Random Hite Report #31

Hello, welcome again to one of my favorite segments on the SSL blog, Random Hite Report! It's simple really. I flip through the pages of the The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality  (or sometimes The Hite Report on Male Sexuality) by a one Ms. Shere Hite and copy the contents of the page where I land - no more no less. Anyone who reads my blog will know that this 1976 book is a fave of mine; not only because of its realistic and progressive insight about the female orgasm that is still shockingly relevant 40 years later,  but also because of its very touching insight into the lives of the women who took part in this huge, comprehensive survey. This is an under-appreciated and under-read book if you ask me - I suggest you buy it online (seriously, you can get them for like 1 cent) and read it.

 So, sit back, getcha a beverage, and enjoy a little...Random Hite Report.

The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality Dell. 1976.
Pg. 74 From the section Masturbation in the chapter "Feelings About Masturbation."
...gasm, what I find pleasurable. It has made it easier for me to tell what feels good, has made me like myself more, and given me insights into the depths of me."
    "Masturbation gave me the knowledge I could achieve orgasm. Now I know what it feels like and know I'm normal."
   :It's a way to explore and learn about your body without depending on a man to show you. The first man I slept with assumed I'd never had an orgasm before - that I needed him to show me how. Of course I wasn't supposed to assume such things about him."
   "It taught me a lot, mainly how to reach orgasm. Up until January 1973 I thought it was dirty. Now I know how wrong that idea is. I've learned to enjoy many aspects of sex since then and I feel masturbation helped a great deal."
   "I'm convinced auto-erotic stimulation is essential to most women - it may be the only adequate introduction to their bodies they receive."
   "Through masturbation I can learn how my body can feel and how it wants and likes to feel."
   "It's important in finding the stimulation points of your body, discovering your own body."
   "It's a way to explore one's sexuality without the self-consciousness of having anyone there." 
Some women also felt masturbation helped them have better sex with another person.
   "Masturbation teaches you to know your own body and to gratify it, which leads to increasing you sense of independence and may also increase your ability to relate to someone else; being able to tell someone else what gives one pleasure can do a lot for a relationship."
   "If you feel guilty about touching yourself, you can't be very free in giving yourself to another, or touching someone else."
   "How can you love or satisfy someone else if you can't satisfy your won self?"
   "Masturbation develops one's sexuality, because you learn how to touch yourself and therefore others. Perhaps the danger is that you can make it too good, be-..."


Tame Impala Video - Getting Ate Out Awakens Female Sexuality

Tame Impala, for those who don't know, is an Australian group that's been pretty popular the last few years. They have a song called "The Less I Know The Better" that has a pretty bad ass video.  I had seen it a while back and really liked it, but when I saw it again a couple days ago, it felt like it had a clearness I hadn't seen in it before. I think the first time I watched it, it was just a lot. I mean there's a lot going on in this video. The second time I was more prepared for what was going to happen and it just sat with me differently.

All that said, I'm not so sure that the intention behind the video is really the intention I'm seeing. Chances are it's not, but I see something in it I really like, and I wanted to write something up quick about it. Plus, it's a fun video - and I appreciate that. I couldn't do an SSL Review because there isn't any actual depiction or discussion of female orgasm, female masturbation or the clit, so this is just a plain and simple talkin'-my-thoughts-out post.

It does have a young woman enjoying some mouth on her clit though.
I mean really enjoying it - not in some loud, showy, porny way - more like in a revelatory way, and that my friends is why we're here. Let me set the scene.

The video starts with a high school girl watching a high school guy in the gym. He's a basketball player and she's maybe a cheerleader of some sort. There's only ambient sound so far - no music. Then the camera moves through the inside of a locker, with vague animal ambient noise, and out into the locker room where the girl is setting on a locker room bench in the same t-shirt and skirt she just had on. Her feet are on the bench with her knees up. She's facing the camera as it's leaving the locker, and the boy is kneeling in front of her with his head between her thighs in that oh-so-special mouth-to-vulva situation. She's breathing quietly and intensely in a way that seems like she's very aroused and allowing it build organically. Her hands are as intense and slow, rubbing through his hair until we see her forefingers and thumbs come together in a heart shape on the back of his head (btw - I like to think the heart is not for him. It's for what she's feeling, but he never gets that).

Then there are a lot of quick cuts. One is guerrilla hands, similar in intensity and motion to her hands, moving on her butt. It's shot from behind her as she's in a sort of kneeling 'child's pose' (like in yoga). Another is her in the same position as in the locker room, but on the basketball court, and it's not his head between her legs but a basketball that she pulls in closer. Back in the locker room, still gripping the back of his head, she lets her head fall back, mouth open and lets out another slow breath that might very well make one believe she's very close to coming. It cuts to the boys face lifting up from between her legs, and he says a little dope-ishly and sincerely in a deep slow-mo voice, "I love you."

It cuts to the girl pulling her head up from how it had fallen back in pleasure and taking a sharp exhale as she looks directly at the camera. The music starts, and we see that this time she is in a wildly colorful cheerleader outfit. She begins to dance and we see other cheerleaders dancing around her with ribbons.

Okay, from there it gets weirder, so let me just quick tell you what that first part felt like to me. It felt like a sexual awakening. It felt like a young woman getting her pussy ate to orgasm for the first time, and realizing that she was a sexual being - that she had a wildness in her that colored her life.

But let me describe further:
At first the boy is happily watching the girl in her bright outfit, dancing around joyfully with the other cheerleaders, but then when she gets thrown into the air, a bunch of dark, animal hair falls from the sky into his hands, and he's bothered.

And that's when a guerrilla comes into the picture. We sees her eagerly and happily jump into a giant guerrilla hand. She and the other cheerleaders have bananas and guerrilla's hands around their waists when they're dancing. It dunks basketballs and does flips down the HS hall. They gleefully writhe against each other and hop around like monkeys do together. She lays luxuriously in a room of guerrilla fur. She swings a guerrilla fur blanket around her and it becomes the guerrilla twirling around with her in his arms triumphantly smiling and waving her hands in the air. She's having a downright joyful time with this guerrilla, and the whole time the boy is watching - mad and sad and jealous.

I mean, it's not completely straight forward. I wouldn't pick the details apart too much, but I felt like this was about a girl that found her sexual joy and wildness (it was the guerrilla ya'll! - that's mothafucking metaphor) and the boy just couldn't keep his shit together about it. Instead of being joyous too, he was hurt and threatened. At one point he goes to the toilet to puke and the puke is red paint, which along with a bunch of other paint colors, covers the statue of a woman in a highly sexualized pose (which maybe represents his feelings of wishing she were a quiet, unmoving sexual object for him and him alone...I don't know ya'll - just throwing it out there). Point is this is a trippy video and he can't deal with her autonomous sexual vibrancy. In fact at the end of the video, the boy angrily throws a basketball at the exuberant guerrilla (her sexuality) and knocks her/the guerilla back, putting a hole in the chest that a bunch of other rainbow basketballs fly out of. Now, I don't know what the rainbow basketballs mean, but I feel like that whole thing was the boy attacking and ultimately damaging the girl's sexual joy and autonomy.

This also might be just a weird, adolescent video (there were a lot of male-gaze, ass-focused shots in here) about Tame Impala's hurt feelings from some girl he got with in high school that hooked up with a dude named Trevor while he thought she should have been with him (The lyrics do have a girl cheating with a guy named Trevor and the Guerrilla's jersey does say Trevor on it).

I like to think it's about what I think it's about though, because I like that shit. I like that this was not a girl getting banged for the first time that got her sexuality sprung (because getting banged don't orgasms make, ya'll) - it was getting ate the hell out (because stimulation on the clit/vulva area does!). I like that she was joyful with her guerrilla/newfound sexuality, because that shit is godamn joyful. I like that the dumb boy looks like a shitbag for dumping on her awesomeness, and I appreciate showing how his inability to cope with her not-connected-to-him sexuality forces him to damage her in the end - because that real life. It happens to women too often - both inside intimate relationships and also to women as a whole in a male-focused sexual culture that doesn't make room for authentic female orgasm.

That's my story of this crazy-ass video, and I'm sticking to it. Watch the video below. Tell me I'm wrong.


The Americans Season 5 - The SSL Review

The Americans Season 5
As I've said before, I LOVED the Americans. Unfortunately the series is over now. It ended as well as I could imagine though, so it still stands as one of my very favorite TV series. Plus, although not always perfect, it went a bit above and beyond in my opinion with how it depicted female orgasm, sexuality and gender.  Anyway, there were no SSL reviewable scenes in Season 6, but there were 2 in Season 5 - both in episode 5.

As you know, only depiction or discussion of female orgasm and/or female masturbation and/or the clit are eligible for SSL Review. Nothing else counts, including plain 'ol sex if it doesn't include anything listed above. I specifically 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).

The lady-on-top
The scene begins with Philip having sex with a woman. It's spy stuff, so he's just getting the job done. Normally he's pretty damn focused on these types of tasks, but in this we see he's particularly disengaged. We see a bust shot of him above her in missionary clearly pushing his dick in and out of her. We can't see what's going on with their bodies much below the shoulders, but it's clear that there are no hands doing any work near the clit/vulva area.

We also see her as he's banging her. She has her eyes closed and seems to be enjoying it - although I wouldn't say she is being depicted as near orgasm. Philip is looking down on her with such lack of interest in what he is doing that it seems almost robotic.

It then cuts to a memory of him as a child. Clearly he is poor and starving and his dad brings home what appears to be 3 rocks (for real - I really don't know what this food thing is) that his mom heats up and gives to the family to eat.

It cuts back to Philip and the woman in bed, but this time he's on his back. The camera is looking down on him and immediately the woman falls forward into frame with a quick orgasmic yelp as if in the last moment of her orgasm. She then rolls off him and breaths into recovery next to him. Clearly time had passed and they had changed positions during the Russia flashback, and she was riding him cowgirl style when she came.

My Thoughts (the SSL Review)
There is not enough shown to see where all 4 hands were or how she was having intercourse with him. Was she laying so her pelvis was pressed close against him so she could grind the clit/vulva area against his pelvis while he was inside her? Was she or he using one of their offscreen hands to rub the clit? I don't know. Now, Philip does still look very disengaged the moment before she slumps forward in orgasm, but if you know his character, he doesn't need to be engaged with this kind of thing to be doing the right thing to get the right results (stimulating her clit to make her come). There's no indication he was doing that, but no indication he wasn't either.

Anything could have been happening. In one way I appreciate that this was not a depiction of a lady-gasm during intercourse that was clearly unrealistic. It wasn't a classic scene where a woman just gets banged, where we see for sure there was no additional clit/vulva stimulation - either through hands/vibrators or deliberate close grinding of the clit/vulva against something. So I can't knock the scene. There truly could have been clit/vuvla stimulation we didn't see.

On the other hand, nobody in the world thinks as deeply and rewatches scenes like this so closely for that kind of information except me. Most people probably just see this scene as a woman that came while bouncing on top of a dude, and that's not exactly the progressive lady-gasm depiction I hope for.

And honestly, people have a weird idea about lady-on-top intercourse because sexperts, and especially feminist ones, often say that lady-on-top is the best sex position for the female orgasm because she can control the movements.

That's kind of true, but it misses the point. Getting an orgasm during intercourse is somewhat about being in control of the movements, but only because the heart of it is that the clit/vulva area gets consistent, appropriate stimulation and being in control of the movement helps achieve that. That very integral part of why a woman needs to control the movement is left out and so it is confusing, and I think sometimes misleading. People often think about it as the woman being able to control how the penis moves inside her against her vaginal canal - and that's maybe nice for her comfort and fun, but stimulation inside the vaginal canal - however you're doing it, is not going to cause orgasm. Point is - because as a culture we simply don't get that a woman needs clitoral/vuvla stimulation to orgasm and think that a penis moving inside the vagina can cause a woman to orgasm - it's sensible to assume that a woman on  top during sex can 'get her orgasm' by controlling the way a penis moves in the vagina. However that's unrealistic BS.

What we should really be saying is that any sexual position that allows a woman to control how and when her clit/vulva is getting good, consistent stimulation, is a good position for female orgasm during intercourse...you know, to be clear about what's really going on.

The Vulva Rating
I'd love to give this a better rating because I love this show and because I want to give it the benefit of the doubt based on past depictions, but I shouldn't. In reality this was a depiction of a lady-gasm with very little context of how it happened except that they were having intercourse and she was on top. It's not bad, but it's also not good. There is nothing progressive from this depiction and if anything it just reinforces basic cultural assumptions about women being able to come from intercourse alone.

I'm giving this a 3 vulva rating for keeping it status quo, but with no ill intent or depictions that were specifically unrealistic.