I was looking for something to watch on Netflix a few weeks ago, and I came across a movie with Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler. Seemed pretty good to me, so I went for it. It's actually a slightly indie (by slightly I mean it ain't that indie if it has two huge actors in it) spoof of romantic comedies. I liked it. I think it could have been funnier than it ended up being, but I did enjoy it, AND it's SSL reviewable! Also, the name of the movie is They Came Together, so the whole thing just seems appropriate...cause came, get it?
Just to remind everyone: SSL Reviews are exclusively about depictions/discussions of female orgasm or masturbation. They are not reviews of how good the movie is. The focus is on how realistic the depictions/discussions are and what they add to the cultural conversation on female orgasm.
The Phone Call Scene
The first scene I want to discuss begins with Joel, Paul Rudd's character, coming into work at his large corporate office. After he passes the main entry, we see his secretary leisurely talking on the phone before he walks by her to his office. She says the following (at approximately 5:39):
"So he went down on me, and I came in like one second. Yeah. Oh my boss is here. I'll call you later. Bye dad."So, she and her dad talk about shit like a good pussy lickin' and that's cool and all. My main concern here, though, is to ponder what her words about her orgasm insinuate to the audience. When I'm reviewing discussions of orgasm that are inside jokes it's always a little trickier to unpack, but the joke here has more to do with the dad part rather than her orgasm. So actually, this seems pretty straight forward to me.
She basically said a guy went down on her and she came quickly. Seems fuckin' fine to me. Realistically, eating out can absolutely lead to orgasm. Let me get a little deeper though for a sec. 'Going down' to me insinuates that the guy used his mouth to stimulate her clit which, as I said, is absolutely a reliable way that many women orgasm. However, 'going down' may not mean the same to everyone. There are people who think about and perform oral sex in a way that tries to mimic intercourse by moving the tongue in and out of the vaginal hole (For instance this guy who wrote into The Playboy Adviser). So, if a person were of that mindset, this scene would be reinforcing their already incorrect assumptions about women orgasming through vaginal stimulation. However, for those who are cunning-linguists and understand that the clitoral stimulation is what ultimately makes a lady come during oral sex, this scene will reinforce those ideas.
So, the content of this scene is what one makes of it. It has a lot to do with what a person understands about lady-gasms to begin with, but still, it's not moving the cultural conversation backwards by any means. It's not saying anything particularly progressive though either. However, the fact that the scene exists at all is a little progressive. I mean we need more instances of women speaking about things like their orgasm, their clitoris, masturbating, and unabashedly enjoying oral sex to balance out how many times men speak of these things in media. This scene helps with that noble cause, and I do appreciate that. She could have said something unrealistic and porn/romance novel inspired like, "His dick was sooo big. I came like a second after he put it in," but she didn't and that deserves props.
The 13 Positions
Also, there was this part where Joel is hooking up with his ex- girlfriend and there's this montage of them, in kinda partial silhouette, doing crazy-ass shit in bed. They go through 13 different positions. It's meant to be funny, and on top of that we come out of the frame story and the people Joel is telling this to are uncomfortable with the level of detail he's going into, except one guy who is really into it. In fact, it seems like the craziness of what we saw came more from that guys imagination than from the actual details. So, this whole scene is a double joke and doubly fake, so you might say it's tricky to critique for realism. However, the joke is in the athletic, circus-like style of the positions, the joke is certainly not a 'haha! she came from inner vaginal stimulation alone and we ALL know women need clitoral stimulation to come!HAHA!" So, until that's the joke, I think even funny sex scenes can be critiqued in a similar way to normal sex scenes. So to start, here's a list describing each of the 13 sex positions...cause I guess I have too much time on my hands:
1. Her straddling his face taking her shirt off while facing his feet. Him laying on back with legs open and up against the wall
2. Him kneeling on the bed while she jumps into a her-legs-wrapped-around-his-face position...so, kinda a mouth to lady-junk jump
3. Him laying on his back on the bed, arms straight up above him, holding her up. Her body is completely straight and parrellel to his while he spins her around above him.
4. Not sure how to describe this. It's like he's doing a Superman with her (see below) but she's bent down 90 degrees so her mouth is in his genital area, and he's pushing her up and down with his legs.
5. Kinda like she's in a reverse cowgirl, but they are rolling head to toe on the bed like that.
6. He's kneeling on the bed, supporting her weight during the intercoursing. Her legs and arms are wrapped around his body. Then he jumps to his feet (still on the bed and still holding her the same way and bounces her up and down on his wang a couple times)
7. Okay - imagine a 69 with her on top. She's giving the oral, but instead of her junk on his face, he has straightened his arms out straight above him, raising her legs up so she's in an incline with feet up and mouth on dick.
8. He's laying on his back on the bed. She's standing above him straddling his head and then she drops her weight so that her lady junk falls straight down onto his face.
9. Okay...imagine 69 again with him on top, but her legs are up and knees bent, so she's kinda squeezing his ears with her thighs. Then imagine he wraps his arms around her back to support her, and lifts himself up, so he's kinda in a squatting position, but they are still both mouth-to-junk.
10. She's on the bed on her back, and he's above her face-to-face, but he's in a sort of inclined push-up position with his feet high on the wall behind him. There is really no actually touching happening.
11. Him standing on the bed. Her intercourse-ing with him, legs and arms wrapped around him, and then he sorta falls forward on the bed with her still attached and then they aggressively bounce up and down on the bed, kinda moving clockwise as they do.
12. He's in a wall-sit with his feet on the bed and his back against the wall next to the bed. She's in a cowgirl position and their pelvises are moving back and forth in unison.
13. He's on his back in the bed with his legs up, supporting her in a superman, and then he just moves his legs and drops he down junk-to-junk and then they pound against each other furiously like a good, porny looking banging, and then they both vocalize like they are orgasming.
Moral of this story? As you can clearly see, these are crazy-ass, not even always sexual positions, and it moves through them in a whirlwind. That all happens in about 24 seconds. It's hard to pick out all the details (I know because I just picked out all the details), but the last position is lingered upon a bit, and it leaves the viewer with a clear image of a basic, porntastic bang session that ends in a top-notch orgasm. Both of them come simultaneously, and there is no indication at all that the clitoris was being touched in any way. Yes, it's a joke and meant to be funny, but the joke is about the ridiculously rough and athletic stuff that is happening, not about her orgasming during intercourse with no additional clitoral stimulation. That's not a joke because no one really knows it's a joke, so what it ends up doing is reinforcing incorrect notions that women's vaginas can be banged into orgasm.
The Cheating Scene
The same thing goes for the final SSL reviewable scene. It's actually earlier in the movie where Joel finds out his girlfriend is cheating. The joke is that he comes home early to ask her to marry him, and she is obviously fucking some guy. There's clothes on the floor. The shower's running, and we can hear the clearly sex-related uh-uh-uhs in the distance. He gets into their room, and he's facing the camera talking to her while she's in the bathroom behind him. In the meantime, the bathroom door busts open, and a dude is holding her up while they bang with her legs wrapped around his hips. They eventually move to the bed that is also behind Joel. The guy just sorta drops her down onto it, and they continue to bang in basically the same position. Then Joel finally sees what's happening. Anyway, both sets of hands never go near the clit at any time, and there isn't anything that really looks like clit grinding against his body. So this is Vaginal Stimulation Central happening in this scene. Now, there isn't a super clear orgasm moment. It's more like she's porn-gasming the whole time. It's a little suspect that this is even an orgasm depiction at all, but I think the female perma-gasm is a staple of modern media, and is a way that female orgasm is thought of. To me, I think the whole scene just reinforces the whole vaginal-stimulation-makes-women-come thing just like the crazy position scene I described above.
How Many Vulvas???
The depictions of sex and orgasm in this were surrounded by jokes, but that doesn't make the physical movements that were shown to cause female orgasm in this movie jokes too. They were just status-quo representations, which means they were unrealistic and misinformative. I don't see any malice in them, but they are also part of the problem, and they only reinforce the rampant cultural misunderstandings of how women get off. However, I liked the use of a woman talking about getting her own in a way that's realistic. I'll also give points for the fact that 4 of the 13 positions included his head between her legs. You know I have a soft spot for that.
So, I'm going to give this movie a 2 out of 5 vulva rating, and that's not that bad.