The Get Down S1: The SSL Review

The Get Down, Baby.
We watched the whole season of The Get Down a few nights ago on a whim. The truth is the first 2-hour pilot episode was, for my taste, a bit too frenetic and unfocused, and we weren't sure what to expect from the rest of the series. However, I liked the premise of it a lot, and there were some really cool aspects to the style and story, so we kept on, and it was worth it. I'll definitely watch the next season too. I recommend checking it out.

It's set in 1977 Bronx around the birth of hip hop, largely following a group of young friends to tell the story. It's a mix of kitsch, and seriousness, and magical realism and pieces of actual footage from the Bronx in that era were cut in from time to time. The series was created by Baz Luhrmann who directed movies like Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, and Great Gatsby. The first and last of that list I kinda actively don't like...and that first long episode was particularly Luhrmann-esque, but yet I still really enjoyed this show.

And BONUS. There was 1 SSL reviewable moment. As most of you already know, an SSL Review is a critique specifically of a depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation. I look toward realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman?) 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.

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:

Forced Cunnilingus - Disco Style
So, being that this show is about the birth of hip hop in the Bronx, it's also got elements about the end of disco. So, without giving away too much for those of you who will be going to watch this soon, let me explain the situation.

Jackie Moreno (played by Kevin Corrigan) is a has-been record producer and song-writer that has a drug problem and shitty past. However, he must go to 'the record pool' to try and get a particular record listened to and recommended for play in disco clubs. It's where all the big Disco DJs go to find new music. The thing is there is this woman, Leslie Lesgold (played by Alexis Krause) that listens to all the records there and has the say in what gets played and what gets thrown out. Other thing is, what we learn when ol' Jackie Moreno goes in to pimp his record is that Leslie used to intern for him in his heyday, and that he was an asshole and she hates him.

In fact, she reminds him that she blew him in the back of a car, and is clearly pissed that he 'fucked her and fired her.' He says she was a terrible intern, and that's why she was fired, but she ain't havin' it. However, he's desperate for this record to get looked at, and asks what she wants him to do, to which she says:
I'm going to exploit you like you exploited me. I'm gonna abuse my power like you abused yours. And if you're compliant, then we'll see.
At this point she gets up and is talking to him right up in his face. This is clearly sexual now.

My aside about getting dudes back sexually
At this point, I look over at Charlie and say (I think these were my exact words), "If she doesn't make him eat her out, I'm gonna flip this coffee table," because I have seen too many movie/TV situations where a woman 'gets back' at a man by fucking him real demanding and aggressive like.

It enrages me. It's always just plain ol' penis in vagina ramming till coming sorta thing except she's usually on top, and she's being pretty rough and saying mean things and stuff (oooo - poor, poor guy, right?), but there is never any clitoral stimulation happening - you know, the thing that actually makes ladies orgasm. So you tell me - how the fuck is engulfing a man's penis until he comes a way to get back at him? That's some male-centric, don't-get-how-women-orgasm next level bullshit writing right there. That's some forgot-over-70%-of women-don't-orgasm-during-intercourse kinda shit.

Seriously, it's like the stupidest pubescent male fantasy (that somehow doesn't get called out in the real world) of how a woman might get back at him ...like, 'Oh man, maybe she'll be so mad at me that she gets real hot for my body and makes me come real hard with her vag!'

Listen to me carefully. Depictions of men sexually exploited by women should include a man doing something to a woman to make her come that doesn't also make him come. If it's gross or annoying or kinda painful, all the better. this would be more of a mirror to the way we depict men sexually exploiting women. So fucking him until he comes is not a good way to sexually exploit a man...even though men probably don't mind us believing that it is.

Forced Cunnilingus - Disco Style, Round 2
Okay, so I went on a big ol' tangent there, but I didn't need to flip my coffee table. She, to my utter delight, makes him eat her out till she comes. She sticks her fingers in and out of his mouth like she's face-fucking him first. She says, "I want you to taste just what it's like to be powerless." Then hooks her finger in his mouth and guides him as he's crawling on his hands and knees to a couch where she sits. He's on the ground in front of her, and she guides his head down to her crotch area.

We really don't see much detail about what's going on except that it's pretty clear he's using his mouth area on her clitoris / vulva area. That is absolutely a physically realistic way to get a lady to come - stimulating that area, so I'm all good with that.

The cuts after that are very quick. We see her head go back like his mouth is moving her in the right direction, and we also see him look up at her desperate and pathetic before she pushes his head back down. We see her with her hands on his head working herself up to orgasm with his face, and then we see her looking up towards an overhead camera letting out a scream groan as she comes.

In the end, she doesn't give him what he wants, and the conversation goes:

Jackie: Come on. I'll go to the police.
Leslie: For what?
Jackie:That was rape. I was raped.
Leslie: So was I.

This is the way to do a lady sex revenge scene, people
So, I actually really liked this scene in a lot of ways:

  • Listen, I'm not about anyone taking sexual advantage of anyone, but there's so much depiction (and reality) of men taking sexual advantage of women, that I think it's kinda awesome and important for balance that we show some women taking advantage (actual advantage - not BS advantage. See my rant above) of men. 
  • The depiction of how Jackie was forced to make Leslie Lesgold come was physically realistic. What was happening, physically, could certainly make a woman orgasm. Now, that seems like not too hard a hurdle to leap - to get that physical part right- but so many things don't. Here's a quick clue: the clit needs to be involved
  • I think this scene brought up rape and spoke about it in a way you don't often see, but we probably should see more of. It was more about a power balance during a sexual encounter rather than some type of forced, violent interaction. And, the way the guy got his comeuppance was more about power balance during a sexual act rather than the classic theme of kicking him in the balls or something. I thought that was surprisingly thoughtful and refreshing - even if it was not specifically related to an SSL review, it makes me like it even more.

Maybe think about what scenes you're cutting around it though...maybe?
However, this scene was also intercut with 2 other scenes all with the theme of 'power.' One with a young man of color verbally agreeing to the general idea of doing things that are hurtful and counterproductive to his community in order to gain power, all as he's sitting across from a rich, powerful white man working in government. The other with a young man being forced to murder someone for the first time.

Now one of these is not like the other. The whole montage was so dramatic, and the intercutting seemed to equate the gravity of all these experiences. The murder one - yes, quite serious. The one with the degrading of a young, promising kid's moral direction as he's coming up out of the Bronx - I mean it's serious if you think he actually means it (and honestly, that wasn't exactly for sure to me), but I can get behind that this is a serious and important thing, especially within the context of the script. However, the one where a scumbag has to eat out a woman that he once treated very badly (in a similarly sexual way) in order to get something as trivial as a record listened to by the right people? Um...no. That's not as serious as having to murder someone.

So, why was that in the mix? What was that supposed to say to the viewer? Is eating a lady out (especially if you had previously forced her through your power to suck your dick) so demeaning and sad and shows such a lapse of moral character that it gets thrown in there with the other two? It makes me feel like the people writing this really think cunnilingus is gross. So, point is, in the context of the montage it was in, the cunnilingus scene is less progressive and exciting to me...at least a little.

The SSL Review
So, I liked this scene on its own for all the reasons I gave above, but I think the context of the surrounding scenes slid more insinuations to the audience beyond just the scene as is; things like eating girls out is gross, dehumanizing, etc. or that even though boys do gross things to girls, when those boys finally get their comeuppance it's not as much awesome as it is really terrible for the poor man - as bad as being made to murder someone for the first time or losing your moral fiber.

So, I would give this a 5 vulva rating if it were the scene on its own, but I'm only giving it a 4 vulva rating.


Non-SSL Side Note About Gender In This
The young females in The Get Down are all into Disco and don't 'get' or respect the hip hop stuff the boys are into. Now, whether it was meant to or not, this show has that 'boys are on the leading edge doing cool, daring, important things and girls are still stuck on boring, old, silly stuff because it's pretty and familiar' thing. I could go on, and maybe someone on the internets has, but I feel like the whole dynamic between the males and females could have been written more thoughtfully. Just wanted to mention that.


Broad City S2 E8 (part 1) - The SSL Review

SSL Review Intro for Broad City S2 E8 (part 1)
I'm continuing to move through Broad City, SSL Reviewing eligible scenes when they arise, and I'm well into my Season 2 rewatch.  So here we are at Episode 8, which has a couple eligible scene to SSL Review. They will be broken into 2 blogs.

An SSL Review eligible scene being those that include depictions and/or discussions of female orgasm and/or masturbation. That's the only thing I care about in these reviews. I'm looking for physical realism (if a lady is orgasming from a mere ass-cheek spank, I will call bullshit on scientific and basic anatomical ground). I'm also looking for what part the scene plays in our cultural conversation around female orgasm and sexuality. So, thems the basics. If you want more TV SSL Reviews head HERE. Want some movie SSL reviews? Go HERE.

Ilana's Masturbation Scene
Well, to be fair, it was more like a masturbation prep scene because it was abruptly ended shortly after it started. I will do this in list form because it seems more fun

Things Ilana did to prep for her masturbation

  • light a candle
  • put in earrings
  • put on sea foam green lipstick
  • squeeze lemon into an oyster on the half shell and slide that oyster into her mouth
  • turn down a family picture with her parents and brother
  • set up her phone with a picture of Abbi on it
  • roll out a yoga mat to lay on
  • drop her robe so she's wearing only a sparkly bra
  • jimmy-rigged a full length mirror, face down, between a bed and a chair, so she could lay on the yoga mat and watch herself do the damn thing
  • check how the junk looks in that mirror and give an approving nod to herself
  • sexily gesture for her computer to come to her
  • find some porn on that computer
  • pick up a vibrating dildo placed close to her, and turn it on

Then it begins. She lays back, and we don't see her middle area, but she seems to have the vibrating dildo placed on her vulva/clitoral glans area - which is an incredibly sensible and realistic place for a woman to place a vibrating dildo if she's interested in orgasming.  So I'm all for that. However we don't see more than about 3 seconds of it because she noticed a familiar face in her porn and stops the whole thing.

Ilana's Retraces Her Porn Steps
Later, she's telling Abbi about it, but begins by retracing her porn steps first.

Ilana: I don't watch anything but solo porn because regular porn is like (pounding hand with fist and in a forceful voice) 'Shut up little girl! Wash my feet!' and she's all like, (in a wierd tiny cartoon voice) 'Uh don't tell my dad ok? 'cause I'm just barely legal. I love shaved pubes and tan crispy bellies and tans.' (back to normal voice) It's like ugggk. So I started with Average Sized Penis Jerk. That led me to Twins Squirting, hello!, which then brought me to Frosted Tips Masturbation.
Abbi: Wow. I just Google 'porn' - which is probably why I really, really don't like most of it.
The SSL Review Stuff
So, there was no orgasms in this. This situation was all about lady-bation, and I love a couple things about it.
1 When Ilana masturbated, she touched herself in a way that was a sensible and realistic for a woman wanting to masturbate to orgasm.
2 The pre-work to masturbation was maybe a bit much, but it showed a woman really reveling in and enjoying her masturbation. That's bad-ass because we need to see all masturbation in a better light, but especially lady-bation. The thing is, female masturbation has all the shame associated with it that male masturbation has, but without being something that is alluded to often in media and without a cultural sense that it is a normal, yet maybe funny/pathetic thing to do - a cultural consideration men enjoy but women really do not.
3 It was all done for humor, but the discussion about porn was poignant. I love that the discussion assumed that porn was a fine and normal thing that can aid masturbation, but also recognized that a shit ton of porn is not made for women - and can in fact be pretty straight-up distasteful to women. In a way, I see the message from that scene as something like: watching porn is pretty hot, but only if it is actually hot...but a lot of it is not, and maybe the main reason women seem to  like porn less is because most of the porn out there (and thus most of the porn women see) is shitty, gross, kinda distasteful porn (that I would add - rarely shows an actual female orgasm yet almost always shows an actual male orgasm). That is a nuanced look at porn that is rarely put forth in pop culture, and it's the kind of discussion that needs to take place. I talk a lot about that in the movie Science, Sex, and the Ladies.

Vulva Rating
I think these scenes had a more progressive sense of lady-bation and of women's relationship to porn than we normally see in the media. I also feel good that the masturbation scene was both positive and reflects a physically realistic way a woman might masturbate to orgasm.

So overall this gets an excellent SSL Review - 5 vulvas!


My Lady-gasm Blogging Rabbit Hole

You probably don't know enough about my blogging process, and I know you deeply crave that kind of knowledge about me. I'm here today to provide that. You see, the last few months have been kinda crazy for me in my non blogging life, and I have a shit-ton of  backed up blog ideas I want to get to. They all exist in little fragmented sentences, each in their own new, unfinished, unpublished Blogger posts. Instead of getting to the ones I really want to do, I seem to always search for the easiest, least time consuming one so I can get something up before I go past my self-imposed limit of 4 days between posts. I've had some that I've been excited about, but the ones I'm really itching to do just take too long right now.

Probably what me and Tina look like when I blog

The ones I really want to do are usually summaries of lady-gasm related journal articles. If I didn't have a day job, those bitches would be all I did. I would eat lots of cheese and crackers and drink lots of random non-calorie soda type things, and I'd write about all the articles! But I do have a day job, and they take a long time, so I need a couple ready-to-go posts in my arsenal before I begin so that I have things to post during the week or so while I'm working on it. I'll get there again, soon I'm hoping.

Actually, I have about 3 journal article summaries half written, but here's a little about me. I get kinda obsessy about them. I start summarizing the intro, and the thing about the intro is that it's the place where all these bold, sometimes shady assertions get put, and they always have citations, but sometimes I'm all like - are the assertions made here really backed up by that citation? And then I have to go read the article that was cited and it has wild assertions that are cited in another paper, and I have to read that, and I get into a time-sucking rabbit hole. It's fun and I like doing it, but sometimes I can't find the articles I want for a while, and that's all not very helpful when I'm trying to get a summary done. Anyway, that's why I have about 3 half done - 'cause I got in a rabbit hole with all of them. I've now gotten most of the cited articles I wanted to read though, so hopefully I'll get them done soon.

So that's me. Honestly, after you read these articles for a while, you start to get to the point where you've read a lot of the cited article or are at least familiar with the author and their work in general. It's actually a fairly small world in lady-gasm research.

That's my rambling post about my blogging and my journal article summaries. Later Skaters.


Random Hite Report #20

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 realistic and progressive insight about the female orgasm that is still shockingly relevant 40 years later,  but also because of its very touching insight into the lives of the women who took part in this huge, comprehensive survey. Most of the book involves hearing the respondents describe and discuss very personal and often quite detailed and physical based aspects of their masturbation, orgasm, and sexual encounters. This is an under-appreciated and under-read book if you ask me - I suggest you buy it online (seriously, you can get them for like 1 cent) and read it.

 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. 159 From chapter "Orgasm" in the section called 'CONTRACTIONS''
    "Orgasm occurs to me like an intense tickling in the front of my vagina, with a sudden releases through rolling pulses inside my vagina."
    "I feel involuntary highly pleasant spasms in my clitoris, vagina, and anal areas. Sometimes my whole body seems to be in spasm. The pleasure is basically in my genital area, but my whole body does react."
    "I experience a series of profound contractions in my vagina with immediate reactions of sweating, hyperventilation and release."
    "I feel vaginal contractions at the moment of release, and in a strong orgasm, uterine contractions also. (Sometimes my whole body jerks, but I'm not sure how involuntary that is.)"
    "The sensation of orgasm feels to me like a fantastic excitation of my clitoris and a general explosion through my entire body. There are definite contractions of the uterus and vagina, which were most apparent to me when I was a good deal pregnant."
    "I feel the muscles in my vagina rippling open and shut, sometimes powerfully, sometimes lightly. A few times it has been so intense that I felt brief cramps in my uterus." 
    Although a slightly arched position may be natural during arousal and the moments up to and just including orgasm, during  the contractions the hips tend to move forward somewhat, as does the head, in a kind of bending inward.
    "I arch back before orgasm, then during the contractions my hips raise and my back makes the reverse of an arch, sort of bending inward - almost a fetal position."
    "During the orgasmic contractions, I convulse toward the direction of my stomach, like doubling over." 
    This bending inward sometimes takes the form of the whole body spasm, reflecting the uterine orgasms that often accompany orgasm. "During the arousal period (buildup), my whole body's muscles tense, and my limbs may jerk. Then the release is accomplished in...


Broad City S2 E1: The SSL Review

SSL Review Intro for Broad City S2 E1
I'm continuing to move through Broad City, SSL Reviewing eligible scenes when they arise. Now I'm rewatching Season 2 - which is fine because I love the show. Turns our S2 Episode 1 has an eligible and an honorarily eligible scene to SSL Review. An Eligible scene being those that include depictions and/or discussions of female orgasm and/or masturbation. That's the only thing I care about in these reviews. I'm looking for physical realism (if a lady orgasming from toe-sucking alone, I will call bullshit on scientific and basic anatomical ground), and I'm also looking for what part the scene plays in our cultural conversation about female orgasm and sexuality. So, thems the basics. If you want more TV SSL Reviews head HERE. Want some movie SSL reviews? Go HERE.

The Colin Farrell Sex Tape Scene
So this scene described below does not technically have a specific discussion or depiction of female orgasm or female masturbation, BUT it kinda does. Plus I like it, and I'm in charge so I'm counting it. Here's the scene, I'll discuss after.

The Details
Abbi and Ilana are in separate dressing rooms talking to each other through the walls. Abbi tells Ilana that she is having a date tonight where the dude is cooking her dinner and that she thinks it's pretty cool of him to do as a date.

Ilana:"You should check out the Colin Farrell sex tape, just to get back in the swing of things. specifically 8:58. He is feasting on her pussy like it's a dang milk skake. (In bad Irish accent) "It's me breakfast, lunch and fucking dinner, right here."
Abbi: (Also in bad Irish accent)"It's 8:58, you said, sire?"
Ilana: "Yes, but then you're gonna wanna swap the digs over to 9:44 for some master asshole play and then round it out at 12:47 with some good old fashioned fuck, fuck goose..

They then leave the dressing rooms and realize there was a huge line, with lots of little girls and their moms listening to everything they said. As they're moving past the line one woman says to Ilana:

Woman: "You said 8:58?"
Ilana: You're gonna like what you see. I guarantee it.

The SSL Review Stuff
I mean, they didn't specifically speak about lady-bation, but the insinuation (at least what I got from it) was that Ilana is telling Abbi to masturbate to this hot sex tape before the date so she's well practiced for game time. It's a funny scene that involves both the main characters and a random woman being totally cool with the idea of watching porn, masturbating ('cause that just plain goes along with watching porn), admitting and talking about porn/masturbation among close friends, and being turned on by watching a hot dude star eat someone out.  So, to me this is clearly a scene that normalizes things that need to be normalized in order for women to feel more entitled to their orgasm to their own clits and to their own sexual desire. What this scene is subtly telling it's viewers is that women masturbate, women like to watch hot dudes enthusiastically pleasuring women, and that it can be hot for women to objectify male stars in the same way men objectify female stars. these kinds of things can level the orgasm playing field. Bravo.

Finishing on Male Stacy
This is also not as direct an SSL Review as normal, but this scene sequence does specifically mention lady-gasm. It also involves some female on male rape jokes, so that happens.

The Details
So the whole episode revolves around the fact that it is so, so, so hot out, and Abbi does not have air conditioning. Well Abbi is dating a guy (Seth Rogan) named Stacy (they call him Male Stacy), and he came over to her apartment to cook her a meal. So, he's cooking, which clearly makes it super crazy way hotter, and they're both dying. But, they get it together enough to go into the bedroom and get to doing it.

It's awkward and ridiculous because of various things related to the heat. Pretty quickly, Abbi is on top of him having the ol' intercourse. She's fairly upright and facing him. He's flat on his back, and she is not orgasming, but she's saying it's good and clearly really enjoying what's happening so far.

Then he starts saying that he's feeling crazy - which she awkwardly thinks is sexual, but it's just because he's overheating and then he passes out. Abbi starts freaking out and yelling his name (Male Stacy), but she doesn't disengage - if ya know what I mean. So, she's still cowgirl on passed out Male Stacy and she says, "oh shit," and looks right into the eyes of the Oprah poster on the wall in front of her.

It cuts after that, but when it comes back, Ilana and Abbi are walking down the street talking about it,

Ilana: "To clarify, you raped him?.
Abbi: "No, no, he passed out from the heat. He seriously, wanted it."
Ilana: "oooo - that is lit-relly what 'they' say."
Abbi: "Yeah, but I really mean it."
Ilana: "So do 'they'"
Abbi: "Well..I..."
Ilana: "Dude...did you...finish?"
Abbi: "My god, I raped him. Dude, I...I raped male Stacy. I'm a monster. I need an air conditioner immediately."

The SSL Review Stuff
There's some interesting things to discuss with how they approached jokes about rape - things I have no interest in blogging about, but I just wanted to acknowledge it, so if you are interested, you might find other people who will talk about that much better than I.

I have my SSL laser focus on what was insinuated about female orgasm. All we know from this 'discussion' of a lady-gasm is that it happened, and it happened with Male Stacy, while Male Stacy was passed out. What it does say is that she came. It also says that she must have desired her 'finish' so much that she did it even after her partner passed out.

It doesn't tell us how she physically got to orgasm, so I can't dissect whether the physical things happening to her could realistically have elicited orgasm, which is what I normally do. Anything could have happened. She could have reached down and rubbed the clit while she rode him. She could have leaned forward and started rubbing her clit against his pelvis. She could have grabbed her vibrator and pressed that against her vulva. All realistic possibilities that incorporate clitoral glans /vulva stimulation (cause we ladies need that for orgasm even if TV and movies usually show us orgasming from a dick stimulating the inside of our vaginas with no clit stimulation - which is BS).

So, the physical realism is there because there are realistic possibilities, and we don't know for sure either way. So, what else does this discussion of lady-gasm say to us?

I think the most important thing it says is that it insinuates females might want orgasms from a sexual pairing. This is important because there is such a strong sense in our culture that women are just not as interested in orgasm as men; that women can be fully satisfied with sex that doesn't involve the female orgasm. I mean women (and men) can be fully satisfied with a sexual encounter that doesn't involve orgasm, but it should be a choice every individual makes, and I think men largely have that choice and women don't. I think women just get what they get most of the time.

I think the feeling in our culture that women don't need orgasms as much as men arises less from a choice women make and more from women dealing with a shitty reality that men don't have to deal with - because penises in vaginas are orgasmic for men but mostly not for women. The reality is that women simply don't orgasm as much as men in hetero sexual situation because women don't get the physical stimulation they need and men do. We accept and ignore this reality, and when women end up not coming, instead of raging, we just tell ourselves that we don't need it as much.

Well, Abbi needed it, and hopefully that told all her viewers out there, that they can need it too...just not with a passed out partner.

Vulva Rating
This gets a 5 vulva rating for the simple fact that it showed characters we love and identify with asserting their need for orgasm in a way we rarely see from female characters.

They enjoy good porn where ladies get ate. the. hell. out. This is poignant because that particular act was harped on, and it is an act that would actually bring a woman to orgasm. This is in contrast to the most common thing we see in porn, i.e. ladies getting their vaginas banged, because that act would not, and notice it was not harped on. That means we saw women praising, enjoying, and desiring seeing explicit material that depicts things that would actually get them off.

They also do things that make it clear they want, nay need, to orgasm when they are in a sexual encounter. This is not usually a way females are depicted, and it normalizes (and again there's some more complicated things here about what is being insinuated about rape here...so keep that in mind), the idea that women, like men, have that driving, almost animal desire to get that damn orgasm once they get horny. We cannot even the orgasm playing field and get women's orgasms the status and necessity given males if we as a culture do not accept that males and females have a similar need and drive for orgasm.

Like I (and plenty of other people) always say, during masturbation, women can orgasm as quickly easily and reliably as men, but when ladies hook up with men, they simply don't. Why not? Because as a culture we don't physically understand how women orgasm, and we don't believe lady-gasms are as important as male orgasms. We need more shows like this to change that.

This gets a full 5 Vulva Rating


A Quick Cliteracy Video

This is a super quick post because, well, life. As always, I have about 100 things in my list that I want to write about, but I'm not getting enough time in one sitting to do it at the moment.

So, that means today you get something fun, important and just darn good activism...Cliteracy.

Sophia Wallace is an artist who created something called The 100 Natural Laws of Cliteracy. I speak about it often because it's speaking the truth - that the clitoris is the organ of female sexual pleasure and that for some god awful reason it's virtually invisible in our culture. We need more people saying this, and so I like to give big ups to Sophia Wallace and this project when I can.

Here's a video of her talking about it. Enjoy.

CLITERACY: 100 Natural Laws, by Sophia Wallace from Charlie Grosso on Vimeo.


Sausage Party: The SSL Review

So I watched Sausage Party recently, and if you've heard anything about it (cartoon but dirty, hotdog and bun - that sort of thing), you're probably not surprised that it has some discussion / depiction of female orgasm or masturbation in it - which means I can do an SSL Review. And thus here we are.  

What's An SSL Review? 
I critique the depiction/discussion based on the realism and on how the depiction/discussion reflects our sexual culture and how it adds to the larger cultural discussion about female orgasm and female sexuality in general.

Movies run the gamut. They can be great movies but pound home common, yet incorrect understandings of how women's bodies get to orgasm (Fight Club for instance). They could also be a shit movie but depict really realistic and progressive female orgasm situations (honestly, this is more rare - usually good SSL Reviews coincide with it also being a generally well done movie, but it doesn't have to be the case).

How Was Sausage Party?
Sausage Party, for me was both a pretty crap movie and crap on the SSL Review front. Now, take my opinion with a grain of salt. The people behind us were cracking. the. fuck. up. They loved it, and honestly, how hard they were laughing made the whole thing more enjoyable for me too. So, you might LOVE it. I just thought it seemed so phoned in. It seemed like they thought of the first joke that came to their head, decided it was great, and moved on. I mean a lot of the jokes revolved around ethnic stereotypes, which can be funny in the right way, but man, most ethnic stereotype jokes are like the oldest most overused material in the world. Are other people not utterly bored of jokes about a Jews being nervous, yet? I did think the cart-related disaster scene at the beginning was pretty good, but I'm just saying it wasn't that funny to me. You judge for yourself, though. Maybe me not liking it will lower your expectations and thus heighten your enjoyment of it. I hope I have done that for you.

Okay, so the SSL review is below. You can see all the SSL Reviews HERE. There's a lot.

Just the Gist
Lately, I've been trying to really get detailed about these reviews. I watch it where I can rewind and I can get specific details about what exactly was happening in each SSL-Reviewable scene. This is not going to be that way. I saw it in the theater, I don't feel like watching it again, and I get the gist. So, this will be an overview kind of SSL Review.

There was male masturbation in the movie, but I did not see any female masturbation. There was female orgasm though, which 'came' during the ending orgy scene. Yes, all the food in the grocery store went ahead and fucked in every possible way until they could fuck no more. It had some funny parts, but man, it could have been so much more outrageous - like really f'd up, but I digress.

The only female roles I remember from the whole movie were a hotdog bun and a hard taco shell. Most of the food were males, and a lot of the orgy sex involved male on male action (I mean as muuh as that can be depicted with food).  In general - and I may find myself wrong later - but I don't remember any of the quick flashes to food doing the nasty, insinuating any kind of clitoral stimulation. I know that's a wierd thing to say, but I did see tons of stuff that insinuated penis play. There was mostly insertion in all kinds of different ways happening and licking balls and stuff like that. If I go back through it one day and see some more interesting and clit-centric food sex acts, I'll amend this for sure.

A Hotdog and A Bun? Could This Movie Get More Wild?
The bun and the hotdog (they never say hotdog - just sausage...it was clearly a hotdog. Is that some regional thing where people call hotdogs sausages, or something?) have been obsessed with the future time where they will get to come together once they are bought. It's very sexually charged and there is even jokes about positions, and jackhammering, and how long the hot dog lasts. So the connotation is clearly that the hotdog goes into the bun just like a penis goes into a vagina. It's a sexual euphemism as old as hotdogs and buns - nothing subtle there. (Below is the classically probably unintentionally dirty intermission hotdog in bun reel - lest you forgot)

Okay, so when the orgy happens, the hotdog and bun do it. They lay and kiss. The dog goes into the bun, the whole deal. We don't see a lot of it, but we hear her orgasming while they are "having sex" - (the dog is in bun, if ya know what I mean - but seriously, it is literally in the bun). At one point the dog steps away, and is masturbating with 2 other foods, and as the camera moves we see it is because they are watching the taco eating the bun out. The taco is down in the bottom of the bun in between where her tiny legs come out, so it's about the right place where a human clit/vulva area would be. She's also vocally coming during that.

Hotdog And Bun? ppsshh. How About Hotdog and Clit?
So, okay, first this is all food, so it's hard to speak about realism, but the taco eating the bun out part, when translated to human bodies would give the audience a fair and realistic sense of what could cause a woman to orgasm - mouth on outer clitoral glans/vulva area. So that's good.

The other stuff, the whole hotdog into bun and then bun orgasms thing is not realistic when translated to human bodies because P-in-V intercourse does not lady-gasms make. I'll spare the detailed explanation, but let's just say the majority of women never orgasm during intercourse at all, and even though a minority of women say they can orgasm from intercourse alone, no female orgasm has ever been recorded in scientific literature that resulted from stimulation inside the vagina. The clit, baby. Women need clit stimulation, not vaginal.

So, the whole hotdog in bun thing when related to human bodies is something that would get the hotdog off, but not the bun. The bun needs clit stimulation, but the clit was never even mentioned or referenced or insinuated...Everything female-sexual in this movie was related to the vagina...the hole. And that, my friends, is a beautifully sad and perfect reflection of our whole society's obsession with believing that intercourse is equally orgasmic for men and women. We're so obsessed with wrongly believing it, that the clit just plain gets ignored - because the clit is inconvenient in that scenario. It's crazy, though. It's like talking about male orgasms and not mentioning/insinuating the penis AT ALL.

The Vulva Rating
So, I'm giving this movie a 1 vulva rating. I'm being generous because it did have 1 realistic (when translated to human bodies) depiction of female orgasm....a taco with her mouth on the between the legs part of a bun. However, it loses lots of vulvas because the whole premise of the movie and all the sexual jokes about the hotdog and bun come from this deeply ingrained, yet absolutely incorrect belief that intercourse is as orgasmic for female as it is for males. That ingrained belief is precisely the thing I want to rip an ax through. The deepness of that belief makes it hard to think clearly about why we believe it. It allows people to know that most women do not orgasm during intercourse, but still not seriously question why the vast majority of advise about, depictions of, and jokes about female orgasm insinuate women orgasm from a penis in their vagina.

Sausage Party just reinforced that already entrenched beleif, and on top of that, it didn't even pretend to give a obligatory nod to the clit. If anyone was wondering what Sophia Wallace means in her Cliteracy work by saying the clitoris is nearly invisible in our society - this is what she means. And BTW, this movie needed some fresh jokes. The clit is a truly untapped humor source - and the writers of Sausage Part missed out.

It gets 1 vulva. \