Hollywood Sex Wars: If this is young sex, I’m glad I’m old.

Hollywood Sex Wars is a hideous film. I detest these stereotypes:

  • Women are big-breasted lust machines, willing to do whatever it takes to please men as long as money and/or gifts are bestowed in exchange.
  • Men are sex-crazed animals who don’t want relationships, just a quick get-in, get-off, get-her-outa-here, tell-the-guys.

If this is young sex, I’m glad I’m old.

The plot is a 14-year-old boy’s wet dream – plenty of nipple shots, obscenities, drugs, and ordinary guys getting the hottest girls. FYI, despite the profusion of bare, jiggling, surgically (or digitally) enhanced breasts, penises are always off-camera, unless you count a couple of dildos.

I can only imagine the effect of the denigration of women’s looks on an impressionable, self-conscious teenage girl. Average-sized breasts are unsexy. Fuller sized bodies are unsexy. Average looks are ugly. The guys are far from dashing, but those who understand the attraction of money and drugs will score anyway. Yecchhh. Both genders are equally degraded.

Typical lines from the movie:

  • “We don’t want girlfriends, we want to bang hot chicks.”
  •  “Although girls want to get fucked and do drugs, you have to trick them into it.”
  • “Hone your inner pig.”
  • “The women we’re after are money grabbing hos.”
  • (One woman to another:) “You like to fuck and party, don’t you? Those are marketable skills, and totally tax-free.”

Ghastly, isn’t it? The girls barter gifts for sex (stripper shoes = a blow job; shoes costing over $500 = he gets laid). The boys learn to use cocaine to attract the hotties. Both genders are equally duplicitous and manipulative.

Shortly into the movie, I wanted to turn it off, write my review based on 15 minutes, and move on to work that didn’t leave the taste of dog poop in my mouth. But I wanted to see Fabio, the only person of our generation who, I discovered close to the end of the film, has ten seconds and one line in the entire movie. Totally not worth it.

The worst moment (of nothing but bad moments) for me as a sex educator is when one boy describes how he cuts a hole in the condom so that it rides up and away as the friction proceeds. By the time she knows, he pretends he’s so big that it broke. This is followed by a brief safe sex warning, which is undermined by everything else in the film. When one girl finds herself pregnant, for example, she hits up maybe a dozen sperm shooters for abortion funds.

Of course one couple falls in love despite the training from their homies, with sweet background music, walks in the park, posing with statues, you get the picture. Equally predictably, their pals manipulate the dissolution of their relationship. I won’t tell you how that ends, because, frankly, who cares?

If more than five people see this despicable, reeking repository of vomit-worthy stereotypes, I’ll have failed in my duty to inform you.

So why am I, a senior sex writer with a reputation to uphold, using my precious time and yours to review this loser film that none of you will ever see (please promise me that)?

Hollywood Sex Wars was a reminder to me that if we’re to have a chance of changing our society’s view of older-age sexuality, we have to counsel young people about theirs. Who better to help young folks put relationships and sexuality in perspective than those of us who have been around the block and figured out our own sexuality and self-image at age 20, 40, 60, and beyond.

Will they want to talk sex with us? Surely not at first, but if we continue to be outgoing, candid, and respectful of ourselves and them (something the movie doesn’t even pretend to do) then we have a chance.

Thank you, Hollywood Sex Wars, for reminding me what we have to fight against.

I’d love to read comments from both my age and much younger. Tell me, have I done more harm than good by giving Hollywood Sex Wars the publicity of my review? Should I have listened to a friend of mine, who said, when I invited him to watch this movie with me:

I want to thank you for the invitation, but after watching the trailer, I decline. And I don’t know that your name should be heard anywhere near this movie.

Orgasm Inc.: stunning expose of drug for fake disease

I just saw the film Orgasm Inc. You must see it. It’s a powerful expose of the medicalization of female sexuality, specifically the development and marketing of female sexual enhancement drugs based on a made-up “disease”: Female Sexual Dysfuncton (FSD).  The “disease” was created by drug companies so that they could sell drugs and procedures that have not been proven to work and have not been proven safe!

Filmmaker Liz Canner was hired by one of these drug companies, and what she learned was so apalling that she went on to make this expose. I was stunned by it. Some of the reviews call it funny. Though there were some hilarious moments, the aftertaste isn’t funny.

How did the drug companies invent a disease? They asked women questions designed to unearth if they ever had trouble becoming aroused or reaching orgasm (duh, who hasn’t?) and labeled those dysfunctional who said yes to any of the questions. Although women’s sexual responses are complex and based on relationship, health, energy, worries, other medications, and emotional issues as well as physical function, these issues were neither addressed nor ruled out.

The result: a new dysfunction and a drug to address it, both of which were then promoted by highly paid health “experts” on TV news and talk shows. I’m itching to name a visible, well-known “expert” who — although she denied any financial interest in the drug — was paid $75,000 a day for her media appearances on Oprah and other shows. You’ll see her identified in the film.

Below is one video clip — see the official trailer here (I couldn’t embed that one).

6/7/10 update: When I wrote this post a few days ago, Orgasm Inc. was available on Amazon, and today when I checked it, it has disappeared from the listings. This is odd indeed. I’ll keep checking for its return.  It is listed on Netflix, but the available date is unknown, as a reader commented. How frustrating — I really want you to be able to see it. I’ll update the info when this changes — keep checking back.

Cloud 9: German film takes risks portraying senior sex and love

Cloud 9 (Wolke Neun) is a 2008 German film about a woman in her sixties, in a routine but loving (and sexually dynamic) marriage of 30 years. Inge, a seamstress, falls first in lust and then in love with a 76-year-old man. This film, winner of several prestigious awards, is slow-paced, full of raw emotion, and — are you sitting down? — filled with one charged sex scene after another. 

Inge (brilliantly acted by Ursula Werner) has sex with her husband (Horst Rehberg), with herself, and several times with her lover (Horst Westphal). The film is graphic by US standards — you see all three characters’ naked bodies, both during lovemaking and just standing or sitting. The film seems to say, “These are the bodies we wear all day, so what’s the big deal? Why hide them?” The sex scenes are tender and erotic, and I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed them.

I have to applaud this film, not only for its refreshing and realistic treatment of senior sex and love, but because they didn’t make Inge an aging sex bomb. Rather, she’s a plain, frumpy woman with a chunky body and pendulous breasts, who sings in a choir and never seems to comb her hair. She’s not beautiful by any means, but she is radiant when she’s sexually turned on — which happens throughout the film — or laughing.

I’m skirting around the plot details because I don’t want to spoil it. Please see it. I welcome your comments (but please don’t give away the ending.)
You won’t find this film in your local movie listings, but Netflix has it, and so does Amazon. Hurray.

Love and Lust with Bill and Desiree

Bill and Desiree: Love is Timeless is a remarkably tender and realistic erotic documentary about senior sex from Comstock Films. Bill and Desiree are in love, and as erotic as their lovemaking are the heart-to-heart gazes they give each other, the intertwined fingers, the way Bill’s hand lightly grazes Desiree’s breast as they talk to the camera, the gentle corrections they make to each other’s stories.

She looks in her 50s, he in his 60s, and their love is fresh and tender after 3-1/2 years together. They are buoyantly, joyously, agelessly sexual together, laughing as they make love, reveling in their connection. Much of the documentary is interview — we hear how they met, where they first made love, why they love each other, and how important sex is to both of them. The commentary is interspersed with flashes of their sexual activity.

Then, done talking, they make love… for a long time. The lovemaking is clearly genuine, no “money shots” for the camera or fake screams or bouncing boobs. Instead, we see Bill give Desiree several orgasms with fingers, mouth, and toys before getting to the main course. Although we see every body part close up, we tend to focus on the love and joy in their faces (or at least I did) more than their delightfully frisky genitals.

I liked how unlike traditional porn this film is. This is an aging couple — sexy, playful, and in love. They have body hair. They use lubricant. They make eye contact. He is dashing with his salt-and-pepper hair and fit body, and the softness of his caresses matters much more than the age spots on his hands. (She looks great, too, but I confess I spent most of my time watching him.)

Have you viewed this film or others like it? I hope you’ll comment.