The Hite Report is bad-ass, but not much has changes - AKA I love you Shere Hite

Shere Hite, ya'll. This is a tribute, kind of, because someone sent me an old article of hers that came out about the time were shooting Science Sex and the Ladies  

Her book, The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality, her research, her conclusions are golden. They are also largely forgotten, ignored, misunderstood, or downplayed in lady-gasm research and advice, but that's not her fault. That's because we are a world obsessed with the idea that P-in-V intercourse is/should be equally as orgasmic for women as it is for men. It's not. It never has been and never will be. Everyone kind of knows that, but whenever that is really specifically called out as bullshit, the world kinda hardens to the idea and bounces it out of site until we all forget about it. That to me is where Hite's work (and all like it, really) exists at that moment. 

Everyone should read her book. Years ago I used to write posts about how you could get it for 1 cent on Amazon. It looks like it's closer to about $5 now, but still worth every penny. That's also why I post the text from 1 random page out of this book (and her different, but incredibly intriguing Hite Report on Male Sexuality book) every now and again. I call it Random Hite Report, and I was hoping it might interest people enough that they get the book and read it. 

I mean she said it straight out in that book...in 1976 - that women NEED external clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm. She had gotten written surveys from over 3000 women about the specific details of their partnered and solo sex life; the details of how they stimulate themselves, when and how they orgasm, how their legs are positioned when they masturbate. It's bad ass, and it tells a story of women with clits that are completely functional. Clits that can be stimulated to orgasm as quickly, easily and reliably as the penis, but unlike the penis, they are under-used, unused, ignored, misunderstood, and certainly not discussed. They are the organ of female orgasm, but they are almost never the focus and often not even part of partnered sex.

Hite wrote this groundbreaking book just after Masters and Johnson did their groundbreaking research that gave the physiological, scientific backing for the clit (not the vagina) being the cause of female orgasm. Hite gave Master and Johnson's research the feminist perspective it deserved. She (and a few other feminists of the time) filled in the reality of what M&J's physiological scientific revelations meant to everyday sexual encounters. Basically, it was clear that we're doing it wrong (for women of course, certainly not men). Our understanding of women and sex needed to change. The way women's bodies were engaged in partnered sexual encounters needed to change. The way we depicted and talked about  and taught sex and orgasm needed to change. 

None of it changed, though. Not really. 

I feel there may have been a small window of time in a small sliver of the population that got to live in the golden era between Hite's book and the point when the book introducing the public to the G-spot was dropped in 1982 telling everyone something like, 'Just joking! Women can still orgasm vaginally...it's just that it's the G-spot not the vagina that makes it happen!' (It's not true at all, but whatever). That's the time during which the movie 20th Century Women took place. I SSL Reviewed that movie quite highly

But for real. It's 2020 now. Everything Hite was saying should change still needs to change. The G-spot has recently gone out of vogue to talk about in the progressive, even feminist, world of sexperting, but the idea that something about banging penises into vaginas can cause lady-gasms hasn't. It's just now, people point to the inner legs of the clitoris as causing orgasm-from-fucking....because supposedly the penis pushes on the vaginal walls which kinda press against the clitoral legs (not the clitoral glans, mind you, which is on the outside of the body and has all the 8,000 nerve endings people know the clit for) or against the vestibular bulbs (that people call part of the clit, but it's not), and I guess that's what's supposed to cause an orgasm. It doesn't. Or at least if it does no one has ever seen that happen in all of scientific research, just like they've never seen a 'g-spot' cause an orgasm, but whatever. People say it, so the world believes it. 

The world wants to believe it. It's easier to just pretend women can orgasm from intercourse rather than acknowledge the incredibly sad truth that women are having SO MUCH sex with no orgasm and then do the hard work to change how we teach, depict, and do sex so that everyone gets what they need to orgasm. 

So...nothing too much has changed. Hite acknowledged it herself in an article from 2008

"As noted, The Hite Report on Female Sexuality showed that most women could orgasm easily and regularly via separate stimulation of the exterior vulva or pubis, and that the definition of sex should change to include such stimulation to orgasm as a normal part of sex. This would make sex more egalitarian. While this research showed that sex should no longer be so exaggeratedly focused on coitus as the sole high point or climax of sex, images of sex in pornography, popular culture and media did not change."

I get frustrated thinking about how little has changed since I started researching this stuff in the early 2000 and certainly since I released the movie in 2014. I can't imagine how frustrated Shere Hite was while writing that article over 30 years after sexual norms should have crumbled under the weight of her book's truth-telling. 

I'd love to talk to her about it, but honestly, she just dropped off the face of public life after about the time she wrote the article. I've tried many a time to get ahold of her in lots of different way, but nothing so far (anyone know her??? - I'd love you forever if I could talk with her). 

But, she did important work, and just because the world didn't take to it right away doesn't mean her work wasn't monumental. It just means that the change her work suggests is so monumental that it needs generations of work. She was not the first, but she grew the fire, and it's still smoldering, giving other people the fuel to light more fires. 

For me, her book changed everything. After a year or so of reading shit about lady-gasms, I started thinking...'it doesn't seem like a vaginal orgasm is real.' I can't find evidence that it actually exists, but even if it was hinted at, no one would say it, and most people just acted like vaginal orgasms were a given. Hite said it. She gave me the confidence to continue forward. It made me feel finally like I wasn't crazy.

That's how we do this. One fire lighting another fire, lighting another fire, lighting another...until we burn down the fucking P-in-V obsessed, clit-ignoring norms of sex. 

We'll get there.  


5 Docs #DirectedByWomen That I Hope You'll Like

Good afternoon. Here is another 5 Movie list for you while I'm procrastinating on the next post. Listen, it's been a little heavy at work lately, and ya know, I kinda just want to watch a fab movie and eat dinner when get home. Maybe eat some ice cream, maybe. 

But I don't want you to think I'm gone or that I'm not thinking of you. I most definitely am. So, here's some good ol' docs for you to enjoy in the meantime.

I started doing this categorized List of 5 movies thing where I showcase movies that were directed by women and that I have actually seen. It all started during the Directed By Women Worldwide Viewing Party in September 2015, and it was pretty fun, so I've continued doing it from time to time.

It's a bit off-topic from my normal fare, ya know, being that it's not specifically about lady-gasms or anything like that, but I think it fits the blog because
1. this blog is also about indie movie-making, and
2. this blog is partially about getting the female perspective of sexuality into our media. So, to me, supporting female voices in our media  means we're creating more room for female voices to speak on all types of things, which sometimes will be sex, orgasms, and sexuality.

You can find all my 5-movie lists HERE.

So, grab some ice cream (I'd go with Ben and Jerry's Milk and Cookies, if it were me), and check of these lovely documentaries directed by women.

The Movies

1 Wrestle  - This is directed by Suzannah Herbert  with co-director Lauren Belfer. I saw this streaming a few months ago. It's a good fly on-the-wall doc following a few members of a high school wrestling team. Engaging view - I recommend it. 

2 There's Something Wrong With Aunt Diane - This was directed by Liz Garbus. I saw this streaming about a year ago. If you're into true crime stuiff you'll enjoy this - even though it's not really true crime, but it has the feel.

3 Athlete A  - This was directed Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk. I just recently saw this one. It's about The Indianapolis Star's investigation into the USA gymnastics abuses on their female gymnasts.  Strangely, although I have lived in Indy almost my whole life, and was there when this all news came out, I didn't realize that it was originating from The Star. I love good solid investigative journalism doing better for the world, and this is a good doc on it. Recommend. 

4 Hillary -This was directed by Nanette Burstein. It's about Hillary Clinton, ya'll.  I saw this a few months ago. Good shit. For real. - definitely worth a watch.

5 My Life Directed By Nicolas Winding Refn - This was directed by Liz Corfixen, who happens to be Nicolas Winding Refn's wife. Refn directed some movies I really love (and a couple I could live without), and this is her documentation of the time during the shooting of Only God Forgives, a movie I quite like and which got a pretty good SSL Review (solid ladybation scene for sure). I say check this out - especially if you want to see a director lose his shit about whether his movie's good or not. I kinda love this doc.