25% of Ladies Not Getting Intercourse-gasms: Michael Castleman Slingin' Mad Stats for Orgasm Equality!

Mr. Michael Castleman over at Psychology Today posted an article in 2009 called "The Most Important Sexual Statistic: Intercourse Is Not The Key To Most Woman's Sexual Satisfaction," and dag burn it, it was a good one - simple and on point.

Meet Michael Castleman - Orgasm Equality Ally!

The statistic was this:
"Only 25 percent of women are consistently orgasmic during vaginal intercourse" 
He took this from a book I could not recommend more, Elisabeth Lloyd's The Case of the Female Orgasm. I wrote a little about it HERE. It's great in many ways, but the statistic Castleman pulled from this book is important because it's not just from one little study. It's from all the studies. It is a statistic that arises from the best of places - an assessment of all the statistics available about lady-gasms and intercourse put together. So, it's a solid stat, and Castleman clearly saw that and clearly saw how incredibly important the stat is.

The gist of the article was as true and direct: Most women don't orgasm during intercourse. Most women need clitoral stimulation. How you have sex should take that into consideration.

I am highlighting this article not just because he said the clit is important. There is plenty of sex advice out there touting the importance of the clit, but most of them speak about it as simply another option, like the use of a sex toy or playing with a dude's balls might be discussed. It's as if 'remembering the clit' is icing on the sex cake. Very few articles, however, take the bolder stance that this article has taken - that the clit stuff is the sex cake for us ladies; that intercourse always gets depicted as the cake, but it simply is not. He says lovely and extraordinary Orgasm Equality Revolution things like:
"But they key to most women's erotic pleasure comes not from the penis and intercourse, but from direct clitoral stimulation, using the fingers, palm, tongue, or sex toys."
"Finally, because so few women are consistently orgasmic during intercourse, it's fine to have sex without intercourse."
Yes and yes. We need more people- especially more men saying these things and saying them boldy because even though there is really nothing about this article that is scientifically controversial, simply speaking about this topic is still super sensitive and contentious. I hear from time to time, from people who hang in more sexually liberal circles that this is all old news, but the truth is it's not. It's very much still revolutionary to even hint that intercourse isn't great for women's orgasms. When I write about this stuff, I speak about there being a real possibility that orgasm from stimulation inside the vagina isn't even possible This article is much more forgiving and only said something that is well known among sexual educators and really people in general - that most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm and that this fact should really affect how we have sex. But there is such a cultural allegiance to intercourse as the end-all-be-all of heterosexual sex that it's still unusual to even hear that said in a bold way.

Thank you Mr. Michael Castleman! I have placed you in my my ever-growing list of Orgasm Equality Allies for speaking about female orgasm in a more realistic and bold way. It's not the norm and it takes a little bit of bravery and thoughtfulness to do so. My hat off to you.


5 Movies #DirectedByWomen To Watch With Slightly Older Kids

I started doing this categorized List of 5 movies thing where I showcase movies that were directed by women and that I have actually seen. It all started during the Directed By Women Worldwide Viewing Party in September, and it was pretty fun, so I've continued doing it from time to time.

It's a bit off-topic from my normal fare, ya know, not usually about lady-gasms or anything like that, but I think it fits the blog because
1. this blog is also about indie movie-making, and
2. this blog is partially about getting the female perspective of sexuality into our media. So, to me, supporting female voices in our media - means we're creating more room for female voices to speak on all types of things, which sometimes will be sex, orgasms and sexuality. You can find all my 5-movie lists HERE.

So, this is my Movies To Watch With Slightly Older Kids List - for if you want to watch something you actually want to watch, but with the kids.

1 Persepolis - This was directed by Vincent Paronnaud and  Marjane Satrapi, who I now see has directed other films that I haven't seen, but should check out because I like Persepolis so much. I saw it back when it was moving through theaters, and It was just a really well-executed work, and it's be pretty interesting to watch with some young folk.

2 Ramona and Beezus - This was directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum (Elizabeth Allen), and if I remember correctly Charlie and I went to see this in the theater with no nieces and nephews in tow because we just love us some Ramona Quimby, and I know many of you out there probably love you some too. It did not meet Ramona Quimby perfection in my mind, but who knows what overly ridiculous expectations I had anyway. In the end I thought it was sweet, and kind, and funny, and it was a nice tribute to those books. I suggest a watch.

3 Speed Racer - This was directed by Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski . I do love that duo, and I love this movie. I don't think it got the credit it deserves, but if you want some style and fun in your PG movie, check this out.

4 How To Make an American Quilt - This was directed by Jocelyn Moorehouse. I have to say it's been a long time since I've seen this, but I remember liking it. Generations of ladies shootin' the shit generally leads to good things, in my opinion. It's also PG-13 and full of that classic Winona angst so set them teens down with some popcorn and get to watchin'. (okay - now that I've seen the trailer, there is definitely some PG-13 steaminess going on in this, so if you aren't too squeamish, it actually looks like this explores some ideas about love that maybe would be good starting points for convo with a teen...but that's me - maybe you'd rather put on some steamy-less stuff and move on with your night)

5 Little Man Tate - This was directed by none other than ol' Jody Foster - who also stars in it. It was made in 1991, so I was about 11, and I believe I saw this on a videotape rented from our nearby Marsh Supermarket, so it's been a good long while. However, for whatever reason, this movie has always stuck with me somehow as a film that was quite moving (to an 11 year old, yes, but none the less). Anyway, hopefully your kids will like it too.


Anomalisa: The SSL Review

I went to see the  movie Anomalisa recently. It's a new claymation movie from Charlie Kaufman, and low n' behold it had one SSL Reviewable scene - a long scene involving a one night stand that lasted from the entrance into the hotel room to the end of the sex with no time lapse in between. It is an integral scene to the movie, and I will be SSL reviewing it for your reading pleasure. SSL Reviews are exclusively about the depiction and discussion of female orgasm and masturbation in a movie; particularly focusing on the realism and what these depictions and discussions add to the cultural conversation about lady-gasms and female sexuality.You can find all the SSL Reviews HERE.

The Intro...It's Complicated 
You see, the female in this scene gets a dick moved inside of her for 30 seconds and vocalizes an orgasm simultaneously with the dude who's up in it. The truth is vaginal stimulation does not orgasms make, and if I don't see any sign of external clitoral stimulation, as is the case in this this scene, then I'm calling bullshit. (Seriously, though, the science is with me on this...I explain more HERE and HERE).

As you might imagine, I have strong and particular feelings about this scene, but discussing it is tricky. On the surface this scene is two strangers interacting in a physically orgasmic experience. However, if one were to think about this any deeper and with thought to realism, what we are actually seeing is a man having a physical orgasm and a woman who, for whatever reason, probably only vocalizes an orgasm. What is seeming to happen on the surface, and what is actually happening are two very different things, and in both real life and in this movie's depiction of real life, that difference goes largely unnoticed in a way that seems crazy if the gender roles were reversed.

We would question an orgasm like this if it were gender reversed
Imagine a scene in which a naked woman grinds her clit against a naked man's upper thigh until she comes, and the naked man vocalizes with her as if he is coming too. His penis isn't really being touched, except maybe it brushes against her body here and there, yet he comes when she comes? At least a few people writing about it would be all like, "what was up with him pretending to come - I don't think his dick was even touching." That he came,  yet it didn't physically seem like he should have would be an aspect of the viewer's  understanding of the story and the characters and their relationship to each other. Like, was he just straight up faking to make her feel good, or was he so full of emotion that he had some kind of emoto-gasm, or does he not know what an orgasm is except that it happens when the woman has her orgasm....or did the filmmakers just not write a very realistic scene? We don't ask these questions of a scene like the one that exists in Anomalisa because although it's as physically silly as the one I just described, it's also so typical of what we see that the silliness becomes invisible. It's a strange situation, but it makes me see the critical praise of this scene (for instance "the most heartfelt sex scene in 2015") as slightly annoying and a little bit of a disturbing confirmation of how twisted our culture's view of sex and female orgasm is.

Surface realism vs. actual realism
The thing is, on one level I see this scene as completely realistic; an accurate account of something that might easily happen, as if there was a camera in the room when a hook-up like this actually went down in real life. On the other hand I see this scene as a completely narrow and surface look at what was really going on and what this type of sexual interaction would actually mean. The actions in this scene are not realistically things that would make her orgasm, and it seems silly to me to assume that her vocalizations were clearly the result of a physical orgasm. Isn't it very possible she faked that orgasm, and if she did, doesn't that change the meaning of this scene? It's not an out of bounds possibility at all. One night stands are notoriously non-orgasmic for women, and women fake orgasms all the time for lots of different reasons. I may be wrong, but within the context of the movie, that possibility didn't seem to be considered, and that indicates to me a larger cultural problem with our understanding of the female orgasm.

On that note, I think it's time to describe the scene to you. There are spoilers - lots of them. It's chock full of spoilers actually, so just be warned. Sorry about that, but I need to include context to write about this, so here you go. Get ready for detailed descriptions of claymation sex.

The Big 'Ol Sex Scene
First off, from my understanding of every article I have read, the creators took great pains to make this scene realistic. They were acutely aware that claymation sex could be ridiculous (like in Team America), and they didn't want that. They wanted the bodies to look realistic and the scene to feel realistic, and they intentionally made it to unwaveringly last from beginning to end with no time skips. It was meant to be intimate in that way.

Some Background
The man is Michael. He is famous, rich, older, educated, British and everyone looks and sounds the same to him. Lisa is young, Midwestern, not well-educated or rich or successful, and she is in his same hotel to see him speak, because she LOVES him and his book. Her voice, he finds, is the only one he hears that doesn't sound like everyone else's (a big part of the movie is that everyone else he sees has the same basic face and the same voice). He is completely infatuated with her for this reason, seeks her out, finds her with a friend, takes them both out for drinks at the hotel bar, and then asks her (in front of the friend) to come back to her room, which she shyly and nervously does.

She reveals that she doesn't ever get this kind of attention, that guys always like her friend over her, and that she has a small scar on her face that she is utterly ashamed of. She also reveals that she hasn't had sex in 8 years and even then it was with her fat, 60 year old boss that just pursued her because he figured she'd do it.

The Kissin'
They end up with him sitting on the edge of the bed and her sitting on the desk chair facing him. Michael keeps telling her how lovely and amazing and unique she is and keeps telling her to talk and sing, which she does. After she sings a rendition of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, he gets emotional about her voice. He goes over to kiss her on the lips and then sits back down. She is surprised, says thank you and asks if he'll kiss her again.

He does. He gets up, takes her drink to set on the desk, pulls her to her feet and kisses her for a moment. Then he takes her hands and steps over to the end of the bed where they kiss sitting side by side for a moment and then they lean back so they are laying and kissing side by side. After about 2 seconds, she sits up abruptly, and says "I haven't been with anyone for 8 years."

She has her arms crossed and she seems quite nervous to me. He replies. "Let's just lie together and you can tell me about your day." She softens a bit and says, "Yes, okay."  She relaxes, and they are laying on their backs next to each other. She quickly becomes her giddy boisterous self again, talking about her day and even singing Girls Just Wanna to Have Fun in Italian.

Here they are just after she lays back. I found this HERE

The Pushy Kissin'
After about 45 seconds he turns towards her up on an elbow, and not 30 seconds later he's all kissin' up on her. She doesn't really react to it at all, and he tells her to keep talking, which she does - without any acknowledgement of his kisses on her face and neck, or his hands on her waist. No moans or body movement towards him. She keeps her hands well inside her personal space and doesn't touch him. She is simply moving forward in her one woman conversation. I would say she is pretty clearly ignoring his advances for a full 100 seconds until he moves and kisses her on the mouth.

Here Michael's startin' to get all up in her space while she ignores him. I found this HERE.

Again, she doesn't really retaliate with her body language, and still really avoids touching, grabbing, and turning towards him as he quickly unbuttons her shirt, and takes off his jacket, and moves his hand down over the crotch area of her skirt. She giggles and moves his hand away. She says it tickles, and he apologizes, saying he won't touch her there, but she says, "no, it's okay," and that he can touch her there. She even moves his hand back there.

She finally, at this point, turns her head to kiss him, but then it gets a little creepy. He asks her if she talks during sex. She says she doesn't know but she could do either - she's very matter of fact and a little worried in the I-hope-I'm-doing-this-right kind of way. He's says he'd like it, or she could maybe do a little moaning. She's all like, "I could do that," and then she lets out a wierd, creepy moan, which he likes. (On a side note: Telling a woman directly that you want her to moan is a great way to clue her in that you want her to vocalize her appreciation of you whether she's really into it or not...maybe she'll assume faking an orgasm while you come would be pleasing too, amiright???). Immediately he's pulling her skirt up and putting his hands up to her crotch. He asks if that feels okay to which she apologetically says, "Yes, sorry. I'm just a little shy," to which he's all like, "it's fine," but continues to get more on top of her. In the process, though, he leans on her hair. She says something like, "Ow my hair," and they both apologize.

The point here is that to me, this whole scene looks like he's getting aroused and wanting to get it on, but she seems absolutely not aroused, and kinda half-heartedly moving along with things hoping to please him, and maybe even throwing out small stalls like saying she's ticklish or shy.

Rounding Third
Lisa then says, "maybe if we can just turn a little bit, like this," which ends him up on top of her. He asks her if that's better, and she says, "much." Then he immediately starts to go down on her.

Lisa: worried "oh...oh..."

Michael: "What, you don't want to do that?"

Lisa: "No, I'm just...I'm kinda shy about that too."

Michael: "Don't be shy. It'll be good. I really want to."

Lisa: "OK. OK, go ahead."

She lays back. He pulls her skirt up, takes the panties off, and starts eating. We can't see any actual lady junk, but we see a POV of his face in between her legs. He looks to be putting his mouth on the vulva part. It looks realistic enough as a way to eat a lady into orgasm.

After 12 seconds he says, "You've been quiet. Is it no good?"

She leans up and says, "No, it's fine, it's good. It's, um, just a little bit more gentle maybe at first, maybe."


"It's okay," she says back nervously.

In an SSL reviewable way, I like what's going on here. I like her advice to him. You really do need to warm that clit up first for sure. Plus I simply like that there is discussion about what she likes. However, there is the slight insinuation in this exchange that if a woman isn't sounding like a porn star, then she's not enjoying it. Maybe she was quiet because it was good and she was concentrating on that sweet, sweet tongue. That's me getting picky, though, so I'll drop that. I appreciate that he asked and took the advice - can't be mad at that.

So, Lisa lays back and closes her eyes.

Michael: "Better?"

Lisa: "Yes" She says yes in a very sexual way. This is maybe the first time it feels to me like Lisa is really getting aroused.

35 seconds later (these times I'm giving are not random things I made up. I time this shit) she starts to vocalize like an orgasm is on the way. She even grabs his hand. but then to my great dismay, she says, "can you come up here please?"

This time, he puts up no fight the way he did when she said she was shy earlier. He doesn't say, 'I want to make you come with my mouth.' No, this time he gets right up and obliges her by taking off his clothes and putting his penis in her.

An Aside To Lisa About Getting That Puss Ate Out
Listen, when a man on a one night stand (or anytime really) goes down on you and verbally tells you he wants to do it. Let him. If it's just a bluff, call it. If he's just cool, cool - he'll enjoy doing it. Let him eat you the hell out until you come hard against his lips. Enjoy that shit. You deserve it, and honestly it doesn't happen often enough to intentionally cut it short just before the orgasm. Chances are not in your favor for being able to climax during the impending intercourse. You might have just lost your orgasm chance. Even if you felt you could come while he was up in it...maybe you can rub the clit against him or something...still why? You can find any man, any time to stick his dick in you, but getting the mouth business is a special thing. Oh Anomalisa, I can only assume you didn't want to bother him too much, didn't want to take too long, maybe felt too nervous and wanted to get to pleasing him. Maybe, like so many of us, you really only know the oral stuff as foreplay, so when you started getting real excited, it seemed like a sign to move to the next step - the main course. I mean this whole thing wouldn't be complete unless he pumped in you, right? Oh well, next one night stand keep that dude down there for as long as you need.

The 'Ol In And Out
Anyway, Michael gets up there. They are both making gentle sexy sounds like they are clearly aroused. They scoot to the top of the bed taking off their clothes and throwing back the covers. After 55 seconds of negotiating all the clothes and bedding, they are both naked, and he gets in between her legs, missionary style and puts the dick in. For 31 seconds they have intercourse. The sex wasn't all hard poundy, but it was definitely in and out stuff, not grindy stuff. Their hands where on eachother's backs not on her clit, and her body was pretty motionless under his. She wasn't bucking up against him or grinding into him. After those oh-so-heavenly 31 seconds, they both begin orgasming simultaneously - lasting about 18 seconds.

The Overview
That's it. An incredibly self-conscious, sexually inexperienced woman who doesn't seem to be particularly aroused gets 45 seconds total of mouth on vulva (with some of that 45 seconds taken up by talking about being more gentle), then, when she's close to orgasming, she pulls him up and they non-sexually arrange and take off clothes for 50 seconds. Then he puts his dick in and out of her for 31 seconds and they both orgasm. I think that's pretty sensible right? Oh and without going into the details about why and all that, Michael was an ass to her the next morning. He went 180 on her.

I'm Just Saying It Was A Little Coercive, Okay.
But let me circle back and talk about another aspect of this scene that struck me. It's not specifically related to orgasm, but I think it is a little, and it's relevant to this conversation. I'm gonna call this sex a little coercive, but in the most normal and acceptable of ways. I'm not calling claymation rape here - not by far - but I'm calling out something...bad sex?...ill mannered sex?...thoughtless sex?

Honestly, nothing Michael did seemed out of the ordinary, but man, if this is normal, we need to change our normal. Hang with me here. I know this is a touchy subject. To begin, I want to be clear that mine is not the only way to view this scene, and judging from the reviews and discussion of the movie and the scene so far, my way is not common. I get that this scene might just seem like a shy girl needing a little coaxing before she's ready - it's a common narrative. I get that this scene could be viewed as a very tender and kind depiction of a suffering man who found a momentary spark in another person. He looked past that shy, insecure woman's outer flaws and pushed her gently past her comfort zone to enjoy life (sex) in a way she didn't think a girl like her was allowed. Even if he did end up being not so great to her in the end, they shared something very human and lovely. So, yeah, I get it, and I think that's closer to how most critics are taking it.

However, it could also be viewed as a strangely accurate and poignant, yet probably unintentional, reflection of how the cultural norms and common sexual scripts leave little room for the female orgasm, deemphasize the importance of non verbal clues, and put men and their sexual needs with the upper hand in sexual negotiations: a scene meant to be ordinary in an effort to humanize it, but in it's ordinariness and unwavering, start-to-finish format ended up highlighting how messed up our ordinary sex script really is.

Sexual Negotiation
In the end, that's what sex is - a negotiation between two people. In a one night stand in particular it is an incredibly delicate negotiation with tons of unknowns. I think in a better world the norm would be that each person is hyper sensitive to the other person's non-verbal clues, to err on the side of respecting boundaries, and to pay attention to power dynamics and how that might affect the negotiation. Unfortunately, I don't think that's the norm in our world, and I don't think it was in Michael and Lisa's world either.  Michael, I would argue, was not taking Lisa's cues...at least the one's he didn't want to take. He did notice she wasn't making vocalizations (and we know how much Michael wants and needs to hear her unique voice) during his cunnilingus, and he did take her 'ask' for him to "come up here" as a sign to immediately get naked and put his dick in her.

Granted, Michael was never forceful, but the huge power imbalance that existed between these two would allow for gentle coaxing to say a whole lot. He failed to care that his situation created a power dynamic that put Lisa in a bad negotiating position, and didn't hesitate to coax certain sexual acts forward despite her clearly not being eager. Lisa was not an enthusiastic 'yes' through most of the sex act. I don't know about you, but if I signal to someone to do something and they keep ignoring me and changing the subject, I'm gonna take that as a soft no. For instance, when Lisa abruptly clammed up, exited their kissing, and told Micheal she hadn't had sex in 8 years, that's a sure clue to slow down and let her lead. He was all like, 'cool we'll just lay here together,' but he couldn't stop moving forward towards what he wanted for very long. He started kissing on her less than a minute later. She completely ignored him with both her voice and her body for over a minute and a half. That's a pretty strong non-verbal 'no' if I've ever seen one. He continued until she stopped ignoring him. Maybe she decided she wanted to go further at that point, but maybe she was taking his clues and realized resistance was futile, thinking it was easiest just to kinda go with it.

Consensual Is A Low Bar To Set
I think a lot of women have made that decision, and it is our decision. It's technically consensual. It's certainly not rape, and Michael probably didn't feel like he was coercing her. Lisa may or may not feel icky about it - it's kinda personal, but the bigger point here is that this sexual situation was kind of coercive, yet that element went largely unnoticed. Whether the filmmakers intended it or not, we audience members were exposed to an unwavering look at this ridiculously common but less than ideal sexual situation and simply didn't think its grossness worthy or remarkable enough to comment on.

I know it seems picky, but seen clearly, this was not an enthusiastically consensual experience, and it put Lisa in a situation where she may have allowed things to happen that she felt conflicted about. Nobody likes feeling out of control like that in a personal negotiation. Nobody likes thinking back and feeling like they got pushed into something because they didn't know how to speak up or even what to say and how to say it if they did.

Orgasming Makes a Difference
Now, humor me for a minute and just think about this situation through the surface understanding - where 1. Lisa orgasmed along with Michael vs. 2. the interpretation I'm putting forward in which those vocalizations were quite possibly faked. Being gently coaxed outside of your comfort zone into an orgasm, as is the case in interpretation 1, is one thing, but being coaxed into a situation where a dude has an orgasm on you and you feel like you need to vocalize an orgasm along with him for whatever reason, as is the case for interpretation 2, is another situation all together. One is not so bad - maybe even a nice surprise, and the other seems a little pointless and slightly regretful when you look back on it. I'd like to reiterate that the latter interpretation of this sex scene makes more sense given the context clues of this movie, and it's insane that this isn't more clear to more people.

This Type Of Shitty Sex Might Be Normal, But Women Are Beginning To Question Why It Happens So Much
Just so you know, I haven't gone insane. I am still aware Michael and Lisa are fictional and this scene is just a scene, but my point here is that this depiction feels real and feels average - which to me just brightly highlights how deeply this type of sexual script is ingrained in all of us as normal. And, as I said above, if this is normal, we need to reevaluate how good this normal sexual script is for ladies and our orgasms.

If you think I'm being a crazy, judgey, psycho about this, then let me just say in my defense that I'm not making this up. Women are really beginning to question this type of script; starting to point out how often normal sex means bad sex for the ladies and linking that not to random experiences we all have where bad communication leads to less than great times, but to larger cultural norms that more often leave ladies with the short end of the stick in the bedroom. (You can find recent articles about this 'bad sex' situation HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE - to start you out).

Now, like I said, discussing my thoughts on this is complicated. This is not an unrealistic scene. One-night stands just like this happen all over the world, so in a very big way, my beef is not with the movie per se. My beef is with the culture that allows a scene like this to unquestionably represent the thing critics and probably the filmmakers believe it to be; a brief but mutual sex act ending in orgasm for two strangers. I cannot say what exactly Kaufman's intentions were with this scene, but that viewers/reviewers didn't seem to pick up on the normalized coercion and the fact that the female character orgasmed without physical actions that would likely cause orgasm seems incredibly weird and problematic to me. What does that say about how people out there in real life understand sex and lady-gasms, and about what sex like that depicted in this movie means in women's lives?

To me, I see this scene, and I see a woman that had bad sex and a man who was kinda ill-mannered in his pursuit to orgasm. She didn't actually come. She wasn't really even that into it, and then the next morning, she got shit on by the dude. To me, this is an all too real scene reflecting the bullshitty sexual situation real women exist within - one where our orgasms are so misunderstood that an unrealistic depiction of it isn't even on the radar - (seriously, intercourse does not a ladygasm make).

Unlike a lot of the reviews I read about this movie, I don't see the scene as touching, or human connecty-ish, or a brief piece of kindness that was lovely for the time it existed even if it was over quickly. Those represent to me surface takes that simply don't incorporate realistic understandings of female orgasm or sexual negotiation.

So, in this light, I can't look at the Anomalisa scene without thinking how blind it is to the modern female voice on sexual experiences and how clearly the reaction to this scene highlights the larger blindness (even from us females ourselves) to the realities of female orgasm.

The SSL Vulva Rating
The orgasm in this scene was had under rather unrealistic circumstances. I've made that point very clear, and certainly that's not good for the vulva rating. The scene also embodies and further normalizes incredibly common sexual scripts that ignore the realities of female orgasm and favor male sexual needs. So, not only does this movie casually imply that actions that are not likely to make a woman orgasm actually do make a woman orgasm, it also implies that the very common but slightly coercive and non-orgasmic kind of sexual experience depicted between Michael and Lisa is actually kinda sweet and mutually orgasmic. It is not progressive, but in a way I appreciate it because I think its glaring thoughtlessness about an authentic female sexual experience makes it stand out as an interesting and informative piece of sexual history.

I wonder if one day we will look back at this scene the way we look back at scenes of John Wayne slapping a lady and then kissing her deeply. You can't blame it for being made at the time, but now it's just so archaic and strange.

This movie gets a 2 vulva rating...cause at least she got ate out a little and the eating out looked realistic for the short time it was on screen.



Meet Gregory Partlow (An AnC Movies Aside)

I'll be posting today from the movie-making portion of this blog. You see, we here at AnC Movies made Science, Sex and the Ladies (SSL), but we also do other things too. Well, to be completely honest, we were pretty much bogged the hell down with SSL for many a year, so we haven't been doing as much as we like, but we're getting back into the whole making-and-promoting-something-other-than-SSL thing. We're working on a longer project now, but we want to stay busy and make some creative work, so we're experimenting with some short projects. Most recently, we've whipped up - The Unboxening. It's a little web series we shot around Christmas. We'll be posting a new episode up every 2 weeks HERE.

It's a strange parody of unboxing videos, and if you were like me about a year ago, and you don't really know what unboxing videos are, ask your kids because kids love the hell out of toy unboxings...but I believe it started with tech stuff - and ya know- is still incredibly popular for tech stuff. Basically it's a video of stuff being taken out of the packaging it was bought or mailed in. PEOPLE. LOVE. THAT. SHIT.

Anyway, if you tend towards weird and dry, you might enjoy meeting Gregory Partlow on his Unboxening adventures. Here's his first 2 episodes.


The Kids Are Alright: The SSL Review

I realized I never SSL Reviewed The Kids Are Alright , and that's a shame because there is a lot of stuff going on with female sexual pleasure, orgasm and female sexuality in general. I really, really like this movie. I think it's superbly put together, and I love its approach to long-term relationships and to sexuality. It's complicated and layered, and this is a short review so it's probably not the best, most comprehensive look. I feel like I could write a 20 page paper about the sex in this movie. However, I tried to focus directly on the orgasm and masturbation parts of this - because that is the entire scope of an SSL Review (See all the SSL Reviews HERE), but some of the other aspects bled into it. I hope I'm not too far all over the place.

I'll get right to the actual SSL review (which is pretty darn favorable) going reviewable scene by reviewable scene  - A reviewable scene being any that depicts or discusses female masturbation or orgasm. Enjoy.

Mom on Mom Sex
This first scene doesn't actually have an orgasm and the masturbation is only assumed, but I'm gonna say it's fully SSL reviewable anyway. It begins with two women (they are lesbian mothers of teen children) in bed, and they decide to watch some porn. This part of the movie is cutting back and forth between these ladies and their daughter doing something secret in a room close by.

So, cut back and now they're watching a gay porn flick. Nic (Annette Bening) is on her back sitting up against pillows with the comforter pulled up to her neck and watching the movie. Jules (Julianne Moore) is completely under the covers, and it's sensible to assume that her upper body is around Nic's lady junk area. Jules moans a little from underneath there, but Nic seems like she's still trying to get in the mood, looking at the porn and kinda adjusting her body. Then you hear a vibrator start up from under the blanket. It kinda seems like Jules' head is moving gently back and forth under the blankets in a eatin' her out sorta way, but it's hard to tell for sure. Then Nic says,
"You know I don't like the guys in this one - They're too shaved."
and Jules calls from under the blanket,
"Don't focus on it." 
Nic still looks like she's trying pretty hard to get in the zone, "okay" 
It cuts to the daughter and then when it cuts back there seems to be some attempts at rearranging their bodies, and we see Nic kinda pulls the covers closer up to her neck against Jules' attempts at uncovering herself and says,
"Hey, I'm cold."
and Jules calls out
"I can't breath honey.."
and Nic begins
Then one of them must have hit the remote because we start hearing straight up loud 70's/80's gay porn pounding, and the women both fumble for the remote. Jules is up out of the covers now and Nic seems a little more embarrassed about the possibility of the whole neighborhood hearing it, and the scene ends with her saying "Shit. That was a vibe kill."

So no orgasm, and we can't be sure about what's happening under the blankets (although, I'd like to assume it was Jule's eating Nic out while she vibed herself - cause I think the ol' oral another / vibe oneself is a pretty solid go-to if you ask me), but it is a scene that acknowledges that porn, vibrators, and some kind of under-the-covers situation is a viable sex situation for a woman, and I like that. I like seeing any depictions of sex that is something other than intercourse, because by god, ramming a thing into a vagina without any outer clit stimulation is just plain not a great way for women to orgasm, yet it's like the only way we ever see people enjoying each other sexually.

Doing It, No 'gasm 1
After this dude in the movie finds out he has a sperm donor kid out there, it cuts to him hardcore banging a woman he works with in the following positions:

1. Standing with her facing him and legs wrapped around his waist.
2. He kinda falls back from that first position into a sitting position on the edge of the couch.
3. She's on her back with him on top of her. He's got her ankle in his hand and raised up high.
4. She's on top of him, bodies perpendicular in cowgirl style and then she falls forward and starts a forward and back movement up and down his body.

There is no orgasm at all, so it's not technically SSL reviewable. However, I guess I just wanted to point out that this was a big ol' sex scene that only involved intercourse. It was totally status quo sex scene even though I feel like it was kinda meant to have a non-mainstream, relaxed, just-for the-fun-of-it, sexy kinda vibe. So, I think it's meaningful to note how often sex in movies is just plain intercourse and how unquestioned that creative choice is. Not that it's a bad option, but that it is just so prevalent compared to every other option.

Doing It, No 'gasm 2
This same dude also gets it on with one of the above lesbian ladies later on, and at first it seemed like all the sex is completely just banging in different positions, but it was a little more progressive maybe on a 2nd look. This whole, story line and scene also takes on an interesting tone because she is a largely monogamous lesbian and this type of sex is quite a novelty to her normal fair. So, it's all just a little complicated.

First off, when she opens his pants (we don't see the contents, but she does), she says rather excitedly,
"Oh! well hello," and then the fucking starts in the following positions (no hand are on the clit area and bodies are not close enough for stimulation in that clit area unless I mention specifically):

1. Both sitting up facing each other. Her bouncing up and down on him.
2. Missionary, with him in between her bent legs. He's really banging, like way hardcore in and out.
3. Doggy style, she's all like, "Oh my god," but not like she's coming, but like it's really good.

That 3rd one, however, is a little cooler because the two get interrupted at this point and the fucking ends, but at that point the camera pulls out a bit and his hand is reached way under her pelvis bend. He's not just grabbing her hip, but like way under it, like he could easily have been rubbing her clit. So actually that was maybe progressive if it was intentional or maybe just some wierd fluke, but I'll take it. Honestly, most people who aren't me probably wouldn't have noticed at all because they aren't obsessed with eagle-eyeing these kind of scenes, but I am and I take what crums of clit stimulation I can get in my media.

Doin' It with a 'gasm
It later cuts to a scene with the same guy and gal doing it again, and she's on top of him. It's just cutting back and forth between a close up looking at her from the shoulders up and then at him from the shoulders up. She's leaned down towards his body moving back and forth against him and concentrating really hard on coming. She's doing things like putting her hand in his face and stuff. He's not disinterested, but he's not really trying to come at this point. Then she comes and rolls off him.

 To me, it could easily be assumed she's rubbing her clit area against his body while they're boning, and that's certainly a realistic way that might make a woman come. I also particularly like the depiction of her working and concentrating on her own orgasm with his general cooperation instead of the more common depiction of him making the movements (usually pounding) that seem to cause her to orgasm (usually simultaneously with him). I mean when it comes to intercourse, there are different movement that help the clit vs. the ones that help the dick, and sure, it might happen simultaneously from time to time, but it's ridiculous how often that is depicted in media.

Mom's Vibrator Scene
This is just a simple little scene where a boy lets his friend rummage around his moms' room looking for pot, and then that friend finds a pink, rabbit-type vibrator in the drawer and turns it on and pushes it towards his friend's face, who then says, "gross." Because honestly, it is gross to have one's mother's vibrator quite close to one's face.

However, I like it because it's a scene that shows mothers of adult children can have vibrators, and that's a beautiful thing. Viva la vibe! Viva la orgasmo! (I don't think any of that is conjugated correctly).

Son Porn Talk
So during the drawer rummaging, the above two boys also found the gay porn his moms were watching in the first scene I discussed, and the friend was all like - "we gotta watch this," but then ol' Jules caught them watching it. In the subsequent mom-mom-son-let's-discuss-what-just-happened scene the kid asks them why they watch man on man porn. Nic goes off on a tangent, but then Jules tries to actually answer it and says the following,
"Well sweetie, you know, human sexuality is complicated, and sometimes desire can be, you know, counter intuitive. For example, because women's sexual desire is internalized, sometimes it's exciting for us to see responsiveness that's externalized - like with a, like with a penis." 
To which the son replies,
"But wouldn't you guys just rather watch girls doing it though?"
and she replies back,
"Well you would think that, but usually in these movies they hire two straight women to pretend, and the in-authenticity is just unbearable"
Then Nic is all like "Whoa, that's enough." But, you know I love that. It's not really SSL reviewable because it isn't talking specifically about ladygasms, but I can't not give props to anything that acknowledges women's interest in porn but also acknowledges how annoying the lack of authentic female fantasy and orgasm  is in most of porn...even lesbian porn. That's some on-point writing and I had to mention it.

So, The Kids Are Alright is not a 5 vulva movie because it does dabble too far in validating the idea that hetero sex can be equated with banging a dick in and out of a vagina until everyone comes. There was just too much basic pounding. It leaves the viewer assuming that stuff was gonna make the women in question come. However, almost every other aspect lends itself to a great SSL Review. The one orgasm was realistic, and the sexual encounter between the women was realistic. There was a hint of possible clit touching during intercourse, so that's also quite good. Plus, vibrators and loving annoyance for porn was normalized, so there's a little bit of progressiveness. All of it was complicated a bit more than I want to get into with the juxtaposition of lesbian vs. hetero sex depictions and new partner vs. old partner depictions, and I actually like the depth of this movie's perspective on sex. I know iIm kinda all over the place, but there was a lot to chew on in this movie. I think it held itself together really well on the SSL front though. I give it 4 out of 5 vulvas!



5 Costume Movies #DirectedByWomen - A Very Loose Categorization

I started doing this categorized List of 5 movies thing where I showcase movies that were directed by women and that I have actually seen. It all started during the Directed By Women Worldwide Viewing Party in September, and it was pretty fun, so I've continued doing it from time to time.

It's a bit off-topic from my normal fare, ya know, not usually about lady-gasms or anything like that, but I think it fits the blog because
1. this blog is also about indie movie-making, and
2. this blog is partially about getting the female perspective of sexuality into our media. So, to me, supporting female voices in our media - means we're creating more room for female voices to speak on all types of things, which sometimes will be sex, orgasms and sexuality. You can find all my 5-movie lists HERE.

So...now I'm going to be honest here - I'm finding it harder to create obvious category types with the ones I have in my list right now. So, this category is a bit of a stretch, but I kinda like it anyway. This is my Costume Movie List - for if you like to see things like serious costuming, or people trying on clothing, or people making clothes.

1 To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar - This was directed by Beeban Kidron. It came out in 1995, and I believe I saw that around that time, so it's been a while, but I do remember my teen self being really touched by it and seeing it as something super forward and cool. Luckily, I happen to see a piece of it recently to remind me a bit about it, and it struck me that there were some really famous, mainstream men in that movie, and it was not speaking on a subject that was mainstream at the time and was probably a bit of a risk for these actors (and now that I have found the trailer for this, I see that it specifically addresses these men being in the movie). Oh, and the costuming is pretty fabulous.

2 Real Women Have Curves - This was directed by Patricia Cardoso, and I saw this on TV back when it was made in 2002ish. I actually distinctly remember that I recorded it on VHS because I can remember seeing that tape later in my life with the title on it. Anyway, I really, really loved this movie. I thought it was sweet, and fun, and poignant...and it revolves a lot around making clothes.

3 Titus - This is directed by Julie Taymor, and I saw this way back in the day from a Blockbuster rental, I believe. I remember it being quite visually striking (especially the costumes, ya'll!!!), which I always think makes it worth my while to watch, but I'm going to make a confession to you here. I don't really like Shakespeare. I don't like watching Shakespeare stuff or putting any real amount of thought into him or his stories (and that includes the super hip Leonardo and Claire Danes Romeo and Juliette one of my teen years). I could really go further into this, but it's for another time, maybe. However, if you are into Shakespeare, I believe this is a rather interesting take on a lesser done of his work.

4 Little Miss Sunshine - This is directed by Jonathon Dayton and Valerie Faris. Well, dag burn it, this is just a well written, well executed, good movie. It deserves the accolades it gets. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it, and I feel there's a pretty darn good chance you'll like it a lot. I definitely saw this at the theater, and was super happy I did. Also, its costume game is on point when it needs to be.

5 What Women Want - This is a Nancy Meyers directed movie. I saw this on video sometime around when it came out, and I can't say it's my favorite, and I can't say it says anything fun ore useful about what women want, but hey, what ya gonna do. I will say, though, that these types of movies are my weakness, and if it's randomly on some Saturday, I'll probably kinda watch it. You might too one day. Also, I do vaguely remember that Mel Gibson had to to try on things like women's panty hose, so that, my friends, puts it right smack dab into a costuming list.


Random Hite Report #16

Hello, welcome again to one of my favorite segments on the SSL blog, Random Hite Report! It's simple really. I flip through the pages of the The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality  (or sometimes The Hite Report on Male Sexuality) by a one Ms. Shere Hite and copy the contents of the page where I land - no more no less. Anyone who reads my blog will know that this 1976 book is a fave of mine; not only because of its shockingly realistic and progressive insight about the female orgasm,  but also because of its very touching insight into the lives of the women who took part in this huge, comprehensive survey. This is an under-appreciated and under-read book if you ask me.

 So, sit back, getcha a beverage, and enjoy a little...Random Hite Report...you never know what yer gonna get!

The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality Dell. 1976.
Pg. 50 From chapter "Who Answered" in the section showing women's answers to the question, "Why did you answer this questionnaire? How did you like it?"

...to find out what's really happening. And what could happen. I hope no new set of assumptions ever assumes the coercive, limited character of the old Judaeo-Christian set of assumptions. I also hoped, through answering these questions, to help jog myself out of old ruts and to get more of an idea of what sort of woman I am, sexually. Good luck to you!"
    "I liked the questionnaire. I've been doing it at work for the past week and have hurried home at five o'clock every day horny horny horny. As I've said, I've started to becoming more creative sexually because of these questions. also, I've become more insistent on climaxing, which is great."
    "I got the questionnaire from my mother-in-law's copy of Sexual Honesty, and I was moved and fascinated by the diversity of replies. Women telling it like it is! I'd never really thought before about how arrogant men are telling us what we feel or should feel. I felt for those women who wonder if there is something wrong because they don't have orgasms, as I had this problem for many years. I'm sure many women read the book and realized they were not abnormal after all!"
    "I thought this was a very good questionnaire. The different questions seem to give an opportunity to think about various aspects of sex from more than one angle. This type of study is very much needed. The book was very supportive, especially in clearing up my own feelings of uncertainty about how long it takes me to have orgasms and that I didn't have orgasms during intercourse. It was helpful to see that there do seem to be a wide differences in the amounts of stimulation and time women take to have orgasms and that many women don't have orgasms during intercourse at all, or only very rarely. The most immediate results of this for me was that I decided to ask my husband to help me have an orgasm when I wanted one during intercourse instead of not asking because I had felt maybe I was somehow asking for too much."
    "I answered because I went through such hell figuring out what was 'wrong' with me, and only after read-..."


Eva Longoria, Her Vibrators, and Her Orgasm Equality Awesomeness

This post is an Orgasm Equality shout-out to Eva Longoria, the actress who caught her stardom playing Gabrielle on Desperate Housewives. She has candidly and apologetically said in interviews that she didn't orgasm until 26 - with the help of a vibrator. She's's also boldy touted the importance of women knowing our own bodies before before ever expecting a man to.

It's not common for any woman to speak out so genuinely about her own personal experience with orgasming, especially when she is admitting that orgasming was elusive to her for a good chunk of her adult life. Now, make that person a beautiful, famous actress known for her role as a rather sexy lady, and I'd say that takes some low hangin' lips. Her frankness on the subject helps illuminate  the distinction between a woman's sexuality and her sexiness, which is too often lost in a culture that repeatedly assumes sexy is sexual.

The very real truth that women are simply not orgasming as much as men, that this affects our lives, and that we all have struggles to differing degrees with this orgasm gap is just not talked about, so that Ms. Longoria did it is important, brave, and frankly just pretty awesome and bad ass. She speaks the truth not only to reporters, but to her friends, and that's about as much of an Orgasm Equality Soldier as I could expect any person to be.

I think she's probably just a genuine person keeping things real, and likely not saying these things with any sort of specific revolutionary aim, but that's kind of the beauty isn't it? It makes me feel like we're coming to  point 1. where we have powerful women who feel more free to speak candidly, 2. where their voices can be heard, 3. where the current culture and their backgrounds have led them to question their experiences of (less) orgasms (than they want and deserve), and 4. where they're investigating solutions and sharing them with other women. That's kind of the goal. We just need even more women hearing and sharing.

Anyway, I loves me some Eva Longoria and her frank, thoughtful words to women about their orgasms. Here are a couple quotes:

In this article at The Daily Mail, Longoria tells Rebecca Hardy:
"I spoke about vibrators and Brazilians in an article about women finding their sexuality. I didn't have my first orgasm until I was 26. That was with a vibrator. And yes, I said that every woman should try a Brazilian wax once. The sex they have afterwards will make them keep coming back. Taken out of context it looks as if I'm running around talking about vibrators. But I hate censoring myself and dancing around things."

Here's a piece of the Q&A from this cosmopolitan interview with Jennifer Graham"
C: You've been quoted as saying that you didn't have your first orgasm until you used a vibrator. Do you think it's important for women to experiment with their own bodies?  
E :Yes, because you get better at sex when you know your own body. How are you going to expect a man to know your body when you don't know what pleases you? It's really important to have a healthy sexuality and to be open about it. It's not a taboo. It's normal. By the way, after my vibrator quote was published, I literally got boxes and boxes of vibrators and pocket rockets [free from sex-toy companies]. So I was constantly giving them away. Even before that, I would give them as gifts to girlfriends for their birthdays, and they'd be so excited.