first person connected to the orgasm. There was also a large emphasis on simultaneous orgasms. My thought is that both these groups of people, pre-op M to F transsexuals and women who claim to orgasm purely from vaginal penetration, might be relating their experiences based on their assumptions of how a woman experiences orgasm during sex rather than on their experiences of an actual physical orgasm.
I know this might seem judgy and rude to insinuate that there are women who don't know enough about their own sexual functions to relay the correct information, but I think we have to consider the possibility that women in general are so misinformed about female sexual release that some women misrepresent themselves not out of malice but out of a largely unconscious decision to mold themselves to the limited environmental clues they have been given. Women who were born female at least have the physical sensations present in their own bodies that they can use to counteract incorrect assumptions about female sexual release. However, pre-op M to F transsexuals do not have the luxury of consulting their own female genitals about the sexual assumptions that surround them. They are more susceptible to the confusion and delusion that exists among women about their sexual functioning. These MtoF women have only the cultural cues, advice, and role models to go from when it comes to their physical sexual release. I never speak about MtoF transexuals in the movie, but I do speak about the cultural delusion regarding femal orgasm which could cause women to lie about thier ability to have vaginal orgasms in surveys.
That normal women can somehow be delusional when it comes to their orgasm might seem far fetched, but I think it should be seriously discussed, and I think it is an important avenue for further research. I’m not exactly versed heavily in psychology, but I have read some things involving the personal stories of gay people from earlier generations that seem to relate. Take this for what it’s worth - the stories I've read tend to go this way. Within their environmental scope, these gay people had no cultural cues or role models that seemed to have the same sensations and emotions that they were experiencing. They could not satisfactorily define these feelings because there was nothing definable in the environment to relate them to. They were forced to hide, adapt, and contort their feelings and desires to be relatable to their world. They often unconsciously chose to live as though, and in ways believe, they were having the same experiences and emotions that they thought they were supposed to have. It was not until they found environmental role models that they could relate these gay emotions to that things began to make sense. I believe it could be this way for women in regard to their physical sexual release. The environmental cues, advice, and role models in this arena rarely match up to a woman's actual experiences, and she too hides, adapts and contorts until she finds something she can relate to that allows it to finally make sense.
Want to take AnC's Sexuality Survey? We made it a couple years ago to gain insight into modern men and women's personal experiences with issues addressed in Science sex and the Ladies. It's an essay style survey. One is for women. It asks questions about how she experiences her own sexuality. The other is for males who have had a sexual experience with a female. This questionnaire asks men how they experienced, first hand, female sexuality. Our movie is written and shot already, but more survey answers could still be useful. We can use them to gain insight into more useful press for the movie, more appropriate discussion topics and questions for focus groups and so on. So if you're interested - it's completely anonymous and you don't have to finish it all in one sitting. Check it out here.
This survey was never meant to be a strong scientifically sound survey; we never verified that the people taking the surveys were who they said they were, and we didn't put time into getting a representative sample. We simply wanted to hear women and men speak from their experience, and take those experiences into consideration when deciding how to speak about the subjects in Science Sex and the Ladies. I could find surveys similar to ours from the 70's and early 80's, but a lot has changed since then. I thought if I could get answers from modern men and women in a completely anonymous setting, I could see if I was headed down the right track or if I was getting really surprising answers that led me down another avenue.
Our survey has been up on the internet for a few years now, and survey answers continue to come in from random people doing searches on the web - or so I assume.
We just had one come in yesterday from a woman that was told to take it by a friend who had previously sent in answers. Like the many other survey answers we have received, the answers were far from surprising. Actually, I shouldn't say that, they are actually surprising in the fact that they were so in line with how we were thinking about this.
I have to say, I love these surveys. It is (and I don't mean to get sappy) an honor to gain such entrance into the very private details of a person's life. It is supremely interesting and useful to me, but it is also so human and I feel very connected and grateful to the people who have taken the time to fill out the survey. I always, rightly or wrongly, assume they find as much use in telling these things as I do in reading them. I think these intimate parts of our sexuality are so rarely spoken about that it is kind of nice to just have the chance to verbalize them - even though they don't know who exactly they're telling.
I know this is a blog about all things related to the movie Science Sex and the Ladies, but I want to talk about another movie instead - just cause I'm excited about it. Whip it is a movie about Roller Derby - and that's all I need to know. I hope it's a good movie - female written, directed, and about a grass roots female driven sport. Any one of those things on their own is rare, but all 3 together - ridiculously unheard of. I'm pulling for this movie, and will be seeing it tonight.
Besides, I truly and deeply love Indianapolis's own Roller Derby team - the Tornado Sirens of the Naptown Roller Girls League. They, and please check them out here, had their 1st bout in 2006. This is their 4th season, and they just keep getting better. They officially became part of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, and continue to play ever increasingly tough teams from all over the country. The bouts are loud, fun, raucous events, with a wide variety of folks in attendance: old people, little kids, rockabilly types, punk types, artsy types, suburban types, trashy types - all loving it. In fact, I believe if you went there, you would see someone you know - unexpectedly. That's just what happens cause all kinds of people try it out just for the novelty of it, but then they get hooked. Plus Naptown Roller Girls are badass at marketing, so they get the word out to all parts of the Indy community. I randomly saw an old high school teacher (with her friends and child), my godfather (with his fellow mechanics from his shop), AnC’s movie buff friends from the IFS, old cast and crew, fellow biologists from work among many others. Someone I went to high school with and hadn’t seen for years sang the National Anthem there.
It takes a little time to really figure out what's going on, but once you can follow it and can see their strategies - it's awesome. I recommend attending a bout to anyone. In fact even more now: This season they have moved into the Pepsi Coliseum. They had been in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Fairgrounds. It was nice, but eventually the crowds had been getting so big that it became almost uncomfortable to watch. They got too popular. They had to turn fans away at the door for some bouts, so you had to get their early to make sure you got in and super super early to make sure you got a good seat or a seat at all. Now they’re in a bigger place with better seating. We just bought tickets to their first bout in November.
If you are not from Indy, just look around, there is probably a Roller Derby team very near you. I have to say, though, that I've heard Indy fans support their Roller Derby team a lot better than many other cities do, so you might not find the same crowds we have. What can I say; Indy has its own kind of awesomeness.