My Take On Masters of Sex - The Book Not The TV Series

Hello there. Masters of Sex - the new Showtime series about the 2 pioneering scientists (Virginia Johnson and William Masters) of the 60's who showed the world what actually happens to the body during arousal and orgasm is starting this Sunday. Their research on the physicality of orgasm and arousal is still the most comprehensive study of its kind and has stood the test of time. I have a lot of respect for it, ya know, so I'm highly interested to see how ol' Showtime treats it. I will be watching it and keeping you up to date on my thoughts.

However, right now I want to talk about the book, Masters of Sex by Thomas Maier, that this series is based on. It's a 2010 biography on these two scientist. It speaks on each of them individually from birth until they meet each other and follows them through their work together into modern day. Charlie and I listened to it on our last road trip out to Denver, and I have to say it struck me in ways I didn't see coming.


I really didn't know the full story of Master and Johnson's relationship, I guess. I always thought Johnson was like a nurse or something that went into the research side by side with Masters. I knew they married eventually but nothing more.

So, in short, and in my particular interpretation of the story in this book, here is my interpretation of their relationship. He was a stodgy married-with-2-kids accomplished OB Gyn that wanted to make a big impact on the world and decided to study sex - kinda like Kinsey did but in a more physical, observation based way. He watched a lot of prostitutes and stuff (legitimately, for realz, just to observe) but realized he needed a woman to help him with this research when one of the prostitutes totally and completely blew his mind when she told him that women fake orgasms a lot. Apparently, he just couldn't even comprehend this - he just couldn't.

She was 10 years his junior, a twice divorced mother of two just beginning to get a degree in psychology and working as a nurse *(sorry wasn't thinking when I was writing...she was a secretary actually) in the OB Gyn practice when he picked her to come work for him. She was great with people, creative, and a super hard worker who wasn't squeamish about sex, so he brought her pretty deep into the research which involved hooking people up to machines and observing them having sex or masturbating. He was a crazy style workaholic, and she kept right up with him. He, fairly soon into the working relationship, suggested they have sex together for science sake so they really understood their research better. She agreed, and so sex became a normal part of their crazy work schedules. She later said she didn't really want him, and it was suggested by her friend that Virginia felt saying no would have been the end of her job. It was a sweet gig that was pretty interesting and fed her 2 kids.

She dated other people, some she probably really liked. He stayed married. He was kind of a controlling asshole though and always seemed to convince her she didn't have time to do just about anything but devote herself to the research; which means she never finished that degree she wanted to get.

They eventually married after almost a decade of this. He left his wife just about the time she was close to settling down with a dude she seemed to like. It's like it was just another way to manipulate her into staying focused on their research - on keeping the now well known "Masters&Johnson" brand alive. It doesn't seem like they loved each other in any real romantic way, and after this many years, I think she was really beginning to resent him for stealing away her life. Don't get me wrong. She was proud of the research, but she was also a woman in a man's world and a person with no college education in the scholarly world. Both situations leave a person heavily put upon and unfortunately disrespected by colleagues - particularly in the 50's and 60's. He, to his credit, always gave her the credit she deserved in their publications and when he spoke of her. He often pointed out that she got an honorary doctorate. He never let people speak of her as lesser, but he also always seemed to manipulate her out of going her own direction and getting the accreditation that would make her happy or gain her the respect of the scientific community.

It's kinda weird because the orgasm and arousal work they did and the basic method of treating sexual problems that they (well mostly her) came up with are ground breaking and really important. I think mostly because it is based in good observational research. But after their first two books were published (Human Sexual Response and Human Sexual Inadequacy, both meant for professional and scholarly audiences) it seems like they sort of stopped moving forward and sort of rode those original innovations into the ground. They start going into less clear cut observational science and start writing about love and relationships and bullshit like that. Masters seems to be obsessed with keeping the Masters&Johnson name in the culture. He wants greatness, but he just starts becoming more irrelevant. She begins to resent his assholeness and manipulations more and more. She regrets not getting the degrees that would make her feel accepted in the scholarly circles that she now exists in, and she blames him. The clinic they created for sexual problems is just plain mismanaged. They become kind of a mess in the end. He eventually leaves her  for a woman that was his first love. That seems to piss the shit out of her probably because she's kinda hated him and wanted to leave him for years, but he rejects her instead, and in a really sudden way. Like I said, he's an asshole.

The other thing that struck me was that it kinda made sense to me why Masters and Johnson were so set on the idea that women should ideally work towards being able to have hands free orgasms during intercourse even though their research clearly showed that women needed clitoral stimulation in order to orgasms...and intercourse is a shit way to get that kind of stimulation. None the less, they selectively picked (cause most women couldn't) women who could orgasm just during intercourse alone. It was still clitorally induced, but all backasswards like. It was a result of the phallus pulling on the aroused labia during the thrusting, which pulled on the clitoral hood, which slightly rubbed against the clit. Unsurprisingly, it was the weakest orgasm these women had, but yet for some reason, M&J always gave this ability a high status and a high priority in their couple's sexual therapy. I always wondered why. It seems so counter-intuitive to their research results. But I feel like I get it now.

The way I see it, Masters is kinda a controlling, misogynistic, dick. He was always in final control of the research and their life. He set the tone. She was integral to their research, but she probably never had a final say - only an ability to get to him and push him in the directions she wanted...probably in a way that made him think it was his idea. Anyway, I don't think he ever truly understood the female experience. Virginia did; she was a woman, but she probably never truly conveyed her experience to him. Okay, this may be a crazy assumption of a statement, but I bet she faked orgasms with Masters. It makes so much sense to me. She was pragmatic about sex. The book clearly painted her as sexual, but she was also sensible and used sex to her advantage with men that she wasn't really attracted to. It was the 50's and women didn't have a lot of leverage. Sex was not always sexual to her. Sometimes it was just a thing one had to do. She herself said she never really wanted Masters, yet she had sex with him for years. She wasn't attracted to him. He was her boss, 10 years her senior. She felt like the sex was important in keeping her job. He was an arrogant, know-it-all boss who supposedly had learned a lot about female orgasm, so why would she not fake with him, at least in the beginning? It just makes sense to. Women fake all the time, why not her? And then, we have to ask ourselves, when exactly could she stop faking? It seems like he always had a sort of control over her. Even with all her important contributions to their work, she seemed to ultimately show deference to him in her life. I'm just saying that this is a fairly sensible possibility.

Also, their research didn't shy away from masturbation. They watched lots of women masturbate, yet it never delved into the idea of a woman masturbating her clit during intercourse to get off. If Masters and Johnson really used their sexual escapades to realistically and authentically investigate orgasms and arousal for women when with men, then that shit would have come up. I mean, they knew from their research that even if Virginia orgasmsed from that weird Rube-Goldberg clit hood against clit thing, it would be a pretty weak one, right? That is exactly what their research told them. Yet, both of them just kept on talking like women should be able to orgasm that way, and that we ladies should be satisfied with that silly little elusive and weak Rube-Goldberg orgasm. I suggest Masters was delusional (maybe Virginia was lying to herself a little too. I know for a fact sensible women can trick ourselves into believing that we orgasm when we really don't). I bet he thought he was exploring sexuality authentically with Virginia when he actually wasn't. I'd also bet that thinking he and Virginia could make this intercourse orgasm thing happen bolstered his off-base belief that all women should and that it was, like totally awesome. Anyway, that's my sense from the picture painted in the book, and that's how I would play these scenes in the series, but I have a feeling that's not the way it will go. We'll see.

I guess the book made me feel a little sad for Virginia. It seems like a classic story of a woman of the past busting her ass to not fall into the expectations that were set out for women of her time, paving the way for future women, but in the end being bitten in the ass by the sacrifices she had to make to get there...then finding very little sympathy. Well, I got some sympathy for ya Virginia and also respect for the contributions you made to the physical understanding of sex. Ya know, I got me some respect for ol' William Masters too. He was a huge, manipulative, misogynistic, dickweed, but he was also a man of his time. Plus he did some brave, important research, and he followed the data. He was off base with his emphasis, but not in his conclusions. I respect that. Ya'll became a hot mess in the end, but I won't judge you for it. Here's to hoping the depictions of you in that tv show are thoughtful and realistic. 


Ladies, Urban Dictionary Hates the Binner...or just me...Anyway, Help the Binner!

Okay, so I submitted the word "Binner" - you know, the inner boner or lady boner - to Urban Dictionary back in August. In my premature excitement I wrote about it HERE. Well, they rejected it. I thought it was a little ridiculous, but I had included a sentence that said the word was first used in a promotional video for the movie "Science, Sex, and the Ladies." To my knowledge that is a true statement, but maybe the UD editors thought I was just trying to use the definition as some kind of promotion, so I took that part out and resubmitted the following definition.

Binner: The inner erection of the clitoris that females get when aroused; the inner boner.

The part of the clitoris, the clitoral glans, that is seen on the outside of the body is only one piece of the clit, and it's got all the nerve endings. However, the rest of the clit extends down into the body and is made of erectile tissue. This part of the clitoris fills with as much blood as a penis does when males get erections, so it can be thought of as the inner boner or the "binner."

I got such a binner watching those smokin' hot dudes playing beach volleyball.
I can't really think right now because my raging binner's sucked all the blood from my brain.
 REJECTED - again. At this point, I'm feeling like this is a bunch of bullshit and that maybe the editors are 12 year old boys who think I'm making up this thing called a "clit," so I went to the UD feedback area (because I guess I have nothing better to do) and asked why it was rejected. See my email below.

I submitted a definition for the word "binner" that seems to me to be a completely legitimate and yet unnamed description of the increase of blood females get during arousal in the inner part of their clitoris - the "inner boner." I and many people I know use the word. It was rejected on my first try - and I assumed that the problem was that I included the following line in my definition "First used in a Thanksgiving video to promote the movie Science, Sex, and the Ladies." To my knowledge that is true, although I can see how it may seem like the definition was just created as a promotion. So, I took that part out and resubmitted. It was refused within a couple hours.
Honestly, I am only really pursuing this because as I was thinking about it, it bothered me that there are so many entries in UD that are about boners and jizz and sluts and pretty gross/painful/mean sexual acts done to women. Yet, one simple definition that accurately describes sexual arousal in women is rejected? I feel like just for balance sake it should be included.
Anyway, given the definitions that already exist in UD, I can't see why "binner" was rejected, and I'd love to hear more about that decision. Here is what was submitted......Thanks for reading my long email, and I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Trisha

So, about 2 weeks later I received the following generic email:
Hi ,

Volunteer Urban Dictionary editors read every suggested definition and decide whether it should be published. They don't tell us exactly why a definition is published or rejected, but maybe they didn't understand the definition or didn't think it was entertaining. If you want to become an Urban Dictionary editor, you can go to this page: http://www.urbandictionary.com/editor.php

Seriously, it seems like Urban Dictionary will take about any definition you throw at it - just look around that place. Also, the page they suggest you go to to be an editor is actually just a quiz, but whatever. And you know what? My binner definition was plenty entertaining. I might actually be right about the editors being 12 year old boys. What is important now though is that I am obsessed with getting Binner into Urban Dictionary, and I need your help! (cause they don't seem to like me.)

Anyone and everyone should go and submit Binner to Urban Dictionary. Feel free to also go submit other kinda feminist shit like "letting your lips flap"

Then, tell me what you have done and I will go upvote it...and try to make other people do it too.


The Romance Novel Orgasm as discussed by readers of Smart Bitches Trashy Books Blog

So there's this website called "Smart Bitches Trashy Books." It's all about thoughtful, often incredibly harsh, and pretty dagburn fun discussions about romance novels by people who love romance novels. I prefer my trashy tales in the form of TV and movies, so I'm not a romance novel reader. It was the ever fabulous Kat von Sass who turned me on to this website. That's where she learned about The Duchess Wars - a book that had uncharacteristically realistic sex scenes. She wrote an SSL review of the book, and while we were emailing back and forth about it, she sent me a link to this 2006 thread on Smart Bitches Trashy Books about the terrible descriptions of orgasms in romance novels. It was pretty funny - and insightful too.

From the romance novel portion of "Science Sex and the Ladies". There was a lot of fans blowing hair and longing looks on set that day. Honestly, this was probably our favorite scene to shoot.

I think it's clear that the whole simultaneous orgasm thing where the heroine has a life altering spirtiual/body/galactic orgasmic experience while her hero moves his p in her v seems pretty stupid and unrealistic to most of the people on the thread, but it was also clear that these dumb depictions of orgasm are still influential in shaping individuals' expectations about sexual experiences. Also, the consensus seemed to be that these descriptions still fill the vast majority of romance novel sex scenes and that it continues to happen because that's just how romance novel sex is supposed to be. It's what is expected and what gets written.

So, romance writers out there - get gutsy! Write more realistic depictions of orgasm! Yeah, publishers and even readers might hate it at first, but who needs to make money, right? It's about changing the culture, changing the way we depict the female orgasm, and changing the unrealistic expectations too many of us soak up about what our sexual experiences should be like. You can do it Romance Novel Writers!

Anyway, if you want a laugh, you should definitely check out this crazy thread HERE. It also includes discussion about what words and images people hate most in the sex scenes (creamy, pulsing honeypot, velvet manhood, weeping cock, mossy grotto, winking nipples, boiling love juices...to name a few), and somehow towards the end they get onto foods men should eat to make their ejaculate taste better, cause, you know, doesn't everything end up there eventually?

Below, I picked out some highlight comments. These were ones I thought were a little more poignant in terms of SSL/orgasm equality type stuff, but they're also pretty fun too. Oh- and this thread began by SB Sarah writing:

I was flipping through my new used copy of Rebecca Brandewyne’s Desire in Disguise and on page 15 I came across the following passage:
"Almost simultaneously Noir felt himself burst like a ripe melon within her, spilling his seed."

Suffice to say, she found the melon bursting sex image kinda gross and so asked others about what they liked and didn't like in orgasm descriptions. Eventually it gets to the ubiquitous simultaneous orgasms in romance novel sex. Here's just a few. (H/H means Hero/Heroine)

Sherry Thomas said on 08.10.06 at 03:54 PM 

The H/H in romances have simultaneous orgasms b/c it’s what everyone else does.  It’s like if you don’t do it, you’d better have a damn good reason for it. 
As a writer, I’ve resigned myself to it.  But I set the limit strictly against virgins orgasming on their first experience of vaginal sex.  :-)
Susan said on 08.10.06 at 10:16 PM
my biggest peeve is when the hero stops oral or manual stimulation just before she is about to come.
Some of these heros should be told about multiple orgasms.
In real life she most likely wont get one.
Carrie Lofty said on 08.10.06 at 10:52 PM
I know!  Let the girl have her fun when she can.  Sometime a dick just doesn’t do it, no matter how unimaginably grand the fictional phallus.
Rosie said on 8.10.06 at 11:29pm
...As for simultaneous O…in my early days of reading I wondered if sex was like that for “other” people.
  Many conversations and lots of experimentation later I figured out the right of it. But the young and impressionable (I was once) it was very misleading.

Madd said on 08.20.06 at 11:42pm

...I’ve read a few, can’t remember the names right now, where the heroine didn’t get hers during intercourse, but in most of those the hero took care of her first. I kind of appreciate the touch of realism in those. My man and I have pulled off a few simultaneous Os, but most romances would have you believe it happens every time. o_0
It’s kind of funny, though, when you read those and, like Rosie said, wonder if it’s like that for other people. Honestly, it wasn’t until a long while after my first experience that I got to talking to other women that I started seeing the differences between what you read and what is. I think that if you start reading some of these romances before you have much experience, it could give you false expectations.

Kiku on 08.11.06 at 12:40AM
Also - you get the feeling in a lot of novels that nothing but vaginal sex is ‘real’ - that everything else is just leading up to it or a pale imitation. There are other things just as enjoyable (if not more so, for some of us).
But absolute worst description? From a paperback I picked up many years ago - a squicky secretary/international tycoon deal: (semi-remembered adaptation)
“Oh! Oh!”
They lay wrapped in each other’s arms, the cool night air chilling their skin against the sopping bedclothes.

And I just liked this one cause it's got a point, and i like the words "sparkly rainbows of pleasure."

Colette said on 08.14.06 at 10:09 AM 

anything about ‘exploding into eternity’ or ‘crashing on waves of ecstasy’ have always bothered me, it just doesn’t sound like fun being whisked off everytime you get to the good part. I also remember a description that mentioned that she saw ‘sparkly rainbows of pleasure’ which made me suspect that maybe they had ergot poisoning.
Any description of penises being in wombs (‘plunging the inner recesses of her throbing womb’) should be off-limits. Just for complete neglegence of basic anatomy, if nothing else

 This one is just insane, I don't even want to know how it described her orgasm.

Lia said on 08.15.06 at 12:53 AM 

I can’t think of any good descriptions offhand, though the simplest are usually the least distracting. But I ran across another humdinger in an excerpt for a recent release:
“Lightning bolts pierced her body and joined her to him, a powerful wave
of desire sweeping over her.  Her body was on fire and the explosive kiss seemed to go on and on until it sucked every bit of breath from her.  She felt as if his lips, ravenous and demanding, were stamping her with his brand.  Whatever brains she had left liquefied and drained down
to her feet.”
Not only does it short out her nervous system, collapse her lungs, and brand her carcass, it melts her brains out.  And this is the first kiss.  I wouldn’t go near the rest of the book or her boyfriend with a surge suppressor.
But the author may have discovered the cause of human spontaneous combustion: Incendiary ranchers.


Is it really real? Is this movie really getting done?!

It might not be obvious all the time, but this blog all started from a movie; a movie I have been working on in some form or another since about 2003. A movie that has sucked from me a shit-ton of reading...and notetaking...and writing...and rewriting...and AnC group criticisms/discussions...and hard-core group script development...and all colors of pre-production...and wading through piles of goodwill clothes...a pretty crazy-ass 3 months of weekend production...re-shoots...edit crits...random areas of post production help for Charlie (who endured the large majority of editing and the hellishly insane amount graphic creations)...lots of lists...logistical/business/correspondence/promotion...hundreds of hours of just watching the movie to check for errors...and a large amount of worrying and feeling kinda desparate.

One of our promotional posters. That's me taking a rest in one of our few non green screen sets.

It was mostly really fun and rewarding, you know, along with being tedious and agonizing. It is also amazing - can I just stop and say amazing again - to really, truly see that this movie is going to be finished. I'm not just talking about the feeling of hitting a milestone in the process or the feeling of knowing, with time, that this will be a finished product. I'm talking about the actual light at the end of the tunnel. I'm talking about the picture is done. No more changes. No more tweaks. I'm talking about the final sound re-recording mixer guy is on the job as we speak and the score recording sessions are scheduled. I'm talking about we did a Kickstarter campaign so that we could pay people (professional people who can do important sound things that we simply cannot) to take the sound and finish it from here. I'm talking about this shit is about to be done, son.

I love this blog and I love that I have been able to continue thinking about, writing about, and engaging with people about these subjects even after I finished the movie script. I love that I can continue to to do all that long after the movie is done, but right now, I mostly just love the fact that the movie is really, really, for realz gonna be done, and I just had to tell you that.


Don Jon - The SSL Review

So, as you know, this whole SSL review thing is about critiquing depictions and discussions of female orgasm and masturbation in our media. Unrealistic or misinformed stuff gets a low vulva rating and accurate, progressive, realistic stuff gets up to a 5 vulva rating (!)(!)(!)(!)(!). Obviously a movie can be a fantastic, top quality movie but still get the bad SSL review, and vice versa. That's the nature of this game.
So the question is, how did Don Jon, the soon to be released movie about a man addicted to porn that is written, directed and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, do?

Don Jon promotional poster - opens Sept. 27th, I think
I saw it closing night at the Indianapolis International Film Fest a few weeks ago, and you know what? It was pretty good. Now, if I were doing an SSL review about the realism of the male orgasm, then this would clearly be a 5 penis olo olo olo olo olo movie. As audience members, the movie clearly leaves us with the correct assumption that manually rubbing the penis or rubbing the penis into a vagina can cause orgasm/ejaculation in men. Not a surprise really is it? The basic elements of how to physically get a man off are so clearly insinuated or outright depicted in our media that a SSL review on it would be utterly boring and useless. Not so for women. If you take the media's clues, you'd think that rubbing into the ol' vag would give a lady an orgasm, but it just doesn't (if you want me to explain that more go HERE). We have clits, and they're for rubbing off, just like Don Jon's penis is for him to rub off while watching porn. So my point is that media gives us fake as hell instructions for getting women off. I'm not going to say that Don Jon was progressive or particularly accurate in its insinuations about female orgasm, but I will say that in spirit, it was headed in the right direction.

Now, before we get into the SSL review, let me speak on the overall movie real quick. The porn addiction aspect of this movie is an interesting catalyst, but I'd say the real heart of this movie is the story of a man maturing through his relationship with a woman. Now, there are about a bijillion movies out there where a man supposedly matures into a worthy spouse/boyfriend, inspired by the love of a woman, but they're mostly stupid and insincere depictions of maturity. This movie is way, way more thoughtful. His maturity involves learning to view women as people who are available for and worthy of a mutually respectful, honest relationship - physically and emotionally. I think the movie poignantly displays how too often men and women see the opposite sex as alien beings that one is drawn to but can never fully understand; a being one may have genuine feelings for, but that must be manipulated and lied to in order to tolerate the close living conditions. His maturity is one that many of the people around him, including his father (played by Tony Danza, ya'll!!!!!!) haven't seemed to achieve.

I love yo Mr. Micelli!
I think it's a lovely sentiment, and I think this movie executes it well. There is a real sweetness and humor to this movie that I truly enjoyed. I certainly recommend seeing it, and I think overall it's a positive contribution to media about love and sex and gender relations. However, it, like so much of media, sticks to a superficial, status quo perspective of female sexual pleasure; one in which ladygasms are wierdly invisible partly becuase they're vaguely interchangeable with general sexual pleasure; one in which straight-up intercourse seems to be all a woman needs to gain this vague pleasure(/orgasm?) as long as there is enough emotional connection with the dude, of course! To be fair, it is a movie from a male perspective about the male experience of growing into and finding a mature sexual relationship with a woman. It's not particularly focused on the experiences of the females around him. That's just not included in the script, but by ignoring some important aspects from the female perspective about what a mature sexual relationship might look like, I think it really missed opportunities.

Don Jon and lady friend
Let me get into the SSL review details here.I'll start with some little depictions and what they may insinuate to the audience. At least one clip (it's not released yet, so I can't rewatch for fine detail) I can recall  that intercuts clips of porn with clips on Don Jon's one night stands, showed a partner of his giving us one of those kinda pornish "uhs" as he pushes in. I'd put that into the status quo category of keeping up the lie that women get off from some simple in and out of the p in v. It was probably just added in to match cut the porn that surrounded it, but it is those little clues we media viewers constantly get about how other women's bodies react to intercourse that slowly cut away at our grasp on reality, so I can't really give it a full pass, but there was a more realistic scene later. He's pounding a woman real hard missionary style and really working hard to get himself off, and then when he finishes, his lady friend underneath just sort of pats him on the back, in an okay....I-guess-you're-done-now sort of way. It's pretty clear that he got off, but she didn't, which is pretty much how that would realistically go.

At one point in the movie it's pointed out to Don Jon that porn is fake, and it seems like that is something that has never slid through his mind before. In the end, I think it's pretty fair to say that Don Jon realizes that porn is fake in that there is no meaningful connection between the people having sex, but there is really nothing that also alludes to the fact that female orgasms are fake as shit in porn. I think even when a woman Don Jon is with points out things to him like that he is not very relaxed during sex and that the way he has sex is one-sided, she softens the allusion to faked or non-orgasming by being all like "don't worry, I was a satisfied customer." Even though she had just gotten a lifeless vag bang from him, and clearly neither of them were trying to stimulate the poor ol' clit, it kinda insinuates to the viewer that she may have actually come, and that her critiques are more about the lack of emotional rather than her lack of physical satisfaction.

Granted, Don Jon's realization that sex with another person can expand past the simple orgasm and into a state of emotional and physical connection is pretty much the focus here, so a women's experience of trying to merge orgasm with emotional and physical connectiveness is kinda out of scope. However, I think a movie about going from porn addiction to a meaningful relationship between a man and a woman that clearly ignores the non-orgasming female elephant in the one-night-stand-poking and/or porn-bangfest room, is one that didn't explore the subject fully or with too much thought towards the female experience. I really think that in the context of this movie, a frank exchange about how women clearly fake orgasms in porn or about his ladyfriend (and really all women) needing clit action to come, or even a quick depiction of Don Jon's partner rubbing herself off while they go at it, would not be out of place in this movie. I think the extra layer of physical pleasure and honesty that the two could share in these scenarios would actually increase the viewer's sense of compatibility, closeness, and maturity Don Jon has come to know with his lady. Yeah - I know I'm asking a lot, but these SSL review are about asking for more from our media; more female perspectives, more realistic depictions of female orgasms, more clit talk and clit love. It's not about really truly wanting the existing movie to change, but about opening minds to other possibilities and maybe affecting the content choice for other, future movies...hopefully at least.

So the movie gets 3 vulvas - I have no real matrix for scoring this stuff. I just thought it was well intentioned, but I think it missed a really good opportunity to be even more progressive and to speak more honestly.


but seriously, check it out. It's good.

Oh - and a documentary called After Porn Ends actually has a really poignant way of describing from the perspective of the stars the male experience of porn-as-devoid-of-connection and the female experience of porn-as-devoid-of-orgasm-and-connection. I wrote about it HERE. I think it backs up my feeling that Don Jon is a thoughtful story about porn, relationships, and sex, but really only thoughtful from the male perspective. It misses some important things if watched from a female perspective.

Also, I enjoyed the added touch of his reps and penance multi-tasking


Random Male Hite Report #3

It's time for another edition of random Hite Report: Male Edition. As you know, this is where I flip to a random page in the 1981 Hite Report on Male Sexuality by Shere Hite and simply copy that one page and that one page only into this blog. There are more of these randoms from both the male and female reports HERE.

In the chapter "Thirty Men Speak About Their Lives"
This is a chapter at the end of the book where, instead of showcasing many men's answers to a particular question, the author showcases 1 man's long form answers to many or all of the survey questions. She does this for 30 different men and describes her choices like this:

"Following are long excerpts from thirty different men's replies. These replies were chosen not necessarily for representativeness but because they were some of the most interesting and emotionally involved material recieved and show the range and variety of points of view expressed."

p. 1019 The Hite Report on Male Sexuality by Shere Hite
Alfred A. Knoff. NY. 1981

...to tell you one of the nicest benefits I got from answering. I caught myself wondering about my honesty as I replied to the questions. I often thought I saw myself carried away on my own profundity, my own pompous verbosity. Then I wondered if the man I was describing was really me, or some ideal that I held. I came to realize that this was a basic feature of all my growth. I can evaluate and discard (avoid, recondition) some thinking and behavior. I have to conceptualize much of this new material before I can act on it. So in the end I don't know how truly I am this new person, but I know that he is who I have described.
    Thanks you!
    P.S. I just spent a glorious weekend with my companion (wife). The world seems right again, and all the pressure for growth is removed. Hah. But I'm far enough into it now that I won't stand to have the pressure long missing.

    Age thirty-eight; bank president; master's from Harvard Law School; mother a well-educated housewife, father a retired bank president. Spend an awful lot of time in civic affairs, United Fund, chamber of commerce, etc., and am interested in politics though not in serving in a political office. I enjoy outdoor activities and sports.
    I am concerned that not enough "business types" will find the time to answer such a lengthy and personal questionnaire (in fact, it will be difficult for me to do so), so in hopes of representing others who feel the same way I do, I will try to give it my best shot.
    I read The Hite Report. Gave it to my wife to read, and then presented a new copy to my son as his tenth birthday present. Needless to say,  thought it was informative and extremely well done. Wish my father had given it to me when I was ten-or twenty-or thirty.
    My wife and I have been married twelve years. I love being married. I love my wife. I love my sons. I cannot imagine not being married for a long period of time. We got married because we love each other and we wanted to have children. It sure makes sex a lot easier.
    I am more deeply in love than I have ever been before-which I would have believed impossible a year ago or fourteen years ago when we first met. I can't really describe what it is like; it has a lot to do with having a tremendous respect for another person's potential; it has a lot to do with caring, it has little to do with sentimentality or sacrifice.
    I do not think much of monogomy because I think it is confining, does not allow a person to develop his or her full potential, and continues to promote a morality that is outdated. I have had several open-marriage-type extramarital sexual experiences, as has my wife. I think they are very important factors in my development and I think they have made our marriage stronger by allowing each of us to develop more as human beings.
    Casual relationships have an awful lot to offer a person. They allow you to have a lot of fun and get to know someone pretty well without getting all tangled up in their problems. Non-casual relationships are better overall, but they...


Cat Feminist

So Trisha has been really busy at work this week, so I'm just gonna post this picture. Its our cat Ramona as an adult and as a kitten. She ties into the movie because she was found in an actors car, and she's a cat feminist. Enjoy. More soon..