In honor of this holiday, Easter, I am going to put up some pictures of me the rest of the AnC Movies crew enjoying a completely different holiday - New Years Eve. You see for years AnC Movies has sent out holiday cards to our mailing list letting them know what we've been up to and what we intend to do in the future. It started way back in 2001, I believe, and we tried to do them every year, but it became a bit more sporadic in the later years. I guess we were busier with the Science Sex and the Ladies movie and had less expendable money, but it's unfortunate because these were always really fun to make, and people seem to actually enjoy these strange creations they get in the mail.
We've been thinking heavily about making one soon, and then just yesterday one of our friends and longtime mailing list entries brought us the 2010 New Years card to sign so he could frame it up, and it made us pretty excited to get started on something new. It's been way too long. So, I thought I'd put up a few pictures from the photo shoot we did for that card. Enjoy, my friends, enjoy.
After Porn Ends is a documentary about, unsurprisingly, porn stars after they stop working in porn. I'm SSL reviewing it because one former star says something really specific about orgasms in porn, and I thought you all should hear it. But first, a little about the movie.
This doc is about as straight forward as it can get. It's a series of interviews with former stars cut together with occasional clips and B-roll. I actually thought it would be a really crappy sex-umentary, you know one of those HBO "documentaries" that have something to do with sex, but it really just seems like it was created to be a main-stream way for people to see lots of T&A. I really only watched this movie to see if I needed to review it, but turns out it was really an alright doc. It kept my attention, and it wasn't too heavy handed or anything. It even focuses on some really famous stars like Mary Carey, Asia Carrera, and Randy West, if that means anything to you.
As you might expect, there is discussion about how porn, whether you're in it for good or crappy reasons, doesn't just go away. There is clearly a problem with being stigmatized - particularly for the ladies. This doc doesn't go too deep into anything. There's no nuanced discussions of our cultural relationship to porn or anything. It's largely these stars telling you their story from their point of view, but I think the opportunity to see these stars in a different light and to hear the things they have to say is at times quite poignant. I imagine for different people the poignant parts would come at different times, but I think if you have any interest in porn or our sexual culture, this could be an worthwhile watch.
The SSL Review part comes when Tyffany Million, an ex porn star now living in the southwest and happily working as a PI and bounty hunter, is talking about her time in porn.
What you do in porn films is not sex. I mean, I know you're being penetrated, but it's like this you know (puts finger in mouth). It's like this (puts finger of one hand into hole made by fingers of the other) and, that's what it feels like. It's just something occupying um, a chasm in your body, really. It's like this (puts finger in nose). It's like this (puts finger in ear) - that's what it might as well be. There's no emotion there. There's no feeling, um you know... uh you know I gotta tell you a funny little story. I would have so many fans come up to me at autograph signings whatever and tell me that I was their favorite porn star because all the other girls were faking it, and I was the one that they knew, man, that I was for real; and (in a man's voice) "I can tell when a woman's fakin' it." And I'd be laughing (cuts to a close up of her face in a porn where she's obviously looking the man she's having sex with right in the eye and saying, "Watch my face, yeah," and then she makes this great realistic O face and "comes" with earthy grunts) cause I'd be like, psh, I'm the biggest damn faker you ever met, man I'm good - that's why I get paid the big bucks (laughs).
I mean, I say it all the time here - that women in porn fake like 99% of the time, and I know people know this, but it's just not explicitly talked about much, and even though people do know it, I think it's easy to forget when it's not convenient. In other words, I actually don't think a lot of people really truly know that female porn stars, not just ones that sound fake, but all female porn stars fake orgasms in the movies. Tyffany Million's here to remind you, and just to drive home the point, I'd like to contrast her words with something a male porn star, Randy West said.
I used to say it's like borrowing somebody's body to masturbate with. Excuse me, if you're not busy, do you mind if I jerk off in your pussy with my dick? Uh, it's kinda like that, which it's not bad, I mean, ya know - better than real jerkin' off...He, like our ladies, feels like porn is different from "real" sex. However, unlike our ladies, he equates porn to masturbation, a physically orgasmic activity, and not to something like someone sticking a finger in an ear. So, yes, for both ladies and gentlemen porn doesn't seem like real sex. There's people watching. One has to worry about angles and lighting and different takes. Plus there's not certain emotional qualities that would exist if this were one on one romantically inclined sex, but for men they at least get the physical release involved with sex.
I just think this is a really good reminder that when we are watching porn, we are watching something that is orgasmic for men, but not orgasmic for women. Also, I want to point out that I think Tyffany Million seems like a pretty cool lady. She gets props from me for being interesting and for taking the opportunity to outright say that she (and we can assume from her words, other female porn stars) don't orgasm in porn. It may seem like no biggie to say, but it is.
I'll give this doc 4 vulvas. The only real discussion of orgasm in here was pretty good at reflecting the realities of how men vs. women experience (or don't experience) orgasm while making porn. That in itself is fairly progressive, and the movie makers chose to put those parts of the interviews in. Even if progressive involvement in the Orgasm Equality Movement wasn't their motive, I still appreciate it.
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How about some fun female masturbation graphs (time vs. just horny to orgasm level)?! I say yes. You may have seen one or more of these floating around the internet in the past, but you may not have seen the original post or all of them. As you know, I like to call myself a masturbation advocate, and I love it when women unabashedly admit to masturbating, so I love these graphs. Plus, on top of it all, some of them are pretty right on. I mean an orgasm is an orgasm - it's the rhythmic release of muscle tension and blood congestion, but they can all seem just a little different in how you get there, who long it lasts, how intense it feels, how you're feeling at the time.
I particularly like the bad porn one, the drunk one and the vibrator 4 the first time one. The original artist has a bit of an obsession with Benedict Cumberbatch. He is Sherlock in the UK Sherlock Holmes (which I actually think is a pretty good show). Now, ol' Benedict is not my cup of meat, if ya know what I mean, but hey, to each her own. The "Anderson" graph is related to Sherlock Holmes too. Anderson is another character in that show that hates Sherlock (just so you know, I had to look that up.) She also seems to like Dr. Who. Now I realize all nerdy women are supposed to like Dr. Who, but I don't, so I can't speak to that particular graph, nor can I speak to the Fan Fiction graph because I don't read the stuff - no particular reason, I just don't.
*(An additional comment on the Doctor Who Graph: Charlie thinks it would make more sense if we could see it in 3 Dimensions. I'll take his word on it.)
Margot at the Wedding that would normally warrant an SSL review. I would normally need to see a discussion or depiction of female sexual release. However, as you may have noticed, I've been SSL reviewing things just because there is discussion or depictions of female masturbation (that doesn't also include the point of sexual release). I've been acting as though these are exceptions to the SSL Review rule, but I think I should just change the rule. From now on the qualifications are as follows: Any media that discusses or depicts female sexual release or masturbation. Easy. Now let's move on.
I had seen Margot at the Wedding in a theater when it came out sometime around 2007, and having taken note of the masturbating scene at the time, remembered it recently as I was trying to think of movies I could review. I actually like this movie, despite it's typical-ness. It's got a classic "indie" style in that it's kinda slow and when the characters talk, they seem to use words that are too big to use in normal conversation, and they all have a sort of casual, depressive air where they either don't respond verbally to almost anything or they just easily and randomly give out too much personal information at every possible turn. This movie favors the later, TMI approach. Both ways, if I might say so, usually seem slightly contrived to me. I actually think that Jack Black as the soon to be groom is what helped balance the feel of this movie. He was tuned down for sure (which is a good thing), but his personality shone through just enough to balance out the over-used "indie" depressive stylings.
It was also a movie that stared a woman (Nichole Kidman) and focused on her relationships - with her son, her sister, her husband, strangers, so I certainly appreciate a female centered movie in this world of ours that has very little of those. Anyway, I think overall there really is a humanity and realness in this movie that is refreshing, and if you don't have problems getting past the whiny, white, I'm-kinda-depressed drama that is such a hallmark of "indie" movies (and especially Noah Baumbach movies) then I'd recommend this one.
Okay, maybe this isn't as short a post as I had planned at the beginning, but anyway here's the details on the masturbation scene. Nichole Kidman is staying at her sisters house prior to the wedding. There were people over for dinner. We see the kids head to bed, and then we see Kidman talking with her oh maybe 13 year old son in his room that night. She's giving him too much information about stuff (which is just more than her normal amount of oversharing). He asks if she's high, and she says, "maybe," to which he says it's weird. The next scene is her in her own room, laying face down in bed with her hand between her vulva area and the bed. Her butt is barely covered with a night shirt, and she may or may not be wearing underwear, but she is clearly stimulating the vulva area - not doing anything inside the vagina. Whether she is doing this through fabric or not doesn't matter too much. Both are realistic ways some women might stimulate their clit area. She starts moving more rapidly and frantically, making more grunty vocalizations and even grabbing the bedpost with her other hand. It looks as if she is really working hard towards an orgasm, and then she just stops in frustration. Overall, the movement and placement of her hand and her sounds seems as realistic as one could expect. Hey, even the situation of working hard to get there, but something just ain't gonna let it happen as easily as you'd want, so you just give up in frustration - hey I've been there on occasion, and that seemed realistic too.
|So, here's the scene. I guess someone on the internet took a screenshot|
Anyway, I think the important SSL Review take home note is that this movie showed the physical act of masturbation in a realistic manner, and it also used the idea of a woman masturbating not in a way that made it weird in and of itself, but as a tool to enhance character and story. I give Margot at the Wedding 4 vulvas.
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I'm SSL reviewing the famous 80's teen movie Porky's, so you can assume there's a depiction of female sexual response, and you would be right to assume so. I'll get right too it. There's this whole story line that goes something like this. There are 2 male gym teacher talking, and the older one says to the younger one that they call the super hot girl's gym teacher Lassie. He won't tell him why, though. He just keeps making Aoww-ooo sounds and telling him that if he gets her up in the equipment room, he'll find out. Lucky enough, the hot gal likes him. They get all sweet on each other, but she says she doesn't go all the way. Here's where it gets a little loopy. He does get her up to the equipment room. It's filled with dirty gym socks and jock straps and shit like that. She starts freakin' the hell out on the smell. She can't get enough of it, and it's gettin' her crazy horny - like insane in the eyes horny. She jumps him. Clothes come off, and he's got her down on the mat pounding her for realz. She starts getting crazy loud, howlin' like a dog, and screaming. It's like the worst, longest porn orgasm in the history of terrible porn orgasms. It starts almost immediately upon intercourse and lasts the entire time.
So clearly this gets a bad SSL review from me, given that this is a movie aimed at teen boys about teen boys wanting to get laid, and the only depiction of female sexual release insinuates that women get sweet orgasms from strait up P in V rammin' and that they come for the entirety of the act. Granted, this is supposed to be an over the top humorous scene, but the ridiculousness is not in her having an orgasm quickly from penis in the vag stimulation. The humor was supposed to be that she got seduced to the point of insanity by the smell of gym socks and that she's so loud during her hour long orgasm that everyone in the gym is laughing their asses off. I mean that part's not really that funny either, but it's supposed to be. Point is that this movie is meant for young people, and it serves as a terrible education about what males and females should expect from intercourse (cause contrary to popular belief, stimulation of the inside of the vagina simply does not cause orgasms - please read my defense of that statement before you make any judgements). This miseducation is pretty common problem with these male teen-sex comedies even to this day.
This movie is in the dumb comedy genre, but it's not a good one. The comedy is labored like nobody's business. A lot of times it doesn't even really make any sense - the comedy or the plot line. Maybe it was funnier and more shocking 30 years ago, but I wouldn't waste my time on it now unless you just want to have said you've seen it. On second thought, I'd like to tell you some interesting facts about this movie and you can make your own decision.
1. Lassie is played by a young Kim Cattrall (Sam from Sex and the Citty - a role where she also has a lot of ridiculously unrealistic and porny orgasms).
2. There is a hooker in this movie that helps the teens with a prank, and she is played by Webster's mom. I loved that show, by the way.
3. There is an excessive use of laughing in this movie. These people can't stop laughing at their own jokes, and it just goes on forever and ever.
4. I don't want to go into the plot line, mainly because it's slightly incomprehensible, but there is this dude that goes to Porky's (which is a strip club) and gets beat up all the time. When he comes back to where the other teens are, he always appears by making a huge scene - like falling into a table and breaking it or crashing the car into the parking lot. He's all fucked up, and it's like he's doing a dramatic soap opera death scene. It's actually kinda awesome.
5. I sorta felt like I'd seen Porky's before, but it also kinda gets mixed up in my mind with Revenge of the Nerds and Animal House - both of which I have actually scene before. What I now realize is that I never really saw Porky's, but I caught the famous scene from it - where some boys are peeping through holes into the locker room where girls are showering. I happen to see this scene because I was peaking from the hallway outside my bedroom into the living room, where I can only assume my parents were watching the movie. I was very young, but it was quite...memorable. I've discussed on here before that my early masturbation fodder was naked women, because frankly it was the only sexual content available to me. Well, this scene was a very early contribution.
6. There's a great line in the aforementioned shower peeping scene. There's like 7 hot girls buck naked, and it's 1981, so teens aren't shaving the junk clean quite yet (plus this is set in the 50's anyway), so there is definite bush. It's pretty neat, trimmed looking stuff, but full none the less. So this guy's smilin' and freaking out about their view and he says, "I've never seen so much wool. You could knit a sweater!" Indeed.
On second thought this might be pretty fun to watch. You decide. As for the SSL Review - only 1 vulva. I would go zero vulvas because how awful the forever porngasm was, but it does earlier show that women could fake orgasms if they so choose - (and those faked orgasms sound like porngasms). We know because we get to watch a fun prostitute that makes orgasm sounds to help some teens play a prank (the boys are totally believing it too) while she's chillin' in a chair drinking some liqueur, free of any poking penises. It's not much, but enough to get at least 1 vulva.
|Billy The Kidney, an Indy St. Pat parade staple|
So, I thought I'd pontificate for you today about St. Patrick's Day and orgasms. This is the Science Sex and the Ladies blog after all, and in my world everything can be linked back to orgasms. But there is actually some logic here. Follow me. St. Patrick's Day means lots of drunkenness, at least it does in my family, and where there is drunkenness, there often follows sex. Where there is sex, there sometimes follows orgasm. It's quite linear really.
Alcohol, my friends, reduces your physical ability to become aroused and to orgasm. It's true, oh so true. I would say there's a general cultural knowledge about this in terms of men. It's a fairly known thing that men might become unable to get erections due to too much of the ol' drinkin. However, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that's as understood when it comes to women. The same blood flow issues that can hinder erection in men can hinder lubrication in women, and orgasm can be hindered in both men and women for basically the same physical reasons. Now, at the same time, alcohol lowers one's inhibitions, and that don't ya know, may make us feel a bit more...let's say...social. So, yes alcohol may make you feel sexier and wilder and all that, but at the same time, it's inhibiting your physical capabilities to act on and enjoy that sexiness.
Now here's my pondering. I would venture to guess that we acknowledge this physical limitations of drunkenness for men more because in general we simply understand the physical signs of arousal and orgasm in men better. Plus we simply think about orgasm and arousal as more of a physical thing for men than we do for women. But don't be fooled, ladies. As you are enjoying those green beers, remember that they might make you more "Irish," but it sure won't help you find the "pot of gold" at the end of your "rainbow." you like that euphemism?
Happy St. Pats!
Oh yeah, baby - I'm still working through my SSL review of the January 2013 Cosmo Magazine. Why? Well, it keeps me off the streets, and you know, it also works toward holding female focused media accountable for what they are insinuating to women about female orgasm, and that's what I'm into these days.
The review this time is on the Cosmopolitan Bedside Astrologer 2013 promising "A Month-by-Month Guide to Kicking Ass This Year." It's this little booklet attached in the center of the magazine, and each 2-page spread is dedicated to a Zodiac sign. So, for instance, my Capricorn spread tells me about my love, life, and work in the year ahead, 5 kick ass things about me, what turns me on, what gives me warm fuzzies, and by golly even month by month predictions. So, I learned that electronic gadgets are my guilty pleasure, my dirty sense of humor could give Russel Brand a run for his money, and that hot make-out sessions do it for me - especially if there's lots of tongue. Only one of those is actually true.
The Capricorn spread also informs me about the Capricorn man, and that's where the SSL Reviewing comes in - well, not specifically in the Capricorn guy stuff but in a couple of the other Zodiac guys. I get to find out what makes each of these guys irresistable, and since this is Cosmo, you know some of em' are gonna get generically sexy up in here, ya'll!
Aries Man: "Coming up with intense positions to make you orgasm is one of his favorite things to do."
Really, Cosmo? Aries Man sits around thinking about how to twist my legs behind my head or which appliance to bend me over so that his dick can make me come? I guess I'm making the assumption that "positions" means different ways of sticking penises into vaginas. I mean I'm pretty sure that's the general way it's used. However, if I'm wrong, and if one of the positions is me watching porn and eating mozzarella sticks and coffee ice cream while a robot vibrator takes care of my clit and hot naked Aries Man is cleaning my room, well then I'm completely behind this. I don't think that's what was meant though.
In all seriousness, this description of Aries Man reinforces the oh-so-common misconception that the positions; angles, depth, and stroking power are what gives women their orgasms. Firstly, stimulation on the inside of the vagina ain't gonna give a gal an orgasm. Secondly, I think that speaking about lady-gasms as though men are in charge of making them happen is irresponsible. Yes, a man can get a woman to come just like a woman can for a man (oral loving' baby!), but there are just too many women out there who don't understand that they need to take control of making the actions happen that will lead to their orgasm...and too many men out there thinking they need to take control of the actions to give the lady what she needs. That is unfortunate since rubbing one's own junk is a fantastic, sure-fired, and self controlled way to come during partnered sex. I highly recommend such things, and I would hope a female focused magazine that purports to be sex positive would pay attention more to how they speak about lady-gasms.
Libra Man: "He has longevity in bed and can go all night long. Basically, as long as it takes you to climax is how long he'll last."
Yay! Libra Man will poke his dick in me for hours until I can't take it anymore and decide to fake an orgasm so he'll finish up and let me be! Seriously though, dicks poking in vaginas do not orgasms make - no matter how long the poking goes on. The idea that women take about 30 minutes to orgasm and men take like 3 only exists because sex acts between women and men tend to have a lot of intercourse involved, and that means men get a lot of direct penile stimulation and the clitoral stimulation is limited to mostly indirect or sometimes non at all. So yeah, it's gonna take a while for the ladies...if it even happens. However, if women get as much direct clit stim as men get penile stim, then there wouldn't be this huge difference. Women don't actually need 10 times longer than men to orgasm. There's really not much difference between average time to orgasm between men and women when when it comes to masturbating - just a couple minutes. Seriously. So, Libra man should worry about stimulating your vulva clit area and not about keeping his dick hard so he can ram into your vagina for hours.
It's just some little astrology comments, but little pieces of bullshit like this can give the teen girls who read this stuff the wrong idea (and honestly isn't that the majority of people who read Cosmo?). The insinuation here is that women need weird, intense intercourse positions to come, and that the man is gonna make that happen - oh and that if a dude pounds into you long enough, you come. It's bad things to insinuate. Come on Cosmo - be better.
You didn't think you were done hearing from the spectacular Kat von Sass did you? I am happy to report Ms.Von Sass, after her fab SSL Review of Fifty Shades of Grey, has again been inspired to SSL review a book, and I do hope her inspiration continues into the future. Since I don't do much reading other than strange non-fiction things about sex, I think the Orgasm Equality Movement (and this blog) deserve a smart critic willing to give us the nitty gritty on depictions/discussions of female sexual release in novels - particularly romance novels since they are an insanely huge market, and I would think a pretty influential media outlet, for us ladies. So with that I leave you in very good hands.
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books , a group of like-minded ladies whose reviews have helped me find some new authors doing some quality work. They introduced me to The Duchess War by Courtney Milan. I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish it, and then had to actively restrain myself to keep from emailing Trisha in the middle of the night.
We have a fairly classic set up here: an impoverished heroine, Minnie, with a dark secret and Robert, a duke whose privileged upbringing leaves him scarred. I love that Milan’s characters have other people in their lives – siblings, parents, best friends – but we spend a lot of time getting to the central relationship in this book so there isn’t a whole lot of steamy stuff. Our duke dreams of his lady, wakes up alone and jacks it round about page 65, but we’re in the 120’s before they actually touch each other, and that happens in public. This gets our heroine all hot and bothered and upon returning home she handles her own needs quite realistically. As she pleasures herself she fantasizes about him “plunging” into her, but it’s obviously a fantasy while she provides herself with nipple and clitoral stimulation. There is minimal making out until the wedding, although Minnie stands up to her future mother in law and flat out refuses to avoid sex (to prevent whispers of a shotgun wedding) and baldly states that she wants to have intercourse and so she will. Not a conversation I ever had with my mother-in-law, thank heavens.
And then, the wedding night – oh, the wedding night! It’s well worth hanging in for the preceding 200 pages to get to one of the most realistic scenes of first time sex I have ever seen. Things start out so well, and then… it doesn’t work. It’s uncomfortable and it’s kind of a buzz kill and he doesn’t enjoy it because he knows that she isn’t enjoying it. Our brave girl doesn’t just assume that’s the way it’s supposed to be. She addresses the issue!
“No,” she repeated more gravely. “We were doing it wrong. I know what it’s supposed to feel like, at the end. And what happened for you? It didn’t happen for me.” (p. 211)
A heroine. In a historical romance novel. TOLD THE HERO THAT HE WAS BAD AT SEX. I almost fell out of the bed. But it gets better!
“I know,” he snapped. “God. You don’t have to tell me that. You could barely tolerate the act. You don’t need to rub in the fact that I couldn’t bring my wife to orgasm. I’m well aware of the truth.”
This outburst was met with silence, and Robert let out a shaky breath.
“I’m not trying to criticize,” she finally said. She sounded astoundingly reasonable, under the circumstances, and that made him want to snap at her more. “It’s just – the way we were doing it. It wasn’t ever going to happen for me. And … well, I had rather hoped it would.” (p. 211)
The way they were doing it was straight up Tab A, Slot B, repeat if necessary – in other words, penis in vagina with no other stimulation of any kind. Exactly what you would expect someone who hasn’t ever had sex before to try. They discuss this for a little bit, and she assures him that they are capable to dealing with this problem. And then… SHE OFFERS TO SHOW HIM HOW SHE DOES IT HERSELF. I’ve seen a hero urge his lady to explore herself before, but it has always been at his direction as he ‘introduces’ her to herself, and he usually grabs her hand and puts it where HE wants to see it. That Minnie volunteers the demonstration, and that Robert accepts, is really revolutionary in a genre where women are usually total innocents and men have often acquired their experience in the beds of professional partners.
So Minnie masturbates while Robert watches. Robert loves it. She asks him for some help, and he goes to town on her nipples with his mouth and they both work her clit with their hands. She has an orgasm. He enters her and insists that she keep fingering herself, while he enjoys the extra stimulation that her fingers are giving his penis as well. She comes a second time, and he orgasms after she does and then they get to snuggle and canoodle and bask in the afterglow. They are closer and more emotionally intimate than they were before. As you would be, if you’d expressed your desires to an open and eager to please partner and had a mutually satisfying sexual experience. Mindblowing.
Minnie asks Robert how much experience he’s had, and he admits that he’s a virgin because he chose not to pursue opportunities that were offered.
“I think,” he said carefully, “that given the amount of use I put my left hand to, I really shouldn’t qualify as a virgin. I’ve had scores of sexual experiences. Just… not with other people. I wasn’t saving myself for marriage.”
Just for you. (p.214)
Damn. I love that. In fact, I love the whole thing.
The newlyweds spend a few days in experimentation and not everything works. Fellatio and cunnilingus are well received. Ahem.
And then she’d insisted on trying it – and after a little instruction, trying had turned his cock hard in her mouth, his hands on her shoulders. He gasped as she took his length until he spilled. After that, it had only seemed fair to return the favor. It had taken him a little longer to get the gist of it, but it was worth the effort. (p. 224)
Yes! Learning to give head is worth the effort, for ladies and gents alike! There is more to sex than pounding away!
After that we get less detail about their encounters, but of the three interludes, we are told in the first two that there is a ‘rocking’ motion involved, which could plausibly be providing her with indirect clitoral stimulation and she does reach orgasm. The third time he does not stimulate her clit, she does not have an orgasm, and he tries to apologize afterwards. It sounds kind of shitty but it’s really a sweet scene, and she knows perfectly well that she can handle herself but obviously chose not to.
I love that these characters don’t know what they’re doing. I love that they’re not afraid to talk about it. I love that they are brave enough to offer instruction and have the experience to know what they need and how they want it. I love that they aren’t afraid to talk about masturbation. What an amazingly positive and realistic portrayal of female sexual response that demonstrates the payoff of speaking up without being preachy.
Milan’s other books also offer masturbation and communicative sex, but none that I have read so far have addressed the issue as plainly as this. The Duchess War is the first of The Brothers Sinister series, although there is a prequel that I haven’t yet read. I’m looking forward to reading them all, because this book has certainly earned all five vulvas.
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Archer, it's an animated, half hour show about a global espionage agency that is run by Malory Archer an older, x-secret agent. The two main secret agents are Malory's 36 year old son, Sterling Archer, and Lana Kane. The series focus also includes the office HR director, the accountant, the secretary, the R&D scientist, and a couple intelligence analysts. They're all highly dysfunctional, ridiculously selfish, and each f-ed up in their own way. It has been described as Arrested Development meets James Bond. In fact several people from Arrested Development do voices for the show. Anyway, I'm almost through the 2nd season on Netflix, and I'm pretty much much likin' it a lot. It's wrong, but in a much smarter way than something like Family Guy (if you want to argue against that then I'm all ears. I'm sure there are other valid points of view on that note), and it's just damn funny. Plus Sterling Archer is maybe the hottest cartoon dude I've ever seen. I would do that drawing for sure.
The reason I'm interested in writing about Archer is because the women in it are often depicted as being aroused and even masturbating. Just the simple act of depicting women who unabashedly masturbate is fairly progressive in itself, but I think the other cool thing is that the women are shown as being aroused by a wide array of things; everything from pepper use in sex to dark deeds to Burt Reynolds to hot chiseled secret agents to interracial porn. Just like the male characters, the women's sexual situations, fantasies, and kinks are often used for laughs. So yes, there are plenty of times where main male characters use female characters sexually and where the men are classic chauvinist pigs, but the beauty of this show is that the female main characters do the same kinds of things. They are all self-involved assholes.
I often point out in this blog that I'm not really bothered by the existence of overly sexy-fied (objectified you might say) women in the media or the existence of piggish men with their jokes and ogling. I'm just bothered that there's so damn much of it, and that it's not balanced by even close to as many over-sexy-fied men or piggish women with their jokes and ogling. I mean overall in our media it's not even close. It's akin to a balance with the earth on one side and my eyelash on the other.
This show, however, feels more balanced to me, and I think that's the part that makes it feel a little smarter. I mean yes, Lana Kane has giant bouncing boobs and always wears skirts that barely cover her junk, but Archer is obsessed with his tight black shirts and is constantly shown in his underwear and towels and stuff. He even got in a naked fight with another equally sexy male agent. It was pretty much unnecessarily sexy, and I appreciated it.
So, check the show out. You can see Sterling walk in on his mom masturbating to phone sex with the head of the KGB (And it actually looks like a sensibly realistic way of masturbating. Her arms move side to side under the desk - and in no way does it look like she's inserting anything into her vagina). You can also hear lines like "I swear to god you could drown a toddler in my panties right now," or "I for one am going home to watch Hooper and masturbate till my fingers bleed." Just so you know, Burt Reynolds was involved in that episode and Hooper is a Burt Reynolds movie...in case you want to masturbate to it also.
Plus, I've always heard she is a very private person, and she really doesn't look like she's messed with social media in the past couple years. I also wonder if there are some health issues she's dealing with. I have no real evidence of that, I've just gathered that possibility from some things other people have written about her. I certainly hope she is doing well. I also hope that one day she sees something I sent her, and I get an out-of-the-blue email from her one day, or better yet a 3am call (because she didn't think about the time difference, you know, since she was so excited to talk to me and all).
My latest online crumb I found about Ms. Hite was this celebrity booking page for her. I get the feeling that this company doesn't actually have a contact to her, but just has her listed because they feel they could make contact if they get a nibble. We'll see.
Like I said, she hasn't been active on social media for a couple years, but just in case you want to check 'em out, here is Shere Hite's Twitter Account and Shere Hite's Facebook Page. As you can see, June 12, 2011 was a particularly productive day for her in social media land.
I've discussed this briefly on this blog before, but I have a different spin on it this time, ya know. I was a straight girl that looked at my dad’s Playboy’s back in the day. Why? Well, why not? I, in my adolescent horniness, was interested in seeing anything that had to do with sex and that was available. Yeah, it was mostly naked ladies, but it was good enough. Plus Playboy has those cartoons which are rarely funny, often don’t make any sense at all, are clearly aimed towards men over 50, living in the 50’s…but sometimes they had a penis in them, or two people having sex, and that was cool. Better yet, Playboy would have short stories, and sometimes they would be super dirty and hot. Those, my friends, were the real treasure, but I digress.
My point is…well, I don’t know…I used to really enjoy Playboys I guess. I would say it was an influential piece of my sexual upbringing. Cause really, I would venture to say that anything you got all hot and bothered about during the time in your life when you were just starting to notice that kind of thing, is inevitably going to help shape your tastes and feelings about sexuality. It’s just so raw and new and exciting at that time in your life.
So, obviously the interesting part about this influential, pubescent grinding material I enjoyed is that its main sexual offering is sexy naked women. I’m a straight female, so it’d be like a straight teenage boy whose main jerk off material was focused on sexy naked men. I think that’s a pretty weird thought for most in our current cultural climate.
Yet, my experience isn't that weird, because that’s just the reality – for me and for lots of other straight women. Most of the media focuses on the sexiness of females, not males. I mean save for a small percentage of cases, if women want to look at something erotic, it’s gonna mainly focus on women as the sexual objects. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with a straight kid enjoying sexy pictures of people from his or her own sex. However, the fact that this is often the only option for a female kid and very rarely an option for a male kid I think is kinda problematic and creates a very different sexual upbringing for boys and girls. You can chew on how that affects male vs. female understanding of their own body and own sexiness in relation to their sexual feelings.
I think there might be a weirder effect from all this though. For me, I think this had a part in shaping me as a young woman into someone who avidly denied any problems with women being sexy in the media; someone who pooh-poohed feminist musings on women being “objectified" in the media and how harmful it could be. The way I saw it, I was a woman (well – a very young woman) and I didn’t mind women asserting their right to be sexy in TV, movies, magazines, porn – whatever. I myself would have enjoyed the sexy and exciting opportunity to pose for Playboy. I felt that feminism had fought long and hard for my right to be as sexy as I wanna be – without society or other feminists judging me.
I remember a very influential line I read in a Playboy article (yeah – I read the articles too) that cemented my feelings about this. I was in my late teens – probably sometime between 1994 and 1997. It went something like “I’d rather a man cum on my paper tits than have people tell me I’m demeaning myself with the choice to display my body.” I could make an educated guess now and say this was probably someone like Camille Paglia or maybe some random a sex worker/writer. Again, I don’t know the real quote, but I know how it made me feel. I was like, right on, yo! I can do whatever I want. I am a woman with my own opinions and interests, and if one of those interest is posing naked for people to ogle, then everyone can just get the hell over it, you crazy ass feminists! (I’d like to point out that I think I would have considered myself a feminist at the time, just not a lame, judgy, anti-sex one).
So, that was kinda my outlook…until I was old enough and away from parents enough to really engage more heavily in porn. That was when I realized that the fantasies I was looking for are not easy to find, and that male fantasy, male desire, and male orgasm are king - in prn and in regular old media. I for sure changed my tune when it finally really, really dawned on me that women were faking their orgasms in porn and men really weren’t. I suddenly realized that most of the people making the “choice” to be sexy, masturbating fodder for others were women not men, and I wondered if maybe Playboy and their pro-sexy feminist articles had been steering me wrong - that maybe it was a magazine that specifically took a hetero male-centric view on sex, on women, and on fantasy, orgasm, and desire.
That realization (and some philosophy of science classes) started my journey of researching for this movie - Science, Sex and the Ladies.
I’ve put a lot of thought into that since then. I have never actually let go of that original feeling I had. I still strongly believe that our feminist foremothers work has allowed us to do things like unapologetically pose/act sexually for the sheer masturbatory pleasure of viewers, and I honestly understand the strength and pleasure associated with a choice like that. However, I am no longer naïve to the realities of our sexual culture.
Of course all choices of how to portray one’s sexuality are technically open to women, but some are, well, easier to make than others. Currently, the choices women make that happen to depict themselves as attractive, pleasure giving, objects of sexual fantasy are pretty easy to get into. Although a realistic aspect of female sexuality, this type of role also fits well into our long established male-heterocentric sexual culture. On the other hand, the choice to be depicted as an orgasming (real, not faked), desiring, fantasizing women; a woman who ogles instead of being ogled…well, those are just not as easy to come by. There is less opportunity available to play those roles, less examples to guide us in portraying those roles, and there are less feelings of normalcy associated with those types of roles.
It doesn’t mean a choice that happens to fit into the established hetero-male centric culture is a less feminist or unenlightened choice. In fact, if we lived in a world where all aspects of female sexual expression were acknowledged and widely accepted, that would just be a choice. It would not be wrought with feelings of giving in to the status quo or being “used.” Unfortunately that is not the case, though. Our culture’s acceptance (when there is acceptance) of female sexuality is much more complicated and quite often one-sided. The truth is, there are ways of expressing female sexuality in the media that are more encouraged, more accepted, more available and more understood, and it can be an oppressive situation.
So, after all these years, I would like to say to the Playboy author preferring jizz on her paper tits over judgment about her decisions: I understand why you might choose to express your sexuality in the way you have, and I also understand why you wouldn’t want other women to judge that choice. However, the way I recall it – your writing was pretty stereo-typey and judgy towards feminists. Now, to be fair, certain feminists probably sent some stereo-typing and judginess your way too, but the truth is that our sexual culture is not easy for women to traverse. I know all us ladies feel the various pressures, expectations, and boundaries deep in our bones, and we’re all just doing the best we can with a shit situation.
This, my friends, is a great example of how so often in feminism, the personal is political and vice versa. All of us who would like a more accepting environment for our sexual expression and sexual portrayals, should get our shit together and start working together instead of against each other. We’re the only ones who care about this issue, and we’re actually working towards the same goals. We have to swallow a little pride and really try to understand each other’s point of view; ultimately incorporating each other’s points of views to make better, more widely accepted, and sensible arguments.
So I guess I just want us all to think a little about how our early sexual experiences with media affected how we think about other women's choices and about our own and other women's take on the sexual culture. Maybe there are places we can come together on personal or political levels, and maybe we can create a better sexual culture for ourselves. Maybe, one day “real” men will be depicted as attractive, pleasure giving, objects of sexual desire as much as women are; and “real” women will be portrayed as orgasming (real not faked – I can’t stress that enough), desiring, fantasizing people as much as men are. Maybe then, we can finally be dealing with female choices of sexual expression that are more directed by informed personal preference rather than the heavy weight of our culture’s one-sided celebration of female sexiness, and I think we'd all like that.