Sexy Dude costumes - The SSL Halloween Special

In the tradition of past Halloween posts, I'm going to talk about costumes. I try hard to make these very special Halloween costume posts both fun and related to the discussion or depiction of female sexual release. You might remember last year's post about the "Orgasm Donor" costume. You also might remember the post in 2012 about using weird sexy costumes to find love for own clit instead being all giving and stuff.

Well, this year, let's focus on boy sexy costumes instead of sexy costumes for the ladies. My feeling is that the time has come for men to share in the responsibility for making Halloween the top sexiest holiday. Ladies have been shouldering this burden for way too long, so this post is dedicated to all the brave sexy-costume men out there that make Halloween and the fantasies we masturbate to later, hotter for all us hetero gals out there. However, let me bring up the obvious. The gay guys are probably giving more to this cause than straight ones.

A friend's FB led me to a lovely post, "Slutty Halloween costumes for Hot Dudes," from the blog Confessions of a Boy Toy, and it's not about straight men in slutty costumes, which got me thinking about this very post you're reading. Honestly, I'm not picky, I don't care if your eight pack does dudes or ladies, the view's the same either way, but honestly, it's not fair. Hetero guys shouldn't get off the hook just because gay guys try a little harder to keep that shit tight for their potential lovers.

This is a call to action for the straight dudes. College Halloween Frat parties next year should have as much male skin as lady skin...no it should have more male skin. I mean, if we are ever going to achieve balance, there's a lot of make-up ground the dudes need to cover. It could be decades of women in ghost costumes and men in Olympic Swimmer costumes before we get that balance, so let's get to work. We ladies, our clits, and the state of heterosexual relationships deserves it!

Here's some pics to enjoy. Happy Halloween.


American Beauty - The SSL Review

I was babysitting some nieces and nephews a couple nights ago, and since they have way better cable than I do (because I actually have no cable) and since the kids were in bed, I thought I'd look for a movie to watch. Turns out, just as I remembered from when I did have cable, it's not that easy to find something I actually want to watch. However, I found American Beauty had just started about 15 minutes before, and I hadn't seen it in a long time.

It came out somewhere around my 1st year of college, and it was one of those movies around that time (like Fight Club and Snatch and Eyes Wide Shut  and Magnolia) that had an impact on my coming-into-the-adult-world mind and really solidified my interest for making movies. The way they were made, the sound, the editing, the style - it all kinda blew my mind at the time. It was exciting. I can remember coming home after seeing these movies and just talking with Charlie for hours about them - what we liked what we didn't.

So in watching American Beauty again, part of it was seeing how the movie stood up for me over time. Truth be told, there are parts to this movie that I will always like, but it was never a top choice among the others I listed above. Also, I've sorta grown to hate Kevin Spacey's perma-character that he does in every movie he's in. I didn't know it was a perma-character at the time, so it didn't bother me at all then. (Full-disclosure: I love his perma-character in House of Cards. It fits somehow, and I'm glad I decided to give it a chance, event though I wasn't really excited about it). American Beauty is also very male-centric. I mean that not in a necessarily bad way. It's just heavily from a male perspective, and as I've grown older I realized that a disproportionately large amount of movies are from this perspective, and I always get a tinge of disappointment when I see another movie that doesn't really consider the female perspective deeply. So, that tints my feelings about it - although most of the movies I listed up there are from this heavily male perspective. I mean, like I said, most movies are, so it's just par for the course.

Alright, enough about that. I'm actually writing this because I realized that American Beauty is eligible for an SSL Review. Why? Because there was indeed a depiction or discussion of female sexual release or female masturbation. SSL Reviews only review those depictions or discussions and nothing else. The I rate it in vulvas (!)(!)

Annette Bening's character Carolyn, is shown in a motel room having sexual relations with a man who is not her husband (Buddy Kane played by Peter Gallagher). Buddy is a big-shot Realtor that Carolyn (also a Realtor) admires. He's confident and knows what he wants, and she's enamored. The sex scene is pretty quick. They are laying on a motel bed. She is on her back with her legs way up in the air straddling Buddy who is face down, propped up on his arms, banging the ever lovin' shit out of Carolyn. The bed's a rockin' and Carolyn is screaming something to the effect of "You're the King! You're the King!" (He is called the Realty King or something like that on his advertising). We see all 4 of their arms, and there is clearly no one manually stimulating the clit.

Carolyn's legs-around-the-ears position is not a great one for clit to dude's pelvis stimulation, so my professional opinion here is that the clit is not being touched by anything during this scene. Yet, it seems from how she's screaming that she just might be orgasming...it definitely plays as a climax of some sort. It's a porny as hell orgasm, and I assume this scene is partially supposed to play for comedy, as so many sex scenes do. However, comedy or not, it's reinforcing the incorrect assumption that some good ol' banging alone will make a woman come.

It is not an unusual scene. It doesn't seem to be insinuating anything different than most porn scenes, movie sex scenes, or romance novel sex scenes, but that's the problem, isn't it? It's part of the incredibly huge network of female orgasm depictions in our media that completely ignores the clitoris, yet still depicts a female orgasm. It's a problem, just as it would be a problem if almost all sex scenes in media showed men orgasming from ball caresses, anal penetration, or stroking only on the very base of the penis, and for some god-awful reason, stimulation or any touching at all of penis head was almost never depicted.

It's a ridiculous situation, and American Beauty is just adding to the problem, so I give it only a 1 vulva rating. (I don't like giving zeros).



Sensitivity of Clit and Vagina While Aroused and Unaroused

It ain't easy getting a hold of lady orgasm articles from scientific journals when you aren't in college or when the scientific company you work for focuses more on plants than lady junk or when your local librarians look at you with pure hate when you ask them to order these sex articles for you and then they keep forgetting you asked about it. I had been having to make periodic runs to the ol' IUPUI libraries to make copies. Now I have a free trial of a site I can get a bunch of full articles from and a cousin in college that knows how to use her library resources and will get me ones that I can't get from my free trial. So, my point is that I'm having a field day getting to read all the articles I want...article I have only seen abstracts for. It's pretty sweet. This means I'm going to do more "A Journal Article I Read" blog posts about random articles I read. And on that note, here is one. I'm just going to explain it as fully, but still as easily understandable as I can, and if I want to say something else about it, I will.

"Physiological Changes in Female Genital Sensation During Sexual Stimulation"
The Journal of Sexual Medicine , Volume 4 (2) – Mar 1, 2007

What they did
11 women were tested during non aroused and aroused states for heat and vibration sensitivity on the clitoral glans area and for vibratory sensation on the anterior wall of the vagina (the wall towards the front, not the backside of your body). They threw out doing the heat test on the vaginal wall after they found in preliminary tests that there were no changes in sensitivity at all during different levels of arousal. 

The scientist had a device that they would hold against the test area and would ramp up the heat or vibration until the woman indicated that she felt it - the less vibration or heat before she felt it, the more sensitive that area was. Here is the schedule for when the tests would be done on both the clit (both heat and vibration) and the vagina (just vibration):

Test 1 - Soon after getting into the testing room and before any arousal process was begun 
Test 2 - A base line 10 minutes after Test 1 and still before any arousal process started
 (Results from bot tests 1 and 2 matched the base line tests of 89 other women tested previously) 
Test 3 - Immediately post arousal (once lubrication had begun) but before any physical self stimulation. Women chose erotic viewing material from a selection of short promos and had begun watching them to begin arousal.
Test 4 - Immediately after orgasm. None could achieve orgasm from auditory/visual stimulation alone so they were allowed to use manual stimulation or vibrators. The actual achievement of orgasm was not physiologically verified. 
(The women were in a private room and buzzed the researchers in directly after lubrication for Test 3 and directly after orgasm for this test)  
Test 5 - 5 minutes post orgasm 
Test 6 -10 minutes post orgasm 
Test 7-  20 minutes post orgasm

What they found
The clit needed more vibration (over and above what she needed at the Tests 1 and 2 baseline readings) before the woman felt it after the non-self stimulating arousal and then also after the orgasm, at 5 minutes post orgasm, and at 10 minutes post orgasm. 

The vagina didn't need more vibration (over and above what she needed at the Tests 1 and 2 baseline readings) for the woman to feel it until after the orgasm and then also at 5 minutes post orgasm. 

The amount of heat needed on the clit before the woman to feel it never changed.

There have been studies showing the same lowering of vibration sensitivity in an aroused penis (over that of an un-aroused penis).A [1][2]

What I want to say about it
There had been some studies in the past about sensitivity among the different parts of the female genitals. but a study of female genital sensitivity during the the phases of sexual arousal doesn’t seem to have been done until this study. It is just a small study with only 11 women. Plus, the orgasms were not physiologically verified in this. That's an issue I am always weary of, given that women/sexperts/researchers tend to use the word orgasm in ways that could mean something other than the universally accepted physically identifiable way that Masters and Johnson defined it. So, one woman’s “orgasm” may literally be something different than another woman’s – possibly more emotionally/spiritually based as opposed to physically identifiable. This is an issue that sex researchers should be more cognizant of. However, overall, I thought it was an interesting little study that that other scientists could duplicate or springboard from...and now you know about it.

[1] Urology. 1998 Dec;52(6):1101-5.
Penile sensitivity in men: a composite of recent findings.
Rowland DL.

[2] J Urol. 1991 Oct;146(4):1018-21.
Changes in penile sensitivity following papaverine-induced erection in sexually functional and dysfunctional men.
Rowland DL1, Leentvaar EJ, Blom JH, Slob AK.


Random Male Hite Report #10

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 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)  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 739

This is from the chapter Rape. In the section "Other kinds of rape: pressuring a woman into sex"  

...pain--my balls ache. Present buying. alcohol to soften her. Or straight forward exciting her by kissing, fondling, petting. Some succeed, some not."
    "I have tried all sorts of things to say when I try to persuade a woman to let me make love to her. I like to be sincere. The most truthful thing I can tell her is that I do not know what got into me, and that I am afraid I may go out of my mind if she does not consent."
    "Yes. Guilt is the way to get what you want from a woman."
    "Much fast talk--love, love, love--all pure bullshit!"
    "Verbal intimidation. Example: 'We haven't done anything in several weeks. What's up? Tell me the problem. Let's talk, O.K.?' Success is low because I usually back out (feeling dishonest)."
    "By using emotional tactics such as telling her how much it meant to me and how that if she didn't meet my needs, I would go to someone else. Most of the time, the tactics work."
    "I told a woman (several women) if she (they) did not give in I was not going to see her (them) anymore. I could not wait anymore. That was the truth. I am not a monk. Yes, always succeeded. I have very pitiful eyes."
    "Yes. Begged. Succeeded."
    "Yes! I'd pout like a little boy, or make known to her that I'm angry. But the one that always works is 'economic blackmail.'"
    "Regretfully, I plead guilty due to ignorance and lack of willpower. I played on emotions such as empathy, sympathy until they thought they really wanted me too. It succeeded physically but I seldom if ever have seen the person since then and probably lost out on at least a great friendship."
    "Yes, I have pressured my girl to have sex with me when she didn't want to. I've done so by sulking, by explaining I'm horny and need sex (I am and do), and by talking about how we don't have much time left together before we separate again (which is the truth). They've all worked."
    "One way is I would wrestle her; another I would not fulfill all of her immediate needs and trade favors and services from myself for sex and money, and I have made some feel guilty about things they were not supposed to be doing, but were doing behind closed doors of private rooms. Yes, it succeeded."
    "I played on her sympathy, told her I had doubts about my heterosexuality because of a previous sexual failure and needed desperately some woman to help me."
    "I told the woman I would tell her husband or get word to him that she had been screwing around. Yes, it succeeded."
    "I use her 'love.' It succeeds depending on her 'love.'"
    "Yes, by trying to elicit some kind of sympathetic feelings. Usually by trying to focus her attention on what appears to be strong affection for her from me (genuine or not). And by 'negative pressure,' i.e., telling her that I very much want to make love to her and then telling her that I don't expect any answer to that, I simply want to express what I was feeling. It works more often than not, but that has more to do with selection than technique."
    "I probably have pressures a woman into having sex. I have responses of pouting, resentment, withdrawing--those tricks have done the job before."
    "I have pressured a woman to have sex with me. We talked and petted and..."


Ponderings About Other's Reactions to Science, Sex and the Ladies

This should be a quick one, I think...and it will probably be a little stream of consciousness style because I don't have much time. I was talking with this man last night about the ideas presented in Science, Sex and the Ladies. He was very nice and interested,.  I enjoyed the talk, and actually I think we came to a nice agreement. However, he took from my initial explanation and initially came back at me in a way I find is not uncommon, and it's a big thing that the ideas presented in SSL have to work against. It goes something like this...
But what about love, emotion, and connection between two people? That's the most important part, and I worry that coming at if from a physical mechanical way doesn't tell the whole story. Also, women have other pleasurable plateaus that are in many ways just as good as orgasm. Also people know this stuff already. I remember when Masters and Johnson and the Hite Report came out and it was a big thing, and you know what? I think people found that just the physical stuff doesn't make it better. You can't take the emotion out. 

So, that's the basic gist. I get it. I get that love and connection is important. I get that there are other ways to enjoy sexual time with another person. In a perfect world sex would just be 2 people enjoying their time however they want and orgasming or not orgasming as they please. I agree about that. The problem is that women and men aren't on a level playing field because our culture makes it easy for men to orgasm in a very normal, accepted, commonly-depicted-in-media sexual situation, yet for women that same very normal, accepted, commonly-depicted-in-media sexual situation leaves it hard or impossible for her to orgasm, but insinuated that it should be easy. My focus in the movie is to attain that level playing field though basic physiological education, and leave all the ooey-gooey love and connection stuff up to the individual.

Secondly, I was not around in the early 70's and I don't hang around with a crowd or take college classes that talk about things like the Hite Report. So, I don't remember when Masters and Johnson and the Hite Report came out. I didn't know either of them existed until I started researching this stuff. Hite, I didn't find til I saw her on the Colbert Report. My generation and younger (and probably a lot of older too) don't know this basic physiological information that M&J reported to the world or the information Hite discovered about women's orgasms from women themselves. That information is not exactly lost. It's out there, but it has in no way become a structural part of our sexual knowledge and sexual culture. It just hasn't. I don't even think many of the older people I talk with really understood the research at the time. It was more about hearing what reporters and secondary sources had to say about it. In fact I think most people have it all wrong. The physiological knowledge that was brought to our culture in the late 60's early 70's didn't, as I get told often, put too much focus on the body and "take love and emotion out of the equation." It was just information - accurate, much needed information that could have been incorporated into our sexual culture. However, I think often it gets weirdly associated with the "free love" situation that was happening at the time, and taken as the cause of taking stable, loving relationships and human connection out of sex. It's strange really, but I see people make that connection all the time - and express a real discomfort and distrust of talking about orgasm in a way that M&J talked about it....you know logically, accurately and scientifically.


Vaginal Nerviness and What I would Say Differently If I Made This Movie Now

So, I found an article that prompts me to let you all know I would probably would have said something in the movie a little differently. It's about the amount of nerve endings in the vagina.

In the movie we say that compared to the vulva, the inside of the vagina has lots less nerve endings, which I'll stand behind. However, we also go on to say that there are more nerve ending in the front (towards the hole) than in the back depths of the vag, which we say has almost none. We also go on to say that this lack of nerve ending allows for surgeries to happen in the vagina without anesthesia. I got that from Alfred Kinsey's classic, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (W.B Saunders Company, Philadelphia, 1953) pages 159-171 and 577-584. He had done tests where different parts of the vulva were gently stroked with a probe and different parts inside the vagina were both stroked and/or given pressure. Whether the 879 women tested could identify that they were being touched or where exactly they were being touched in each area was noted.  The results of that study, along with studies from the 40's and 50's he cited (one's in German, I think) [1][2] and from histologic data he received from 2 scientists on vaginal innervation [3], prompted Kinsey to make the claim that the vagina is not particularly nervy except for the area that is basically the opening. He also cited that "From our gynecological consultants, we have abundant data on the limited necessity of using anesthesia in vaginal operations" and cited a related study [4].

So that's where it came from. I now think it could be wrong to say there are less nerve endings in the furthest inner parts of the vagina. I found an article in  The Journal of Sexual Medicine called, "A prospective study examining the anatomic distribution of nerve density in the human vagina." 2006 Nov;3(6):979-87. In my defense, this was at the very end of my heavy research for this movie, but who knows if I would have found it anyway. There are tons of little one-off lady-gasm related studies that are either not conclusive or often just kinda bad that I had no interest in using for the movie and it's hard to keep up with checking them all. This one would have been good though.

Although it's small (only 21 women), it is a physiological investigation - a first of it's kind really. Plus, I don't think its claims are overreaching. Basically, the authors had the women take a standardized questionnaire about their sexual functioning (arousal, orgasm, lubrication, satisfaction, pain, etc.) and then took tissue samples from different areas of their vagina (i.e. cervix, front wall closer to hole, back wall closer to hole, and deeper on both front and back walls.). They also took samples from the different layers of the vaginal tissue in all those places. What they concluded was that the vagina had about the same amount of nerves throughout every place they tested, and that there was no significant difference between the women's amount of nerves; not between women with or without Female Sexual Dysfunction, not between with different scores on orgasm, lubrication, arousal, etc., not between pre and post menopausal. The had all given birth, but there was no difference between those with 3 or more and those with less than 3 births. One possible issue was that all the women had prolapse (where some pelvic orgasm had fallen out of place) and that this condition had been associated in one study with women saying they had less sensation in the vagina. However, the study was done this way because these women were going into surgery anyway, so getting the samples was essentially non-evasive and thus the study could actually get done. The researchers did look to see if there was a correlation between less nerves and the further stages of prolapse, but that wasn't the case either.

As Kinsey pointed out in his research and as this study points out, a study of the amount of nerves in the tissue of the vagina does not also necessarily indicate what may or may not be pleasurable to women inside the vagina. The amount of nerves does not also point to the nerve behavior, and there are plenty of other factors that go along with what physical actions feel pleasurable to someone. However, it is solid useful information for further investigation into female sexual response.

Again, this is a small study, but it seems well done, and it would prompt me not to assert that there is different areas of the vagina that are less nervy than others.

This also brings up something related. I have recently realized that discussing the vagina as not-so-nervy and specifically saying that there are surgeries done in the vagina without anesthesia, is a kind of trigger for people and can immediately turn them off to anything else I have to say. It seems that it conjures up a distaste that some people have for the ideals of some 70's feminists (particularly to Anne Koedt and her article The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm ) who boldy pointed out that Masters and Johnson's groundbreaking (and still completely relevant) research showed that orgasms are caused by clitoral and not vaginal stimulation. I could be wrong, but I think maybe it simply has something to do with a misunderstanding that these feminists were also saying that the vagina is a pleasureless hole and that enjoying intercourse is basically stupid and un-feminist. I, in no way, think that was what they were saying at all, but I also know that sometimes things trigger bad feelings, and I wish I would have known that before I put the statement about anesthesia and vaginal surgery it into the movie.

I see now that it can easily be taken as a shorthand for me saying that the vagina is useless. I do say clearly that vaginal stimulation has not been shown to cause orgasms, but I never say that vaginal stimulation is never or never should be part of sexual stimulation and arousal. I believed I had made that distinction clear in the movie, but I didn't say it as clear as it could have been said. Plus, although there are surgeries done in the vagina without anesthesia [5][6], there are also surgeries done with anesthesia. I think the statement I put in the movie is just a bit too much because instead of backing up the idea that the vagina is less sensitive than the outer vulva and that vaginal stimulation does not cause orgasm, it gives the impression that I don't think there is any sensitivity in the vagina at all and that it could not possibly be important to arousal.

So - I was possibly wrong about different areas of the vagina having different amounts of nerves. Also, if I were to make this movie again, I would be more sensitive about the issue of vaginal sensitivity and be way, way more clear about my notion that the vagina, while not an orgasm causing organ, is surely an arousal causing organ...and thus I would not bring up the whole vaginal surgery - no anesthesia thing.

[1] Kuntz, A. 1945, Ed. 3. The autonomic nervous system. Philedelphia, Lea & Febiger, 1 pl. + 687p.
[2] Undeutsch, U. 1950. Die Sexualitat im Jugendalter. Studium General 3:433-454.
[3] "Dr. F.J. Hector (Bristol, England) and Dr. K.E. Kranz (University of Vermont) have furnished us with histologic data on this point."
[4] Doberlein, A. and Kronig, B. 1907. Operative Gynakologie. Leipzig, Georg Thieme, xvi +721p.
[5]Clifton PA, et al. Journal of Family Practice. "Ineffectiveness of topical benzocaine spray during colposcopy." 1998 Mar;46(3):242-6.
[6]Sammarco MJ Hartenbach EM, Hunter VJ. The Journal of Reproductive Medicine. "Local anesthesia for cryosurgery on the cervix." 1993 Mar;38(3):170-2.


What the Ladies of Vivid Radio Taught Me

You may remember that I got a new (well, used) car earlier this year, and with that car I got 3 free months of Sirius XM, which included the Vivid radio station. You might also remember that I became slightly obsessed with listening to the numerous porn star ladies hosting the various shows on the channel. Then it ended. My 3 months was up and no more Debi Diamond, Mary Carey, Christy Canyon, Ash Hollywood, or Alexis Texas and her big ol' booty (I'm only taking her word for it. I don't really know how big it is).

Kayla-Jane Danger and Dana DeArmond photo: VividRadioSXM Twitter feed 

It was a sad day. I'm serious (Sirius). I really truly enjoyed listening to these women (and they were all women. There was only one man I heard the whole time). It's been a while since my Sirius turned off. Writing a blog post on this has been on my to do list for a long time now. I began listening and taking notes because I thought it was important to hear what kinds things were being said and insinuated about the female orgasm on a hugely popular adult media like Vivid Radio. I thought it would both help me stay informed about the sexual culture and also be good material for SSL Reviews (media reviews that specifically speak to the realism and cultural impact of depictions/discussions of female sexual release or female masturbation). It did do both those things, and I'll have some actual SSL Reviews of the content in a later post. However, it did something much more interesting and nice also. It opened my ol' noggin.

So let me begin by saying that I don't know if I ever thought very deeply about porn stars before. I mean I thought about them, but not anything more than my basic first thought. My first sorta grown-up teen thoughts about women in adult industries was something like, "hell yeah! Women should get to do anything we want with our bodies," and I even had some bits of fantasy about being part of that world. I was a teen in the 90's though, and porn was harder to come by then. We had to scavenge for that shit, and it was a rare treat to find something with insertion. So, at the time I was mostly thinking about things like the nudes of my dad's Playboys as opposed to balls to the wall hardcore porn.

I guess as I got older and began seeing a lot more truly hardcore stuff, it started seeming exponentially more distasteful to be a part of. I still had the general idea that women should be free to use their bodies in any way they pleased, and I could see that some women seemed to really enjoy their profession, but I also saw a darker side. What really made porn lose its charm for me was that I couldn't relate to why women would like to be in it anymore. There is some gross, violent shit that goes in fairly normal porn. Just the huge amount of facials, and gag-blow-jobs alone are a bit too much for me. I mean, I figured that the women were largely in on the actions; as in being part of what was happening as opposed to things happening to them. However, to me, I just couldn't see what was enjoyable about a lot of the stuff I saw. Even the normal intercourse in most porn was just too often too rough for my taste. (Well, too rough for anything I wanted to actually happen to me. Now...what I like to watch is a whole different story all together). I feel I have heard somewhere, sometime, and more than once from female porn stars themselves that they don't actually have sex the way they do on screen, so what did they get from the onscreen sex? My point is, if I really thought about it (which I didn't), I didn't really understand porn star motivation.

Listening to Vivid Radio, though, something clicked. I hope I'm not ridiculously off base about this (please throw in your 2 cents if any porn stars think I am), but I slowly began to see these women as adventurers. These ladies of porn that I was listening to were exploring; exploring their interests, their senses, their boundaries, their physicality, their connections to other people, their pleasure, their failures, their imaginations. They were trying things. Sexual feelings and orgasm seemed like they were sometimes part of their motivation and enjoyment of their careers and I think non-orgasmic pleasure is definitely part of it too, but it seemed like it was so much more.

I think what stuck out to me most is the humor and amusement these women found in their jobs; the messiness, grossness, and rawness of that kind of pure bodily interactions; the ridiculousness and strangeness and foreignness of the situations they are put it; the spontaneity, creativity, and unwieldiness of creating their scenes. I think they laugh a lot in their jobs, and they feel creative and engaged - like they're on a weird adventure - with good friends.

That was the other really important thing that struck me. They had good, good friends in the business. They also had solid camaraderie with most of the people they met and worked with. They were a community. I think that is why I got addicted to listening to it. When it was just the women talking to each other, they were funny and quick, and they said crazy shit. It felt like me and my friends talking, except probably with better stories. It felt sweet. It felt like they genuinely loved each other in the way female friends really love each other. It was just fun and comforting to listen to. I guess for me Vivid Radio made me like these women and have an appreciation for their jobs. Yeah, they are entertainers and were "in character" to some degree, but not always. They were often quite genuine, and listening to it for long periods of time, listening between the lines, listening to how they speak to and about each other I feel like they quickly reveal themselves. They are just women - adventurous, silly, strange, wildly curious women, trying things out.

So, although my little personal revelation doesn't have to do specifically with female orgasm. I think it is important to the Orgasm Equality Movement. It's easy to disregard people that you can't relate to, and I think even for people who are supportive of a woman's right to do with her body what she pleases, it might be hard to understand why porn stars would do what they do. I found it wasn't that hard to get there if exposed to the right kind of stuff, and maybe that would be true for others also. It's worth closing gaps between porn star ladies and any other ladies who care about the future of female sexual culture. We're all just women, and we all want the best for ourselves and our friends and our daughters. We would all do well to work together. I truly believe that if we ever succeed at really changing female sexual culture for the better, it will not be without the women of porn or against them, it will be beside them, and so a little more understanding could only do good.


Dear Kim Cattrall - Can We Talk About Samantha From Sex In The City?

Dear Kim Cattrall,

I'm writing this to you because I used a small clip of you as Samantha from Sex and the City while you were orgasming on top of a super hot farmer (Season 4 Episode 9) in my documentary, Science, Sex and the Ladies. I feel like I should write all the actresses in the clips I have used, and so I'm starting with you.

Kim Cattrall as Samantha in Sex and the City

The clips (and there actually aren't that many) in my movie are all used as examples of how media depictions of orgasm and sex fail women. I feel it's important for me to let each of you know why I chose something you were in and let you know that my criticism of the clip is not also a criticism of you as a person or even your choices as an actress. All of us are just women living in a culture that is way more confusing when it comes to our orgasms than it should be, and you are all women working in industries that I imagine are a lot harder for women than for men. I don't have any qualms about critiquing the culture that has made the clips I chose so problematic, but honestly, I do feel bad if these criticisms make particular women feel targeted or shamed. I do not want that. I don't think it is useful, and most importantly, I don't think it is deserved, My greatest hope is that your image in Science, Sex and the Ladies will spark you to become part of the conversation that this movie elicits and not a target of that conversation, and I invite you to add your 2 cents in however you'd like.

So, Ms. Cattrall, the scene that I used of you is set between a similar scene in a porn movie and a scene we created that depicts a similar situation happening in a private home between an everyday hetero couple. All 3 scenes show a woman, quite vocally, having an orgasm while having intercourse sitting straight upward "cowgirl style" on a man who is lying flat on his back (You can see the SITC scene HERE. It's YouTube age restricted and the part I use starts at about 2:26). There is clearly no stimulation of the clitoris happening during her orgasm - either from a hand or from friction against the partner's body. These scenes all show a woman orgasming from nothing more than a penis rubbing the inside of her vagina, and an orgasm caused only from that is something that simply doesn't exist in scientific inquiry. It seems impossible, but orgasms caused by stimulation of the inside of the vagina have never been recorded, described, and observed in scientific literature. If these types of orgasms exist, we have only heard tell of them and never validated their existence, and they are probably even more rare than we already imagine they are. Seriously - I explain that more HERE. The point being, that the action that happens in all 3 of those scenes would make a man come, but there's no reason to believe it would make a woman come also...Well, I guess one reason to believe women could come that way is that we see women in the media orgasm with only inner vaginal stimulation all the time, and therein lies the problem. Women need clitoral stimulation to come, but porn, movies, and books overwhelmingly depict women orgasming from nothing more than some good ol' thrusting. It's confusing and misleading, and in the movie, I wanted to point out that the clearly fake female orgasms we see in porn influence how orgasms are depicted in TV and movie, which further influences what actual women think is normal and thus how they react in bed.

As for why you - I did specifically mean to choose a Samantha scene from Sex in the City. It is an incredibly popular show that was groundbreaking in its depictions of female sexuality, and Samantha was widely discussed as a new type of sexually progressive women...a woman that could "have sex like a man." To many this meant something about her ability to enjoy sex for sex sake without being held back by the pressures and guilt and emotional baggage many women feel. The Samantha character was often touted as a new understanding of what a free female sexuality could look like.

What was never discussed, though, was that the sex Samantha was engaging in and orgasming to, the sex that she so loved, was almost always sex that would be orgasmic for a man but that lacked the clitoral stimulation that would realistically make it orgasmic for a woman also. It was, well, a fictional sexual situation, but no one seemed to see it that way. To me, Samantha's character clearly showed how ignorant our culture is about what physically makes females orgasm, and how invisible that ignorance is. I thought using Samantha in the movie would be both automatically recognizable and also quite representative of how media depicts sexual women's lady-gasms.  As for the actual scene I used - it was practical. It was picked because the physical action on screen matched a porn clip I had. In both scenes, the orgasms were vocal, and both clearly showed that the clitoris was not getting any stimulation.

So that's what I wanted to tell you. I'm going to send you a DVD and a letter too, but honestly, you're pretty famous and I don't know if it will get to you. I don't know how these things work, but I feel like it's probably hard to make contact with stars. If you do get it or read this, I would so very much love to talk with you. I actually wrote a blog post about you in 2011. It involved a lovely book you wrote and an interview that showed me that you were just a woman - a woman that wants other women to know that your sex life was not like Samantha's. I thought, and still think, you were brave for talking about your sex life the way you did. It seemed to me like you had put a lot of thought into the contradictions between your life and the women you tend to play, and I would love to talk with you more about that. You can always reach me at anc at anc movies dott com. I think you probably have more to say and more people need to hear it. I really believe that if we women can come together and be honest and accepting and realistic, we can change things.

All the best to you,


p.s. Although I critique Samantha and other orgasm related stuff on SITC, I still very much enjoyed watching it and you in it.