Mozart in the Jungle Scene Re-imagined

I already posted about all the actual SSL Reviewable parts of seasons 1 and 2 of Mozart in the Jungle. However, there is one more scene that I want to comment on even if it's not technically SSL Reviewable. To be so, it would need to discuss or depict female orgasm, and this does not. It merely discusses and depicts sex, but it's from a woman's perspective talking about the quality of the sex, and I think there is something to be said about it.

The Scene
So here we are. This is in the very first episode of the first season. It's 2 women who have just met. One is older, cultured, and established in her career as a musician. The other is young and just beginning the same career but with a different instrument. They are having a drink and their waiter is deemed attractive. They are looking at him as he leaves the table.
Older Lady: Bet he's a dancer. They're the best.
Younger Lady: The best?
Older Lady: Anecdotal evidence and my personal scientific research suggests there's a direct correlation between what a man does for a livng and the way he fucks. Violinists, for example, they tend to come quickly. It's all those arpeggios.
We then see her in bed with a violinist (I assume). She's next to him, kissing his ear. We see a condom in his hand by his chest, and he quickly moves it down his body putting the condom on his dick. As soon as he does, she climbs on top of him, presumably starting intercourse cowgirl style. Almost the second she seems to get on it, he starts to make orgasm noises / faces. Then it cuts back to the women at the table.

Older Lady: Percussionist, pound you like they're in a porno.
We then see her bent over a stand-up drum. He is standing behind her and thrusting against her rhythmically. He is close-eyed and seemining lost in the beat. She is wide-eyed, focused -but not in a pleasure sort of way, with pursed lips, panting rhythmically like she's in labor.

Older Lady: Kinda fun...for about 10 minutes. It's good cardio though.
Younger Lady: Oh - what about...(they look at the pianist across the room)
Older Lady: Pianists, tricky. Typically they fall into 2 general groups, jazz and classical. I'd go for jazz.
Younger Lady: Why?
Older Lady: Improvisation.
We see her making out with a guy as they walk into a public bathroom.
Older Lady: They play off you. Also they're into ensembles.
We see her gesture through the bathroom door and a girl walks in and the 3 start making out.

Younger Lady: What about conductors?
Older Lady: Too complicated.

I mean, it could be better. That's all I'm saying.
This is a fine enough scene. It makes sense for the pilot episode. It's a bit titillating and gets the audience thinking about the show as a bit sexy. It also shows off the older woman's sophistication and the younger woman's naivety. But, and I'm just being dreamy here, but wouldn't it be cool if the sophisticated, sexually experienced lady spoke about how good men are in bed with a bit more lady-gasm focused perspective?

For instance...
the violinist
What about the guy that comes too quick? I mean if we look at it realistically, who gives a shit as long he helps her come too, right? Maybe it's not that violinists are bad because they come too quick, but that it actually makes them more desirable. Maybe violinists play your clit with their fingers as passionately as they'd play a Tchaikovsky piece, and when they've  made you come so hard you want to just fall asleep, lucky you! You can do just that because they pop off as soon as they stick it in...probably all those arpeggios.

the percussionist
Alright, what about the percussionist?  I have to say, I like that she tells the young gal that the percussion banging is more like a fun-ish workout than anything else - that's pretty realistic given that banging penis in the vag or any other inner vaginal stimulation has never been shown to cause orgasm in scientific literature (and also that the majority of women when surveyed say they cannot orgasm during intercourse alone). So, that's realistic girl talk that acknowledges the non-orgasmness of straight banging.

But just take a step back for a minute, won't you? When was the last time you saw something like this in reverse? Have you ever seen a show where a sophisticated, hot, sexually experienced guy was talking with his friend about women he's had sex with and was all like, "Well this type of lady loves you to stand behind them and rub their clit for 30 minutes. It's a pretty hot position, but I'm over it in about 10 minutes. It's a good forearm workout though."

Ain't nobody seen some shit like that because we as a society assume guys actually feel that coming is a pretty important, almost necessary part of sex...something we refuse to assume about women. It seems really odd that a dude would have sex without coming and be that cool and easy-going with it.
So, let us extend the courtesy to women that we give to men and assume that this sophisticated sexually experienced women cares that sex with percussionists is orgasm-less.  Maybe she continues her assessment with an indication of how percussion dudes deals with you trying to get yours. Why not note that these dudes are pricks that pretend not to hear you over the banging if you ask for a reach around, so best always to bring a vibrator with you to whip out and take care of business while you get banged!...then never fuck a percussionist again.

the jazz pianist
I actually don't mind what she says here. I actually think improvisation, playing off you, and being into ensembles could all be solid aspects of a good sensual sex partner for a lady. But if I could make this a little more lady-centric, I'd make one change. The 3rd person should be a hot dude, ya'll!

I know lots of straightish women are into a little sexual fun with a lady, and that's all cool, and it's not unrealistic or un-lady-centric at all. But, I think just for sake of balance, why not see a little more 2 dude 1 woman threesomes where straightish men get into a little sexual fun with another guy? Why, you ask? Because 2 is better than 1, because dudes need to get over their homophobia about this, and because why the fuck do people get that 2 women touching each other is sexy to look at but don't get that two men touching each other is also sexy to look at?

Anyway, if a gal likes men eating you out, why not 2? Why not a dude eating you out while another guy fucks you? Ladies and gentlemen, the possibilities are endless (and in my fantasy here, the dudes have to actually work together to pleasure the woman...can't just finger trap her...soooo boring). So, I say the 3rd here should have been a hot guy, and he should have dropped to his knees in front of her just before it cut.

Okay, that's it. Happy New Years Eve! Be safe, Have fun, and get that clit touched!


Freudian BS in a Legit, Peer-Reviewed Journal: A Journal Article I Read

Welcome back to 'A Journal Article I Read,' a series where I summarize a lady-gasm related journal article in a way that is hopefully both comprehensive and also not too long. You can find a list of all the journal articles in this series HERE.

Here is what I'll be summarizing today.

A woman's history of vaginal orgasm is discernible from her walk.
Nicholas A1, Brody S, de Sutter P, de Carufel F.
J Sex Med. 2008 Sep;5(9):2119-24.

The BS intent of this article - a background from me
This is a unique summary for me because I have a lot to say about not only this article, but also about the author of this article and the background of why this article exists. Spoiler alert: I'm pretty darn disappointed with the amount of bias, the direct link to Freudian BS, the incorrect assumptions about scientific understanding of vaginal orgasm, and the experimental design. 

Let me begin with the quickest summary of my discontent that I can conjure up.
 Freud thought the vaginal orgasm was the only mature way for a woman to orgasm and that ability to orgasm from clitoral stimulation only was a sign of immaturity. He just made that shit up. Like if I just decided to say that for men, orgasm from penile stimulation was infantile, and to gain full maturity a man must be able to orgasm from anal intercourse...and people believed me and acted like it made sense.

Anyway, it was not backed up by reality or scientific investigation and it still isn't. In fact, there actually is still not any physical evidence at all in scientific literature that women can orgasm through vaginal stimulation alone. This is after decades of research into female orgasm - which does btw clearly back up the knowledge that women can and do orgasm from outer clitoral/vulva stimulation just as men do from penile stimulation. Clitorally stimulated orgasms have been observed and physically verified numerous times. Just like penile orgasms, it is fairly clear in scientific literature how they can happen, what happens in the body when they do, and to some extent who can have them...i.e. any intact healthy body is capable of a penile or clitorally (really anything around that tissue even if it's somewhere in between a clit and a penis) stimulated orgasm. Female orgasm is not mysterious or confusing, but vaginal orgasm is because as much as it's discussed, researched, and advised about, scientists have not yet found physical evidence that orgasms can happen though stimulation inside the vagina without additional external genital stimulation.

So, to be real clear, when a person (and believe you me a shit ton of these people are scientists in peer reviewed journals*) speaks about the vaginal orgasm, about what women and/or their bodies are like who have them, about their health benefits, about what they look like in the brain, these people are, if you will, talking out of their ass. If they make no mention that orgasms caused by stimulation inside the vagina, with no additional outer vulva/clitoral stimulation, have never been physically verified, then they are not speaking, and may not even understand, the whole story. We don't actually know if these orgasms can happen. We don't know what is actually happening in the body when the women who say they have vaginal orgasms are experiencing what they call vaginal orgasms. So please tell me how we can make distinctions between women who do and do not have them?


So...what exactly pisses me off so much
Incorrectly going about a study as if vaginal orgasms (orgasms caused by stimulation inside the vag only w/ no additional outer stimulation) are a scientifically understood and verified phenomenon is sadly pretty normal for female orgasm studies in peer reviewed journals. Me critiquing that uninformed assumption in these journal summaries is par for the course, so that's not what I'm most worried about in this one. I'm worried about the Freud-was-right-vaginal-orgasms-are-the-only-mature-sexual-climax-a-woman-can-have-and-clitoral-orgasms-make-women-less-mentally-and-physically-healthy agenda this article and this author seem to have. Because I do feel like there is evidence for this kind of agenda.

A little history of clit hate
Freud made that shit up about vaginal orgasm in his whole psychoanalysis deal. Wilhelm Reich was a student of Freud. Alexander Lowen was a student of Reich. All of them had similar feelings about the supremacy of the vaginal orgasm. Reich combined elements of the body into psychoanalysis and Lowen updated Reich's philosophy. It's called bioenergetic analysis. A main tenet of which is "blocks to emotional expression and wellness are revealed and expressed in the body as chronic muscle tensions which are often subconscious. The blocks are treated by combining bioenergetically designed physical exercises, affective expressions and palpation of the muscular tensions." - from Wikipedia.

Stuart motha-fuckin' Brody
Let me also point out that this is an article by a man named Stuart Brody, who is an absolutely prolific writer of scholarly, peer reviewed research articles jocking hard on vaginal orgasms, penile-vaginal intercourse, and even barebacking. He's not the lead author in this particular one, but I see him as a constant player in Freudian BS studies, so I'm picking on him. Please see a list of some of his articles at the bottom of this post - and it's just a few. This dude really cranks these out. But seriously, just take a minute to check out the names of these articles. I think it will help orient you.

The premise of the article
Anyway, Brody was an author on a previous article that claims to show that women who orgasm vaginally use less immature defense mechanisms. Since one must find some type of measurable aspect of maturity in order to prove someone (non-vaginally orgasming women, perhaps?) immature, that study uses a series of self-report questionnaires about personality and psychological defense mechanisms against a questionnaire about their sex lives...and voila, proof that non-vaginally orgasming women are less mature. And do be sure, Brody cites that study several times to back up a variety of statements he makes in his article I will be summarizing below.

This, I would argue, is the first backbone intent in the article I will be summarizing below: Freud/Reich/Lowen were actually right about vaginal orgasms reflecting female maturity! The second backbone intent takes it all a bit further to prove, as Lowen's bioenergetic analysis would tell us, a mental problem (immaturity) manifests itself in us as a physical problem...often tension or 'muscle blocks.'

So, put those together, and we get why the fuck someone (Brody) would even care to study whether a woman's history of vaginal orgasm is discernible from her walk...because immature clitorally orgasming women probably have tension and muscle blocks, and they won't have that swaaang in their walk like the mature vaginal orgasmers...and this article will prove this and Freud and bioenergetics were right all along!!!!!!

What annoys me? Let me count the things.
  1. So, the premise here in itself is annoying to me. Freud just made shit up. Just. made. shit. up. There's been decades since then that have shown us he was pretty off base - particularly about female orgasm. Why are people still acting like what he says is worth further scientific investigation?
  2. The fact that in this study, and in every other study, Brody and his cohorts assume vaginal orgasms are a verified and scientifically understood entity and that the women in their studies who say they orgasm vaginally are actually orgasming vaginally shows ignorance of the existing scientific data and bad experimental design - and is annoying to me. 
  3. That this study bases its data on how some 'experts' visually rate women's body movement instead of using technology to actually take measurements of things like women's hip rotation is lazy and possibly extremely biased - and is also annoying to me. 
  4. Maybe the most annoying thing is that this shit is somehow legitimate lady-gasm science. This article's in a respected peer reviewed journal - a lot of his studies are. Brody is legit. He doesn't seem to be an outcast from the mainstream lady-gasm researchers (although he does have critics- thank you Prause and others, he's still getting his work into mainstream journals). He teams up occasionally with some of the most well known scientists in female orgasm research (Komisaruk for example) and gets included in major journal expert reviews on the topic of vaginal orgasm. This article has also been referenced a fair amount in pop culture. It was even used in a quite popular book Vagina by Naomi Wolfe to emphasize the importance of and help prove the existence of vaginal orgasms.  

More proof of Lowen/Bioenergetic asshole-ery
Before we begin the summary, I'd first like to show you I'm not completely making assumptions about how deep into the vaginal-orgasms-are-real-things-and-also-the-best-things agenda this article, this author, and Lowen/bioenergetics has. Below is a quote from a book written by Lowen (the father of Bioenergetic Analysis). This book is cited in this here article I am about to summarize. I repeat. This is not from this Brody article, but from a book that is referenced in this Brody article.
Most men feel that the need to bring a woman to climax through clitoral stimulation is a burden. If it is done before intercourse but after the man is excited and ready to penetrate, it imposes a restraint upon his natural desire for closeness and intimacy. Not only does he lose some of his excitation through this delay, but the subsequent act of coitus is deprived of its mutual quality. Clitoral stimulation during the act of intercourse may help the woman to reach a climax but it distracts the man from the perception of his genital sensation and greatly interferes with the pelvic movements upon which his own feeling of satisfaction depends. The need to bring a woman to climax through clitoral stimulation after the act of intercourse has been completed and the man has reached his climax is burdensome since it prevents him from enjoying the relaxation and peace which are the rewards of sexuality. Most men to whom I have spoken who engage in this practice resented it.    
I do not mean to condemn the practice of clitoral stimulation if a woman finds that this is the way she can obtain a sexual release. Above all she should not feel guilty about using this procedure. However, I advice my patients against this practice since it focuses feelings on the clitoris and prevents the vaginal response. It is not a fully satisfactory experience and cannot be considered the equivalent of a vaginal orgasm.  
-Lowen, A. Love and Orgasm: A Revolutionary Guide to Sexual Fulfillment. New York, Collier Books, 1975. pp.216-217.

So, that's the point from which I'm starting this summary, but I'd like to let you see for yourself. I will summarize below as straightforward as I can - just as I always try to do, and I will only add in my thoughts or opinions in the me brackets "[Me:]" So, please enjoy,

Summary quick-style
This article is actually quite simple. 16 women take a survey with a question about how often they reach vaginal orgasm. 8 said they vaginally orgasm always or usually and another 8 say they vaginally orgasm rarely or never. The ladies then meet the researchers outside and walk for 100 meters while thinking of something nice, and another 100 meters while thinking of a man they are interested in romantically. They are taped from a distance doing this, and then 4 people, "two appropriately trained (in Functional-Sexological therapy) professors of sexology...and two female research assistants" watch the tapes and come to a consensus on whether or not each woman has had vaginal orgasms or not. "The basis for judgment was a global impression of the woman's free, fluid, energetic, sensual manner of walking (with an emphasis on energy flow through the rotation of the pelvis and the spine)."

The raters made a correct assessment for 6 of the 7 women who claimed vaginal orgasm and 7 of the 9 women who claimed not to have vaginal orgasms.

I'm going to go over some main points the authors put forth in the introduction with a quick discussion of the studies they cited to support their statements;

This article begins with, "A growing corpus of empirical research has clarified that orgasm triggered by stimulation of the vagina and cervix differs physiologically from climax induced by clitoral stimulation." This is backed up by citations for 2 Komisaruk studies about women with spinal cord injuries having 'cervical orgasms' that are facilitated by the vagus and not the pudendal nerve and also by Brody's own studies about vaginal orgasms being associated with less use of immature psychological defense mechanisms and about there being more prolactin hormone releases after p-in-v intercourse vs. after masturbation.
[Me: Not one of these studies actually verifies that the women who claim vaginal orgasm are having an orgasm, so they're, let's say, not all that convincing. Also, the 'cervical orgasms' in the Komisaruk studies are not only never physically verified as orgasms, but furthermore they are strangely 'achieved' by a method of cervical stimulation that is not something one could do at home or even with a penis during intercourse. These Komisaruk studies referenced here are cited in pretty much any study talking about vaginal orgasms, but are rarely cited, in my opinion, in a way that could actually back up what the authors presume to back up. I detail the main Komisaruk study HERE].

"At a more speculative, theoretical level, the idea that chronic muscle blocks (or excessive muscle flaccidity) impair sexual function by impairing feeling, sexual motility (and perhaps being a tangible representation of corresponding  psychological blocks), and the discharge of sexual tension has it's roots in a theory developed by Reich [11]. His student Lowen [12,13] developed that theory (and safely distanced it from one of Reich's less well reasoned theories later in his life) and the corresponding psychotherapeutic approach of  bioenergetics, which sought to integrate psychoanalytic psychotherapy approaches with direct liberation of chronic muscle blocks. Other body therapies focus more exclusively on the muscle blocks alone. These body therapies and the underlying theory have rarely been subject to empirical evaluation."
[Me: The citations [11-13] are Reich and Lowen's philosophical work including the book by Lowen that I quoted above.].

"However, one study of men found that the Rolfing method of tissue manipulation led to both a decrease in standing pelvic tilt angle and an increase in cardiac vagus nerve tone associated with improved parasympathetic function [14]." [Me: Maybe check out the Wikipedia on Rolfing HERE] There is then a quick discussion of a few more studies, including one that these authors admit does not have clear controls, that relate physical therapy to improved sexuality. The articles cited in this section are pictured below.

"Observation of the characteristics of a person's walk can convey diagnostic information beyond the obvious musculoskeletal an neurological disorders" It goes on to point towards a few studies (pictures below) that illustrate the point.

The Introduction ends with: "The primary hypothesis in the present study is that clinical sexologists appropriately trained in the relationship between personality, sexology, and body movement will be able to differentiate between women with and without a history of vaginal orgasm purely on the basis of observing the women walking. As an exploratory measure, there is also an examination of the association of vaginal orgasm history with specified components of the walk (described below)."

[Me: The introduction of a scientific article, in my opinion, is meant for a few things. It orients the reader to the history of research on the subject thus far. It also sorta justifies why this the experiment being undertaken is a worthwhile experiment and what the outcome of this experiment might mean to the science of this subject. So in many ways, the introduction is an incredibly important thing to read because it gives you a look into the authors' mind. It exposes biases that aren't usually discussed as biases.]

[Me cont: So, to put this in perspective, let me piece together what the authors of this article are trying to do here. They are linking together 1. the Freudian/Reich/Lowen assumption that vaginal orgasm are better for women in the mind, body, and soul. 2. The idea in bioenergetics that psychological/emotional problems manifest themselves in the body, i.e. 'chronic muscle blocks' and 'excessive muscle flaccidity'  and 3. that if a woman were to have these psychological/emotional problems manifest in their body, one might be able to see it in her movement. So, in essence, the authors are going from the hypothesis that vaginally orgasming women are mentally/emotionally/physically  healthier people who will express that health in their energetic movement. Women who do not orgasm vaginally are less mentally/emotionally/physically who will express that unhealthiness in their bad, unenergetic movement.]

Materials and Methods
  • Female psychology students in Belgium were asked (by a female researcher) to answer a preliminary questionnaire on sexual behavior.
  • Of the women who did the questionnaire and who indicated their willingness to be contacted further, 10 were chosen who responded that they 'always"'or 'often' had vaginal orgasms (vaginally orgasmic) and 10 were chosen who responded that they 'rarely' or 'never' had vaginal orgasms (vaginally anorgasmic). Vaginal orgasms being defined as "triggered solely by penile-vaginal penetration." [Me: Are women who 'rarely' have vaginal orgasms the same as women who 'never' have them? I mean, I'm obviously skeptical of all these answers, given that their ability to have vaginal orgasms is not physically verified (and vaginal orgasms themselves have never been physically verified), but even if one believed these women's answers to be completely true, wouldn't one wonder if they were grouped incorrectly? Maybe women who 'rarely' have them are physically capable of vaginal orgasm and the 'nevers' are not. So grouping them together would confuse the results. The authors don't discuss this as a possible problem. Experimental design, people.]
  • The women also reported their ability to have clitorally stimulated orgasms on the questionnaire
  • After anonymity and confidentiality were assured, the women were given a complete description of the study although participants "were blind to the experimental hypothesis." Written informed consent was obtained, and they were scheduled individually to meet the researchers in a public place
  • 4 participants (3 vaginally orgasmic and 1 vaginally anorgasmic) did not show up, making 16 total participants.
  • Participants were asked to walk 100 meters while "thinking pleasant thoughts of being on a vacation beach" and then another 100 meters while "being in the same local but with in the company of a man for whom they had thoughts of love."
  • These walks were filmed at a distance and the videotapes were then rated by "two appropriately trained (in Functional-Sexological therapy) professors of sexology...and two female research assistants." 
  • "The raters conferred and agreed on a vaginal orgasm status for each woman."  [Me: Why did they confer? Why not let them all rate separately and see if they match each other and match the women's self reports? Did they try it that way first but found it made the results messy as hell, so they had them confer and luckily got better, more positive results? It makes me wonder.]
  • "The basis for judgment was a global impression of the woman's free, fluid, energetic, sensual manner of walking (with an emphasis on energy flow through the rotation of the pelvis and the spine)."
  • The researchers all also rated each woman's walk (from 0-10) for the extent of their: hip adduction, hip rotation, stride length, arm movement, and fluidity of movement. [Me: this was made in 2008. It was very possible at that time to use video of women walking to not just visually rate these things, but to do actual objective measurements of things like stride length and arm movement. Since the authors are trying to create evidence that the psychological problems from not orgasming vaginally can literally manifest physically as muscle tension and 'blocks' that make the women walk less 'fluidly,' you would think it useful to show that there are real objectively measured limitations in these non-vaginally orgasming women's movement. Yet, all the ratings on the movements are just, like, the rater's opinions, man. I mean, I'd at least like to see the authors acknowledge their choice and give a quick explanation for why they chose to have only subjective ratings of these women's movements. And, in case you are wondering if 2008 was too early for people to be thinking about the technology to do objective measuring from video and the pros and cons of rating movement that way, you're wrong. Here's a 2007 textbook dedicated to analyzing human movement patterns in relation to sports biomechanics.]
  • "An additional derived variable reflecting the movement of the leg through the back (sum of ratings of stride length and vertebral rotation) was calculated."
  • The correlation between women's reported experience of vaginal orgasm and the researchers' guesses of vaginal orgasm was examined using "chi-square and Fisher's exact tests (a similar analysis was performed for clitoral orgasm history)" 
  • The associations between the researchers ratings of the individual components of a woman's walk and her history of vaginal orgasm were examined.

  • "The hypothesis was supported, because the trained sexologists were able to infer vaginal orgasm history on the basis of watching the women's walk."
  • "Reported clitoral orgasm ability was unrelated to both rated vaginal orgasm ability and to reported vaginal ability."
  • The only statistically significant correlation found between history of vaginal orgasm and any of the ratings of individual components of the women's walks were from the data points made from the sum of stride length and vertebral rotation. [Me: it seems a little fishy to me that this combination was the only element of the researchers' individual movement ratings to show correlation with the women's reported vag-gasm history. What actual meaning does that combo number have in the end? Clearly none of the straight-forward movement ratings such as stride length or hip rotation correlated, and it makes me wonder if that lack of correlation led them to start combining the ratings in every possible way until they found one that happened to have a statistical correlation with the vaginal orgasm self-reports. They call it exploratory, so I imagine this is close to the case. that kind of thing is probably not an uncommon practice and not really unethical or wrong, but it sure seems like it's sort of a disingenuous way to make a study show more positive results. To their credit I will say that when they spoke of this correlation in the Discussion section. They said "However, the exploratory nature of the secondary finding implies that less emphasis be placed upon it pending appropriate replication."  So, I think even the researchers don't place much meaning on this combo rating of stride length and vertebral rotation.]
  • "Age was unrelated to the sexual variables."

  • "Appropriately trained sexologists were able to infer vaginal orgasm history on the basis of watching women walk. The sexologists made global inferences about the women's vaginal orgasm history based on the extent to which the women had a fluid, sensual, energetic, free gait. The ratings were unrelated to the women's reports of clitoral orgasm with a partner, and clitoral orgasm was unrelated to vaginal orgasm."
  • 6 women who claimed to be vaginal orgasmers were rated correctly, and 1 was rated incorrectly.
  • 7 women who claimed not to be vaginal orgasmers were rated correctly and 2 were rated incorrectly.

  • "Although the couple of incorrect diagnoses could simply be that, it is also possible that in the case of the two false positives, it might be that the women have the capacity for vaginal orgasm, but have not yet had sufficient experience or met a man of sufficient quality to induce vaginal orgasm." [Me: I'm assuming the 2 women who were rated incorrectly as vaginally orgasming are not ones who marked themselves as 'rarely' vaginally orgasming (since clearly they DO have a capacity for it), because if that were the case, I feel REAL confident the authors would have been real quick to tell us that and make their results look even better.]
  • The study goes on to say that these women who were pinned by the researchers as vaginal orgasmers but were not, may not have a man with a '"penis of sufficient length to produce cervical buffeting" or that isn't able to keep his erection (either because of erectile dysfunction of premature ejaculation) long enough. They also note the there are studies saying women are most likely to have vaginal orgasms with men who have signs of greater fitness - like attractiveness. [Me: Can I just quickly mention that 'buffeting' can be defined as 'to strike against forcefully and especially repeatedly; batter.' So cervical buffeting with a big ol' dick sounds to me not like a good way to bring about lady-gasms as these researchers seem to say it is, but like a terribly painful sexual encounter akin to a really long and brutal gynecological exam. This banging the cervix for orgasm thing seems kinda out of touch with reality to me, and it's also not backed up in scientific literature, and contrary to what this article would have one believe, it's certainly not backed by the Komisaruk article they cite here. They cite the same Komisaruk article they cite and I discuss in the Introduction that finds women with spinal cord injuries can orgasm from cervical stimulation, but the conclusion is a stretch of the evidence at best (I detail it here). And seriously, this study does not include buffeting the cervix. It actually uses a make-shift thing that does not actually touch the cervix but creates a suctiony stimulation at the cervix, so even if this study did find that orgasms were created from this stimulation (which it doesn't in any verified physical way), it would not be something that could be replicated by ramming a big dick into a woman's cervix. This is the only study I know of (and there are no others referenced) that can support the idea of women needing cervical stimulation or  'buffeting' to orgasm... and it's not a great one.]
  • They point out that "as in any correlational study, a universe of possible unmeasured forces could play a role in the observed findings." They mention that maybe some anatomical features could predispose women to less readiness for vaginal orgasm, and specifically use a recent study correlating more distance between the vagina and urethra to women who claim vaginal orgasm [Me: you can see more on that study HERE. Surprise surprise, there are no actual vaginal orgasms verified in this research, so one should be skeptical of its conclusions] "such characteristics might conceivably influence both vaginal orgasm and pelvic movement directly, whether they are a true precursor of vagina orgasm, or develop as a consequence of developing vaginal orgasm." 
  • They also mention that it might be that women who orgasm vaginally might feel more confident or comfortable or have a better relationship and it shows in their walk. [Me: Ooooorrrrrr...maybe being vaginally orgasmic is a thing women covet because of how much women in movies and porn and books are able to do so, and how much it seems that men like it (remember: stimulating the clit is pretty inconvenient and men resent doing it according to Lowen up there), so after saying they can do that on a survey, those women feel all good about themselves, but the women who just had to admit that they are lame and can't orgasm vaginally on a survey feel, well, lame. Ooooooorrrrr...there were only 16 women in the study, and the raters only got about 82% right, so it might be the luck of the draw and their walks are not really different between groups at all.]
  • They point out this was a small convenience sample of volunteers so that may "limit the generalizability of these results to older women and to the wider community"
  • "The present finding of vaginal orgasm being associated with a more fluid, sensual, energetic, free, unblocked gait adds to the empirical research findings of penis-vaginal orgasm history being specifically associated with the indices of women's better psychological and interpersonal function." 
  • They mention that a recent study [their own previous study] associated women who could orgasm vaginally with having less use of immature psychological defense mechanisms - and say that "Two of the specific immature defense mechanisms (somatization and dissociation) that differentiated vaginally orgasmic and vaginally anorgasmic women might be related to aspects of the present finding. Dissociation involves disconnection of the usually integrated psychological (including sensory-motor) functions of the self, and somatizations involves converting psychological problems into physical complaints and impairments." 

The authors say that even with the small sample, the results are consistent with both theory [Me: made-up Freudian and neo-freudian theory?] and previous empirical findings about vaginally orgasming women having better psychological function. [Me: Let it be known the 'previous empirical findings' they cited were all Brody's own previous studies - 4 of them were cited]
They also say the present findings provide some potential support for "theoretical assumptions of a link between muscle blocks and impairment of sexual and character function" [Me: this is cited with 3 works by the neo-Freudians Lowen and Reich - including the book by Lowen that I quote above.]
The authors also say the findings are "consistent with the possible utility of incorporating training in movement, breathing and muscle patterns into the treatment of sexual dysfunctions"

*I want to give Dr. Nicole Prause a shout out for being a scientist in the lady-gasm field who speaks out in direct ways against those non-sense assumptions about vaginal orgasm. I talk more about here HERE.]

More Articles By Stuart Brody!
Vaginal orgasm is associated with vaginal (not clitoral) sex education, focusing mental attention on vaginal sensations, intercourse duration, and a preference for a longer penis. Brody S1, Weiss P.
J Sex Med. 2010 Aug;7(8):2774-81.

Slimmer women's waist is associated with better erectile function in men independent of age. Brody S1, Weiss P. Arch Sex Behav. 2013 Oct;42(7):1191-8.

Women's partnered orgasm consistency is associated with greater duration of penile-vaginal intercourse but not of foreplay. Weiss P1, Brody S. J Sex Med. 2009 Jan;6(1):135-41.

Simultaneous penile-vaginal intercourse orgasm is associated with satisfaction (sexual, life, partnership, and mental health). Brody S1, Weiss P. J Sex Med. 2011 Mar;8(3):734-41.

Condom use for penile-vaginal intercourse is associated with immature psychological defense mechanisms. Costa RM1, Brody S. J Sex Med. 2008 Nov;5(11):2522-32.

Immature defense mechanisms are associated with lesser vaginal orgasm consistency and greater alcohol consumption before sex. J Sex Med. 2010 Feb;7(2 Pt 1):775-86.

Vaginal orgasm is more prevalent among women with a prominent tubercle of the upper lip. Brody S1, Costa RM. J Sex Med. 2011 Oct;8(10):2793-9.

Greater tactile sensitivity and less use of immature psychological defense mechanisms predict women's penile-vaginal intercourse orgasm. Brody S1, Houde S, Hess U. J Sex Med. 2010 Sep;7(9):3057-65.

Vaginal orgasm is associated with less use of immature psychological defense mechanisms.Brody S1, Costa RM. J Sex Med. 2008 May;5(5):1167-76.


Merry Clitmas!!!!

Merry Clitmas, my dear SSL readers! I'll make this quick. You see, I had planned to get a new 'A Journal Article I Read' post up today, but I haven't quite gotten it finished, and I have a strong feeling that from now until after Christmas day, I won't have time to finish. So, you won't get to read a fun new summary of some journal article relating to female orgasm this Christmas Eve/Start of Hanukkah. To tide you over, though, if you really need to you can go read some of the old ones HERE.

For now, I just need to get a post up to keep up with with my blog posting schedule (one can't get in the habit of getting too far off schedule, now can one?). So, I thought I would just take this time to tell all of you that I am feeling the tiniest bit more renewed. I still have a lot of shit going on with the health of the ol' family, but I've gotten a bit more focused and gained the slightest touch more time to do what I am most passionate about -  policing the discussion, depictions, and scientific investigation of female orgasm. I've got lots more journal summaries up my sleeve, tons and tons more SSL Reviews, and plenty of writings about orgasm equality heroes doing the good work out in the world, and you will see them all in the coming year.

I want more than anything to continue making this blog a strange resource to help other people - sexperts, advice columnists, teachers, parents, researchers, and curious folks - to do their jobs and go about their lives with a more clear, realistic, evidence based understanding of the female orgasm. I hope very much that some random person out there finds my strange blog and pees their pants with excitement at seeing that I have already done some of the legwork of identifying TV shows that depict female orgasm for them to use in their doctoral thesis. I'd love if some internet sex adviser stumbles across SSL, reads the journal summaries, and adjusts their advice to reflect a more accurate understanding of what scientific investigation can and cannot tell us about lady-gasms. I'd especially freak if some young scientists reads this stuff and takes this perspective into their future scientific investigation of the physiology of orgasm. I have dreams, people - dreams of helping other people make the world better for ladies and our orgasms.

Anyway, enjoy whatever vacations or holidays you are enjoying this end of year. I do love you all.

Oh, and just to tease you a bit, here's the journal article you'll be reading about in a couple days

A woman's history of vaginal orgasm is discernible from her walk.
Nicholas A1, Brody S, de Sutter P, de Carufel F.
J Sex Med. 2008 Sep;5(9):2119-24.

Spoiler alert: Freud's grubby little hands still have a tight grip on the world of scientific investigation into female orgasm, and it's gross and stupid and annoying, but Merry Clitmas anyway!

Here's a picture for your enjoyment. 1) All three of my cats sleeping with me while I write is all I ever dream of really. 2) Tina is making it hard for my laptop to be on my lap 3) I think I'm wearing that hoodie in every pic I ever post here. I wear it a lot. 4) I'm wearing that hoodie now.

Ramona, Eds, and Tina, me (left to right). I am the one that's not a cat.


Mozart in the Jungle Seasons 1 and 2: The SSL Review

Mozart in the Jungle
This show's gotten a lot of hype the last couple years, won some Emmys and all that. So, we decided to give it a try. It's real symphonic music geek focused, and I like that. I appreciate a show that tips its hat to the deep interests of a particular group - even if it's just enough for non-geeks to notice but not be turned off. Overall, I like it okay, and the episodes are shorts so it's an easy binge. It's actually pretty PG-13ish, so there's not much sex shown, but there have been 2 moments so far that gave me a reason to SSL Review.

If you're new to this, I only critique discussions or depictions of lady-bation or lady-gasms. A movie doesn't get an SSL Review if it doesn't have one. I largely critique the realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman? Was she masturbating in a way that is unlikely to cause orgasm?). However, I also like to talk about the larger picture of how the depiction/discussion fits into the cultural discussion around female orgasm and female sexuality.

You can see all the SSL TV Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSL Reviews HERE).

The SSL Review details
I'm going to start chronologically backwards and lump these two  together a bit, but I first need to describe them in detail. (Also, as not to spoil anything too much, I'm not going to use the character names because I can get the point across without the names or revealing too much about the character.)

Season 2 Episode 2: The Hippie Instagasm
A woman and a man meet. The man is a main character, the woman is an extra with lines and she's a drum-circle type hippie chic. We see them start to make out, and they go into his room and jump in bed together, both fully clothed. She rolls on top of him. Their pelvises haven't come near each other in this situation until this point. She's straddling him. She does one little hip thrust right as she gets on, but then her hip area stays pretty motionless. Immediately, she starts making uh, uh, orgasm noises. We hear her say, "Take it off." and he indeed unties her bikini top.

At this point the camera is moving slowly away out through the high rise bedroom's glass walls and into the night sky. As the camera moves away, the sound continues as if we were still in the room, and we hear her really going at it with the orgasm sounds. She's saying (I think) "Go, Go, Go." It sounds like a woman orgasming in porn.

From the moment she is on top of him to the point that the camera moving out to the sky no longer sees them is 7 seconds. Nine seconds after that, she's already gone into full orgasm sound mode and the scene cuts off. And both are still wearing their pants. If she was getting any sort of friction against her clitoral / vulva area (which is as important to lady-gasm as penis stimulation is to guy-gasms), then it was only for that total of 16 seconds from her getting on top to the ending cut, and she was somehow able to come within that time. So, if this lady did pop off as her voice would have us believe, she's like some teenage boy in some random lose-his-virginity-teen-movie that comes in his pants from nothing more than a brush against his dick - and the scene should have acknowledged that. But it didn't. This was just played as a normal sex scene. I deem this, my friends, as some high-end BS.

Season 1 Episode 9: The Passionate Instagasm
This is the same guy from above only this time he's with a woman with which he has an eccentric and insanely passionate history (both in love and hate). So, he goes into this tent to see her, and there is another woman outside the tent who was asked to wait there for 2 minutes in case something goes terribly wrong.

Inside the tent, it takes over a minute of talking to turn to the couple kissing, and as soon as that happens, it almost immediately cuts to the woman waiting outside. We see she can hear the orgasm sounds of the woman in the tent. It sounds like a straight up porn star. We also see the waiting lady checking her watch as she did when she was first instructed to wait 2 minutes and then she gets up to leave - making me think, 'wow, only 2 minutes have gone by and this tent lady is already coming??' But then I'm like, 'Okay, maybe some time has passed between the kissing inside and the orgasming heard outside, and that time passage will be revealed in the next cut.'

But, then no. It cuts back to inside the tent, and no time seems to have gone by.  They really are just kissing...and fully clothed. And not only that, but we quickly learn she's also wearing a chastity belt. The couple kinda rolls backward to a laying position with him on top and her with her legs wrapped around his waist. Just as they lay back, he says something like, "What is going on down there." And she reveals the chastity belt she has put on as a measure to preserve her passion. I can only assume that this dude asked about the chastity belt pretty much as soon as his body touched anywhere near her private parts - given that the metal chastity belt covers her whole crotch area, and he probably would have noticed it.

So, if she orgasmsed first, and then his body gets near enough to her crotch to feel the belt, how the hell was she orgasming before? This makes me assume her pelvis area was not getting any friction during the time she was making porn-gasm sounds. I mean, I guess she could have been rubbing her vulva up against the inside of the metal chastity belt, but still, it was only a whole 10 seconds in the show from the time they kissed to the time he found the belt (with the porn-gasm in between)...and even if there was time in between cuts, it shouldn't have been longer than 2 minutes given the woman was still waiting outside. Either way, it just doesn't make sense that she was getting sufficient clitoral/vuvla stimulation in order to orgasm in this situation. Yet, she was depicted as orgasming anyway.

Enough with Insta-gasms
I think the thing that bothers me most about these scenes is how unremarkable they are, yet how incredibly fanciful they are when considering actual physiological realities of orgasm...specifically female orgasm. Both these women orgasmed within about 10 seconds from having their private area close to another person...and actually it really doesn't even seem likely that the chastity belt woman even had her junk near the dude at all while she was orgasming.

The whole thing with these scenes is just wierd - like a 13 year old boy's dream of what orgasmic lady delights he might impart on a woman if he started making out with her. Yet, at the same time, neither scene stands out. It's simply not abnormal at all to see women orgasming, even perma-gasming, immediately upon the start of anything sexual. It's easy to find this in porn, and it's not so hard to find in TV and movies as well.

Imagine if you saw a man in a movie roll on top of a woman, fully clothed, and he immediately started making orgasm sounds. It would take you out of the sexuality of the situation. It wouldn't be just a normal sex scene. It would clearly be viewed as a scene meant to be funny or sad or something. It would be of note in a way that a scene where a woman doing the same thing is not.

Technically both a man or a woman could orgasm this way. He or she could have been sooooo very turned on that just a quick stimulation of his dick or her clit through through the pants could send him or her over the edge. But I dare say that's not what was meant in these scenes. These scenes were meant to show passionate women with a passionate man having passionate interactions...and in attempting this, they had a man who, quite realistically, did not come immediately and women who despite facts of reality, did.

The female orgasm is not something other. It's as real and physical as the male orgasm. 
These scenes normalize the idea that female orgasm is something different, something beyond the boring physical reality of male orgasm. These scenes tell us that passionate women orgasm easily and loudly from anything and everything - even non-physical things (which in all seriousness, there is no physical evidence of in scientific literature - at all). The idea that women's orgasms are somehow mystical, and wild, and disassociated from realities of the physical body is normalized.

On the other hand, the man in these scenes is supposed to be uber passionate just like the ladies, but his orgasm is not forced into a false mold to do this. As a result, these scenes reinforce the idea that men and women have distinctly different 'orgasms.' This leads the audience to rightly assume that even for passionate men, their penises must still be appropriately stimulated to orgasm, but wrongly assume that women can orgasm from passion alone and that their clits have very little to do with the situation.

Or maybe...faking
Or maybe we are supposed to assume both of these women were faking...'cause if you think about it in realistic terms, they sure seem to be. I really don't think that's the case, though. I think the orgasms were used in these scenes to show the passion of the situation and passion of the characters. But for real, isn't it a little crazy that I have to seriously wonder if a lady-gasm scene was intended to be a faking scene or if the creators of the scene just depicted it ridiculously because they don't know how it works or don't care? That's how miseducated and confused this culture is about the female orgasm and how it physically happens. This BS doesn't much happen for scenes with male orgasm. Why? Well, I think it's because people actually know how male-gasms works and actually give a shit about them.

Vulva Rating
So, these scenes being the only actual SSL Reviewable scenes in seasons 1 and 2, I give the first two seasons of Mozart in the Jungle 2 vulvas. These scenes were just straight up unrealistic...you might even say bat-shit ridiculous. They add to the normalization of female orgasm as a rather non-physical mystical entity and further separate how people think of female vs. male orgasms. (and really, people, it's the same shit...find something that is penis or clitoris like, and stimulate it how feels good until coming ---the. same. shit.). I almost gave it one vulva, but I appreciate that even if the scenes were unrealistic, they weren't unrealistic and involved women orgasming from penis-in-vagina intercourse with no additional outer clitoral stimulation, and that's something different!



West World S1 E2: The SSL Review

West World 
I started watching this new HBO series with a friend at another friends house while the first friend was house/cat sitting for the second friend. The house had HBO Go. They, I believe, had it because they used their father's account. We saw one episode there. Then, because we use a family member's HBO Go account as well, we could continue watching, and so we did. Honestly, I was pretty blah about it after the first episode and actually I still pretty much am. It's got a lot of bullshit aspects that are irksome to me, but it's also an okay watch, so I keep on just because I started it. I'm dedicated. I watch movies and TV of all stripes - sometimes even if I hate them...because I also love to hate, so in the end it's enjoyable to some degree too.

This is HBO, so there obviously has been lots of sex and boobs, but not a lot of lady orgasm. Thus there hasn't been a lot of SSL reviewable moments, but I did catch one in the early episodes - and I will be reviewing that scene forthwith, my good ladies and gentlemen of the SSL audience. As most of you already know, an SSL Review is a critique specifically of a depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation. I look toward realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman? Was she perma-gasming while a dude spanked her butt cheeks or something stupid like that - 'cause I call bullshit on that kind of stuff - and that kind of BS is depicted much more than I'd like to think). I also look at what I think the depiction/discussions reflect from and add to the larger cultural discussion around lady-gasms and female sexuality. A show could be good with a bad SSL review or vice versa.

You can see all the SSL TV Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSL Reviews HERE).

So here we go:

Episode 2 - The Bouncing Lady
This will be quick and easy. There is a scene where Logan (played by Ben Barnes) is in a brothel. He's having sex and there are other people in the same room, but no one else is touching this couple. He's laying on his back. She's on top, sitting straight up - by that I mean she's not leaned forward so that her pelvis is pressed against her partner. The angle happening is just straight up penis touching vagina hole and her clitoral/vulva area is touching only the air in front of her as she's bouncing up and down on his junk.  Neither her hands or his are touching or anywhere near her lady parts, so there is no manual stimulating happening for sure. She's making perma-orgasm sounds which would insinuate that what's happening physically there is stuff that would cause her to come...porn-gasm style.

The SSL Discussion
Although this is a most common situation in movies, TV and definitely in porn - depicting a woman having sex and orgasming this way, I none the less deem this rather unrealistic as a depiction of how a woman might actually physically come.

As I say in almost every damn post here, the majority of women do not claim on surveys to orgasm from vaginal penetration alone*, despite it seeming like every woman on TV or film does. On top of that,I would also remind everyone that a woman orgasming from only inner vaginal stimulation has never been physically recorded in scientific literature - even after over 50 years of orgasm research. Point being that although it's common to believe a woman could come just from a penis moving inside her with no extra clitoral glans stimulation, it's just never been shown to happen, and likely it's at best a very rare occurrence.

Now, granted, in this particular situation the man is a human and the woman is an android prostitute that is created to give the humans any sort of experience they want (I'm not spoiling anything with that. You learn about the circumstances of West World from the very beginning). So that could add a layer of complexity when thinking about what this type of depiction contributes to our cultural understanding of female orgasm and sexuality. I mean, it's known to some degree that a woman being paid to have sex with a man (much less an android made to please a man sexually) might fake their own pleasure to make the man's experience better, so one might look at this scene and assume it's just a prostitute faking for her client.

However, I also don't think people think about scenes like these too deeply. I think scenes like these just fit into our brains amongst the already large pile of other scenes that show a woman coming from nothing but a penis up her junk. I think this scene confirms the status quo of thinking a woman can be fucked into orgasm. I think it, like so many other scenes, reinforces the invisibility of the clit in sexual interactions and in it's little way, encourages all of us to tend toward having sex that is orgasmic for men but rarely orgasmic for women...all the while assuming that sex is highly orgasmic for women. So, boo to that scene and all the scenes like it.

I give this scene 1 vulva. I'm feeling generous. Although it reinforced  the shitty status quo of assuming women can come from nothing more than a good boning, it didn't insinuate anything more nefarious or harmful than what is already out there.

*I always have trouble citing this with an internet link because I want to send you to a link that takes many of the different (and differently worded) studies into account, but that's hard to find on a page in the internet. So, if you really want to look this up, find the book The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution by Elisabeth Lloyd, and read the first chapter. She goes over the studies on this comprehensively and concludes it's somewhere in the range of 70%ish of women who report on surveys that they cannot orgasm through intercourse alone (stimulation of the inside of the vagina with no additional outer clitoral stimulation).


Embrace And A Reminder That the Personal Is Political

I went to see a special screening of the documentary movie "Embrace" a couple nights ago with some friends. It's a doc by Taryn Brumfitt, following her as she meets and interviews people from around the world who have something to say about women's body image. You might know Taryn from a pic that went viral a while back. It's how she got into this game.

Taryn Brumfitt's 'Before and After' viral photo she originally posted to Facebook
So, the movie is about something very simple that we all somehow know and don't know at the same time. It's about that ideal female body that the world tells us we need to strive for, and it's about how unachievable that ideal is; how draining of our emotion and time it is to pursue; how that ideal female body does not necessarily coincide with a healthy body. It's also about how deep and all-encompassing the feelings of insecurity about our appearance are - how none of us are immune.

It was a touching movie. It, as you might imagine, rang true for the audience, and it sparked some discussion certainly among my friends, and I'm sure among others in the audience too. You should fo sho check this movie out if you get a chance - and take your friends and kids and nieces and nephews with you. It's a good way to pull this subject to the forefront so you can speak it out loud with yourself and your closey-close people.

The Personal
It brings to mind a phrase I've been thinking about a lot lately. The Personal Is Political. People use that phrase with varying meaning, but in my head I see it as having to do with realizing that there are things we feel as very personal shortcomings or failures that are actually things springing more from our cultural situation than from any personal choices. I've read about the feminist Consciousness Raising Groups from the 70's and how women, when they started talking #RealTalk about their lives and their worries, found all the other women around them shared those same worries - and that gave them a clue about what kinds of issues were feminist issues that could improve with activism.

 I imagine in these Consciousness Raising Groups there's a woman named Alice or something talking about how pathetic she felt for the sorry state of her housekeeping skills compared to other women, and all the other women were like;
"Hells No!!! All us other women here have felt like you were the epitome of housekeeping, and we were all like - 'wish we could keep our house like Alice. She does it all effortless and shit.' Now you tellin' us you spend an extraordinary amount of time on that, and it's exhausting, and you try hard to make it look effortless and you still feel like your housekeeping doesn't compare to ours...Shit...our minds are blown."
Then they start talking about how all the advertising makes them feel lesser than their peers, and how they are encouraged in varying ways not to show that kind of weakness to other women, but what mindblowingly amazing relief it is to share all that with other women - to know you are not alone - to know you are normal and not crazy or pathetic. And then just that simple step of really knowing that their worries stem from something much larger than themselves changes so much about how they experience their life and how they will interact with the culture - politics included.

Our Bodies
Women's position in our world has expanded and improved in a lot of ways since the 60's, but in some very important ways we have not made much progress. I venture to say the more personal they are the less progress we've made.

Embrace hits on one of those more personal issues - pressing us to acknowledge the insanely unattainable level of youth and beauty we are expected to strive for; showing us how many women internalize and suffer from the process of obtaining or maintaining that high level and how even those we think have obtained it still suffer. It's like we're in a sort of modern Consciousness Raising Group and getting that kind of solidarity that reminds us we are not alone and that the culture needs to change in order for us to really affect our personal situation...and just the fact of actively knowing that, begins to change the culture.

Our Orgasms
And since everything for me gets seen through the lens of female orgasm, it made me immediately think about the deeply personal topic of a woman's ability to gain pleasure and/or orgasm from sexual interactions - particularly with men. This is still a topic that women feel incredibly sensitive about. There is still a strong sense that admitting weakness in this area, to both our male partners, to our female friends, and even for ourselves, could be more harmful than putting up a strong, effortless sexual facade.  In fact, the feeling that a normal woman should (when with a man she loves) be happy with her sex life and be orgasmic through normal male-female intercourse has such a strong and all-encompassing hold over us that it's hard to even see our experience in a way that isn't colored heavily by what we believe is normal.

So, I hope the feelings of personal shortcomings and failure that often plague women's sense of their own sexuality can also be eased by learning that most other women have some level of those feelings too and that the way we fit into cultural norms is more the problem here than our personal actions and capabilities. In that spirit, I think women need to keep hearing (and I'll keep saying)...
  • that the way we tend to have sex puts women but not men at an orgasm disadvantage
  • that our clitoris, not our vagina, should be the focus if orgasm is the goal
  • that oh yeah, men almost always have their organ of sexual pleasure stimulated during sex but the clitoris, women's organ of sexual pleasure, tends only to get direct stimulation in the context of 'extra' stuff - 'extra' giving us a clear indication lady orgasm is simply not deemed as important; 
  • that clues big and small all over our culture tell us that 'other women' have no problem being orgasmic during sex and that it's a problem if we aren't; 
  • that it's actually completely sensible if you have no real idea about how you or other women physically orgasm or how all your parts work down there because there is such a lack of accurate information and such an abundance of misinformation out there; 
  • that there is every indication that female bodies are as capable of quick, reliable orgasms as men, so the fact that women tend to have more problems than men orgasming in partnered sex but not when we masturbate means the problem is with how we are doing the nasty together and not with our bodies.
  • that we need larger cultural activism to fully address these feelings of personal shortcomings and failure;
  • that actively learning about all this begins to change how we interact with our world which can then change the larger culture

More Talk 
Anyway, I think what really struck me after watching Embrace was how important it is for women to speak with other women about deep shit. How we feel about our bodies and our ability to orgasm and our sexual life is deep shit. It's deep shit because it is embarrassing and because for those topics there is such a distance between how we're supposed to be and how we are. We are not sure footed. We don't know how to straddle these subjects properly, and I think learning that other women are similarly shakey about all this can ground us and help us find strength to look at our situation in a different, more realistic way, and that in turn will change us, change our activism, and change the world...because sometimes the personal really is political .


Random Male Hite Report #20

Hello, friends. It's time for another 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 441

The following page is in the section called 'Relationships With Women' in a chapter called Portraits of Marriage.

"...would have to guess at it, but some of the relationships were as often as three or four times a week and sometimes with two different women at the same rate.
    "Since my present marriage, which is happy as I think one could be, I have had intercourse with my former second wife on two occasions, with a former bed partner who was probably the most sexually desirable woman I ever bedded, and the other one was a girl that for years I wanted to bed and when the opportunity came about eighteen months ago I did so, but was so conscience-stricken I did not go back when I could have. I think it is not too likely I will stray much again, although I think part of this is due to age rather than any great amount of honesty on my part.
    "I do not think these affairs in the past had any effect on my marriages - I was conscious of none. They have had none in this marriage and she does not know about them. I think she would break my neck if she did."

"I am married and have been for two years. Most of the time I enjoy the married life, but there are times when I would sooner be single again. I think most married couples feel this way from time to time, but it would take a hell of a lot to make me leave my wife. I like to think I am married because I love my wife and want to spend the rest of my life with her. I got married out of loneliness, I guess. I did not want to be alone and my wife was the only person who seemed to fill the lonely space in my life. In many ways sex with my wife has become routine. I don't like it, but my wife seems to be happy with it, or at least she never indicates a change is needed. So to get the change, the spice I need, I have taken to finding casual lovers.
    "Complete monogamy, to me, is only in the thoughts of idealists in our society. One man or woman spending the rest of their life being totally with only one person is not possible. I don't think one person can give another person everything they want or need. I know my wife cannot give me everything I need and I know I can't give my wife everything she wants. True, there are a lot of couples who say they are completely happy, but I'll bet that this is just talk to many of them. Of course it would make life a lot easier if everybody could find one person who could take care of all their wants and needs, but I am afraid life just isn't like that.
    "My extramarital experiences were not of the open marriage type. If my wife ever asks me about them i will tell her truthfully, even try to explain to her why I had them even though i am sure she will not understand. But, until she asks, I will not bring them up because it would hurt her and I do not want to hurt her, ever.
    "It may be guilt, it may be something else, but after each one of the extra sex experiences I have had, I seem to be more in love with my wife. Or maybe it's that I can bear up for a little longer without imposing my will on my wife - since she does not seem to need sex or intercourse as often as I do. In a way, I guess. my casual affairs outside marriage are holding my marriage together. These affairs of mine have had little effect on sex with my wife. When she does show some interest, I am more than happy to make love with her, but until she does show interest I have my affairs.
    "In the beginning, I was very much in love with her. We worked together..."


Vintage SSL - costume pics from 2009.

So, for fun, I'm going to post this super duper vintage SSL post (with only a tad of updates). This was back in early 2009 when we were preparing to shoot what would become the movie Science, Sex and the Ladies. Back then, the blog was just about the movie. I hadn't really started doing the critiques and stuff like that. I had always meant it to be about the movie and also a place to continue the discussion the movie started, but I didn't really know what that would look like at the time. Plus, I was deep into making this movie, so naturally that's what I wrote about mostly. Anyway, it took us until 2014 to release it, but this, my friends was the start of productions, and it was fun. Below is the trailer for SSL - and you might just find some of the costumes we were stestin out in there.

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

Vintage from April 4th 2009

So we had a blast on the 29th. We layed out all our clothing (it filled two rooms) and had the cast rummage through with great direction from Pat Eberle and Cathy Quinn helping to get period pieces right. We think we found a lot of gems. Check em out below.

My mom (up top) and my Aunt Cathy (talking to me) made a big ol' meal for everyone. They even brought flowers to make it beautiful. I also wanted them there to help give their opinion in the 50's, 60's and 70's era stuff. they were quite useful.

Rosalind Our Hairdresser was in attendance giving us a lot of great ideas. She's posing her with Barnaby

This is a rack of our clothes.

Ten of those outfits above made it into the actual movie.