The Americans Season 1
First off, I LOVE The Americans. Charlie's brother told us to watch it, and we actually started watching it while we were in Brazil, but when the Russians spoke, the subtitles were in Portuguese, so we didn't know what the fuck they were saying, and they talk a lot in this show. So we had to stop. It was sad because we were like 2 episodes in and we really liked it. Months later, though, we got to watch, and I'm way into this shit.
There is plenty of sex in this show, but I believe - unless I wasn't writing stuff down during the very first episodes - this is the only depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation in the first season, and as you know those are the specific things I review. I 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?) and I also try to look at what the depiction/discussion reflects from and adds to the larger cultural discussion around lady-gasms and female sexuality.
You can see all the SSL TV Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSL Reviews HERE).
This depiction is a pretty simple and easy one, and one that will be getting a high vulva rating - 'cause frankly there's some good eatin' out happening.
Season 1 Episode 13
A Little Background
For those who know nothing about this show, it is about 2 Russian spies, Elizabeth and Philip, living in America during the very early 80's. They came into America in the 60's and began living as a normal American couple. They had children, and they have a travel agency that is real, but they do all kinds of cold war spy shit when they're not doing normal American family stuff.
They are bad ass, and a lot of what they do is have these secret lives (they have, uh, the best disguises) where they make strong emotional bonds with informants, who may or may not know they are informants and may or may not know what/who they are informing to. But anyway, they invest a lot of time and energy into people to do their spy work - sometimes it's friends. Sometimes it sexual or romantic. They do what they have to do. They're incredibly good at reading people and giving people what they need to get what they want.
They also have this dynamic I like where they are co-workers that respect and trust each other's decisions for the most part, but they also are in every respect marital partners. They are housemates, raising children together and sleeping in the same bed, so they have to be partners in that regard as well. I really like the way the couple interacts. They have an evolving relationship, but they carry that understanding of people into their partnership, and strangely, they interact, I think, with a level of kindness and respect that is unusual for married couples in TV and movies, Anyway, that's part of why I like it. Now let's get down to business.
The eat out details
So Philip has this lady in his secret life (and I'm going to try not to reveal too much for those of you who haven't seen this yet), that he is basically a boyfriend to. It's sexual, but it's also an emotional entanglement. They had a very 'special' day, something that was romantic and incredibly important to her, and we cut back to them that night.
She's laying face up in the middle of the bed when the scene cuts in. She's slightly propped up, her arms are outstretched to either side of the bed like a queen, and the covers are up around her chest area. He is face down under the blankets. Clearly his head is in her crotch area. As we cut in she's letting out a loud AHHH, and then some breaths and then another. She has about 7 good AHHs, but after the first it's like she's coming down, and by the 7th, she's just sort of breathing sighs like she's enjoying the aftermath. During it she also touches his head a couple times from above the blankets. That all happens within about 10 seconds, and then we see him come up from under the covers and put his glasses on.
It's clearly showing us their celebratory sexual encounter. After it's over, Philip tells her he'll never forget this day, and she oohs and ahhs about what an amazing day they had as they relax.
I actually really love this scene. Let me count the reasons why.
- It's physically realistic. Ladies need outer vuvla /clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm and a man's face and mouth grinding around in the vulva area could realistically get her there. Oral sex is a big fave for lady-gasm release. So I like that basic level of realism - realism that really should be part of almost every lady-gasm scene (like it is for gentleman-gasm scenes), but it sadly is not.
- Her vocalizations were surely loud and clear, but they were not going on for way too long. The female orgasm, like the male orgasm, lasts approximately as long as those rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions last. That's a matter of seconds. Some females regularly last a bit longer than males but we're not talking porn-style perma gasms for 10 minutes*. We're talking 10 - 40 more second range. So, her vocalizations were not silly and not based in porn-fantasy land.
- Philip didn't seem bothered or grossed out. He seemed loving toward her after it. She didn't seem embarrassed or worried that he was bothered. It seemed natural and like a normal and loving part of their relationship. This is important because men are too often depicted as dreading, grossed out by, or overexerted after cunnilingus and women are depicted as feeling bad about getting it - because they feel gross down there, or they're taking too long, or because it's an inconvenience to the man (who maybe would just prefer to get off while he fucks her instead). So, it's nice and cunnilingus-positive, and we need this kind of easy relationship depicted more often.
- He didn't finish and then go right into intercourse with her. Maybe they had intercourse prior, or she blew him prior, but after she came, they were done and relaxing and talking in bed. Either way it's awesome. If this was the only sex act - then that's bad ass. We often see a guy getting blown as a lone sex act. I think it's be good for sexual balance to see that for a woman as well; to see a man okay with not getting off in a sexual encounter from time to time the way women are supposed to be okay with that? If he was blown first, that's good too. That would be a mutual exchange and a sex act that didn't involve intercourse. We need more of that depicted too. If he fucked her first, awesome as well. That's traditionally been known as a gross thing to guys, but given all the truly gross shit that we see women do in porn, movies, and TV, a little indication that men are willing to get gross in bed is a nice balance.
- As I said before, these spies know how to please people. They are thoughtful and sensitive to people's needs, and thus good at giving people what they want, and I think to some degree any interaction with their informants has an element of them thinking about making the person feel good and comfortable. What would make a woman that you had a great importantly romantic day with feel better about you and your relationship than giving her an orgasm with your mouth? Nothing really. I think in a lesser show Philip would have just fucked her because a lesser show would not think much about it and just blindly assume having intercourse is the same to a woman as it is to a man. This show, I think, took the extra step to not just throw a sex scene in, but to make it meaningful as a story point and in doing so put actual realistic thought into it..and as a result, it's a more realistic depiction of what women like and how women orgasm. I think that's bad ass.
The Vulva Rating
So, because of all those things; because this was a realistic depiction, because it went beyond status quo depictions of male-female sexual interactions, because it showed female orgasm as a valid and important focus of sexual encounters, and because of all I said above - this show gets a full 5 vulva rating.
*You can find more info about that in Master's and Johnson's Human Sexual Response and also in studies like....THIS and especially THIS