Saturday, June 8, 2013

On Submission to Desire

One of the sexiest things to me is the idea of being overcome by passion. Not romance novel-type emotional passion, but physical passion--being so completely turned on that you just...fucking lose it. I love seeing, hearing and inciting someone to be so overcome and I love being so overcome as well. Nothing is hotter to me than the raw desperate desire of a choked out, "Please..."

That submission to pure wanting requires abandoning your logical brain, throwing yourself into the overpowering forces of all-out lust and hoping you'll come out okay on the other side. I think there's a kind of bravery in that. Maybe that's what is so intimate about sex with another person--you're both jumping into the void together.

It's that line between control and loss of control that's so interesting to me about artist Clayton Cubitt's video series "Hysterical Literature." The stark black-and-white videos each feature a woman sitting a table reading aloud from a book of her choosing. However, under the table, there is an unseen person equipped with a back massager who is assigned to distract the reader as she reads.

The women try to keep it together and keep reading, but as they continue, they begin to show signs of losing focus with a little gasp or a quick intake of breath or wiggling in their chair for a better position. They fight to keep their composure, but finally they have to give in, toss their heads back with a kind of "fuck it" and ride the orgasm.

Here, see for yourself below with Stormy reading from Bret Easton Ellis' "American Psycho."

In an interview in Salon, Cubitt discussed the idea for the series and his artistic vision.

"I’ve long been fascinated with the concept of control and authenticity in portraiture, especially in these modern times of personal branding, Facebook self-portraits and incessant Instagram self-documentation. What is left for the portraitist to reveal? How can we break through to something real?...These are all attempts to see something they’re not trying to show me.

On an individual level, I’m interested in the battle the sitter experiences between mind and body, and how long one retains primacy over the other, and when they reach balance, and when they switch control.  On a larger scale, I’m interested in how society draws a line between high and low art, between acceptable topics of discussion and taboo ones, between what can be worshiped and what must be hidden."

At the end, the women are instructed to re-state their names and the book they've read from. Some aren't able to do it. Cubitt said of their post-filming interviews:

"It’s quite interesting to hear about what was going through their mind as they started to lose track of what they read and surrendered to their bodies. They talk about it almost like it becomes a religious trance, and they usually have no recollection of the last half of the reading."

What do you think?


Portrait of a woman. Lina Corsino, Emilio Sommariva 1933

Thanks to Trace, who reminded me of this series on the IBWMW Facebook page.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Reader Mail Friday on Monday. Just Because.

Yes, Reader Mail Friday on Monday so let's just get to it, shall we?

1. Does anyone really call it "cunnilingus"?

Janice sent in "Michael Douglas: Oral sex gave me throat cancer" in which Douglas says "without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.” One might argue that Douglas did indeed "get too specific" and anyone who read that sentence formed an image, however brief, of the aging actor going down on someone.

Cunnilingus-performing Douglas, who played a doctor in Coma is somewhat accurate with his info. There is a link between cancer and HPV. However in most cases it doesn't cause any problems. Douglas was on far shakier medical grounds when he added, presumably as wife Catherine Zeta-Jones pointedly glared at him, "...if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it.” (Update: As of today, Douglas is pretty much back pedaling on the whole interview.)

Dental dam: even the name is sexy
However it's a moot point 'cause we've all been using dental damns for years and years, right? Right??  (Just checked and Good Vibrations actually sells dental dams, which they just so would. Even better, they're vegan dental dams.)

2. What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire

The rather foxy Lila Donnolo sent in Unexcited? There May Be a Pill For That, an article based on the insanely fascinating new book What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire by Daniel Bergner. "Thoughts, comments, concerns?" wrote Lila.

I said my piece in a DAME article "What Do Women Want? We kind of want to be sluts, if you must know" and it's probably some John Fogerty self-plagiarizing situation if I say too much about it.

But I will say, despite all the heady ideas about monogamy, desire and what turns women on, my favorite part was learning that someone has the job of stimulating female rat clitorises with a tiny brush.

The non-tiny clitoris brush parts were completely fascinating as well and I would love love love to hear what you think.

3. Large Nipples Will Cost You 5 Euros More

The ever-delightful Matthew Stillman sent in 15 Real Sex Toys That Will Give You Nightmares from My favorite was this, caption by Ian Fortey:

#9. Sex Droid

The entire site this thing comes from is just a blue comedian's wet dream, it's ridiculous. Translated from the German, it's lost a touch of whatever dignity it may have once had, and it now features small print letting you know that large nipples will only cost you 5 Euros more and that their Andy doll is so realistic that she'll scream when you caress her. Pro tip: She's not supposed to scream when you caress her. Your sex doll has been made horribly wrong.
Elsewhere on the site, you can purchase an 8-inch-tall doll that has a human-sized vagina. Which is also precisely what happens at the beginning of so many unsolved murders.
I, for reasons not yet clear to me, clicked through and discovered....this video of a horrible horrible animatronic tongue!

Go look at it! If you dare....

4. Mmmm-Mmmmm!

Finally, a story of personal embarrassment because I so love social awkwardness. (warning: story contains mention of purchase of panty liners.)

I was in the feminine hygiene aisle searching for panty liners, the unscented kind. The scented kind smell weird and cloying and just...why. "Excuse me, madam, did you stick gardenias up your cootch?"

Anyway, it wasn't immediately apparent if said liners were unscented so I sniffed the package. That is when I looked over and saw someone else in the aisle, staring at me, the big weirdo who likes to sniff panty liners. 

How else are you going to tell if they're fresh?


(photo: Lady Cheeky)
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