.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.

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