Minneapolis, Roller Town, and Sweet Sweet Tina

Hello! Just so you know, this blog isn't always about female orgasm. Sometimes it's about indie movies. So, with that I have 4 things I want to say in this post, so let me get to it.

1 We will be in Minneapolis tomorrow. Science, Sex and the Ladies will be showing in the Minneapolis Underground Film Festival at 9 pm tomorrow, October 1st. We're the last movie of the opening night, so come see us if you can. If you can't, then at least let all your Twin City friends that they need to represent. We would love to meet some fun people.

2 We were watching trailers online one night - cause that's what we do sometimes - when we clearly saw before us what the next couple hours of our lives would consist of. We would devote them to Roller Town, and you should choose some hours to Roller Town also.  It was not a mistake.

Seriously, it was funny and exactly what I wanted it to be. It was also a truly independent movie (from Canada) that really was put together well. It's exactly the kind of movie I would be thrilled to see at any festival. You can watch it on Netflix, so please do.

This is our TV displaying Roller Town to us, a most joyous of movies

3 We got our press kits out last week for most of the Indianapolis people we wanted to get them to (If you are in Indy, get your tickets to the Indianapolis Premier on Nov. 6th!). As we were assembling, we got a simply elegant shot of Tina working hard, so I thought I'd share.

Tina and the Science, Sex and the Ladies Press Kits


Masturbation, Religion, An Unfortunate Lack of Lady-gasms, and Emoticons

I, as you know, am a lover and champion of some good, old fashioned masturbation. Besides just enjoying it in general, I think it's incredibly important to the Orgasm Equality Movement. Women as a whole just don't masturbate enough. We have more barriers to cross before we discover this treasure of a activity, and so we tend to start at it later than boys, often well after we have partnered sexual interactions or intercourse.

I would argue that going into a sexual encounter already having experienced an orgasm and already having a clear understanding of at least one reliable method for physically attaining orgasm is miles ahead of going into the encounter with no personal orgasmic experience.

I know there are lots of issues at play when it comes to why women are faking and not having orgasms so often during intercourse, but one possible issue is a rather simply solved one. When intercourse is happening without additional clitoral stimulation (either manually, with a vibrator or through friction against the partner's body) then orgasm just ain't gonna happen. The clitoris is the female organ of sexual pleasure, just as the penis is the male organ of sexual pleasure, and if you don't stimulate those organs (and straight up intercourse probably isn't), don't expect orgasm. Probably, many more women would be able to reach orgasm during intercourse if they just, well, rubbed one out while the P was in the V. If women masturbated more and earlier, maybe rubbing one out during the act of intercourse would start to seem less weird and more of a sensible thing to do. It's so simple, but it's also so invisible among sexual acts in our media - and that's too bad.

All that to bring up an article from the Kinsey Institute website about what the 5 major religions think of masturbation. It's a quick read - just the basics, so go check it out HERE 

Here's my quick overview of the article's descriptions, which may or may not be that accurate to official stances. I'm not a scholar of religions, so feel free to criticize. I just wanted to do a summary using mostly emoticons:

Judaism - depends.  :(  :/   :)

Catholicism - boys :( girls :/

Islam - if ya got to ;/

Buddhism - gonna lead to more suffering but whatevs  ;/

Hinduism - if you can make a wise and virtuous case for it... :)


SSL at Imaginarium Fest, Spec Fic, Spasm Chasm, and Jingle Balls

Yo! Science, Sex and the Ladies played at its first Festival over the weekend, and it was pretty damn fun. It was in Louisville, less than 3 hours away, so we drove down there on the Friday it started, got into the hotel, and checked it all out. It was attached to a creative writing convention, which I have, unsurprisingly, never been to, but am glad I got to experience.

Being that our movie played at 5pm on Saturday, we took some SSL post cards out to the main convention area with all the booths and started talking up the screening. We were definitely passing out post cards, but we mostly jibber jabbed with lots of the vendors there. They were mostly authors and publishers of Speculative Fiction (Spec Fic), which I learned was an umbrella term for stuff like fantasy and superhero and science fiction and horror and all the more fantastical fictions. Seriously there were books about every possible combination of fantastical stuff than I could have ever imagined. Superhero, steam punk werewolves in space...is not one that I saw. I came up with it just now, but it wouldn't be out of place at this convention. I just can't specifically remember any of the ones I heard. Point is, there's a whole other world out there that I know so little about.

I haven't read much of anything over the last 15 years except for non-fiction female orgasm related books. Plus, other than stuff I had to read for school, I haven't much read fiction for fun since the 80's and early 90's. I did like science fiction mostly back then (A Wrinkle in Time, anyone?), but I know nothing of this modern and quite independent world that I had entered. Point is, I learned a lot and had a blast talking to some passionate, funny, interesting people.

We also got to see some movies, go to some writing panels, eat some pretty good food (brie, bacon and apricot burger...pretty good). One of the panels, called "Make Me Scream," was late Saturday night and had a bunch of genre erotica writers. They had a give-away for a basket of sexy goodies, which I didn't win, but I desperately wanted to because it had some Sea Salt and Caramel Ghiradelli Squares, and I was hungry and wanted candy...and I love those. I asked the question "What is your philosophy about writing female orgasm, as far as realism?" Mostly the panelists said that every situation is different, and they go with what makes the most sense. Most of them pointed out that they wrote rather fantastical erotica (yeti alien erotica is on its way to ya, people!), so they said that the orgasms are not really human, and human realism isn't as relevant in their writing.

One of the older ones on the panel said when she used to write romance for a more traditional large publisher, she fought a lot with her editor. She said she used to think that if she had to deflower any more virgins, she might kill herself. She would add pain and mess into the scene and the editor would give it back with "no pain" "no mess" and then they'd go back and forth until the editor just did what she wanted and sent it to publishing. This woman said there are definitely unwritten rules about how the orgasms should go, and that during that time she wrote a lot of eternal, universal floating into ecstasy orgasm stuff but working with independent publishing, it's just not like that for her anymore.

Barnaby asked, "What are some terms that you hate in sex scenes?" Their answers? man root, pike staff, fuck stick, sopping wet love cave, fucking wet slop hole, spasm chasm, although they were torn over that last one.  (Need more talk about his from romance writers? Check HERE)

It was a fun panel, and I have to say that my favorite writer name was Crymsyn Hart. she was pretty cool, and her shape shifter romance novels Jingle Balls and Hairy & Hung are, well, they just are what they are. If anyone reads them, I would love - I mean LOVE - a guest SSL Review.

Well, that's about it. We had a few of the authors there ask if they could do a review of SSL on their blog, and I was all hell yeah, so I'll keep you posted on that. We had to leave before the awards banquet on Sunday night, and I don't know when they'll post the winners, but if SSL won anything, I'll let you know.


Random Male Hite Report #9

Hello, friends. It's time for more Random Hite Report. In 1976, Shere Hite dropped The Hite Report where she compiled detailed survey answers from over 3,000 women about sex, masturbation, orgasms, and relationships. It's insane to me how revolutionary this book still is. Read it, seriously. We haven't changed that much. Then in 1981, she dropped The Hite Report on Male Sexuality where she over 7,000 men give detailed answers about sex, relationships, and women. It too is revolutionary, and the honesty and detail in this book is so important and moving, I think everyone should read this too.

 So, I give you a taste every now and then to entice you to get these books. Seriously, they are both like 1 cent online. Anyway, what I do is flip to one random page and copy the contents of that page, no more-no less, directly onto this blog. Enjoy.

The Hite Report on Male Sexuality
Knopf, 1981 pg 64

This is from the chapter Being Male. In the section "What Does It Mean to Be a Man?"  

Most men said, in addition to the characteristics already listed, "masculinity" was the opposite of "femininity." The real way to be a man was not to act like a woman:
    "It's the opposite from femininity."
    "Knowing that you are not a female and should not act like one."

Feminine traits were considereed to be loving, caring, and being supportive (see pages 108-10), whereas male qualities, as we have seen, were active, independent, doing, creating, and being in charge, dominant.
Most men, when asked, "how would you feel if something about you was described as feminine or womanly said they would be angry;  
    "Enraged. Insulted. Never mind what women are really like --- I know that he's saying: He's saying he thinks I should be submissive to him."

    "Outrageous demand. I may not seek to dominate, but I will never submit when I'm shown wrong."

    "To be called 'like a woman' by another man is to be humiliated by him, because most men consider women to be weak, and a man doesn't want to be considered weak."

    "No matter what it was or who was making the comment, I'd be hurt, angry, and insulted.

    "Chagrined. I may appear soft, but I carry a big stick, so watch out."

    "When a man compares another man's behavior to a woman's, he's looking for a fight."

    "Ver nervous, tense, threatened ---as if I were going to be singled out and ostracized for it."

    "If I was described as having something 'like a woman's,' I would be outraged. I would defend my masculinity almost automatically. I wouldn't like being compared to a woman's anything."
But some men pointed out the stereotyping contained in these remarks, or said the wouldn't mind:
    "I'm sure some of my behavior is thought of as 'like a woman's' and i feel fine about it. i think it's unfortunate that men have been conditioned to think that they cannot have nay feminine qualities or they are thought of as being sissies. Men have feminine qualities and women have masculine qualities. It's as simple as that. Denial and repression of these only leads to tension and I think it's too bad that men are so instilled with the idea that they have to be 'men'  all the time."

    "I feel that women's characteristics are usually soft, caring, gentle, etc., and i hope people will find them in men."

    "Since women are stereotyped as showing their emotions very readily, if someone said I was like that, I would be proud to have overcome my macho training."

    "To be honest---I would not feel bad. If men had more characteristics of..."


Nymphomaniac - The SSL Review Volume 2 (AKA: The Details)

As promised, here is the detailed list of all SSL Reviewable moments in Nymphomaniac Volumes 1 and 2. If you'd like to see my actual SSL Review of these movies - the sort of overview assessment - go HERE. Also, I found a surprising amount of stills from this movie that are relevant, and I have a still to prove a point I made about a bloody clit that isn't actually bloody. Point is....don't let these pics come up at work, ya know?

So, an SSL Reviewable moment must include at least 1 of the following:
  1.  a female masturbating (no orgasm necessary)
  2. a depiction of a female orgasming or ejaculating - some type of physical sexual release
  3. a discussion about female orgasm, masturbation or ejaculation 
  4. a depiction of sex that specifically and obviously doesn't include female orgasm - not simply that the scene cuts before an orgasm might possibly happen
  5. any time that the clitoris is mentioned...it happens so rarely
That's it. Snippets of sex scenes without showing the orgasm don't count, and talking about sex or sexuality without also specifically talking about the orgasm doesn't count. All that said, I'm in charge and so I can change the rules at any moment if I feel it's interesting to talk about, but mostly those are my guidelines. Enjoy the list. It goes chronologically from the beginning of the movie to the end.

  • Playing Frogs - Joe and friend about 6 years old filling bathroom floor with water and writhing around with no underwear under their skirts, pelvises pressed to the ground. Both girls' faces are shown concentrated on masturbatory pleasure - as if working into an orgasm.
  • Climbing the Rope - Joe said she'd climb the rope in gym class and stay up there for ages with the rope between her legs - feeling the "sensation." 
  • Anatomy - Joe was looking at her dad's anatomy books (he's a doctor) and was in the reproductive section...I think. She was reading the names of the anatomy outloud - including clitoris.
  • First Time - At 15 she found it imperative to lose her virginity. The guy owned a moped, so she thought he was sophisticated.
Joe: "If I asked you to take my virginity would that be a problem?"
Dude: "No, I don't see a problem."
Dude: "You should probably take off your knickers, yeah?"
She does exactly that with her skirt and all other cloths still on, an lays back on a crappy little bed. He non-nonchalantly stands above her on the edge of the bed by her feet, uses one foot to kinda gently kick open her legs and then leans back against the wall jerking it a little bit. Then he gets on with it, and she describes it this way in voice over.
Just before the 3 then 5 thrust situation
 "He shoved his cock inside me and humped me 3 time, then he turned me over like a sack of potatoes and he humped me 5 times in the ass."
He then goes back to trying to fix his moped. She puts her panties back on, fixes his moped quickly as she passes him and walks up the stairs out of his place in just the manner one would expect a person who was just dry-fucked in the ass to do. She described it as humiliating and said it hurt like hell and swore she would never sleep with anyone again. There was specifically no orgasm depicted here.

  • The Contest - A couple years later, her friend B had an idea. The two girls put on Fuck-Me-Now Clothes and go on train trip - no need for tickets. The one who fucked the most men when they got to our destination would win the chocolate sweets. On the train as they are about to start, her friend is giving some advice on how to hook them, and Joe says, "What if it hurts?" (or maybe it was "what if it's the worst?" It's hard to tell.) Anyway, in voice over she said she found it was easy, and here are the depictions.
Joe and B on a mission

1. In bathroom. Her sitting fairly motionless on counter towards him. Him standing and pumping into her. She smiles a little when he looks at her, but she's clearly bored.

2. Same position almost exactly. She was still, looking bored over his shoulder into the distance, almost rolling her eyes. He was pumping away.

  • 4 Guys - There is a sequence in which we see Joe getting banged by Guy 1, Guy 2, Guy 3, Guy 4, at different times, each in a different positions (below are the details). We then see her in the same positions with each guy as before but this time we see her orgasm sequentially with all 4 of those guys, followed by her sequentially telling all 4 of those guys that she has never orgasmed before. It obviously makes the men happy, and one even says, "I have to admit, quite a lot of girls say that."

Dude 1: Joe in bed on her back, head head hanging off the bed. Dude on his side next to her, pumping her, with his closest leg bent and up against his chest. No hands in use or direct clitoral glans contact.

Dude 2: Dude on back in bed. Joe bouncing up and down while on her knees straddling him. She is sitting straight up so there is unlikely to be direct clitoral glans contact, and there are no hands in use. She bends forward slightly, but there is still plenty of air between her clitoral/vulva area and his body.

Joe with Dude2, leaning forward
Dude 3: Joe laying on a table with a guy standing upright between her legs and pumping her. Clearly no hands in use or any contact at all with the clitoral/vulva area.

Dude 4: Joe is standing upright against facing a door with dude standing upright behind her and pumping. No hands in use. It's possible that the clit could be rubbing against the glass, but there is a door frame that puts her legs about 2 inches back from the glass. She would need to reall press forward with her pelvis to make some contact between her clit and the glass, but she is not positioned that way.
  • The Little Flock - Joe says in voice over: "The train trip had increased my appetite, and B and I started a club called 'The Little Flock.' It was about fucking and having the right to be horny. We masturbated together, that kind of thing, but it was rebellious. We weren't allowed to have boyfriends - no fucking the same guy more than once. The were rebelling against love.
  • Seligman's Creepy Fantasy - Seligman (the man Joe is telling her story to) imagines Joe masturbating, straight-faced and non passionately while teaching in a school girl's outfit. The sequence is laid out with Joe in different scenarios in the same set, and styled as if she's in an old-timey educational video.

1. Sitting down on a desk with her panties down and hands under her skirt moving in small circular motion.
2. Slouching back in a chair while using one hand to hold a large triangle ruler under her skirt between her legs. One point is possibly inside her or she's just rubbing against it. Her panties are not around her ankles in this scene (and they are in every other), so it indicates to me that she has her panties on and is just rubbing not inserting.

Seligman's Joe Masturbation fantasy...probably not suggesting insertion?

3. On her stomach on the desk, with her panties around her ankles and a hand between her vulva and the desk, writhing gently. There is a stuffed fox on the desk with her too for some reason.
4. Standing, legs shoulder width apart next to the desk with her panties down at her knees and hands under her skirt moving in a small circular motion.

Another of Seligman's Joe fantasies
5. Standing straight up sideways, panties at knees, staring right at the camera. She has one of those old wooden pointers between her legs, like one would use with a stick horse and is moving it backwards and forwards against her vulva.

  • No Touching -  Joe is discussing a time in her life when she was interested in one particular man, and says "and during this time, when I was with other men, I forbade them to touch my body with their hands." There is a quick cut to her from the chest up bouncing naked, presumably cowgirl style and pushing away the male hands that come up from out of shot to touch her breasts. Both her and his hands were clearly not on her vulva and she was sitting straight up and bouncing, so no vulva touch there, yet she is orgasming in the same way she did in previous scenes.
  • Train Masturbation - Joe also tells Segiman, that she masturbated on the train, and the scene shows her with her hand in her lap, covered by her bag, moving almost in-discernibly. We see her orgasm as a close-up of her face as her mouth opens slightly - she was in need of being discreet on the train, of course.
  • Laundry Worker Hospital Sex - She is aggressively bouncing up and down on top of him, cowgirl style on a bed, and her face seems pained, as if she's trying her best to come, but it doesn't seem to be happening. However the scene ends before one could tell if she does or doesn't come. She again has sex with this guy, but now she is on her back and him on top missionary. We are only seeing from the chest up, and at first she has a pained concentrating face like before, but it cuts and she is orgasming...then she starts crying, but that's another story. Anyway, she's clearly being banged and neither his nor her hands are on her junk. However, she is holding him close to her, and she could be grinding against him during this, so I have no particular qualms with this one.
  • The 3 Guy Music-Related Part  - She says she was having sex with 7 or 8 men a night, and she's talking to Seligman about 3 of these men, One in particular involved discussion of orgasm. In voice over, Joe says,
"...and he knew exactly what I wanted when we had sex. No, I'd go even further and say that there was a kind of telepathy going on when we had sex. Without words, he knew exactly what I wanted, where he should touch me, and what he should do. The most sacred goal for F, was my orgasm."
During this we see him going down on her. She is laying on her back on a bed, and he is above her and moves down he body until his mouth makes steady, full mouthed contact directly over her clitoral vulva area, and after a moment, we see Joe beginning to orgasm.

  • Loss of Orgasm - Joe is with the dude played by The other was Shia LaBeouf. She told him to "fill all her holes," That's pretty much what he's doing, but one small clip makes it look like he has his hand down around her vulva while he's doing her missionary style. It's most likely supposed to be him puttin' it in, but I thought I'd mention it. There was no orgasm though. Volume 1 ends, with Shia doing her (banging and clearly no hands), and she quite desperately and panicky, says she can't feel anything. 
  • Floating Orgasm - Joe was 12 and on a field trip in the hills,. She's lying in the grass and had this spontaneous orgasm where she floats into the air with these 2 ghostly, religious-like women figures next to her in the sky. When Seligman man asks her about it, she says it was and orgasm, although the doctor described it as an epileptic seizure.
  • Desperate Masturbation - So, she has lost her orgasm all together suddenly, and we see her awake in bed with Jerome (Shia LaBeof). She is furiously rubbing her vulva (in a realistic - although quite rough- masturbatory motion), but it's obviously not working. So she goes into the bathroom and slaps her vulva with a wet towel. Clearly she's upset and trying anything at this point. Joe describes in voice over that she "lost all sexual sensation - my cunt went numb"
  • Desperate Sex with Shia LaBeouf  - She, of course has no orgasm, since she ain't having those anymore, but apparently, she keeps trying, and there are cut-up scenes of her and Jerome having sex. Her legs wrapped around his waist, getting banged against the wall. Her on top in bed both sitting upright and then laying down on him. He seems like he is just getting tired and they just stop."If Jerome had hoped for a break from what was now for him mostly strenuous work, he could forget about it."
  • Tied to a Couch - She gets her orgasm back while enduring some masochism, and it happens because she was able to move her pelvis and stimulate her clitoris against the book she was tied against. Rather realistic....for those who can keep aroused while getting whipped like a horse.
Joe, vulva against book, while being whipped
  • The Weird Anatomically Incorrect Bloody Clit - Joe is in an office  bathroom stall, sitting on a toilet with the lid down. She has her pantyhose and panties down around her knees and is rubbing her vulva, but then sees blood. Joe says in voice over says, "Some years later, the body abuse began to have an affect. First, rare bleedings from my clitoris, but then they became more and more frequent." As we get a closer view, there looks to be a sore on her inner thigh, but her clitoris looks just fine (and we do see it close up - I even paused it.). She then takes a make-up mirror and uses it to look at the parts of her junk she can't see, but she can see her clit area, so it's weird. I'm not sure if the moviemakers don't know where the clit is, or what, but it didn't make sense to me.
See, the clit and everything around it are blood and sore free - looks quite healthy actually

This is Joe, investigating the source of the blood by using a hand mirror to check in the vaginal hole area
  • One Big Sore - Joe doesn't really have sex any more in the movie and at one point says in voice over, "My groin was one big sore from my abuse that wouldn't heal and made even masturbation impossible." She suffered abstinence symptoms.


Nymphomaniac Volumes 1 and 2: The SSL Review

Nymphomanic Volumes 1 and 2: How could I not make every effort to see these movies when they touched down in Indianapolis for a couple days? I'm reviewing them together because they are kinda a cohesive piece, and it'd be hard for me not to.

From the previews, it was clearly going to show some depictions and discussions of female sexual release and masturbation. I was pretty certain about that, so I knew I could do an SSL Review. I also like to see a Lars von Trier movie. Notice I didn't say I love a Lars von Trier movie - cause I can't really say that, but I feel like they are always worth a watch, ya know? I don't know how to express this correctly, but it's something like this: His movies usually have some things in them that intrigues or excites me from a movie making perspective - in a way that doesn't happen all the time, and that's actually really cool. However, as a total package, they can be kinda...not my favorites. So that's me and ol' Lars.

Now, back to the Nymphomaniac preview - I was definitely intrigued, but honestly I felt like I would really not like it. I thought it would be incredibly annoying to me. There was a certain type of sexual darkness coming through in the preview that just rubbed me the wrong way. As it happens, though, I liked the movie...I mean in the earlier explained way that I like a Lars von Trier movie.

Which brings me to the SSL Review part. Whether I enjoy a movie or think it's a quality cinematic experience is a separate issue from my SSL review. My review of a movie could be bad and the SSL review could be  quite good and vice versa. In this situation, the SSL review is mixed, but I lean fairly far toward bad. After I saw it the first time in the theater, I'd say I felt my leanings were a little more to the good side, but it shifted a bit after a detailed watch through where I paused it a lot, wrote down quotes, and looked all careful like at each SSL reviewable scene. There were a lot of SSL reviewable scenes, and don't get me wrong, some were realistic, even progressive depictions of lady-gasms, but on a whole, I felt the movies reinforced crap understandings of lady-gasms.

My next post will be a detailed list with detailed descriptions of all the SSL Reviewable moments, for your curiosity and reference. This post will be the actual review with a bit less detail in scene description. Here we go.

The way Joe's (she's the main character - the "nymphomaniac") ability to orgasm is depicted is so, so very much the status quo way that female orgasm is depicted in this culture, which means it's overall unrealistic. Even though there are certainly moments of realism in this movie, the highly unrealistic assertion that women can orgasm easily from nothing more than penises moving in and out of their vaginas, rings out loud and clear, obscuring everything else. I truly do understand that there are women who claim to orgasm in just this way, but the truth is that even if every claim is true, it's still a minority of women (in surveys only about 15-30 % of women claim this), and on top of that, this type of orgasm has never actually been verified in scientific investigation. You would think that it has, but it has not. An orgasm that happens from stimulation inside the vagina just simply has not been physically observed the way an orgasm resulting from stimulation of the clitoral glans has been observed and documented in numerous studies. I would (and do) argue that even though 15-30% of women claim this type of vaginally induced orgasm happens, the numbers are probably much, much less if at any at all. But, even if there is a small amount of women who do come from a good banging, it's still a small minority, and yet it is by far the most common way of orgasming one sees in porn and movies and reads about in erotica and romance novels.

That discrepancy is a little crazy to me, and movies that get good SSL Reviews are simply ones that are overall more progressive, daring, and realistic - daring in that they show realisitc acts that simply aren't common in movies such as a woman rubbing her clitoral glans to orgasm during the act of intercourse. Nymphomanic was daring in that it was a "normal" movie that showed sexual encounters fully - kinda like porn. However, those sexual encounters were just that - like porn and as unrealistic on the ladygasm front. Let me get a touch more detailed.

Orgasming during intercourse with no clitoral/vulva stimulation
So, pretty much every time we see Joe having intercourse, she orgasms while there is clearly nothing at all stimulating her clitoral glans.

  • After she is on her own, we see her getting banged by 4 different guys on separate occasions, orgasming each time
  • We see an example of her having sex/orgasming with a man during a time that she didn't want men touching her during sex

Intercourse that specifically doesn't result in orgasm

  • Her first sexual experience, which just consisted of a dude thrusting in her vagina 3 times and her ass 5 times, then coming.
Right before the 3 in vagina, 5 in ass situation
  • The very next time she engages in sex which was when she was a teenager. Her and her friend have a contest in which the girl who has sex with the most men on a train gets a bag of chocolates. We see two instances in which she has intercourse during the contest. Both involve no touching of the clitoral glans. We don't see her have an orgasm in the snippet we get to see, and she looks rather bored and disinterested in both, so it's pretty clear that she will not be having one at all.

Both of those were actually pretty realistic portrayals. She wouldn't likely have an orgasm during intercourse at all, much less when a dude barely touches her at all before flipping her over and going all anal. Painful intrusions of the butthole (and it's clear in the movie that it was painful), do not orgasms make. She also wouldn't during some quick P in V on a train. There was clearly no manual clitoral stimulation happening, and her bored and fairly motionless body was clearly not trying to work the clit against his body while it was happening, so no, an orgasm would be unlikely.

These on their own in a movie would actually get a fairly good SSL review for realism. However, on the wider view, it seems to me as though these were just holding to a stereotype that sex is bad for girls when they are young. Granted, that's probably more true than not, but that's another post all together. My point here is that the banging she got on the trains was really not physically different than the banging they showed her getting, and orgasming to, later in her life. That change seems a little unmotivated and thoughtless. What was the difference? Her age? Her attitude? I mean if the movie is saying that her vagina is one of these lucky ones that stimulates to orgasms during a ramming, then why not on the train? It's kinda like if a movie depicted a teen boy all bored and stuff while getting his dick bounced on by a girl, but later showed the same physical actions making him orgasm when he was older - with no indication of what changed? It's weird, and frankly I don't think much thought beyond what people surfacely hear about girls and sex went into it.

Orgasm during intercourse that's realistic enough

  • An encounter much later in her life involves an orgasm during missionary intercourse, but the shot is more close-up and although no hands were on her vulva, there is a slight possibility that her vulva could be rubbing against his pelvis since she is holding him close to her.

Again, on it's own, I wouldn't have a problem with this scene. It's not portraying anything progressive or interesting on the female orgasm front, but it's not portraying a blatantly unrealistic lady-gasm either, so whatevs. However, mixed with the rest of the movie it's just neutral, and the rest of the bad depictions win over.

Lack of orgasm during intercourse

  • The other non orgasmic penetrations happen during the time that she mysteriously "loses" her orgasm while having intercourse. She says she can't feel anything. 

I have a slight distaste for this whole storyline in the movie because 1 - it assumes, she should be having orgasms during intercourse with no additional clit stim and 2 - it sets the female orgasm into a realm that's mystical, beyond rational physical properties. In fact, when she is talking about this "loss of orgasm" she describes a childhood orgasm, and it goes something like this: field trip in the hills, 12 years old, laying on her back in the grass, and she has this spontaneous orgasm where she begins to floats and sees two ghostly religious figure women in the air. It's mysterious, just like this "loss" of her orgasm.

Hey, I get that people have feelings about their orgasms that bleed into the realm of religion and spirituality, and that's all cool. Everybody has unique feelings and ways of describing their orgasms. My problem, in a nutshell, is that female orgasms are spoken about in this way (even by professionals) so very much more than male orgasms are. Lady-gasms are too often stereotyped as having a element of emotional or spiritual control that men's don't - as if they are mysterious, other-wordly, and unpredictable.  The truth is, if you look at the scientific literature, female orgasms are clearly understood, as patently physical and no more tricky than male orgasms, and there is no real indication that women are any more varied in their biologic orgasmic abilities than men are.

The mysterious stereotype it gets results more from the fact that people misunderstand the physical aspects of how female orgasm happens as opposed to lady-gasms actually being tricky. I feel like speaking about female orgasms as these mysterious beasts lets everyone off the hook of actually seeking understanding. Why learn about the physical nature of female orgasm when we can all just flippantly throw up our hands and say, "well women's orgasms are complicated, ya know - I mean the hormones and the emotional stuff, and ya know women are all just so very different, so....what can ya do?"

Non-intercourse orgasms - i.e. the realistic ones
Now, there are more depictions in this movie which are realistic and would be SSL Reviewed well if not for the larger scope of this movie. I want to point these out real quick.

  • Joe and a friend "playing frogs" when they were about 6ish, I guess. Basically, they pour water all over the bathroom floor, take off their panties (they are wearing skirts - nothing is revealed) and they sorta writhe separately on the floor on their stomachs. (I would be really annoyed about that water on the floor thing if they were my kids, btw).
  •  Also, we see that she likes to wrap her legs around the rope in gym class and rub against it (which can't help but make me think of a particular line from Wayne's World). 
  • Seligman, the man Joe is telling her story to, briefly imagines what Joe getting higher education might be like. Spoiler, it's her in a schoolgirl outfit, masturbating in weird, school related ways. At one point, there's randomly a stuffed fox next to her on the desk. To my delight, all the depictions involve something stimulating the clitoral/vulva area, and never something penetrating. It's realistic...I mean as realistic as this fantasy sequence could be. 
Well, there it is. Stuffed fox and masturbation with school stuff
  • We see her masturbate on a train. The indication is that she's making tiny circles on her crotch under the bag that lay on her lap - realistic! 
  • We see her masturbating in a bathroom stall at work, and she is rubbing her vulva in a circular motion - also realistic. 
  • The only depiction of cunnilingus happens when she was talking about a man who put her orgasm above all else. He goes down on her and clearly is stimulating her clitoral/vulva area, although the scene ends before she orgasms.
  • She orgasms during a session with a dude who has tied her up, face down, bent over the arm of a couch and is whipping the shit out of her. She figures out how to allow herself slight movement in the ropes and begins rubbing her clitoral/vulva area on the books that her pelvis is tied against, and she orgasms. I'm not gonna explain this scene, you'll just have to see the movie, but I will say that besides the fact that it's happening while her ass is being ripped with a knotted whip, the orgasm makes sense.
Joe being tied to the couch, no whipping just yet

I can get behind those scenes, but let me just point out one thing. Isn't it odd that every single time Joe is depicted masturbating, it involves stimulation of the vulva and clitoral glans. I mean, that is her choice for what works well, but when she's having sex with another person, she is suddenly depicted as pursuing orgasm through vaginal penetration (the exception is the 1 act of cunnilingus, of course). Why not penetrate herself during masturbation? Why not manually stimulate the clitoral glans during intercourse?

Oddly, this actually mirrors real life. Women do masturbate the way Joe does - which is not with vaginal penetration (The Hite Report has good numbers on this).  The way women (and Joe) masturbate actually works for attaining orgasm, and there's lots of scientific studies to prove it. However, my guess is we don't add this into our sexual encounters often enough because it seems weird to touch ourselves down there during it, leaving many women to simply not orgasm or to fake orgasms. So, I imagine the movie was made with this masturbation/sex orgasm discrepancy because that's what the filmmakers and actors see and experience as normal, so that's how it is in the movie.

One more thing. At one point Joe is in a bathroom stall masturbating her clit/vulva, and her voice over says,
"Some years later, the body abuse began to have an affect. First, rare bleedings from my clitoris, but then they became more and more frequent." 
She sees blood, and takes a closer look. We get to see the whole deal down there. There's blood on her inner thigh. It looks like it might be a sore or blood that came from another sore. The weird thing is, we see her clitoris and most of her whole vulva pretty clearly, and there is no blood at all or any discoloration or injury on her clit. It's only that area on her inner thigh. Seriously, I even paused and really checked this out. She then seems worried about it and takes a make-up mirror to look at her vaginal hole area - a place we can't really see. I really don't know what to make of this. I would think the movie makers have a basic understanding of anatomy...like where the clit is, but if I were to go by this scene, I would assume they think it is in the vaginal hole. I'll just hope this was some mix up where the voice over was supposed to say vagina instead of clit or something, but it's super strange.

Okay, that's about it. As you know, I'm not giving this a very good SSL Review. It's getting a little credit for the good realistic depictions in there, but as a whole it reiterated all the misunderstandings about female orgasm that I'm trying to fight....that it is caused by Ps moving in and out of Vs, that they are mysterious, and that the clit is in the vagina?...I guess. I do judge this a bit more harshly because it is a movie so specifically focused on the subject of female orgasm, and I hope so much for some element of progressiveness from it - especially because it's such an avant garde movie. I give slight leeway, though, because all the orgasm and sexuality stuff is probably meant to be all symbolic and metaphoric and shit, so who knows what ol' Lars von Trier was trying to say. But still the review is not great  - 1 and a half vulvas out of 5. (This is my first half vulva. Believe me - I hate cutting a vulva. That's really gross to me, but I couldn't decide between 1 and 2).

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Stay tuned for a list with description of all depictions and discussions of female sexual release or masturbation in Nymphomaniac Vol. 1&2. ****Find the list HERE

Oh - and P.S. The gross-ass, over-zealous, stiff tongued, throat-cleaning kissing that Shia LaBeouf was doing, particularly in the last scene of Volume 1, was making me want to vomit my popcorn back into the tub. I did not like it.


Marketing Science, Sex and the Ladies - Press Kits, DVDs, and Festivals, Oh My!

May I just take a moment and give you all out there a little bit of an overview about what is going on here in SSL land. I figure this blog is partially about the experiences and so forth of making this independent movie, so maybe I should catch you up on the background work from time to time.

This is AnC...posed for the camera (on a timer). This was for our 2012 AnC Holiday Card

I would put our current state of affairs squarely in the 'press kit hell' zone...well kinda. I actually like the press kit part. I mean it is time consuming as hell and tedious and it feels like I am never going to get things finished and out in the time frame I was hoping for. That's all true for sure, but I could say that for every single part of the movie making process - it always takes forever, consumes my life, and involves an annoyingly large amount of attention to detail...and I feel like I'm on the brink of failing at every step. It's all terrible, but you know, not really that bad. The whole movie making process is also one where I feel creative and excited, where there's constant fun bullshitting with people I like. I laugh a lot and make new friends and feel like I'm doing something that I want to do. It's very satisfying actually, and the press kit part of the process is really no different. I would say, though, that it has a slight advantage in that at this stage, I know that we've succeeded in making a movie that we are proud of (otherwise we wouldn't be promoting it). So, maybe I should say we're in press kit heaven...or maybe purgatory is a better description...yeah, cause it does feel like I'll be pushing this damn movie for the next quadrillion years. It's gonna be slow process. I'm in for the long game. The way I see it, endurance is the key when promoting a movie by nobodies from nowhere with no one famous in it and about a subject that is not for discussion in polite company.

So, point being we're doing press kits. We had to get some out to Louisville and Minneapolis for the festivals pretty quickly since the turnaround time between finding out you're in and the festival dates are often closer than you think. We didn't get elaborate for this one. We just went with a basic package containing a DVD and a simple color printing on paper - mostly leading people to our more detailed online press kit. We always do snail mailers though for press kits, but have clear direction to easy online content also. We assume people pay more attention to a package, but want their info easily accessible online.

For our Indy premiere in November (details soon btw), however, and for future press kits, we are creating something more elaborate. It's how we do. We like them to be unique, handmade-ish things that almost feel like a weird little piece of art (with clear and pertinent information, of course). These that we're conjuring up now will involve lots of strangely designed business cards, a lovely box (not that kind...although it may be pink...), ribbon, and lots of other surprises. The brainstorming and research that went into this is kinda stupid, although the three of us at AnC are pretty damn good at this kind of shit. In an odd way, we are like a well oiled machine for these things. We price shop, shoot down each other's ideas, make new ones, go through scenarios, and it's long and involved and kinda hard, but we always have a blast doing these. I'll put up some pics when we're done with them.

So, just for some nuts and bolts of our lives here. Here's the stuff that's been on our to-do list the past few weeks.

Pre-work for press kits

  • update online press kit (add festival laurels, ad events, add press quotes and links to reviews)
  • update SSL movie site
  • burn lots of DVDs (we use blank DVDs pre-printed with the SSL logo)
  • create DCP and Blue Ray exhibition copies of SSL
  • investigate possible places to send press kits
  • assemble contact names, email, and mailing addresses

Paper press kits for Minneapolis and Louisville
  • design work for quick paper press kit
  • write copy 
  • investigate possible places to send press kits
  • go to post office and mail them
  • follow up through email with individualized letter a week later

Indianapolis premiere 
  • investigate possible venues / visit venues
  • negotiate details of event with venue
  • create online ticket purchasing site to sell tickets through
  • Send ticket and movie info to venue for their site

Indianapolis Press Kits

  • Investigate pricing for boxes, cards, etc and create budget
  • order all pieces
  • write copy for all pieces of press kit
  • design work for all cards, stickers, etc
  • create individual cover letters for each press kit
  • assembly line for press kits
  • go to post office and mail them
  • follow up through email with individualized letter a week later

  • enter 3 festivals (these bitches can get expensive, so we just try to enter a few at a time, but consistently do so)
  • investigate blogs, etc that may have an interest in reviewing SSL and query them (this takes a lot of searching and a lot of writing personalized emails to people you don't know)
  • communication with people hosting small group showings (sending DVDs, following-up, etc)
  • dealing with needs for more data space (cause we made this huge, space eating movie)
  • discuss next script (ya gotta keep moving forward, right?)


Proxy - The SSL Review

We were chillin' this Labor day weekend, and decided to watch a little Indy indie movie. We saw this director's (Zack Parker) prior movie Scalene after Charlie met the director briefly at the local Indiana Filmmakers Network event, and so when we saw his new one on Netflix, we cued that shit up - cause why go outside on Labor Day, am I right?

Anyway, the movie is called Proxy. It's a thriller with strange-o plot twists, and wouldn't ya know it? There was a scene that was SSL reviewable (favorably), and so here we are. This should be pretty quick, actually. The SSL Review only pertains to depictions or discussion of female masturbation or sexual release. Nothing else matters.

Turns out some lady sneaks a peak on another lady masturbating. It's not some freaky, voyeuristic sexual stuff or anything. Neither lady should have been where she was, and they intersected - simple as that. There was no orgasm at the end of the masturbation. She stopped before it could happen. From the context of the situation, I assume it was because she was upset/sad/angry and just couldn't get her mind right. I'm happy to say, though, that the motions she was using were realistic and clit-centric, which is all I ask. It's not much, really. I mean if women by and large masturbate by stimulating their clitoral/vulva area, then by golly, that's how it should be mostly portrayed in our media (The Hite Report is a great resource for stats about how women masturbate). In this particular situation, the woman was on her back, legs spread and using her hand in a circular motion (a bit roughly for my taste) on her vulva area. There was no silliness with vaginal canal stimulation/penetration types of pornish masturbation or anything - just your simple clit jigglin'.

Oh - and there was also a scene where a woman is banged P-in-V style, standing up, from behind. There was clearly no stimulation happening to the vulva/clit area, not from his nor her hands and not from anything else. There was certainly a penis in that vagina, but the clit was out there on its own, with nothing to stimulate that poor little glans of nerve endings into an orgasm. Unfortunately, in porn and romance novels and definitely movies and TV too, that scenario of PinV banging, minus clit stimulation,  is one that is often depicted as eliciting a lady-gasm, but not in Proxy, I'm happy to say.

There may have been other more character based reasons that she was shown to look disinterested and very non orgasmic in this sex scene, but I'd like to think it's also because her organ of sexual pleasure was not being stimulated and there would simply be no sensible reason to depict her coming. Now, I know this scene was not strictly a depiction of sexual release, but I think it's important to include it in the SSL Review anyway. I make the rules here, people, and I think realistic depiction of not orgasming during a sexual act need to be pointed out also.

So, I'm going to give this one 4 out of 5 vulvas. It's a good rating. There was realistic masturbation movements and a realistic depiction of not orgasming from getting banged. Yay Hoosiers! And Yay Richmond (cause you're an Indiana town and your streets are in this movie)!

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