She Devil - The SSL Review

She Devil
Did I love Roseanne as a kid? Yes, at one time in my life my mom and dad were, respectively, a bartender and a motorcycle mechanic just like Rosanne and Dan at one point in the show. Their life seemed a lot like my life; midwest, the food they ate, their friends seemed like the type of people my parents were friends with, my older sister as a teenager and my parents fought in similar ways as Roseanne and Dan fought with their oldest, Becky. They talked to each other and to their kids a lot like my family did. The difference was they had a 2 story house, and at the time, I kinda felt like people in 2 story houses were rich, and that seemed like a mistep in the show to me, and also they loved sports, and my family just didn't really ever watch sports except for the Olympics (we watched every bit of that we could) and also basketball when the Pacers were in the playoffs, which they did a few times in the 90's. And, they had a younger son DJ (and eventually another baby named Jerry after Jerry Garcia when the show started going off the rails), but me and my best friend Leslie used to say she was DJ, I was Darlene, and my sister was Becky - so we made that fit too.

I haven't seen the new Rosanne, and I'm aware Rosanne herself has gone off the rails, but I will admit I do have a special place in my heart for her and for that show; Rosanne as a woman who at one point in her life made work that gave visibility into a particular aspect of female working class midwest life. It was and still is underrepresented. I have a strong appreciation for art creators who, even if they just do it well once or twice, take their authentic experience, one that doesn't already have a strong history of exposure, and force it out in front of us so that we all may get a larger perspective of the world.

I wrote all that just because I wanted to write about that show. This post, however, is not about that show but about a movie Rosanne was in at about the same time, She Devil. I saw this movie, I'm assuming on a video we rented from Marsh Supermarket down the street when I was about 9 or 10. Just as a fun fact, the first video we ever rented and watched when we got a VCR was Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Anyway She Devil stars Rosanne Barr, Ed Begley Jr., and Meryl Streep. I just watched it again a couple months ago, and ya know it still held up for me. It's a weird, cooky, black comedy that has some maybe not completely on-point, but era-appropriate feminist values in it. Not a bad watch. It was also directed by a woman (written by men though). However, does it hold up for SSL Review? No. It's getting a low Vulva Rating unfortunately.

SSL Review
An SSL Review, for those that need a little refresher, is a review specifically of any discussion or depiction of female orgasm, female masturbation, cunnilingus, 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 - Rolling In A Pink Circle  Pleasure Bed
I don't think I'm ruining anything to say that Mary (Meryl Streep) and Bob (Ed Begley Jr.) fuck. It's in the trailer - even a piece of this sex scene is in the trailer. So, they do. There's a couple scenes of them getting it on, but this is the only one that also includes the 'big finish' if you will. The others are just a quick cut of them in it or they get interrupted or something like that.

Mary's this perfectly coiffed Romance Novelists with a beautiful pastel manor. Her bedroom is a sweeping, draped, pillared space with crystal lamps and french doors. The bed is upon a platform, large, pink and circular. Mary and Bob begin at one side, their heads toward the foot of the bed. They are missionary, wrapped fully in the sheet. They roll, arms wrapped around each other, with some gentle sex vocalizations all the way across to the other side of the bed, he's on top again when they arrive. They kiss in that position for a couple seconds, and then roll back across until they are again in missionary, him on top. She gives some grunty, staccato 'uhs' as they do this. They then begin to kind of push and crawl themselves further toward the middle and foot of the bed as they both are making their final sexual vocalizations. As they are doing this, she moves one knee up so she's almost but not quite hooking her leg over his back. At that point she makes a final 'aahhh' like she just came. Immediately he kind of grabs her arms and raises them over her head and he does his final 'ooohhh' like he just came. He then collapses on her and they bathe in their sexual pleasure for a few seconds. He looks down at his watch and then starts backing down her body inside the sheet they were wrapped in. She playfully and a little excitedly, says, "oh, what are you doing?" But he's not going down on her, he's just getting out of bed to hurry back home, and she's a bit bothered.

My SSL Assessment: Basic Sex, Basic Fake
An overview assessment of this scene, and what I think was the intention and what most people would take from it, is that these two were having romantic, wild, passionate sex, and they both came basically simultaneously.

My assessment is that they were having quite active, but very basic intercourse, and Bob came just after Mary faked it.

Here's the deal. No hands were ever near Mary's vulva, so she definitely wasn't getting manual stimulation to her vulva/clit area while they fucked. Yes, they were quite pressed against each other during the whole thing, so it is very slightly possible that her vulva/clit area might have been getting enough stimulation from his pelvis pressed against it for her to come, but there was no grinding from her or pelvis movement that might have seems like she was trying to rub off on him. So, although I've seen much worse simultaneous intercourse orgasm scene where the 2 were positioned clearly so there was nothing touching the clit/vulva area, I still don't think this scene seems realistic. Even if I'd like to believe that was the intention from the actors and director, the truth is that one wouldn't expect any viewer to get anything from that scene except 'ladies can come from a passionate fuck' i.e. 'dicks in vaginas make ladies come.' There is nothing in this scene that indicates anything more than a good fuck made this woman come.

That makes it unrealistic, because as you know if you read this blog, stimulation on the inside the vagina should never be expected to make a woman orgasm given that it has never been physically shown to do so in all of scientific literature. Seriously, women need outer clitoral/vulva stimulation to orgasm as much as men need penile stimulation.

The Vulva Rating
I mean, this scene is just one on top of a pile of millions depicting a woman orgasming from nothing more than a dick moving around in her vagina. While it's clear to any rational viewer in all those scenes that the dick needs stimulation, the organ of female pleasure, the clit, is just plain ignored for the easier, more convenient idea that women should be able to orgasm from vaginal stimulation during the same sexual act that make men come. This scene and all the many, many like it (the majority by far of all depictions of lady-gasms - I don't have the statistics, but I'm willing to put money on that) all reinforces in all our minds the very incorrect notion that ladies will come when you fuck them. this idea is deep in us all from all the things we've heard and learned and watched in our lives, and this passionate tryst just helps to keep that idea alive and well a little longer.

Although this scene was unrealistic and strengthened the hold of incorrect ideas about how women are supposed to orgasm, it didn't do anything other than depict commonly accepted notions of that time (and of this time) - dumb as they may be. It didn't depict anything that really took understanding about lady-gasm backwards, so it won't get the worst rating, but it didn't help either, so it won't get a good rating. Also, I'm giving a tiny upward edge tto the rating because I liked how excited Mary got when she thought Bob was going to go down on her after they just fucked.

I give She Devil a 2 vulva rating

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