Random Male Hite Report #19

Hello, friends. It's time for another Random Hite Report! In 1976, Shere Hite dropped The Hite Report where she compiled detailed survey answers from over 3,000 women about sex, masturbation, orgasms, and relationships. It's insane to me how revolutionary this book still is. Read it, seriously. We really haven't changed that much in 40 years, and it's an incredibly insightful read.

Then in 1981, she dropped The Hite Report on Male Sexuality where over 7,000 men give detailed answers about sex, relationships, and women. It too is revolutionary, and the honesty, vulnerability, and detail in this book is so important and moving. I think everyone should read this too. So, I give you a taste every now and then to entice you to get these books. Seriously, they are both like 1 cent online.

Anyway, what I do is flip to one random page and copy the contents of that page, no more-no less, directly onto this blog. Enjoy.

 The Hite Report on Male Sexuality
Knopf, 1981 pg 441

The following page is in the section called 'Intercourse' in a chapter called Toward a New Idea of Intercourse, and in relation to the Survey question about which positions and movements these men prefer. This page is filled with men's answers from the 35% of men who prefer women on top during intercourse.

feelings better. If I'm on top, I'm constantly wondering if I'm doing what she wants, and worrying about it. When I'm below, she does virtually all the moving; I'm almost afraid to intrude on what she has going. I love it."
    "Having my partner on top lets her be more active, which i find sexually exciting, personally liberating, and politically important."
    "I prefer to be on bottom, for several reasons. For one thing, I come much faster when on top. There's some difference in the way things rub together. Also, when on top i feel like I'm crushing my partner (I'm a fairly large person, 6'2'' and 175 lbs.). I feel like I have to support part of my weight on my arms, which makes it harder to relax and enjoy things. Finally, the partner that I had sex with for the longest period of time liked to be on top, sitting up straddling me. I got to like being able to see her body and stroke her breasts while making love."
    "The best place fr the most satisfying motion for me is on the bottom. The position I like least is being on top; I'm always worried that my partner is being squished. My arms get tired too."
    "I prefer women to be on top because this gives her more control, so that she can orgasm if she wants to. Also this means less physical work for me so that I can be more mentally and emotionally responsive."
    "I like to lay on the bottom, and she lays on top and does the movement. I fantasize that I'm a woman and she's a man - really feel it's great. I like to feel as though she is entering me, that she has the penis and I the vagina. Part of it is maybe I feel a lifting of the responsibility for action - I can just lay there and dig it."
    "Lately I like to lie completely still with her on top of me doing all the moving, sort of like being raped by her."
    "During intercourse, I prefer to be on bottom so I can more comfortably free my hands for clitoral stimulation, or caress over my wife's body. Unfortunately, however, by the time we get around to it, we are usually both tired, and she prefers the female-inferior position, in which I find it difficult to do any adequate hand stimulation. Usually I do most of the moving, which I do not like because it seems like a one-sided affair, and I don't think she gets as much out of it. If I'm on bottom, she does most of the moving, and gets very involved and excited; I think it is best for both of us."

But, as we have just seen, many of the men who said they preferred the bottom said this was because they thought the woman preferred the top - rather than any strong personal physical preference to be on the bottom:
    "My wife prefers me on top, primarily I think for psychological reasons. But I prefer the bottom, partly because I like to watch her move, and partly because I have read that most women get great physical pleasure from the top due to the greater amount of control of the angel of penetration afforded. Generally we switch off, taking turns on top."
    "Frankly, I prefer to be on my back with the woman on top. That way she can be the judge of how much  (or rather how little) she wants to be penetrated."


Mr. Robot Season 2 - The SSL Review

Mr. Robot Season 2
So, I finished both seasons of Mr. Robot recently. I'll be real honest. It was hard for me to get into, and then I kinda got into it a little, and then I kinda got less interested in it again. There's something about it that just irks me the tiniest bit, but it's alright. I like it enough, and for those of you out there who love the idea of TV shows whispering sweet nothings in your ears about revolution and money-less economies and 'The Man' and secret rich societies that rule the world - well, you'll probably love this show. Anyway, turns out there was no SSL reviewable moments in the 1st season but there were two in the second. Lucky you, lucky me.

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 critique the realism (for instance, were the physical things happening to that women while she orgasmed things that could realistically cause orgasm for a woman?) and what the depiction/discussion reflects from and adds to the larger cultural discussion around lady-gasms and female sexuality.

You can see all the SSL TV Reviews HERE (and as always you can find all the movie SSL Reviews HERE).Season 2 Episode 3

stunted masturbation S2 E3
I try not to give any spoilers here, so I'll just say that 'a woman' is shown masturbating in bed at night. She was laying face up with a tank and boxers on. She's doing some kind of anonymous (I assume) sexting. Her hand is down her boxers and making circles in her general vulva area.

As far as I'm concerned that's about as simple as lady-bation gets. No problems on the realism from my end. A hand stimulating the clitoral / vuvla area is certainly a way to masturbate and orgasm. Thing is, she doesn't orgasm though. she gets frustrated and gives up. It goes with her whole thing. She's a lonely and angsty character that looks put together on the outside but can't get it together in her personal life. So, I get it. It is strange though, it's not an uncommon thing to see women in movies try to masturbate and give up out of frustrations, but it's not something I think I've ever seen for men (do let me know if you've seen something like that with a dude).

sex on a dirty bathroom sink S2 E4
So another female character (and again I don't want any spoilers in here for those of you who haven't seen this and are planning on watching - so sorry for the vagueness) has the ol' sex with a guy in a bathroom. She is sitting on the sink facing out. He is standing up facing her. Both her hands are up on the walls around her. Her body is not really moving except for being banged by his. They finish. There is some vocalizations the preceded the finish that aren't 100% discernible as an orgasm, but they could also easily be. I think most people would take it as such - that they both orgasmed, and it's finished.

This ain't so realistic. I mean, yes, it's what most 'orgasmic' sex looks like for the ladies in the media, but no one was putting a hand or anything else on her clitoral vuvla area, and it really didn't look like she was grinding her clit up against his body or anything. If her clit was getting touched at all, it was only a few taps here and there while he banged in and out of her. So...if the clit ain't getting stimulated, it's not realistic to think it would cause a woman to orgasm. Contrary to popular belief, stuff stimulating the vag ain't likely to get the job done. There has never been physical evidence of an orgasm caused by stimulation inside the vagina in scientific literature. There just hasn't.

my thoughts
So, the masturbation scene was physically realistic for getting orgasm - even though she didn't take it that far. Granted, I am a little bored of seeing tightly wound women try to masturbate and give up because Ack! they're so Ack! I'd love to just see at least a few tightly wound women masturbate because they're so Ack! and then you know, orgasm and relax for a minute, and then get all Ack! again because they're just sorta Ack! ladies. I mean why the lack of orgasms? You don't think we ladies can get the job done because of stress. That's when we shine, baby. That's when we really get to rubbin' it out right. Oh, we can do it. Let us get a little stress out like the guys get to do - even if just for a minute.

As for the sink sex. It's the oldest sex scene in the book. Guy rams it in and out of girl. Girls is all like passionate and vocal (without actually moving her hips much or grinding in any way) Noone uses her hands or anything else on her clit. They both kinda vaguely vocalize like they are climaxing and dude has final end of sex thrusty movements and that's that. So, there's nothing nefarious about this scene. It's not taking the understanding of lady-gasm back at all. It's just status quo. Sadly, though, status quo is basically not understanding what lady-gasms come from...wrongly assuming that vaginas can be banged into orgasm and not knowing that the outer clitoral glans and vulva are must be stimulated for orgasm.  

vulva rating
I give this a simple 2 1/2 vulvas overall. It's not super bad. It's also certainly not progressive. It's just status quo.



Sex And The City S2 E1-3: A Retro SSL Review

This, my friends, is a new little segment I'm doing on the 'ol SSL blog. It's like an SSL Review, but it's also just me transcribing my 2007-2008 notes on depiction/discussion of female orgasm and female masturbation from Sex and the City. I missed the show while it was on, but being that it was a cultural phenomenon related to female sexuality, I thought I should watch it and note how it spoke to the audience about lady-gasms. So, I got the DVD's slowly but surely from my trusty public library and watched every single episode, taking notes on all depictions or discussion of female orgasm. I may have also noted on all depictions/discussion of female masturbation too, but maybe not. This was before I really started doing SSL Reviews, and my standards were not set yet.

Which all brings me back to why I am just transcribing my notes instead of actually doing an SSL Review on all of these Sex And The City episodes. The answer is because I'm lazy, but also anxious to get this info out on the interwebs before I or time itself ruins this notebook. If I did a proper SSL Review on these, I would have to rewatch all of these. I almost always do more than 1 watch fr SSL reviews, and I would really need to for these because I was 9 years stupider when I wrote them. However, I don't want to rewatch because it seems like a waste of time given that these are like 80% done and there's plenty of other things I'd like to watch for SSL Review. Although I have to say - I went into my SATC binging assuming I would not like the show, but I actually got way into it, so I won't say a rewatch would be a bore.

Ramona and my SATC Notes

Anyway, the fun of this will be that I will transcribe these as word for word as I can while still trying to make it be a sensible read. I'll post a pick of the notes for your reference. I'll do one or more episodes at a time - from the beginning of the notebook to the end. I may add notes for clarification. Hopefully these won't make me look like a dumb asshole. I will add them in the TV SSL Review Master List  (of course you are also welcome to check out the Movie SSL Review Master List as well). Here we go.

The SATC Notes 
Season 2 Ep 1

  • Sam had small dick guy- no specific mention that not satisfying, but Sam, the most sexual one, really wants a big dick.
  • "Oh baby, I'm close now. I want you to get up here and slide inside me" --> she was disappointed
  • Resorted to using her vibrator, but he didn't like it and she stopped.
  • She was obviously unsatisfied by a small penis and wanted a bigger one fucking her in order to orgasm.
  • Men naked from the waist up and butts

[-big dick makes women come  -vibrator not needed in good sex -yet seems vibrator on the outside 'cause he was inside]

Season 2 Ep2

  • Sam still worried about small dick 
  • girl titties
  • thereapsit says "many women have problem getting orgasm through intercourse"
  • She basically says, your dick's too small. You can't, and I can't. Then she says to the therapist that she needs a big dick and the therapist agrees. 
  • Redhead talks dirty in bed + gets burned when talks about a finger in his ass.
  • Also mention of Samantha masturbating

[-males too fragile in masculinity - big dick makes ladies cum - masturbation exists]

Season 2 Ep3

  • S+M 1st date w/ Sam - seemed crazy
  • Guy who goes down and is legendarily good - seems as if all women agree going down is the best.
  • good girl gets ate out awesome style

[Going down is really awesome for women]

My notes on my notes: 
So, I didn't know everyone's names yet. Red Head = Miranda, Good Girl = Charlotte. The things at the end in brackets were actually written vertically next to the other notes and were my lists of what I thought the audience could reasonably glean from the episode about female orgasm or female sexuality.


The Orgasm Researcher of My Most Beautiful Dreams - Dr. Nicole Prause Doin' Experimental Design Right

Okay, so I learned of a scientist yesterday that, upon some investigation, made me incredibly happy for the future of lady-gasm knowledge and the Orgasm Equality Movement. Her name is Dr. Nicole Prause. She just this month had an article called Clitorally Stimulated Orgasms Are Associated With Better Control of Sexual Desire, And Not Associated With Depression or Anxiety, Compared With Vaginally Stimulated Orgasms, which I've skimmed (and will do an SSL Journal Article Summary of soon), but already love because it seems to be a much needed, and more scientifically rigorous re-investigation of some research topic favorites of the prolific and seemingly Freud obsessed researcher Stuart Brody. She also has recently opened her own sexual biotechnology company funded by federal and private grants called Liberos.

The thing I really want to tell you about her, though, is encompassed in the quotes below. Dr. Nicole Prause is straight up on point about what needs to be done to make scientific investigation into female orgasm better. In the article The Big O by Maria Konnikova, I read words I have been waiting to hear a scientist whisper sweetly into my ears from the moment I started making this blog:
Much of the previous work on orgasm has relied on self-report: I am having an orgasm, or I’m not. One series of experiments led by Barry Komisaruk, for instance, depends on people pressing a button to signal they have experienced sexual release. In men, such self-report is fairly straightforward. It’s based on ejaculation. In women, however, it becomes trickier. How do you know you’re having an orgasm for sure? How do you know if what you’ve always thought of as orgasm is, in fact, that? The problem is not necessarily unique to women. One early study looked at what would happen if men were blocked from seeing their own erections: They became highly inaccurate in rating their physical arousal. For women, it doesn’t help that the popular press is rife with misinformation. Women cannot have an hourlong orgasm, Prause points out, despite what the latest magazine cover might have you believe. 
To “take away some of the mystery,” in Prause’s words, she relies on more precise measurements. An EEG headset is used to measure brain waves. (In another version, the EEG is replaced by fMRI.) Around the chest goes a respiration belt, and on the finger, a device to measure skin conductance. A tiny disc-shaped electrode that measures temperature — a thermistor — is placed on specific locations on the genitals. A modified butt plug fitted with a specialized pressure gauge is placed inside the anus to measure contractions. And then the “task” — “though it’s not really a task at this point,” Prause says — begins.
She had me at modified butt plug to measure contractions. And then as I was dropping to my knees to praise all the gods for sending us a female orgasm researcher who cares to actually know what's happening to a woman's pelvic muscles when she claims to orgasm, I read the transcript of an interview with her for Only Human in a segment called The Science of Turning Her On (MH = Mary Harris , the host, NP= Nicole Prause):
NP ...You do whatever you need to do to do the science right. And if that means an anal probe, then by god, we’re going to build it, we’re going to test it and we’re going to do it right.”
 MH: This probe - it’s called an anal pressure gauge - is a device of her own design. She uses it to measure the physical sign of orgasm, those vaginal contractions. At the same time she uses an EEG to understand what an orgasm looks like in the brain. Looking at her results, she’s noticed something strange.
 NP: We found that many women in our lab when they reported having an orgasm actually were not having any of the physical signs of an orgasm.
MH: What does that mean to you?
NP: I have no idea. (laughs) Clearly they’re having a good time. There’s some pleasure peak there, there’s something that causes them to say “I feel like that I am having some type of peak experience right now.” But that experience appears quite different for some number of women than it is for men.
MH: Here’s another problem. Most research into the female orgasm relies on women simply telling scientists whether or not they’ve climaxed. Nikky Prause thinks that’s far too vague of a measurement. Because if women don’t understand what’s happening in their own bodies - scientists won’t, either.
NP: Basically, any study that you’re seeing that claims to have an image of the brain at orgasm, does not have an image of the brain at orgasm, they don’t know what they’re getting. They’re getting an image of the brain when women think they’re having an orgasm. And that’s all it is. So, that sets us back.
MH: This is just an initial finding with a small sample of women. But for Nikky Prause, it shows just how profound the disconnect between women’s bodies and brains might be.
NP: So I’ve started at this point it goes personal, I started asking my friends - how do you know you’re having an orgasm? What exact criteria are we using? And you know this is complete non scientific reporting at this point, but you know “I feel goosebumps all over my body” and I was like “well that’s great but --”
MH: That’s not a thing.
 NP: It’s not what we would physiologically call an orgasm. Or I’ve had some women say I have two types of orgasms, and they didn’t mean clitoral and vaginal. They meant, I have one that’s a body orgasm and one that’s a mind orgasm. And I was like wait what? Because we’re not asking about that in our surveys. (laughs) This is off the charts. And I think it might partially be due to, where do we ever learn what an orgasm is? Do you talk to your mom? Your dad, certainly not. (laughter) Sisters? Uhhhhh, I didn’t.
I'm sorry, did you hear that beautiful music? That music of a scientist doing research on female orgasm who actually acknowledges that just because a woman says she orgasms in a study doesn't also mean she is exhibiting the physiological signs of orgasm? It's so deeply exciting and needed. Just last week I specifically directed the last section of my post to generic lady-gasm scientist persons and asked them to start doing more rigorous research that can help the world actually understand and make distinctions between what is happening with these women who do and don't have physiological orgasm responses when they claim they are orgasming. I didn't even know at the time that Dr. Prause was out there gettin' to doing the damn thing. I LOVE IT.

Seriously, I have never heard a scientist studying female orgasm so clearly state something that really should be obvious to that community by now. Women are not always describing the same physiological event when we say the word 'orgasm.'

This my friends, is why I'm so excited about Dr. Prause and her work. It is so incredibly important because she just might finally be the one to jump the scientific study of female orgasm forward after almost 40 years of relative stagnancy because she is going to give the question of female orgasm the care and scientific rigor it deserves.

Here are 3 reasons I think her approach is so revolutionary for the field right now.

1. Past research has largely not taken seriously the possibility that women might not give accurate accounts of their own orgasm, but Dr. Prause does.

In Science, Sex and the Ladies - the movie, we talk about how female orgasm is an incredibly stigmatizing subject, but scientists don't tend to approach it with that in mind.  Orgasm is clearly something women believe is important, something men take pride in 'providing' to women, something sexperts have been saying for decades is important to a woman's relationship health and her mental health - especially an orgasm during intercourse. At the same time, it's something that many women cannot have as often as they'd like - particularly when in a partnered sexual situation - and especially during intercourse. On top of all that, there is a lot of confusing misinformation about female orgasm and female anatomy.

So, there are lots of reasons a woman might say she orgasms when she in fact does not. You would think that scientists would see this as an issue to consider deeply when studying female orgasm. You would think there would be considerable effort to understand which answers given by women about their own orgasm are accurate, which are lies or half-truths, which come from a different use or meaning of the word 'orgasm,' or which are based in misinformation or confusion. Scientists do this with other 'stigmatized behaviors.' There is real effort to get more honest, accurate answers when asking people whether they engaged in male-male sexual behavior or had an abortion or use condoms consistently. Scientists understand people might not be giving them accurate information on those topics, and so they take pains to get better answers. Women's ability to orgasm should be treated with similar care, but it rarely if ever is.

2. Dr. Prause's work could help clear up our orgasm vocabulary. 

The word 'orgasm' is used indiscriminately for female orgasm in a way it is not for male orgasm - not only in our common language, but also by sexual educators, and often by orgasm researchers. How can there be top-notch research on female orgasm, when the word orgasm could mean a feeling, a tantric/spiritual event, an ejaculation, or an orgasm that exhibits a set of rhythmic pelvic muscular contractions. When a researcher is studying 'orgasm,' which are they actually studying? Are they lumping these different experiences in as one, and how do different studies about orgasm actually relate to one another? Lack of clarity means lack of thoughtful conclusions. Dr. Prause is advocating measuring for anal contractions (among other physiological measures) to discern whether the physiological aspects of orgasm were exhibited or not at the time a woman claims to orgasm. It seems so simple, and obvious, but it's not. It doesn't happen often in orgasm research, but doing so could eliminate a ton of confusion and mystery that has surrounded female orgasm for decades.

Now, it's not that there aren't studies that have looked at pelvic muscle contractions in relation to orgasm.These types of studies are the basis for our knowledge of the physiology of orgasm. It's just that these types of measurements are largely abandoned to rely solely on a woman saying she had an orgasm as a way to define when an orgasm happened. This is where all the confusion comes in because it is not sensible (and bad experimental design)  to always assume a woman is having those rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions when she says she orgasmed.

Besides the work Dr. Prause discusses above, I know of at least one other study that found women who said they experienced orgasm but did not show the physiological signs of orgasm. The authors did wonder if the women who did not exhibit the physiological response were actually orgasming, but ultimately decided to accept all claims of orgasm as orgasm.  I loved that this study reported this discrepancy, but I was sad that this 2008 study, had pretty much no previous data to help them account for what was happening with that discrepency. I know of another study that also recorded anal contraction data during orgasm but chose not to publish that part of their data. I always assumed it was because the contractions didn't always coincide with women's claims of orgasm, and was thus inconvenient. Largely, though, female orgasm studies forgo the physiological check of orgasm, and are worse off for it. The discrepancy between what women claim about orgasm and what their body is doing is a real thing that needs to be acknowledged and incorporated into experimental design of all orgasm studies.

This is particularly important because sexperts and even quite educated sexual educators use these confused studies to teach the public about female orgasm. So, for instance, there is not physical evidence that an orgasm (and as always, I'm speaking about the thing that includes the particular set of muscular contractions) has been achieved through cervical stimulation or through thought only - with no physical touch at all. However, there are some studies (for instance, this one) that claim there is evidence- because they base that soley on whether a woman says she reached orgasm or not - as opposed to whether she physiologically exhibited signs of orgasm. This kind of thing has led to tons of women, based on what they read from sex advisers and the like, thinking that there is science backed evidence that they could achieve orgasm from things like thinking or ramming things against their cervix - when that is simply not the case.

3. She is brave enough to say a thing that needs to be said.

I think there is real nervousness and fear in saying it is possible that sometimes women say they orgasm when they don't. I'm not talking about 'faking' in the most common of meanings. That's pretty clearly something that is found in both surveys and common cultural knowledge - women intentionally faking for some reason or another. No, what I'm talking about here is a fear from sexperts and sexual educators and sexual researchers of saying that it is quite possible that sometimes when a woman says and believes she orgasms - nay KNOWS she orgasms in a situation, she might be wrong. She might not actually be showing signs of physiological orgasm, and although she might be experiencing something - even something pleasurable and enjoyable, she is not experiencing the physiological part of orgasm. The data indicates that sometimes women do this, and it needs to be acknowledged to move forward with honest inquiry. Dr. Prause is doing that, and it's awesome.

There is fear in saying this for a variety of reasons...like that the established medical community has a misogynist history of not listening to female's experiences, and no one wants to be seen as a misogynist that says women's explanations of their own experiences are wrong...for instance. Another reason, is that people lose their shit in the comments section of the interwebs when you even allude to this topic. Believe me. I know this first hand. It's a deeply personal and sensitive topic, and people are passionate. Getting into the weeds about this is time-consuming and draining, and I think a lot of sexperts and sex education or research professionals would rather just avoid it altogether.

Prause - An Orgasm Equality Hero
So I'm so elated to see such thoughtful, honest discussion on this topic from an actual female orgasm researcher. I'm not saying all lady-gasm researchers are shit or anything. I mean there are a couple who are, but I am saying that she is bringing a particular perspective and a quality that will greatly improve the information coming out of this discipline - and for that I am grateful. So grateful in fact that I'm adding her prominently to the ever growing list of Orgasm Equality Allies because it is so, so absolutely true that more accurate information about female orgasm will help all us ladies better understand and more easily navigate our orgasms and our pleasure.


5 Movies With Names In The Title #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, being that it's not specifically 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 LIST OF 5 MOVIES THAT HAVE NAMES IN THE TITLE! That's right, in these movies, there are names in the title! Right there in the title, can you beleive it?! Maybe one of the names is your name! So get a snack, a beverage, and get ready for an eclectic group of lady-made movies with names in the title.

1 Bobby Fischer Against The World - This one was directed by Liz Garbus. I saw this pretty close to when it came out, and I hadn't known much at all about Bobby Fischer, so it was not only a really great watch, but also pretty new info for me.

2 Billy Madison - This one was directed by Tamra Davis. I strangely did not see this movie back when it first came out in '94, even though I pretty much saw all the Adam Sandler, Chris Farley type comedies in that teen era of my life. I don't know why this one was missed, but I saw it later, in my early twenties, and enjoyed it as one would. It was the 1st 'Adam Sandler Movie' and it's a clear classic and fave for many. I might prefer Happy Gilmore over this one, but it might be because I didn't see it til' 10 years later. Either way - top notch work here.

3 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason -This was directed by Beeban Kidron. This was a Saturday afternoon caught on TV one, and I do love a romantic comedy - a sharp, English one, and watch out people - you got yourself a good Saturday afternoon!

4 Michael - This was directed by Nora Ephron. I saw this on a rented VHS tape (probably from Blockbuster, but maybe Family Video) while on a date with Charlie. We were in this room at his parents house they called the blue room (guess what - it's because the walls were powder blue). It had just storage stuff and a couch...maybe a really old treadmill. It was quite crowded in there, and of course it had a TV and VCR. Anyway, I remember liking this movie fine, but I think I mostly was just making out the whole time, so who knows how much I saw. The room is now purple, well one wall, I think - and there's a bed in it 'cause his youngest sister lived in it for a while before she moved out.

5 Ruby Sparks - This was directed by Jonathon Dayton and Valerie Faris. I saw this one at the theater when it came out. I'll be honest. I remember the overall-ness of this movie, but I'm having a hard time thinking of any detail, but I know that it had a lot of unique interesting things going for it that made it well worth the watch. I believe it was a really solid piece of work - I'm just can't remember the details about why right now. Maybe I'll catch it again soon, and jog my memory.


Bex Truthbombs On Clarity of Language for Female Orgasm

I love me some Bex
Bex vanKoot is a superb feminist and writer that drops truthbombs about female sexuality and has already been deemed (by me) an Orgasm Equality Hero for their absolutely on-point article called Ecstatic Science and the Erotic BrainThey doubly deserve it now, writing another fabulous piece called Defining Orgasm for Myself over at Together Magazine. It's about needing precise language around female orgasm and how that can help create clarity and better groundwork for allowing those with clits to more deeply understand and experiment with their own sexual experiences. It, much like the first article, is so on point.

Some background
Let me start by saying that if you read my blog, you know that I am hell bent on letting the world know that female orgasm is not a mystical thing - quite the contrary. Scientific investigation over the last 60 years has pretty clearly shown that stimulation of the clit can cause orgasm in females just as stimulation of the penis can cause orgasm in males (and as a side note - everyone, even those whose bodies don't fit perfectly in the male or female category, also have parts that come from the same embryonic tissue as the clit and the penis which can be stimulated to orgasm. We all have it and it's not hard to find!).  Scientific investigation over the years has also - quite importantly, but rarely discussed - not revealed any physical evidence that stimulating the inside of the vagina causes orgasm.

So, clits cause ladygasms.  Vaginal stimulation probably doesn't, and orgasm has a physical marker - the rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions that are well researched, widely accepted as the physical aspect of orgasm in all sexes, and largely found to accompany a person's claim of 'orgasm' in scientific literature. That's where I stand, and Bex is largely in the same camp, but I feel like Bex's writing speaks way better to women and men who have tended to see 'orgasm' as a much looser, broader thing in their and their partner's lives, and Bex is also able to create much needed, and easily relateable vocabulary that can help clear up the conversation.

Shouldn't 'orgasm' be more than physical?
What about all the experiences out there that a person might describe as an 'orgasm' but that don't include the rhythmic pelvic muscle activity? Are those experiences not an 'orgasm?' Are they not worthwhile? Are they not as good? Isn't it demeaning to women that find great pleasure and fulfillment in those non-rhythmic-pelvic-muscle-contraction 'orgasms' to say that they shouldn't be called 'orgasms?'

These are valid questions that I have discussed with people - particularly in the comments section of articles I written. The way I have always tried to answer is to say that not creating a clear definition is confusing, makes it hard to speak and teach about female orgasms, and makes it almost impossible to discern different experiences of female sexual pleasure. I mean it's just true that an 'orgasm' with the rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions is clearly a different physical experience than an 'orgasm' without the rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions. It doesn't mean that sexual experiences without the contractions are worse or less fulfilling or less pleasurable - just different, and there needs to be clarity about that. But, like I said, Bex speaks to these points with a level of personal experience and thoughtfulness that I think is incredibly important and helpful.

That beautiful Bex speaking truths
Back to Bex vanKoot. The article made the claim that clarity in our language of female orgasm is of the utmost importance. At the same time it accounted for and acknowledged the variety of important climactic experiences females may have and may find deeply pleasurable and fulfilling in their sex lives.

I am always awed by and grateful for Bex's logical, practical, and often personal writings about the harms that come from viewing female, but not male, orgasms as mystical, elusive and complicated.
But we like to mystify women’s orgasms, assuming they are inexplicable, unable to be defined by cold, hard science, all the while normalizing men’s—orgasms so straightforward that we don’t need science to understand them.
There is no complaining though - only solutions. Bex speaks about how specific language and more focused thoughtfulness towards one's own experiences can fairly simply clear up a lot of confusion and personal angst - all while acknowledging concerns about the narrowness of a physically based definition of orgasm,
If the pulsing climactic rush I experience during penetrative sex doesn’t end with this clinical muscular response, is it still an orgasm because of the way it engages my core and light up my brain? And if it is, then how do I talk about the specific orgasms I want and when I want them? I already found communicating sexual desires difficult enough, without the added ambiguity around what is and is not an orgasm. So I decided to make a change.
I started by asking myself, where am I being touched? How does the energy peak change my body? How long does it last?
Bex speaks so easily and thoughtfully about how they have been able to fit personal experiences within their growing knowledge of female orgasm. Although Bex believes it is important to have precise language and that an orgasm should include in its definition the physical element of the rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions, they don't see how not calling something an orgasm hurts the value of that thing. It just makes talking about one's experiences more clear.
When I’m being penetrated and have what might be called a “vaginal orgasm” by others, I’m coming. I climax from sexual sensation that isn’t directly genital-related, such as nipple stimulation or BDSM. Orgasmic experiences from touch-free practices like intense breathing, or the aftershocks that hit in the wake of really intense sex, I lovingly refer to as blissing out. These aren’t technical terms, obviously. They are arbitrary labels on experiences I’ve had to observe and categorize myself, while I wait for science to catch up.
Lady-gasm scientists - we're talking to you...
I think the statement about 'waiting for science to catch up' is particularly important. As anyone who reads my blog knows, I think the scientific investigation around orgasm, both male and female, paints a pretty clear picture. However, I also know that the scientific community has largely refused to be clear with its language around female orgasm in particular. Because of this, the experiences Bex speaks about - coming, climaxing, and blissing out - get lumped in to investigations of orgasm without the acknowledgment that these experiences are actually physically different. That causes two main problems.

1. Research subject's self reports of orgasm are often taken at face value without a clinical check of what is happening physically in the pelvic muscles when they self-report. That means investigations into 'orgasm' are often not investigations into orgasm. They end up being investigations into orgasms, climaxes, blissing out, and coming. These are physically different things but treated as the same thing in the results. So just because a result says women can 'orgasm' from a particular type of stimulation, it often doesn't actually mean that they can be expected to experience rhythmic pelvic contractions from that stimulation.

This is problematic in a practical way because sexperts take their clues from this confused research and often tell women they can do things like orgasm through inner vaginal stimulation, cervix stimulation, or through mere fantasy. This leads people to believe that the same rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions that can happen as a result of clitoral stimulation can also happen from stroking the vaginal canal, the cervix or from thinking oneself off - but the truth is, there is no physical scientific evidence this is true. So, to the huge numbers of women really trying to figure out what to expect from their sexual encounters and how to finally have the orgasms that seem to elude them during their partnered sexual encounters - the confused use of the word 'orgasm' can create unrealistic expectations about what they might physically experience during different sexual situation - and that sucks.

2. Again, because in general the female-orgasm scientific community insists on lumping any experience a woman calls an orgasm into one thing called 'orgasm,' they miss out on so much detail about the female sexual experience. Because they don't parse out these 'other' experiences to investigate, we have ended up not knowing about what is physically happening to women during these experiences. We also don't know how women feel about each of these experiences separately, and we don't know how common they are. In fact, these experiences are essentially invisible, so they are in many ways erased out of cultural knowledge. So things like blissing out, coming, and climaxing don't receive any actual, thoughtful scientific inquiry, and both the women who value them and our scientific knowledge on female sexuality as a whole suffers.

Both 1 and 2 up there are unnecessary evils. They're harmful to women's knowledge of their bodies, to females' ability to understand and achieve pleasure during sex, and to better scientific understanding of female orgasm. We deserve better, and like Bex vanKoot is advocating - more precise language can help!

Love you Bex.

Go read Bex's post. Seriously. Read it. Then follow Bex on Twitter.


SSL Takes Russia By Storm (or so we hope)

Science, Sex and the Ladies has been around the good ol' US of A. It's had small screenings in places like England and Australia and India. It's been seen online through Vimeo On Demand in over 60 countries around the world.

СЕКС, НАУКА И… ЖЕНЩИНЫ (that's the title in Russian btw - Google translates it back to English as 'Sex, Science and Women...')
But for the first time, SSL will be translated into another language - and that language, my friends, is Russian. We've been talking and looking into translations for a while now, and I assumed we'd start with Spanish - ya know, 'cause that seems most relevant here in the Americas, but in the end we didn't choose it, it chose us.

Love.DOC Film Fest
The fab people at a super cool, Russian, green documentary film festival called ECOCUP started a new festival called Love.DOC, and they contacted us this summer to see if we'd like to be a part of it. We were like, 'yeah - that would be awesome. One little thing though, we only have it in English,' and they were like, 'Oh we translate all the movies to Russian, so no biggie. We just need a transcript, and you can have the translation when we're done.' Then we were all like, 'Hells yeah - we're totally in. We'll get that transcript to you ASAP.'

At that point we (well, Charlie did 90% of it) spent a week creating English subtitles - which was something we had been wanting to do for a while now, but finally had the fire under our asses to do. So after a variety of the normal types of BS that go with trying to get a giganto video file sent over the interwebs to someone, and getting that English transcript with time code created, we will be in this kick ass Russian film fest AND, we'll have a Russian transcript!

Москва, Санкт-Петербург and Екатеринбург
So, we'll be showing on Saturday, October 15th and Sunday the 16th in Moscow, and on the 15th in St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg. There are some other really cool looking movies playing there that look like things I'd like to see. You can go to the movie page on the site. It's in Russian, but most of the trailers are in English or have English Subtitles (and if you feel like having fun you can copy stuff into Google Translate and get the gist of most of it).

Russian folks are gonna get to knowin' about orgasm equality, ya'll, and I love it!

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


The Night Of S1 - The SSL Review

The Night Of
After hearing some this and that about it, we watched The Night Of  a couple weeks back. I liked it. There were parts where I liked it more or less than other parts, but all in all it was a good watch. Plus, there were some really thoughtful points made about the justice system in this show. I'd give it a look  - especially if crime drama is your sort of thing.

Sex between a guy and gal was a main plot point in the series, but neither the point in the sex where orgasm might take place nor any insinuations or discussions of that aspect of the sex where a relevant part of the plot, so there was no SSL reviewing to be done there. However, there was a couple SSL Reviewable scenes.

What is an SSL Review?
As always, 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 actress 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.

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).

I will first describe the scenes and then I'll discuss their relevance:

S1 E3 Prison Bangin'
There's a large portion of this show that takes place in prison, and there is one inmate, Freddy played by one of my very faves Michael Kenneth Williams, is a famous boxer and is kinda like the king of the prison. He has a private room. The guards bring him take-out. He basically does what he wants with the permission and/or turned heads of the prison employees.

So, we see him in handcuffs being led somewhere by a female guard, but then we find that this was not some normal ol' prison guard moving a prisoner around, but was in fact a hook-up. We see the guard in a stark room, facing the wall and bracing herself against it with one hand while the other is on (or maybe cuffed to) a pipe above her. Freddy is standing behind fucking her.

It's not a long scene, but the insinuation with her screams and moans was that she came. There was nothing, including his or her hands, anywhere near her clitoral/vulval area at all. So, if she came it was from the penis stimulating the inside of her vagina...which if you look at the scientific literature on female orgasm (and you know I do), you will find is something that has never ever been shown to cause an orgasm.

So, was this a common depiction of female orgasm? Absolutely. A depiction of a woman being banged into orgasm from mere penis-inside-vagina-friction is standard fare in TV, movies, books, and porn.

Was it a physically realistic depiction of female orgasm? No, absolutely not. If the outer clitoris/vulva area was not stimulated, then it's simply an unlikely (if not impossible) way for a woman to come. So, as common as that type of depiction may be, it's still not a good one.

S1 E4 Prostitute Gettin' Real
The lawyer Jack Stone played by John Tuturro, sometimes hires a prostitute named Ciara (played by Racquel Bailey). He also represents her when she gets into legal problems. Anyway, in this scene he's having sex with her missionary. He's on top. She's laying pretty motionless below him. He's pumping on her. None of their hands are near her vulva. There is also no grinding or writhing that might insinuate she's stimulating her vulva against his body. So, my point here is it's real unlikely she's orgasming. However, she does...well, she pretends to. As he's getting closer, she starts saying "That's it. That's it. That's it!" before 'coming. ' Then we see her roll her eye's as he's coming. It's clear that she was faking so he would finish up and think she enjoyed it.

My Thoughts
So the prison scene was about as classic as you can get - a woman getting banged and coming with no external clit stimulation. That's pretty much how lady-gasms are portrayed the majority of the time in porn, movies, TV, books, all of it - even though the majority of women have never ever orgasmsed during intercourse and no orgasm from vaginal stimulation has ever been recorded in scientific literature. So, it's just a bunch of bullshit that reinforces the incorrect assumptions about how a woman orgasms. It's keeping that status quo alive.

The prostitute's scene was solid. I like it. I like seeing something that I think we can all agree is a very real part of life - a woman faking orgasm. So, this part gets a good SSL Review from me. However, I want to point out that depicting a prostitute fake an orgasm or not have an orgasm during intercourse is not that uncommon, and I would argue, not super duper progressive. Prostitutes in movies can have orgasm-less sex while standing or get banged in missionary or anything else, and those depictions often physically look no different than depictions of non-prostitute couples where the female is shown orgasming.

Why? Well, here's my 2 cents. Maybe the world knows deep inside that banging a woman's vaginal cavity does not bring her to orgasm, and we can openly acknowledge that if the sex involved is emotionless like we assume prostitute sex to be. However, it's hard to openly admit that when it comes to a romantic couple because doing so might open up the door to another possibility; that the sex nice, loving couples, couples like many of us believe we are, are having is ladygasm-less too...and that's just a little too real maybe.

The other part is that a link between emotion and orgasm for women is deeply embedded in our culture in a way it is not for men. I mean, yeah, arousal is important to orgasm and a good partner is important to arousal, but the kind of strict connection between emotion and ability to orgasm that we attribute to women seems ridiculous when we apply the same standard to men.

So, it makes sense (in a very nonsensical way) to depict a prostitute in a sex act faking orgasm even though depictions of a woman deeply in love with her partner doing the exact same physical sex act might very well be depicted as orgasming enthusiastically.

SSL Review
So, the prison scene is not realistic, but it's also not taking the plight of female orgasm and female sexuality backwards. It's completely status quo, and just reinforces all the same incorrect assumptions about ladygasm that already strongly exist.

The prostitute's scene is realistic and I very much appreciate that. However, I wouldn't say it's pushing the culture much farther forward in our understanding of ladygasm or female sexuality. It fits easily into the misguided but strong cultural feeling that women's orgasm is governed more by their emotional connection than by the actual physical things that are happening to their genitals. So, it's a very middle of the road scene for me.

Overall, I rate The Night Of - season 1 Three Vulvas.