Sex and the City S4 Ep 13-17: A Retro SSL Review

***First, sorry for the delay in posts the past week. I'm still trying to balance out my life to write more. I'll get there one day.***

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 4 Episodes 13-17

Season 4 Ep 13
-(asking each other about) secret single behavior - Sam: "like masturbating?"
-Miranda - What if he's a really good fuck? Will all that poking hurt the baby?
-Saw Sam's boyfriend's flaccid penis (only one ever seen)
-Miranda had sex with a dude missionary and cowgirl both definitely bobbing up and down and seemed to be on the verge of orgasming both times.

Season 4 Ep 14
-Sam - missionary w/ her legs up - he pumping her and on ecstasy - orgasmsed
-girls watched gay por - just laughed and screamed

Season 4 Ep 15
-Sam in shower w/ guy - shower head is taken off and put down toward her nether regions. She looked like ti felt real good.
-Sam gets fucked - she just does it because boyfriend is fucking others - he goes limp - she's uninterested

Season 4 Ep 16
-v.o. "Steve gave Miranda multiple orgasms."

Season 4 Ep 17
-Sam gives her man a 3-way with a girl for his b-day, but she is young and they don't like her

Season 4 Ep 17
-Sam catches her man with a woman spread eagle eating her out

My Thoughts
I must have been like half asleep when I made these notes because they're pretty shitty...short and not a lot of context. So, I'm going to give my thoughts on how these SSL Reviewable moments (depictions/discussions of female orgasm, masturbation, or the clit) affect and are affected by the sexual culture and our understanding of female orgasm in a general way related to the 2 characters that were highlighted in these episodes.

Sam, as always, is a mixed bag. Her character is both an authentically sexual and orgasming woman and also an archetype of the 'overly sexual woman.' She is depicted as a person that orgasms through things that would actually be physically likely to cause a female to come. Yet, she is also depicted often as orgasming in ways we are used to seeing 'sexual' women orgasm, ways that are also conveniently congruous with things that make men orgasm but in reality would not realistically cause a female to orgasm.

So, yes, I like that she speaks about masturbation casually and often in this show because it normalizes women masturbating, which very much needs more publicity given that too many women do not do it. Plus, frankly, women really must masturbate in order to figure out how to orgasm when with another person. Yes, I like that we see her getting some shower head on her vulva because that water massage on the vulva/clit area is a sensible way to stimulate a woman to orgasm. AND, I like that she's with a partner yet instead of of simply p-in-v fucking, they choose to do something actually orgasmic for her instead. That is not often depicted. I also like that when she catches her man fucking someone else, he's not just sticking his dick in her. She's getting ate the fuck out. Both those things depict and normalize a hetero partnered sexual encounter that are actually orgasmic for the lady.

BUT, Sam is also always getting a penis banged in her, with no additional clitoral stimulation, and coming like a banshee. Stimulating the inside of the vagina as one does when getting banged, does not a lady-gasm make...for real...and it's a disservice to our cultural knowledge of female orgasm every time a woman is shown orgasming from something that would never actually cause a real female to have an actual physical orgasm. Unfortunately that is depicted more often than not, in porn, in movie, in TV, and maybe most sadly in the 'sexually strong lady' characters like Sam...because we really need to have a different understanding of what a sexual woman is than just a woman the really likes, seeks out, and (fakes) orgasms during sexual acts that men really enjoy and orgasm from.

Miranda's orgasms tend to be a bit more realistically depicted than Sams overall in the show. She talks more about the clit and talks about how just getting fucked isn't always that great, and about the wonders of getting your junk licked to orgasm - you know the good stuff. However, like all the women in this show (and most shows really) all the good depictions always seem to get counteracted by other depictions of them getting railed into orgasm; no vibrator, no hands on the clit area, no grinding the vulva against something, just a penis moving in and out of their vagina. It reinforces the already strongly held but deeply flawed notion that one can just fuck a woman into orgasm (or multiple orgasms as was insinuated of Steve and Miranda in episode 16 up there).

Other Shit
As for the other things in the notes; first SATC look at a  flaccid penis, the hilarity the women felt at watching gay porn, and the 3-way gone wrong - they are not actually SSL Reviewable qualified things - just things related to sex that at the time I thought might be relevant. I do, however, want to say 2 things. 1. Sex-based shows for hetero women should have more penises and specifically more har or semi-hard ones. 2.(male) gay porn is umm, pretty damn hot. Dicks on dick, ya'll. It's much better to masturbate to it than laugh at it with your friends. Get it together ladies of SATC.

Also, Ramona always be sitting on my SATC notes.


5 Fun Romp Movies #DirectedbyWomen

I started doing this categorized List of 5 movies thing where I showcase movies that were directed by women and that I have actually seen. It all started during the Directed By Women Worldwide Viewing Party in September 2015, and it was pretty fun, so I've continued doing it from time to time.

It's a bit off-topic from my normal fare, ya know, being that it's not specifically about lady-gasms or anything like that, but I think it fits the blog because
1. this blog is also about indie movie-making, and
2. this blog is partially about getting the female perspective of sexuality into our media. So, to me, supporting female voices in our media  means we're creating more room for female voices to speak on all types of things, which sometimes will be sex, orgasms, and sexuality.

You can find all my 5-movie lists HERE.

These are movies that you might simply call a fun romp; an adventure, a fun night, These are good movies to just chill with on a lazy night. 

So, relax in whatever way you so choose and stream one of these for an ejoyable romp of a night.

1. Half Baked - This was directed by Tamra Davis. Although this was released in 98, I just saw it recently on some streaming site. It's a late 90's weed comedy, but to my taste, not near the movie Harold and Kumar is. It's definitely a romp, though. So, if you wanna see Dave Chappelle and friends get crazy high, fall in love, get into shenanigans, and try to make a lot of money in a short time (and why would you not want to see that) definitely check this one out.

2. Desperately Seeking Susan - This was directed by Susan Seidelman. I saw this a long time ago - like in the 80's or 90's on TV, and then I've seen parts of it here and there on TV ever since. I mostly remember about it that I thought Madonna was cool. I honestly don't remember the plot much, but I remember that it's kind of a chase movie, and that it was a little wild and fun. Check it out and let me know what you think about it some 30 years later.

3. Out To Sea - This is directed by Martha Coolidge. I saw this at home with my parents back about the time when it came out in '97. I'm gonna say we rented it from Blockbuster because that seems pretty likely. A fan of Grumpy Old Men, we all thought that Ol' Matthou and Lemmon would bring it again as brother-in-laws pretending to be dance instructors on a cruise ship. Unfortunately I don't remember how much I liked it. I'm assuming it was funny enough - and certainly a wild adventure where many a shenanigans ensued, but I don't really have memories of it. Again, feel free to let me know how it holds up 20 years later.

4. The Wedding Plan - This was directed by Rama Burshtein. I saw this about a year ago on a streaming site, and I was truly pleasantly surprised. It's an Israeli movie, classically about a woman wanting to get married, but it's such a fresh take on it and the movie is just well done with a sweetness and sincerity that is often not achieved in this genre. I enjoyed watching this one.

5. Blockers - This is directed by Kay Cannon. I saw this in the theater with some friends, and again was pleasantly surprised. It was funny and it dodged a lot of stereoyping, sexism, slut-shaming, and meanness that a comedy about parents worried about their daughters trying to fuck for the first time might normally be riddled with. I SSL approve of this one actually. Check it.


.Destination Wedding - The SSL Review

Destination Wedding
I'm not exactly sure how it happened. It was a lazy Saturday. Charlie and I were looking for a movie that didn't take too much of our attention, and there it was. It had Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. It was called Destination Wedding. It wasn't a mistake. We enjoyed it. It's straight up like a 13 year old angry nerd dude wrote a movie where the characters talk like he does in his fantasies of telling people off and showing how smart he is with his awesome philosophy brain and big words.

It's set like a play where it's just those 2 talking forever in different places with a wedding vaguely going on in some scenes at a slight distance. It's so much verbosity, ya'll! It's out of control.

As icing on the cake, it also has a very unrealistic, yet super basic depiction of female orgasm. Thus the SSL Review.

An SSL Review
For those that need a refresher, an SSL Review is a critique specifically on depictions or discussions of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. I look at the realism of the depiction/discussion (does the physical things that seem to lead up to the orgasm actually make physiological sense as something that could cause an orgasm?) and also at how the scene fits into the larger cultural discussion about female orgasm and sexuality.

I usually don't talk much about the qualities of the film that are unrelated to the SSL reviewed scene(s) in questions, but this movie is bonkers, and the sex scene I'm going to talk about is especially bonkers. In fact I read an article called 'Destination Wedding' is 'The Room' of Romantic Comedies by Lea Palmieri at the Decider. She explains the sex scene accurately and excellently, so I'll just let her set it up before I get into the physical details related to the ridiculous orgasm Ryder performed.
This then leads to a NEARLY FIVE MINUTE sex scene of them humping on a hill, including him repeatedly asking “How is it now?” and them discussing following topics: the exact species of cat they previously ran into, his mother, condoms, diseases, his childhood home, the gender of their potential child, and her astute observation that “you look like you’re going to throw up,” before she moans a bunch of nos in the place of oh yes’s because she’s “a very negative person,” returning to the small talk of the current temperature and kelp before he gives it his last few thrusts and joins her in completion.
Pleasantly Familiar
So, they are in a field. They kind of reluctantly, I guess, decide to have sex. She is in a dress and takes of her panties. He is in a suit and takes his pants and underwear off. It's missionarish - She's on her back with her knees up near his hips. He's on top. He gets right on there and puts it in and starts pumping. He asks her how it is, and she says fine, although they both sound like they are in pain. Then he asks.
Keanu: How is it now?
Winona: It feels strange but pleasantly familiar, kind of like coming off a long diet or going back to smoking.
Keanu: How about now?
Winona: Do you have any diseases?
He then starts talking about missing all the sexual revolutions. They both seem highly unaroused or even aware they are having a sexual encounter other than the kind of grunting that is mostly related to the fairly forceful pumping he's doing and she's absorbing.

Then after she says something nonchalantly and in a seemingly unexcited state, she starts screaming,
Winona: Oh Jesus! Frank! Jesus Effing Christ! OOO! OOO! Oh God, you look like you're going to throw up!
Keanu: Why would I? You're a very attractive woman.
Winona: Not from that.
Keanu: Oh. Right. Sorry.
Winona: Oh God! No, No, No
Keanu: No?
Winona: No. Not No. (kinda calmly and matter of factly) I'm just a very negative person.
Keanu: Ok
Winona: OH! (screaming) I'm expressing incredulity!
Keanu: Got it.
Winona: Oh! No! OH! No, no, no no! (screaming in orgasm, I guess) Oh boy! Oh Boy! Ohhhh!

She's chill again, and then tells him to get to his anytime now. He continues pumping into her exactly as he had been the whole time. They do a lot of talking about unarousing shit and then he has his own overly loud screaming orgasm.

We don't see anything below the belt (except 1 very wide shot from a good distance away), but it's clear that he's pumping into her and that she is not grinding against him. All 4 hands are clearly in view and absolutely not doing the only thing that might have actually realistically made this woman come - rubbing her clit.

My Thoughts
Basically, Winona's character came simply from a dude moving his penis in and out of her vagina with no additional stimulation against her clitoral glans area. She came the way women in media from romance novels to TV to porn have been depicted orgasming for ever and always - by doing exactly the kind of sex stuff that makes a male come but is highly unlikely to make a female come. It's so common a depiction that it seems like it should be real, but it's actually some unrealistic bullshit that for some insane reason doesn't include the clitoral glans - the organ of female sexual pleasure. It's like depicting males always coming without ever touching the penis or from occasional ancillary brushes against the penis and thinking that's how males orgasm. It's as bonkers as this movie which makes it all the more terrible that it's so normal.

I will say I appreciate the fact that the two of them didn't orgasm simultaneously. The mystical simultaneous orgasm from a penis pumping into a vagina is a classic yet horribly unrealistic way to show sex, and I'm happy to not have to see it in a sex story. If the non-simultaneous orgasms happened along with her orgasming during physical stimulation that realistically would have caused a female to orgasm, I would really have given this a good vuvla rating, but it most assuredly did not.

The Vulva Rating
Thus this gets a terrible vuvla rating because it is just another of many, many sex scenes that insinuate to the audience that women can and maybe should come from nothing more than getting their vaginal canal poked a lot with a penis, and that is simply incorrect. It just piles onto the already huge amount of clues in our culture that give this very wrong impression about how women orgasm, and it hurts us all.

I give this 1 vulva.