Parasite - The SSL Review

I do try to watch all the Academy nominated movies every year. 1. I like watching movies. 2. I watch the Oscars with the same friends every year, and although I always come in close to last on guessing the winners, I like to have seen most of them because it feels like maybe I might have some insight on what should win, but actually I think it makes me worse. We talk shit and eat, and it's one of the few times a year I see these friends, so I look forward to it. Anyway, I saw some of the movies, but I didn't catch the winner, Parasite, until a few weeks after. I liked the movie, but I especially liked the sex scene. It's SSL Reviewable, and it will be getting a great Vulva Rating. Top notch situation in my book.

An SSL Review, for those that need a little refresher, is a review specifically of any discussion or depiction of female orgasm, female masturbation, or the clit. I critique the realism of the depiction/discussion and also write about what the depiction/discussion says about and/or adds to our cultural understanding of female sexuality and orgasm. I try my best to just stick specifically to those SSL Reviewable moments, so it usually stays pretty focused on those parts of the movie only, but sometimes I like to digress.

So here we go. I have tons of these reviews btw. You can find all the other movie SSL Reviews HERE and the TV SSL Reviews HERE.

The Scene - sexy couch stuff while watching your kid from afar through a window as he sleeps in a tent 
I wrote that and it seems much creepier than it is. I mean it's a fairly accurate description, but it's not like the sex had anything to do with them seeing their child sleeping. They couldn't even see the kid. He wanted to sleep in a tent in the back yard, and the parents thought they should sleep where they could be in view if he needed them. They were basically on a couch that had a view of the tent their child was inside. They were at least 50 feet apart with a wall of windows in between. The sex was just because they were laying on the couch together and got horny. There was also another reason in the storyline that this sex was an interesting turn of events, but I don't want to give anything away if you haven't seen it.

So, now that I spent a paragraph convincing you it was a weird situation but not in a creepy, kid-related way, let me explain it quickly.

Parasite (2020) sex scene
So the father and mother are laying mostly on their sides on the couch. She is in front of him and he's behind, kind of spooning her. The father must get a horny idea in his head that causes him to reach around and under her night shirt. He's messing with her boobs, and then she starts getting horny too, so she reaches back and starts jerking him off under his pants. We see a brief close-up of this. They both continue to watch outside intently so they aren't surprised if the kid pops in suddenly. Then he takes his other hand, comes in from under the butt and between the legs, and starts rubbing her clit/vulva area over her silk pajama pants. The scene ends before anyone comes, but they are clearly both going at it and enjoying it. I think it's safe to say they are intended to get to that point, and they are likely not going to change positions because they are trying to be discreet and also on the lookout for a kid.

My Thoughts - Fuck yeah, bro. Rub a lady off!
I mean, if you know anything about me or this blog or my movie, you know I'm all in for this scene. It checks all the boxes
  • Number 1 here is simply that the sexual thing happening to the woman in this scene is actually something that could sensibly cause her to orgasm. Her organ of sexual pleasure (the clit - more specifically the clitoral glans and surrounding tissue) was being stimulated through her silky pants, just like his organ of sexual pleasure (his penis) was being stimulated. That's no small thing. Usually a couple like this in a movie would have intercourse and nothing would be stimulating her clitoral glans area. Yet, although there is no physical scientific evidence that stimulating the inside of the vagina with things like dicks could cause a woman to orgasm, it is most often depicted as if she does come or will come just from getting fucked. That kind of unrealistic depiction is soooo common, and it gives a completely incorrect expectation for what types of physical stimulation are needed for a female to orgasm. However, this scene in Parasite depicts physical stimulation that absolutely could be expected to get a woman off and thus helps create more realistic expectations in the cultural mind for how women might come.
  • Number 2 - This is a sexual interaction between a hetero couple that is something other than penis in vagina intercourse. P-in-V intercourse dominates media so thoroughly that it could easily seem to anyone that this is the ultimate and most acceptable way that a male and female should interact sexually. Every time a scene, especially in a mainstream or high profile piece of media, depicts another way of doing sex, it helps to normalize other ways to fuck. It models other ways that a hetero couple might release horniness, and in doing so helps give cultural permission to ask for and attempt those other sexual options. Moving away from P-in-V dominated sex is HUGE for orgasm equality.
  • Number 3 - It's hot. I mean, I thought it was, and it's kind of important for these alternative sexual scenarios to be hot in order to embed themselves in our cultural consciousness as things we might want to be a part of. I will say, however, that the director wanted this to be a very uncomfortable scene more than titillating one because of its relation to the movie's plotline that I'm not going to talk about (I'm trying not to spoil, but you can read about that more HERE if you don't mind a spoiler). But, I think just because he wasn't going for titillation doesn't mean it wasn't. Also, I kind of wonder if the over-the-clothes genital touching was maybe an attempt to keep it more clean - especially in this PG-13 movie in a fairly conservative place like Korea. If that's the case, I think it kind of back-fired because it forced the scene into a less common sexual act and that makes it dirtier in a way. In fact, I think that anytime a scene includes clit stimulation, it really does seem dirtier because it's just a little 'extra'. The truth is we don't see clit stimulation much in media, and frankly/sadly don't actually involve it in real-life sax acts all that much. So seeing it might feel a little "off" - which to be fair may be read as super hot but also as kind of strange/confusing/foreign, or even gross. Either way, it wasn't a bland scene and I like that. Also, here's a bunch of people talking about how awkward they felt during this sex scene (mostly related to watching it with their parents)...and let's be honest, it wouldn't feel awkward if it weren't dirty, amiright?
  • Number 4 - It showed manual stimulation of the female genitals, and it focused on the orgasmically appropriate way to finger lady-junk. Unfortunately a lot of depictions of manual stimulation on women involve a finger(s) ramming up the vagina - as if mimicking intercourse, which as we know shouldn't be expected to cause orgasm. So, I'm glad the choice was to show the clit/vulva area getting rubbed against not the vag getting rammed in. 
  • Number 5 - It's a sex scene focused on simply 2 people stimulating each other's organs of sexual pleasure. Scenes like this are important because here's the deal. All healthy individuals are born with either a clit, a penis, something related to one of those, or a sort of mix of those, and all of those clit/penis-like organs are capable of being stimulated to orgasm. That means any two people you might put together - cis, het, trans, gay, intersex - in any combination, could have amazing, orgasmic sex together with an activity just like the one depicted in this movie. That is important to know and to see in our media because it's a reminder that orgasm is just the appropriate stimulation of the sex junk. I think some of the discomfort against non cis, het couples out there is related to people not understanding how another type of couple might 'fit' together sexually given that p-in-v intercourse is assumed to be the ultimate way of doing sex. However, the truth is P-inV intercourse is actually a shit way of achieving orgasmic sexual activity (for clits not penises), and alternative sexual activity like in this scene are waaaay better. I like to think that if regular ol' conservative-living folks out there can start getting it in their heads that for a cis, het couple like themselves, the most orgasmic way to fuck is not intercourse but to creatively stimulate each other's junk (and that the clit is the female junk not the vagina), then it's not much of a leap to see that any two people might enjoy that kind of sexual pleasure together as well - that we're all really the same when it comes to sexual pleasure.  - Anyway, I really do think a realistic understanding of female orgasm/the clit and a deep expansion of what hetero sex could/should be would also necessarily broaden appreciation and understanding in the larger culture of all types of couples....and scenes like this help.
Vulva Rating
For all the reason's above, I give this this a 5 out of 5 Vulva Rating!

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