Sunday, August 08, 2021

Notes on the 2020-1 Coronavirus Pandemic

 Updated 8/8/2021

The world continues to fight the COVID19 virus. As of today, 203 million individuals worldwide have tested positive for the virus with 4.3 million deaths. The United States has suffered 36.5 million individuals testing positive and 632,995 deaths. Just under 200m Americans have taken the vaccine.

Battle of the Sexes, 2017, PG-13

 The film Battle of the Sexes is a docudrama of the historic tennis match in 1973 between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. The movie is 3 stories. One story is about an aging “clownish” athlete played by Steve Carell. A second story is about the coming out of a lesbian woman. The third story is about the cultural changes of the 1970’s where women and men took on new roles and sexual expression widen to include same sex romance. The third story is a helpful reminder of the changes in just the last 30 years. I enjoyed this film. It is available widely including Netflix. 8/3/21

Sex/Life 2021 TV-MA

 This 8-episode series is an enjoyable erotic story. It chronicles the sexual journey of a young housewife-mother who has a perfect marriage but desires the erotic experiences of a former lover. The erotic scenes are explicit and well played. The film highlights how dangerous and forbidden desires are often the most erotic. What makes the desires erotic is that they are forbidden. The film is worth watching and is streaming on Netflix. 8/2/21

Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman 2017- R

 87% Tomatometer   77% Audience Score

The question asked in the film Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman is, “can you love more than one person?” A more revealing question is, “can you share your lover with another person?” In kindergarten we teach five year olds to share, however rarely as adults do we apply those lessons to lovers. The film PM & tWW is the true story of the creator of the comic strip, Wonder Woman. It is also the true story of his three-some marriage. Spoiler alert, the three of them learned to love, share and embrace each other. This very satisfying film chronicles a college professor’s unorthodox views of gender, sexuality and marriage. It also chronicles the two women in his life, their love for him and their love for each other.

The erotic scenes are enjoyable and tastefully photographed. They capture the passion the three have for each other. The film also introduces the threesome’s pleasure with kink fetishes, including spanking and rope bondage.  This is an enjoyable film and I recommend it. It is available through Netflix. 12/9/20

Perfect Ending 2012 TV-MA

This is a highly erotic, beautifully filmed story of sexual passion. It is the story of erotic energy that comforts and heals at a time of tragic loss. Jessica Clark delivers an excellent performance as the prostitute/comforter. The erotic scenes are of a frustrated lonely woman and a paid prostitute. The scenes are graphic, explicit and rewarding. The film is not perfect, but I highly recommend it. It is available on Netflix. 12/9/20

Notes on the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic as of 12/9/20

 Updated 12/9/2020

The world continues to fight the COVID19 virus. As of today, 68.4 million individuals worldwide have tested positive for the virus with 1.56 million deaths. The United States has suffered 15.2 million individuals testing positive and 286,000 deaths.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

A Highly Erotic and Artistic 26 minute Video

 I began this blog with reviews of commercial films dealing with sex. Recently, I have posted comments on many other topics. I now return to a posting on sex in film. I recommend the viewing of

This is a highly erotic 26-minute clip considered by most as porn. I found it both highly erotic and very artistic. The woman and man in the film have what most would consider, “perfect bodies”. The truth is that no one except professional models, have these bodies. Yet just as we admire Michelangelo’s’ David, we can enjoy the beauty of bodies presented in this form of soft light and exceptional photography. It is important that we do not confuse body art as the measure for our bodies. 9/19/20

Black Lives Matter and Books by Isabel Wilkerson


I frequently enter discussions about the BLM movement and demonstrations. Somewhere in these discussions I recommend the book The Warmth of Another Sun by Isabel Wilkerson. This book and her writings more than any other have helped me understand “the origins of our country’s discontent.” I am not alone. Apart from this book winning the Pulitzer Prize it is on the The New York Times list of 10 best non-fiction books of all time. The book document the migration of 6 million African Americans to northern cities during the middle of the 20th century. I am now reading her current book Caste that is equally informative and disturbing. If someone wants to understand race relations in the United States, they should begin by reading these two books. 9/19/20

Notes on the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

Updated 9/19/2020

The world continues to fight the COVID19 virus. The virus has disrupted every aspect of life in every country. The areas of highest disruption are entertainment, service and travel. As of today, 29.9 million individuals worldwide have tested positive for the virus with 941,000 deaths. The United States has suffered 6.65 million individuals testing positive and 197,000 deaths.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Notes on the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic

Updated 5/28/2020
The world is fighting a virus pandemic that is called COVID19. The first outbreak was is Wuhan, China around December of 2019. Emily and I traveled by train through China in May of 2019. One of the train stops was Wuhan, but we did not depart the train. The virus has spread rapidly throughout the world. It is the worst pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu. The first American death was in February 2020. Today, May 28, 2020, America recorded it’s 100,000 death. As of today, 1,680,913 Americans have been infected. Over 39 million Americans have become unemployed, more than double the unemployment of the great depression. As of today, worldwide 5.6 million people have been infected and over 350,000 have died.

Five Netflix One Amazon Recommendations 2020

Never Have I Ever
A very enjoyable coming of age series. It is an easy binge to watch season 1 in one evening. We follow the lead characters through sophomore year in high school. It is funny and touching.
A very sexy and often erotic series. Each episode introduces new characters that then reappear in later episodes. The episodes address same sex relationships, non-monogamous (swinging) relationships and other sexual experimentations. The series is very entertaining and bold. Highly recommend.
Ruby Sparks
Here is Rotten Tomatoes review of this very enjoyable film,
 Calvin (Dano) is a young novelist who achieved phenomenal success early in his career but is now struggling with his writing - as well as his romantic life. Finally, he makes a breakthrough and creates a character named Ruby who inspires him. When Calvin finds Ruby (Kazan), in the flesh, sitting on his couch about a week later, he is completely flabbergasted that his words have turned into a living, breathing person.” I love every film that Zoe Kazan is in. This is a very enjoyable and satisfying film.”
Masters of Sex (Season 4)
This is one of my favorite series based on the work of Masters & Johnson, sex researchers. Season 4 is a study in contracting gender roles. The women are treating sex in a manner that is expected of men (#metoo). The women are driven and use sex as a means for their advancement. They are also independent, competitive and risk taking. They initiate sex and sexual experimentation. The men seek understanding, cooperation and partnership. They put limits on sexual experimentation. They seek reassurance from their female partners. A very interesting study in stereotype gender role switch.
Season 4 was the final season before this series was cancelled. All 4 seasons are available on Netflix.
Our Souls at Night , NR, 2017
The reunion of Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. Our Souls at Night is set in Colorado and begins when Addie Moore (Jane Fonda) pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters (Robert Redford). She asks for a sleeping companion. This is the story of a late life relationship that seeks forgiveness for past mistakes. Heartwarming and worth the time.
Modern Love, Amazon Prime TV Series Based on essays from NY Times on love. There are different stories each week, different characters. Poignant, well written. 

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Facebook: Relaxation Meditation and Netflix: Comedy Special End Times Soon with Marc Maron

I recommend Josie’s meditations. They are soulful and practical from the point of view of touch. If you cannot massage another person you can at least massage yourself. Josie has also studied anatomy. Full disclosure, Josie is our daughter.
Emily (4/6/20)

I recommend watched a standup called Marc Maron tonight.  Show is End Times Soon.  Great lines and clever discussion.

At times very funny. This will offend many people.
Paul (4/8/20)

Monday, March 30, 2020

Two Excellent Podcasts 2020- PG

What The 1918 Flu Tells Us About Human Nature Just over a century ago, a new infectious disease overtook the globe. Its history has long been buried, subsumed beneath the story of World War I. Historian Nancy Bristow believes it's no mistake that Americans have focused on their victory in the war rather than on the devastation of the 1918 flu pandemic.

The Bomb That Didn't Explode Women around the world are having fewer and fewer children, and more and more people are living into their seventies, eighties, and nineties. These demographic patterns have flipped the expectations upside down.

Four Netflix Recommendations 2020- PG

Miss Americana; This is a very personal autobiography of Taylor Swift, the superstar pop singer. It is very honest, funny and at times sad. If you are a fan, this is a must see.

National Park Adventure; This is a beautifully photographed walk through of our nation’s National Parks. If you are looking for a “get away” from COVID-19, this is the prescription. The film gives the opportunity to take deep breaths and enjoy the spectacle of our great land. A wonderful antidote for “sheltering in place.”

Goop lab with Gwyneth Paltrow; This series is hosted by the Academy Award actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth couldn’t be more suited to host this unusual and provocative documentary. Each episode investigates unusual and interesting topics. Here is just a sampling of topics she investigates; exploring the female orgasm, healing through touch, meditation and swimming in 40-degree water, and many more. I recommend the series.

American Factory; This is the first film by the Obama (yes, those Obama’s) Production Company. This film answers the question of how a country can get a population of 1.5 billion to shelter in place for 6 months. The documentary follows the Chinese takeover of an abandon Ohio auto factory and its conversion to an Auto glass factory. The Academy Award documentary is excellent and well worth watching.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Disobedience 2018 - R

 I personally know a lady who tried very hard to please her religious father. After many years she gave up trying, and decided to please herself.  She pleased herself by choosing her own carrier path, her own sexual lovers and her own life partners. Her father died without giving her a blessing. She has had a  good life but remains haunted by never receiving her father's blessing.
This is also the story of the excellent film "Disobedience. " It contains remarkable performances of two people , academy award winner Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. It also contains a very passionate and erotic scene of two women making love. However this film is more than the erotic story of two women. The film captures the battle between western religion and the freedom to choose sexual pleasure.  This is a battle. This battle is led by male religious leaders and started 3000 years ago. It continues to this day.  The film's conclusion (spoiler alert) has a most satisfying resolution to this battle. Unfortunately,  this satisfying conclusion is most rare in real life.
Oh, about the lady described above, the reason I know this lady’s story is because she is my wife.
Available on Netflix 10/22/19 Paul Bray

Paris is Burning, 1990 - R

I strongly recommend the documentary Paris is Burning on Netflix. It portrays the 1980’s transsexual, transgender world of New York City. It’s focus is primarily on people of color and highlights the world of “Balls.” Balls are event extravagances. Balls involve meetings where people display costumes, dances, acrobatics, performances or simply styles of walks. Trophies are awarded by judges in categories. This groundbreaking film is hilarious, tragic and inspiring. The attenders who are black, Latino, gay and transgender, rightfully view themselves as “outcasts” from the greater society. Their common story is rejection by family. However, this culture of Balls is a creation of new families, rewards, praise and acknowledgement. Vanity Fair reviewed the re-release of this film by noting “ It’s no wonder that in addition to being cherished and debated over the years, Paris Is Burning has often been taught in colleges and beyond, and is text for debates about the meanings of gender, race, class, and sexuality.”
Available on Netflix 10/22/19 Paul Bray

Monday, July 08, 2019

Fleabag, 2 Seasons 2016 & 2019 on Amazon Prime

I love this series. Each season is 6 episodes and is an easy evening of enjoyment. The story is about a woman who uses sex to escape depression. It is funny, very smart and moving. Here is an excerpt of Vulture's review.

“Fleabag season one was a droll, observant work of British comedy that confirmed what a talent Phoebe Waller-Bridge is both in front of and behind the camera. So it’s saying a lot that Fleabag season two, the follow-up to Waller-Bridge’s initial, brutally honest portrait of a British woman on the brink, is even better than the first.
Almost everything that was good about the six episodes of Fleabag that debuted on Amazon all the way back in 2016 remains in place in these next six. The show still finds surprising, squirmy humor in the lives of depressed and dysfunctional people. Its protagonist is still an appealing mess of a person, though her judgment has improved, slightly. And Waller-Bridge continues to portray Fleabag, our screwed-up heroine, with a firecracker confidence that, when dampened by the right person, reveals a vulnerable, damaged, and loving soul underneath. Waller-Bridge also still regularly speaks directly to camera, and pulls it off more effectively than anyone else has in recent TV history, and maybe TV history altogether.”

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Black Mirror Series, Season 3, Episode 1, Nosedive

Emily and I are traveling to China for the month of May, 2019. We are getting very excited. It is an adventure that reminds us of our travel to the Soviet Union when we just finished our education. We have been reading about China. A fascinating story about China has received coverage. China, apparently, is experimenting with a point merit system that attributes value to individuals based on factors such as productivity and loyalty. The points are then converted to credit score, purchasing power and travel privileges. Here is where reality meets fiction meets reality.

The episode 1 season 3, Nosedive, of the series Black Mirror, presents a very similar story.  The story is fascinating, humorous and spooky. It recounts the struggle of a women to “earn” enough “5 star” ratings to receive a mortgage for an upscale apartment. 

The Black Mirror Series on Netflix has been compared to the 1950’s TV series The Twilight Zone. I have found the series to have quality episodes at times and then at other times, not so much. This episode is good. It has nothing to do with sex.

Paul Bray 4/17/19 Available on Netflix

The Shape of Water, (2017)- R

The Beauty and the Beast is a fable that has received criticism from progressives and feminists. They argue this myth teaches that a girl doing good to a beast (read physical and emotional abuser) will at some point convert the beast to a loving and long term partner. They further argue that this and other similar fables implant in young children’s minds harmful role models such as martyrdom and abuser. The correct message they say, should be that when faced with a beast, escape.

Now comes the Academy Award (Best Picture, no less) winning picture The Shape of Water. This is another Beauty and the Beast film, or is it? 

Sally Hawkins, playing a middle age cleaning lady, starts the film taking care of herself. Yes, she starts the film is a nude bathtub scene, masturbating. She portrays throughout the film a woman in control taking care of her needs therefore overcoming her inability to speak. This is not the average beauty and the beast story.

This film is a story of sexual and emotional passion received and given. It is not a story of converting the beast to become a loving helpmate. Rather it is a story of converting the beast to be an erotic playmate. The value of this story and the remake of the “beast” paradigm is that it presents a woman who takes care of her needs which leads to survival and freedom of both her and the beast. 

The film has some very beautiful erotic scenes. It is a good film but maybe not a great film. It is a film worth seeing.

Paul Bray 4/17/19 Available everywhere

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Mother and Child, (2010)- R

This is an excellent film. Naomi Watts is both provocative and powerful in the sex scenes with Samuel Jackson. The film has erotic passion; heart felt stories of three families and raises profound questions about the deepest of emotional bonds. It is rated by critics as 78% on Tomato meter and 76% by viewers. The film is about the lives of women. Men are put on the sidelines. The story is of women and their lovers, their pregnancies, their parenting and in later life their care giving. Tears will be shed. I highly recommend it. Paul Bray 2/12/19

Dangerous Beauty, (1998)- R

The late Roger Ebert (4.5 stars) reviewed this film with the opening description: "The life you lead, the freedom you have--will you deny my daughters the same chance? Not the request every mother would address to a prostitute, but "Dangerous Beauty" makes a persuasive case for the life of a courtesan in 16th century Venice. At a time when Europeans are bemused by our naiveté about dalliance in high places, this is, I suppose, the film we should study. It's based on the true story of Veronica Franco, a well-born Venetian beauty who deliberately chose the life of a courtesan because it seemed a better choice than poverty, or an arranged marriage to a decayed nobleman.”
In the era of 2019 #metoo, I believe this IS a film we should return to and study. Catherine McCormack was brilliant as the Venetian beauty. Her performance 20 years ago that unmasks the sexual and gender hypocrisy would be equally brilliant today.
Ok, if these larger gender issues are not why you see a movie, here are more reasons to watch this movie; the beautiful photography of Venue, costumes that are breath taking, a truly romantic movie, tasteful nude and erotic scenes, a sex positive non-monogamous theme and a powerful leading actress. I truly enjoyed revisiting this film. The film is available on Netflix streaming. Paul Bray 1/12/19