"10 Surprising Facts About Orgasms" Mini Series #4

Googling around about female orgasm, I quickly found an online Woman's Day (of I-kinda-get-it-confused-with-Ladie's-Home-Journal fame) article called "10 Surprising Facts about Orgasm." Thus, the "10 Facts Series" was born so I could share my thoughts on each of these 10 list items - 1 per day for 10 days. Check HERE to see all that have been done so far. Now enjoy number 4.
4. Finding your G-spot may improve the likelihood of orgasm. Can you identify your G-spot? The "G" refers to Ernst Gräfenberg, MD, a German gynecologist who is credited with “discovering” it in the 1950s, and sex experts have long touted this area of female genitalia, which is believed to contain a large number of nerve endings, as the key to helping women achieve longer and stronger orgasm. But it’s a controversial topic. Researchers in England refuted its existence recently, even after Italian researchers supposedly found the spot on ultrasound and published their findings in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Still, sex educators like Los Angeles–based Ava Cadell support the existence of the G-spot, and encourage women to find theirs. While the location may be slightly different in all women, it’s most often found inside the vagina and is characterized by a “rougher” texture.
No it won't. Finding your G-spot won't improve your liklihood of orgasm. Sorry, but let's stop licking the G-spot's ass, can we? It exists, I'll give it that. That little bumpy thing in your vag might even cause you to ejaculate if you rub her real hard. It might. It might not though too. It ain't gonna give you an orgasm though. It just doesn't do that. Find me any study that shows g-spot stimulation as a cause for an orgasm, and I'll swallow a goldfish whole (or something else people in this situation do - eat my shoe or something I guess). 

There is physical evidence that g-spot stimulated ejaculations take place. In the 1982 book The G-spot and Other Recent Discoveries about Human Sexuality (this book named the g-spot and brought it to the public), the authors put out lovely clinical evidence that the g-spot in ladies is really just a sort of underdeveloped prostate that's wrapped around our urethra which sits above the our vagina. Rub it aggressively and it can cause ejaculation  - fluid expelled out of the urethra. That's it. That's really the only thing the g-spot is known to do -an ejaculation, and an ejaculation is not an orgasm. Men ejaculate at the same time they orgasm, but these are still two different things, and the orgasm is the one that makes your pelvic muscles rhythmically convulse. The orgasm is the one that gives that feeling we collectively understand as the orgasm. The ejaculation on its own might feel interesting or pleasurable to some, but it is not an orgasm. 

That same book, though, also had some stupid shit in it. It made un-evidenced (except that women said they had them on surveys)  assertions that the g-spot also can give a woman this other, more full-bodied vaginal/uterine orgasm. They don't ever explain what this other orgasm is physically. They never cite any clinical evidence of women having this other orgasm, and frankly the assertions are based more strongly in Freudian ideology than any real evidence. The research since then (it's been over 30 years now) hasn't given us anything more to help their bullshit assertions. Yet that's what we all think of the g-spot as, some magical awesome orgasm giver in the vag. We rarely hear it in connection to ejaculation even though that's all we really can for sure associate with it.

So, in that way, I'd say all women do have a g-spot. I's just the area in the vagina where one can feel the spongy erectile tissue around the lady prostate getting all puffed up during arousal.  I don't see that as controversial. The thing is that, like the word "orgasm," the word "g-spot" means whatever the hell the person saying it wants to mean. It often is used to vaguely mean a undetermined area in the vagina that is sensitive enough to cause an orgasm when stimulated. That g-spot should be controversial, cause it's a bunch of bullshit. 

So, this #4 should really have said "Finding your G-Spot could improve your likelihood of an ejaculation." Now that's true, but even so there's not enough research yet (since all the g-spot studies seem to focus on chasing this dumb idea of a vaginal orgasm instead of on ejaculation) to know if all woman are even capable of ejaculation. Some of our underdeveloped prostates may be a little more developed than others. What I can say pretty confidently is that some women like it rubbed. Some women think rubbing it hurts. Some women ejaculate. Some women have never. Most women have had a penis rubbing it in many different speeds and angles and lengths of time and yet most haven't ejaculated from that. So, like I said, let's please stop licking the g-spot's ass. It doesn't give us orgasms and it might, maybe give you an ejaculation, and if it does, you might like it.

P.S. Men can feel their g-spot/prostate through the front wall of their anus, and if you rub it real hard, they too can ejaculate sans orgasm! 

P.S.S. I'm not going to go into those 2 studies, from England and Italy, that are spoken of above. Neither is very compelling to me since both ask women whether they've had vaginal orgasms and then take their word for it without physically defining a vaginal orgasm or attempting to discern between possible different meaning women may have when they say that. Neither is a definitive study by any means, and just know that a group of scientists looked through 60 years of studies involving a "g-spot" and haven't found conclusive evidence of this magical orgasm giving entity. If you want a bit more info on these and other studies THIS PAGE is a good, quick, basic overview of the major studies that have hit the webosphere in the last few years about the G-Spot. However, please notice that this information about the g-spot doesn't talk about female ejaculation at all. It's strange, but as I mentioned earlier, most things speak about the g-spot not by using the term as the female prostate that protrudes from the vaginal wall (which is based in a realistic understanding of female anatomy and clinical studies). Instead G-Spot is almost always used as the undefinable spot in the vag that can cause vaginal orgasms. So, since that's based in, well, nothing really and doesn't actually exist but is regularly spoken of as if it should exist - it's obviously a pretty controversial thing. 

Check tomorrow for #5


"10 Surprising Facts About Orgasms" Mini Series #3

Googling around about female orgasm, I quickly found an online Woman's Day (of I-think-I-saw-a-recipe-for meatloaf-in-that-magazine fame) article called "10 Surprising Facts about Orgasm." Thus, the "10 Facts Series" was born so I could share my thoughts on each of these 10 list items - 1 per day for 10 dayshttp://www.tanjapippi.net/. Check HERE to see all that have been done so far.

Okay here's #3. I'm not gonna lie. This right here got to me. Not that it surprised me in the slightest, it's just that the sheer silliness of this kind of advising blows my mind into shards every time, but it's so status quo. This is what experts are telling us, and it's so stupid. Here, just read the full #3 explanation. Oh and Stern that is quoted below is "Lisa Stern, RN, MSN, a nurse practitioner who works with Planned Parenthood in Los Angeles and blogs at Gynfizz.com"

3. Thirty percent of women have trouble reaching orgasm.If you’ve ever had trouble climaxing, you’re not alone. According to Planned Parenthood statistics, as many as 1 in 3 women have trouble reaching orgasm when having sex. And as many as 80 percent of women have difficulty with orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone. Clitoral stimulation during intercourse can help, says Stern, but so can medical treatment. “Female sexual dysfunction (FSD), which encompasses the inability to orgasm, is very common—as high as 43 percent, according to some surveys—and has been a topic of much debate and medical investigation lately,” she says. “For some women, topical testosterone therapies or some oral medications can be helpful, but few medical treatments have solid evidence behind them.” Because FSD may be associated with certain medical conditions, be sure to see your doctor to rule out things like thyroid disease, depression or diabetes.

Wait. Clitoral stimulation can help? You think? To me this is like if a doctor at a refugee camp finds that she has a pretty big majority of people there coming up to her and complaining that they always seem to feel hungry, and then she says, "Well, eating more food could help, but you also might have a thyroid problem or your stomach acid is out of balance, or maybe you just have some type of hang-up about food." I mean, there's serious rationing at this imaginary refugee camp, so yeah food is gonna help. Why are we even discussing thyroid problems at this point. After these imaginary refugees are back to normal life with 3 squares a day, then sure, if problem persists, then maybe we can start discussing all the medical aspects of this problem.

I would argue that normal, everyday sex for women is as deprived of clitoral stimulation as my imaginary refugees are of food. I guess the problem is that we see the orgasm deficit problem women are having, but we don't see that they are living in a world that doesn't usually provide sufficient stimulation to get the orgasms they desire. It's like if somehow that refugee doctor was simply blind to the fact that refugees don't get as much food as they should. 

There is a lot at issue here, but a big problem is that we as a culture think of the clitoris as just one of the many organs of female sexual pleasure. We think of the vagina as equal to or even more important to orgasm as the clitoris, and a normal hetero woman gets as much vag stim as she can handle during sex, so what's the problem? The problem is that the vagina is way, way not important to orgasm compared to the clit. It's just plain not. There is no evidence that rubbing the inside of the vagina causes orgasms. Seriously. I go deeper into that argument HERE

What about the G-spot, you say? That's in the vagina. It sure is, and with some heavy duty stimulation (most likely with a finger not a penis), some women would ejaculate (which is physiologically different than an orgasm), but no evidence it ever caused an orgasm. So, yeah, the g-spot is an organ of sexual pleasure as much as the male prostate is. Luckily for the fellas, our culture doesn't try to cram down their throat that stimulating their prostate (which, if it did anything would cause an ejaculation minus the orgasm) is as important as stimulating their penis when it comes to orgasm. I mean, cause that would be silly, right?

So, I kinda get worked up about this. I mean I think a lot of women are needlessly worrying that they are malfunctioned. We as a culture gotta start putting 2 and 2 together. You and I both know that clitoral stimulation is not highly valued. It's called fore-play - like an appetizer to the the real deal. It is rarely depicted along with intercourse in our media. The word clit probably wasn't even mentioned in your sex ed classes. Clits get lumped into a big group of stimulation possibilities when sexperts give advice - as if it is merely as important as your vag, your nipples, your anus, and the back of your neck. Intercourse (and thus vaginal and penile stimulation) is king. A lot of women don't even know where their clitoris is. Imagine how hard it would be for men to orgasm if they didn't know where their penis is. We do live in a clitoral stimulation rationed refugee camp even if most people don't realize it, so all you doctors out there - remember to ask the right questions before you start spouting off about hormone levels.

(Oh, and just to quell the angst I know is coming, I don't feel there's much reason to buy into the idea that the clitoris, with all its long wrappy around the vagina legs, can somehow be stimulated to orgasm during intercourse. 1. There is no study that links some possible inner stimulation of the clit to orgasms. 2. when you hear about the clitoris having more nerve endings than the entire penis, we're talking about the glans of the clit. All those nerve endings we always hear about are in the little part that sits outside or just inside the skin. Those big legs that extend into the body are not so nervy. They do fill up with lots of blood when you're aroused though. And 3, even if the legs were as nervy as the glans, which they are way not, the penis is so indirectly touching them. I would at best describe what might be happening as a gentle jostling hampered by lots of spongy tissue between the penis and inner clit.  Okay, I'm done. I just thought I'd give my two cents on that line of thought that seems to keep popping up.)


"10 Surprising Facts About Orgasms" Mini Series #2

Googling around about female orgasm, I quickly found an online Woman's Day (of I-think-my-mother-in-law-subscribes-to-that-magazine fame) article called "10 Surprising Facts about Orgasm." Thus, the "10 Facts Series" was born so I could share my thoughts on each of these 10 list items - 1 per day for 10 days. Check HERE to see all that have been done so far.

2. Condom use doesn’t affect orgasm quality. In case you’re wondering if a condom has anything to do with the quality of your orgasm, don’t. “Women are equally likely to experience orgasm with or without a condom, dispelling myths that condoms don't make for good sex,” says Debby Herbenick, PhD, a research scientist at Indiana University and author of Because It Feels Good. “In fact, condoms may help a couple spend more time having sex, as a man doesn't have to ‘pull out’ quickly if he's worried about ejaculating too soon,” she says. If your guy is resistant to wearing a condom because of lack of sensation, consider manual stimulation first, before intercourse, so he can have an equally enjoyable experience.
So when it says "so he can have an equally enjoyable experience" does that mean that he too, will likely not orgasm? Because, honestly that's probably what's going to happen for the woman in this situation (only about 20 to 30% say they orgasm during the ol' in and out with any regularity). 

You see, intercourse, which is what I'm assuming the condom is being used for, is highly orgasmic for men (since his penis/organ of sexual pleasure is being heavily stimulated) and usually not orgasmic for women (since their clitoris/organ of sexual pleasure is probably only stimulated by happenstance if at all). A thing, whether it be a penis or a latex covered penis, stimulating the inside of the vagina does not an orgasm make

So, maybe Dr. Debby Herbenick meant to say that it doesn't matter if he wears a condom because either way, she's not gonna come. And, ya know, even if she does orgasm during intercourse because she's also manually or vibrationally rubbing her clit or if she's grinding her clit against his pelvis to get hers - even then, it still wouldn't matter for her orgasm if he's wearing a condom or not!

Now, can I just get into the real nitty gritty of this sensation/condom issue? I really feel I need to point out that there is actually a significant sensation difference between when the latex barrier is moving with versus moving independently of the organ of sexual pleasure. For instance a condom is moving with the penis in relation to the vagina (or mouth if we're talking oral). However, a person wearing a latex glove giving a hand job would demonstrate latex moving independently of the organ of sexual pleasure, and that's probably not too much different than a skin on skin handie.

I point this out because if we are realistically going to talk about the ability of a female to orgasm while properly protecting herself from STD's, then we really need to be talking about latex and clit (not vag) stimulation.  For instance, holding a dental damn in place against the vulva while the mouth moves over it would actually feel different from unprotected oral sex (and thus affect ability to orgasm) in much the same way as a man having intercourse /oral sex with a condom. However, a gloved hand stimulating the clit or penis might not be much different than an un-gloved hand doing it - because the latex is moving independent of the sexual pleasure organ. 

So, I just see this as something we should think about, not only because we need to be realistic and correct when we talk about what kind of stimulation that can elicit orgasm in men and women, but also because if we actually want people to use protection, we need to be realistic about how it affects pleasure and orgasm. And this all reminds me of a new condom that may hit the market soon that sprang from a challenge to make a better condom. This condom moves independent of the penis. I imagine it would feel more like not wearing one, so maybe more men would, and I like that. As for how it affects the woman in this intercourse situation...don't worry - women are equally likely to experience orgasm with or without this condom too. ;)

Seriously though, we should be creatively thinking about stimulative difference when it comes (pun intended) to protection during cunnilingus too. Since we're still working mostly with dental damns and condoms, though, can I just advise my pick for super safe and surefire orgasms with another person...Mutual masturbation, baby!

Thoughts on #3 tomorrow. Check out the whole article HERE.


"10 Surprising Facts About Orgasms" Mini Series #1

Googling around about female orgasm, I quickly found an online Woman's Day (of a-magazine-I may-have-flipped-through-while-waiting-to-pay-for-my-groceries fame) article called "10 Surprising Facts about Orgasm." 

As you may know, I'm lean towards the practical, particularly when speaking about orgasm, so some of the stuff on this list was way too squishy for me, but ya know that's the way of magazine lists, I guess. They gotta try to make their list seem interesting, and keep you on the page to sell advertising or whatever they do for money. That's cool. I respect the hustle, but this was a mixed bag for me. There were some parts of the list that made me rage inside my head a tad, and there were also some things that seemed just a touch progressive.

So for a fun little series, I'm going to share my thoughts on each of these 10 items - 1 for each of the next 10 days. I don't usually blog every day, but this seemed fun and do-able, so here you go, the first of ten...

"1. Orgasms can relieve pain."
Okay, yes, they are right, orgasm releases the hormone oxytocin, which, among lots of other things is associated with reduction of stress and reduction of pain, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. 

a. It's a hormone, and hormones are not so black and white about how they affect us. It would be better to describe them as usually having tendencies in most people. 

b. If you're having a migraine, I doubt an orgasm is going to fix it. If you are feeling a touch ick while getting over a cold...maybe. But then again, you might just feel better because you put your mind on something else for a few moments. 

c. Hugging, looking people in the eye while talking, petting your animal, and doing something moderately stressful with other people (like tandem skydiving) are also ways that are said to release oxytocin, so if any of those are good at relieving the kind of pain you want to relieve, then orgasms are a good bet too. Oh yeah -  and you know the other thing that releases all kinds of oxytocin - the process of childbirth. Oxytocin has real practical physical purposes there, and if it also reduces pain, let's just say it doesn't take care of it all. 

Seriously, I have nothing against speaking the positives of orgasming. Having plenty is probably generally better for you than not having them, I'd guess. I'm just saying, let's not get this whole orgasm reduces pain thing out of perspective. 

Check out the full article HERE and check back tomorrow for more.


Random Male Hite Report #6

Yo, yo, yo! My latest Random Hite Reports have been of the female variety, and I know you've missed reading about the male side, right? Well, wait no longer. Here is another Random Male Hite Report. I would normally tell you that I randomly flip to 1 page and transcribe it directly, no more no less, onto this post. However, that's not exactly true this time. The many Hite Reports that I found on Amazon for like 10 cents a piece (although I've given away all but 1 now) and the 1 treasured Hite Report on Male Sexuality that I have are all suffering from the same affliction. They just break apart at the spine. So one book becomes many, and I have to settle for just stacking the partial book pieces in the correct order. So, what I did this time was just take one of the book pieces and use the last page, so here it is.

p. 316 The Hite Report on Male Sexuality by Shere Hite
Alfred A. Knoff. NY. 1981

Yet other men felt that the women's movement and the critique of society which it poses had improved their relationships:
    "Women's liberation is a good thing. It has opened women's and men's eyes to the fact that basic rights and needs apply to all people, and that self-sufficiency and self-love must exist before people can hope to find security and completion in a relationship. I think that humanity and relationships will benefit from the women's liberation movement-mine certainly have. I think my wife and I have gained a new respect for each other. This was a direct result of my understanding how my expecting her to still be responsible for all the household upkeep, entertaining, etc., in addition to a full time job, was unfair. Since, I have been taking as much responsibility for it myself-and it's hard. I have never done it in my life before-she seems to have opened up to me more, to like me more, and we have more fun together! We're more of a team now than we were before."
    "I like feminist women. Feminism is non-sexism to me, it frees me from being forced into the role of rough and tough , provider, insensitive male. I went with a feminist for a while, and we worked through (translation: fought through) a lot of this. I have noticed that my relationship with other women since then have been more relaxed, I don't assume what they want, I ask, and they in turn respond with a greater degree of openness and spontaneity than I used to notice. It's a question of seeing women as equal human beings, not as inferior, or out to get me."
    "Women's lib-great. My wife is more independent and more aggressive-more fun to be with."
    "It has given me more opportunities to relate positively in a nonsexual way to women."
    My relationship with my wife and family has definitely improved. Basically I was trained to 'take care of'a family, to be head of a family, and to provide for my wife and children's physical needs. Now I am working at learning how to care for others, to show my caring in small ways, to listen to them, and to share myself with them. I still think it's important for me to support them, but I certainly would listen if my wife wanted to talk about working too, or how she felt about my earning all the money. Funny, but before the last few years, we had never discussed it. I think we will probably discuss it some more, though-maybe we haven't talked about it enough. I have found it hard to believe that small things I do could matter as much to my wife as my supporting her and our home. It makes me feel more human. More loved."
    "Since I first became aware of women's liberation, a few years ago, I have been consciously, forcefully, amending the way I think and feel, trying to unlearn the subtle and not so subtle sexism of my childhood (and adulthood!), and trying to treat women as people. It all started one day in my office. I am the supervisor of the duplicating machine floor of a large corporation. Most of the people who come to use the machines are women-secretaries, etc. I always thought of them as the 'enemy' somehow, the ones who broke the machines, ran them wrong, and made me seem inadequate in maintaining the equipment (since they were always breaking it). Of course, those machines just break any-.... 


Re-Naming Non-orgasms

Okay, this will be quick cause I'm still as swamped at work as I was before Christmas, so let me just throw some thing out there that I've been thinking about.

As you know, I think it's important that when we speak about orgasms in women, we are actually meaning an orgasm; a sudden and rhythmic release of muscle tension and blood congestion that was built up through arousal. I'm talking about the Masters and Johnson defined orgasms, an actual, physical thing. We use this meaning when we, as a culture, speak of male orgasm. It's kind of a given for men. However with women, that meaning of orgasm is often casually intemixed with "orgasms" that are actually ejaculations or some other type of emotional/spiritual climax, or often the word orgasm is used interchangably with pleasure or arousal in women.

I mean, come on here, we need to be more clear so that we ladies can all start to get a more realistic understanding of our own and other women's experiences with sex and orgasms. Otherwise we'll all just continue to hang out in our own confusing, separate worlds when it comes to ladyrgasm knowledge.

That said, let's think of other names to call these non-orgasms. I mean, I'm not against these things. Enjoy, what you enjoy. I just think they should not be confused with an orgasm. So, what should we call the emotional high that some might refer to as an orgasm?...an emotigasm? giddygasm? How about the spiritual/ universe-is-one/seeing-colors-and-stars-moving-through-you sexual highs you always hear women on message boards talking about? Godgasms? unigasms? Ejacualtions, we should just call ejaculations, since that's what they are. Oh, and pleasure should not continue being used interchangeably with orgasms. Yes, orgasm can (and pretty likely will be) pleasurable, but all sexual pleasure is not orgasm - not by a long shot.

So if you hear someone talking about something like how they attain sexual pleasure, and you're not sure if they are specifically meaning orgasms, then ask, cause that's the only way we'll get people to become more clear.  Anyway, we need something to refer to these things as, because people speak about them, and it's be nice if we knew what sexperts and ladies speaking about their own experiences actually mean. Any other ideas out there?


Her - The SSL Review

I saw the movie Her a few days ago, and strangely, I found it was eligible for an SSL review. There were, in fact, 2 depictions of a female orgasm, so here I am to critique those depictions, kind of...

Problem is, well, I don't really know if I have anything particularly insightful to say about them. The circumstances of these 2 ladygasms make it a bit hard (no pun intended). Let me start out by saying that I liked the movie, and I liked the very un-scared and sort of lovely take on the future of technology. If you don't already know, this movie is about a guy, Theodore, in the vaguely near future who falls in love with Samantha, his quite human-like Operating System (OS).

So, Samantha's just a voice. There is no body, but she does "orgasm" during -  phone-sex I guess is the best way to describe it - with Theodore.  There is also an earlier phone sex session Theodore has (before Samantha, of course), with an actual other person. This woman (SexyKitten voiced by Kristen Wiig), also has an orgasm.

We don't know what SexyKitten is doing to herself to get that 'gasm since we never see her, and their conversation does not really tell us what she is actually physically doing. However, we do know that she tells him to pick a cat up and strangle her with it, and that line of fantasy is what takes her over the edge. To each her own, right? Although, I honestly don't know how to use a cat as a strangling device. Anyway, when she comes, it's frankly just a little too long and a lot too porny. I can't critique this the way I would a normal SSL review. I can't tell you whether her physical stimulation seemed like it would actually elicit that porngasm.

What I can do is ever so gingerly comment on what this SexyKitten orgasm contributed to the larger cultural understanding of female orgasm. And to that I say that SexyKitten's orgasm was so status quo porn, that it probably just more heavily cemented the all to common assumption that women come like women do in porn, and that's certainly not a great thing to insinuate. I know the scene is just there for laughs, weirdness and to show the bad dating possibilities out there for Theodore, so it's not like the movie makers were intending any statement at all about female orgasm. However, I think that depicting female orgasm without putting any thought into what it might insinuate just goes to show that our culture doesn't realize there is a problem with ladygasm depictions, and that means we have a long way to go.

Now, Samantha has no body at all, so she literally is not doing anything to her body when she orgasms, so - can't critique that. There is physical talk though. Her and Theodore are talking about him being inside of her as part of their fantasizing, but then it sort of goes beyond his dick in her vag, because they start talking about being everywhere in a one-with-the-universe sort of way (unfortunately, there was no discussion of clit stimulation at all). Outside of the confusing factor that Samantha is actually a sort of cosmic entity, the cosmic depiction of her orgasm could also be critiqued as the tired, magical, "anything you want it to be" kind of orgasms that are attributed regularly to women. It's one of the many ways that realistic female orgasms are ignored in favor of vague mysticism which helps cover up our cultural ignorance of the the very real and physical qualities of female orgasms. Or don't read that much into it. A viewer might even make the argument that Theodore, a male, hit that cosmic state too. It was an artsier than normal, phone-sex scene.

I would like to point out, though, that her orgasm was still as long and porny as SexyKittens, so I do think that right there further shows that the people making this movie were thinking quite simply about female orgasm in terms of how we normally see them in media. Wait though - factor in that the only thing she knows of being a human (including what an orgasm is) was obviously learned from media she ingested, and you might find the depiction even more confusing to critique. You might say that the porniness of her orgasm comes from the fact that this is all she has learned of it...hmmm, a statement about the fakeness of female orgasms in the media by the makers of Her? Nah, probably not. They just think ladygasms sound like that.

So, like I said, a weird one to SSL review. I'm gonna give it 2 stars. It clearly was not progressive in the depiction of ladygasms department. Plus, its porny style I think would affect cultural understanding of female orgasm negatively if at all, but I did like the movie, and I don't think there was any bad intent, only lack of intent, and that's just status quo.



Science, Sex and the Ladies Doesn't Fit IMDB's Idea of Docs, But Whatevs

Okay, since this blog is about both ladygasms and making movies (particularly making Science, Sex and the Ladies, of course), I'd like to just take a minute and speak about a tiny something I've been dealing with in relation to the movie. It involves IMDB and how Science, Sex and the Ladies just doesn't fit quite right.

Here's the deal. I added SSL to IMDB (check it here) a while ago, and I go in and update it every now and then. Well, one time I was looking around and went to one of the 3 actors in our movie who have their own IMD pages, and found that they were listed under the category "Self" for their part in SSL - as if they were just talking heads giving the audience expert information or something. After more research than I really wanted to do, I learned from another person on the IMDB message/Q&A boards that if a movie is marked as a documentary, then the default is for all people in the cast to be categorized as if they are appearing in the movie as themselves, and the only way to change that is to add the keyword "Reenactment" to your movie. Long story short, I did it, and after about 2 weeks of waiting for approval, it worked. Ellie Church, Bryan Patrick McCulley, and Joshua Ramsey, are all properly listed as Ensemble Cast Members under the Actor section on their pages.

However, I just want to point out that although I added reenactment as a keyword, I only did it to get our actors categorized properly. There are no reenactments in this movie. Honestly, SSL is not like any documentary I've ever seen, and because of that, it doesn't fit into the mold that is created for docs in IMDB or really anywhere. There are no expert talking heads. There are instead citations to back up the things said in the movie, and there's a full bibliography in the credits. The whole movie is completely scripted and the arguments are made within a series of vignettes using on-screen narrators, voice over narrators and actors. We call this style a "Visual Essay." Barnaby's sister Kora came up with that phrase for a short we did in 2005 called "Ladies and Gentleman We Assume." It was a test short for this movie. We thought she was a genius, and we've been using it ever since. Anyway, the whole ordeal was slightly annoying for me, as is most interactions I have with IMDB. However, I thought you might be very slightly interested, and I'm not sure when I last talked about what Science, Sex, and the Ladies is actually like.


Smart Orgasm Equality Advice from Blogging Behavioral

Women deserve better when it comes to our sexuality and particularly when it comes to our orgasms.  We just plain don't get enough of them in our sexual encounters. Women can orgasm. We can. When we masturbate, we can orgasm as quickly, easily and as reliably as men can. We often don't when we're with a partner, though. Somehow, women going through their sexual lives having very few orgasms compared to their male partners has just become a matter of course, a sort of unspoken accepted reality. It's actually quite an appalling and over arching problem, yet very rarely do I ever hear sex experts speak of this orgasm inequity in any real way.

Dr. Sandy Andrews, a psychologist in Austin, TX, in a September of 2010 blog post at Blogging Behavioral did though, and since I love to highlight anything I see as contributing positively to the ol' Orgasm Equality Movement, I thought I'd write about it. The post is aptly called Please Sir, I Want More because at its heart, it's about women in need of more when it comes to our orgasms...more understanding, more listening, more discussion, more truthfulness, more trying, more cultural acknowledgement, and more...well, more orgasms.

I needed to add a picture, so I just chose this one. It just says "orgasm" to me.

What I really appreciated about her post is that she is addressing the problem of women not orgasming with their partners, but she focuses not on the emotional baggage or possible medical issues that most sexperts seem to immediately go to. Instead, she focuses on the the very simple fact that women are not getting the physical stimulation they want and need in order to orgasm.
When I assess an individual’s or a couple’s sexual intimacy, one of the most common problems I see in heterosexual women is believing that their sexual preferences are neglected, ignored, or in some way not prioritized.
I further love that she grasps the complexity and depth of this problem. A resolution is not as easy as a woman's decision to boldly ask for what she wants or for a man to simply listen. Andrews acknowledges that there is more to it and that this basic problem with lack of female orgasm is a basis for larger, long-term sexual issues within a relationship.

For too many women, too much untapped potential remains. Which may help explain why so many long-term couples report the bed-dead syndrome. No sex at all. For years. Or near dead. Sex that occurs along the order of once or twice a year. A sex life in need of resuscitation.
With this in mind, I frequently encourage women to let their partners know what they want. Simple enough, right? Not at all, as it turns out. Many women report finding it difficult to approach their mates with sexual requests or to give honest feedback when their needs are not met. When, in short, they don't reach orgasm. Many women report feeling shy, awkward, and inhibited.
She goes on to tell us that even when a woman does speak up, it doesn't always work. The follow through is often short lived, or not enough. There are complications because of what her partner has learned from her past faked orgasms or from media expectations, and because of his own insecurities and feelings of awkwardness. It's a messy affair, and Andrews gives no perfect answer, but she does say something that truly needs to be said more, something I would call revolutionary, "You are not alone." Because in my opinion, we women too often think of our "problem" with lack of orgasm as an individual problem/malfunction, but it's not. It's a larger cultural problem with how we understand, teach, and depict the female orgasm, and one way or another we all , men and women alike, share in the suffering.
There are many avenues this post can take, but my main point is to inform women and men of something I don't think we hear often enough: You are not alone. Forget what so many magazines say. Sexual surveys are some of the most inaccurate -- this has been studied, too -- with people consistently over reporting their sexual frequency and satisfaction.

Don't go by what you read, or what you see in the movies or pornography (never) and certainly not what he hears in the locker room. Go by what you feel. Take an honest accounting of your sexual experience. If you're feeling dissatisfied, if you realize that your partner is not responding to your needs, don't give up on yourself.

Work on it. Read about it. Talk to your partner about it. Explain that you want to have good orgasms too, and yes, maybe even multiple orgasms. And that you want to bat closer to 1000 like he does (maybe). It's an entirely doable goal to reach orgasm close to 100% of the time.
Halle-effin'-lujah. Andrews is quite rightly pointing out that there is a clear disjunction between what we are supposed to know about ladygasms from media and cultural "speak," and what we know from our actual feelings and experiences. She is telling us to listen to those feelings and experiences honestly. She is telling us that other women are in the same boat, and she is telling us that we ladies deserve better, to be batting close to 1000 just like our men, and that it is very possible. That, my friends, shouldn't be revolutionary speak, but it is, and I'm glad she feels the need to say it.

Andrews doesn't go much into the physical details of how women can begin batting toward 1000, but she does clearly point out an important fact - that even if women tend to take longer than men to orgasm with a partner, women also tend to orgasm much quicker during masturbation. That in itself is important to know since it means that the very simple and doable act of diddling one's own clit during intercourse could serve as a reliable and quick means for achieving orgasm during most if not all sexual encounters - and, added bonus, it leaves the woman in charge of her own stimulation - which is pretty useful given that, as Andrews has already pointed out, getting the kind of stimulation one needs is not often as simple and easy as just telling one's partner. Hey, if you ask me, sometimes it's much easier to take matters into your own hands (although actually discussing it with your partner and working together to position the sex acts for the diddling could be a bit complicated, of course...)

So, I'd just like to thank Dr. Sandy Andrews. In her post she acknowledged an important problem; that we can orgasm, but yet we aren't orgasming. She also doesn't bury the injustice of this situation under vague possibilities of hormonal problems, mental blocks, or emotional barricades.  I see too much sex advice that skirt around this basic problem, and so I applaud Dr. Andrew's simple act of pointing out that women don't orgasm nearly as much as men during sexual acts, but that they can and that they deserve to. The insanity of this situation is shocking, important, and complicated, but like Dr. Andrews tells us, don't give up!


Happy New Year - We Got Our Final Sound for the Movie!

Uh, that's right. On New Years Eve, we downloaded our final sound from our sound mixer. It's a little insane to me that this has happened, but I don't think it'll quite sink in until other people start watching it. Then, I'm not sure how I'll feel - hopefully not like people want to kill me for wasting an hour and 40 minutes of their lives.

Okay, there is just a touch left to do. We do have to watch and give any final notes about tweaks or changes to the mixer. We've actually already done that. We watched it on good speakers, with head phones, and with our bedroom TV, which for some reason has the worst, most terrible sound of any TV I've ever heard. It's really bad, I have to really concentrate to make out what people are saying in most TV shows.  So, we're giving him some minimal notes. We've gone over a lot of stuff already, so this is just icing. Point being, it shouldn't take too long to get it back. From that point, we slap it on the video, make some DVD's, send them to our cast and our Kickstarter backers, and have cast party viewing...and then a lot of marketing and stuff like that, but no need to speak too much about that now. For now, an actual finished movie is becoming a reality, and I'm just gonna enjoy that for a minute.

Oh- and even though we've watched this movie a million times, and we've spent numerous hours proof reading and watching for mistakes, somehow, we saw for the first time last night that we spelled "urethra" as "uretha" - twice on screen. So that needs to be fixed - cause it's pretty dumb. But that should get done before we have the music back, so don't worry - no delays.

I feel like 2014 is gonna be a good one for me. I hope all of you out there feel like your 2014 is gonna be a good one, and if you don't, I hope you're wrong. Thanks for reading my weird lady-gasm themed blog. I don't know who most of you are, but I sure have a lot of love for you, and that's a fact....jack.