The Mindy Project S4 Ep9: The SSL Review

The Mindy Project S4 Ep19 - "Baby Got Backslide."
We got into The Mindy Project when it started on network TV. Mindy Kaling, the creator and star of the show, was in The Office prior.  I never really watched The Office, just a few random ones here and there, but everyone talked about it all the time, so I felt familiar with it. However, I didn't really know her from that show. I remember people at the time saying telling me they didn't like her on The Office, and I figured they wouldn't like her show then because I think you needed to like her a bit because there's a lot of her in it. Anyway, I did like The Mindy Project a lot, and I thought the cast around her was really good - a good ensemble comedy.

There had to have been a lot of references to female masturbation and orgasm in that show that I could have SSL Reviewed, but I think at the time I started watching this, I wasn't so stringent about noting every single time I saw an SSL Reviewable moment in shows...or I noted it on a random envelope on my coffee table that eventually made its way to the trash. I have a system now, though. So, by the time that Mindy got cancelled on network TV and made its way as a Hulu original, I was taking notes, and that's why I'm starting on season 4. I will say, sadly, I don't really love the show any more. It had a lot of cast changes and tone changes and  really lost its charisma and humor for me, but I still watch from time to time if I just want a quick show.

All that said, here, my friends is an SSL review of S4 E19 - "Baby Got Backslide." 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 I also look at 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 an 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).

A Quick Lady-bation Joke

The Details
Here's the scene. Mindy is talking with a friend who just rode up to her on one of those hoover boards. He says, "I haven't walked in weeks. My pedometer thinks I'm dead." To which she says, "I threw my pedometer out because it wouldn't recognize masturbation as exercise..so..."

At that point, the conversation moves forward. there was no real discussion about her comment. There was no weirdness or anything. It was just a passing joke. It is also of note that the person she was talking to is a man she used to date.

My Thoughts 
This is one of my easiest SSL Reviews in a long time. I love that there is this show and the main character in it speaks about masturbating with such ease. She has no shame in the fact that she masturbates. I mean the joke here is not based on how wierd or funny it is that she masturbates. It's about the fact that she doesn't get exercise above and beyond what exercise rubbing off might give her and that she is indignant that her exercise counter won't accept it as exercise.

First off, obviously, I'm all for any normalization of masturbation - male or female. There's still too much stigma around jerking it. However, males are way further along on this normalization thing than women. We have a lot of ground to make up. Jokes about and depictions of men masturbating are pretty dang common. The jokes are often not about that men masturbate. That part is an obvious truth by now. That frees the comedy around it to be more about how they do it or how their masturbation fits in with other parts of life - like that the guy in American Pie masturbated by fucking a warm pie his mother made and his dad catches him in the act. It's how he did it, not that he did it.

For females, we're still not quite there yet. It's out there for sure. There's definitely comedians and jokes out there speaking on it, but they're kinda cutting edge because of just that (think Amy Schumer and Broad City). It's still so wierd and new that the simple fact a woman might masturbate is in and of itself something to bring about uncomfortable chuckles (think the sex crazed lady that scared all the guys in The 40 Year Old Virgin).

Anyway, Mindy owned her masturbation so much she used it in a joke that took for granted that, of course, she absolutely would orgasm. I also love that she spoke that to a person she has had sex with. Her ex-lover clearly knew and didn't worry that she masturbated, which means that neither of them see her need to masturbate as somehow contrary to a sensible sex life. And that, I think is important. There is a feeling in our culture that a woman should be fully satisfied sexually through sex with a man, that women need an emotional connection to really enjoy sex, and that just getting an orgasm for orgasm sake (as happens in masturbation) is not really that interesting to women. This simple joke breaks down all those stereotypes about female sexuality and female masturbation. And that's important, because if women are ever going to really reach orgasm equality, we need to figure out for ourselves what we physically need to orgasm. Then both we ladies and our sexual partners are going to have to get used to the idea that those things that make us orgasm by ourselves need to be fully and consistently incorporated into our parnered sex (spoiler alert: It's gonna include outer clitoral/vulva stimulation - and just ramming the vagina ain't gonna cut it)

Vulva Rating
So, obviously, I think this is a progressive step towards orgasm equality. Discussion of female masturbation that assumes women do masturbate and speaks about it without shame or making it seem exotic is exactly what we need. For this, I give this episode 4 1/2 vulvas (This is somewhat progressive, but I would have needed just a bit more progressiveness to give it the the final 1/2 vulva).



Flesh and Bone S1 Ep1: The SSL Review

SSL Review Intro for Flesh and Bone 
If one could pick a perfect genre for a TV show that Charlie and I would definitely watch no matter what, it would be ballet soap opera. So, when a friend of ours turned us onto an Starz show called Flesh and Bone, obviously, we watched. It is a dark little ballet soap opera, and it is a bit of what we like to call 'French' for reasons I can't explain because it would spoil something important in the plot line, but it is very much everything it is supposed to be.

Anyway, we got through Season 1 and there 3 scenes that I felt were SSL reviewable. I'm going to talk about the 1st here. An eligible SSL reviewable scene, of course, one that includes 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 orgasms 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.

S1 Ep1 Soft Core Sex  - The Details
A woman (I try not to give you too many unnecessary details about the characters and what they are doing in case you later watch these shows for reasons other than critiquing the sex scenes) is face up on a couch with her head hanging off over the arm. A man is face down above her - like an adjusted missionary - and he is banging her. When I say banging, though, it's a little wierd because it's like soft core banging. They are both very active pushing towards and away from each other, but it's like their pelvises aren't the parts where they are pivoting against each other from, like their chests are carrying most of the movement. It's also pretty obvious that their pelvises are not actually lined up in a way that actually works for intercourse, although they are obviously supposed to be having intercourse.

We only see them from the rib cage up, but he is close against her, so in theory, the positioning makes it possible for her vulva/clitoral area to be against his pelvis and rubbing - which could be a way for her to realistically get to orgasm in this situation. However, the wierd soft core movements don't make it seem like their parts are positioned right at all, and also their movements are not grindy. They're back and forthy against each other, like they are supposed to be banging in-out style even though it just looks super fake.

Anyway, this goes on for about 9 seconds and then they reposition while still intercourse-ing so that he is sitting on the couch and she is facing towards him, knees on the couch, straddling him. The same soft core problems that I describe above are still happening. Only this time, we can see fairly clearly (without seeing actual dirty parts), that her vulva/clitoral area is absolutely not against his body. Those parts are touching nothing but air - and there are definitely no hands on her junk. The soft core situation also makes it look like she's really just sitting on his upper thighs and moving her chest back and forth in lustful ways. This goes on for about 16 seconds, some of which includes continued sound from the couple while the camera faces the door as a new roommate knocks then opens and peaks in to find them doing it.

At this point, the guy spots the new roommate, says, "oh shit," and comes with some exhales and a pained orgasm look on his face. The girl kinda stops and then she says with harsh sarcasm, "Nice. Really? Thank you." At this point the guy points behind her to alert her to the unexpected new guest, and the scene ends.

During the whole 27ish seconds of intercourse, she is doing a continuous uh, uh, uh, uh thing, and towards the end, while the camera is looking at the door, she seems to get more into it, like she's getting close to coming. The guy is mostly silent except for a couple louder exhales - even while he comes.

My thoughts
So she didn't orgasm. In fact, she specifically didn't orgasm and was pissed about the guy coming to soon and messing up her chance at orgasm - or at least that's what it looked like to me. At the same time, the sense from her vocalizations and her disappointment, was that she would have come if the dude had not come first. So, I'm going from the assumption that the depicted sex was supposed to be something that would make her come.

So, a few things.
1 It's not a realistic depiction of what might physically make a woman orgasm. I'll forgive the general fake-ness of the look and go with my sense of what it was supposed to look like, which is a man and woman banging (the in-out status quo sort of wild sex banging) each other passionately. This sex situation was depicted as something that should make her orgasm, and I call bullshit. There was no outer clitoral/vulva area stimulation happening along with this intercourse, and frankly, ladies need that in order to orgasm. Some in-out, vaginally stimulating banging just doesn't seem to do the trick if you look at the whole of the scientific literature on the topic.

2 The whole thing where she kinda perma-gasmed with her uh-uh-uhs the whole time is problematic to me.

Reason 1 - If a man in TV sex made orgasmish sounding things the whole time, I think people would be wierded out by that because it doesn't seem realistic that a man would either be orgasming the entire sex act or that he would be that vocal. When we see women do it, it seems normal - not just that women make sounds like that during sex but also the possibility that she might be, like, kinda orgasming or in ecstasy the whole time...because when it comes to lady-gasms there is a lot of ridiculous, unrealistic, unverified, spiritualish/other-worldly-ish/non-physicalish notions about how women can come.

There's an underlying sense out there that women can orgasm in all these wierd ways that men can't and that they actually could orgasm for like an hour. It's a bunch of bunk, but it's not an uncommon feeling about women and their orgasms. My point here is that even if it is clear, as it is in this scene, that she didn't orgasm, these types of uh uh uh orgasmy sounds that last the whole act trouble me because they might give a sense to some of the audience that she is actually orgasming a lot (maybe they think she orgasmed at first but was disappointed in the end because she wanted more orgasms?...who knows what kind of wierd stuff people believe about female orgasm). It also just makes it seem like this is the way women should sound.

Which brings me to...
Reason 2 - Why do women always have to be making orgasmy sounds during sex? Men don't do that. In porn and TV and movies, though, women are always uh uh uh-ing and dudes aren't. It seems like BS to me. I think a lot of people and even sexpert advisers might say it's because women feel more comfortable with expressing pleasure and that men should be more like the ladies and let loose more, but I disagree.

I think, at least to some extent, women seem to make those sounds more than men simply because we think we're supposed to and men don't. I think ladies have traditionally put on a show - in real life and in porn - because we often aren't actually orgasming, so we need to do something to show we love it (because I guess we do love it??). Men don't need to put on a show because, well, because the orgasm. That's their show - an actual real life orgasm. Wouldn't it be nice if women could feel fine about shutting the hell up and focusing on their clit while doing sex stuff instead of thinking about how they should sound...just like men shut the fuck and focus on their penis instead of worrying about how they sound. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone could feel fine just doing whatever and looking however they need in order to to get the job done? But man, I think we ladies are pressured into this sexy vocalization thing more than we'd like to admit.

So, point being, this scene is just one more scene out there normalizing the female permagasm, and I don't love it.

3 Okay, and finally, I hate that when he orgasmed, she just stopped and crapped on him for coming too early. First off, the idea that his hard dick against her inner vagina was somehow getting her to orgasm is unrealistic, so the idea that him finishing first would impede her from coming is also unrealistic.

Also, even if  whatever was happening to this woman was actually something that could realistically bring her to orgasm, it's still BS that him coming should make her feel as though that ruined her ability to come. That would only be true if one has a rigid unrealistic understanding of how to have a mutually satisfying sexual interaction... which, to be fair, is pretty much the kind of understanding most people have (i.e. that sexual interaction = intercourse to mutual orgasm)....but that doesn't make it right.

I mean if your partner orgasms while you're doing whatever it is that you're doing, then why is that bad? Why can't you two just adjust now that one of you has orgasmed and do something that makes the other orgasm? It's a pretty simple solution, and it's stupid that this isn't the go-to move for, like, everyone. It's as if the writers live in a world that cannot possibly comprehend that sex could be something more (and actually orgasmically much better for women) than a hard penis pumping into a vagina for an extended period of time until both woman and man orgasm joyfully from said pumping. Oh wait, the writers do live in that world, and for this scene, they didn't have the creativity or the care to think any deeper about sex than that surface, status quo way of viewing sex that is crammed down all our throats.

Vulva Rating
This scene was unrealistic in the way it depicted what physically would make a woman orgasm. It also reinforces old worn out ideas about what sex should be like - that the man's hard dick is needed for the woman to orgasm, that sex is over after the man comes, and that a woman who's having good sex should uh uh uh the entire time. We don't need that worn out, unrealistic BS in our lives. That shit is not a friend of Orgasm Equality. However, it's also just real life, because all the things we saw in that scene were reflect the way sex is largely seen in our culture. So, in that way, this scene is not exactly going backward even if it is not taking us forward. I'll give it 2 vulvas...because it sucks, but not as bad as some other scenes do.



SSL Advice On Best Sex Positions for Female Orgasm

Positions for Lady-gasm During Intercourse Advice is Bullshit
I was writing another blog post and started thinking about the type of advise women tend to get from sexperts in magazines and TV and internet about how to have orgasms hands-free during intercourse. What I thought was that it's some bull motha fuckin' shit. That's what I thought. Now granted there's some okay advise out there, but mostly it's not. Mostly, we ladies just get told how to squish and bend our physical needs into how sex is supposed to be rather than expand sex to mean things that meet our physical needs. I mean, it's not surprising. That's how it goes with ladies and sex . The 'norm' of sex and sexuality and sex drive and sexual imagery is all stuck revolving around male hetero desires, fantasies and orgasms. We ladies and our orgasms, fantasies and desires tend to be  afterthoughts - if thought of at all.

Anyway, this hypothetical sexpert advice that I allege is widespread, but am too lazy to go on the internet and get some examples, often say things about positions during intercourse so that the base of the penis or the pelvis slides against her clit or touches the clit on each entrance or each exit. I'm always, like, 'yeah, that's cool, but some dude's intermittent body pressure against my clit while he moves in ways that feel good for him ain't gonna do shit.' That body to clit touching already happens by chance a million times a day to a million different women as they take the D, yet still most women don't orgasm during intercourse AT ALL.

Ladies, if you want to orgasm during intercourse, you must stimulate your clit in a manner that would get you off...and do it while you have a dick up in you. 
That's how you will orgasm during intercourse. That shit is not going to happen while you lay motionless and let a man pump in and out of you. It's not going to happen while you ignore your clit, but bounce up and down enthusiastically on a dick. It's not even going to happen when a guy tries to do all the positions that keep your clitoral/vuvla area rubbing against his body while he fucks you. Okay, it might here or there during one of those things, but if it does, thank the stars because you got lucky and you won't know when it will happen again because you are not in control and aren't actively a part of the process to bring yourself to orgasm. We ladies got to actively move our hips and position our bodies in ways that give us the stimulation we need to orgasm. We know what feels right. We can make it happen...as long as we have willing partners that works with us and not against us, of course.

There is a refusal to acknowledge intercourse is good for male orgasm but not female
The thing is, I don't think many women or men know that the clit needs to be stimulated in order for a woman to orgasm, and they don't think about incorporating it into their sex. Or...people know that clits are REALLY important to female orgasm and know good and well how women masturbate (spoiler: it's with clit stimulation), but some kind of fucked up, mind-controlling, mass-hallucination spell keeps our brains from fully putting 2 and 2 together when it comes to our own personal sexual interactions. Like, "yeah clits are important and great, but...intercourse!" And then the active thinking ends.

I'm kinda over the top here, but I'm also quite serious. There is a block we people have about this. I know I had it real strong, and I see it all the time in how people talk. Annamarie Jagose hit the nail on the head when she wrote about the strange pervasive refusal for our culture to fully, specifically, truly acknowledge that the well known problem of women not orgasming as much as men will never end until we finally stop beating around the bush and admit that the idea of intercourse being mutually orgasmic for women as well as men is fantasyland.

But as a culture we have not admitted that yet. And that's why we get so much advise about male-female sex that acknowledges the importance of the clit to female orgasm (and really I'm just picking at the most progressive ones that even recognize the clit at all. There are plenty that completely ignore the clit and just tell women to get the dick in there the right way and hit the G-spot right or something), but doesn't go all the way and admit that the clit is not just important to female orgasm; it is female orgasm just like the penis is male orgasm. You don't hear people going around saying, "Now remember, the penis can be very important to most men's orgasm." Because that's obvious as fuck and you'd have to be a dumbshit sexpert to say something so obvious. We're too focused on intercourse and ignorant about the clit to have that kind of obvious knowledge about female orgasm, even though it is pretty obvious and we could acknowledge that...because contrary to popular belief, the female orgasm is not more mysterious or fickel than the male orgasm.

So, here's my take on how this advise should go.

The SSL Advice on Good Lady-gasm Positions During Intercourse
Hi ladies and gentlemen! Do you want to know what positions can help get a woman off during intercourse? Here's the down and dirty details that will set your love life on fire!

Here's the secret, ladies:

Do whatever the hell you need to do to get his body pressed in the appropriate way against your clit area (while still having his penis inside your vagina so you can technically say you orgasmed during intercourse) and then grind your hips however you need to for as long as you need until you come. 

Here's some points to remember:

  • It's very likely you will need to fight against his instincts to move in a particular way that his dick likes or that he think you likes. You may need to physically hold him still against you while you grind off or straight up tell him to stop pumping for a goddamn second so you can get some fucking clit time already. It might take some training. He may forget what you have clearly said and again start doing whatever he wants to, but keep at it and remember, there is a lifetime of bad habits habit and a culture full of wrong information inside both of you to overcome!
  • You're going to actually have to know what it feels like to make yourself come before you get to this point. During sex with a sweaty man pumping on you is not the way to learn how you can grind your clit into an orgasm. If you have never masturbated, this probably ain't gonna work for you. Go masturbate. Take as long as you need, try whatever. Be by yourself. Stick with it. If you practice, practice, practice, you can be ready to adapt your method to the less than ideal situation of having a dude who's trying to come be all up in your grill while you try and make it happen.
  • If you're worried about if your movements are wierd or bothering to your partner, then grow a pair of lips and just decide to get over it. Fuck his orgasm. He won't have any problem figuring out how to move his penis in your vagina to make himself come. He'll be alright. I promise. You do you. I feel pretty certain you've already spent too many months, years, decades not getting yours when you could have been. Don't waste another day. And if he gets shitty about it, fuck that guy. 
  • Or, for real, just rub one out while he's in you. It's awesome, and it's ridiculous that it even needs to be said. It should be obvious and common and we shouldn't even worry about whether or not there's a dick in you when you rub yourself off during a sexual encounter. But we as a culture do give a shit, so here's the trick: Don't give a shit if it's easy or not for him to get off using your vagina during it. Just get in a position where 1) you can reach your clit with a hand or vibrator; 2) you have good range of motion; 3) it doesn't cause hand/arm/body pain or fatigue if you are working that clit for any length of time. 4) there's a dick in you so you can technically say you came during intercourse. Then rub, grind, or vibrate (and ignore your partner if you have to) until you come.
  • Or, and hear me out here, maybe don't worry about whether his dick is inside you and just make sure your clit gets stimulated appropriately to orgasm. 'Cause that's an option too.

There. Lucky you. Now you are ready to find great sex positions for your orgasm!


The Americans S1 Ep13: The SSL Review

The Americans Season 1
First off, I LOVE The Americans. Charlie's brother told us to watch it, and we actually started watching it while we were in Brazil, but when the Russians spoke, the subtitles were in Portuguese, so we didn't know what the fuck they were saying, and they talk a lot in this show. So we had to stop. It was sad because we were like 2 episodes in and we really liked it. Months later, though, we got to watch, and I'm way into this shit.

There is plenty of sex in this show, but I believe - unless I wasn't writing stuff down during the very first episodes - this is the only depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or masturbation in the first season, and as you know those are the specific things I review. 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 I also try to look at 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).

This depiction is a pretty simple and easy one, and one that will be getting a high vulva rating - 'cause frankly there's some good eatin' out happening.

Season 1 Episode 13

A Little Background
For those who know nothing about this show, it is about 2 Russian spies, Elizabeth and Philip, living in America during the very early 80's. They came into America in the 60's and began living as a normal American couple. They had children, and they have a travel agency that  is real, but they do all kinds of cold war spy shit when they're not doing normal American family stuff.

They are bad ass, and a lot of what they do is have these secret lives (they have, uh, the best disguises) where they make strong emotional bonds with informants, who may or may not know they are informants and may or may not know what/who they are informing to. But anyway, they invest a lot of time and energy into people to do their spy work - sometimes it's friends. Sometimes it sexual or romantic. They do what they have to do. They're incredibly good at reading people and giving people what they need to get what they want.

They also have this dynamic I like where they are co-workers that respect and trust each other's decisions for the most part, but they also are in every respect marital partners. They are housemates, raising children together and sleeping in the same bed, so they have to be partners in that regard as well. I really like the way the couple interacts. They have an evolving relationship, but they carry that understanding of people into their partnership, and strangely, they interact, I think, with a level of kindness and respect that is unusual for married couples in TV and movies,  Anyway, that's part of why I like it. Now let's get down to business.

The eat out details
So Philip has this lady in his secret life (and I'm going to try not to reveal too much for those of you who haven't seen this yet), that he is basically a boyfriend to. It's sexual, but it's also an emotional entanglement. They had a very 'special' day, something that was romantic and incredibly important to her, and we cut back to them that night.

She's laying face up in the middle of the bed when the scene cuts in. She's slightly propped up, her arms are outstretched to either side of the bed like a queen, and the covers are up around her chest area. He is face down under the blankets. Clearly his head is in her crotch area. As we cut in she's letting out a loud AHHH, and then some breaths and then another. She has about 7 good AHHs, but after the first it's like she's coming down, and by the 7th, she's just sort of breathing sighs like she's enjoying the aftermath. During it she also touches his head a couple times from above the blankets. That all happens within about 10 seconds, and then we see him come up from under the covers and put his glasses on.

It's clearly showing us their celebratory sexual encounter. After it's over, Philip tells her he'll never forget this day, and she oohs and ahhs about what an amazing day they had as they relax.

My thoughts
I actually really love this scene. Let me count the reasons why.

  • It's physically realistic. Ladies need outer vuvla /clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm and a man's face and mouth grinding around in the vulva area could realistically get her there. Oral sex is a big fave for lady-gasm release. So I like that basic level of realism - realism that really should be part of almost every lady-gasm scene (like it is for gentleman-gasm scenes), but it sadly is not.
  • Her vocalizations were surely loud and clear, but they were not going on for way too long. The female orgasm, like the male orgasm, lasts approximately as long as those rhythmic pelvic muscle contractions last. That's a matter of seconds. Some females regularly last a bit longer than males but we're not talking porn-style perma gasms for 10 minutes*. We're talking 10 - 40 more second range. So, her vocalizations were not silly and not based in porn-fantasy land.
  • Philip didn't seem bothered or grossed out. He seemed loving toward her after it. She didn't seem embarrassed or worried that he was bothered. It seemed natural and like a normal and loving part of their relationship. This is important because men are too often depicted as dreading, grossed out by, or overexerted after cunnilingus and women are depicted as feeling bad about getting it - because they feel gross down there, or they're taking too long, or because it's an inconvenience to the man (who maybe would just prefer to get off while he fucks her instead). So, it's nice and cunnilingus-positive, and we need this kind of easy relationship depicted more often.
  • He didn't finish and then go right into intercourse with her. Maybe they had intercourse prior, or she blew him prior, but after she came, they were done and relaxing and talking in bed. Either way it's awesome. If this was the only sex act - then that's bad ass. We often see a guy getting blown as a lone sex act. I think it's be good for sexual balance to see that for a woman as well; to see a man okay with not getting off in a sexual encounter from time to time the way women are supposed to be okay with that? If he was blown first, that's good too. That would be a mutual exchange and a sex act that didn't involve intercourse. We need more of that depicted too. If he fucked her first, awesome as well. That's traditionally been known as a gross thing to guys, but given all the truly gross shit that we see women do in porn, movies, and TV, a little indication that men are willing to get gross in bed is a nice balance.
  • As I said before, these spies know how to please people. They are thoughtful and sensitive to people's needs, and thus good at giving people what they want, and I think to some degree any interaction with their informants has an element of them thinking about making the person feel good and comfortable. What would make a woman that you had a great importantly romantic day with feel better about you and your relationship than giving her an orgasm with your mouth? Nothing really. I think in a lesser show Philip would have just fucked her because a lesser show would not think much about it and just blindly assume having intercourse is the same to a woman as it is to a man. This show, I think, took the extra step to not just throw a sex scene in, but to make it meaningful as a story point and in doing so put actual realistic thought into it..and as a result, it's a more realistic depiction of what women like and how women orgasm. I think that's bad ass.

The Vulva Rating
So, because of all those things; because this was a realistic depiction, because it went beyond status quo depictions of male-female sexual interactions, because it showed female orgasm as a valid and important focus of sexual encounters, and because of all I said above - this show gets a full 5 vulva rating.


*You can find more info about that in Master's and Johnson's Human Sexual Response and also in studies like....THIS and especially THIS


5 Movies About Friday the 13th Type Stuff #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, since today is Friday the 13th, this is a  LIST OF 5 MOVIES THAT ARE ABOUT FREAKY FRIDAY THE 13TH STUFF! That's right, in these movies, terrible shit happens. On a day such as Friday the 13th, you should probably stay home and watch things that make you a little scared for your life or for the future of humanity...also in my neck of the woods there will be freezing rain tonight, so all the people in my general area should for real stay home tonight. Anyway, you're real lucky I'm giving you this list. So get a snack, a beverage, and get ready for a selection of of lady-made movies that are worthy of this freakiest of days.

1 Pet Sematary - This is directed by Mary Lambert. this is from 1989, but I only just saw it a few years ago. Me and Barnaby, one of my beloved movie-making partners, decided to watch it one Halloween, and so we did, and it was a joy to watch. I honestly can't remember how I felt about it. I think it was fun...and I know it was an appropriate and awesome watch for that Haloween just as it is for Friday the 13th.

2 American Psycho - This was directed by Mary Harron. This is for real, one of my favorite movies of all time. I saw it one night at our friend Levi's mom's house back when we were all young folks. I wasn't that excited about seeing it when it started because I thought it was just some horror flick, and frankly, I'm not really into horror movies. I'm just not. However, I was wrong as hell, because it is an immaculately put together work. I've watched is a few more times since then, and it continues to hold up well for me...and it's pretty bloody and all that so it makes this list.

3 Twilight - This one was directed by Catherine Hardwicke. I saw this in the theater. Charlie had listened to the whole book series on tape because his coworkers at the time had read it and they were all talking about it and wanted him to read it, so he listened while he printed pictures. Anyway, he basically told me the whole story, and so obviously we checked it at the movies. I enjoyed it alright. It's a fine popcorn flick. Also, it's about werewolves and vampires, so that's Friday the 13th as hell.

4 Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - This was directed by Lorene Scafaria. This was a movie that I caught in a hotel room. I love a hotel room movie - one I haven't seen, but not one I've been waiting to a see....a movie that I forgot came out but when I see it's coming on, I'm like, "yeah, I'll watch that." Anyway. that's what happened, and I enjoyed it. It's about the end of the world, so I think that makes it belong in my Friday the 13th list.

5 Deep Impact - This was directed by Mimi Leder. This was a Blockbuster rental back sometime near the time it came out. I have to tell you I can't rememeber much about it, except that I think it was one of those 'pair' movies where 2 movies come out around the same time, and they are both kinda similar premises. There was another like this and I saw that one too. Anyway, comets destroying the earth? Yeah that's Friday the 13thish.


Random Hite Report #21

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. 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. 113 From chapter "MASTURBATION" in the section called 'Types of Masturbation' under the heading 'Type III,'

...dant. And I used to move my hnds more than me, now I move me more.
                                                                  Type III
   Type III means masturbating by thrusting into a pillow or other soft object. Four percent of the women masturbated this way, plus an additional 1.2 percent who could also masturbate in other ways. Type III is similar to Type II because it is done on the stomach, in the face down position, but different because no hands are used. It involves thrusting or grinding the pelvis, especially the pubic area, against the bed, some pillows, or a clump of clothing, or perhaps moving one's body in pressing movements against the bed. Legs are usually together, and often there are some sheets of fabric wadded up and held between the legs. Thus stimulation is spread over a rather wide area in an indirect way. Six of the Type IIIs are unusual, and four of these quotes will be found at the end of this section.
    "When I masturbate, I usually lie face down on the bed with some cloth, like a blanket or spread, pulled together so there is a mound I rub back and forth on."
    "I lie on my stomach with some material pulled firmly between my thighs and pressing against my entire mons area, then bounce gently until orgasm."
    "Yes I enjoy masturbation. I have masturbated since babyhood and I don't see any reason to stop ever. However, I prefer sex with a partner because I like company. I always have an orgasm and usually several of them, depending on the mood I'm in. I don't masturbate like anyone else I've ever heard of. I make a clump in the bedding about the size of a fist (I used to use the head of my poor teddy bear, but since I became too old to sleep with a teddy bear, a wad of the sheets has to suffice) and then lie on my stomach on top of it so that it exerts pressure on my clitoris. I then move my hips in a circular motion until I climax - very simple. It works with legs apart or together - either one, although when I am in a particularly frenzied state, together sometimes...


Bojack Horseman S1 Ep. 1-4: The SSL Review

I had heard some good things about Bojack Horseman, so Charlie and I watched about 8 of the first season's 12 episodes. At that point we both got a little bored with it and haven't watched any since. However, in writing this, I was looking some stuff up about the show, and apparently it got A LOT better after the 1st half of the 1st season. So, if you think you might be into this show, maybe it's actually better than I am letting on - if you stick with it. You do you. Who knows, maybe I'll watch some more myself.

Anyway, there was some lady-bations/lady-gasm type stuff in there, so here I am doing an SSL Review for you all. 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 I also look at 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 an 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:

S1 Ep. 1 Orgasm Interrupted
The scene
BoJack is in bed, lying on his back. A human woman (oh - Bojack is actually a horse. I mean he stands on two legs and  wears clothes, but he's a horse) is riding cowgirl on him bouncing up and down. Her upper body is fully upright, so there's no leaning forward to push the ol' clit/vulva area against his body - just hole on pole.

We don't see what her hands are doing. We're looking at it from behind her back, and her hands are in front of her, so it is possible she could be rubbing the clit while she's bouncing on his literal horsecock, but there is no specific indication that is what's happening. More likely the intention (because it's drawn, so there probably has to be some intention there) is that her hands are on him, helping her steady herself as she bounces. I assumed this, and I assume most people would too (if they actually put active thought into it at all) because we're used to seeing women have sex this way, but not used to seeing a woman rub her clit during intercourse.

His arms are definitely not on her clit area either. Anyway, she starts saying, "Oh, oh, oh, Bojack, I'm almost theee..." But, he stops her before it fully happens in order to look past her and see the beginning of his old TV show "Horsing Around." She gets an annoyed look on her face and goes silent.

The orgasm and my take
So, somehow she is getting the stimulation to orgasm even though it seems to be all in the vagina, and as any good SSL reader knows, there is no physical record of a woman coming from stimulation inside the vagina anywhere in scientific literature. So, I deem it an unrealistic but very common depiction of female orgasm.

There are complications to this though. The fact that her hands were not clearly away from her clit area is a bit more unusual, and leaves some doubt. However, the woman's hands on the dude's stomach/chest is a very common way to depict this position (unless she is supposed to be really wild or really insane, and then she is running them through her hair and waving them in the air like she just don't care....or if the position is on regular TV and she's naked up top, then her hands would be on her boobs so they are covered), so I think there was no intention to show this woman touching her own clit, and I doubt viewers would see that insinuated because ladies rubbing their own clits to orgasm in movies and TV is just not even on the radar...but getting banged into orgasm sure is.

Oh, and to complicate it further- I also just realized that it looks like she has her underwear on the whole time...maybe it's a panties to the side kind of thing? OR...maybe she was all panties on, just grinding her clit against his stomach the whole time. That would be cool. I'm certain it wasn't the intention, but that would be cool.

S1 Ep. 3 - They said the word 'clitoris'
The scene
Sextina Aquafina, who is a fish that is a hot sexy new singer starlet, says,  "My clitoris is ginormous!" It's not really in relation to anything. She's on the TV a lot, and she's used in the show as comparison to a now 30-year old actress who was once a kid on Bojack's show and then became a sexy starlet and is now just drugged up and washed out.

Why talk about it???
Okay, this one is technically not SSL reviewable being that there was no orgasm or masturbation involved, but I wanted to mention it anyway because the word 'clitoris' was mentioned. The truth is, clitoris is not mentioned in pop culture that much. It just isn't. 'Vagina,' 'pussy,' 'hole' - these types of things are mentioned on the regular, and you know dick is mentioned all the damn time.

So, I like to point it out when I hear it, because I think people like Sophia Wallace and her Cliteracy campaign are correct. The clit is a bit invisible. It's the thing that causes women to orgasm, but how often do you hear about it or see it insinuated in depictions of female orgasm - even in porn? Rarely...it's almost always the hole, which is a bunch of bullshit that just goes to show you how deep the problems with societal misunderstanding of lady-gasms are.

My thoughts
I don't have too much to say about this. I think probably it was just a funny line the writers made up to show this woman is throwing her sex out there real hard. That said though, I do also want to mention that I feel that her specifically talking about her clit and specifically about it being large is tailored to make the audience feel a little gross about her in a particular way.

I say this because I feel like talking about the clit seems a bit more raucous - more wild and dirty for a girl to do because we just don't do it much and it seems a little selfish too. Then saying it's big is almost saying she's man-like - which I think has an 8-year-old boy style humor of  'Oh gross, she's trying to be sexy, but it's just gross because its not feminine,' feel to it. Anyway, maybe this was just a simple rhyming line some writers shit out, but maybe there was some thought put into it, and maybe it emphasized  the grossness and non-femininity of the clit and the women who talk about them - and that's not awesome.

And yeah - that's probably getting too deep into the weeds with this, but that's how we roll here sometimes.

S1 Ep. 4 - "not even inside me"
The scene
BoJack is face down missionary style on top of his agent - a cat named Princess Carolyn played by Amy Sedaris. (I mean, a horse should not be penetrating a cat, really - but I assume they were written as lovers for the inherent joke in the wrongness of it).

He is straight pounding her and breathing real hard as he's speaking. She's on her back. Her arms are at her side. So, no one's hands are on her clit area. She's straight-faced and annoyed.

Bojack: Are you close?
Princess Carolyn: No. (exasperated)
Bojack: How 'bout now?
Princess Carolyn: No. (even more exasperated)
Bojack: Now?
Princess Carolyn: You're not even inside of me.
Bojack: Oh gaaaaaahhhhhhd! (as he comes)
He immediately rolls off her and immediately says
Bojack: Did you get there?

Then someone comes into the room and interrupts them with something completely different, so this isn't discussed any further.

My thoughts
It was a scene to show, like in the first scene I discuss above, that Bojack is oblivious to the circumstances of the women he's having sex with...i.e. a classic way to show a man as being selfish.

The scene's on point in a way. A dude banging on a woman without any extra external stimulation is not going to get her there, so that's not unrealistic. I think the interesting thing is in the punchline of this scene: "You're not even inside of me." Hilarious, right? He's so oblivious that he's not even inside her (I mean, probably best given she's a cat and he's a horse, but whatever). He's just rubbing up against her or something.

The thing is, that punchline really shines a light on one of the main unchecked assumptions we have about female orgasm in this culture; that at the very least, you must be inside her vagina. I mean if he actually cared about her orgasm instead of just caring enough to mindlessly ask her about it, he would at least do the most basic of things a man must do to get a woman off - be inside her, right? Well, that only works if your audience strongly feels that a penis inside a woman can cause a woman to orgasm, and of course the audiences does because our society does, But it's not true. In reality, the penis inside the vag has never been shown to cause orgasm, but rubbing stuff against the external genitals has.

So, it's like if we look at this situation in a physically realistic way, him rubbing against her outer parts might actually be super duper nice for her. That, unlike banging a vagina, has actually been shown to cause orgasm in women. So, the scene works for what it's supposed to be - showing Bojack as a thoughtless, selfish lover, but in doing so, it point out clearly how badly the culture misunderstands how women actually orgasm.

The Vulva Rating
This is status quo stuff here. This is women getting off from bouncing on a dick with no external clitoral stimulation. This is jokes about a dude being so bad in bed that he doesn't even put the dick in her. It's not new or exciting or progressive. It's just jokes about sex and selfishness from a male perspective.

"Haha," the writers I'm sure said, "wouldn't it be funny to demonstrate this dude's selfishness through caring not about his partner's orgasm?" Yes, it would be funny if 1) the anatomical aspects of how they made that joke were correct and 2) if it were't like everyday life...if women not orgasming with men during sex wasn't more common than not.

These kinds of sex jokes are from a very male perspective. I mean, I think they're meant to be thoughtful of the female perspective, but they're not really. I know they're trying, but the jokes are more like a dude's idea of what a female perspective might be. It's played out, kinda tone-def, but it's born from a huge cultural miseducation about the female orgasm and the clit being necessary for it...so in the end, since this miseducation is pretty ubiquitous, it's also still fine as a joke...which is sad.

This did not take the discussion of female orgasm back any and it wasn't mean-spirited. It also didn't move it forward, and it's not realistic. So, I'm giving these first 4 episodes of Bojack Horseman a 2 vulva rating.