I will warn you up front. This SSL Review will have spoilers. Since I don't review whole movies - just the depictions/discussions of female orgasm and masturbation in movie - I don't usually have to give away any true spoilers to say what I want to say. However, this movie is an incredibly unique one as SSL Reviews go, and there was some shit in it that I just can't not mention. My point is, if you want to go into this movie completely surprised, then maybe wait to read this after you watch. Otherwise, read on.
General Non-SSL Overview
I actually enjoyed watching this movie. It was fun and kept me interested, and even though I have sort of a distaste for the main character in Orange is the New Black, her character in this movie did not annoy the shit out of me like I had worried it might. Also, ever since I watched the 70's swinger TV show Swingtown a few years ago, I have loved the idea of a 'swing trap.' You see, these 70's swingers didn't have the Internet to find other swingers, so they had to just find them in real life - which is a lot trickier, and might just involve a swing couple turning out some other couple they meet. There's a lot of finesse and confidence that goes into that - that's high level swinging, and I respect that shit.
|from The Overnight Tumblr - and yes, I am.|
The Weird Part I Want to Talk About
I'm telling you this because the first part of this movie was particularly awesome because I was always anticipating the full-on swinger trap coming up. I was ready to pull the trigger on a "Swing-trap bitches!" (and me and Charlie were the only one's in the theater, so I would definitely have said that out loud). However the movie never went fully swing, which was a little disappointing to me, and it also went in this really weird, slightly troubling directions. So, basically the movie was about a couple that is new to LA, and they are invited to dinner with a family that has a son their son's age. It's their first social encounter in the city. From that point it just turns into a night that, once the LA couple convinces the other couple to let the boys go up and sleep instead of heading home, grows ever wilder and weirder. There's drugs, and booze, hot tubs, skinny dipping, and well, other things. Like I said, the whole things seems like a big ol' swing trap, but in the end, it's not really. The dude in the LA couple still loves and likes his wife, but basically wants guys sexually - so much so that he's lost interest in his wife. They sleep in separate rooms and just plain don't have sex (which by the end we see that they really aren't okay with). This night was their first attempt to try to fulfill this need for him. So, yes, in a way I realize this was kind of a swing trap, but it was kind of a dark one and not really a swing-style one. I mean, if this were a true swing trap, the LA couple would have been fine, sexually speaking, but ya know, just adding in some extras. Sure the LA guy might want a piece of a dude, but it doesn't mean he has lost interest in his wife - or women. He's just bi, baby. It'd all be in good fun. But in this movie, this swing-trap arose from these people's problems, and serious ones at that. I mean, this LA dude, well, he's gay, like really gay - like he maybe shouldn't have married a woman gay.
So, there feels like there's something kinda irresponsible there, especially when at the end of the movie the LA couple sees the other couple again and tells them they're in therapy and going to try to make the marriage work (and I'd say this part of the film is pretty un-ironic and jokey). If you read between the lines it's kinda like this gay, heterosexually-married guy is going to therapy to not be gay anymore so he can be with his wife sexually again. It's not only sad to me because it took all the fun-loving wildness out of a classic swing-trap, but it also strangely insinuates that you can therapy out a gay guy in a straight marriage.
Okay, so I just had to get that out, cause it was so wierd to me. The SSL review part might be even weirder though. This movie, to my utter surprise, started as a 5 vulva rated movie. Let me set the scene - it was the very first scene in fact.
The First Scene :)
Alex and Emily are having intercourse, missionary style, in bed. It seems like day time. She tells him, "Circles, honey, circles," or something like that, and he starts moving his hips in circles. Then she says something like, "bigger circles," and his hips start moving in bigger circles. They seem kinda rushed and desperate - like it's getting toward the end, and they need to catch that orgasm before it leaves. Then they sorta say something like, 'Let's just...." and he rolls off her, and they both just start masturbating quickly under the sheets. He's clearly stroking a dick under there, and she's clearly rubbing the outer vulva/clitoral area in a small, quick circular motion. Now, if you know me and this blog, you know this made my jaw drop. I'm pretty sure I fist pumped in the theater (we were the only ones there, remember). I mean, this is a couple who is having intercourse that decided to get their orgasms in a completely realistic way. A woman using her hand on her clit at any time in a sexual situation with a man is almost unheard of in Hollywood.
Actually, no orgasms happened because their son runs in and jumps on the bed before either finish, but they clearly would have. Seriously, I cannot fully express the joy in my heart when I saw a depiction of a normal heterosexual couple approaching female orgasm in such a realistic way. Outer clitoral stimulation causes orgasms, and vaginal stimulation does not (unless of course there is outer clitoral stimulation happening at the same time...I'm still waiting to see a movie with a woman getting fucked and rubbing her clit to orgasm at the same time). It was just so refreshing to see a wider portrayal of what heterosexual sex could involve. Plus, I just plain love mutual masturbation. Let's start seeing more of that, could we?
The Take-Back :(
And then....well, and then they ruined it. This is the first movie I've ever reviewed that went from a 5 vulva rating to a zero rating so fast. And, it wasn't that there was another scene later that was had a less realistic depiction. It was that it had a later scene that obliterated the good scene - turned it's meaning completely.
So Alex, we find, has a deep insecurity about his penis size. We learn this because LA guy (played by Jason Schwartzman - actually really well I might add) gets naked to jump in the pool, and he has this nicely sized prosthetic limpish dick with a huge bush. Alex tells Emily that he can't take off his clothes because, as she knows, he's just too self conscious. They end up going down to only their underwear. However, later in the night as Alex gets more drunk and high, and they're all in a hot tub together, he confesses this deep secret, an that he felt terribly self-conscious when he saw LA dude's 'horsecock.' Everyone is being kind and accepting to him, and Emily keeps trying to reassure him that it's no big deal to her.
|from The Overnight Tumblr - and he would if he wasn't so insecure|
Cool. Fair enough so far, just a little story about a common male insecurity. But then, he gets kinda angry and says something like, "Oh really? Is that why we always have to do 'circles'?" He goes on, and in his rant describes the situation as him having to move his little dick around in circles so that it would make it feel to her like a big dick. This blew my mind again, but in a much worse way. Basically, the insinuation we, the audience, get is that Alex's dick is too small for Emily to feel in her vaginal walls. He has to move that small dick in circles around the perimeter of her vaginal walls quickly enough so it feels like one big dick is touching all the walls at the same time (and he really does describe it this way).
I had never heard of this idea of moving a dick around the vagina in circles to make it feel bigger. So, maybe that means it's a good, surprising joke? Although it's only funny if it were true that women need their vaginal walls stimulated in order to orgasm. Since that's not true...and in fact there is no scientific evidence that vaginal wall stimulation has ever made a woman orgasm, then it just becomes another terribly misleading insinuation about how female orgasm works wrapped in a joke and put into people's brain like a contagious and harmful virus.
|From The Overnight Tumblr - those damn stupid circles....|
Secondly...my 1st scene joy was all a hoax
Emily doesn't disagree with him about his circle in the vagina talk. She just sits back kinda defeated. If I look back to the first scene, it makes sense too. Like I said, she seemed kinda desperate to come, but I kinda took it as a doing-it-real-quick-and-trying-to-finish thing that can happen when you get to the orgasm part, so you just make it happen however you can at that moment.
Actually, it was really a your-dick-never-seems-to-be-able-to-make-me-come situation. So at first he's just fucking her normal. Then she wants circles (cause she needs a bigger dick, of course), but that is still not working, so she wants bigger circles (cause that feels like a bigger dick, I guess), and then she knows it's not going to work, so they just stop fucking and start masturbating. I honestly had thought that she wanted the circles because it was more of a "grindy" motion. Thus, his body/pelvis area could sorta dig in close (ya know, with constant pressure against her instead of the possibility of intermittent clit touch during the in-out stuff), and grind in circular motions down onto her clitoral/vulva area more. To me that's what I imagine when circle-y pelvis sex movements are discussed. It's a fairly sensible way a woman might get off during intercourse, so of course she would want that, I thought, and of course I would love to see that in a movie. I feel so betrayed, so betrayed!
Thirdly...why, god, why?!?!
That once joyously progressive first scene suddenly becomes super backwards, and what really nails the point home is a scene later in the movie. Alex and Emily start to be pretty certain that they're in a swinger-trap situation, and they are conversing privately. It comes out that she is a little interested in the horsecock. She has never had sex with anyone but Alex, and she is curious sometimes. And then she says (not an exact quote - it's from memory), "I think it's wierd that we have to masturbate together to get off." It's like she drove a stake right through my heart. Not only is she putting the stigma straight back into a couple masturbating together that I thought the first scene was dispelling, but she is also further insinuating that the size of his dick (and how it can't stimulate her vaginal wall correctly) is the reason it's hard for her to orgasm with him. So, as if we haven't heard this enough in movies, TV, and book already in our lives, here's what this movie tells the audience and adds into the cultural conversation:
- Normal means a guy being able to fuck a lady into orgasm
- Touching yourself during sex is wierd, and clearly a lesser way for a couple to orgasm
- Bigger is better for dicks when it comes to lady-gasms
- And, my favorite: Women orgasm from inner vaginal stimulation
Although, I will have you note that even though the movie tells us that Emily needs more vag-wall rubbing to get off, she completely ignores her vag-wall when she is getting herself off. She, like almost all women, stimulates the outer clitoral vulva area. I guess if it were true, as is widely believed (but actually has no real evidence to back that belief up), that women have 2 distinct stimulation pathways to orgasm, one in the outer clitoral/vulva area and one inside the vagina, then her stimulation switch makes sense. If, as I propose is true (and I believe the science clearly backs up), women only have the outer pathway, then it's just a downright back-assward scene.
Like I said, I actually enjoyed watching this movie, but it will be getting a super shitty SSL Review. It didn't just hold to the common, quite incorrect and misleading cultural 'knowledge' about female orgasm as most movies do. It actively poo-pooed more progressive depictions of sex, like women needing outer clitoral/vaginal stimulation to orgasm and couples mutually masturbating to get off. I actually don't usually do this, but this movie is getting rated with ZERO VULVAS. :(