Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Favorite Things: 2015

It's time to look back on some of my favorite things of the past year. Not all brand new, these are the things that enhanced my year and brought me joy. It was a good year for sex and feminism.

Fave Films:

I thought that Trainwreck was going to be my feminist anthem of the summer. I liked a lot about Trainwreck—obviously I love Amy and found many of the jokes hilarious, but I ultimately left the theatre underwhelmed by the clean-up-your-act moralism of the story. I left the theatre after Magic Mike XXL (both times) feeling exhilarated. Sitting in that audience, I felt something I’ve never really experienced before in a movie theatre: enthusiastic camaraderie amongst women (and gay men) and a shared sense of sexual excitement. The sex-positivity and feminism of this film are astounding. The fact that it was written, directed, and produced by all men and yet embodies the female gaze is a revelation and should not be underestimated. Furthermore, the fact that there is a market for women wanting to see sexy comedies with sexy men doing sexy things seems obvious but has been so far untapped and can no longer go ignored. Hallelujah!


This film reminded me so much of being a horny, obsessive young teenager who wants nothing more than to bang any number of hot older men-children. I loved the unapologetic, exposed way the story unfolds, with little judgment or moralism. Minnie is not a victim or an innocent, she is a self-possessed and wily young girl who knows what she wants (or thinks she does) and goes for it. Needless to say, I can relate.


I almost didn’t go to see Sisters because of the bad reviews. And then I read this great article about the male gaze and male film critics, and I thought: Fuck You, I’m going! So glad I did. What a joyful two hours spent with two of my favorite women of comedy. Sisters takes the usual trope of male bodily function humor and boys behaving badly and recasts it with all women. The results are revelatory. Watching it, I thought of course these male critics don’t like it—we're talking about vaginas and periods and a guy gets a ballerina music box stuck up his ass. I loved every minute. 


Anomalisa
I won't give anything away about the latest masterpiece from the imagination of Charlie Kaufman, except to say that it has one of the best, most realistic sex scenes I've seen in cinema.



Fave TV Shows:

How sad am I that this show got cancelled? I ask friends of mine if they watch it, and pretty unanimously, people find it depressing. Not me! I could watch Laurie Metcalf strut around talking about atrophied vaginas and stool samples for a hundred hours. I love this show. I love the bold, unapologetic way it approaches aging and dying, and goddamn the characters are good. Real, flawed, self-absorbed, hilarious. This show might have the best roles for women of any show currently running. And now they’re gone. I will miss them all.


Season Two is even better than Season One. The original cast members are in full flower, and there are some new additions that are amazing, namely Cherry Jones and Anjelica Huston. This show has more sexless nudity in it than any other show on television, and I love it for that. During a scene between the two sisters set in the Korean spa, I yelled at the screen: “Jill Soloway, get out of my head!” The Yom Kippur episode and the one set at the Idyllwild Wimmin’s music festival are standouts. I love all the stuff between Ali (Gaby Hoffmann) and her girlfriend played by Carrie Brownstein, especially Ali questioning the obligatory monogamous rules of straight relationships, and the scene in which they're having a conversation and Ali's nipple is casually exposed the whole time. Also, Amy Landecker is sexy as fuck.


I love the questions posed by this show about being identified as the other woman and getting slut-shamed for it. Not to mention the structure of the story unfolding from different characters’ perspectives. I especially love seeing the world through Helen (Maura Tierney)’s eyes. And there’s a lot of hot sex. And Josh Stamberg's penis. Or it's his double's penis. Either way, it's nice.


Fave Docs:

I didn’t realize that Amy Winehouse was a genius. I didn’t realize the scope of her talent and vision. I also didn't realize how incredibly young she was. This doc is amazing because of the footage they were able to find. This I suppose is a benefit of the record-everything generation. Amy’s fall from a spirited, cheeky teenager to an emaciated shadow is fast and brutal. Even harder to watch is the lack of support around her, particularly from her awful, fame whore of a father. Hearing the music stripped down and not so over-produced, her voice shines and you see the incredible talent that we lost.


This is a tough one. The film follows two college graduates who were both raped while in school and have become activists to expose the astounding frequency of rape on college campuses and to create a community of survivors. It’s unbelievable to see these formidable institutions denying and actively covering up the ubiquity of rape on their campuses, particularly when the scandal threatens to expose top athletes and frat houses. It’s hard to watch, but essential, and should be required viewing for everyone, particularly men and women entering college.


Fave Books (Non-Fiction):

This is a memoir about a woman who opened her marriage for a year and went on an adventure of sexual exploration and awakening. I love this book. In it, Robin Rinaldi shamelessly and honestly explores the topics of monogamy, sexuality, female pleasure, and the link between sexual desire and maternal longing. It is a woman’s journey of self-discovery through sex—a story I not only relate to, but find profoundly important.


This book explores an ancient time when women’s sexual power was revered and honored, rather than squelched and controlled. It’s both empowering and heartbreaking to read of where we’ve come from and how far we’ve gotten away from our essential connection to the divine feminine. This book is not always easy to find—probably because the patriarchy doesn’t want us to read it!


Similar to The Sacred Prostitute, Sex at Dawn looks at the ancient civilizations and contemporary tribes that live and have lived in nonmonogamous cultures, and debunks the notion that humans are fundamentally, biologically monogamous. This book delves into the societal reasons why and how monogamy became important to us and begs the question, in our world today, are these reasons still good enough?


Fave Podcast:

Not a new podcast, but still great after all these years! Dan Savage introduced me to the term monogamish as well as the true definition of Santorum. I don't always agree with his advice, but I always love listening to him talk. He remains the sex-positive uncle I wish I had.


Fave Male Feminist:

Matt McGorry
The star of Orange is the New Black is hot and talented and, since learning the definition of feminism this year, has been on a social media campaign for gender equality. Nothing hotter than a male feminist!




3 comments:

  1. After a divorce and I life of serial monogamy I let loose and tindered the hell out of SF. Unapologetically I slept with men that I could be be their mother, a hot Argentinan catholic priest (just for the story, guys at tech conferences, and gleefully knew I would forget their names and numbers. I was always sober and always had safe sex and regret none of it. Even though I would like to find a bf now I really enjoyed pushing my boundarious. I think a raw honest and conscious sexuality is a right. Hence I have enjoyed your blog. ~kit

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  2. Hi Kit, great to hear from you! And good for you. You should definitely read The Wild Oats Project--I think you will relate to Robin's story. Another dear friend of mine who is in her 70s slept with a much younger (and very hot) Argentinian man. They seem to be more evolved in some way. I agree with you that honest, conscious sexuality is a right and in fact should be celebrated. The way we make that happen is to shamelessly share our stories, as you have. Thanks for that and for reading! xSF

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  3. The priest actually sucked. He had a lot of enthusiasm but really didn't have any concept of a woman's body. I burst out laughing when there were religious brochures put next to my purse while I was in the bathroom. (The only reason I am not using any of my online IDs on these posts is because I am in an extended job hunt and I can't afford to have anyone freak over what I write.) I got an A+ in Human Sexuality in college and haven't stopped since. I was even given a woman's slave for a day. Anything goes in SF! ;-) Kit

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