Ashton Kutcher Just Got Hotter (Through His Feminist Sex Positive Leanings)

My hat is off to you, Mr. Ashton Kutcher. I mean how many times do you hear an actor say this in an interview?
I think there’s so much that’s not said about sex in our country, even from an educational level. I do a lot of work on human trafficking, and I connect a lot with girls that end up in this trade, if you will, partially because of a lack of education about sex in the country. Sometimes we get to make films that open things up that people can talk about, and one of the interesting things -- I don't want to veer off on a weird human trafficking thing, but -- is that, especially for women in the sex education process in schools, the one thing they teach about is how to get pregnant or how to not get pregnant, but they don't really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women.
The male orgasm is actually right there and readily available to learn about because it's actually part of the reproductive cycle, but the female orgasm isn't really talked about in the education system. Part of that creates a place where women aren't empowered around their own sexuality and their own sexual selves, and from a purely entertainment point of view, to create a movie with a female lead that's empowered with her own sexuality is a powerful thing.
And if we can give teenage people something to think about from a sex perspective, I would say it would be to open a conversation where women are empowered with their own sexual experiences from an educational level as well as an entertainment level."

That's what I'm talkin' about. I ran across this article on a recent and excellent blog discovery - Feminist Guide to Hollywood. Check the article out here and then start following that blog.

So what would prompt Kutcher to say something so bad-assidly feminist? My loyal fans might remember that I did a SSL Review on Friends With Benefits. Well, Kutcher stars in the twin movie to Friends With Benefits, No Strings Attached (you know like Ants and A Bug's Life in 1998; Turner and Hooch and K-9 in 1989; Like Father Like Son and Vice Versa in 87 and 88; Volcano and Dante's Peak in 1997). I haven't seen it yet, but I will soon, and I'll be posting an SSL Review. I would also assume that his feminist sex positive leanings have to do with the fact that he has a wife 15 years his senior and that the two of them created The Demi and Ashton Foundation (DNA) together "to raise awareness about child sex slavery, change the cultural stereotypes that facilitate this horrific problem, and rehabilitate innocent victims."

Kutcher's whole statement quoted in the blog is not exactly smooth, but I think the blogger does a good job of summing up his point.
His wording is a little clumsy, but I think his main point is that there is less value placed on a woman's pleasure during sex, which is why women become targets for sexual exploitation. An underdeveloped sex education program -- one that doesn't acknowledge the role of the female orgasm in sex-- makes it is easier for people to become accustomed to the attitude that women are passive sex objects, a mind-set obviously embraced by people who engage in human trafficking. It is also something that perpetuates negative attitudes or stereotypes about women and ultimately perpetuates making women vulnerable to that industry. 
I love that a Hollywood actor is engaging this type of discussion. I think there is a lot to say about female's disassociation from our own sexual desire and pleasure - particularly from our orgasm - and I think the results of that disassociation affect everything from the way women are viewed; to male and female expectations; to the way females understand themselves.

I think the words came out of Kutcher's mouth clumsily because this discussion is clumsy still. There simply isn't much talk surrounding how girls and women are affected by an ignorance about female orgasm or by the cultural silencing of subjective female desire. there is not enough thoughtful communication about the excessive unbalanced representation of females in our media as sexual objects and males as sexual subjects. These are not well paved subjects, and on top of that, our culture tends to be highly complacent towards norms with obvious detrimental results for female sexual agency.

This cultural complacency is demonstrated when Kutcher points out that male orgasms are readily available to learn about because they are part of reproduction, but female orgasm isn't really talked about in the education system. This is in many ways oh so obvious. It is also blatantly true, and this sex difference in education touches almost every single person. It is part of how boys grow into men and how girls grow into women. It is easily fixable, yet it is habitually and egregiously overlooked as a detrimental force for both male and female sexuality.

It seems to me that the simple act of voicing these concerns in a serious and public way is powerful. Many of the concerns related to the topic of female sexual agency (like the one discussed above) are not ignored because they are hard to accept as true. I think it is more that people are simply not used to hearing a discussion that frames these concerns as serious or as impacting everyday life. I think that if more people spoke up about why sexual agency is important to females and how female empowerment and agency is chipped away in our culture...I think there could be real motivation for changing our cultural norms. So, bravo Ashton! You are okay in my book. BTW - how are you going to make this feminist sex positive leaning work when you are starring in Two and a Half Men?


I Love My Blood Filled Softcups

This is true. I love my Softcups. Bear with me for this post, because it doesn't have to do with anything related much to Science Sex and the Ladies or female sexual response. Instead (this is funny to those who know that Softcups used to be called Insteads) this is about a menstrual product that I love. I've been using these - I think since about 1999 - maybe a little later, but not much. It's been a long love affair. For a while they got kinda hard to find. There were times I couldn't find them at CVS, and I'm pretty sure Walmart doesn't carry them. I felt like Elaine from Seinfeld hoarding The Sponge (was my February Menstruation really Instead worthy?).
Just recently the name change happened, and I think they have a whole new marketing strategy now. I just want them to stay in business, so I thought I'd share this beautiful knowledge. It's a cup. It catches your menstrual blood. You can officially keep it in for 12 hours (I keep it in for a solid 24 hours baby!). You can have intercourse with it comfortably (honestly it sometimes slows down the self lubing a bit - not a big deal but just so you know). These are the disposable kind (there are washable things like this out there but I don't know much about them). In all honesty you will probably get some blood on your finger when you pull it out during a heavy flow, but the convenience, comfort, and reliable blood catching is well worth it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amPXaswKxyk  Check out the video tutorial. BTW - that this hasn't caught on like wild fire might say a lot about how weirded out women are about touching their own junk (and yes I will continue to call it junk cause I have a strange love for the term. I'll tell my children that mommy has girl junk and daddy has boy junk - how can you not like the ring of that?)


Why no 3-D Clits?

So Charlie and Barnaby have been looking for 3-D lady parts for our movie. One of our possible solutions for finishing up our most anatomical heavy scene is to find then buy a pre-made 3-D model. We - okay really Charlie - would then have to texture it and rig it (make it so it can move to our liking).

Unfortunately, as they were looking through items labeled "sexual" or "reproduction" and other like terms, they couldn't find any that included the inner parts of the clitoris. Some had the ol' nub chillin' on the outer parts, but none had the Starfleet looking part of the clit inside. We kinda need the whole deal to do what we want to do, so it's a little frustrating, and kinda weird. Probably this lack is due to the creator's choice or need to keep the pelvic space uncluttered, and since I assume no one who wants a medically accurate reproductive structure cares about clit innards - it was the first to go. The bladder was missing in some also, and we need that too, but there was sometimes an option to add the bladder in. The full clitoral structure is not completely forgotten in the 3-D modeling world though. It is sometimes available on its own as a singular structure.

Don't worry about this hardship though. We have other stylistic options for this scene, and Charlie was just discussing the possibility of cramming together the singular clitoral structure with the other parts, but that's just crazy, off the cuff talk at this point.

I don't think there's anything deep to be taken from this except that maybe this is a reminder of how the clitoris is an afterthought...in anatomy, in sexual education, and (this part is deep) in our sexual culture.


Friends with Benefits - The SSL Review

Yeah, I'll watch Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis doin' it nasty style. Okay, it didn't turn out to be that nasty, but I did watch it at a preview screener last night.

This is, of course, an SSL review (see all the SSL Reviews HERE), so I will be discussing the specific depictions and discussions of female sexual release, but first let's just discuss the movie, shall we?
Was it formulaic? Oh, very much so. Did it purport to unseat the fairytale illusion of love and relationships, while firmly keeping in place the sense that relationships should be "magical." Yes. It did do that, but I can forgive much in a movie if I didn't get bored and if the characters work, and they did work. They had chemistry. They seemed like they actually liked each other. They had a similar sense of humor, and put-your-life-into-it jobs, and they liked to talk about the same things. They were sexually compatible. I mean in the world of Hollywood relationships, this isn't always the case. I'd also like to say that I didn't hate either of these people. I'm a very hateful person, so this can cause roadblocks in my movie going experience. To give you an example of my hatefulness, I currently can't stand the complete lack of personality and redeem-ability I find in Jason Segal's character from Forgetting Sarah Marshal (plus he was, to my sensibility, the least funny part of that movie), and it has irrationally turned me against him as a person - particularly since he wrote this movie and felt it was appropriate to pair his lazy, boring, not hot character with the insanely hot Mila Kunis. This hot female with a dopey, out of shape, useless male thing is a liberty writers take much too often - Justin Timberlake's sexy abs are a much better sidekick for Mila Kunis.  (Side note: in a strange twist Segal was in a RomCom spoof within Friends with Benefits, and he was equally unfunny even when spoofing a RomCom). Anyway, my point is that I had a good time at the movies. If you hate Kunis or Timberlake, you may hate this movie, but I, for one, will watch this again one Saturday afternoon when I turn on the TV and it happens to be playing.

Now the question remains...was the doin' it good for our sexual culture or bad? Well, my friends, it wasn't so bad. It had only tinges of progressiveness, but most importantly it wasn't moving us backwards.

I like to think of these critiques in relation to a young, not yet sexually active person; knowing that depictions and discussions of sex are the only way they learn about the nitty gritty parts of sex - how to act, what's expected, what's normal, what might happen - and my personal favorite - what is supposed to make you or your partner orgasm. The assumptions that can be taken from these depictions affect both young and old, experienced and inexperienced. I think they are highly influential, so I try to break them apart and really look at what they are saying to people about female sexual response.

The first assumption that can be made from this movie is that ladies can get orgasms from receiving oral sex. This assumption can be made because Mila Kunis is depicted orgasming as a result of this. It is their first sexual experience together. There is some quick cuts of hot, urgent kinds of kissing and touching, and then we see Kunis lying on the bed while Timberlake's face is between her legs and under a blanket. We hear him - I think - saying the alphabet all muffled as if he is taking the old advice of writing the alphabet with his tongue on her vulva. Whether that was the intention or not, he's definitely mumbling something in a concentrated doofy sort of way. She isn't really loving it and reaches down, pulling him up by his tongue. She looks him in the eye and asks him who told him he was good at this? He replies something like, "every girl I've ever been with." She quickly lets him know that he's not and tells him to get back to it. We see some cuts where she's giving him some directions like, "to the right!" Then she begins to orgasm, letting out a grunty scream. Timberlake immediately pops up to see what's happening to which she wastes no time telling him to get back down and keep at it...and she comes. Her vocalizations were maybe a bit overdone - a tiny bit too loud of a grunty scream for my taste, but that was largely due to the intention of orgasmus-interuptus comedy when Timberlake pops up, and it really didn't strike me as unrealistic. She certainly wasn't screaming like a porn star, and the orgasm lasted several seconds - similar to


Blag Hag - She Asked "Why is the G-spot still such a mystery?" And I Fell In Love

I was searching for some info on a particular G-Spot study, and I happen to come across a discussion of that study within a blog called Blag Hag. The post (read it here) was critical and informed. She pointed out that there is such sparse and usually crappy research data on the G-spot, that it is nonsensical to act as though it is an understood thing. She - and this is why I love this blog - actually read and critiqued two G-spot research articles that are used commonly as evidence for each extreme side of the G-spot argument. Let's just say the conclusion is that they aren't top of the line scientific inquiry.

Intrigued and excited, I read further people - far more than I really had time for, but I have concluded that I love the blog. As you may know, I don't just write about any old thing on the SSL blog, so it is safe to assume that Blag Hag is SSL approved. That is to say, she writes about and she's got the right idea about science, sex, and the ladies. Now, not all her writing has to do with the SSL intersection. She's got other fun topics to read about, but I liked those parts too. By her own admission she is a "liberal, geeky, nerdy, scientific, perverted feminist atheist who recently escaped Indiana for Seattle." Besides the escape to Seattle part, the two of us have a whole hell of a lot in common. I'll keeping an eye on this one, and if you wanna be awesome, you should too.