3.26.2020

Masturbation Advice In The Time Of Corona




Hello from my COVID-19 mostly social isolation.
It's mostly because I manage an "essential" group of workers at my otherwise shut-down-and-work-from-home company. So basically the lab still has to run, and they need people to run it. I've split the team into groups, though, so we only work either by ourselves or sometimes with one other person. We're cleaning our spaces before and after we leave each day. We had a person in the adjoining building test positive for COVID-19, and they closed down to clean for a day, but we're back at it. We are on for 2 days off for 5. The situation I put together is not perfect for social isolation, but it's better than nothing when you're told work has to go on. I'm getting paid and they are letting me create my own team's schedule so it could be much worse, and I'm not complaining in the slightest...and my team is pretty awesome.

I hope all of you out there are making the best of your isolation. I hope everyone that is losing income gets the help they need. I hope you and your people stay healthy. I hope you have access to things you need. If you have to still be out there working I hope you have the resources to be as safe as possible. I hope you are finding kindness, entertainment, and comfort in the people you come in contact with (mostly virtually or from a strong distance). I wish everyone out there the best.

As for me, this has given me a bit more time to write. I have felt a lot less able to make time for writing this blog the last few years for a variety of reasons, and I don't love that because I really love this blog. It would be a dream come true for this blog and this orgasm equality activism to be my full-time gig, but at the same time I also don't want to get my income from this blog or this activism. I want to have nothing tying me to any interests and no pressure to get clicks or to sell anything or to get and keep sponsors. I want to continue doing this exactly how and when I want because I don't really get sick of it when I do that. So, even though I don't always have the time I feel I need, if I'm honest, having a good money/benefits job with this as a side gig (until I become independently wealthy, of course) is actually a pretty good situation. So although I'm kinda complaining, I honestly can't complain too much.

This extra time, though, is extra nice and so I am going to up my game - even if just for the duration of the isolation. I'm going back to my old standard of at least twice a week posts. I'm also just going to try and engage more with people working on this topic in the media. I love to praise people speaking lady-gasm truths and gently point out errors to those that are putting out misinformation. That's my bag.

So, if you're reading this, I assume you're someone that reads my blog, and I hope you enjoy the extra stuff I'll be putting out. Please write me or comment if you have anything at all to say. I can't tell you how much I love that.

by Charles Borowicz


Now for a little SSL substance in this post....masturbation.
I'm not the first, the last, or the only one to say it, but a time of isolation is also a great time to focus on some masturbation. In fact the internet porn site Pornhub has given all of Italy free access to their premium content this month, so like, it's not just me. Other people are assuming there will be a lot of rubbing genitals out there in the world for the next few months.

  • As a champion of orgasm equality for the ladies, I'm also a champion of: 
  • lady-bation
  • non-intercourse focused sexual interactions
  • teaching and knowing the clitoral glans is as important to female orgasm as the penis is to male orgasm
  • depicting realistic ways of physically achieving lady-gasms in our books, tv, movies, and porn
  • accurately understanding and communicating the scientific investigations about how orgasms physically happen and asking for even more and better physical lady-gasm studies
  • ladies feeling empowered to ask for the touches they need for orgasm and also feeling as though they deserve an orgasm or at least a solid try at orgasm during a sexual encounter
  • and last but not least - the very important fucking up of cultural assumptions that 1.women can be banged into an orgasm and 2. that women's bodies are some kind of deeply complicated widely varied orgasm maze-puzzle

There's other stuff too, like convincing people that Freud's ideas can mostly go fuck themselves, and I do get into all that stuff in this blog, but here I just want to talk about masturbation.

In fact I'm going to throw down some SSL-style masturbation advice. Take it or leave it, but it's all towards the aim of Orgasm Equality.

To those with a clit:
1 Use your goddamn clit and the surrounding tissue down there. Experiment with it. Enjoy it. If it hurts or feels boring, stop doing that and try something else.

Even for people who have taken damage to their genitals or their sexual psyche, the body is a remarkable thing and you may be surprised at what experimenting between your legs, completely in control, on your own, with no pressure can offer you.

Even if your way of getting to pleasure or orgasm isn't quite like you might expect, keep investigating with your body and your mind. There are good feelings, physical pleasure, and orgasms to be had and you are the one that can find them.

2 Don't rely on anyone else to know your body or your desire or to teach you about your orgasm. Like, for real. If you don't know how to orgasm on your own, then you should have no expectation that you will orgasm with another person. None.

If you did happen to orgasm for the first time with another person. Congrats on having that experience. You're lucky. Now take that knowledge and continue investigating on your own. It's probably the only way you can continue orgasming consistently with another person.

If you are sexually active, masturbation is critical.

3 Don't feel bad about masturbating, desiring, or fantasizing. If that's not easy for you, start investigating ways to help it be more easy. I don't have answers for that. I'm sorry someone/everyone/the whole of culture put it in your mind that you don't deserve to use your own body in a way that feels good to you. You deserve the power to make yourself orgasm. All humans do.

4 Know that if the things happening to you during partner sex (getting a penis banged into your vagina, for instance) do not mimic the things you do during masturbation to make yourself come (rubbing your clitoral glans/vuvla area for instance). You or you partner should not be expecting you to come. Period.

5 Don't be afraid to admit masturbation to your partner. If your partner is worried about you masturbating, but you like masturbating. Get a new partner.

6 It is okay to masturbate during times when your partner would like more sexual interaction with you. Your sexual relationship with yourself is precious, and deserves attention.

I think this is particularly important for the ladies because most of us have had at least some damage done to our desire over the years whether it be from sexual abuse, years of sexual encounters that were anywhere from really shitty to painful to boring, a life of sexual encounters that too often or always end only in your partner's orgasm, from the culture squashing female sexuality in all numbers of ways, or lots of other things ladies have to endure with sexuality in this world. This damage is accumulative, largely invisible, and not easy to shake - even when you are with a kind partner that you really love.

We don't talk about it near enough, but sometimes what you need to aid in healing is your own time to be with your own sexual body and sexual thoughts and a partner that respects that and doesn't fucking sulk around if you don't give every ounce of your sexual energy to them.

7 If you are only orgasming during masturbation and not during sexual interactions with other people, know that for clit-bearers that is super normal because the world does not really understand how we physically orgasm...not seriously and practically understand at least.

Also know that it's bullshit, and you deserve to orgasm as much as any man does during sexual encounters.

At the same time know it's not easy for a variety of reasons to get from masturbation orgasm to consistent orgasms with a sexual partner. You have to put in work, have hard conversations, maybe tell a partner or a few to fuck off, try-fail-repeat many times, teach over and over, get creative and bold, and ya know, do a bunch of hard shit penis-owners just simply don't have to do. It sucks, and I'm sorry, and I hope it gets less like this for each new generations, but understand this is where we all currently stand.

Have fun.

For those with a penis:
1 You need to include the masturbation practices of your clit bearing partners in your sexual encounters with them because you have an advantage in partnered sexual situations. The whole world knows basically how to get you off. Yeah, there's individual preferences, but don't confuse your problem of having to tell someone that you personally like shorter strokes and more lube, with a problem of deep seeded incorrect knowledge of your sexual anatomy and orgasm that resides deep inside both yourself and your partner. Read my whole post about this. This disadvantage is fucking real.

Anyway, my point is, if you are not okay with your clit-bearing partner masturbating and including all aspects of that masturbation practice in your sexual encounters, then you need to get over that shit quick. And I mean you need to not just 'be okay' with it, you need to expect it, enjoy it, make extra room for it, and encourage it (without being pushy).

2 Be patient with clit-bearers and masturbation. The truth is a lot of women don't know shit about their orgasm, haven't masturbated and are a bit confused/embarrassed/sad/mad/frustrated/hurt by their relationship to orgasm, masturbation and sexual partners. We can be confused and confusing when it comes to orgasm and masturbation and, well, just deal with it.

Be open and prepared with everything I said up above, but also let your partner do whatever they need. This sexual culture for ladies is a real asshole, and frankly, we get fucked up in it. Getting through the tangle of fucked-upedness is a slow, arduous journey and it's different for every women, so be patient and kind and thoughtful and don't get mad or pushy or patronizing or indignant, or for god sake, sulky. If it's hard for you to deal with, I'm sorry. It's harder for them. If you don't like it, you can always just move on.

3 Don't feel bad about masturbating, desiring, or fantasizing. You deserve the power to make yourself orgasm. All humans do.

That said, remember your ability to see fantasies in porn and other media that include you using another person in ways that are orgasmic and sexually exciting to you, but neither orgasmic nor sexually exciting to the person on the receiving end are like a million times greater than that of a clit-bearer. Even if some people who would be on the receiving end say they like it and in porn and movies most actors act as if they LOVE it, use your goddamn head and put yourself in their place remembering all the stuff in this blog and my movie about how lady-gasms do and do not work and remembering that sex is much, much, much grosser when you are not highly aroused.

What I'm saying here is it's fine to fantasize about whatever, and honestly in this world, with the sexual images that exist for us, it's hard for someone with a penis to not fantasize about things that are somewhere in between gross/painful/mean/demeaning and certainly non-orgasmic for the receiver. I get it. I, even with this clit I have, fantasize about shit when I'm masturbating that is gross/painful/mean/demeaning/non-orgasmic to me. It's not because I want to have that happen to me in real life. That stuff would and has damaged my sexuality and desire in ways I wish it hadn't. It's because it's most of the sexually charged stuff I've seen my whole life. We're in the same boat with that, but remember you have so much more power there.

Fantasize as you will and masturbate all you want to those fantasies, porn and images, but don't get that fantasy confused in your head with how things should go in real life. It's harder than you think to suss out, and even if you're sitting here saying you would never mix fantasy and reality, dig a little deeper, consider harder, switch up your perspective more. I'm certain you do at least to some degree, and you could be better about it.

4 Don't be afraid to admit masturbation to your partner. If your partner is worried about you masturbating, but you like masturbating, get a new partner.

But...also a couple things.

1. Don't be a hypocrite. Don't even think about worrying if she masturbates, or tries to mimic her masturbation during your sexual encounters. Like don't even send out the slightest whiff of it bothering you.

2. Do be thoughtful about how different the cultural education on masturbation is for penis vs. clit people. Masturbation is taboo to a degree for everyone, but it's a whole other level for the ladies and you might want to talk about it realizing her perspective is very different.

5 It is okay to masturbate when you have an available significant other. In fact, probably consider it more of an option.

First off, the truth is any two people in a sexual relationship will not always be on the same page sexually all the time, and you don't owe each other your bodies just because you're together. If you're horny and they are not, go masturbate. If you want a certain type of thing and they want something else, go take care of it yourselves.

And please don't act like masturbation is a consolation prize. Don't sulk about having to masturbate when you have a partner that could accommodate your dick. That's bullshit. If you think jerking your dick is somehow not necessary when there is a pussy around, fuck yourself - literally and figuratively.

Masturbation is awesome and any sexual person should be able to enjoy themselves sexually. It's not a consolation prize, it's just a prize.

Second, the ol' joke about girlfriends liking to have sex and wives not is something people say because there's truth in it. Sex with you has the element of newness with your new girlfriend, but it doesn't with your wife. The truth is that clit people have tons of sex in their life (including their past sex had with you, let's be honest) that just doesn't end in orgasm. However, penis people mostly always end their sex with an orgasm. Because of their life-long compilation of sexual experiences, one of these groups tend to associate the possibility for sex with the physical sensation of orgasm and the other associates the possibility of sex with a much more varied amount of things; disappointment, pleasure but no orgasm, the unaroused perspective of how gross sex is, and maybe occasionally - orgasm. So it's very possible that your sexual desire as a person with a penis has strongly lingered well past the fizzling of newness, emotional excitement, and a strong partner-pleasing desire because, well, sex in and of itself is orgasmic and fun for you, but not reliably for them.

So remember your experience is very likely not the same as your partners and thus their desire will not be the same. Don't underestimate or devalue that difference and understand that sometimes you should just happily jerk off if she's not in the mood and you are. Even if you are a kind person and your partner loves you very, very much, and you have worked hard alongside your partner to make sure her clit is stimulated to orgasm every time you two have sexual relations, it's still likely she has accumulated damage to her desire from past experiences - and that damage does not just go away by itself. So, don't add to that damage by doing what I personally think is one of the worst things you can do to someone's desire; guilt them into having sex by persistence, sulking, or any other aggressive or passive aggressive way.

So, like I said - just jerk off happily if you're in the mood and she's not.

May you also have fun.

3.21.2020

Lady-gasm Equality: We Need A Revolution Not More Communication in Bed



Fuck communication. We need revolution.
I want to flip the perspective a bit today. I've been writing this blog for over a decade and something I hear often, and not just from men but from women too, is that this whole orgasm inequality thing is all about communication.


They might use the opportunity to kinda brag about how much they are dedicated to their lady-partner's orgasm or how so much better at communicating sexually they are than other women, like, "The problem is that women need to speak up about what they want sexually. I always ask for what I want." Or on the flipside, "I am not interested in a sexual experience where it's just about my orgasm, and when women say what they want, then I make sure we have a mutually orgasmic experience." Oh I'm sure you do, you perfectly assertive, incredibly sexually literate woman, and you perfectly kind, orgasm-giving machine of a man.

They also might use it as way to let out their sexual frustration with women, like, "How are we supposed to know what women want if they don't just say it? If a woman was rubbing my balls to try and get me off, I would say, 'hey, ya need to stroke my penis.' I wouldn't sit there and pretend it's good!" In fact Pete Davidson has a whole bit just like that in his most recent stand-up special "Alive From New York."

Most often though, they'll just ignore everything I said and just sum it up with, "Yeah, it's just about communication!" Like they are agreeing with me because they already completely understand everything I just talked about. BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT I SAID AT ALL MOTHA FUCKERS. I have never, ever said it's all about communication.

At a time when a post I wrote critiquing a BBC article on female orgasms was getting a bunch of press, a Philosopher of Science dude that I quite liked read it, wrote a post about it on his blog, and basically said that exactly. It pissed me off.  Like...my whole long-ass, point by point take-down of the cultural status quo and deep misunderstanding of how the female orgasm physically happens that the BBC article espoused - and he's like, "Yeah, exactly. We should all communicate more during sex." Fuck you. I didn't say that at all. This dude's living is based off thinking about science and the culture of science through different perspectives, but somehow his brain couldn't comprehend anything I said except that communication is important? I don't know if my post even said anything about communication. It's just what he was comfortable and familiar with I guess. That's how deep this shit is.

So, what I'm saying is that this orgasm equality problem is not about communication, it's so much more than that. Communication in bed is like the last 1% of what needs to be done to correct this. So, let me put things this way, and I'm gonna speak directly to the people with penises, but it's not like people with clits understand this really either.

Imagine it this way, people with penises (but like also everyone else should flip their perspective too)
Penis-bearers,

You have an advantage in partnered sexual situations with clit-bearers. The whole world knows basically how to get you off. Yeah, there's individual preferences, but (and here's the crux of what I'm trying to say) don't confuse your problem of having to tell someone that you personally like shorter strokes and more lube, with a problem of deep seeded incorrect knowledge of your sexual anatomy and orgasm that resides within both you and your partner. 

It's the difference between you having a person's hand on your penis and having to guide them with your hand to show them what you personally like VS. you having a person fully expecting to make you come with their finger in your ass and having to change the course and momentum of the sex act to tell them that, actually, you need extra to come. You need your dick touched. And then, after all that, having to show them how you like it touched - more lube, short strokes, whatever.

But honestly you're starting closer to zero there because they just haven't seen a lot of examples in porn and movies and shit of people touching a penis the way you like yours touched. I mean do they smack it? They see that a lot in porn...

But, no, it's even worse than that. It's also that the act of them sticking their finger in your ass also makes them come - like really good and reliably, and they REALLY LOVE to do it. It, like, feels pretty fucking good to them. Like sometimes it feels so good it's hard to stop or focus on anything else, ya know?

And also...their last boyfriend was able to come that way...so...

Even if they understand men are all different, and it's okay that you need "extra" (and some of them won't really understand and be nice about it, and you've definitely been with a couple of those, but the one now seems cool with it), they still haven't seen a lot of men in movies or porn that can't come from the finger up the ass, so it's a touch foreign on how to proceed.

Honestly, it would be, like, a lot easier for both of you if you just came from ass fingering, wouldn't it?

And what's also worse is that the attempts to be all nice and give you the "extra" are mostly done in combination with them fingering your ass. Like, fingering your ass, with one hand while they stroke your penis with the other. That way they can still come even though it is clearly splitting the focus away from your penis. You wouldn't want them to not come, right? That's probably like mean or something.

And ya know, it's even worse beyond that because you aren't completely sure that you can't come from ass fingering. It feels sooooo good sometimes, especially if you are really aroused. It's like you could almost come that way. Maybe you even did once??

Also, like, it does seem as though so many other dudes were able to figure out or be luckily endowed with the ability to come from ass fingering, you just feel like you should keep at it, and your partner loves it so much, and you love making your partner happy, and it does feel good. Plus, it's really just kind of a bother to ask for penis stimulation. They usually don't know how to do it well anyway, so you have to teach them a lot and when you try they get a little out of the mood and then so do you, and it's really just not that worth it. And a lot of times even if you are able to teach them, it feels like they forget what you taught them the next time.

Sex isn't all about orgasm anyway, right? It's such a shame to focus only on the orgasm. You truly love the emotional connection and the physical touching. Plus, they usually touch your penis some at the beginning to get you in the mood and that's nice too.

And of course, you can always masturbate later, which most people now understand is manual stimulation of the penis for penis-bearers. Yeah, granted that's nothing like ass fingering, whereas for the person fingering, masturbation is just encompassing and rubbing the finger with their hand or mouth or something, so their masturbation is just like ass fingering...but no on seems to notice that discrepancy - including you. It's not something anyone discusses even though it's so obvious.

Then, ya know, it's even worse than that because you might have never touched your penis much or at all until well after you were sexually active with another person. Most of your partnered sexual experience has been asshole stuff though - especially one-night stands. It's just that people are weird about teen boys being sexual and wanting orgasm, and you also never really hear the word penis, so it's not really what you thought about when you thought about 'sex' or how to relieve your horniness as you were growing up.

And you always imagined as a young person that when the right person fingered your asshole, it would be like the most amazing orgasmic shit, and you had a feeling like you kinda needed another person to give you that experience. And you really did try to have that experience. You read articles and sex advice that told you to be mentally and emotionally open to it and not get hung up on things, and get a lot of penile foreplay before so you were aroused before the ass fingering. You really tried to have the orgasmic experience from ass-fingering, but nothing seemed to work. Maybe you're just one of the guys that isn't wired that way. You are just an unlucky one that 'needs extra.' Although, maybe it did happen once, though? It's hard to remember, but there were really good times.

And you know, it was always about the ass hole when it came to sex, for your whole life. Almost everything you saw. You've definitely heard some men need penis stimulation, but really that never registered much until later when you were an adult and honestly it's hard to figure out how to incorporate it now.

It's, like, some bullshit man - how insanely stupid it is to flip what happens to clits onto penises
Yeah, I know ladies don't come from rubbing their fingers, but I think it's a pretty good comparison to dicks going into vaginas.

Dicks get all the fun and orgasms. What we think of as basic sex (i.e. intercourse) looks like how they masturbate.

Vaginas get a ton of attention and all kinds of things stuck in them with the expectation that it will cause orgasm in that vagina-having person, but it actually won't (Seriously. Like SERIOUSLY).

Clits get ignored. The word is rarely said compared to penis and vagina - even in things like sex ed and even progressive sex advice. I mean, lots of actual women and men don't know where it is. It's rarely a focus in sexual media. Yet, the clit and the surrounding outer vulva tissue are what needs to be stimulated in order to orgasm - just as much as the penis is for males.

And no, ya'll, the "legs" of the clit that go down into the body don't get stimulated to orgasm through the walls of the vagina from penis banging. There's no actual physical evidence of this ever happening. It's just some BS that allows people to kinda vaguely "know" that the clitoris (specifically the external parts of the clit that can be stimulated externally) is the organ for female orgasm but still not question the expectation that at least some women, ya know the really sexually open and/or lucky women, should orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. The clitoral legs idea that is popular now is like the incorrect idea of an orgasm-giving G-spot, they are both stories that help smooth over how incredibly inconsistent the cultural understanding of female orgasm is compared to what the actual physical evidence of female orgasm tells us.

That finger thing would be cool though, right? I'd be sticking my finger up all the dude's asses for real, and sucking my finger a lot too, but not in that order.

But my point is, when it comes to clit-bearers quest for better sex and more orgasms, I don't want to hear shit anymore like, "It's just about communication." Or "Women need to just say what they want." If the playing field were equal it would all be about communications, and yes, I'm all for more of it and for women saying what they want in a sexual encounter.

But don't try and tell me that's the issue we're facing, because it most definitely is not.  We're facing a deep, all encompassing misunderstanding of female sexual response, female orgasm, and female anatomy that affects all aspects of how clit-bearers are understood sexually by our partners, how we understand ourselves, the expectations we have of sexual encounters and how we engage in them, what we see of people like ourselves and our partners in the media, and how much or little sexual satisfaction and orgasm we are willing to withstand.

We can communicate all we want, but until the clit is truly understood as the organ of female sexual pleasure, as deeply as the penis is understood as the organ of male sexual pleasure, and until we as a culture truly understand that intercourse is not a sensible way for a female to come - and I mean like understand it at such a level that it is in our blood and our history and our art and jokes and interactions - then nothing substantive will change for the lady-gasm. Clits will continue to be at a disadvantage to penises in a sexual situation. But this is a tall order. We need a complete flipping of our cultural understanding of how sex works. We need an Orgasm Equality Revolution.


3.18.2020

Night At The Roxbury - The SSL Review



Night at the Roxbury
I've watched SNL through the more and less funny years since before I can remember, so I'm for sure familiar with the Night at the Roxbury guys. I never caught the movie of this SNL skit, though, until last month when I was chillin' at a friends house, saw it was available to watch, and then started it up since none of us had seen it ever. We knew it wouldn't be like great, but ya know, maybe it would have a couple funny lines. It didn't.

It somehow was opposite of funny. It sucked funny out of the room. I mean, SNL movies aren't known for being good, but some of them are. I think Superstar with the Mary Katherine Gallagher character, holds up pretty well.

There was, however, 1 gross noise in this movie that kind of made it worth watching. I believe the foley artists must have slipped it in there just for fun, but I'll get to that in a minute. The reason I'm here on this blog, though, is because there was an SSL Reviewable moment. Spoiler alert, the Vulva Rating will be about as high as what I would give the movie as an overall rating.

An SSL Review
An SSL Review, for those that need a little refresher, is a review specifically of any discussion or depiction of female orgasm, female masturbation, cunnilingus, or the clit. I critique the realism of the depiction/discussion and also write about what the depiction/discussion says about and/or adds to our cultural understanding of female sexuality and orgasm. I try my best to just stick specifically to those SSL Reviewable moments, so it usually stays pretty focused on those parts of the movie only, but sometimes I like to digress.

So here we go. I have tons of these reviews btw. You can find all the other movie SSL Reviews HERE and the TV SSL Reviews HERE.

The Sex Scene - I-I-I-I-Ikea!
Emily (Molly Shannon) is laying next to Steve (Will Ferrell). They are talking about their family businesses. Emily, who has a head for business and sees their relationship as a way to combine and grow (this all sounds more filled out and interesting than it actually is), decides to emphasize how she sees this happening to the thick-skulled Steve by climbing on top of him and sexing him cowgirl style. She's telling how they are going to do this business plan the whole time she's riding him.

She starts out slow. We only see alternating shots of her from the shoulders up and him from the mid chest up as he's laying in the bed. She is perpendicular to his body, so there is no leaning forward or any way that her clit area might make contact with his body.

We don't ever see her hands. From the look of her shoulders, her arms are down and unmoving. If I had to guess what is actually happening with her hands, I'd say she's pressing them into his stomach to steady her as she's bouncing on him. It's possible that this character could have her hand(s) on her clit area, but if she does, we can't see that she's rubbing anything by the looks of her shoulders. It doesn't seem to me like clit rubbing was intended in this depiction at all.  She's also very clearly bouncing up and down, more so at the end than the beginning.

In fact, it's Molly Shannon, so she gets pretty spastic. She gets to the point of convolutions, throwing her head around and shaking up to the point were she seemingly comes while she's telling him they'll be as big as I-I-I-I-Ikea! Steve is clearly getting stimulation too. When we see shots of him intermittently. He's kinda doing an mouth open thing, in a pleasurable awe sort of way, but he doesn't seem to come. As soon as she comes, though, she rolls off of him, and then he says they're moving too fast (that won't spoil the movie for you - the movie spoils itself). And it's a quickie, ya'll. From the time she gets on him to her Ikea-gasm is a mere 30 seconds.

Same Dumb Lady-gasm Shit
It's an unrealstic lady-gasm, k? And not unrealistic in that she's getting off on the growth of their furniture stores or that it took a mere 30 second (some ladies pop off quick just like some guys do). It's that there didn't seem to be any stimulation of the area a female needs stimulated in order to orgasm - her clitoral glans/vulva area.

Seriously, it's like a scene where a guy comes in 30 seconds from something that is not stimulating his actual penis (no dry humping/clothes burning, not intercourse or even a touch - nothing). That kind of scene might be played in a comedy (probably to show how sexually inexperienced and turned on a guy is), but it would seem like a freak thing, something odd and over the top created for laughs. That his penis was not touched would be a main part of the comedy because we all know penises need touched for a guy to come.

Although it is just as physically ridiculous to assume that Emily would come at all from the stimulation inside the vagina she would get from bouncing on his dick with no additional clitoral/vulva stimulation (much less for 30 seconds), the foundation humor in this scene is not about the ridiculousness of how she is physically orgasming. The humor is in how hot the business talk is making her, how weird and convulsive her orgasm movements and vocalizations are, and maybe even that she finishes before him and doesn't care (How crazy, why I do say! Can you imagine! A woman like that! Putting her orgasm first and giving no shits about her man's orgasm!).

Yes, we can't say for sure she isn't diddling her clit. We don't actually see her hands or lower arms, but if Molly Shannon, the writer, and the director meant the character to be doing that, they didn't leave much clues. They sure as hell made sure we saw that she was bouncing hard up and down on the dick, so my guess is they were focusing on the intercourse as the source of her orgasm and the audience would most likely assume the same as well. I get it, though. It is depicted this way and understood by the audience this way because that's how we still understand lady-gasm in our culture. It's ridiculous and unrealistic to assume intercourse alone would ever bring a woman to orgasm, but sadly, that's the state of our understanding.

And, seriously, there's no reason to believe stimulating the inside of the vagina causes orgasm, but the whole world, even quite progressive sex-positive, sex-informed people, believe this can happen at least some of the time, so really this depictions is not really overly egregious. It's just continuing to normalize a shit understanding of lady-gasm that really needs to go away. Unfortunately, scenes like this help to make sure it stays around. And, I know this movie is over 20 years old, but it's not like that sex scene is out of date. The understanding around female orgasm has not changed in a significant enough way at all to make this scene seem outdated...and well, that's sad.

The Sound
Oh yeah, the sound was a really wet plopping sound at the time when it seemed like she sat on the dick. It was a little outrageous. We took it back a few times. It's definitely there, and like I said, maybe the only thing worth watching this movie for.

Vulva Rating
This depiction of how a lady might physically achieve orgasm is unrealistic, and it works to continue the normalization of the very wrong assumption that a female would orgasm just from bouncing on a cock. Again, it's not taking us backward. It can't because that assumption is where our sexual culture currently stands.  It's just not taking us forward, thus it adds to all the other things out there that are continuing to damage our sexual culture and particularly damaging women's understanding of their own orgasm and women's opportunities for getting off in partnered situations. If this were a better movie, I might be more lenient, but it wasn't so it gets a 1 out of 5 vulva rating.

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3.08.2020

The Year of Spectacular Men - The SSL Review



The Year of Spectacular Men
I caught The Year of Spectacular Men on Hulu. I was interested because it was directed by Lea Thompson, was written and stared her daughter Madelyn Deutch, and co-starred her other daughter Zoe Deutch. What I found was some very interesting sex scenes that I simply had to SSL Review.



An SSL Review
An SSL Review, for those that need a little refresher, is a review specifically of any discussion or depiction of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. I critique the realism of the depiction/discussion and also write about what the depiction/discussion says about and/or adds to our cultural understanding of female sexuality and orgasm. I try my best to just stick specifically to those SSL Reviewable moments, so it usually stays pretty focused on those parts of the movie only, but sometimes I like to digress.

So here we go. I have tons of these reviews btw. You can find all the other movie SSL Reviews HERE and the TV SSL Reviews HERE.

Simultaneous table-bang orgasm in under 25 seconds (the first sex scene)
So the scene started with Izzy, played by Madylen Deutch fighting with her ex Aaron about T-shirts. Then they sort of stopped, you know, because of all that the sexual tension, and started kissing and grabbing ravenously. He quickly picks her up so she's sitting on a table facing him. He's standing between her legs facing her. They are really getting hot and heavy, and she starts saying they shouldn't be doing this, but is still really kissing him and being into it.Then he says.
Aaron: Shut up. Don't you want to see it again?
Izzy: What?
Aaron: Don't you want to see it again?
Izzy: Who says that?
Aaron: I do.
Izzy: (pauses for a sec and then emphatically) Yes.
At this point they both lick their hands and move them down to their genitals - we can only assume to lube up the fucking that will ensue. And it does ensue immediately. Although we are only seeing them in profile from the chest up, almost instantly we can tell that the dick is pulled out of the fly and put in her vag. We see her kinda get on it with an "umph" sound, and then she starts bouncing up and down. We see them banging occasionally now from a wider shot. Her dress is hiked up, but they are fully clothed. We see how hard they are rocking the table and vases are falling off of it. There's no time skip. We're seeing the the whole sexual experience from beginning to end.

To be honest the mechanics of how she is bouncing up and down on the table doesn't seem quite right from my understanding of how dicks are attached to men. Like, he is pelvis to pelvis to her while she's bouncing, but the bouncing is really very vertical instead of more angled toward him yet also kinda up-down like one would expect from this sitting/standing sex, but whatever. Maybe I'm wrong. The point is she's bouncing.

She's definitely not grinding her hips against him, and both of their hands are clearly visible and not anywhere near her vulva. We kind of hear him breathing, but she is quite vocal with "uhs" and "fucks" and things like that. At timecode 18:05, less than 25 seconds after he puts it in her, we see from behind that he does kind of one last strong thrust, and then they both vocally seem to have a simultaneous orgasm.

Oh, I forgot you were there, but that was the best sex of my life (the second sex scene)
Izzy and a dude named Logan are in a bed, naked, but with covers on. They are kissing and then she says, "we should have sex, we should definitely have sex. Do you have a condom." 

They awkwardly get the condom. She reaches down and puts it on him, and his dick goes in the vagina kinda of all in one fell swoop. Like, it seemed real quick from when she reached down with the condom to when they were fucking, but maybe that's just me. Anyway, he starts pumping into her, and as soon as he does, she asks, "Do you have any lube? It's just, like, so rubbery down there?"

They again awkwardly get the lube and put some down there. Although they are covered up, we see her knees are up around his hips, and he again starts pumping into her. After a few pumps, she asks if she can get on top. And he says something like, 'yeah, let's get on the floor,' for some reason I don't understand. However, when they roll down there, awkwardly of course, she's still on bottom. He pumps a few more times while she gets distracted by his sweat. Then she asks again to get on top again.

He's absolutely into this fucking thing - not at all distracted like she is. However, he's always cool with doing what she asks, so she gets on top. She's stick straight, perpendicular on top of him with her hands pressed against his chest. She is bouncing straight up and down. She keeps doing this but gets distracted by him asking if his dick is big and also by some floor stuff that had gotten stuck to her back. She reaches to her back, asking what's on it and then Logan says, "you should come," to which she says, "Oh no no, you go. you go." And so he definitely does while she, still very distracted and frazzled, is trying to pick the things off her back.

The sex is done. He says it's the best sex he's ever had and we see her raise her eyebrows like, really?

Came in my pants (the third sex scene)
Lizzy and a dude named Charlie are both fully dressed and laying on a bed making out heavily. She starts reaching for his dick, but he starts telling her they should stop. She's confused and asking why (free PSA - just stop if someone says to stop. Ask why later if you need to) until he tells her he just came. He rolls over, embarrassed and also as if the sex is for sure, completely done.

She asks if he wants to wait a few and try again, and he's like no, I'm so embarrassed and all that. There are some mildly funny lines. He tells her it's kind of a compliment because it was a lot, but he needs to take a shower and clean up, but then they can hang. He leaves and they never have more sex.

The Good, The Bad, And The Premature Ejaculation (or maybe just sex minus the lady-gasm)
So here's the deal. There are 3 sex scenes in this movie. In one we see "good" sex. In the second, we see "bad" sex, and in the third we see sex that ends too early because the man could not perform...maybe you could call this "really bad sex, " but I think this is its own particular category of sex we commonly see depicted in media. I can only assume these were all meant to show quite varied sexual experiences, but I suggest that these are all quite similar and very much represented of the female sexual experience.

Scene 1: I meeeaaan, did she come?
That female sexual experience I speak of is, ya know, basically a lot of sexual experiences and very little orgasming. Granted Izzy "came" in the first scene. I mean, I'm pretty sure the intention was that this character was supposed to have come, but like, did she? Does it even make any goddamn sense that she would? Or, and hear me out, did she have a really hot sexual experience where her vagina was filled up but her organ of sexual pleasure (the clit) wasn't touched at all, and instead of actually orgasming, she made the sounds of orgasm at the time when the guy fucking her started to actually orgasm?

Now, I don't know if Izzy would have called that faking or not or even recognized it as faking or not, but what I do know is that assuming a woman would come in that situation is like assuming a man would come in a scene where his balls and nips were being stimulated but his penis was left to chill on its own. We don't see those kinds of scenes often because as a culture we're not ignorant about what physically makes males come, but we are very off base about females. Thus we get scenes like this where a lady character orgasms from something that would be deeply unlikely to make any female come, and why is that? Because it doesn't seem strange or unrealistic since realistically scenes like this happen all the time in real life.

Women make orgasm sounds at times when there is no sensible way that they would physically be orgasming. And why is that? Well, I guess because with the abundance of ignorance and misleading, incorrect information about lady gasm out there, we're all just doing the best we can and way too often, that means lady=gasms get vocalized instead of getting had. (Seriously, I'm not crazy. Orgasm caused by nothing more than something stimulating the inside of the vagina (pure intercourse with no additional clit/vulva stimulation for instance) has never been recorded in all of scientific literature. The clitoral glans area is the orgasm area. Prove me wrong).

Scene 2: Male-centric, shitty sex with two people that are not CLITerate disguised as awkwardly cute, distracted sex with a modern, sex-savvy lady
The second sex scene was meant, I think, to be one where the whole thing was too awkward and distracting for Izzy to come. I definitely also saw it as a depiction of an oblivious, self-involved male lover, and it may also have been meant to be that too, but I don't actually think that was the intention here.

In the next scene she tells her friends (well, sister and brother-in-law) what happened in the sex and how she felt about it, and she never mentioned that it felt selfish or that she didn't come or that his only seeming interest in her orgasm was a half-hearted "you should come," before he happily took her invitation to come himself and then apparently completely forgot that her orgasm even exists. Instead she said it was awkward that the lube exploded (it didn't, though, so must have been cut from the sex scene) and that he sweated on her forehead. She also said the asking if his penis was big was awkward, but the brother-in-law said "That's important to a guy, you just have to lie." The sister said, "I agree" (cue awkward look at each other). They also said the first time is never amazing, but she told them he said it was the best he'd ever had. They all mumbled about that being sad for him. Also, she goes on to date that guy. Point is, that sex scene was meant to show awkward sex not selfishly male-centric sex where the dude is obsessed with the size of his penis and remained completely oblivious to how distracted she became from the moment she asked for the condom to the moment he orgasmed (and the sex ended). She was nowhere close to coming and the dude did not even notice.

All that aside, though, there is still something important to note here. Ain't nobody in this whole scene went anywhere near her clit. How's this dude gonna tell her that she should come when her clit is just chilling alone in the cold? Can you imagine the audacity and idiocy of a woman, looking at a man and telling him he should come, while she's vibrating her own clit and ramming a dildo up his ass - with nothing touching his penis at all? Nah. That dumb shit wouldn't happen. But, like we discussed earlier, our culture is pretty ignorant about ladygasms and how they actually happen.

The truth is that Izzy would never realistically have orgasmed in this scene even if she wasn't distracted by the awkwardness. When he was on top, he was just banging his penis into her vagina. There was no grinding of her clit area onto his pelvis. When she was on top, she was just bouncing on his cock. She was not leaned forward in a way that her vulva/clit area could touch his body and get stimulation, and at no time did either of them use their hands on her clit.

So, from my perspective, this sex would have been trash no matter what, but I think Izzy's verbal initiation of the fucking, her ask for lube, and her continued asks to be on top were meant to show her as assertive and knowledgeable about her own sexual pleasure, even if she was distracted by the awkwardness. I will say I appreciate the attempt in this scene to give her agency in this situation.  Asking for what you need is classically something women don't do in bed, so I'm not mad they wrote that in.

However, I have a thing about women asking to be on top in media. I think it's usually meant as a signal that she knows how to orgasm and isn't afraid to ask, but unfortunately it's also usually written by people that don't actually understand how female orgasm works. They've just heard that getting on top is dominate and better for lady-gasm. 'Getting on top' is a hallow attempt to show female sexual empowerment if the orgasmic power of 'getting on top' is completely missed. The power in the lady-on-top position is that she is able to get the clit stimulation she needs while he still gets to have his dick stimulated by her puss. Either she could just reach down and stimulate her own clit, the dude could reach up and stimulate her clit, or she could position her body so that her clit/vulva area presses against his body. That way she would have the freedom of motion to grind her clit against him any way she needs while the dick's still in there. Alas, that's not what happens in this scene. Izzy basically just got on top to, I guess, exert more effort to do the same thing - stimulate his penis with her vagina while nothing touched her clit. Hell, if he were on top, at least she could just lay there and relax while nothing happened to make her come.

Point is this scene, if you really look at it, was not about awkward sex. It was about shit sex where the dude didn't pay any attention to her arousal level and no one, including Izzy herself, gave the clit any attention. It tried, but it was also not a depiction of a woman who knew how to get herself to orgasm. She was never realistically going to come from the non-clit focused position she assertively got herself too.

Scene 3: Clits don't need dicks to come
In the third scene, well, in this scene it was a bunch of selfish male bullshit. Listen. Just because the dude comes doesn't mean his lady partner is done too. I mean, if a dude starts off by eating a girl out, he's not gonna just be done after she comes. He's gonna expect some head or some puss.

This dude came. Sure it was 'pre-mature' or whatever, but he got to come. So, she doesn't get the same opportunity? She was horny too. It's fucked up. However, it feels kinda sensible, though, because very, very wrongly, we think that women need a hard dick in order to come. We actually don't - at all.

In fact it's probably more likely we'll get a chance to come if the dick is limp. If it's hard, then there's a good chance it's going into our vaginas, and (you should probably know this by now) intercourse is actually one of the worst ways to get a woman off. For intercourse to sensibly have a chance at including a lady-gasm, it's got to be paired with some stimulation of the clit, and in that case, no problem, just skip the in-out and work on the clit. Put a finger or two in if she wants a little razzle dazzle to accompany the clit stim. Point is - fuck that guy for not even considering that his dick might not be the center of that experience and that she might want to come too and that. Not really, though - he's just going by what he knows. You can't blame anyone too much for how this shit sexual culture erases the clit and the female orgasm out of our lives and minds and sexual experiences. She seemed to think the sex was done until he got hard again too. Damn cultural lady-gasm ignorance again! None of us are immune.

All Together: lady-gasm is left in the dust - in this movie and in real life sex 
So, overall we have a scene where Izzy and her partner start and end the process aroused. He comes. She fakes it (i.e doesn't come, i.e. is left without physically taking her arousal to completion). The next scene starts with them both aroused and ends up with him taking it to completion and her losing her arousal. He comes and she doesn't. The next scene starts with them both aroused and ends up with him taking it to completion and her still being aroused. He comes and she doesn't.

See the pattern with orgasm there? Of course women as a whole come during sexual encounters sometimes, but for men as a whole it's more like almost always  or always. I think the sex scenes in this movie were meant to be realistic, but in that attempt, I think they became a kind of poignant look into the reality of the female sexual experience. Because it's not like these scenes weren't thought through deeply. They were. The writer, who also plays Izzy, is Madelyn Deutch. Her mother is Lea Thompson and also the director. Madelyn says of the sex scenes in an interview:
They were incredibly important to us. I mean, me and my mom had a lot of really frank conversations about the representations of consent within the film; the sex scenes, the representation of the scene that was actually happening within the sex scene, why each of them are in there. I feel like it's a bit in vogue right now to just make them inherently miserable. And I'm like, I feel like that's slightly fashionable to be like, this is the worst thing you've ever, literally, ever seen. And that also feels gratuitous to me, just as gratuitous as like, a luscious, perfectly shot, body make-up. To me, they're both at the end of the spectrum and I wanted to do neither of those things. It was really important to me that I try to show that, like, people when they're trying to connect, that I think they are a lot more empathetic towards one another in a sexual setting. That stuff was huge to me.
These sex scenes were not throw-away. They were cared for and written by women. That's why there is clear consent in all of them, and I appreciate that. Lady-gasm, though, was not given the same depth of consideration because our culture does not give it that consideration. These scenes are reflections of our world because they were written and acted by people in our world who were trying to make non gratuitous sex scenes from our world. Lady-gasm was placed in these scenes much like it's placed in actual sex, as an afterthought or an incorrectly understood vague thought. Like too often in real life, the lady-gasms in the movie sex were faked, non-existent or completely ignored after the dude had his.

I love though, how these scenes turned out to be poignant peaks into how little thought is given to the lady-gasm during sex and when there is thought given, how deeply physically incorrect those thoughts are. And most disturbing of all, how normal that all seems. Recognizing that poignancy, however, can only really happen after a lot of analysis. That's not how these scenes exist out in the real world to all the people viewing them casually in a movie though. What happens is people see these scenes without any criticism of the physically unrealistic methods for getting lady-gasms or of the obliviousness to female orgasm in sex. Physically unrealistic paths to lady-gasm, clearly male-centric sex, and a clear sense that sex is over once the dude comes just sit out there for people to take in uncritically. So these scenes act to continue normalizing those already very normal things.


The Vulva Rating
So, this movie doesn't really take us backward in cultural understanding of female orgasm, but it does press us even more firmly into this current cultural mindset that is really quite shit for lady-gasm. So, this isn't getting a good vuvla rating. However, I will be a bit more lenient because I appreciate that the writer created moments to show obvious consent and in sexual ways, which was nice.

So The Year of Spectacular Men gets 2 vulvas out of 5.
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2.25.2020

Parasite - The SSL Review


Parasite
I do try to watch all the Academy nominated movies every year. 1. I like watching movies. 2. I watch the Oscars with the same friends every year, and although I always come in close to last on guessing the winners, I like to have seen most of them because it feels like maybe I might have some insight on what should win, but actually I think it makes me worse. We talk shit and eat, and it's one of the few times a year I see these friends, so I look forward to it. Anyway, I saw some of the movies, but I didn't catch the winner, Parasite, until a few weeks after. I liked the movie, but I especially liked the sex scene. It's SSL Reviewable, and it will be getting a great Vulva Rating. Top notch situation in my book.

An SSL Review, for those that need a little refresher, is a review specifically of any discussion or depiction of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. I critique the realism of the depiction/discussion and also write about what the depiction/discussion says about and/or adds to our cultural understanding of female sexuality and orgasm. I try my best to just stick specifically to those SSL Reviewable moments, so it usually stays pretty focused on those parts of the movie only, but sometimes I like to digress.

So here we go. I have tons of these reviews btw. You can find all the other movie SSL Reviews HERE and the TV SSL Reviews HERE.

The Scene - sexy couch stuff while watching your kid from afar through a window as he sleeps in a tent 
I wrote that and it seems much creepier than it is. I mean it's a fairly accurate description, but it's not like the sex had anything to do with them seeing their child sleeping. They couldn't even see the kid. He wanted to sleep in a tent in the back yard, and the parents thought they should sleep where they could be in view if he needed them. They were basically on a couch that had a view of the tent their child was inside. They were at least 50 feet apart with a wall of windows in between. The sex was just because they were laying on the couch together and got horny. There was also another reason in the storyline that this sex was an interesting turn of events, but I don't want to give anything away if you haven't seen it.

So, now that I spent a paragraph convincing you it was a weird situation but not in a creepy, kid-related way, let me explain it quickly.

Parasite (2020) sex scene
So the father and mother are laying mostly on their sides on the couch. She is in front of him and he's behind, kind of spooning her. The father must get a horny idea in his head that causes him to reach around and under her night shirt. He's messing with her boobs, and then she starts getting horny too, so she reaches back and starts jerking him off under his pants. We see a brief close-up of this. They both continue to watch outside intently so they aren't surprised if the kid pops in suddenly. Then he takes his other hand, comes in from under the butt and between the legs, and starts rubbing her clit/vulva area over her silk pajama pants. The scene ends before anyone comes, but they are clearly both going at it and enjoying it. I think it's safe to say they are intended to get to that point, and they are likely not going to change positions because they are trying to be discreet and also on the lookout for a kid.

My Thoughts - Fuck yeah, bro. Rub a lady off!
I mean, if you know anything about me or this blog or my movie, you know I'm all in for this scene. It checks all the boxes
  • Number 1 here is simply that the sexual thing happening to the woman in this scene is actually something that could sensibly cause her to orgasm. Her organ of sexual pleasure (the clit - more specifically the clitoral glans and surrounding tissue) was being stimulated through her silky pants, just like his organ of sexual pleasure (his penis) was being stimulated. That's no small thing. Usually a couple like this in a movie would have intercourse and nothing would be stimulating her clitoral glans area. Yet, although there is no physical scientific evidence that stimulating the inside of the vagina with things like dicks could cause a woman to orgasm, it is most often depicted as if she does come or will come just from getting fucked. That kind of unrealistic depiction is soooo common, and it gives a completely incorrect expectation for what types of physical stimulation are needed for a female to orgasm. However, this scene in Parasite depicts physical stimulation that absolutely could be expected to get a woman off and thus helps create more realistic expectations in the cultural mind for how women might come.
  • Number 2 - This is a sexual interaction between a hetero couple that is something other than penis in vagina intercourse. P-in-V intercourse dominates media so thoroughly that it could easily seem to anyone that this is the ultimate and most acceptable way that a male and female should interact sexually. Every time a scene, especially in a mainstream or high profile piece of media, depicts another way of doing sex, it helps to normalize other ways to fuck. It models other ways that a hetero couple might release horniness, and in doing so helps give cultural permission to ask for and attempt those other sexual options. Moving away from P-in-V dominated sex is HUGE for orgasm equality.
  • Number 3 - It's hot. I mean, I thought it was, and it's kind of important for these alternative sexual scenarios to be hot in order to embed themselves in our cultural consciousness as things we might want to be a part of. I will say, however, that the director wanted this to be a very uncomfortable scene more than titillating one because of its relation to the movie's plotline that I'm not going to talk about (I'm trying not to spoil, but you can read about that more HERE if you don't mind a spoiler). But, I think just because he wasn't going for titillation doesn't mean it wasn't. Also, I kind of wonder if the over-the-clothes genital touching was maybe an attempt to keep it more clean - especially in this PG-13 movie in a fairly conservative place like Korea. If that's the case, I think it kind of back-fired because it forced the scene into a less common sexual act and that makes it dirtier in a way. In fact, I think that anytime a scene includes clit stimulation, it really does seem dirtier because it's just a little 'extra'. The truth is we don't see clit stimulation much in media, and frankly/sadly don't actually involve it in real-life sax acts all that much. So seeing it might feel a little "off" - which to be fair may be read as super hot but also as kind of strange/confusing/foreign, or even gross. Either way, it wasn't a bland scene and I like that. Also, here's a bunch of people talking about how awkward they felt during this sex scene (mostly related to watching it with their parents)...and let's be honest, it wouldn't feel awkward if it weren't dirty, amiright?
  • Number 4 - It showed manual stimulation of the female genitals, and it focused on the orgasmically appropriate way to finger lady-junk. Unfortunately a lot of depictions of manual stimulation on women involve a finger(s) ramming up the vagina - as if mimicking intercourse, which as we know shouldn't be expected to cause orgasm. So, I'm glad the choice was to show the clit/vulva area getting rubbed against not the vag getting rammed in. 
  • Number 5 - It's a sex scene focused on simply 2 people stimulating each other's organs of sexual pleasure. Scenes like this are important because here's the deal. All healthy individuals are born with either a clit, a penis, something related to one of those, or a sort of mix of those, and all of those clit/penis-like organs are capable of being stimulated to orgasm. That means any two people you might put together - cis, het, trans, gay, intersex - in any combination, could have amazing, orgasmic sex together with an activity just like the one depicted in this movie. That is important to know and to see in our media because it's a reminder that orgasm is just the appropriate stimulation of the sex junk. I think some of the discomfort against non cis, het couples out there is related to people not understanding how another type of couple might 'fit' together sexually given that p-in-v intercourse is assumed to be the ultimate way of doing sex. However, the truth is P-inV intercourse is actually a shit way of achieving orgasmic sexual activity (for clits not penises), and alternative sexual activity like in this scene are waaaay better. I like to think that if regular ol' conservative-living folks out there can start getting it in their heads that for a cis, het couple like themselves, the most orgasmic way to fuck is not intercourse but to creatively stimulate each other's junk (and that the clit is the female junk not the vagina), then it's not much of a leap to see that any two people might enjoy that kind of sexual pleasure together as well - that we're all really the same when it comes to sexual pleasure.  - Anyway, I really do think a realistic understanding of female orgasm/the clit and a deep expansion of what hetero sex could/should be would also necessarily broaden appreciation and understanding in the larger culture of all types of couples....and scenes like this help.
Vulva Rating
For all the reason's above, I give this this a 5 out of 5 Vulva Rating!
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2.18.2020

"Venkmaning" - Ghostbuster's Most Sexual Predator Moment



Let's discuss what I'm gonna call "Venkmaning." To do that I'm going to drive a bit out of my lane - my lane being specific discussion of lady-gasms, clits, and lady-bation in our culture, media, science, etc. Today, I'm going to break down a scene in the original Ghostbusters so we can see the purest form of Venkmaning.. Normally I only do these movie scene breakdowns for my SSL Review series and the scenes must include a specific discussion or depiction of clits, lady-bation, cunnilingus, or lady-gasm. This has none of those. Instead it has a textbook manipulation in which a man in power uses that power to strategically trick a woman into trusting his intentions and interest in her until he suddenly flips the switch and tries to do sex stuff with her in a betrayal of the original reasons he portrayed for why he wants to be around her. AKA a dude being actually quite intentionally mean and thoughtless towards a woman in pursuit of sex - all from the most beloved of Ghostbuster characters - Bill Murray and Dr. Venkman.

I hadn't noticed this creeping when I was a child....
I was at work eating lunch in a breakroom with cable TV and caught the first part of Ghostbusters, a movie I've always enjoyed, but hadn't seen in a good while. In fact, the last time I saw it maybe about 8 years ago, I think I had also caught it on TV and missed the beginning.

My boss happened to come in to talk about something, and I said, "Dude, I hadn't realized what a creep Bill Murray (granted, it's his character Dr. Peter Venkman, not actually him) was." He was like, yeah, he's a creep in that, and then we started talking about capital purchases, but I was shook, ya'll. It's not like I was surprised. I have started seeing real creepiness - ranging from straight rapey to just pushy in a lot of older movie I've rewatched. What was weird to me was how blatant it was in a movie that had been at the center of a really huge gender-related controversy quite recently. It truly surprised me with all the talk about how much of a perfect, cinematicly-amazing, utterly hilarious, excellently scripted, utterly untouchable piece of movie genius (I'm paraphrasing but that seems to be the gist of the fan talking points) the original Ghostbusters was, I never heard any hubub about how fucked up Venkman is - which granted could just be because I wasn't engaging much in that stuff.

So, I looked around the interwebs to see if I just missed it, and yes, it does seem there is an acknowledgement that Venkman is a creep (as my boss acknowledged as well), and probably a straight up sexual predator. However, the discussions on this mostly surrounds his interactions with Sigourney Weaver's character Dana - which really is pretty gross and, let's be honest, prevents this movie from being timeless. It is for sure a dinosauric remnant of its time and one that will become a more and more embarrassing piece of art as the years pass - not one that truly holds up over time (fight me). The experiment at the beginning is mentioned some, and it seems it's used sometimes in Psych 101 to talk about concepts like negative reinforcement (what Venkman says his experiment is about) and abuse of power. However, the take away of this scene always seems kinda light - like 'don't hit on your subjects, k?' But, it's more than him hitting on a pretty girl. It's a planned, nefarious, manipulation that really exemplifies a particularly painful way women get fucked over. Let's break this down.



The Scene:
It's at the beginning of the movie. The library ghost situation has happened. The iconic music and 'Ghostbusters' title/logo appears. We see the exterior of a university building - "Weaver Hall Department of Psychology." Then we see the door to a room or office in the building. It says "Paranormal Studies Laboratory" and has all 3 of the Ghostbusters' names on the door, Dr. Egon Spenglar, Dr. Ray Stanz, and Dr. Peter Venkman. It also has,"Venkman burn in hell" painted on it in red. It seems like a legit place, but this clearly is also showing us that Venkman may not be well liked (because the movie does seem to acknowledge he's a creep, albeit a lovable, funny, main-character who gets the girl in the end kind of creep).

We hear Venkman behind the door.
Venkman: Alright. I'm going to turn over the next card. I want you to concentrate. I want you to tell me what you think it is.
We see a star on a card and the camera moved to reveal a male college student with wires attached to his hand. He touches his forehead and nervously says,
College guy: Square.
Venkman: Good guess, but wrong.
Venkman flips the card over to show the star and then flips a switch on a controller in front of him that gives the college guy an electric shock. The college guy seizes a bit and yelps with the shock and we now see a blond college gal, Jennifer, next to him. She recoils too at his pain. Venkman stays steely calm, writes something down, and then looks over at the gal. He drops the steely persona and gives her a little smile.
Venkman: (upbeat) Clear you head.
Jennifer smiles a touch, nods and then Venkman hold up another card.
Venkman: Alright. Tell me what you think it is.
Jennifer: Is it a star?
Venkman: It is a star. Very good. That's great.
It is not a star. It's a circle, but Venkman doesn't reveal that. He just puts the card down and Jennifer smiles and seems excited. Venkman turns his attention to the guy again and holds up another card.
Venkam: Okay. Alright. Think Hard. What is it?
College guy: A circle.
Venkman: (Sucks air through teeth.) Close.
Venkman flips over a square. The guy smiles a little at that, but his mood changes as Venkman goes on.
Venkman: But definitely wrong.
Venkman gives the guy an electric shock again. He shakes so hard his gum flies out of his mouth. The gal looks a bit concerned. Then Venkman again softens and turns his attention to the Jennifer. He holds up another card. It's a plus sign.
Venkman: Okay. Alright. Ready?
Jennifer: smiles and prepares Yeah.
Venkman: What is it?
Venkman smiles again at her. She looks like she is concentrating a bit, and then Venkman smiles again at her and mouths jovially 'come on.'
Jennifer: Figure eight.
Venkman: Incredible. That's five for five. (flirty) You can't see these can you? You're not cheating me?
Jennifer: No, no! (a little giddy) I swear. They're just coming to me.
Venkman: Okay. (turning his attention to the guy and getting more serious) Nervous?
College guy: Yes. I don't like this.
Venkman: You only have 75 more to go. Okay. What's this one?
Guy: It's a couple of wavy lines.
We see from behind that he's correct, but Venkman drops the card without showing it.
Venkman: Sorry. This isn't your lucky day.
College guy: I know. (sadly)
The guys mumbles a variety of 'ums' and 'waits' as Venkman very slowly moves his hand towards the buzzer to electrocute him, all while turning his attention to the gal and smiling, winking. At first the gal looks at the guy in worry but then reacts to Venkman's attention and smiles demurly as he does this.
College guy: I'm getting a little tired of this!
Venkman: You volunteered for this didn't you? We're paying you aren't we?
College guy: Yeah, but I didn't know you were gonna be giving me electric shocks. What are you trying to prove here anyway?
Venkman: I'm studying the effect of negative reinforcement on ESP ability.
College guy: The effect? I'll tell you what the effect is. It's pissing me off (gets up and takes off wire)
Venkman: Well then maybe my theory is correct.
College guy: You can keep the 5 bucks. I've had it.
Venkman: I will, mister!
Venkman immediately gets up, moves to the other side of the table and sits down into the college guy's seam next to Jennifer. He's turned towards her, quite close and puts his hand on her shoulder.
Venkman: You may as well get used to that. It's the kind of resentment that your ability is going to provoke in people.
Jennifer: Do you think I have it Dr. Venkman?
Venkman: You're no fluke Jennifer.
Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) comes in. Venkman looks off annoyed.
Venkman: Will you excuse me for a second?
Jennifer: Sure
Venkman jumps up and joins dude behind Jennifer.
Venkman: (forcefully and annoyed but kinda under his breath so Jennifer doesn't notice) I'm right in the middle of something Ray!
Venkman gives him a jumping slap to the head as he says this, then looks over at Jennifer who doesn't seem to be paying attention and settles himself before he speaks again.
Venkman: I need a little more time with this subject.(sort of gives him a knowing eye raise, but Ray doesn't seem to notice) Could you come back in an hour, hour and a half?
Ray pays no attentions and just starts talking in length about the library incident and how exciting and big it is.
Venkman: I'm very excited. I'm very pleased. I want you to get right down there. Check it out, and get back to me! Get right back to me!
Ray tells him something like, 'No, you're coming with, and ends with, We're close on this one. I can feel it!" before he heads back out the door leaving the 2 alone again.
Venkmen looks resigned and mutters quietly to himself "I can feel it. We're very very close" and heads back to Jennifer. (kinda as if he's talking about him and Jennifer, if ya know what I mean).
Venkman: I have to go now Jennifer, but I'd like to work with you some more. Perhaps if you could come back this evening, say at...
Jennifer: 8:00?
Venkman: I was just going to say, 8:00. You are a legitimate phenomenon

Fuck Venkman and his fucked up intentional, calculated manipulation of this woman
Alright, so it's easy to see he's using his position as a professor to creep on this woman and that is clearly inappropriate. That's no secret. People talk about it, but I think that's just the surface of this. How he does it, how sadly common this type of creeping is, and how this kind of creeping affects the person being creeped on is really the story here in my opinion.

Making up a non-sexual interest in her
First of all - how he does it. Venkman creates a big ol' scenario just to make Jennifer believe that she is special and that he is interested in her in a professional capacity. Although from our viewer perspective he's clearly trying to get with her, how can you really blame Jennifer for assuming that his niceness and interest in her is because she's been able to guess all those cards? She's on her own trip in this scene where she's realizing that she has a psychic ability, and why wouldn't the person doing this study be truly interested in her? She's guessing every card correctly. Why wouldn't he want to continue investigating this as soon as possible? Why wouldn't he want to work on this tonight at 8 - as soon as he can get back to it? She can only assume he's as excited to learn more about her abilities as she is - probably more so! Why would she ever assume this grown, professional man doing scientific study into his area of expertise has created an elaborate ruse where he lies to her at every turn. That would be insane, and she would be paranoid for thinking that. She can only assume it's cool and exciting for both of them.

However, this situation is insane and she would be right to go into a deeply paranoid train of thought. What he does here is intentionally misdirect her to think his interest in her is professional - unrelated to wanting to fuck her. He set her up so that she lets down whatever guard she's learned to put up around dudes trying to bother her.

Getting her to feel unguarded with him
But that's not all folks. He also gets her to let down her guard in another way. When she starts this experiment, she's not alone with Dr. Venkman. She gets into the situation in a much safer-from-getting-creeped-on scenario. There's another guy. However, as we know, Venkman does everything in his power through the experiment to piss the guy off and get him to leave. He succeeds and voila! he's got himself alone in a closed room with Jennifer. It's the old get-her-to-a-secluded-place date rape trick. She's not seeing it yet, though. She's already deep in the whole I-might-have-ESP thing and she thinks Venkman is professionally interested in her, plus the guy left on his own. For her, it doesn't add up to Venkman pushing her into a situation where they are alone. It's going as planned - Venkman is intentionally getting her to trust him under false pretenses and specifically getting himself alone with her all while allowing her to think something way different and more normal is happening.

Establishing safe intimacy
Then, as soon as they are alone, he moves across the table to sit very close to her and touches her almost immediately while still speaking to her in a professional capacity. He knows what he's doing. He has planned this out meticulously to keep her open to him and willing to go along with whatever happens. The touch is the first step towards sliding without much notice into pushy sex town. But then Ray gets there.

She never indicates she wants him sexually
Honestly, it seems like Venkman was going to try to fuck her right there in that that room. He asks Ray to come back in an hour, hour and a half. We know he sure wasn't trying to finish that experiment. Which...let's just consider that for a second. Jennifer in this situation doesn't seem to be thinking of fucking Venkman at all. Yeah she smiles at him and stuff, but let us not forget that she's being gaslighted into believing that Venkman is excited about her abilities. When she talks to him, she's talking about her abilities, not about flirty shit, and when she suggests meeting him at 8, it's because she thinks he wants to work with her some more (because that's what he tells her he wants). When he eventually starts getting handsy with her (since, lets be honest, this is the next step given he's trying to fuck within the hour) his intentions, I think, will come as a surprise to her.

I think it's easy to look at this scene and read in it that Jennifer is playing along, being flirty and looking to fuck too - maybe because that's the most palatable read of this situation. The alternative, that she's going to be completely bamboozled, is frankly gross and sad, and maybe that's not the read an audience wants to make on this otherwise light-hearted comedic storyline. But that's is the only really sensible read. He's flirting with her, and she's simply being nice and even a bit giddy about her exciting new abilities.
\
What this manipulation does to a person
And that brings me to the other part - how this kind of creeping affects a person. Here's the deal. Do you know how it feels when you are praised for something, or when someone notices something you find interesting or unique or about you, something you take pride in? It feels nice.

Now, how do you think it feels when someone really convincingly and maybe even for a lengthy amount of time pretends to notice or praise those things but then suddenly, is all like, "sike! I didn't give a shit about any of that. I just wanted something else and played you like a fiddle to get at it."

...well, that feels embarrassing, and shitty, and sad.

Lots of people might have felt something like that in their life, but if you are a woman, I bet there's a good chance you have had that rug pulled out from under you when it was revealed the person just wanted to fuck you. You think a person is drawn to you and compliments you because of something you are doing, something you are working toward, something you share in common with them, but then they reveal the real situation. Maybe they drop you cold when they see you have a significant other or when you tell them you don't want to date, or when you avoid a sexual pass they make. Or maybe you just realize it when you think you're talking about something interesting and completely non sexual and they start trying to get with you.

Yeah, sometimes people get in situations where there is uneven interest and an honest misunderstanding takes place with good intention. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about a person wanting to become sexual with another person and taking intentional steps to misguide their object of desire to build undue trust, and to get them in secluded situations so that the possibility of sex is more attainable. If you are thinking that this isn't always so bad - that this can be part of dating - then that's the problem. That's why this scene, though incredibly mean, kind of seems normal. Our culture accepts that behavior to some degree, but it's not cool.

In fact, to the person that this happens too, it's like a punch to the gut. "Oh, yeah, I'm a fucking idiot. Why would I think this person is interested in me? I guess I'm just some tits and a pussy, and I fell for their dumb method of making me feel comfortable around them." Maybe I don't know exactly how to describe that feeling. Maybe it's different in different situations, but I think it's something like a sinking smack of reality that takes you from a particularly high place to a particularly low place quite quickly. It's mean and it shouldn't be normalized as much as it is.

What we didn't see but can assume from this Venkman scene (amusing on where this fits on the 'rapey' scale)
What's worse, I think, is that this kind of manipulation sometimes works simply because by the time the woman has figured out what the real intention was, she's too confused and embarrassed to actively separate herself from the sexual action that has started happening. I think it's something we don't talk about enough, but saying no is hard, and just going with the flow is sometimes too easy - especially when things just keep pushing forward at a fast pace. Sometimes things just happen so fast that there's not time to really be clear about what happened and what is going to happen.

I think creeps like this bank on the hope that by the time he starts doing things that reveal his real intentions, like taking off cloths or doing something specifically sexual, the woman has been bamboozled for long enough beforehand that she becomes kind of bewildered at that point. Suddenly she's trying to figure the situation out anew, real time while it's happening to her at a quick pace, and all while feeling really dumb that she let it get this far - that she didn't realize that this was about sex. So even if she doesn't want sex, she might feel bad or too silly to stop it with much forcefulness. Don't underestimate how strong a person, especially a woman's, instinct is to NOT make a person upset by stopping sexual things they actually don't want. A creep knows that, like Pringles, if you can get it started - however you can get that to happen - it's hard to stop. A creep is banking that any inkling of a 'no' will be conflicted with enough shame and confusion that it can just be kind of ignored long enough for him to go onto the next move. It's probably not legally rape, but it's for sure rapey, and definitely shitty. Granted, this part was not in this scene, but it kind of is too. I mean I would put money down that this is where this Venkman/Jennifer situation was going. It's there between the lines.  #MeTooGhostbusters, yall.

Don't we think maybe the person(s) that wrote this scene were intimately familiar with this kind of shitty, mean-spirited manipulation, but saw it as just kinda funny (not as deeply cutting and mean) given that they wrote it for the main character it in a kids movie that was meant to be at least a little lovable and redeemable (he ended up with another women in the film he harassed, actually).
All that to say that even with just the part of this we saw (which is minus the part where Venkman really would try to actually fuck her) it's a mean, dirty trick of a scene. It's a thoughtless, hurtful way to treat a person, and it's not something people do to people they respect, but men do it to women so often that it almost seems like a normal part of dating (funny and lovable even). And let me just say that even though this sucks, this mentality is woven so deep into our culture, that it's hard to blame a man for thinking of dating and sex in manipulative terms. I think women even think of it this way (from the opposite direction) to some degree. That is how we see hetero dating and sex in our media and how we talk about it...but that's an even bigger bag of worms...

#Venkmaned
I mean, even now in an era that should be so much more progressive than the world 30 years ago when Ghostbusters was made, the scene in this movie is largely just viewed as a professor abusing his power in order to flirt with a student instead of being seen as the focused, cruel kind of sexual manipulation it actually is. It doesn't pop out to us in that way because this kind of manipulation still happens so much that it seems like normal stuff. That's how far we still have to go.

Because, haven't most of us been #Venkmaned to some degree? I mean the purest form of Venkmaning is when a Paranormal professor megatricks you into thinking you have ESP, gets you alone in a room for 'professional' discussions, and then tries to fuck you. That's probably less common. The harshest type of Venkmaning starts with vagrant lies to gain trust and get you alone, and ends with a forceful attempt as sex. But, there's lots of other levels of Venkmaning that involve various styles of lying, insincere interest, phony compliments, and devious plans all with the sole aim of getting a lady into situations that make it hard, uncomfortable, or too confusing for her to say no to sexual advances.

#Venkmaning