The Good Place Season 1 and 2 - The SSL Review

The Good Place
A few people had recommended this show to me. It didn't immediately strike me as something I wanted to see, so it took me a while to try it out. I liked it though. They were right. I've only seen the first 2 seasons, because they are the only ones on Netflix so far, but I'm gonna get deep into season 3 when it comes out. Anyway, this is a network show, so there's not a ton of detailed sex stuff, but there were a couple of lady-bation comments. They were all from the same character. Point is - I can do an SSL Review.

An SSL Review
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).

Mindy St. Claire
I don't want to give away a bunch of spoilers, but I think I can tell you that Mindy St. Claire is in a place similar to purgatory, and she's the only one there. If you haven't seen The Good Place, it's about a kind of heaven-type place, but according to the show the different religions only got about 5% of the afterlife correct, so they don't use 'heaven or hell.' It's the Good Place or The Bad Place.

So, Mindy St. Claire is a lady from the 80's that liked 2 things - making hella money and cocaine. Right before she died, on a coked up bender, she had the idea for an amazing charity, took out all her money to start it and that's all she wrote. Her sister took her plans though and started it. It is an amazing charity, and thus Mindy put both good and bad into the world. She's in The Medium Place.

It has her favorite beer, but it's always warm. Canonball Run II is the only movie. It's a real medium existence, and she's alone. Lucky for us, some characters from the show visit her, and we get to meet this treat of a lady. She's selfish but kind, funny, bold, and also lucky for us, likes to unabashedly masturbate a lot. Let me describe the scenes real quick.

Season 1 Episode 12 
Mindy St. Claire's guests are about to leave after a bit of a stay and she starts taking off her jacket. She says to her guests:
If you'll excuse me, it's my masturbating time.
To which one of the guests says:
When isn't it?
After they leave, she heads towards the couch starting to take off clothes. She shakes out both her wrists like she's preparing.

Season 2 Episode 2
Her house guests are back. She tells them some things about past visits that they have forgotten including a bit about why they have left before:
Sometimes you leave because you walk in on me masturbating. Sometimes you leave because I walk in on you while I'm masturbating.

She Don't Give a Fuck
When I was searching around to find Mindy St. Claire's name (which is a great name) before I wrote this, I came across a fab article by Mur Lafferty about Mindy St. Claire and the lack of male gaze on her in the show. It's a nice article, and if you don't mind show spoilers, check it. She talks about how unabashed Mindy is about owning her time and her pleasure and her sexuality while still being an interesting, generally nice character. It's sadly uncommon in female characters, and Lafferty is correct. Mindy truly is a treat.

On an SSL Review level, I am always supportive of any lady-character that admits she masturbates. That in and of itself does simple and important work. It normalizes the idea of a woman masturbating. And the more lady-bation is normalized, the more ladies will feel entitled to masturbate. The more ladies masturbating, the more ladies are orgasming, and when a woman orgasms on her own, she at least has a fighting chance to later see past the cultural norms out there lying about how we're supposed to orgasm and maybe, hopefully, figure out how to orgasm with a partner. That's important. Too many woman don't figure it out in no small part because women often try to do the figuring while having partner sex in the culturally sensible ways we all assume are orgasmic for men and women alike, but are absolutely not. Our culture gives us shit ideas about how our lady-bodies and our lady-gasms work. The truth is the vaginal canal is not the pleasure organ. The penis doesn't give lady-gasms, and intercourse ain't a great way to lady-come. Seriously, for real, for reals. Point here is that sex and the norms of our sexual culture are not conducive to lady-gasms, but the body-focused, self exploration that the solitude of masturbation affords is. So, truth is if women aren't masturbating then women are unlikely to be orgasming at all - and my movie and this whole damn blog and pretty much all my thoughts and activism are about getting women to the point where the world is equally as hospitable to lady-gasms as it is to guy-gasms. That ain't gonna happen until women feel entitled to masturbate in at least the same way men do. So, way to normalize lady-jerking, Mindy!

All that said, it does kind of matter which female character is doing the normalizing. I will take any mention of women masturbating in media, because we simply need more of it, but when that woman seems like a normal person instead of a freak of nature, it's probably better advertising. Mindy is a little of both really. I mean, that's why she's in The Middle Place. She's not your average lady. She's a no hold barred 80's business lady that likes the fast life. However, she's also just kind of a person, and her unabashed, outspoken adherence to a masturbation schedule makes a lot of sense given she's been completely alone for 30 years and needs to fill her time. So, what I'm saying is Mindy's masturbating isn't bad advertisement for clit jerking and I appreciate that.

I also appreciate that Mindy's love of masturbation is not merely depicted as a sad last resort in place of 'real sex'. Yeah, she hasn't seen anyone for 30 years, but when she does see 2 great looking fit men and an attractive woman in her house, she doesn't drop her old friend masturbation for a chance at partner sex. She might tape them having sex for porn to use later during masturbation, sure, she definitely likes doing that, but she appreciates - no prefers - masturbating, and I say cheers to that.

The Vulva Rating
Mindy's depiction normalizes and even elevates a woman's need to and enjoyment of masturbation. That is major because women need to feel that orgasm is a normal thing for them to do in order to feel entitled to do it, and women need to masturbate if we're ever gonna get to orgasm equality.

Respect to that coked out lady with a great name. I give this show's season one and two 5 out of 5 vulvas.


No comments:

Post a Comment