Broad City S2 Ep9 - The SSL Review

Broad City Season2 Episode 9
You all know I love Broad City. It's funny as shit. Also (and of much importance) of the 8 episodes I've SSL Reviewed so far in the first 3 seasons, all of them have a 5 out of 5 vulva rating except 1 (it has a 4 1/2 out of 5 vulva rating). This show is clearly, in my opinion, written by women who are willing to unabashedly speak the truths of their sexual experience. It's an Orgasm Equality approved show.

This episode is the first from Broad City, though, that I feel a bit conflicted about. It's really just 2 statements in this episode; one that speaks about orgasm and another that speaks about the g-spot (which is not technically eligible for SSL Review, but the overall scene, I believe is qualified).

SSL Review
First, though, a quick reminder about an SSL Review. It is a critique specifically of the depiction or discussion of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. I'm particularly looking for the level of physical realism and for how the depiction/discussion fits into the larger cultural conversation about female sexuality and orgasm. Sometimes I comment on other aspects of the movie/TV show. Sometimes I don't.

Please feel free to check out all the SSL Reviewed movies HERE and the SSL reviews TV shows HERE.

The Scenes 
Simultaneous Orgasm
Ilana has met a woman named Adele and they are incredibly and immediately attracted to each other. She's walking down the street talking with Abbi about it, and she's telling her how amazing it all is. She says, "I had my first simultaneous orgasm last night, and ....and Adele and I only kissed. I think this is what love might feel like." After that they go on to discuss something else and the scene moves on.

G-spot Located
Later, we're in Ilana's room, on her bed, and Adele is going down on Ilana. She's almost to the point of orgasm. Her 'almost there' qualitites seem sensible enough. There's nothing over the top. She's focused, and clearly getting a lot of pleasure. And then her focus starts to go because she starts getting creeped out that Adele looks so much like her.

She looks down between her legs and sees herself instead of Adele. She freaks out and stops it. She tells Adele that they are super alike and it freaks her out, and Adele's all like, yeah - obviously, assuming that's why Ilana approached her in the first place. However, Ilana disagrees saying it's other things, but then realizes the truth, "Of course I'm attracted to myself. I masturbate in the mirror."
To which Adele says, "Me too! That's what's so hot about it. It's like hooking up with yourself."

Ilana is all like, I know, but...and she starts saying how she likes to be with a variety of people who are different than her, but Adele points out an upside to their sameness.
Adele tells her, "Nobody knows our bodies the way we do. Look. Your G-spot is riiiight Here."

We only see the two from their chest up, so we can't really see what is happening with Adele's hands, but it seems clear Adele reaches somewhere mysterious in her nether regions and touches her 'G-spot.'

Ilana immediately makes an intentionally overly goofy sputtering face like she instantly orgasmsed in the most silly of ways, and then Ilana stops her by saying, "Too intense. Too intense. Oh my god. I lost my vision...for a second."

They move on to finally break up for good just seconds later when Ilana realizes Adele doesn't smoke weed.

My Thoughts
So, I'm of two minds about this.

The Negative
Kissing is not a realistic way to get an orgasm. That's obvious...so obvious you might even call it a joke. The overly silly and way too immediate O-face Ilana makes when Adele touches her G-spot might also be considered merely a joke. I'm gonna critique anyway, so please hang with me.

I think even with the idea that these are jokes, it's important to remember that women are said to orgasm from some crazy, unrealistic shit (have you ever read 50 Shades of Grey). Women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm just like men need penile stimulation to orgasm. That's just true, but that truth has never stopped anybody from also claiming anything and everything has made a woman come and has never stopped anybody from believing it either. Women can think themselves to orgasm? Okay. A woman can get ass-fucked to orgasm? Cool. A woman can have an orgasm from making art (this was actually claimed in the really popular non-fiction book Vagina by Naomi Wolf)? Why not. Women can get slapped, spanked, banged, tickled, kissed on the neck, or meditate her way to orgasm? Sure, I guess.

The truth is people claim and believe that kind of stuff about female orgasm all. the. time. It's easy to do because we as a people don't really understand what actually makes women orgasm (seriously, it's not that confusing though), so it's hard to be certain when claims about it are really, really off base (here's a clue, if the clitoral glans area isn't getting consistent stimulation, it's probably not a likely way to orgasm). That's where I'm at with these scenes.

Yeah, I'm pretty certain they're jokes, but they are also so close to the reality of common but ignorant talk about female orgasm, that they might not be jokes for the right reasons. Like, maybe the joke isn't that kissing is such an impossible way for someone to orgasm that claiming it is is funny because of how over-the-top ridiculoso it is. Maybe people see the very sexual Ilana as one of those 'special' women who is 'wired' differently and can come any ol' way, and the joke is really just about  how silly it is that her likeness to this woman makes their sexual connection so over the top.

Maybe when Adele found Ilana's G-spot, and the audience saw Ilana's crazy, silly expressions of ecstasy, the audience didn't see the humor in portraying the ridiculousness of the idea that there's this magic uber-orgasm spot somewhere secret in the vagina that only very special circumstances unlock. No, it wasn't the insanity of thinking of the female orgasm in such magical terms that was funny in that scene - the humor could have just come from Ilana's slap-stick facial expressions and the nature of how sexually connected Ilana and Adele are just because they look similar.

So, my negative side looks at these scenes and says that maybe for a lot of people these jokes reinforced kinda shitty assumptions people already have. Maybe after watching this, some woman out there, is thinking, 'man, I knew I was missing out on the BEST orgasms because my boyfriend can't find my G-spot! Even the Broad City gals know you should be working the g-spot to get your mind blown!' Maybe another woman out there is thinking, 'I wish I could come from a kiss like Ilana and all those other super sexual women. Orgasming is just so hard for me.'

The Positive Side
The other part of me has context for how the writers of this show think. They generally are not willy nilly about female sexuality. They put thought into it. So, I also totally see the intention for having Ilana talk about orgasms from kissing and the G-spot as comedy of the surreal. They chose things that are not real but also much loved and sought after, like a unicorn. The joke was proably that Ilana and Adele, because of their strange attraction of being so alike, have moved into a magical, almost delusional situation that includes such hallucinogenic delights as "The Orgasm From Kissing' and 'The G-Spot.'
(btw, the G-spot as an area in the vagina where the prostate area can be stimulated and maybe induce ejaculation in some women is a sensible thing. The G-spot as an area in the vagina that can be stimulated to orgasm, is not a thing. There is no spot in the vagina, in all of scientific literature, that has been observed to create orgasm when stimulated)

The Vulva Rating
So, I'd like to think the intention of this scene was what I described in my positive side. However, I think in reality these scenes, no matter the intention behind them, in some ways reinforce incorrect and confused ideas about how women orgasm. It highlights the already popular, yet incorrect idea of G-spot-as-uber-amazing-orgasm-button that probably brings to mind the idea that 'special women' have vaginal orgasms from it. I'm thinking about this way too hard. I know that, but I also know that people are too confused about lady-gasms and g-spots to weed out the silly from the insanely ridiculous from the realistic, so anytime the silly and the ridiculous are depicted, it might just further embed silly or ridiculous ideas instead of making fun of them. I'm not giving this a bad SSL Review, but I'm not giving it a particularly good one either, because I think there could be some damage done, even without intention.

I give this 3 1/2 vulvas


1977 Hustler Review Series #5: Sex Toy Ads

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

Now here's where Hustler comes in. She had a give away on her blog, and we readers had to comment and tell her what we wanted so she could pick randomly and ship shit out to us. I saw she had a vintage Hustler, and so I asked - nay begged - for it. I promised to SSL Review it cover to cover, and here I am doing just that.

An SSL Review is a critique specifically of discussion and/or depiction of female orgasm and/or female masturbation in media (usually I do this for movies or TV not magazines, though). I particularly pay attention to the realism and scientific accuracy of the depiction/discussion and how it fits within the larger cultural conversation about female orgasm and female sexuality.

Feel free to check out the previous SSL Reviews of the Advice Column, the Porn Movie Reviews, a Bondage article, and the Kinky Korner erotic story.

Sex Toy Ads
So at the back of the magazine, there's a variety of ads. This was before the internet, so there's tons of ads for mail order movies and pictures, plenty for a 'Spanish Fly' type drug that you sprinke into women's food to make them crazy horny (I'm assuming this was just BS and not some some type of sedative), and I also found 3 that were for vibrators...and although none of them said the word 'orgasm' in the ad, they all alluded to it.

Problem is that they all insinuated that vaginal stimulation, or I guess vaginal vibration to be specific, was why a woman would be wanting to use it, if ya know what I mean. The clit or the outer part of the female genitals were never mentioned or alluded to. If you've read this blog before, you won't be surprised to hear me say that orgasm from stimulation inside the vagina is not a realistic expectation given that there is no physical observations of orgasms caused by stimulation inside the vagina with no additional outer clitoral stimulation in all of scientific literature. That's the god's honest truth.

What that means is unsurprisingly, these ads pretty much all have it wrong about what makes women orgasm. They focus discussions about getting women off in terms of intercourse. It's not surprising that they do this, and it's not just because these are almost 40 year old ads. It's just that our culture is doggedly stuck on the idea that hetero PinV intercourse should be as orgasmic for women as it is for men. It's absolutely not, but we just can't seem to shake the habit of depicting and discussing sex as if it were.

Anyway, I wanted to give my big spiel about how silly these ads were based only on the fact that they aim to stimulate the vagina instead of the clit, the lady-part that actually can induce orgasm from stimulation. So keep that in mind as I introduce these fad ads.


Super Stud is the ultimate new vibrator that brings sexual enjoyment never before possible. Like the real thing in every way you can imagine! Because it's the same shape...the same texture...provides the same pulsating surge of power...the same sensual inner massage...the same driving, pounding, passionate explosion of ecstasy! It expands, it contracts, it moves slowly or rapidly, up and down and round and round. The perfect way to bring your lover to a fever pitch of excitement - she'll be ready, eager, panting for lovemaking - expends to a full 8". So unlike anything ever offered before, you'll never use any other vibrator again. You'll swear by Super Stud.
First off, they're really missing the point of a vibrator here. It's actually great because it's not like the 'real thing' - which I assume means a dude pumping his penis in you. We ladies don't need a toy for that. We know where to get that if we want it, which we don't right now because what we want is an orgasm. This vibrator is great for that, but it's because it vibrates and we rub it against our clits - which dicks are terrible at.

Also, I'm reeeeaaal skeptical of the moving capabilities this ad insinuates of this dildo vibrator. It looks like it's just an floppy accordion-ed dildo and if you want it to move rapidly, slowly, in and out and round and round, you best use your hand to do it because it's just a cheap weird vibrating dildo, not a sex robot.


Finding the right tickler is no laughing matter.  That's why LEISURE TIME offers a German Tickler that can turn the blandest penis into a well garnished bratwurst. Our German Ticklers are made of soft-textured latex that is specially designed to stimulate the most hard to please fraulein. Each German Tickler comes equipped with a special feature - if washed with soap and water, and properly cared for, it is reusable. In fact, you should get as many miles out of your German Tickler as you would from a Volkswagon.
I'll be real honest, I don't exactly know what a tickler is, but from the picture, I'm assuming it's a semi-sturdy sheath that goes over the dick, and adds a touch of length, girth, texture, and for some, what I can only really describe as torture devices to the end of your dick. Seriously, ain't no woman want those spikes scraping across her cervix. We can go get a pap smear if we want that kind of treatment.

I mean, if you want some extra on the dick for fun, why not try it, but vaginal walls don't get stimulated into orgasm. Hell, those those walls are probably not even going to notice the dumb bumps on your tickler at all. If you want to get your girl off just tickle her clit (well, not tickle, really, but give it consistent appropriate stimulation), and save your money...Plus, let's be honest. You don't want to reuse that thing. Soap and water will not do the trick.

BUTT/PUSSY TICKLER (Vibrate your way to Orgasm)

Now motorized for that tingling, fullfilling sensation that you desire. Rectal/Vaginal stimulation is created for the ultimate pleasure! Also good for enema retention.
Rectal/Vaginal stimulation can be pleasurable, sure, but if they are insinuating an orgasm from that they're way off-base. We've already gone over that. Let's get to what's really important here. What the fuck is happening and what are they selling? What is this 'enema retention' they speak of? Why?

I really don't know. Is this a vibrating butt plug that you can stick in just after an enema to block the floodgates? If so, why? I'm leaving it at that. I'm not sure what else to say, but if you were looking for an enema retention product, and you thought you struck gold here, you're wrong. This is a 40 year old add. Keep trying the interwebs.

Vulva Rating
These all together get a terrible vulva rating because the overwhelming sense from these ads was that women orgasm from stimulation inside the vagina, and there simply is no physical evidence that has ever happened. 0 vulvas for these sex toys.

Zero Vulvas


Inside Amy Schumer S2 Ep5: The SSL Review

Inside Amy Schumer Season 2 Episode 5
This show makes me laugh, and here's the best part - Amy Schumer tends to bring it when it comes to realism and female sexuality. She brought it in her movie Trainwreck, in The Joe Rogan Podcast, and largely in the other episodes of this show I've SSL Reviewed so far. She has shown a strong willingness to give the clit the glory it deserves, speak some truths about lady sex experiences, rep for actual lady-gasms - and those things are incredibly important to Orgasm Equality. (She could use some schooling and humbling when it comes to speaking about race though....but honestly, a lot of comedians could).

The SSL Reviewable
For those that don't yet know, an SSL Review is a critique specifically of discussions or depictions of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. I focus on those things and really only those (unless I want to talk about something else). I'm looking mainly at physical realism and at how the depiction/discussion plays inside the larger cultural conversation about female orgasm and women's sexuality.

Please, my friends, do enjoy more SSL Reviews for MOVIES and TV SHOWS.

I actually talked in great detail about the "Amy Goes Deep" segment of this episode in a previous post. It's not specifically an SSL review in and of itself, so connected to this post it will serve as the SSL Review for that part of the show, so go check it out.  It's about male comics using masturbation in ways they should not. Fun!

The other 2 SSL Reviewable moments in this episode are much easier to discuss than that masturbating comic situation I had to devote a whole post to. Actually one of these can't even be technically categorized as an SSL Revieable moment, but I think it's worth talking about, so here it is anyway. I'll start with that one.

Setting off Dynomite
This part comes during one of the interludes of Amy actually on stage in front of an audience doing stand-up. She says the following.
I'm trying to date guys that are not comedians, which is so hard. I was hooking up with this guy the other day, well, is it hooking up if you're just pushing their head down like you're trying to set off dynamite? But....(she pantomimes pushing down dynamite again) Get! (said like an old timey mountain coal miner)
I don't know what was said after that, but the reason I clearly love this is because it does the thing that Amy Schumer does best. It flips the script on male-female sex things, but not in the classic-but-still-male-centric way we usually see 'flipping the script' where women just play the sexual part we already play except that it's played more aggressive and careless and there's more fake lady-gasms while doing stuff that physically would not actually make a woman come, but would absolutely make a man come.  I mean, that's how I usually see 'flipping the script' sex playing out in TV and movies.

Anyway, Amy takes a distinctly female perspective on sexual things. You know how there's this classic thing about men trying to get head from a woman by kinda pushing her head down? You know how there's this sorta it's-wrong-but-still-funny-and-actually-kinda-true thing about men doing that? You know how a lot of comedians kinda love doing that type of using-a-girl-sexually humor that's funny because it's wrong and also a little real?  Well, Amy's joke, I think, is truly a female answer to that. The joke is she selfishly and aggressively uses her 'hook-up' in an unexpected way - to get her orgasm with (we assume) an unlikely possibility of returning the favor to him. It's funny because it's wrong to push someone's head down to your genitals without their consent, but it's kinda true because we ladies really would just like to push a dude's head down there and get his mouth on it...and then go to sleep or something. Like...many a woman would truly love a hook-up to be just us successfully convincing a dude to go down on us.

So, her joke is great because it is a woman putting female orgasm central in her sex jokes, the way men almost instinctively do for themselves...but the really unique and important aspect to her orgas-centric sex jokes is that it keeps the orgasm associated to things (like oral sex) that actually would cause orgasm. That doesn't always happen given our mass cultural obsession with thinking that banging alone causes lady-gasms. It doesn't, and given how Amy jokes about orgasm, she definitely gets that to some degree.

Cartoon Clit
In this skit, Amy is asked to do a Charlie's Angel's like cartoon, but when she gets there to do the voice over work, she sees that the other two women are sexy cartoons, and she's this fat meerkat with no pants. She's wearing no pants (because it was made in Japan and the illustrators couldn't even fathom pants that big. They didn't see the point of drawing pants). Her vulva is showing, like big time.

And guess what? Her vulva had a prominent clit. There's no discussion of it, but I appreciate that whoever created this was sure to visually include the most important part.

Vulva Rating
I'm giving this a 4 out of 5 vulva rating. The visual inclusion of the clit was great. The flip the script, lady-gasm-centric joke was great. I'm taking it down to a solid, but not perfect 4 because of the whole other part of the episode that you can read about HERE. In that, Amy did 1 truly great things. She took a question about sexual interactions giving her 3 non-lady-gasm-likely options, and answered by creating a 4th absolutely-lady-gasm-likley option. She and Rachel Feinstein also did pretty good work putting some realistic female perspective into the male comedians very male-centric insinuations and assumptions. It was good, and I liked that, but it was on the spot comebacks, and it didn't always take it as far as they could have. So, it's not perfection. It's just good.



Jim Florentine and Louis C.K, or how assumptions about women batter female desire and create creeper men

Comedian dudes are gross
In case you missed it, there was a New York Times article exposing what seems to have been an open secret about Louis C.K. masturbating in front of women in inappropriate ways. Five women went on record for the article. He then admitted it was all true and wrote a pretty good apology - as apologies for being an asshole go. Anyway when this hit the news about a week ago, I immediately thought of a story I had heard not a week earlier from comedian Jim Florentine on a season 2 Inside Amy Schumer segment called Amy Goes Deep.

He said he had a line that almost always works, but let me let him explain it:
I would play some crummy gig in the middle of Pennsylvania, white trash girl. I'd go, "Hey come out to my car." We'd sit in the car.  I would just go, "Look, do you mind if I masturbate while we kiss." I'd go, "I got a long ride home. You don't have to touch it." Nine out of ten times, within one minute, they had their hand or their mouth on it.
I'm gonna let that marinate for a sec.

So, Amy Goes Deep is a short segment where Amy talks to some person(s) about something. It's comedic like all her segments, and this one happened to be her talking to 4 of her male comedian friends (Jim Florentine, Bobby Kelly, Jim Norton, Keith Robinson) and 1 of her female comedian friends (Rachel Feinstein). She describes the men as her good friends as well as the most morally bankrupt human beings on the planet. They don't disagree. From the beginning they are all gross in their own way. Granted, these are all friend comics, shooting the shit. They're playing it up to be funny, and so there is that they're-just-being-comics element to consider, but I think this dialogue is still telling and worth consideration outside of that.

So, Amy asks them if they get a lot of pussy as comedians, and they are all super admit like, 'bitch please, of course we do. There's not other reason to do comedy.' Keith Robinson is called out by Rachel for always talking about sex by saying 'I've got 3 pumps for ya.' She rightly says it's stupid, but Robinson says he can make a woman  "do what she needs to do in three pumps." I don't know what it is he thinks she needs to do, but it's clearly not orgasm. Bobby Kelly asks Amy, "What would you rather do - kiss, have sex or blow with Keith?" Amy quickly returns with the only appropriate answer, "How about 'D,' sit on his face and read my tweets?"

Florentine's masturbation story comes toward the end when Keith prompts him to talk about his line that he says always works. After he tells it, Amy and Rachel look absolutely disgusted and then, the comedians they are, they start joking about it.
Rachel: What woman gets jealous when they see a guy masturbating?! It's not like, it's not like, 'Wait, there can be dick?' That's not like an exciting prospect. We're pretty...we all know the dick is availible.
Amy:We know there will be dick.
But luckily, Bobby Kelly is there to defend his friend and explain how sensible this is.
Bobby: The psychology behind it is that you - like we like vagina. If you took your boob out or your vagina, we'd be like "Oh my god, we love that."
Amy: (sincerely) oh, thank you. Thank you
Bobby: You're welcome. If you see a penis, you like that too.
Amy and Rachel, however, mention he might be a little offbase.
Amy: You're wrong. You're. wrong.
One of the 4 male comedians off camera: You see it and you feel obligated.
Bobby: When you see a penis, you don't go, "Wow, I wanna put it in my pussy?"
Amy:: Nooooo. No. (Rachel is shaking her head no as well).
Bobby: Really? (looks genuinely surprised)
Rachel: That's why a dick pic is not exciting
Amy: yeah
Rachel: to a woman
Amy: No one wants a dick pic.
Most of the guys: That's wrong.
Th strong male reaction against that had Amy and Rachel putting out their hands like, chill dudes.
Amy: No, they're lying to you.
One of the 4 male comedians off camera: noooo. no. (like 'you're wrong') 
After this the segment pretty much ends. What didn't end was my general sadness about how often men's need to get off takes precedent over women's feelings or desires or comfort.

There is an assumed fundamental sexual difference between women and men that's a bunch of B.S 
Florentine's story is not exactly the same, but it fits in the general realm of Louis C.K.'s and others. I think the spirit of both these men's actions are the same, and I'd like to take a bunch of steps way back and look at all this through the lens of our cultural misunderstanding of female orgasm and thus our misunderstanding of female sexuality in general. It's the lens with which I look at pretty much everything for this blog because frankly I think basic misunderstandings about female orgasm are at the root of a lot of nefarious cultural problems falling on women's shoulders, including this kind of wierd gray area of male sexual advances on women that are rude, bully-ish, bad mannered, and abusing of one's power...but maybe not technically illegal.

So to be honest, I'm still kinda playing with all this in my head so this whole post might be a little screwball, but I want to get it out, so this is what you get. I'll start with a super quick version of the connections I want to make:

I think that the actually quite sensible way women react to our experiences in this pretty fucked up sexual culture nevertheless make our sexuality and our reactions to sex seem very foreign to men because they (and we ourselves, actually) are judging us from a perspective that assumes things for women in sex are like they are for men. They are not, but since we don't actively as a culture understand that they are not, and because we as a culture don't like to inconvenience men regarding sex any more than we absolutely have to, we have created stories about women's sexuality that explain the weirdness, but that don't rock the boat of our male-centric sexual culture too much.

That was a lot, and it needs a lot more explaining. I know, but stay with me for a minute.  I think men view women (and women sometimes view ourselves) as fundamentally different from men when it comes to sex. People express the nature of the difference they perceive in a number of ways. Maybe it's that women have a natural ability to control their sexual desire that men don't, or that women are just plain biologically not as much of a sexual being as men are. Maybe it's that women are less in tune with or less sophisticated about their sexuality due to either culture or evolution. Maybe women, through evolution, are drawn to protect and use their sexuality as a bargaining chip with men. However you slice it, whether it's hardcore alt-righters assuming women are out to fuck them over with their feminine wiles or a normal and generally respectful dude considering how to engage his wife or girlfriend more in sex, there is this idea that when it comes to sex women are different, specifically different in that we ladies have a sort of veneer that must peeled, a code that must be cracked before she will give it up.

Different men and the same men in different situations can be more or less menacing in their thoughts and approaches in how to crack that code. A lot of the 'code-cracking' can be pursued out of love or with the best of intentions, but I think almost always there is a real feeling that one has to overcome some obstacle to get to the sexual part of a woman. Men, however, are not assumed to have this same veneer. Men are assumed to be more transparent and open (and many would say more noble, if not also more animalistic) in regard to their sexuality. Men and women are viewed as fundamentally different in this way. I'd argue it's one of the very strongest perceived gender difference people cling to.

Men assume they must perform the correct code for unlocking women's sex 
When one says 'breaking women's code' for sex, it seems particularly malicious, and it's true, that type of direct language tends to exist mostly in more crude circles (like pick up artist theory), but in gentler, more subtle words, that basic idea is a huge part of how we discuss women's sexuality in almost all circles.

There's lots of ways that have been said to 'unlock' a woman's sexuality.
  • Pay her directly for it (this is the cut-to-the-chase unlocking method)
  • Pay her indirectly through a date or through your time and energy (classic, right?)
  • Romance her with flowers and sweet talk and candle-lit dinner
  • Marry her (super old school access to lady sex)
  • Do some of the fucking housework for once (for unlocking the tired wife)
  • Loosen up the situation by going to a place where she will be doing drugs or alcohol 
  • Hell, give her the drugs or alcohol yourself (lock hacking for the rapey type)
  • Be the kind of Alpha male that all women really desire (the unlocking method for dudes who are definitely not cucks - but seriously, this is pretty much the core for all pick-up artist theory)
  • Be rich or famous or powerful (like the dude comics up there saying they really only do it for the pussy...I mean even a tiny bit of vague fame will unlock a lot!)
  • Massage her back (unlocking for the tired girlfriend or creeped out co-worker)
  • Try to control her environment, ultimately to get her alone (could be for the rapey type, but also a classic unlock disguised as creating the right environment. Getting her in a situation where it's hard to leave is particularly effective because it gives you time to break down her shell too!)
  • Let her know you're good at sex (a bold and tricky unlocking method)
  • Make a bold, unorthodox sexual move on a woman (like, I don't know, pulling your dick out in a weird place and masturbating). It will surprise her. She won't know how to react because she's never encountered it before, and it'll throw her off her game - a great way to help break through her veneer. 
  • Hack the code and go straight to brute force (we're getting into Alt Right women-hating, hack-the lock theory here)
  • Or maybe the nicest of these - foreplay her (hopefully to  orgasmic completion) before you get to stick your dick in 
Granted, some of these things are just things that could naturally happen when people are together, but they are also all things that someone, somewhere thinks, when intentionally pursued, will unlock the sex code in a woman, and I'm calling it a code because these things are more than just unassuming niceties or tricks. These are things that get directly related to whether a woman will or should put out. Whether she freely and openly desires to engage in sex isn't really even a consideration. It's more like sex is a thing all women would want to do IF you assemble the correct logistics to unlock her sex....like an actual lock.

Common approaches men have for getting a woman into bed really are just attempts at hitting all the right buttons so that it happens. Sometimes it's heavily calculated. Sometimes a single attempt to crack the code is expected to yield results and sometimes guys just try anything until it either unlocks or they strike out. Here's some examples:
  • (This one's a little oldschool but actually not too far off from a lot of men's modern sentiment). If you buy a woman lobster, that is the key to her lock and you get to fuck her.
  • If you have power or money or fame, those things in and of themselves, are keys to lady sex. Men with these things have necessarily broken at least the first part of any lady-sex-code just because the men put the time and energy into getting that status. Some expect it should always unlock in and of itself. (We'll come back to that because it clearly has relevance to comedians and men in the entertainment industry).
  • Go to a bar, find a woman who's drinking (lower her inhibitions, check), make out with her (create an understanding that it's a sexual relationship, check), find a way to get her kind of alone (create an environment for the possibility of sex, check), pull your dick out (be bold, check) and when she says she should go, whine and nag and make her feel sorry for you until she jerks you off (appeal to her niceness, check and orgasm success!)
  • Okay here's maybe a more familiar and less nefarious example: I'll call this the pre-work unlocking. A husband does the dishes, sends his wife love notes and texts during the day all week. He makes sure the kids get to bed early, brushes his teeth real good and uses mouthwash, and then when he starts poking his erect dick at her pajama'd butt in bed Friday, he expects that he did all the things right to unlock sex that night.
Most of those are gross, entitled, and particularly shitty, but I see very little difference in the spirit of the last one - which could easily be a piece of advice he got from a respected sex adviser.  Granted all the things he did were done to 'get her in the mood,' so on the surface it might seem very unselfish. But although he as a person is well meaning and gentle about this, the cultural structure from which he operates is male centered and toxic because she and her desire isn't as central to when she has sex as obligation is. It's more about the time and energy a man puts in to unlock her.

Women don't need unlocked, but we would like good, orgasm-ful sex that nurtures our desire
So, I'm going to pull back further and investigate what's up with women that we must be obligated into sex, because it's worth asking: Why aren't women, in general, more open and transparent about our need for sex like men are? It actually does sound like women are fundamentally different. I mean, why wouldn't any person want sex (as long as contraception is used, of course)? It's fucking great. Maybe one of the greatest parts of life.

And that's where you're wrong. We're all wrong, really - the whole culture. We assume that women physically enjoy "sex" as much as men but the truth is women as a group just don't. And it's nothing biological. There's no reason to believe women don't have every capability for strong sexual desire just like men, and women can orgasm as quickly, easily, and reliably as men do. The problem is not due to a fundamental difference between men in women but to our sexual culture . Literally the way we have sex stifles both desire and orgasm for women in a way it does not for men.  Let me explain that further because in our world this is not a concept that aligns to our normal conversation and depictions of sex, so it's not obvious.

I'll say the big thing straight away. The most common and accepted sex act of them all (we just call it "sex" most of the time) - Penis in Vagina (PinV) intercourse - is terrible for female orgasm yet absolutely fabulous for male orgasm. In all of scientific literature, there has never been physically observed an orgasm caused only from stimulation inside the vagina. Seriously. And the research community has had decades to get these observations, to observe the elicit 'vaginal orgasm' and they just have not been able to (probably because it is not a thing).

So, since rubbing the vaginal canal with a penis doesn't cause orgasm, AND outer clitoral stimulation (the thing that absolutely is known to cause orgasm) rarely happens as a natural side effect of ramming, intercourse leaves women with zilch and men with an orgasm. Direct clitoral stimulation to orgasm through hands, vibes or oral sex does happen from time to time in some hetero sexual encounters, but let's all be honest. It doesn't happen as often as direct penile stimulation to orgasm. I mean have you seen all the women writing beautifully about the oral sex gap? We come up short with all the intercourse people are having, and we don't even get as much of the reach-arounds and tongue action either. It's a sad state of affairs.

You can believe me or not about the lack of female orgasm in intercourse and in hetero sexual encounters in general, but if you don't believe, I'll ask you keep considering it. It's too long and complicated a discussion to address all the questions you probably have about this here, but if you need more convincing about how deeply the incorrect cultural belief of vaginal-penetration-causes-female-orgasm fucks up our sexual culture, our expectations, and our experiences and leaves women with so little orgasms compared to men, then I have plenty more for you to check out.  Please watch the movie we made about it. Read my long explanation for why intercourse doesn't lady-gasms make, or explore the hundreds and hundreds of posts in this blog that document how this problem is reflected and exacerbated in our movies, TV, Books/magazines, Peer Reviewed scientific literature, and also feel free to read about the many ways people are fighting and exposing the problem. I'll leave it at that.

Point being: Women's bodies are as capable of fast, reliable orgasms through clitoral glans stimulation as men's are through penile stimulation...but the way we have sex as a culture caters so heavily to male orgasm and specifically PinV intercourse, that women just plain get a shitty often orgasm-less deal in the sexual culture.

Seriously, this unlocking game and disinterest in our orgasm is really fucking with our desire
So, given the situation in this world of ours. Why would it seem sensible that women so often seem reluctant about sex? Why have we created so many games to 'unlock' women's sex, games that in the end are often just ways to make women feel obligated to fuck?

Hmmm- maybe it's because if these games didn't exist, and if women were really left to make sexual decisions based solely on what our bodies were telling us, we would find women just straight up wouldn't fuck around much with fucking: that we just don't often desire it...don't want it.

Before you get all pissy with me for saying women don't have sexual desire, chill. Women have capacity for TONS of sexual desire. We have to. Otherwise even obligation wouldn't make us put up with the all the shit sex we end up having. We just don't have desire for shit, orgasm-less sex, because shit sex is shitty. A sandwich is better. TV is better. The feeling of accomplishment from folding the laundry is better. If the kind of effortless and orgasm-ful sex men had on the table was available to us every time, we'd be desire-mad.  That means that women would need the natural, don't-even-have-to-speak-about-it flow of basic "sex" to be as full-proof orgasmic to us as intercourse is for men. It definetly is not, but it could be. Nothing biological is stopping this from happening. Our clits all work. We as a culture just need to acknowledge and fully incorporate consistent, appropriate clit stimulation as a normal part of sex and also give a shit about female orgasm. We don't though. Maybe you and your specific partner do...most of the time...but as a whole WE DO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT WOMEN'S ORGASMS.

You know what happens when you have bad, orgasmless sex? It really lowers your expectation of the next time. Any hetero woman you know have an orgasm her first time? Yeeeeah. That's not the only time she didn't orgasm with a man. Every orgasm a man has during sex reminds him how much fun sex is. Every orgasm a woman doesn't have reminds her how boring or frustrating it is. With exception of the general atmosphere of sexism, body-shaming, and masturbation-shaming that affect girls way more harshly than boys, I'd say theoretically men and women start off with equally high excitement and expectations of their future sexual life. However, from the first time on, the average man and the average women diverge sharply in their desire and expectations. I mean if a woman only orgasmed 75% of the time (faking doesn't count...and there's a lot of faking out there) in the last 10 years (and that is really being generous. I imagine for most women over their lifetime it's much lower), then when she looked at a sexual prospect, she's seeing a 25% chance it will suck - and that's best case scenario where past rape, sexual coercion, or sexual assault aren't there to flood the prospects of a sexual encounter with an extra set of frightening and terrible feelings.

Now we ladies don't look at the oncoming possibility of a sexual encounter Excel spreadsheeting the orgasm odds and listing the sexual wrongs against us, but our bodies know it in our bones and reflect it in how or if we desire.

Lack-of-orgasm connects to different experiences connects to different reactions connects to all kinds of rationalizing 
So, guys want orgasms, like we all do, and lucky them, the norm of sexual interactions is bent towards their needs. They don't realize it's bent sharply away from women's needs, and also lucky them, the whole of our culture, including women themselves don't actively realize it most of the time either, so men don't have much pressure at all to change their norms and bend the norms of sexual interaction to fully include lady-gasm stuff. But, not lucky them, this all makes women way less interested in engaging in sexual interaction than they would like. But...men still really want women to engage in sex with them, and given the cultural blind eye to the sad state of sex for women, everyone, including women themselves logically assumes women should also want sex as much of men....yet they don't. WHY!!???

Well, like I said above, we all kind of rationalize this by assuming women are fundamentally different about sex and imagining that there are tricks, codes, and hacks that need to be mastered to get the sex out of women that men want. This way of viewing women 1. forces no change in the male-gasm centered nature of sexual interaction, lucky men 2. provides a good-enough explanation for why so many women don't show open, transparent desire for sex the way most men do 3. maintains male access to lady sex despite there being a large amount of female resistance. It does this by still assuming that under their veneer, women actually do want and/or will allow sex, and 4. (bonus!) Allows men to rationalize coercive, manipulative, bullying, entitled, actions towards women by placing them in the category of the necessary steps to breaking through the female veneer.

The thing is that the tricks, code combos, and hacks often do end in sexual interaction from women but often not for the reasons men tell themselves. The nice way to think of this, and what I assume men would like to think, is that when the code is cracked, women's inner sex-goddess is allowed to shine, almost like men are doing women a favor by facilitating women's blossoming. Like Bobby Kelly up there assuming that when a guy pulls out his dick, he is facilitating an arousing opportunity for the woman he's with. There is a sense (at least in the less nefarious situations) that if a man can just crack a woman's code, she's gonna enjoy herself. We know that's actually not often true, and furthermore, obligation (as one unidentified comic above correctly pointed out), guilt, and 'getting it over with so I can go on with my life and you stop bothering me' are much more common reasons men's 'breaking of the code' ends in sex than men are willing to admit to themselves.

Comics are dudes with fame and dudes with fame think they have a magic key to do sex stuff at women
So I took a long diversion there, but here's my connection back to Louis C.K. and Jim Florentine. They got some fame (a lot of it plus power and money for C.K.) and saw that as an ever present key to at least one lock for any woman around them. Their time and energy expended to get them where they are entitles them to this. Everyone knows this. It is a standard male fairy tale. Get the money, the win, the access, or the fame and you get the girl.

Now, every rich, famous, or powerful dude is different. with different moral grounding, sexual interests, and levels of boldness so they all approach their use of this anointed key differently, but I bet ya they almost all wield it to some degree. And why wouldn't they? This idea of unlocking her sex is how men approach sex with women. These rich famous dudes just have better resources than everyone else for code breaking. They'd be crazy not to partake, amIright?

Now, just because I describe this unlocking mentality as something that's a somewhat organic result of our larger cultural misunderstandings about women, don't think I'm giving men a pass on rude, bullying, bad mannered, and abusive interactions with women and sex. I am absolutely not because despite how common this is, we all know it's shady as fuck. It's steeped in arrogance and desperation for something men think they deserve, and rationalized with ignorance about the female experience. The truth is, a person can tell you are doing something that is uncomfortable for someone or if you are making someone feel obligated to do something. If you care to notice and care to not do that, you can stop. You can avoid doing it next time. It's not that hard. The problem is they don't care, and it's easy to not care because the whole mentality of 'unlocking' women's sex focuses the process of sexually interacting with women on making them do it - even if it is in gentle nudges. If they seem to feel obligated to do it, well, that's not unexpected.

And that I think is why Florentine doesn't mind talking about it, and his male comedian friends don't mind throwing out excuses for it. In Louis C.K.'s apology he explained that he rationalized what he was doing as okay because he always asked first before he masturbated in front of a woman, but that he now realizes that the power dynamic involved didn't always give the women much of a choice. His point about the power dynamic is true, but I think he probably did know that when he was doing it, he just thought it was okay because power is a legit way to unlock what you want in women.

Florentine also describes himself asking first, but dude, come on, that's skeezy as fuck and you know it. Amy and Rachel's faces alone could have given him a clue. He used his fame and a bold move to unlock handies, blowjobs, and probably some intercourse from time to time. It worked sometimes, but just because you get the result you want from something you did does not justify it. It doesn't make it less manipulative or less mean.

Also, wouldn't it be nice if women could just admire a man without him seeing that as an opening to coerce her sexually. Like, wouldn't that be cool?
Let's step back one last time and remind everyone that when a dude admires a straight dude and approaches him about that admiration, the admirer doesn't have to deal with the assumption that the admiration equals willingness to fuck him. Like a dude could go up to some famous straight dude and if they had a common interest could talk or have a beer or something and when they part the dude would be happy to know that someone he admired thought something well of him too. It's a nice feeling.

You know what is a shitty feeling? When you're excited that a dude you admire takes an interest in you or what you're saying, and then the shoe drops and you realize that he really just wants to fuck you and that's really all he's been aiming towards with you. It's even worse when you are hoping to network with this man in your line of business as a way to make connections and further your career or development in the business. You were all on cloud nine thinking someone you admirer thought well of you and was interested in you, and then the drop to feeling like you as a person were of no interest to this dude or that you will never have a non-sexual chance with this dude is a sickening drop that I have had a couple times in my life and most women have had at least that. Maybe if we stopped viewing all women as sexpots wrapped in a locked veneer that can only be opened by doing the right things, then maybe men would start focusing on what the particular woman in front of him seems to desire and be interested in instead of figuring out what combination of keys he needs to unlock her.

I don't know, that would be nice.

This is fucked up and it needs to change. Like for real.
Let me end by saying this. I've already talked about how battered women's desire already is from all the crappy orgasmless sex and all the coercion, nagging, and obligation that leads us into sex we never desired to have. It weighs on women and it affects our capacity for desire. Even if sex gets better over the years, our bodies remember the history and desire, and arousal can remain affected. So, congrats to all you men out there with some level of fame, using it to get orgasms near or on women in selfish, thoughtless ways. You should be happy to know that you have done your part to lower those women's desire for future sexual interactions. You helped make the sight of a penis less than arousing for so many a hetero women. In general, by ignoring women's desires and adding to her shitty sexual interaction list, you've lowered the chance for the good, healthy mutually orgasmic sexual interactions for her and all future partners. You were one of our past experiences that our body cannot seem to forget. Congratulations on hacking the lock to all the pussy. You must be proud of yourself.

As for all you non-famous men out there too. You run this 'unlocking' game too. You scheme. I'll be honest, we all play into this game because it is so deep a part of our sexual culture. It's fucking complicated, and I won't pretend to give you specific answers for being better or for how to navigate women without thinking about them as a lock. To be honest, women are as confused as you are most of the time, and we all need to be part of change. I will say this though. Pay attention to women. Listen to them, notice small cues. Ask them questions about their experience and desires and be patient. Remember that all women are not available to you sexually as long as you crack their code. Remember that obligatory sex is shit sex. Remember that women's sexual histories are different than yours and that you can't interpret their actions from your experiences. Remember that the clit is where orgasms come from - not from their vagina-  and your ramming dick is not exactly a prize. Remember that you can be a friend to a woman or enjoy a woman's company and not be scheming to have sex with her - seriously, if you can't do that you're an ass. Also, if you just learned that clits cause orgasm, please don't use that as your new unlocking method. Don't go around grabbing women by the pussy. It's not a good look on Trump and it won't be a good look on you.


The Technology of Orgasm: A Meticulously Researched, Awesome, Orgasm Equality Book If I Ever Did See One

Rachel P. Maines is bonafide badass feminist researcher, and not only that, but a straight up Orgasm Equality Hero. I hadn't heard of her book until I went to the Kinsey Institute Library and got my eyes on a whole bunch of cool things, and The Technology of Orgasm:  "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction was one of the best of those things. It was first published in 1999, so it's been out there a while, and if you've heard about the idea that doctors used to masturbate women as a treatment for a largely made-up disease called hysteria and that the vibrator was first created and used in this context, then you can largely thank Dr. Maines. She seemed to have put all that shit together and told the world about it.

The art it inspired
Actually, a play I have not seen but heard about on NPR called In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) was inspired by this book. Also the 2011 movie Hysteria with Maggie Gyllenhaal was kinda based on this book, but I have to be honest. I gave that movie the worst SSL Review (a review only of depictions and discussions of female orgasm, female masturbation, and the clit) I have ever given a movie. I didn't even know this book existed back when I reviewed Hysteria and I was more harsh in reviews back then, but I thought that movie was putting backwards ideas about female orgasm out there and that it missed such an opportunity to be so progressive. I still think that, but that is sooooo not true of the book it's based on. The movie Hysteria, now that I know about this book, really truly for real does not represent the information and tone of the book - which is sad because it could have been a revolutionary movie.

There was also a 2007 doc inspired by this book called Passion and Power: The Technology of Orgasm that I finally bought and watched a couple weeks ago (and will do an SSL Review on eventually). The author, Rachel P. Maines, is interviewed in it and so is Betty Dodson, and those women are clearly orgasm equality champs, but even this doc did not get to the heart of what Maines was saying with this book. It instead focused more on the interesting history of vibrators, modern vibrator laws, a vibrator home-sale company's business structure, and the 70's sexual and women's revolution, and focused very little (if at all) on Maine's revolutionary assertions about how Western culture -to this day- does its best to believe that penises rubbing in vaginas create female orgasms even with tons of evidence to the contrary.

This book, my friends, is the most researched historical look at female orgasm that I have ever seen. It's quite epic, really. I am no historian, so something this book taught me that I had not really thought about before was that the things a society makes its machines do, how their machines are used and how they are advertised says a lot. And what our long history of technology-to-make-women-come says is that our society has always had a complicated relationship with female orgasm in that we desperately want to believe it arises from a dick moving in and out of a vagina, but also know deep down that it doesn't, so we create both things and lies that allow women to get orgasms from time to time without actually having to adjust our sense that women should orgasm during intercourse or to expect women's partners do the work to get women to orgasm. 

A more cumbersome name for this book, in my opinion, might be: Let's pretend intercourse gives females orgasms and then deceive ourselves into believing crazy shit like stimulating a woman's clit until she has a 'paroxysm' is not sexual or that we don't need to pay attention to women's clits when we have sex with them even though we kind of know that we do. -by All of Western History

Desperately clinging to female orgasm through penetrative sex
This book starts from and stays aligned to a basic truth that my loyal readers will know is a major thesis of this blog and my movie:  Vaginal penetration is not good for female orgasm and great for male orgasm. I tend to take that one step further and say that as far as all of scientific literature is concerned, there has never been a recorded observations of physical orgasm from something stimulating the inside of the vagina. Seriously, Either way, though, it's pretty undeniable that outer vuvla/clit stimulation causes orgasm in women just like penile stimulation causes orgasm in men. That means basic P-in-V penetrative sex with no additional clitoral stimulation is a terrible way for women to orgasm. It's absolutely fabulous for men though. So, that means getting a woman off takes more than just having a man get himself off inside her vagina through intercourse.  Women need clitoral stimulation, and that simply doesn't (or rarely ever) just automatically happens at the same time she's getting banged.

But, man, wouldn't it be cool/easier/convenient if women did just orgasm during a ramming like men do?

Maines shows us in this book that somewhere along the line, long-ago-Western-society said 'Yeah, that would be cool! I will go ahead and believe that!' And so it was believed. It was believed ever so strongly, and yet...it was also kinda known that it wasn't true. I mean, it's. just. not. true., and so it's hard to look past actual real life facts, but by gods the world has tried! This wierd dichotomy of believing strongly that women should and could orgasm through vaginal penetration and also kinda knowing that they don't has created all kinds of strange interactions between the world and the female orgasm.

How western society has rationalized our incorrect beliefs about female orgasm 
Okay so, in rectifying what is true of women's  orgasms and what is believed to be true of those things, Maines argues (in great detail and with tons of primary references, I might add) that since ancient times physicians have employed 5 basic strategies.

1 (least common) Straight-up acknowledge that only a minority of women can reach orgasm during penetration with no additional clitoral stimulation. She says this usually comes with advice about providing appropriate stimulation during coitus, not through masturbation. This is close to what we see from progressive, sex-positives today. It's better than not acknowledging the reality of clit-stimulation-to-orgasm at all, but it a. still keeps intercourse front and center, b. still hangs onto the idea that there are some women, even if it's just a minority, that can orgasm from stimulation inside the vagina. However, there just doesn't seem to be physical evidence that this is true. Now, Maines doesn't come right out and say in the book that orgasm from vaginal stimulation alone is a completely unverified thing and that there's no good evidence to believe any women can orgasm that way, but she does do something that I almost never ever see - she argued that the number of women in surveys who say they can orgasm this way (it tends to be around 30%) are quite likely inflated - which is real talk and soooo needs to be said.

So, although this is really how the most progressive in our society society deal with this, it still leaves so much room for the belief in vaginally induced orgasms and the uber-importance of intercourse that it doesn't really do enough to combat the status quo feeling that intercourse should be as orgasmic to women as it is for men.

Confusing desire, arousal, or enjoyment/pleasure with orgasmic resolution. Ummmm...
Having reaffirmed the norm as coitus, twentieth-century physicians tended to blur the distinction between orgasm and satisfaction much as their nineteenth-century predecessors had done. A propensity to equate enjoyment of coitus with orgasmic satisfaction remains embedded in both medical and popular discussion despite nearly a century of study of female sexuality." p 63
True. True .True. This happens today all. the. time. And this brings me to where Maines goes next with this argument. She insinuates that it's not just male physicians. Women seem to use this conflating of pleasure and orgasm to hold the line on this as well. I have to tell you, I just about flipped my lid when I read this. It's just simply not a thing people are willing to talk about (for real, it's the thing I say that I find people get the most pissed off about) - that women might be reporting orgasms from penetration minus any extra clitoral stimulation even though they are not actually experiencing orgasm that way.
Jeanne Warner, who wrote about this in 1984, used Joseph Bohlen's 1981 definition: "Only the unique waveforms of anal and vaginal pressure associated with the reflexive contractions of the pelvic muscles provide distinct physiological evidence of orgasm." In the absence of these signs, the emotional and physical enjoyment that women experience in coitus is frequently elevated to the stature of orgasm, both in the women's reports and in the medical interpretation. Women are under pressure to appear normal and feminine in their sexual response - defined, of course, in the androcentric model - and physicians have traditionally sought evidence that validated this model. Warner thinks it is likely that female orgasm in coitus is substantially over reported owing to women's tendency to say what their husbands and doctors want to hear... p 63
3 They gave the female orgasm a different name and identity. "Hysterical Paroxysm" was a term used for something that women had...and it was obviously an orgasm, but they either failed to see it as that or intentionally didn't call it that. So, by calling the female orgasm something different no one had to acknowledge that orgasm was what was happening from certain clit-stimulating situations - particularly medically induced ones.

4 Many physicians just believed women didn't have sexual feelings and desires.
It is in the nineteenth century that we see the fullest flowering of the third and fourth approaches to reconciling perceptions of women's sexuality with their observed behaviour: believing that women enjoyed intercourse sufficiently with or without the resolution now medically defined as orgasm, or that normal women experienced no sexual feelings at all. pg 59
hmmmm. Women enjoy intercourse with or without orgasming...where do I hear that? Oh yeah - all over modern sex advice that assures us women can be fully satisfied by sex even if there is no orgasm. You know, because we're more interested in the emotional/closeness aspects of sex or something like that.

Also, you see how nicely 3 and 4 play together? You can send women with 'Hysteria' to a physician to get a medical procedure (a doctor masturbating her with his hand or a vibrator) until she experiences a paroxysm (orgasm), and since women don't have sexual feelings at all or at least not without P-in-V sex, then that medical visit is fine, and pure, and cool for upstanding ladies to partake in.

"Finally, some medical authors omit all mention of female orgasm, even in discussing female sexuality." p51

I mean, just ignore it completely is a good plan too.

Hysteria (or how misunderstanding female orgasm makes normal female reactions seem pathological )
Maines lays out a fab argument that hysteria and its "sister" disorders in western medicine have been used as catchall for reconciling the reality of female sexuality and sexual response with the baseless beliefs about how women's orgasms and sexuality should be.

Imagine (and it's not hard to really since it's actually not too far off from the female situation today) the wierd position a woman was in.

She should be pure sexually but also supposed to enjoy or at least be fine with sexual contact from her husband only.
  • ...but the sexual contact she and her husband mostly have is intercourse, and being that it doesn't do much for the clit, he comes and she does not. 
  • ....so, it's actually not that exciting of a thing for her and there's not quite the same motivation for her to do that again as there is for him and she starts to be less interested in him and their sex life
  • ...but that very natural response to shitty, orgasmless sex is deemed as pathological because no one is willing to acknowledge that she isn't having orgasms that she could very well be having if they just did sexual contact differently. 
  • ...but, at the same time, if she does either try to stimulate herself in a very sensible and orgasm-creating way, it's considered a bit deviant given it doesn't include a dick in her vagina, so this also makes her a deviant.
  • ...and if she does anything that might be considered a sensible reaction to living in an orgasmless marriage, like crying or being bored or sad or being too interested in seeking sex or companionship elsewhere - that'll get her a hysteria or hysteria-like diagnosis as well. 
Basically, when women's sexuality is viewed through the idea that hetero-penetrative sex is the ultimate in sexual satisfaction for all, things start getting wierd and women's quite normal reactions to things don't make sense. It's some shady business that results in reframing normal female sexual functioning as diseased. Can't orgasm during intercourse? Diseased. Masturbate? Diseased. Feel frustrated and bored with your sex (because you actually can't orgasm during intercourse)? Diseased. Want sex a lot? Don't want it enough for your husband? Diseased! Diseased!

This desperate attempt to believe that women should orgasm during intercourse despite all kinds of contrary evidence created a lot of confused damned if you do, damned if you don't statements and ideas about female sexuality. Talking of famous 18th century doctor Richard von Kraft-Ebing and his statements about sexual "anesthesia" (i.e. not able to enjoy/orgasm), Maines writes,
Nineteenth-century physicians noted that their hysterical and neurasthenic women patients experienced traditional androcentric intercourse (me: normal ol' in-out sex) mainly as a disappointment. Richard von Kraft-Ebing , who thought that "women...if physically and mentally normal, and properly educated, has but little sensual desire," nevertheless considered the failure of his female patients to enjoy sex a pathological condition. p 39
So, women aren't supposed to have sexual desire, but if they don't they're diseased? Hysteria and its sister diseases, of course, were sometiems treated by masturbating a woman to orgasm (or as they liked to call it - paroxysm). It was lovely way to get women an orgasm, something quite important to most humans, without admitting that penetration is not great for orgasm or that women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm and without inconveniencing women's partners in the slightest.

Technology for the job no one wants
A large portion of the book involves setting the scene for discussing the technologies-to-get-women-off. It needs a lot of background and context because frankly we modern people are not much more enlightened about the female orgasm than the Romans and the 19th century physicians Maines writes about. We still hold a strong belief that women can and should orgasm from intercourse alone despite piles of evidence to the contrary. If you are skeptical of that just quickly check out how we depict sex in porn, movies, TV and romance novels. What Maines calls the Androcentric Model of sex (penile- vaginal intercourse to male orgasm as the ultimate in pleasure for both parties), is still deeply embedded in our modern beliefs about sex. We are a touch more progressive in some ways, but not enough so that Maines can assume all the stuff about how intercourse just plain doesn't work for lady-gasms is obvious and skip through it with a line or two. Like...she must argue that point and get us to understand/believe that before she can even begin her main technology related argument.

I'll let Maines introduce the technology-focused part of the book.
The overloaded and leaky vessel of androcentric sexuality, as we have seen, has required systematic bailing out of contradictory data. Some of this has been accomplished, I have suggested, by medicalizing the production of female orgasm, thus relieving husbands and lovers of the chore of stimulating the clitoris, a task rarely compatible with such reliable masculine favorites as coitus in the female-supine position. Physicians did not relish the job either, however lucrative it might be as an office visit cash cow, and from ancient times to the end of the nineteenth-century they sought some means of literally getting the female orgasm off their hands. Their efforts to mechanize and expedite the task while retaining the profitable character of orgasmic treatment are the subject of the next chapter. p. 66
The description of how lady-gasm was mechanized from ancient times to now is pretty fascinating, and Maines makes in-depth arguments for the high importance society has put on the mechanization of this task.
The first home appliance to be electrified was the sewing machine in 1889, followed in the next ten years by the fan, the teakettle, the toaster, and the vibrator. The last preceded the electric vacuum by some nine years, the electric iron by ten, and the electric frying pan by more than a decade, possibly reflecting consumer priorities. p.100
The history she gives us about all the contraptions people created to get women off, how the vibrator got into the home, and how it was eventually advertised is fascinating (I won't go into it, but you should get the book and read about it).

As for the vibrator and modern life; concrete, physical, mid 20th century scientific knowledge that women do in fact come from clit stimulation and not vaginal stimulation (Masters & Johnson)  as well as the birth of film that showed women getting off  from vibrators on their clits has taken the safety cloak off women getting 'non-sexual' 'medical procedures' to orgasm as well as advertisements of vibrators in respectable women's magazines. We know it's sexual now and most people at least recognize that clitoral stimulation is a way to get women off, even if there is still widespread belief that vaginal penetration is also a way to do that.  It is progress, but frankly not enough. We still largely cling to the idea that women should orgasm during intercourse just like men, and that directly stimulating the clit (which is what actually makes women orgasm) is 'extra' or 'foreplay.' As Maine writes in the end of her introduction,
The women's movement had completed what had begun with the introduction of the electromechanical vibrator into the home: it put into the hands of women themselves the job that nobody wanted.
Progress, yes, but we're still largely working from the assumption that p-in-v intercourse is as orgasmic for women as it is for men, and if women want to get off in a way other than penetration we, not our sexual partners, are generally the ones expected to do it.

I've read reviews of this book and seen art created from it, and what struck me is that often the really subversive punch of this book seems to have gotten lost. Yes, all the info about how women were masturbated through history is funny and interesting. Yes, the fact that women's normal sexual functioning was deemed pathological is infuriating, but underneath all that is the truth no one wants to speak too loudly. We as a society still. don't. get. it. Women don't orgasm through intercourse, but we arrange our society as if they do and then expect women to fit themselves into that fiction however they can. Maines is incredibly clear about this.
What is really remarkable about Western history in this context is that the medical norm of penetration to male orgasm as the ultimate sexual thrill for both men and women has survived an indefinite number of individual and collective observations suggesting that for most women this pattern is simply not the case...Since women cannot alter their sexual physiology in order to achieve compliance (consistent orgasm during coitus), they have employed a variety of strategies to reconcile reality with the normative mode. p 49-50 
A-fucking-MEN sister. Although this book is already almost 20 years old, and I can confidently say, it's still relevant because SHIT STILL HASN'T CHANGED. If it had, then speaking out against belief in female orgasm through vaginal stimulation like we do in my movie and this blog would not get the kind of combative, offended reactions they often gets.  Maines wouldn't have gotten those kinds of reactions from her research and this book either, but she most certainly did. She discusses it in detail in the preface of her book. This topic has created quite a fuss. She describes a variety of presentations and interactions surrounding this research that were surprisingly shitty.
At this point I discovered what I should have realized all along: that some people, most of them male, take my findings personally and resent them as implied criticism. p xiii
I am right there with her, although I'd say I get quite a lot of women in that boat as well. The truth is, though, that the harsh reactions to the idea that women might not get off from penetrative sex just proves her point even further. The need to believe dicks make women come despite tons of evidence to the contrary was and is still STRONG.

She ends her book with a chapter called "Ending the Androcentric Model" She makes no bones about the fact that our society has been living a long and strange lie about how women orgasm, and that it's long past due to come clean.
Many questions can and should be raised about the persistence of Western belief that women ought to reach orgasm during heterosexual coitus. Certainly its importance to impregnation must have contributed to our doggedly maintaining it in the face of abundant individual and societal evidence that penetration unaccompanied  by direct stimulation of the clitoris is an inefficient and, more often than not, ineffective way to produce orgasm in women. It is hardly worth belaboring the point that most men enjoy coitus and that men have been the dominant sex through most of Western history. Yet the fact remains of our normative preference for coitus, in which the constant from Hippocrates to Freud - despite breathtaking changes in nearly every other area of medical thought - is that women who do not reach orgasm by means of penetration alone are sick or defective. The penetration myth is not a conspiracy perpetuated by men; women too want to believe in the ideal of universal orgasmic mutuality in coitus. Even the sexual radical Wilhelm Reich could not see beyond this time-honored norm. The feminist questioning of androcentric sexuality over the past three decades is recent and, one might say, long overdue. p115
Her last lines in the book
The rifts of this ancient wall continue to be patched with exhortations to women to avoid challenging the norm even if it means faking orgasms and sacrificing honesty in their intimate relationships with men. In the past we have been willing to pay this price; whether we should continue to do so is a question for individuals, not historians. p123
She basically said, 'I laid this shit out for you. I told you that our society has been and is still obsessed so deeply with the belief in mutually orgasmic intercourse that it has twisted and contorted female sexuality and stunted female orgasm in a wide range of ways. There has barely started to be real discussion in this arena thanks to a few decades of feminist criticism, but not nearly enough. It's now up to the people. Are you going to acknowledge the ridiculousness of our culture's most precious sexual belief and affect change, or are you going to continue ignoring it and awkwardly plastering over the cracks in its facade?'

I am telling you, this is as bold and revolutionary a book on female orgasm as as I've seen. I have read a shit-ton of books and articles about female sexuality and female orgasm from the time I started researching my movie in 2003. Nothing else, besides The Hite Report, has floored me with its absolutely unabashed realism and clarity on this topic. It's kinda insane to me how tame people are when they write about this book or make movies/docs related to it. They rarely speak about the orgasm-during-intercourse-being-BS part and speak on other more palatable things. It doesn't surprise me at all, though. If it's anything like the reaction I get to my work, it's one of 3 things. 1. some level of pissed 2. Some level of mind blown or 3. completely ignore all the uncomfortable parts about problems in our current society and focus only on how thing 'used to be' or on the interesting, fun, or sexy parts. I think #3 is what's happened a lot with this book. (OMG! So crazy about hysteria and vibrators, right?)

In the end this book, her bold stance, and all the detailed research she did is important. Period. I know there are plenty of people out there who have read this book and deeply moved by it. I was. I just wish I'd found it like 15 years earlier - some parts of it surely would have made their way into my movie.

I believe there is a revolution boiling that could really get a strong-hold on flipping the male-focused model of sex, but these things take time. It's been brewing decades and will probably be brewing for many more, but even if it seems like things aren't changing, I truly believe books like this add a few more hands and a lot more power to the fight. It moves the Orgasm Equality Revolution forward.

Cheers to you Rachel P. Maines. You deserve an awesome award, but all I have to give you is a place of honor in my Orgasm Equality Allies list.  Do enjoy all the power and prestige that goes along with this distinct honor.


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - The SSL Review

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
I like Tina Fey, so I caught Whiskey Tango Foxtrot on some streaming media last year. It was an alright movie. It wasn't a standout, but it wasn't bad either - worth a watch. Anyway, it's about a reporter, Kim Baker, who ends up covering and staying in Afghanistan for a significant amount of time towards the beginning of the US engagement there. I'm not gonna tell a bunch of plot points, but the one thing you do need to know is that the reporters there party hard - like real hard - and there was a sex scene in this movie that mentions orgasm. This is what I am SSL Reviewing today.

The SSL Review Review
Okay, so SSL Reviews. As you might know an SSL Review is a critique of depictions or discussions of female masturbation, female orgasm, or the clit. I only discuss those scenes - not the movie as a whole (unless I feel like talking about more), and I try to focus on the realism of the depiction/discussion and also how it fits into a larger cultural discussion of female orgasm and sexuality.

Check all the SSL Review movies HERE and TV SSL Reviews HERE.

The SSL Review

The Details
I'm gonna lay out the scene for you first so you can see what happens here. (scene at about 1:02:20 in the movie). Kim has been partying with all the other reporters. Iain is a skeezy, Scottish dude reporter that hits hard on any woman around him, but he's kinda fun to hang with. He and Kim have become friends-ish. They're sitting together at the party. She looks at him...in that way. It cuts and they're making out as they come through the door to her room (they're like dorm rooms). 

Iain kinda picks Kim up.
Kim: Iain, don't carry me around. I'm not a fucking baby.
He puts her down. They're both super drunk and kinda stumble around and mumble things.
Kim:  God damn it. What are you doing?
She shoves and then kisses him. They try to pull her shirt off and mutter about that a little
Iain: Oh god, I'm gonna put it in you so fucking hard. You're gonna fucking get it.
Kim: Shhh. Don't talk.
Iain: I want everything in your mouth.
Kim: Iain, just shut it.
Remember - they're pretty drunk. I used the subtitles to help get this transcript, but it's actually kinda hard to hear. It's soft and slurry, and I'm actually not sure who says the next line. It kinda sounds more like Iain to me, but it seems more like Kim would say it. Anyway, they're sorta being combative yet continuing to kiss and grope - all in that fucked-up after party sort of way.
Iain or Kim?: I'll take you lying down, come on.
Kim: Do you have one of those wierd little penises?
Iain: No, this is how I want to go
He turns her around against the sink, so she's looking into the mirror.
Kim: No, I don't want to see myself. Roll off.
She works her way around so she's facing him again
Iain: Okay fuck it.
He starts kissing her again
Iain: Oh godddd, I'm fucking...ooooh god...
He starts putting his hand on her mouth.
Kim: What are you doing?
Iain: I'm just putting my fucking finger in your mouth
Kim: Shh. no
She's wiping his hand away from her face and he's drunkedly continuing.
Iain: come oooon, just put everything in your mouth.
Kim gags a little still wiping his hands away from her mouth. He stops.
Iain: Do you want me to go? 
She looks at him a little like he's crazy and very clearly says
Kim: no.
They kiss more and fall onto the bed. It cuts to the next morning. He's brushing his teeth. She's looking at him just over the covers, obviously not super excited it happened.
Iain: There's ault like a good shag.
Kim: okay, lets try to be adults here.
Iain: I think we were.
Kim: Obviously, this was just a Kabubble thing, right?...just a fun mistake where one of us had an orgasm.
He squints his eyes at her and leans on the sink as she continues talking
Kim: I mean we're both in a really bad place. And then you punched Nic. I mean, it's endorphines, right?
They never again address the orgasm thing. And she ends up having more drunkin' sex with him...but not that we really get to see depicted like we do this one. There is nothing to indicate if she started getting orgasms during these trysts or not, but they do grow a sort of a mutually caring relationship.

My Review
Seems Reasonable
So, she had sex but no orgasm. Now, we can't say what exactly physically went down during their encounter because it wasn't depicted or discussed after what happened above. But, the truth is, if they had sex in the most normal and accepted way - i.e. intercourse with maybe just enough oral or manual genital stimulation to get the engines revved and nothing more -  then him orgasming and her not makes perfect sense. His dick would have been stimulated perfectly inside her vagina. It's a fantastic situation for a dick wanting the kind of stimulation that would make it come.

Her clit (which is as important to female orgasms as the penis is to male) would probably have not gotten any love because rubbing the clit, for god knows what reason, while we fuck is not that much of a 'thing.' She could have tried to rub her clit up against his body to come while he was inside her, but if you ask me that takes her actively trying to do that and him actively letting her hip movement take precedent over his (so he can't be banging into her) - which seems pretty unlikely given how very on his own agenda and uncooperative the sexual situation had been thus far. Anyway, my point here is that it was probably just her vagina getting stimulated, and that ain't never shown itself to cause orgasm  - not in all of scientific literature. 

So her assessment of the sex seemed completely reasonable and realistic. Truth is, women all the time have tons of sex with men and don't orgasm even though the dude they're with does - just like in this situation. 

Calling Out Porn Inspired Sex Stuff
I also wanted to quickly bring up the stuff we did see. I think there was an interesting dynamic there that we don't usually see. Iain in this movie is a known pervy skeez to women, and he continues in that vein during the sex. He talks about how hard he's going to fuck her and how he wants to put stuff in her mouth. He sticks his fingers in her mouth. It's all very porn-inspired. Even the part where he picks her up. To me, it's like he was expecting that type of script for this sexual encounter, because, well, I think men often do: him manhandling her, him moving her into positions he wants, banging the fuck out of her, sticking whatever he wants in whatever part of her he wants. 

Kim resists him the whole time, though, telling him to stop talking and pushing his hands out of her mouth. Yet she actively tells him she wants to still continue having sex with him.

I loved this because in a way it had the raw realism I think a lot of women would recognize. There is no lack out there in the world of shitty sex due to a guy wanting to do things to you that are unsexy, unarousing, unorgasmic, gross, or sometimes downright mean. And, truth be told, a lot of those shitty things are just the normal things we see in porn, movies and TV. It's just kinda how sex often goes, so the truth is in real life a lot of women find it easier to just go with it than having to fight at every step - because honestly that's just not sexy for anyone. I really like that in this scene there was this interesting flip of the switch where Kim did call out all the stuff she thought was gross. It was kind of like her drunkness gave her a free pass to tell him to fuck off with his dumb shit while still easily moving forward in the sex. I mean in the end it didn't help her have an orgasm with him, but maybe the sex overall was less gross because she didn't let it be that gross.

I liked that, and although we didn't see anything progressive in the physical way these two were having a sexual encounter (the assumption is they just had intercourse with a male but not female orgasm - which is pretty status quo), we did see a very realistic situation, and we saw a woman calling out the unarousing, grossness, and unorgasmic reality of that normal situation. 

Now, I'm not saying some women wouldn't like what he was doing, but I am saying that women are depicted as liking/wanting that type of thing more than women likely actually do like it...and that it's refreshing to see it being ridiculed the way it was in this scene.

SSL Review
This scene quite correctly depicted a woman not orgasming from an (assumed) non-clitorally infused boning. (Also she was super drunk, and that's just not a good physical situation for orgasm anyway). It also gently ridiculed a sort of porn-inspired expectation of what a woman should like and want from a sexual encounter. It wasn't the most progressive thing I've seen, but I felt like there was a realism and a fresh perspective in there that should be rewarded. I give this 4 out of 5 vulvas.