I put on a movie yesterday - cause I was cleaning and I wanted something I liked but didn't need to pay attention too, and dag burn it, ya know what? It turned out to be SSL Reviewable. What was that movie? It was Coming to America. I also watched Grease, which I'd never really seen before, and Dirty Dancing that day. Shit was reeeal dirty.
Anyway, I haven't SSL Reviewed in a while, so just to refresh your memory - an SSL Review is exclusively about a depictions or discussion of female masturbation and/or orgasm. I'm judging on realism and what this depiction or discussion brings to the cultural conversation about female orgasm. I rate in vulvas, but I honestly can't remember if I rate on a 4 or 5 vulva scale. A movie may be superb in every way but get a 0 vulva rating, or it might be a complete piece of crap, but get a 5 (let's assume it's on a 5 vulva scale) rating. One does not mean anything to the other...unless I decide otherwise, since I can do whatever I want.
I'm going to make this one quick, because honestly I have more cleaning to do. If you're not familiar, Coming to America is a 1988 movie starring Eddie Murphy as a Prince who decides that he doesn't want to marry the woman who was raised to be his wife, a lovely, blank woman who literally will do whatever he says and has no personality of her own. Instead, he and his right-hand man (Arsenio Hall), go to America - Queens, NY to be exact, on vacation with a secret mission to find a woman that he might actually want to spend time with. The two pretend to be regular ol' people (instead of a prince that has flower petals dropped in front of his feet wherever he walks).
So there was only one moment in the movie that is eligible for SSL Review, and it was when they first get to Queens. They go out to a night club and then there is a montage of them sitting across from women as if on a sort of speed date or something. The women say things and the guys react. As you might imagine, clearly none are suitable. The first woman (played by Mary Bond Davis) has 3 shots in front of her. She takes two and says the following thing.
"See that's the problem. I can't find a man that can satisfy me. Now some guys go an hour, hour and a half. That's it. A man's got to put in overtime for me to get off."
Then she takes the last shot and it cuts to the next women.
|Mary Bond Davis in Coming to America|
So, the basic joke in this montage is that these women are all saying things that indicate something really weird about themselves or something that would make them a really bad person to date. One woman is married. One worships satan. One is only interested in money. Twins sit down and reveal they are actually recently separated Siamese twins. The undateable/weird thing about this shot-taking woman quoted above is that she is brash, hard to get off, and her sexual demands of men are outlandish. The insinuation being that these are all opposite of desirable in a woman. To me there are 2 parts to this - what it indicates about the cultural understanding of female orgasm, and also what it adds to the cultural conversation.
What it says about our cultural knowledge on female orgasm.
Women take a long ass time to orgasm. They don't actually. Women masturbate to orgasm as quickly, easily and reliably as men do. True story. So, that cultural assumption is wrong and it persists because we measure male time to orgasm while they are getting their penises stimulated, and we measure time for women when they are mostly just getting their vaginas stimulated...and vaginas do not orgasms make. Clitoral stimulation is needed, and if as a culture we realized this, then there would be no jokes about women taking a long time to pop off.
Oh and men's dicks are responsible for orgasm - She could be talking here about dudes licking her clit for an hour and a half, but I'm guessing most people take it to mean she's talking about how long a dude has to fuck her for. So, the insinuation in that case is that a hard dick ramming into a lady's vagina is necessary for a woman's orgasm....and that's simply untrue and actually completely unrealistic.
What this adds to the cultural conversation
It's hard enough to get a woman off without her being EXTRA demanding. I mean we all know women take longer than men, am I right? But come on, ladies! Don't be a crazy bitch by asking for too much during sex. Jeez - it's already a pain to deal with your ladygasms as is.
Women who get off easily are sexy, desirable women and women who don't are, well, not sexy? annoying? undesirable? Big ol' crazy bitches you'd never want to touch? I mean you always hear women take a long time, but plenty of my ex's/porn actresses/women in movies/girls I heard about from my friend get off like super quick when you fuck 'em, so...ya know, some women can make it happen. Here's the deal - women do get off easily, just not by getting fucked. In fact, just getting fucked - which is the most normal and acceptable way to have sexual interactions - will likely never get a woman off and if it does, it's probably because she was able to eek out just enough skin to skin contact on her clit during the banging to barely inch her way over the edge...and yeah, that'll probably take a long time. Or, well, she was faking it. It's not a likely situation at all that a woman will just come real quick from a pounding, so if she wants to seem cool and sexy, faking it might be the best way to go. My point is, I think this is the kind of thing that encourages women to react during sex in ways that are expected instead of in ways that are real.
The SSL Vulva Rating
The vulva rating on this won't be great, but I'm going to go easy on it. Yeah, there's definitely some misogyny. It doesn't pass the Bechdel test (*edit: My bad. It does barely make it), and there's female nudity but not male nudity, but what movie doesn't have all those problems - am I right? It does have some progressive aspects, and I have always liked this movie, so I have a soft place for it. Plus, it is chock full of famous people who were not famous at the time which is kinda fun....and there's McDowell's....and the line "Your royal penis is clean, Sire" that me and my cousins said a like hundred times after we saw it.
So, because Coming to America plays for laughs on an old incorrect understanding of female orgasm and because I would argue the insinuation around ladygasms about what is and is not desirable promotes a culture of faking, this movie gets 2 vulvas. I would give it just 1, but you know, i'm going easy on it and all.
P.S. I was looking for the link to the IMDB for the woman who played the above quoted lady, and I saw her character name was "Big Stank Woman" which to me says the makers of this movie (Eddie Murphy) really assumed that this character and what she was saying was like, THE WORST, and that's pretty much uncalled for, so I demote this movie down to a 1 vulva rating.