Mozart in the Jungle
This show's gotten a lot of hype the last couple years, won some Emmys and all that. So, we decided to give it a try. It's real symphonic music geek focused, and I like that. I appreciate a show that tips its hat to the deep interests of a particular group - even if it's just enough for non-geeks to notice but not be turned off. Overall, I like it okay, and the episodes are shorts so it's an easy binge. It's actually pretty PG-13ish, so there's not much sex shown, but there have been 2 moments so far that gave me a reason to SSL Review.
If you're new to this, I only critique discussions or depictions of lady-bation or lady-gasms. A movie doesn't get an SSL Review if it doesn't have one. I largely critique the realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman? Was she masturbating in a way that is unlikely to cause orgasm?). However, I also like to talk about the larger picture of how the depiction/discussion fits into the cultural discussion around female orgasm and female sexuality.
You can see all the SSL TV Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSL Reviews HERE).
I'm going to start chronologically backwards and lump these two together a bit, but I first need to describe them in detail. (Also, as not to spoil anything too much, I'm not going to use the character names because I can get the point across without the names or revealing too much about the character.)
Season 2 Episode 2: The Hippie Instagasm
A woman and a man meet. The man is a main character, the woman is an extra with lines and she's a drum-circle type hippie chic. We see them start to make out, and they go into his room and jump in bed together, both fully clothed. She rolls on top of him. Their pelvises haven't come near each other in this situation until this point. She's straddling him. She does one little hip thrust right as she gets on, but then her hip area stays pretty motionless. Immediately, she starts making uh, uh, orgasm noises. We hear her say, "Take it off." and he indeed unties her bikini top.
At this point the camera is moving slowly away out through the high rise bedroom's glass walls and into the night sky. As the camera moves away, the sound continues as if we were still in the room, and we hear her really going at it with the orgasm sounds. She's saying (I think) "Go, Go, Go." It sounds like a woman orgasming in porn.
From the moment she is on top of him to the point that the camera moving out to the sky no longer sees them is 7 seconds. Nine seconds after that, she's already gone into full orgasm sound mode and the scene cuts off. And both are still wearing their pants. If she was getting any sort of friction against her clitoral / vulva area (which is as important to lady-gasm as penis stimulation is to guy-gasms), then it was only for that total of 16 seconds from her getting on top to the ending cut, and she was somehow able to come within that time. So, if this lady did pop off as her voice would have us believe, she's like some teenage boy in some random lose-his-virginity-teen-movie that comes in his pants from nothing more than a brush against his dick - and the scene should have acknowledged that. But it didn't. This was just played as a normal sex scene. I deem this, my friends, as some high-end BS.
Season 1 Episode 9: The Passionate Instagasm
This is the same guy from above only this time he's with a woman with which he has an eccentric and insanely passionate history (both in love and hate). So, he goes into this tent to see her, and there is another woman outside the tent who was asked to wait there for 2 minutes in case something goes terribly wrong.
Inside the tent, it takes over a minute of talking to turn to the couple kissing, and as soon as that happens, it almost immediately cuts to the woman waiting outside. We see she can hear the orgasm sounds of the woman in the tent. It sounds like a straight up porn star. We also see the waiting lady checking her watch as she did when she was first instructed to wait 2 minutes and then she gets up to leave - making me think, 'wow, only 2 minutes have gone by and this tent lady is already coming??' But then I'm like, 'Okay, maybe some time has passed between the kissing inside and the orgasming heard outside, and that time passage will be revealed in the next cut.'
But, then no. It cuts back to inside the tent, and no time seems to have gone by. They really are just kissing...and fully clothed. And not only that, but we quickly learn she's also wearing a chastity belt. The couple kinda rolls backward to a laying position with him on top and her with her legs wrapped around his waist. Just as they lay back, he says something like, "What is going on down there." And she reveals the chastity belt she has put on as a measure to preserve her passion. I can only assume that this dude asked about the chastity belt pretty much as soon as his body touched anywhere near her private parts - given that the metal chastity belt covers her whole crotch area, and he probably would have noticed it.
So, if she orgasmsed first, and then his body gets near enough to her crotch to feel the belt, how the hell was she orgasming before? This makes me assume her pelvis area was not getting any friction during the time she was making porn-gasm sounds. I mean, I guess she could have been rubbing her vulva up against the inside of the metal chastity belt, but still, it was only a whole 10 seconds in the show from the time they kissed to the time he found the belt (with the porn-gasm in between)...and even if there was time in between cuts, it shouldn't have been longer than 2 minutes given the woman was still waiting outside. Either way, it just doesn't make sense that she was getting sufficient clitoral/vuvla stimulation in order to orgasm in this situation. Yet, she was depicted as orgasming anyway.
Enough with Insta-gasms
I think the thing that bothers me most about these scenes is how unremarkable they are, yet how incredibly fanciful they are when considering actual physiological realities of orgasm...specifically female orgasm. Both these women orgasmed within about 10 seconds from having their private area close to another person...and actually it really doesn't even seem likely that the chastity belt woman even had her junk near the dude at all while she was orgasming.
The whole thing with these scenes is just wierd - like a 13 year old boy's dream of what orgasmic lady delights he might impart on a woman if he started making out with her. Yet, at the same time, neither scene stands out. It's simply not abnormal at all to see women orgasming, even perma-gasming, immediately upon the start of anything sexual. It's easy to find this in porn, and it's not so hard to find in TV and movies as well.
Imagine if you saw a man in a movie roll on top of a woman, fully clothed, and he immediately started making orgasm sounds. It would take you out of the sexuality of the situation. It wouldn't be just a normal sex scene. It would clearly be viewed as a scene meant to be funny or sad or something. It would be of note in a way that a scene where a woman doing the same thing is not.
Technically both a man or a woman could orgasm this way. He or she could have been sooooo very turned on that just a quick stimulation of his dick or her clit through through the pants could send him or her over the edge. But I dare say that's not what was meant in these scenes. These scenes were meant to show passionate women with a passionate man having passionate interactions...and in attempting this, they had a man who, quite realistically, did not come immediately and women who despite facts of reality, did.
The female orgasm is not something other. It's as real and physical as the male orgasm.
These scenes normalize the idea that female orgasm is something different, something beyond the boring physical reality of male orgasm. These scenes tell us that passionate women orgasm easily and loudly from anything and everything - even non-physical things (which in all seriousness, there is no physical evidence of in scientific literature - at all). The idea that women's orgasms are somehow mystical, and wild, and disassociated from realities of the physical body is normalized.
On the other hand, the man in these scenes is supposed to be uber passionate just like the ladies, but his orgasm is not forced into a false mold to do this. As a result, these scenes reinforce the idea that men and women have distinctly different 'orgasms.' This leads the audience to rightly assume that even for passionate men, their penises must still be appropriately stimulated to orgasm, but wrongly assume that women can orgasm from passion alone and that their clits have very little to do with the situation.
Or maybe we are supposed to assume both of these women were faking...'cause if you think about it in realistic terms, they sure seem to be. I really don't think that's the case, though. I think the orgasms were used in these scenes to show the passion of the situation and passion of the characters. But for real, isn't it a little crazy that I have to seriously wonder if a lady-gasm scene was intended to be a faking scene or if the creators of the scene just depicted it ridiculously because they don't know how it works or don't care? That's how miseducated and confused this culture is about the female orgasm and how it physically happens. This BS doesn't much happen for scenes with male orgasm. Why? Well, I think it's because people actually know how male-gasms works and actually give a shit about them.
So, these scenes being the only actual SSL Reviewable scenes in seasons 1 and 2, I give the first two seasons of Mozart in the Jungle 2 vulvas. These scenes were just straight up unrealistic...you might even say bat-shit ridiculous. They add to the normalization of female orgasm as a rather non-physical mystical entity and further separate how people think of female vs. male orgasms. (and really, people, it's the same shit...find something that is penis or clitoris like, and stimulate it how feels good until coming ---the. same. shit.). I almost gave it one vulva, but I appreciate that even if the scenes were unrealistic, they weren't unrealistic and involved women orgasming from penis-in-vagina intercourse with no additional outer clitoral stimulation, and that's something different!