Wetlands - The SSL Review

Wetlands, my friends. This is a German movie that made waves at 2014 Sundance for being, well, super gross. It also was praised as a beautifully put together, fresh, daring, coming of age movie. Both assessments are true. I also want to mention that the part of that movie that made me have to get up off my couch and walk it off around my living room - didn't make the list of shock inducing moments on any review or article I read about Wetlands. Maybe it was deemed too much of a spoiler to add, but I just want to say that I woke up the next morning with that on my mind. It's toward the end. I assume you will know it when you see it.

The movie follows a teenager named Helen who revels in the grittier parts of life. She in unabashedly experimental - with drugs, with her sexuality, with her person-to-person interactions, and with her personal hygiene. It isn't surprising, then, that there were SSL Reviewable moments (depictions/discussion of female orgasm or masturbation) in this movie.

Eatin' that Lady-Junk
The first scene I'm going to review is an Orgasm Equality bad-ass moment that deserves our attention. Helen meet a guy at a food stand (at a beach, I think?) and after subliminally enticing him with her pussy aroma (it's a good scene - you'll have to see it), asks him if he's hungry, and it quickly cuts to him eating her out.

You can see the shot below. Although we aren't seeing the specifics, it's clearly a mouth to vulva situation which is as realistic as one could want. I have to specifically point that out because there is still that lingering idea out there that oral sex means sticking one's tongue up the pussy hole like a tiny dick. That idea pops it's head up now an again in weird insinuations in media and definitely in jokes. Here's an old-school Playboy Advisor question relating to that.

She seems to orgasm eyes closed, head back with in intake of breath and a slightly pained look on her face. It's not porny or over the top. It's subtle and real - just a gal getting her rocks off. I like it.

Also, three things about this that I want to mention

1. It's not that common in media to see a woman initiate a random sexual encounter AND that sexual encounter be something other than her getting banged hardcore. Amy Schumer in Trainwreck is the only one that comes to mind, and I praised the shit out of it in her SSL Review. It's a beautiful thing because contrary to popular belief, a dick moving in a vagina with no additional external clitoral stimulation, just isn't known to cause orgasm, so why do super sexual women in TV and movies always seem to go straight to the banging? Why not just get some mouth to clit action, am I right?Amy Schumer and Helen have the right idea if you ask me.

2. Unlike Amy Schumer, Helen was nice enough to reciprocate with a good old fashioned hand job. In all seriousness, I think this is significant because it depicts a very sexual teenage girl having a very sexual experience that doesn't include intercourse - and without any sense that what she chose to do was somehow lesser or a stand-in for the ol' in and out. Sexual scenes that do not depict intercourse often are used to show that the girl/couple are 'waiting' to have sex or that they can't have sex right then for some reason, and these types of scenes add to the cultural feeling that sex without intercourse is not really sex; that it's somehow less satisfying or less useful. This scene breaks through that bullshit, and normalizes non-intercourse sexual interactions, which, I might add, absolutely MUST be done if we are ever going to attain Orgasm Equality.

3. I don't know what she's eating in that scene- some kind of weird German Fries or something. Whatever it is, I can't help but love a scene where a gal gets to eat something (I assume is) tasty and get her junk licked at the same time. That's living the dream.

The Vegetable Test
Helen goes home and gets some carrots (still with the long feathery leafs at the top), Ginger root, and cucumber from the fridge and takes them to the tub with her to masturbate (at the end, she just puts them back, by the way).

I'll be honest, this scene annoyed me a tiny touch. Rightly or wrongly, I wished it hadn't been so sensually voyeuristic. It seemed too sexy-porny for the what I wanted. Why not a bit more clumsy and funny and seriously experimental...I mean - she's a teenage girl taking her mom's weird vegetables and a pen and paper into the tub for a test session. It deserves a little more acknowledgement of the silliness and child-like nature of that situation, doesn't it?

Here's how it goes. There's lots of cuts and soft music. IT begins with her naked in a tub. She open-mouth kisses her knee while rubbing her own body. Then she picks up a little note book and writes "vegetable test." She picks up the ginger root (it's got a lot of nubbs on it if you ask me), smells it. She draggs the carrot leaves across her naked skin, and sucks on the carrot. She presses the tip of the cucumber around her face, open mouthed and exhaling almost as if it's orgasmic. She puts the cucumber up her pussy and a close on her face shows her in breathy, sexy, concentration. We quickly see her moving the cucumber in and out then watch her face, eyes closed, head tilted back with gentle breaths. It looks like she is working towards a come, but not there yet. It cuts to both her hands sensually rubbing her naked shoulders, and then she has the carrot, dragging it across her open lips, and we see she's got it up her vagina, and we're looking at a close on her face. She's again, eyes closed, head tilted back and exhaling. Again, she seems like she's close to coming. If you told me that was supposed to depict her coming, I wouldn't be surprised. She then writes the following
cucumber - ok
ginger - sucks
carrots - bingo! 
She then takes the shower head (which somehow has a purpley light coming from the same place the water comes from - maybe some weird German thing, I don't know) and she's spraying water on each nipple. Then with her left hand, she's covering and stimulating her vulva area, and with the right, spraying the water over her left hand but then moves the shower head further down so it's shooting more at her anus. It cuts and she's putting on an underwater eye/nose mask. It cuts again, and as the shot moves up her body, we see her left hand clearly stimulating the vuvla/clitoral area and the right hand with the shower head still between her legs spraying down towards the anal area. When we get to her face she is clearly coming with a kind of hurried expelling of breath. In the final shot she is relaxed and laying back contemplative.

So, I might look at this scene and say that the first veggie experiments were just fun, experimental, arousing, sensual fun and only the last shower head, manual stimulation one was an orgasm. There was definitely a clear orgasm on that one and only insinuations for the veggie experiment things. However, I think the scene as a whole is the way to look at this, because let's be honest, it took me a lot of rewinding and pausing to detail this out. Mostly, the scene just looks like Helen made herself come by sticking veggies up her vagina and then made herself come again. It was sexy and it gave the audience the sense that ramming the right thing up the vag is orgasmic for the ladies, and that's just not realistic.

It's sad because I think without this scene, this movie would have a really top-notch depiction of female sexual response...and also the movie would not have crossed so clearly into creating sexy for sexy-sake. I know it was supposed to show how sensual Helen is, and I get that, but I think it just played as a run of the mill sexy scene. I think it could have been worked differently into a more innovative depiction of a girl's sexual self-experimentation.

p.s. I'm not sure I trust the translation for what she wrote in her notebook and google translate didn't help. If anyone reads German I'd love to get your take on what she wrote.

The Avocado Seed
She likes soft things like the leather on the pommel horse at her childhood school or the tip of a penis, so can ya blame her for engaging sensually with an avocado seed?

It's a soft smooth ball, and she takes it sensually in her mouth and then lays down on her bed, taking it from her mouth and moving it down to her vulva area. We don't know what physical movement is happening down there because the camera quickly moves up to a close on her face where she's smiling and relaxing, and it's clear she's masturbating.

This is a tricky scene though because it moves quickly between fantasy and reality. She looks over and a guy she's been talking with is now in bed with her and they make out. She moves from underneath him and begins licking down his spine to his butt, and then she is out of the fantasy again, and lays back down on her back bringing the avocado seed up to her mouth again and rolling it around her lips. She moves it down to her vulva, but her leg is in the way, and we can't see exactly what is physically happening, but it looks like she is stimulating her outer clitoral/vulva area. The shot moves up to her face and then back down towards he vulva, where the view is stifled, but it still seems like she's rubbing on her external clitoral/vulva area. It also seems like there is no avocado seed there anymore.

It moves up to a close on her head and neck. She seems to come; head back, eyes closed; slightly pained face; and a final expel of breath that pulls her upper body forward where she opens her eyes, pulls her hand from her vulva and sees there is no avocado seed. Then, ya know, she kinda gives birth to a plant growing from between he legs, so it's fantasy again.

It's hard to completely judge this scene on realism because it's magical realism (I wrote that with the intention of jazz hands when 'magical' is said). However, it is definitely a scene that involves a female fantasizing and masturbating - which in itself is worthy of a little praise. It seems that the masturbating involves stimulating the outer vulva area - a way that is absolutely something that might cause orgasm, and thus worthy of praise too. It also includes putting an avocado seed up the vag, which is a fine added accouterment to the vulva rubbing, but you shouldn't expect an avocado tree to shoot from your loins.

The Verdict
There was an ab-fab oral sex scene bubbling over with sexual agency from Helen, which I LOVED. There was a pretty cool mastubation/fantasy scene which was not off-base in any way, and there was the sexy tub scene which was mixed between sexy porngamic fantasy and actual realistic portrayals of female orgasm.  So, it wasn't perfect, but it was good. I'm giving this movie a 4 out of 5 vulva rating. Also thanks very much to my friend from the Maldives that sent me towards a list with this movie on it. It might have slipped through the cracks without your help!



Random Male Hite Report #14

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 really haven't changed that much in 40 years, and it's an incredibly insightful read.

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, vulnerability, 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 909

The following is in the chapter Thirty Men Speak About Their Lives. These are longer excerpts from men's answers chosen simply because the author thought they were some of the most interesting and emotionally involved material.

...was doing it, I was trying to make sure I was doing it right. But the thing that was really exciting was that she showed me exactly what to do-that meant she was very excited too, excited enough to want me to do it to her. It made me feel really close to her and special since nobody ever did that before-really intimate, because I always thought of masturbation as a very private thing. If she wanted me to masturbate her, that seemed really private. I felt, how could we be any closer?

    Men never talk about masturbating women, at least I've never heard them talk about it. They talk about women masturbating them a lot, but never they never talk about themselves masturbating women, or there being thirty-two different ways women masturbate! And I didn't even know one. I thought women masturbated by putting something inside. Masturbation had still for me a real pejorative context, like it's not a real thing, or that's just what women do when they don't have a man. A frustrated woman would want to stick something in her, I thought, but it could never be as good as a cock. I guess that's why men think a woman needs a man, that she could never masturbate herself as well as a man could-I've heard that so many times.But really a woman could just put a vibrator or her hand on her mons and just come and come and come.
Anyway, getting back to the first time I gave her clitorial stimulation, after a while when I kept trying, she was really excited and breathing heavy, her whole body was tensing up with her legs tight together and straight out-and then she got really tense and tight and moaned and held herself like that foe a few minutes. Then she told me she came. It was a revelation for me. 
Of all the things we had done before that-like when we were kissing and I could hear her moaning, her head is right by my ear sometimes, and I was listening and I could feel her breathing- never was it that exciting, it was so thrilling during her orgasm. I felt like she was really strong! That was my first reaction to the whole thing-that she had tremendous strength-a really powerful energy that was inside her. Also, I felt really small next to her when she had an orgasm and I didn't! 
I also felt like-well, I used to believe that the idea was to fuck until you both had orgasms together, but all of the sudden I realized it was a really good feeling to enjoy someone else's orgasm, even if I didn't have one. Plus, to discover that she could have one that made me envious-plus I think she had another one about a minute later-well, I was really amazed! Later, after we did it a lot, I really got to enjoy it. She feels energetic and powerful and independent when she orgasms, and it makes me feel good to be next to someone so strong and active and alive.  
Do you know the difference between being next to a really passive person and someone that's really excited? It makes me feel great, it makes me feel really excited, aroused, like having orgasms, really strong, it makes me feel like an animal. I just want to hop on and screw her at that point, and I often do.  
But I consider my masturbating her one of the major things we do. I don't consider it a warm-up thing. Sometimes when we don't do it, I miss doing it. Sometimes she's said things to me while I'm doing it that make me feel really good or really hot. I get sweaty when I'm doing it, and I like that feeling a lot.... 


Cindy Gallop - Orgasm Equality Hero!

This lady is already on the ol' list of Orgasm Equality Allies, but I have yet to write a particular blog about her. Well here it is.

Cindy Gallop is an accomplished advertising executive and business owner who decided that we all needed more education and realism when it came to porn. It all came (hilarious word choice, am I right?) to her after having sex with dudes in their 20's and thinking that maybe porn wasn't giving them such a top-notch sexual education. With this in mind, she launched Make Love Not Porn at TED2009 where she gave THIS talk.

Cindy Gallop's Twitter pic - She likes to blow shit up.

Since then Make Love Not Porn has grown and you can add your #RealWorldSex videos and watch others. You can also talk about it and learn about some differences between Porn World and The Real World. My very, very favorite one is as follows.

Porn World: Women come all the time in positions where nothing is going on anywhere near the clit 
The Real World: There has to be some sort of rhythmic pressure on the clit in just the right way to make a woman come. Can be pubic bone, tongue, fingers, something else entirely. But it has to be there. 

That's what I'm talkin' about. Love the straight up-ness right there.
I also love that she is very clear about the following things:

  •  MakeLoveNotPorn is not about judgement, or what is good vs what is bad. Sex is the area of human experience that embraces the widest possible range of tastes. Everyone should be free to make up their own mind about what they do and don't like. 
  • MakeLoveNotPorn is not anti-porn. I like porn and watch it regularly myself.
  • MakeLoveNotPorn is simply intended to help inspire and stimulate open, healthy conversations about sex and pornography, in order to help inspire and stimulate more open, healthy and thoroughly enjoyable sexual relationships.
Here's the deal. Porn is and has always been around. It is good and bad like every other thing in life. It's complicated. Like oh-so-many things, it needs feminist scrutinizing, but feminist scrutinizing doesn't need to mean condemnation. There doesn't need to be a break in the feminist community about it. Contrary to what pop media would have us believe, feminists can be anyone inside or outside the porn industry and most are like Ms. Gallop here - simply wanting better porn. Different feminists have different ideas about what that means, but like Ms. Gallop suggests above, we can talk about this shit and things just might get more fucking awesome. 

So, thank you Cindy Gallop. We need as many open-minded, business-savy, feminists women thinking about porn and working in top industry roles there.


The Modern Sexual Revolution's Coming

Let’s start the next big sexual revolution, shall we? Actually, it’s started. It’s a little fragmented still and young, but it’s there. Let’s be honest, sex, sexuality, and feminism are complicated – especially when all rolled together, so there are many intersecting prongs to this revolution that must unite.

Let me first tell you which prong I’m coming from. I’m part of a movie-making team that created a documentary about how very deeply the female orgasm is misunderstood. It’s called Science, Sex and the Ladies, and it came out less than a year ago. However, I’ve been researching for this movie since 2002, and I have been keeping a blog on the subject since 2009.

Science, Sex and The Ladies from AnC Movies on Vimeo.

Orgasm Equality
Here’s the deal. An orgasm caused by stimulation on the inside of the vagina has never been observed or recorded in scientific literature – not one caused by stimulating a g-spot, c-spot, the cervix, the vaginal wall itself, or by stimulating the inner clitoral legs through the vaginal wall (a currently popular way to talk about “vaginal orgasm”).

It’s not as if there just isn’t much research out there, either. There’s a pretty good amount of research focused on “vaginal orgasms,” but in all the 50 years that modern physical research into orgasms has been happening, no researcher has recorded one. There are, however, plenty of recorded and observed male orgasms through penile stimulation and female orgasms through outer clitoral glans area stimulation.

 Let me lay this out. Everyone – male, female, intersex, gay, straight, asexual, trans, cis, you name it – we all are born with an area on our genitals that is something like a penis or a clitoral glans. That thing can be stimulated to orgasm. Period. We can all orgasm, and statistically women do masturbate to orgasm, as quickly easily and reliably as men can. Women’s bodies are not less capable of orgasm, yet as a whole, we orgasm so very much less than our male partners, and our sexuality and sex drive is regularly labeled as less than. It’s not men’s fault. It’s not women’s fault. It’s bigger than that. It is bullshit, though, and it needs to change. I call this prong of the revolution, The Orgasm Equality Movement.


We’re not the only ones working from this prong, though. Sophia Wallace calls it Cliteracy, and she created 101 Laws of it.




I hadn’t seen any other modern person out there speaking so boldly and directly on the cultural disappearance of the clit and its necessity to orgasm. I was immediately a fan. I love her work. It’s great activism, and it’s coming at the same problem we’re working on but from a slightly different angle.

But still, it’s not just us. There were bad-ass women in the 70’s saying this, Shere Hite, Anne Koedt, Betty Dodson and Alix Kates Shulman to name a few. Sadly, their work has been a bit marginalized in pop culture over the years. There are also others out there working this activism – ones I don’t know about and ones who aren’t necessarily focused on this prong, but do incorporate these ideas. I have a big ol’ list of them HERE.

So Many More Prongs
I would argue that this misunderstanding of how the female orgasm works is a fundamental problem that touches almost everything. However,  it in no way holds all the answers or addresses all the problems. There are many important prongs in this revolution. Rape culture and other’s feelings of entitlement over female and queer bodies? Over-sexualization of girls? Sex worker rights? Healing after sexual trauma? Too damn much low libido among women? Shitty sex education? Sexual public health? Hurtful ideas about what ‘sexy’ should mean for different populations? Double standards and slut shaming? Female Genital Mutilation? Craptastic depictions of sex, sexuality, and gender in media?

People are in the trenches working on these too. SPARK  – a bad-ass intergenerational Movement, Bish – Sex Ed website for teens, DodsonAndRoss – Sex Ed for everyone, Clitoraid – for FGM advocacy, UnSlut ProjectSlutwalk, Sex Workers Project, The Feminist Guide to Porn. These are just a tiny sampling. There’s TONS more. If you know more, then by all means,  promote, support, and unite with them.

A Modern Sexual Revolution
Let me put out a word of caution though. We need to stop fighting our mother’s and our grandmother’s battles when it comes to sex. The kick-ass well-intentions, smart feminists of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s made as much headway as they could on sexual issues, but they also created some traditions that are frankly a little poisonous. Think porn wars; anti-porn vs. pro-sex.  But it’s not just porn stuff. It seems like every time an issue comes up that involves sex and feminism, there are 2 sides that post up against each other with snide-ness and indignation ringing from all over.

Personally, the feminism I see tends to be much more nuanced and level-headed than that, so maybe it just seems this way because…media. Or, maybe the extremists take control of issues, and everyone else just shuts up because it gets too annoying to talk about. I don’t know what the problem is, but it can’t go on if we want anything to really change. Negative “anti  vs. pro” rhetoric on sex issues is a feminist tradition that has been handed down to us, but screw that. The issues are different than they were 40 years ago, and we are different. Let’s make our own traditions and define our own issues, and let’s base them on compromise and collaboration.

So, let us build upon and learn from the women who fought before us. Let us shun no-one. Let us disenfranchise no perspective. Let us not shy from thoughtful debate, but let us work together as feminist scholars, sex workers, grandmothers, teens, scientists, spiritualists, religious folk, kink communities, and traditionalist of every color and sexuality - males, females and intersex.

At the core, we do have common hopes, and we don’t have time to quibble about every detail. So let us work to see eye to eye. Let us swallow pride more, engage more, shut up more, listen more, give benefits of the doubt more, seek allies more, align more, collaborate more, bend more, gently critique more, use kind language more, conversate more, disagree without breaking more, and find points of agreement more – because people are ready for change and we have much work to do.

How are you going to contribute to the revolution? #SexRevUnite


Orgasm Equality Allies in the New Sexual Revolution: A List

I've been thinking a lot about how all of us people out there concerned about creating a better sexual world for the future can come (I'm ridiculous. I can't use the word come without giggling) together and be heard. The next Sexual Revolution, people! Anyway, for the future, I've decided to double down my efforts to seek and reach out to people with at least one similar sexual related goal.

For now, though, I thought I would share the people I have already found. Since I began this blog, I've been writing posts about people who buck the system a bit when speaking about female orgasm and put out some real honesty and thoughtfulness that aligns with Orgasm Equality. It may just be in a post here and there in their otherwise non-orgasm related work, but it's there. I think they are all bad-ass because doing that takes more bravery than you'd think. Lady-gasms are strangely controversial and render the speaker oddly vulnerable, so they're too often spoken about with formulaic, status quo talking points or with, maybe worse yet, personal bravado . It's always a breath of fresh air to blow past the usual bullshit and hear thoughtful discussion, and so I try my best to note it when I see it. I may not complete agree with every little thing each of these people say or believe on this topic, but I believe that a little agreement can go a long way, and a good movement needs a little diversity anyway, AmIRight?

I decided to link them all in 1 post here today, and I will continue to add to it. Anyway, here they are. They are not, by far, the only ones. It's only me here, so I do what I can. If you got more, tell me, and be sure to tell other people too.

Sexual Revolution, Orgasm Equality Allies

Scientists and researchers using progressive perspective and rigor to significantly move female orgasm knowledge forward

Shere Hite - She wrote The Hite report. She's an OG of straight-up Orgasm Equality. We owe a lot to her. The Hite Report is a must read. [HERE is an SSL piece on HER]

Dr. Nicole Prause - She's a researcher that has acknowledged that the lack of physiological data (particularly data about pelvic muscle contractions at time of orgasm) is a major weakness in the library of lady-gasm research. She speaks beautifully honest and bold realities about what is needed for better experimental design in this discipline, and she's actually plugging forward to do that better designed research. Go get em! I have a post about her HERE.

Dr. Rachel P. Maines -  She did decades of research and in 1999 released a book called The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction. there's all kinds of interesting stuff about the history of vibrators, hysteria, and Western culture, but the truly revolutionary aspect of this book is that she uses the long history of technology-to-make-women-come to show that our society has always had a complicated relationship with female orgasm in that we desperately want to believe it arises from a dick moving in and out of a vagina, but also know deep down that it doesn't, so we create both things and lies that allow women to get orgasms from time to time without actually having to adjust our sense that women should orgasm during intercourse or to expect women's partners do the work to get women to orgasm. Read this book.  [HERE is the SSL piece on it]

Stuff about clarity of language when it comes to female orgasm

Bex vanKoot - I met Bex through our blogs and they a long-time Orgasm Equality soldier too - infusing writings right and left with her revolutionary flair. Bex also wrote an absolutely amazing article called Ecstatic Science and the Erotic Brain that I think beautifully melds the spiritual with the scientific when it comes to orgasm. Defining Orgasm For Myself is also an awesome article. I love me some Bex vanKoot. [HERE is an SSL pieces on this]

Stuff promoting the idea of Orgasm Equality in general 

Sophia Wallace - Her Cliteracy campaign is on-point, fun and worth sharing. She's working full time on the same problem Orgasm Equality is, we just come at it from different angles. [HERE is an SSL piece on her]

Jill Hamilton - She wrote an article for Alternet about SSL that probably got more people interested in the topic than anything that had come before. I am forever appreciative. Before that, I virtually met her through our blogs. She has been a soldier in this revolution for years.
For instance -  a post containing a reader letter from someone calling themselves Lady J. It was a brave honest reaction to another post, and I thought it was awesome that Lady J wrote it and Jill Hamilton published it. Check it HERE.
Prior to that, though, she posted a brave honest post herself on the topic HERE. Bully for HER again!
She also wrote another post about SSL  - How to Make a Woman Come--Even If You Are That Woman. AKA Things I Learned from Science, Sex and the Ladies 
She is also now a writer of the Cosmo sex position lists - Check out the SSL piece on how she's orgasm equality rocking that HERE

Gemma Askham - She's a writer who has made a conscious effort to address the orgasm gap and write more progress, empowering articles about sex and female orgasm in mainstream women's magazines. She's got some great ones at her site, and I imagine there are more to come. [HERE is the SSL piece ont his]

Alison Stevenson - She wrote a fab article and a follow-up article telling the world she gave up BJs and then thoughtfully discussed how and why she was sick of giving so much in sexual encounters when so often, so little was returned. Then she curated a Cunnilingus art show and straight up said women don't orgasm from penetration---that we need clitoral stimulation, like the bold, on-point bad-ass she is. [HERE and HERE are SSL pieces on her]

Paola Ochoa - She saw SSL and wrote an editorial about females rising and frigidity being bullshit in a major Columbian Newspaper. It's in English HERE and Spanish HERE. [The SSL piece on this is HERE]

Mary Katharine Tramontana - She wrote a poignant piece about how the word "vagina" gets used in place of the word "vulva" when it shouldn't and why it matters a great deal to female sexuality. She writes other articles that are all revolutionary and shit like this one. Check more out HERE. [The SSL piece on this is HERE]

Suzannah Weiss - She wrote 12 Reasons Why There’s Orgasm Inequity (And No, It’s Not That Women Are ‘Harder to Please’). Clearly from the title she's on point. It's bold, thoughtful, realistic, and you should check out this revolutionary lady's work. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Stuff specifically focusing on the deeper societal causes of orgasm inequality 

Annamarie Jagose - She wrote a bad ass article that blew past the surface points about women's orgasm inequality and spoke about the deeper societal issues that strangely allow the details of the orgasm inequality problem to be well known and often discussed without it ever really being addressed. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Stuff about female masturbation

Maya Dusenbery - over at Feministing wrote a bad-ass pro-masturbation post tiled The Wednesday Weigh-in: Dirty Girl Masturbating Edition

The M-Blog - Championed blogging about masturbation experiences during National Masturbation month. I'm not sure if they are still around, but I loved their style. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Raphaelle Roux - She posted a bunch of Masturbation Graphs that are funny and revolutionary in that a woman is speaking so freely about her masturbation experience (shouldn't be revolutionary, but still is). [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Peachy Keen - A UK online sex toy store that wrote a fabulous post about female masturbation that was on-point and revolutionary (and extra points for being a sex-toy retailer that repped the very non-toy method of just using one's hands). [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Infinity + 5 - Is a 90's style pop group skit on an SNL skit with Cecily Strong, Kate McKinnon, Elizabeth Banks, Vanessa Bayer, and Aidy Bryant. They sing about who they first got truly horny to. It's got realistic depictions/discussions of awkward teen girl masturbation, and it's just plain revolutionary. I'm including all the writers and stuff in along with the actresses. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Vanessa Marin - She's a licensed psychotherapist that specializes in sex related things. She created a absolutely fabulous instruction post for ladies about how to learn to masturbate with their own hands. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Stuff about sex ed and the young folk

Justin Hancock at Bish - A UK sex ed site that is one of the best I've seen. What really caught my eye was a Video calle "Why (Penis in Vagina) Sex Can Be 'Meh'"  [The SSL piece for this is HERE]

Melissa A. Fabello - She wrote a post called "Your First Time: A Sexual Guide for Girls," at Everyday Feminism, and it had some orgasm equality leanings, that I just had to share. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Nicole Knepper - At Mom's Who Drink And Swear, she wrote a lovely and funny piece about making sure her kids knew about the Clitoris. Check it HERE. It's fantastic. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Mary Elizabeth Williams - She is a writer among other things who did such a fine job of creating a kind and nuanced yet pointedly critical article about the ridiculous-ness and harmfulness of praising dads who aggressively guard their daughter's sexuality, that I had to add her to the list. It's called  Stop Cheering for the ol' "Hands Off My Daughter!" Shtickand her brand of discussion on this is good activism - a good example about how to engage better in regards to that Orgasm-Equality-inhibiting behavior. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Frothing at the Brain - A post from a young woman who was rightfully angry at not being educated about her clitoris until after years of sexual activity. There should be more anger expressed about this if you ask me. [HERE is the SSL piece for this]

Sarah Harvard - She is a young Muslim American journalist who stepped out of her normal journalism fare to write a great piece for Teen Vogue discussing her family's silence about sex, her late discovery of her clit, and the need for her generation of Muslim Americans to talk more about sex. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Adult sexual education, advice, instruction, information, advice etc.

Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross - Betty Dodson has been in the sexual revolution game for half a century. She's the mother of masturbation advocacy, and she's recently teamed with the younger Carlin Ross to bring her advocacy and wisdom to the internet age. Yay for the younger generations! [HERE is an SSL interview with Betty and HERE is an SSL piece on her]

Jenny Block - She's a writer and sex educator who is rocking that New Sexual Revolution hardcore. She reps the clit boldly and consistently. She's also a masturbation advocate and even wrote a book about it. I particularly liked an article she wrote about 'Female Viagra,' but I liked a lot of stuff she wrote, and you can see my list of 10 Top-Notch things about her HERE.

Dr. Joanna Ellington (Dr. E) - She is a scientist discovered some cool shit about fertility and created a pretty sweet kind-to-sperm, easy-on-sensitive-vagina lube, and she also wrote a very intimate sexual autobiography called Slippery When Wet that I think is particularly useful to the large amount of women out there who deal with vulvodynia. [HERE is the SSL book review for this]

The Honest Liars Podcast (Colin Aulds and Adam Talbot) - They heard SSL and had a thoughtful conversation about it HERE, and then after I had some feedback decided to interview me HEREHERE, and HERE to get even deeper into a good discussion. Love them guys. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

D. Claire Hutchins - She wrote a book called 5 Minutes to Orgasm Everytime you Make Love. The title sounds like clickbait, but it's the most correct, simple, and straight-forward advice I have ever seen in a lady-gasm advice book...'cause despite popular myth, it ain't really that hard. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

The Suave Lover Podcast - Whatever expectations you may have about this podcast from the name, put them aside. They spoke about the clitoris and about men's part in sex in a really kind, realistic way. I haven't listened to it all, but the clitformation podcast was really good. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Lauren Gray - from The MarsVenus blog gave a fantastic answer to a question from "Marie." Check the full video and article HERE [The SSL piece on this is HERE]

Dr. Sandy Andrews She's a psychologist that writes at Blogging Behavioral. She wrote a post called Please Sir, I Want More. 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. Loved it. [HERE is the SSL piece on this]

Dr. Laurie Mitz - She wrote a book called Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters and How To Get It, which is obvioulsy a badass homage to the clit's fundamental part in female orgasm. She also has a super on-point blog related to the book. I wrote about her awesomeness HERE.

Celebrities that spoke out with Orgasm Equality flair

Mary Carey -  I've never talked to or met her, but a porn scene of hers is used as an example in SSL. Since then, I have heard her say some really real shit about orgasm, and I respect that, and I also thought she seemed really funny and kind. [HERE is a letter I wrote to Ms. Carey]

Kim Cattrall - I used a clip of her as Samantha in Sex and the City for an example in SSL. Samantha did not give us realistic examples of female orgasm, but Kim Cattrall has. She wrote a fabulous book about the topic, and I write HERE about why it was so brave and important of a thing for her to do.

Amy Schumer - She uses humor to spit the truth about female experiences with sexuality and orgasm. She is the only person to ever receive a 5 vulva SSL Review rating in TVMovie, and podcast.

Evan Rachel Wood - She bucked when the MPAA tried to make Charlie Countryman NC-17 just for some cunnilingus...especially with all the sexual violence in R-rated movies. [HERE is the SSL piece on her]

Nick Offerman - He randomly slipped in the importance of the clit in Rule #9 of his MensHealth.com 9 Man Rules. [The SSL piece on him is HERE]

David Banner - His song Play is one of the very few (maybe only) super sexual songs out there by a man (and there's not many by women either) that focuses on the clit exclusively as the thing that needs to be worked to come. It even says the word clit - seriously, how many times do you hear a man say the word clit in a song? Sadly, you never hear the word on the radio version of this song because it's changed to things like "hip". HERE's the uncensored version.

Ronda Rousey - Clearly she's more of a world class fighter than a sex advocate, but she is also a woman, a direct, out-spoken woman who gave her honest opinion when asked a question about what men should always do in bed. She got shit for it, but I think her sentiment was actually quite progressive and if you ask me downright revolutionary. Let me tell you more HERE.

Bridget Everett - She's a comedian that is full of orgasm equality flair in all her work, but her song "Put Your Dick Away" caught my eye in particular with its revolutionary female centered sexual bad-assness. [HERE is the SSL piece on her]

Rachel Bloom - She's an actor and writer who had a fabulous Twitter rant with lots of lady-gasm and clit truth-telling. She also is intentional about trying to add realism and particularly clit stimulation into her TV show Crazy Ex Girlfriend. [HERE is the SSL piece on her]

Stuff about porn, female gaze, and media critiques

Cindy Gallop - She created a fantastic thing call MakeLoveNotPorn. Here's her TED Talk about it. [HERE is the SSL Post on her]

Madelyn Ritrosky - She is the writer/producer of a short movie called Stardust & Moonbeams that puts the female gaze at front and center. She also hosted our first SSL test screening as part of a reproductive rights group down in Bloomington, IN. [HERE'S an SSL Post about her]

Carly Rosenfield - She wrote an honest and thoughtful article about how the MPAA affects what we see on movies and what that means to our sex lives. It's simply called We Need Better Sex in Movies. [HERE is the SSL piece about her]

Rachel Rabbit White - She did a lovely thing called Lady Porn Day. [HERE is the SSL Piece about her]

Kat von Sass - This is someone I know. She's got other things to do, but she came to me and volunteered to do SSL Reviews of romance novels, cause she's an Orgasm Equality soldier, y'all! She's amazing. Check her reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey (books) and The Duchess Wars.

Yanna Tallon-Hicks - She has a great talk on the TED stage that acknowledges the problem of bad lady-gasm info in porn and speaks to why porn is used so commonly as a default sex ed and the problems with that.

Alexandra Rubinstein - She is an artist who has done all kinds of activist paintings about the lack of media images portraying women's orgasms, desires and fantasies; including a series showing famous men going down on women. [HERE is the SSL Piece on her]

Estrellita85 from Literotica - She (I think it's a she, but can't be for sure) wrote an amazingly realistic and hardcore hot story on Literotica that had 7 out of 7 realistic, externals clit area stimulated female orgasms. Not 1 bogus, unrealistic, orgasm-by-banging got in there. I mean, it's crazy and sad to say, but that's almost unheard of. Respect. Here's what I wrote about her and her story.

Stuff about "Bad Sex" (stuff that points out how crap the norms of sex are for the ladies experiences)

Alana Massey - Her journalistic beat is Feelings, and she wrote a fantastic piece called "A woman's right to say 'meh': being sex positive won't guarantee you an orgasm" telling all kinds of truths about what navigating our sexual culture is really like for women. She lays it down boldly and honestly and it's awesome. [HERE is the SSL piece about her]

EG over at Feministe - She wrote an article called Bad Sex about her experiences with some pretty harmful, but completely consensual sex, and challenges us to give negative aspects of sex for women a good hard look. [HERE is the SSL piece about her]

Rebecca Traister  - She wrote a comprehensive, thought-provoking article called "The Game is Rigged" about the unfortunate silence in the feminist community regarding consensual, bad sex. It is revolutionary in it's perspective about a sexual culture for ladies, and it just might help the world realize there really is a problem here! [HERE is the SSL piece on her]

Stefani Ruper - She write Paleo for Women, which isn't aimed at orgasm, but one time she wrote a kick-ass honest, article on the subject called The Real Reason Women Orgasm Less Than Men. [HERE is the SSL piece on her]

Ellen Scott - Wrote an absolutely fab article about the Oral Sex Gap and how BS it is. [HERE is the SSL piece on her]

Stuff about sexual trauma survivors

Jen Cross - Wrote THIS about orgasm and masturbation as healing for sexual trauma survivors. I am not a sexual trauma survivor, so I'm super interested in supporting people who are and who can talk about orgasm from that perspective. She also wrote 5 reasons for survivors to reclaim masturbation which is fantastic also. [HERE is the SSL Piece on her]

Stuff about history, evolution and science of lady-gasm

Elisabeth A. Lloyd  - She wrote a book called The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Study of Evolutionthat brings to light the wierd way that a realistic understanding of female orgasm is often just disregarded in scientific inquiry. It's also just plain top notch philosophy of Science writing. [HERE is the SSL Piece on her book]

Stuff with a religious take

Frank Schaeffer - Posted an article called "If God Created Women to Make Babies Why Does the Female Orgasm Have Nothing to do With Procreation?" after watching SSL, and I LOVE that he incorporated the parts he thought made sense from the movie into his area of focus - religion. That's the kind of common ground creation I get excited about. [HERE is the SSL Piece on him]

People who connect people and promote Orgasm Equality work

Patricia Sulburan - She initiated an interview with me on Columbian Radio about frigidity and did the translating. Listen HERE I didn't realize how controversial it would be to the anchors I was speaking with that there wasn't such a thing as frigidity. Patricia did some bold programming, and I respect the hell out of it. [HERE is the SSL Piece about it]

Gilly Langley - She is a woman who uses her social media powers to avidly and consistently support, inform, and bring people together for, among other things, Orgasm, Equality, Cliteracy, and all the other lady-
pleasure revolutionary things going on out there. She's grass-roots revolution-izing! (Oh and she UK premiered SSL at a small screening - holla to that!) I wrote more about her HERE.

Haley Gleeson - She sees the revolution a comin' too and wrote about it HERE.

Robert Pyatt - This lovely man works with the Gateway Film Center in Columbus, OH to help get more science programming. He came across Science, Sex and the Ladies, and championed us, helping us get invited to Gateway Documentary Week where we were able to spread the good word to a big' ol crowd at the theater. Not only that, but he did his research about this blog and this movie, and is a big supporter of the message we are puttin' out there and the use of solid science to back up our arguments. The chance he took on our little movie will move our message into an exponential number of new ears. [HERE is the SSL piece about it]

Stuff from bloggers that's a personal take on something but with a solid Orgasm Equality edge 

Kate Leaver - By god we need more people standing up for the ladygasm, out-loud and unabashedly. It needs us now. Ms. Leaver didn't have to stand up, but she did. She wrote a fantastic piece called  The Importance of Equal Orgasming, and told us that being an "Orgasm Egalitarian" was a non-negotiable for any man she were to date. Love it.

Reticulated Writer Blog - She has Orgasm Equality flair often, but I particularly loved this post that's called No thanks, I'll just lick it myself. [HERE is the SSL Piece on this]

In The Gaze of the Other - This is a post about divorce rates, orgasms, sexual education, and SSL. I love her spin on this.

Beauty Jackson - She wrote a post at BlogHer called My Body, My Orgasm, My Choice.  It's a good read about creating positive situations through being honest with yourself and your partners. [HERE is my piece on her]

Taylor Romine -  She is the fall 2015 columnist for the Sex on Tuesday blog at the Daily Californian, and she wrote an honest and important article about the problem of women not knowing their lady parts. It's called Vulva Owners Unite! [HERE is the SSL piece on her]

Ellen at Ellen's Blog - She wrote her initial thoughts to an article I wrote about bad orgasm science, and she very introspectively and honestly put her thoughts out there in a way most people are unwilling to do. It was brave and thoughtful, and I write about it all HERE.

Also, all the people involved in the 5-vulva rated movies. Check them HERE.


Goodbye, Worldwide Viewing Party for Films #DirectedByWomen

This is the last day of the Directed By Women Worldwide Viewing Party, and so this is my last post for the daily blogging thing I'm doing for it. This has been super fun, a little time consuming, but super fun. I have honestly learned about a lot of women directors that I hadn't known about. Granted, I'm not a movie trivia person anyway, so it's not surprising that I'm not super aware of female directors. I may love a movie and talk about it a lot and dissect it with my friends, but sometimes I don't think to check who the writers and directors are. I'm glad I have done that these past 2 weeks, though. It's been eye-opening, and it's inspired me to more intentionally seek out some of the more indie of these women directed films.

It also inspired me to keep up the 5 movie lists I've been doing. They're categorized and filled with lady-directed movies I've actually seen. I mean, there are still more great movies I could list, and there are even more that I am going to see in the future. So, I'll be popping up these lists for your viewing pleasure from time to time, and you can see them all listed HERE if you so choose.

I also want to give a big thanks to Barbara Ann O'Leary for catalyzing this worldwide viewing party and encouraging us all "to fall madly in love with & wildly celebrate film #DirectedByWomen" It was such a fun and engaging way to uplift the female voice in cinema. I look forward to next year's celebration.

I'm back on my normal 2-3 posts a week schedule. I know you don't care, but I'm telling you anyway. Now go continue watching kick ass movies, ya nerds!


Master List of Movies Rated on Depictions/Discussions of Lady-gasm and/or Masturbation!

This is the 2nd to last day of the Directed By Women World Viewing Party. It goes from Sept. 1st thru the 15th, and because I think this is an important endeavor, I have been putting up #DirectedByWomen related blog posts every day during the event. I believe that getting women's perspective into more power positions in our media is crucial for equality and for Orgasm Equality.

Most of my posts during this time have not been so lady-gasm related, but today I'm getting back to my roots. I have gone through all the SSL Reviews I have ever done and listed them out by their vulva rating. If you don't know, an SSL Review focuses only on depictions/discussions of female orgasm and masturbation (If a movie ain't got that, I don't review it). It delves into the realism and the cultural effects of the depiction/discussion and what the depictions/discussion reflect about our current sexual culture and what it adds to the discussion.

A still from the masturbation scene in the 5-vulva rated Pleasantville

I would also like to say that I have been doing this for over 5 years, and I haven't changed much about the kinds of things I am critiquing, but I have become nicer about it over the years. Looking through the older stuff, I see that I was harsher than I should have been sometimes, and I apologize, but hey, we all evolve, right? I think I see this activism in a broader, more inclusive way than I used to. Okay, that's it. Go check 'em out! (P.S. - if you have a movie that I could review in this way, feel free to contact me through twitter or facebook)

Oh - and looking for the list of SSL Reviewed TV instead? Go HERE for that list.

W - directed by a woman
*  - Not directed by a woman, but includes a female writer
** - Not directed or written by a woman, but based on original content created by a woman
NV - This was reviewed before I enacted the vulva rating system, so the vulva rating is estimated from the content of the review
G - This is a guest review and no vulva rating is attached, so I have estimated the vulva rating from the content of the review
(Doc) - Documentary

5 1/2 Vulva Rating (!)(!)(!)(!)(!)(!
20th Century Women 

5 Vulva Rating (!)(!)(!)(!)(!)
12 Years a Slave G
The Babadook W
The Black Swan
Blue Valentine *
Diary of a Teenage Girl W
The Favourite
The Future W
Harvest Lake
Ice Saints *
Lady Bird W
Marriage Story
Monster's Ball
Slums of Beverly Hills W
Trainwreck *

4 1/2 Vulva Rating (!)(!)(!)(!)(!
Landline W

4 Vulva Rating (!)(!)(!)(!)
After Porn Ends (doc)
American Gigolo
The American
Bridesmaids *
Friends With Benefits
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Hope Springs *
The Kids Are Alright W
Margot at the Wedding
Mustang W
Neon Demon*
Only God Forgives
Orgasm Inc. (doc) W
Search Party
Wetlands * **
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot**

2 1/2 Vulva Rating (!)(!)(!
Boogie Nights
No Strings Attached *

1 1/2 Vulva Rating (!)(!
Nymphomaniac: Volumes 1 and 2

Hysteria W