The Americans Season 1
As I've said before, I LOVE the Americans, so I'm gong to continue my SSL Reviewing. This time I have one scene from Season 2 that is not technically SSL Reviewable but I like it anyway and another from Season 3 that is still not strictly eligible, but more so. Either way, I like these scenes and I think they are relevant to this blog.
These are the only depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation in the second and third 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 also speak on 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).
Season 2 Ep 1 - mom and dad in the act
This is just a little scene where a daughter is curious about her parents' whereabouts and thinks they might not actually be in their room in the middle of the night, but when she opens the door to look, she finds them (Elizabeth and Philip - the main character Russian spies living as normal American parents...even their children don't know) naked and 69ing and quickly closes the door.
So, they are laying horizontal on the bottom end of the bed, both on their sides, head to crotch obviously, and facing each other. We see only a few seconds of this, but we can see that she is gently moving her head right at his crotch area, and we see his head pop up from being sandwiched between her legs.
There is no actual depiction or discussion of female orgasm or masturbation, thus it not being technically SSL reviewable, but hot damn, I love this scene. A child catches her parents in the act, and it's not just straight up intercourse? Um, yes. I like it for a few different reasons
1 It's just not that often that we see a married couple doing anything except for intercourse...and since intercourse is great for male orgasm and not for female orgasm...seeing more sexual acts on TV that ARE good for female orgasm is also good for orgasm equality.
2 It reflects a certain parity in Elizabeth and Philip's relationship; a sort of equal appreciation given that 69ing is beautifully orgasmic for both partners in a way that intercourse is not. This show, I think, takes the details and implications and realities of sexual encounters into consideration in its stories. It doesn't just write "sex scene" in the script and do whatever comes to mind first. I feel like that's what a lot of writing teams end up doing. There is often very little thought put into sex scenes and they end up stale and status quo, and since status quo also means misunderstanding how women physically orgasm, it's also usually unrealistic, clunky in the story, and bad for orgasm equality.
3 Because 69ing is a little more "freaky" in this penetration obsessed world, it's a little grosser of a thing to see your parents doing - which on a pure story level I also appreciate.
So, I can only assume these two were in the middle of a sex act with the intention of orgasming, and I think we can all agree that mouths on each other's genitals (clit and penis area to be exact) is a valid way both men and women could orgasm, so I deem this realistic and good for the world to boot.
Season 3 Ep 13 - one lady's story
So in this episode there is a scene in a self-help sort of group, and the class is called "Sex Expression is Self Expression." People stand up and share, sometimes very intimate things, with the group. A woman stands up and tells the group the following. (There is another story line kinda going on with a couple people in the audience during this time, but we hear her whole story front and center).
So, two nights ago, I decides I was going to confront my husband about how dissatisfied I was with our sex life, but instead of being supportive, he got really mad at me. He started yelling. I start yelling back which we always do. We have these terrible fights, but this time it's just about sex. and suddenly out of nowhere he says, just let me go down on you. He never said anything like that before to me. I immediatly got so...turned on. I was just ready - ready yo be responsible and accountable for all my own sexual desires. I was ready for him to go down on me.This, again, is not technically eligible for an SSL review because it doesn't specifically talk about female orgasm or masturbation. However, she does say that she's 'dissatisfied' with her sex life, and in common talk about women, that tends to mean she isn't orgasming or finding 'pleasure' (a word that is often interchanged and confused with orgasm). Anyway, to me this was a story the writers wrote about a woman that wasn't orgasming or not orgasming much with her husband, but ended up initiating a situation in which her husband offered to do something for her that would allow her to orgasm with him. It was a turning point for them and her that was positive for her orgasm and sex life.
Again, I'm gonna list some thing that I think are cool about this.
1 Oral sex, of course, is a way that women can orgasm because, unlike intercourse, it involves direct, intentional, consistent stimulation to the outer clitoral glans and vulva area. That oral sex offered by her husband was a turn on and a turning point for her ability to be more 'satisfied' in their sexual relationship is realistic.
2 Of all the stories the writers could have chosen to throw into this scene, they chose one like this. i appreciate that.
3 She speaks of being responsible and accountable for her own sexual desires. I think that, in general, is a thing that needs more discussion and attention when it comes to women because there is a strong and problematic sense out there in the world that men should be responsible for women's orgasms. Granted, any partner should be held accountable for allowing space for and valuing their partners orgasm as well as their own, but men have long been expected to 'give' women an orgasm. Given that most men and most women have been handed terrible, incorrect advice and ridiculous examples of how women physically come, and also that many women are pressured against having masturbated so are not even aware themselves of how they orgasm, this is a terrible situation. Women would do well to work towards being more accountable and responsible for their own orgasm...then at least someone in in the sexual situation will know how to get it done.
The Vulva Rating
So, neither of these are technically SSL reviewable scenes, but I think that they are good examples of the thoughtfulness and general orgasm equality awareness this show seems to have. This is a normal ol' cable show so the sex in it is limited a bit. However, the writing of the sex scenes is still creative and realistic and actually add something to the story of these characters. I respect all of that, and I LOVE that of all the possibilities out there, the sex acts discussed and depicted in these seasons were not status quo and also were thoughtful of the female orgasm. To me, it makes this show better than most and super progressive in the Orgasm Equality department. I give this SSL Review a 5 vulva rating.