Insecure S2Ep6 - The SSL Review

Insecure S2 Ep6
I watched seasons 1 and 2 of Insecure last fall and took notes, but hadn't gotten to writing any SSL Reviews until this past September. This is a fairly quick one, and it's fairly positive. I'm looking forward to catching the 3rd season. I've been avoiding it, kind of like I've been avoiding the latest season of Broad City because I have so many SSL Reviews to do for the seasons I watched so far that I feel kind of bad adding more to my plate until I get caught up. But that's neither here nor there...well not really. I guess it means, I'm going to now try and crank out the SSL Reviews I have in the queue for those two shows pretty quickly. But anyway...

SSL Reviews
As a quick reminder, SSL Reviews are depiction or discussions of female orgasm and/or masturbation and/or the clit. Only those specific things are reviewed - other discussions or depictions of sex or sexuality not within the above confines are for the most part not of interest to me. In these reviews,  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 also speak on 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).

Rubber Dicky - S2 Ep6
I'll describe the scene in question below. It's SSL Reviewable because there's insinuation of clit stimulation here, and although the clit is not specifically mentioned and nothing ends in lady-gasm, I think it meets my criteria just fine. Alright - check it out.

 Molly is in a hotel bubble bath. Her dude is sitting on the edge of the tub. He's rubbing her knees and thighs. She picks up what seems like a normal yellow rubber ducky and just kind moves it around on top of the water playfully.

Dude: Nuh-uh - I can't with that rubber ducky dick thing.
Molly: I think it's just called a rubber dicky.
Dude: Oh, well, you don't need it because I can do better.
Molly: Okay then...

He reaches his hand down further under the water, and we see his arm moving gently as if he's massaging something down there.

Honestly, it looks like he's way far off from where any part of her body would be  - like if you imagine a woman sitting on the floor with her knees bent and open, I would predict from what I'm seeing in this scene that his hand is at about her belly button level deep, directly between her knees and about 10 inches from her vulva towards her feet. That's just some movie shit, though, doing sex scenes where genitals seem to not be where they anatomically are because it's fake and the actors are real people not actually wanting to bang or touch each other's junk.  I think it's meant to seem like it's on her vulva.

It also doesn't seem with his arm movements that he's finger banging her vagina hole, which is good because, ya know, clits need the love not vaginal walls. So again, I'll assume this is a sensible depiction of a man massaging a woman's vulva in an attempt to make her come.

So back to the scene. She leans her head back and exhales in a way that makes it seem that what's happening to her is quite pleasurable, but then he gets a call and has to leave. She acts like it's fine, but after he leaves we see she's disappointed and still sitting in the tub. The Rubber Dicky floats by, and it's clearly vibrating. She looks at it annoyed, picks it up and kinda tosses it to the other end of the tub in her frustration and disappointment.

The SSL Review
So, the Rubber Dicky has nothing to do with a dick (but the name's clever so I get it), it's a bath time vibrator. It's for outer vulva/clitoral glans stimulation - which is just the kind of stimulation a woman needs to orgasm. I mean, it's pretty clear that it's not supposed to go in the vagina because, you know, rubber duckies don't fit well in vag.

So, here's the things:

  • I like that the sex toy is a vibrator - and not a boring, non-orgasm inducing dildo. Even with the penis-centric name, they make it clear what it's all about.
  • I like that the dude, after poo-pooing the vibrator and saying he can do it better, actually does something to her that could indeed cause orgasm for her. He uses his hand to massage her vulva/clit area (or in this case the air near her vulva that we are suppose to imagine is her vulva). That's completely sensible. I'm glad he didn't, as I've seen in many a movie and TV show do, poo-poo her vibrator and then try to show he's a better orgasm maker for her by putting his dumb dick in her vagina. I mean, fuck if you want, but don't act like it's better than a vibrator at making a woman come...or act like it should make her come at all really. I thought it might fall into that trap and it did not, so bravo.
  • However, I think him being dismissive of the sex toy and asserting that he can do it better is, in itself, a little problematic - even if he did stimulate her in a sensible way instead. I guess it's just the simple fact that vibrators are still threatening to a lot of men - like a woman using that and not their dick (or even their body) to get off is an affront to him - even though their dick is unlikely to be involved in making a woman come in reality anyway. It's also just a little like, if a woman brings a vibrator to a sex act it means she probably likes using it, and saying what he did about it is actually a little belittling to her desires and basically blocks her use of it for the sex act unless she gets real adamant about using it - which is an awkward and courageous thing for a person to do during sex, so frankly, it just doesn't often happen. 
The Vulva Rating
I like the choice of vibrator as the sex toy in the scene. I like what he physically did to her to try and make her come - that was a realistic way to possibly get a woman to orgasm. Those 2 things would put me at a 5 out of 5 vulva rating, but I did not like how he dismissed the vibrator and kind of belittled the idea of even using it. 

Maybe it was just because it looked like a stupid rubber ducky and not because it was a vibrator as opposed to his body, but either way he didn't frame it that way. He just dismissed it, and that seems like it puts out there to the audience and the world the idea that it's okay and even extra sexy for a man to take control of how a woman chooses to receive pleasure. 

It's not okay. We ladies get too much negative feedback as is for pursuing our sexual desires in ways that don't involve penises in one or all of our holes. Cunnilingus is still not as much of a given as fellatio, rubbing our clits when there's a man in the sex act is a rare depiction indeed, and women are still simply more crushed than men by the negative associations with masturbation. We don't need any more little cuts to our autonomy inside partnered sex like this anti-Rubber Dicky situation in this episode. So, I'm taking off 2 stars to give a neutral 3 out of 5 vulva rating.



Sex And The City S1 E10-12: A Retro SSL Review

***First, sorry for the delay in posts the past week. I'll put up more than 1 a week for a little while to make up***

My new little segment is back for a another round (Here's the others). It's a modified, lazy version of an SSL Review. It's just me transcribing my notes, page by page, on all of the Sex and the City episodes. I watched them all - not necessarily in order - during 2007 and 2008, and I took notes on the depiction/discussion of female orgasm and female masturbation. It was my early attempt at this type of lady-gasm review stuff. Anyway, I never actually created reviews from these notes, but since they exist, I'd like to get them out there on the interwebs before they get burned in a house fire or something...thus this series.

Ramona and my SATC Notes

Anyway, the fun of this will be that I will transcribe these as word for word as I can while still trying to make it be a sensible read. I'll post a pick of the notes for your reference. I'll do one or more episodes at a time - from the beginning of the notebook to the end. I may add notes for clarification or add my SSL-Review-style comments.

Hopefully the notes I took privately 10 years ago won't make me look like a dumb asshole. I will add them in the TV SSL Review Master List  (of course you are also welcome to check out the Movie SSL Review Master List as well). Here we go.

Sex and the City Season 1 Episodes 10-12

Season 1 Ep 10

Season 1 Ep 11
-Miranda hasn't had sex for 3 months and is going crazy
-Sam says sex is a barometer for what's happening in the relationship
-Carrie watching neighbors doing it through window. V.O. - "my desire took over my..." (they were doing it cowgirl with him sitting up)
-Neighbors doing it. All 4 girls watching 'It's been an hour. How can he still be hard?" They were amazed and jealous.
-Miranda said after 3 months of this she's starting to get carpal tunnel.

Season 1 Ep 12
-Miranda missionary, he obviously pushing up in her - they both cum at the same time.
-Sam said her discussion with men used to consist of 2 lines "give it to me" (the penis is what it connotates ) and "go home"
-Samantha is doing it with the man she loved. She says, "put it in me," and he says, "it is in you." She was more than a little disappointed.
Sam - "James has a small dick." Carrie - "It's not everything." Sam - "3 inches." Miranda - "There are ways to get around it." Sam - "I love a big dick. I love looking at it. I love it inside me," etc. Then Charlotte says, how is he with his tongue, and the scene ends.
-Samantha getting fucked missionary w/ small dick and crying.

My Thoughts
Samantha's shit
First off, Charlotte brought the orgasm equality in these episodes if you ask me. Samantha's all flipping out about her dude's small dick because Samantha is a classic caricature of what a 'sexual' woman is supposed to be - i.e. wants sex (p in v particularly) all the time and comes easily from the simple and very male-orgasm-centric act of vaginal intercourse.

She likes big dicks because, I mean, if one is to believe that a dick stimulating the inside a vagina can actually cause orgasm (no good evidence to back that up at all - though actually), then of course a big dick would do that better than a small dick. Anyway, she's all freaking out about the dick because she has a weird pretend sexuality that is deeply prize in our culture, but Charlotte keeps it real - "How is he with his tongue?"

Because, that's real shit. It's the clit that needs the love in order for ladies to orgasm, and every dude has a mouth and tongue that can work the clit if he so chooses to put the time and energy in - no dick needed at all really. So, respect, Charlotte. However, I will say I won't completely poo-poo Sam's interest in looking at and feeling big dicks inside her, that's a valid preference, but it's not really about orgasm.

Okay well, I'll say this too. I will accept that a longer dick may make it logistically possible for a woman to have a dick inside her vagina and also position herself so she can grind her clit against the dude without the dick falling out. Or have a dick inside her and have the man position himself in a way that she has room to rub or vibe her own clit without the dick falling out. So, in that way, a longer dick may actually facilitate the ability of a woman to orgasm while a dick is inside her. So it's maybe valid to have that preference for that reason, but a woman does not need a dick in her to orgasm, it's really more so the dude can still get his orgasm inducing stimulation at the same time she is, but that's not the only way that can happen either - 69 anyone? mutual masturbation? simultaneous handies? The Moral (that's when one partner is getting oral and also giving manual stimulation. I couldn't find a name for that on the internet, so Charlie suggested 'Moral - Manual/Oral')?

Anyway, point is, Samantha didn't speak about it in terms of her not being able to have intercourse and grind her clit on him. She just said she liked big dicks, which to yer average viewer means she needs a big dick to come...and that's probably how the writers meant it as well. And, so I call bullshit on that, and so did Charlotte. Well done Charlotte.

Miranda's shit
Secondly, I like that Miranda talked about masturbation and that she did it and all that - that helps normalize lady-bation which means more women feel comfortable masturbating and if more women masturbate, more women know how to come by themselves and thus have a better chance of figuring out how to also come when with a sex partner - very good for orgasm equality.

However,  I wish it didn't seem so dismal a thing that she was masturbating and not having a sex partner for 3 months. Masturbation is so often put in such a sad light where it's like the last resort of sex, but actually it's fucking awesome. Frankly if you practice enough and are doing it with the love and attention it deserves, you'll probably have some of the best orgasms of your entire life while alone. I mean you know you the best, and if you're controlling things you certainly have a good chance of top notch comes. I would have preferred to see more joy in the masturbating, but whatever.

Also, when she finally got a sex partner, she was shown simultaneously orgasming with the dude while getting fucked, I call bullshit. I don't know exactly what the scene looked like because I didn't write it down so specifically, but I assume there was no specific show of manual clit stimulation or intentional grinding her pelvis on him - I would have written that down, I think. It was probably just a basic scene of a man and woman having intercourse, and they came simultaneously - which reiterates to all the viewers the incorrect cultural assumption that women can (maybe should) come merely from getting fucked  - especially if they're horny enough - and that ain't no good for orgasm equality.


Check Out This Music Video, Yo!

Hello all -  it's the first not desperately freezing day in a while here, so I'm gonna celebrate by posting something fun and movie-making related (as opposed to ladygasm/ladybation/clit related) today.

As you may know (since this blog is a supplement to a movie we made), I'm part of a group of movie makers called AnC. Charles Borowicz (aka CBRUV) is part of AnC and the technical visionary of the group. When not working on AnC stuff, he does video and photography full time. Sometimes it's commercial work and sometimes it's his artwork and other times it's his artwork but in some level of collaboration with another type of artist. His most recent work is of the latter - a music video for artist Gwendolyn Dot.

He's also my husband, so I got to watch/comment on the process, hear the song a straight million times, and work with him on some of the shooting. I was mostly on the gems and smoke crew. The crew was me and him. I can turn gems very slow and gently now. The other crews (cloud crew, magical space crew,  water crew, rainbow balloon digiverse crew etc.) were just him, so I guess they weren't really crews.

Anyway, this is some wild trippy, often lovely shit. Enjoy.

Placenta et al from AnC Movies on Vimeo.