Don't Get Your Masturbation Advice from the Movies

Don't Get Your Masturbation Advice from the Movies

I had the misfortune of watching a pretty bad movie on Netflix last night.  It seemed good, had a great title 'Sleeping with Other People', but it was a disaster.

There are a lot of things that really frosted my cookies about this movie, and I'll get into one of them a bit later, but the biggest thing was a scene in which Jason Sudeikis teaches Alison Brie how to masturbate.  That's right, a cis man who does not have a vulva or vagina, teaching a cis woman, who does, how to touch herself properly.  That in itself is a bit hard to swallow - but the worst part is, it's a terrible lesson.

He uses a glass jar as a demo model to explain this to her - not the best teaching device.  He tells her the first thing to do is to put her finger inside and reach up to find the g-spot.  That's right folks, the first thing she should do is put her finger inside her vagina.  The next thing is put a second finger in there and push against her cervix (no I am not making this up).  THEN, only then, once she's wet, she should rub her clitoris.  And she should not be nice about it, the biggest mistake, he says, is that people are too nice to the clitoris.  He then mimes an action that looks like he's sanding wood.

I get that people masturbate in lots of different ways and there are some people who would find this really pleasurable.  But I'm guessing that's a pretty small number.  I would, and most of the owners of vulva and vaginas that I know would, say this advice is ass-backwards.  Most of us start with the clitoris (and not by rubbing it as if we are trying to polish it smooth) - or we start with some other part of the body and work our way to the clitoris.  THEN once we get excited and there's some lubrication around, we might put our fingers inside our vaginas.  But a lot of us don't even do that. 

This scene would have been hilarious if it had been meant to show that this guy only thinks he's the big expert on women.  But it wasn't.  It was meant to be funny only because he was talking about sex.  There was never an indication that Brie thought he was out to lunch with this advice.  It seemed to genuinely be what the writers thought was a good lesson.

My partner commented that perhaps this guy watches a lot of porn that's aimed at straight men because that's how they do it.

Arrrggggghhhhh.  This character would have been much better off playing and discovering on her own, or reading Sex for One, or watching any of the instructional videos you can easily find online that show women masturbating by themselves for themselves.  There is a lot of good information out there now about how to get started with masturbation, we really don't need cis dudes who don't have the anatomy telling us what's pleasurable to us.  I know, it's just a movie, but it really boils my potatoes.

Beside that totally useless masturbation advice, this movie was also incredibly disappointing and frustrating in its depiction of friendships and relationships.  I won't go into this in great detail because I'm already angry enough.  And if after reading this you still want to watch this movie, know that the next part is going to contain some big spoilers (although this movie is so predictable, you'll probably see them coming).

The premise of this movie is that Jake and Lainey are both messed up in the relationship department.  He can't commit.  She dates men who don't respect her.  I know, totally surprising and original.  They become very good friends.  They are attracted to each other but agree not to be sexual because they just want to be friends.  Of course, in the end, they realize that they really do love each other and they get married.  Basically, it's When Harry Met Sally 20 years later but absolutely nowhere near as well done, as well-written, or as well acted.

There are a number of things that annoy me about this so I'm just going to lay them out:

- the idea that there is the 'right one' for everyone - Hollywood absolutely thrives on this - for some people is true, they find one person who fits for them and that's all good for the rest of their lives - but for a large number of people, it's not like that at all - they might find the one and its great for awhile and then things change and they need to move on, or they find someone who's great but not their 'soulmate' but they're happy enough, or they have someone they really love but they also have other love and sex relationships - clinging to this idea of 'the one' leads people to miss out on other relationships that could be good or to abandon or sabotage relationships that don't live up this high standard

- the idea that you cannot be close friends with someone of the 'opposite sex' - there is a beautiful scene in this movie where Lainey is just wrecked because of something her ex did and she goes to Jake and just lays in bed and cuddles with him and he comforts her.  This would be amazing had they left it at that.  There are a lot of people who have friendships like this with all genders and it doesn't mean that there is 'something more' happening.  Friendships like this are wonderful and beautiful all on their own, it doesn't have to mean you are 'meant for each other'.

- the idea that friends can't have sex.  It is true that for many of us, sex involves emotions that we may not want to bring up or that we might find difficult to manage.  But for many of us, it does not.  For many people, sex is just sex.  There are a lot of people who have sex with their friends and it does not mean that they are secretly in love with them.  I had a good friend that I had a sexual relationship with for a couple of years but we both knew that it wasn't a 'love' relationship in the traditional sense.  After the sex part didn't fit for us anymore, we stayed friends.  This kind of thing happens a lot.  As long as both of them valued sex in the same way, Lainey and Jake could have had sex, really enjoyed it because they were very attracted to each other, and stayed 'just friends'.

In short, I would recommend not wasting your time with this dreck.  We've seen it before, and we've seen it done much better.