Autodidact: self-taught

Feb
03
2015

Orgasm Inc

by V. L. Craven

Orgasm Inc

Men got Viagra, which gave them the ability to have sex whenever they wanted (though if they could do it for more than four hours they should see a doctor) and then, suddenly, it was annoying pathological that women didn’t want or weren’t as sexually responsive as men were.

And suddenly, wouldn’t you know it, 43% of women had some sort of sexual dysfunction.

That’s not hyperbole. The actual number was 43%. Left handed people make up 10% of the population. Redheads make up 2% of the world’s population. Gay people are 10% of the world’s population. None of those groups are deemed fixable (unless you’re a crazy person). If a number is nearly half of a group then it’s normal. You can’t fix normal. Because it’s freakin’ normal.

But the men could take a pill to be eighteen again and men have been taught that ‘real men’ can go all night (no one asks what real men’s sexual partners want, apparently). So they take the pill so they can be real men again. Then they tell 43% of their wives and girlfriends something is wrong with them and to take a pill or use a patch or a cream or have surgery to bring them up to par, too.

Pills and patches and creams and surgeries bring money in so the medical establishment said, ‘Well h’okay! We’ll get right on that!’

[Now, I fully believe that medicine can be a wonderful thing. Vaccines have saved the world millions of times over and anti-depressants have literally saved my life and migraine medication has given me the ability to actually  have a life. Drugs can be enormously useful when used to treat actual problems.]

Orgasm Inc is about the pathologization of the perfectly natural female sexual response. At the start of Liz Canner’s documentary there are five products trying to get approval in the US including pills, a patch and a cream.We follow the stories of some of the drugs, including the one that was most successful, as its pushers, I mean makers, attempt to get it approved.

We also meet a woman who has an experimental new surgery on her spine that’s highly dangerous but is supposed to allow a person to reach climax by using a remote control-like device. She can have orgasms, just not through intercourse with her husband. You know, like nearly every other woman on planet Earth. We follow the woman through the entire process of her spinal surgery; before, during the testing phase and the final result.

Canner also goes to a medical convention where she meets someone (a woman, which just…what) who advocates labioplasty. (This is a word my computer’s spell check doesn’t recognize and I refuse to add to my dictionary because it shouldn’t be a word.) The woman wasn’t comfortable showing before and after pictures of satisfied clients to the camera, but Canner saw them and said, ‘They look like little girls.’ The other woman’s response, ‘Oh yeah, I hadn’t noticed that before, but they do.’

This other person was a woman. A HUMAN WOMAN.

Finally, we meet a woman who had vaginal rejuvenation surgery in an effort to orgasm more easily. And we find out how that went for her.

On the upside there are also women’s health advocates who actually know how women’s bodies work as they age and explain what parts of the anatomy receive the most pleasure and which receive little to none. I wonder how many of these women would feel the need to consult doctors if the men in their lives talked to these advocates.

Orgasm Inc gets a 5/5 because more women should see this. Strike that, ALL women over 18 should see this. So should men over 18. Forty-three percent is normal. Bodies change, desires change. Pills can’t ‘fix’ what isn’t broken.

Learn about your bodies, ladies. Learn about ladies’ bodies, men and don’t expect them to work the way yours do. If you want to be with someone whose body works like yours then sleep with dudes. If you love the ladies then you have to love the ladies.

This post brought to you by the sounds RAWR and Big Feminist Feelings.

Dec
10
2012

What the Internet Did This Week

by V. L. Craven

From The Guardian:  Writers’ Favourite Classic Book Illustrations with Pictures . The captions make it, for me. Beatrix Potter was… interesting. [Bonus 1: I’ve just started playing Peter Rabbit’s Garden on my iPod and it’s lovely–really captures the feel of the books, but without the horrors. Bonus 2: The illustration below was Bryan Talbot’s choice for the article. Complete set of Dore illustrations of with the Longfellow translation of The Divine Comedy in this 30MB zip file .]

Does anyone else hear ominous music… ?

This article from Slate  explains why we think disasters make people regress to their primal selves, when it’s simply not so. Bonus info: There’s something called ‘disaster science’ and I’m loving the new term ‘elite panic’, which is when white people get a-scared the non-white people are going to start looting and robbing the second the electrics are off for more than ten minutes. The big takeaway from this article is that people are kinda great when it benefits the entire tribe (meaning all the people).

Brown people are going to take my stuff!

Gawker has an article about an advice column  about how men can best deal with women-times . The title of the article is ‘MEN: Is Your Lady on ‘a Period’: Learn How to Deal in the Most Ridiculous Period-Advice Column Ever’ and I thought I was in for one of those delightfully amusing advice columns from the 1820s. But no. How I wish that had been the case.

I’d be remiss if I left an article on genitals of the other sex: Fleshbot has an…enlightening article about 3-D printing your willy . So, so very NSFW . My husband read this part to me, (italicized bit was his commentary):

They even hand mix their own colors, and not only do they do four flesh tones (cashew, caramel, hazelnut, and chocolate) [WHY ARE THEY ALL FOODS?!] but they can also capture undertones, such as the reddish-purple luster of a swollen dong. They’re true artisans.

The article is hilarious and reminds me a great deal of Grant Stoddard’s excellent I Did it For Science column on Nerve.

Here is an image of a 3D printer, as I’d like at least the *images* in this post to be safe for work.

And apparently, since sex seems to be the unofficial topic of this week’s links, have an article from The Atlantic entitled Where Masturbation and Homosexuality Do Not Exist , which is about the Aka and Ngandu tribes in central Africa. When a population has a high infant mortality rate but relies on having several children, sex, though enjoyable, is used as a reproduction tool (sorry). The article also discusses the way Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich Democratic societies (WEIRD)–which is even better than ‘elite panic’–approach the idea of sex when studying non-WEIRD groups. I find the sociology of anthropology very interesting, so this article was a great read.

These people are both WEIRD and would love it in central Africa, where I’d bet there’s no abortion, either.

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