Memes About Lady-Gasms...

I've been busy with my actual paying job, so I'm just posting a bunch of lady-gasm memes. Why? I mean, why not? I have like a hundred post I wanna write right now, but no time, my friends. Here are your memes in 3 catagories.

1  Memes about people not believing in the female orgasm. I'd like to point out that there is no genre of joke out there about people not believing in the male orgasm. Why? Because we as a cultural have a realistic understanding of how to make men orgasm and a strong sense that men deserve and want them. None of those things are true for women, so saying that female orgasm doesn't exist can actually be kinda funny because there is some feeling of truth to that idea. People our grandparents age could have heard a legit medical professional argue such an idea. I mean, we're not even 3 generations off from a time when women's bodies were so misunderstood that we thought a woman's uterus would fall out if she ran too much. We joke because we don't really know what to think of lady-gasms and we're still confused in very real ways.  But all the confusion is manufactured. It's not because women physically can't orgasm as quickly easily, or reliably as men - we can. Female bodies don't have some lesser or more complicated capacity for orgasm - that's some made up shit that stems from women's lesser ability to orgasm during 1 particular sex act - the one used for reproduction that also happens to be highly orgasmic for men.

2 Memes about Female Orgasms being complicated. So this is just sorta another aspect of the above issue where perceptions about women's biological ability to orgasm is somehow deeply and invisibly linked to a woman's ability to orgasm from intercourse. Ladies' vaginal canals aren't their orgasm makers, so rubbing a penis in them is terrible for making orgasms, but women have a clitoral glans on the outside of their lady junk that is their orgasm maker, and it works as good as a penis. Yet, somehow that gets lost in our education, sex advice, media, and well, even  our jokes....and it seems like women's orgasms are complicated not because they are actually complicated, but because for some godawful reason we try to make women orgasm in ways that doesn't actually make women orgasm and then blame it on the intrinsic female ability to orgasm instead of the technique.

3 A meme about the clit causing orgasm. I just found this one on my initial google search, but it's wierd, and I think that's Marnie from Girls for some reason, but it's also on point, so I thought I'd post it. Anyway. Clits. Cliteracy. rub a clit get a lady-gasm. Clit. Clit. Clitoris. Clit. I'm done. We just don't see the word as much as we see 'vagina', and I like my clit way better than my vagina, so I'm just giving it some well-deserved props.


1977 Hustler Review Series #2: X Rated Reviews

Why I'm SSL Reviewing a 1977 Hustler
So there is a fab lady named Jill Hamilton. She made it into the Orgasm Equality Allies List a good while ago for her various writings. She's awesome and she's goddamn funny. She writes the blog In Bed With Married Women, which you will not regret reading.

Now here's where Hustler comes in. She had a give away on her blog, and we readers had to comment and tell her what we wanted so she could pick randomly and ship shit out to us. I saw she had a vintage Hustler, and so I asked - nay begged - for it. I promised to both SSL Review it cover to cover and to also masturbate to it. She chose me, but not randomly. It was because she wanted me to do all those things, and do them I will!

You can see my first SSL Review of the Advice column HERE. This post is an SSL review of the porn movie reviews (they range from ERECTION to TOTALLY LIMP). Just as a reminder, an SSL Review is a critique specifically of discussion and/or depiction of female orgasm and/or female masturbation in media (usually I do this for movies or TV not magazines, though). I will particularly pay attention to the realism and scientific accuracy of the depiction/discussion and how it fits within the larger cultural conversation about female orgasm and female sexuality.

Is a 1977 Hustler Kinda Gross? 
Good question. Yes. There are plenty of normal ol' nakedness and regular ol' sexual stuff in there that's perfectly tasteful to the average porn-goer. However, there are also a shit-ton of strange non-joke jokes and cartoons and pretend advertisements that are straight up racist, about child molestation, crazy rapey and/or harshly sexist. If you ever wondered why some 70's feminists got real into talking about how shitty porn was to women, just read a 1970's Hustler cover to cover, and it'll make more sense. Plus, it's so goddamn gossipy. There's tons of stuff about what assholes other porn publishers and stuff are. It's pretty petty-ass shit.

Hustler Sept. 1977 X Rated Reviews
This was interesting to me because it is clear that at this time, there was still this very real idea that porn movies could and should rise above a jerk-off aid. There are somewhat serious plots in all these porn flix, and they are reviewed as though they should be a good movie as well as explicit and arousing. We just don't talk about porn this way anymore. It was a different time with hopes and dreams for porn that have been largely thrown to the wayside. However, these reviews are so wierd and funny in ways that don't fit into SSL reviews, I want to first give you a quick highlight reel for each of the movies that were reviewed, and then SSL review - because the actual SSL Reviewable moments are slim, but the craziness in general is weighty.

Hustler Sept. 1977 X Rated Reviews

The Movies:

REFLECTIONS: This is about brother sister incest, but the review believes it a lame, surface look at the issue. "Instead of a serious and far-reaching inquiry into incest, Reflections is an inane, simplistic exploitation of a complex problem." These are things that happen in the movie: Sister continually tries to arouse her brother by fucking his friends; Brother and sister mutually masturbate; female cousin tries to get even with brother/sister for sexually rejecting her in childhood through emotional/sexual manipulation. Brother tries to drug and rape cousin, but sister catches him in the act, kicks him out and does her cousin while pretending it's her brother. The review thinks sister comes off as a "cockteaser" and brother comes of as a "pansy." (given half erect rating "slightly worthwile. Probably get it up on your own.")

COUNT THE WAYS: Billed as the "the most erotic love story ever filmed," this Hustler review whole-heartedly disagrees, calling it nothing more than "nonstop sex between all those West Coast regulars we've been seeing to much of lately." Basically hippie professor keeps his job by screwing the dean's domineering daughter, but then falls in love with one of his pupils. Romance and jealousy ensue, and prof "displays his 'deep emotions' by deciding he respects his pupil too much to ball her at the first opportunity." However, apparently things like terrible dubbing and sex scenes unrelated to the plot make this a Hustler non-favorite. (It gets a three-quarters erect "Worthwhile. Almost gets it up. However, it can still be beat.")

PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION: So a woman marries a much older man, but then starts an S&M relationship with her punk, domineering stepson. He also has a lady bisexual lover that gets in the mix. Hustler loves the sex scenes, but is a little bored with the S&M stuff after "last year's flood of flagellation films." It also thinks the plot stinks. Now let me just give you this quote to roll around in your brain. "In order to break the monotony of having the stepson and stepmother ball repeatedly, some rather pretentious bondage and ass-fucking is thrown in. Even though the butt-plugging is some of the most graphic I've ever scene, the rupturing of a hemorrhoid in one sequence is sure to be a turn-off." Indeed.  (It gets a three-quarters erect "Worthwhile. Almost gets it up. However, it can still be beat.")

HARD SOAP, HARD SOAP: This one is a porn comedy which Hustler says usually aren't as good as they should be, but this one "proves comedy and sexuality can be combined to produce a genuinely funny movie." It's a parody of a TV show I've never heard of - Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, which was itself a parody of soap operas. So, this comedy-porn is about a middle class housewife who "compulsively takes on the problems of the world -- all of which happen to be sexual." She helps people like the milkman who says he can't satisfy his wife, a peeping-tom paper boy, and her sister. Her psychiatrist husband is the one and only John Holmes, and her friend is the one and only Candida Royalle. Again, there's a great quote in this review I must give you. "The only aspect of Soap lacking punch is the photography. In an anal rape sequence, for instance, the cameraman failed to photograph the actual penetration - either a shadow or a set of balls seemed to get in the way of the camera." Hustler thinks this movie has something for everyone and would appeal to both sexes. (It gets Erection! "If this doesn't get it up, you are probably dead because it is almost a constant turn-on")

BEL AMI: This one is about a "sexual misfit, who after not getting laid for years, lands a job at Playhouse magazine, where he finds himself surrounded by an abundance of pussy." The misfit is Harry Reems, one of the actors from Deep Throat, and this movie apparently was shot in Sweden just before he went on trial for his role in Deep Throat. The only plot point we get is that ladies quickly find that Reems is a great lay. Hustler thought this was a great flick because 1. Reem's voice was dubbed which freed him to focus on stage presence, and 2. the Swedish ladies were mega-hot. (It gets Erection! "If this doesn't get it up, you are probably dead because it is almost a constant turn-on")

The Actual SSL Review
The only part that speaks about female orgasm really only does so in a round about way, but it's worth quickly discussing. In Hard Soap, Hard Soap Hustler writes:
...when her milkman confesses that he can't satisfy his wife, Dominique suspects it has something to do with the size of his organ. She has a look, cops a feel and gets in a good fuck, during which she repeatedly asks in a Mary Hartman monotone, 'Do you think you'll be finished soon? I'm expecting someone.' Afterward, she advises the milkman to talk dirty to his wife when he balls her. 
Her final advice to talk dirty, isn't bad. I mean who doesn't enjoy a little nastiness, amiright? However that her first worry was about the size of his dick both reflects and reiterates some deeply held beliefs: 1. a wife should orgasm when her husband 'balls' her (i.e. puts his penis in and out of her vagina), and 2. that a small dick probably won't get the job done, but a big one probably should.

These were things believed strongly when this was made in 1977 and still today. It's joked about, depicted in media, and is the background understanding in all kinds of sex advice and sex writing both then and now. But, contrary to popular belief, it's mostly bullshit. There is no physical scientific evidence that shows stimulation inside the vagina causes female orgasm. As it is now, we already know that the majority (upwards of 70%) have never orgasmsed that way, and I suspect it's actually much more than that because some women may not admit to their lack of 'vaginal orgasm' even in surveys. Women do, however, orgasm from stimulation of the external clitoral glans/vulva area, so chances are it wasn't that the milkman had a small dick, it was probably that he was 'balling' her instead of stimulating her clit.

However, I will give the ol' ladies-need-a-big-dick thing a little credit, but only in the following way. Maybe if the dick is a certain length, it can withstand certain movements from the lady as she grinds her clit against his body without falling out during intercourse. Maybe with a smaller-dicked guy, she couldn't move her clit up against his body the way she likes without feeling like it's gonna plop out and ruin the rhythm. So, it might have an effect, but it's also possible that another women might have a movement preference that works better with a smaller or more average sized dick. So when it comes to intercourse, it's really not about a bigger dick being able to put more pressure on the vaginal walls or hit up farther in the vagina (just as stimulation in the vagina has never been shown to cause orgasms, neither has extra super duper stimulation in the vagina caused by big ol' donkey dicks). It's about whether the clitoral glans area is stimulated or not.

Vulva Rating
So, this altogether was a wierd and fun read, but it just reinforces old, incorrect assumptions about what makes the ladies come. It is not helpful or progressive and takes away as opposed to adds to success of orgasm equality. This gets 0 vulvas. I would have given it a 1 vulva rating because there was cunnilingus (wierd and masked as it was) pictured on the first page and there was mutual masturbation mentioned (even if it was between a brother and sister), but I didn't because I was not a big fan of the busted hemorrhoid or the anal rape...and I can take vulvas away if I feel like it.



Archer S6 Ep. 9-10: The SSL Review

Guess what? I watched some Archer episodes last night, and there was some lady-bations/lady-gasm type stuff in there, so I thought I'd do a quick and dirty SSL Review. If you haven't seen Archer, and you like to watch some crude, crass shit, I suggest you check it out. I think the first seasons were funny as hell, and Archer is a cartoon, but he's hot. I wrote about the sexy vs. sexual gender balance on the show HERE. I think it lost a little in the later seasons, but maybe that's just me. I still watch it though.

As my 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?) and to what the depiction/discussion 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, and I really try to keep and SSL review to the SSL reviewable scenes, but if I feel like it, I can talk about anything I want to - because it's my blog.

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:

Archer S6 E9 "Pocket Listing"

The Slide Show
So, Pam and Lana are getting into position for a mission headed by Slater (played by Christian Slater), an asshole CIA dude, and Lana is complaining to Pam about Slater's ridiculous missions and the stupid french maid costumes they were made to wear.

Pam walks over to her with her phone and says,  "I think these costumes are awesome. Here let me get some pics of ya," to which Lana quickly and dryly replies, "to masturbate to?" Pam plays it off with a little, ".hhhuhhhuu pfft..please!" and then looks right at Lana and sincerely says, "Please."

So, for some background, Lana is like a bad-ass hot secret spy and Pam is the HR person for the secret spy agency, and she is a shockingly hardcore bad ass that is crude as hell and always DTF. She talks of masturbating a lot, but pretty much everyone on the show has been known to masturbate including Archer's mom, the stone-cold bitch, ex-spy and secret spy agency director.

So, this scene, as part of a bigger picture of the show, I think really normalizes the idea that women masturbate. The jokes pertaining to female masturbation are an equal match to the talk of male masturbation in the show, and masturbation seems like something that everyone does and that they are not particularly ashamed of.

I like this because anything that makes it feel less strange for women to masturbate is a plus for the future of women's orgasm...'cause, by god, orgasm equality in partnered sex acts ain't gonna happen without more ladies masturbating at earlier ages and then taking the knowledge of their orgasm into partner sex starting right from the first times they engage in partner sex...and that's more likely to happen if people get over feeling like women masturbating is wierd or unusual.

Plus, I'd just like to say I'm just a big fan of Pam's unabashed sexuality - and I like that in the show she often finds partners who are as well.

Lana and Archer
At the end of this episode, Lana and Archer are fucking in a bathroom. It's the first time they've fucked in quite a long time. She's standing facing the sink with her hands on it, and Archer is standing behind banging her. Nothing, including anyone's hands are near her clit at all. So, since simple ol' stimulation of the vaginal walls doesn't actually seem to be something that can cause orgasm in women (seriously, it really doesn't), this doesn't seem to be a sex situation that would actually make a woman orgasm. And to be fair, it cuts before Lana orgasms, but it really plays as though it's super good and I feel like there would be a strong assumption from the viewer that whatever is happening in this scene is going to make her come... which is why I'm SSL Reviewing it even though it's not technically an SSL Reviewable moment.

Here's the interaction
Archer: uhhh, oh myy goddd. uh, Lana, it's like, it's like..
Lana:  uhhh
Archer: the danger makes it that much hotter. uhh
Lana:  yeah
Archer: uh
Lana: yeah, that. Plus your dick! uhh!
Archer: right?
Lana: uh
Archer: uhhh
So, clearly there is a strong sense here that she thinks his dick is making it soooooo good, which I think can easily translate to sooooo orgasmic. Now, I won't argue against the fact that sometimes a dick can feel real nice moving up in the vag, but I will (and do constantly on this blog...it's like kinda what a huge part of what this blog's all about) argue that orgasm from merely stimulation to the vagina from a penis has never ever in all the years people have been studying this stuff been observed or recorded causing orgasm in scientific literature. If this penis inside vagina = orgasm thing is a thing that happens, science hasn't physically documented it yet, and it's probably a lot less common than we think.

So, this scene with Lana and Archer is another of the many, many, many scenes in movies and TV that insinuate women orgasm from a penis moving in their vagina. It helps build the fake cultural argument that this is not only a known thing, but that it's common. In fact the actual thing that is known to make women, stimulation to the external clitoris/vulva area, is almost never shown in male-female sex scenes or when a woman is orgasming during intercourse. So, although this scene is not an unusual scene, it is unrealistic and adds to the already badly skewed cultural understanding of how exactly women physically orgasm.

Archer S6 E10 "Reignition Sequence"

More Penis Stuff
So the scene in this episode is similar to the one above in that it's not specifically a discussion or depiction of orgasm, but it insinuates, by the level of "good" the sex was, that Lana has orgasmed - and again, it blames the "goodness" on the dick. So just take all the stuff I said above and apply it to this scene too.We don't see them doing it. The scene starts just after they finished.
Lana: That was insane. It's insane like every time now. What is going on with you?
Archer:  Going on with me how? What do you mean?
Lana: I mean, and, uh,  don't take this the wrong way, but did your dick get bigger?
Archer:  I don't think so, is that a thing?
Lana: I think I would have heard of it.

Anyway, they go on to talk about other things, including maybe an old French book or something I never heard of...I think,  But point is, it's just another piece of media adding to the strong and deeply ingrained feeling that penises cause lady-gams and the bigger the better. It's a bunch of BS. Why, oh why could she not have asked him something else - like "don't take this the wrong way, but when did you start noticing the clit." (that would have been appropriate too because Archer is the most selfish of people in almost every way).

So, I do love the way this show so casually speaks of masturbation and how fully engaged the women are in the talking about and doing of the masturbation. I think that's a positive and fundemental force for Orgasm Equality.

However, the strong reiteration of the status quo idea that penises cause lady-gasms is a net negative for Orgasm Equality. We'll never be able to make a dent in the orgasm gap if media continues to drive home the incorrect assumption that intercourse is as orgasmically stimulating to the vagina as it is to the penis.

I give these Archers a 2 vuvla rating - and they only get those because I liked the lady-bation stuff.



An Aside About Guns

I'm taking a break from lady-gasms for a minute because I am pissed and sad and tired about all the gun violence, and I want to write about it for just a hot second. In the week after the Pulse nightclub shooting where one man murdered 49 people and injured at least that many more, I've been feeling pretty emotional about it. There's a lot of elements to this really fucked up thing that happened, but I'm going to skip past all the other sad and complicated aspects of this situation and focus on how America's gun laws show how very little importance our government places on keeping people safe from guns.

You see I'm no expert on guns, but I'm pretty certain we can do better. We can't stop every crazy who wants to hurt people with guns, but we as a society can choose to put time and energy (and make it legal to) investigate how we can lower death and injury from guns, and we can commit to making short-term and long-term changes that will help us get there. We've done this kind of thing before. Our society has worked hard to limit traffic accidents and reduce the carnage from any one traffic accident. Seat belt laws were forced upon car makers. Airbags and safety glass are mandatory. Car bodies are designed safer. We have speed limits and government funded research and campaigns related to dangers of drunk driving, and distracted driving - we've reduced the % of people killed, and our families are safer. Back when America got serious about reducing loss of life from cars, we didn't blame the car (so - no I'm not blaming guns here - for those who might make an analogy about not blaming the car when a drunk driver hits people anymore than we should blame the gun when someone shoots people), but we acknowledged that the car could either increase or reduce the accidental and intentional bad things humans do with cars. I think we could look at guns the same way. We can absolutely have sensible gun laws and still allow people to have guns for sport, hunting, and personal protection. The majority of Americans support sensible gun laws, and I think it's about damn time we get serious about forcing our government to FINALLY do something about this.

So, I know all you readers out there are not U.S. citizens, but for those who are here's some things you can do.

  • Contact both your U.S. senators and your US congressperson. You can put you address in and find all their websites HERE. Write it as quick or long-form as you want, but let them know that we need sensible gun laws.
  • Watch this Video of Obama talking about Sensible gun laws (then go up and do step 1)

  • Find your state legislators and write them. Go HERE to find them and get their email.
  • Talk to friends and family about it (calmly, of course). It's such a divisive issue that we often just avoid it, but let's stop doing it...but again, be super nice and thoughtful.
  • Go to Everytown For Gun Safety. They are working hard for sensible gun laws and improved safety. Donate. Volunteer, Learn. Whatever floats your boat.
  • And One final time...Contact both your U.S. senators and your US congressperson. You can put you address in and find all their websites HERE. Write it as quick or long-form as you want, but let them know that we need sensible gun laws.
  • Oh, and VOTE.


Broad City S1 Ep. 1-4: The SSL Review

Being the 1. Broad City is full of SSL Reviewable moments, 2. I didn't take good notes on my first viewings of Seasons one and two, and 3. I truly enjoy watching that show, I decide to re-watch Broad City and take good notes for SSL Reviewing this time. I will continue adding these reviews to the big ol' list of TV SSL Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSl Reviews HERE).

As my die-hard readers 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?) and to what the depiction/discussion 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, and I really try to keep and SSL review to the SSL reviewable scenes, but if I feel like it, I can talk about anything I want to - because it's my blog.

So here we go:

S1 Ep 1 "What a Wonderful World"

Planned Masturbation Scene

She episode begins with Abbi looking at a vibrating dildo (a purple one where the tip of the penis makes a twirly motion and there's little vibrating like bunny ears that would be positioned to stimulating the clit while the dildo's up in the vag) with a sticky note that says: "Tuesday 7am"

Ilana Skypes her a (I can't be sure that's the actual program they're using, but you get the point), and she puts it down to answer. Ilana's telling her about a badass plan for the night and Abbi's all like, 'sorry, I got cashew stir-fry to eat,' and Ilana's all like, 'bitch please, you need to have some fun.'
Ilana: You're so stuck in your little routine. I bet you schedule when you jack off.
Abbi: Schedule when I ja...phhssh.....

So later after their adventure we see Abbi put a sticky note with "Wednesday OR Thursday" on that ol' vibrating dildo.

So this is not a complicated one here. I'm gonna make this fast.

1. It is insinuated that a female main character masturbates
2. This woman's friend knows she masturbates, and they speak about it in a way that insinuates nothing wrong or wierd about that she masturbates (only about how scheduled her masturbation habits are)

Because of 1 and 2, the idea that women masturbate and that they can speak freely and unashamed about their masturbation is normalized for the viewer. This kind of relationship with male main characters to masturbation is pretty common in comedy TV and movies, but not for females, so this scene is progressive and important for orgasm equality, because normalizing lady-bation is crucial

  • to get more women masturbating and at a younger age
  • for there to be a larger cultural understanding that women crave orgasm in a similar way to men

I will say that there is no depiction of exactly how Abbi used that device to masturbate, so this scene could be a little mushier lesson for some. I say this because what she is holding is a dildo, something you put inside the vagina, and since there is a strong sense in our world that women orgasm from things (especially penises) stimulting the vagina, it might reinforce that idea for those that don't know any better (which is probably most people) because they assume she's just gonna ram it in and out to masturbate.

However, it's not a bad depiction. It is a realistic and sensible masturbation device. It is a vibrating dildo, so you could just hold it against the vulva/clitoral gland area to masturbate. Also, there are these vibrating ears on it that would stimulate the clit while the dildo is inside, if one wanted to go that route. Hell, you could just stuff it in a hole and masturbate the clit/vulva area with the hand if you really wanted to. So, what I'm saying here is it can be used in a variety of very realistic ways - because seriously, there really should be insinuation of clitoral glans/vulva stimulation if this is to be deemed realistic. As far as scientific literature is concerned an orgasm caused only by stimulation inside the vagina has never been observed or recorded AND almost all women who masturbate, do so by stimulating the clitoral glans/vulva area (Hite Report 1976 was a good survey on that) - you can find more about all that HERE.

Anyway, altogether a solid discussion of masturbation: Progressive with insinuations of realistic masturbation possibilities. I give this 4 1/2 Vulvas:

S1 Ep 4 "The Lockout"

Bonus Technically Not SSL-Reviewable Scene
So, there was no discussion or depiction of female masturbation or orgasm, but they spoke about receiving oral sex in a refreshing, progressive way. They were sitting on a porch waiting for a locksmith. Here's the scene:
Ilana:  OK, who would you rather have go down on you? Michael Buble or Janet Jackson....
Abbi: Oooo. okay, um what buble are we talking here?
Ilana: I don't know - the optimum Michael Buble
Abbi: 'cause his weight..fluctuates...
Ilana: yeah
Abbi: so does hers.
Ilana: yeah
Abbi: so does mine
Ilana: yeah
Abbi: but then again, Micheal Buble is like such a crooner I think he could do stuff with his mouth that like most people couldn't.
They get interrupted there, but the point I'd like to make is that these women express casual interest and joy in thinking about famous people giving them oral pleasure. Again this is a freedom males are allowed in movie and TV all the time, but not so much for women. It was refreshing and exciting to see that kind of sexual agency expressed in a female to female conversation, and although not technically SSL REviewable, I thought it worth a mention.


5 Movies About Someone Real #DirectedByWomen

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 5 MOVIES ABOUT REAL PEOPLE LIST! That's right, these movies are about real people, so get a snack, a beverage, your lap-top to fact check aspects of these people's lives as you watch, and enjoy the show.

1 I Shot Andy Warhol - This was directed by Mary Harron. I saw this probably a couple years after it came out...probably on a VHS I rented from the Blockbuster on East Washington Street. To be real honest, I don't remember it that well, but I remember thinking it was cool and interesting. You just might think that too.

2 Monster - This was directed by Patti Jenkins. I saw this at the movies when it came out, but the thing is, I had just seen the documentary of the main character's life, and I really really liked it (I often have a hard time with a fiction version after I've seen a doc on the same thing). so, I was probably less enthused about this than someone who never saw the documentary, but it's a good movie, and Charlize Theron did win an Oscar for it!

3 Wig'd Out - This was directed by a local gal by the name of Kate Chaplin. I saw this at the Indy premiere at a packed Brewhouse Theater. Good music, fun teen antics, and a spunky young lady with alopicia? Oh yeah, it had it all. It was a fun time and the beer was good too!

4 Private Parts - This was directed by Betty Thomas. I think I saw this on video too. I hadn't had much thought either way about Howard Stern before the movie. I knew about him, of course, but he wasn't on the radio or anything in my area. I remember enjoying this movie, but don't know if I can remember much about his life anymore....I guess it was close to 20 years ago, huh??

5 American Splendor - This was directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini. I thought this was a really good movie. I hadn't really known anything about Harvey Pekar going into it. It's been over a decade and a lot of the details are gone, but I remember thinking the style and the way the story was woven together was pretty awesome. It should definitely be on your watch list.


How The Stanford Letter Reminds Us Ignorance Of Female Orgasm Easily Becomes Lack Of Sexual Empathy For Women

A beautiful letter about the harm of sexual assault and rape culture
I noticed a few postings about a Buzzfeed article that piqued my interest, and so I read it. It featured a letter written by a woman who was sexually assaulted while unconscious on the Stanford campus. She read it in the court room, largely directly to the man who assaulted her, after he had been convicted of the crime and then sentenced to only 6 months with probation. This happened very recently, and her letter was moving and thoughtful, and I highly suggest you go read it. It's not short, but it's worth it.

The man was a Stanford freshman with a promising swimming future, and that element of his life seemed to play heavily in the surprisingly gentle sentencing. She was a grad student and accompanying her younger sister to a frat party that night. She ended up black-out drunk, unresponsive behind a dumpster with this dude on top of her. Luckily this situation was interrupted when two Swedish students on bikes saw what was happening, chased the dude down after he ran, and called the police. He was also drunk that night, clearly not as drunk as her, but even though he was caught in the act, he never really admitted to doing anything worse than getting too drunk and to the "promiscuity" that naturally happens when you're drunk.

That seems to be what really saddened the writer of this letter. This dude never really acknowledged what he did, and that part, plus the leniency of his sentence, seems to make it clear how not so seriously our culture takes sexual assault. She speaks eloquently about how fucked up the whole situation was from his actions that night, right through the trial and sentencing (although she had only lovely things to say about the police and hospital staff that were with her in the direct aftermath).

How female orgasm is involved
I won't do her words justice, so again, read it. There is a lot to chew on in what she wrote. There is all kinds of important discussion to be had around topics like 'rape culture,' the experience of victimization, our legal system and so much more. I'm sure many people out there are tackling those things beautifully. Me, I like to keep my writing here focused on the female orgasm - how it is culturally (mis)understood, and how its misunderstanding affects us, and strangely enough female orgasm does creep into this, in, I think, a poignant way. So, this is just one small consideration within a very complicated and serious situation, but I think it's worth mulling over a bit.

So, as I was reading the letter, this part caught my attention:
On top of all this, he claimed that I orgasmed after one minute of digital penetration. The nurse said there had been abrasions, lacerations, and dirt in my genitalia. Was that before or after I came? 
Why cultural ignorance about lady-gasms matters here
Here's the thing. That she would orgasm in this situation is ridiculous, and not just because she was being touched against her will and being hurt in the process. There is a level of common sense and basic physiologic knowledge of female arousal and orgasm that is missing here, and I think that ignorance causes more harm that we realize.

Now I fully understand that arousal is complicated and that not everything is exactly as it's supposed to be or how we understand it in the scientific literature, so I guess in a larger view anything could happen I guess. However, the orgasm claim from the defendant and his lawyer was very likely a bunch of BS used to put out a sense that there was consent and that she was actually enjoying herself (because since she had no memory of it, they were able to define the narrative). I honestly don't think the defendant and his lawyer would have even thought to create a story like this if the person were a male, because, frankly, it just wouldn't be as buyable. It would seem too desperate and outrageous. I mean it looks that way as is, but sadly not desperate or outrageous enough for the lawyer to think...'hmmm, we shouldn't say that.' I think there is a special problem with cultural ignorance about physical realities of female orgasm that we don't have for male orgasm. I'll show you what I mean with a little exercise.

What if it were a male in the situation instead?
Imagine if the victim in the case were a male - let's call him Ray. Imagine Ray was very, very drunk at the time of the incident. Now imagine the defendant saying that after fingering Ray's anus for a literal minute, Ray orgasmed. I think most people would
1. cringe at having someone finger their unconscious butthole and
2. call bullshit -just from instinct and common knowledge - on Ray orgasming.

I really don't think we have that same instinct about female orgasm, which is unfortunate because what really is the difference between these two scenarios on a physiological kind of level? Let us count the similarities.

Male vs. Female incident - the similarities
  • Stimulation inside the vagina has never been shown in scientific literature to elicit orgasm (Seriously. I don't want to go deep into this now, but check HERE and HERE for more explanation) and neither has stimulation inside the male anus (*I'm actually much less sure of the anus one because I don't study that much, but I feel pretty certain....although less certain than the vagina statement). 
  • Stimulation inside the male anus and also inside the vagina could both stimulate the prostate/g-spot and illicit ejaculation, but that seems to be a minority experience for both men and women, and it's never been shown to cause orgasm
  • There is anecdotal evidence for both vaginally stimulated orgasms and male anally stimulated orgasm, but again neither have been physically verified in scientific literature even after over 50 years of research into it..and even the anecdotal evidence would put both these as a minority experience (I have no data on the anal, but women claim vaginally stimulated orgasms on surveys at around 20-30%, although I would argue it's much less
  • There are tons of people who find fingers in their vaginas or butts very pleasurable...In fact male butt play is way on the rise!
  • This one is my favorite and should be the most obvious. Neither situation involved stimulation of the organ of sexual pleasure - the penis and/or clitoral glans. Seriously, the clit should be as synonymous with orgasm as the penis is.  
  • In both situations the person being fingered was really drunk, and frankly the more drunk a person is (and this is absolutely as true for females as it is for males), the less blood flow they get to their genitals (which causes erection in men and lubrication of the vagina in women - and yes males and females will each have a similar amount of extra blood flow down there during sexual arousal - men's is just easier to notice), the less their body will be able to physically arouse (even if they are mentally aroused), which means they will be less likely to orgasm because orgasm in all people is the release of physical sexual arousal through a series of rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions. If there is no physical arousal, then there can be no orgasm because there is no physical arousal to release...So in both situations, the level of drunkness in itself makes an orgasm unlikely.
  • In both situations, the hole that is being fingered is probably not very lubricated, so it should bring to mind, well, pain, not pleasure. I mean, the anus doesn't really make it's own lube so there's that, and the vagina sure as hell doesn't make much, if any, lube when you're black-out drunk (even if the woman was mentally aroused). So OW! on both accounts. 

Lack of knowledge = Lack of empathy
Point is, I think this lack of basic understanding about physical female arousal and orgasm makes us all less empathetic to females and sex than it does to males and sex. I think that believing women can orgasm through ways that are super unlikely (if even possible at all) like stimulation to only the vagina, anus, nipples or through fantasy alone, and the sense that the female orgasm is somehow beyond physical limitations and extremely unpredictable is quite harmful. It makes us all a little more open to seeing sexual situations for women that are actually quite unarousing and painful, as possibly more arousing and pleasurable than they sensibly could be.

This woman had abrasions and lacerations in her genitalia. If a man came out of an incident with abrasions and lacerations on his penis, would a court still be going about things as if it were sexual? It would be some masochistic shit indeed. For women, though, it seems pain and genital injury is assumed par for the course. Take the 1st time of sexual intercourse, for instance. It's assumed women will have pain, even though there is no physiological reason that this is inevitable. Baring any injury or illness, it merely means there is not enough arousal, lubrication and comfort, but ladies are expected to power through. If intercourse was hurting a man's penis, I guarantee the intercourse would stop. And what did the defense lawyer say about the significance of this woman's abrasions? (from the woman's letter about the defense lawyer's arguments)
To say, yes her nurse confirmed there was redness and abrasions inside her, significant trauma to her genitalia, but that’s what happens when you finger someone, and he’s already admitted to that.
The lawyer didn't say that injury to the genitalia and inside the vagina during fingering is normal because he was assuming people would completely disagree. He said it because he knew it would kinda ring true - because to some extent we expect there to be injury to women when they have sex.

I think this kind of ignorant blind eye to female sexual pain and boredom, and the easy way we can allow ourselves to transfer those types of experiences into narratives of possible pleasure and orgasm is beautifully paralleled in oh-so-many erotica stories and porn. How often in those stories do we find a woman initially not wanting the sexual aggression and even being initially hurt my his/their penetration and body manipulation, but ending up coming sooooo hard, soooo many times? There's clearly a whole element of women-actually-like-rape narrative in erotica like that and in stories like the one the defendant above told, and it is something people who talk about rape culture talk about often.

However, I think it is often overlooked that at the center of that narrative is a willingness and a cultural permission to believe women can realistically have orgasms from things that just straight up would never cause orgasms in a woman; things that are utterly unarousing, things that ignore her organ of sexual pleasure, things that are painful, and things that simply don't take a realistic and accurate understanding of the body into account...things we don't associate so easily with male pleasure and orgasm.

So, although there are lots of problematic things that should be considered about our culture after reading this woman's letter, I would like us not to forget that the defendant in this case and his lawyer thought it sensible enough to try and insinuate this woman's consent and enjoyment of the encounter by claiming she orgasmed from 1 whole minute of digital penetration while she was black-out drunk...and they thought it was sensible enough to say, because, well, in this world it kinda is -and there is a big problem in that.


Yana Tallon-Hicks Speakin' That Orgasm Equality On The TED Stage

A good friend of mine tipped me off to a friend of hers who had a TEDx Vienna talk I might be interested in. It was called, "Is The Porn Brain Our New Sex Educator" by Yana Tallon-Hicks, and by golly, my friend was right. This lady was spittin' some truths. Go check it.

She teaches classes about consent to young people, and she has a lot of good thoughts and stories about that. However, the TED Talk is largely about how the lack of acknowledgment that sex is pleasurable in sex ed classrooms all over the world makes it sensible that young and old alike are flocking to porn as a de facto educational device - even though porn is a pretty shitty sex educator...and that is a problem.

She describes some of the ways that porn fails to be a good teacher -things like the lack of verbal discussion and 2-way communication, stereotypical and sanitized characters and scenarios, and my very favorite - the bad info about lady-gasms.

She begins the talk by describing a past experience that started with her and her boyfriend getting it on to some bargain bin porn she found (she would normally be much more discerning in her porn).
So the woman is about to reach her pornographic climax, and the suave porn guy mutters in her ear, "Do you like that baby?" and Baby says, as she always does, "Ooooohhhhh yeeees. Yeees!" and then as she reaches her climax she yells, "I can feel you going all the way up to the top!" I freeze. "To the top?" I say, and now I'm practically yelling in my poor boyfriend's ear, "To the top? Really? Of where exactly? You know what? This is why. This is why everyone in our country is having such horrible sex!"
Speak it. You see, this is the stuff that I get excited to hear because it acknowledges how insanely off-base porn (and really all media and our culture in general) is about the basic mechanics and physical realities of female orgasm. It's something I actually don't hear often. I often hear criticisms about how porn doesn't reflect the real emotional connections and goofy, messy reality of real life sexual interactions. However, that almost every female orgasm is faked and the actions done to get there are ridiculous and unrealistic while almost every male orgasm is real seems to somehow get lost in the porn-criticism shuffle. So, big props to Yana for leading with it.

But even bigger props for getting to the heart of the situation - that ladies need clit stimulation like men need penile stimulation, and it's absolutely insane that our culture still holds so tightly to the idea that a penis pumping in a vagina is going to be mutually orgasmic.

Yana tells us that as a sex columnist the biggest question she gets is from women who try and try but just can't orgasm. They think they're broken, but they are not broken, she tells us. The information they are getting is broken. She goes on to crush it by saying,
Over 75% of women require direct and consistent clitoral stimulation in order to have an orgasm - over 20 minutes of it, and yet P in V, penis in vagina penetration, is they way we're taught sex works. So when I hear a porn performer attributing her explosive orgasm to her partner pounding his way all the way up to the top...of wherever that is...it infuriates me.
It infuriates me too. Let's start a goddamn revolution! I am officially adding Yana Tallon-Hicks to the ever growing and ever so prestigious list of Orgasm Equality Allies!

And just for fun, here are some bonus quotes from this talk:
"The main dilemma we face now when we're watching porn is which hand should I use to hold my phone and which hand should be on my junk?"
"When suave porn guy says, do you like that baby? Baby never says...actually you're nowhere near my clit, let me show you how to do this."