The Diary of a Teenage Girl - The SSL Review

I saw The Diary of a Teenage Girl last night. It is a #DirectedByWomen movie so it fits nicely into the daily posts I'm doing for the Directed By Women Worldwide Viewing Party - congrats on some fine work Marielle Heller!

Anyway, me and Charlie took our 19 year old niece with us. I mean, yeah, it's maybe a little uncomfortable to watch a threesome with your niece, but not really as uncomfortable as you'd think. The movie was good for her. Plus she thought it was fantastic, as did we. Also, and this was a real treat of a surprise, The Diary of a Teenage Girl and our movie Science, Sex and the Ladies have a little something in common. They both depict a penis ejaculating hearts. I don't know the specifics about why the director and team decided to go this way, but I would love to find out. I know that we here at AnC spent a lot of time and energy considering what was going to spew out of our dick. We did include stars in there too, but hearts are definitely spewing. Honestly most people probably don't even realize that they are hearts, cause they really ejaculate the hell out of there (see all the motion blur in the still below). It's part of our description about the physical properties of orgasm - the pelvic muscle is in there contracting and all that. The penis ejaculating hearts in The Diary of a Teenage Girl, on the other hand, is at the very end of the credits and the hearts are slower and sweeter, more like heart bubbles coming out, but even with the differences, I still feel like in some way our movies are heart-jism twins, and that's kinda sweet.

Now, let's get serious. This is an SSL Review, which means I'm only going to review depictions or discussions of female orgasm or female masturbation. I'm looking for realism and for what the depictions/discussions reflect about our sexual culture and what they add to the cultural discussion. However, I can also do whatever I want in an SSL Review, so I want to start out by saying just a little bit about the movie in general. This is a movie that needed to be made. It's such a fresh, raw take on the topics it touches upon, and it's entertaining, funny, and touching to boot. I recommend this movie to all. Seriously, go see it. If you don't have a theater around playing it, watch it at home as soon as it's released, and then tell other people about it.

The SSL review is somewhat simple. Although there is a lot of sex in this movie, there is only 1 SSL reviewable depiction. Let me set the scene. Minne is the 15 year old teenager from the title. She has been doin' it with a man 20 years her senior for a little bit now, and she likes having sex. In this scene she has hooked up with a boy her age, though. They start to skinny dip, and then it cuts to inside the pool house. They are on the ground, and the boy is on top of her, missionary style banging her, and I do mean banging. It's just him raised up on his arms above her going in and out rapidly. She seems a little frustrated, and she eventually switches the position so she's on top. Her pelvis is pressed close to him, and she's really moving those hips while staying in constant contact with his hips, and she fairly quickly works herself into an orgasm. I think it's always useful to see a woman who takes control of the movements in order to orgasm instead of her being in a situation where the dude just does things to her to make her come. There is a feeling that men can 'give' women orgasms with their dicks, but that's simply unrealistic. The idea that women need to be in control of the movements that cause their own orgasms is an idea that needs to be normalized and seeing that in our media is one of the best ways to do that.

Now, the devil is in the details here. It doesn't matter if she's on top or bottom or whatever, a gal coming from nothing more than a penis moving in and out of her vagina is not a realistic depiction, since, ya know, vaginally stimulated orgasms are most likely not a physically possible thing.  However, that doesn't mean it's unrealistic for a women to orgasm while a penis is inside her. There has to be vulva/clitoral stimulation though, so there needs to either be a hand or vibrator on the lady-junk, or she's got to be grinding her vulva against something while the dick's in there. I'm very happy to report that when Minnie is working up to and experiencing orgasm, she is clearly and consistently rubbing her vulva against his pelvis. In our movie, we have an animated depiction of grinding during intercourse that might cause orgasm, and the position and movement is very similar to Minnie's, so I thought I could use a gif of it as the example.

It's actually pretty unusual to see this kind of positioning in movies during orgasm. The only other one I can think of is The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Usually women-on-top is depicted as a bouncing motion with no clitoral area contact at all. There is a cultural idea that women-on-top makes it easier for women to orgasm, and that might be true, but I always think the reality of why that might be is lost on people. It's not just that being on top is automatically orgasmic, and it's not just that she can control her own movements...I mean it is because she can control her own movements, but it's specifically that she can grind her clit against him in whatever way feels good. Controlling the way the dick moves in and out without stimulating the clit is still very unlikely to help a woman get off, even if she is on top.

My point here is that this was a realistic depiction of female orgasm. A girl or woman who mimicked that might have a chance of orgasming, and that's what we need to see more of in our media. I also appreciate the understatement of Minnie's vocalizations. It wasn't over the top porny and showy. It was within a spectrum I would argue to be realistic orgasmic vocalizations...which is also an unusual situation for movie lady-gasms.

I thought this movie was great. It was great for its look at teenage girl sexuality. It was great for its realistic depiction of the body movements that cause female orgasm. It was great for its subtle championing of women taking control of their orgasm, and it was great because it was a thought provoking and enjoyable movie. I give The Diary of a Teenage Girl a 5 vulva rating!

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