Friday, February 27, 2015

Masters of Sex; Showtime 2013-2015; TV-MA

This is the story of sex researches Masters & Johnson. They were the first researches to actually watch humans have sexual intercourse. They did more than watch. They measured everything from heart rates to orgasms. They were the first to document that a woman’s orgasms usually centered around clitoral stimulation rather than from a penetrated penis. This was just one of their many discoveries. They worked in the 1950’s at Washington University in St. Louis. To say that their work was controversial is an understatement. It is unimaginable to think that in all of research, not until Masters & Johnson, have we documented the sexual act that continues our specie.
This production of the story of Masters & Johnson is presented in a titillating, erotic and provocative format. The research alone would make this story fascinating. However this erotic presentation including the complex personalities, drama and sexual relations of the researches, make for fascinating TV. Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen give great performances as Virginia Johnson and Dr. William Masters. Allison Janney also is remarkable as she plays a sexually frustrated middle age wife. In season one we are treated to an erotic sex scene with Allison Janney. This is a rare scene in media of a middle aged women enjoying sex.
Masters of Sex is great soft porn but also is a true story. The series looks at this time when gender roles changed. Virginia Johnson was Key to the ground breaking research AND got credit. This despite her having only an undergraduate degree. This series is a great story and it is also erotic. What a combination.

The historic fact is that Masters & Johnson did have sex together. It seems to be accurate that originally the sex was to measure their own bodies’ response, yet later became more of an affair. They both were unsure how they felt about each other. This is despite their later marriage and then still later divorce. They had part of their minds engages in the erotic pleasure but then another part scientifically "watching." The series presents Masters in later episodes as not just acknowledge Johnson, but making her a co-investigator on all his papers and co-author on their major book publications which arguably (with Freud and Kinsey) is the most important research in sexuality. 2/27/15

The Sessions 2012 R

I gave this film 5 star on my Netflix rating, the highest score. The film is not perfect but the picture’s content and the acting of Helen Hunt make up for the flaws. The headline subject of this film is sexuality and disability: the purchasing of sex surrogate services for erotic pleasure and training. The sub-text question involves sexual intimacy: a privilege or right? The sub-text question is addressed with humor as both a devout disabled Catholic and his Priest Confessor struggle with God’s view of morality and sexuality. For example, at one point the question of God’s view of oral sex is asked. The Priest’s answer is that it is more a question of taste! The Priest’s final moral judgment on this subject is that God “will give a pass” on the issue of sexual sin outside of marriage. It is almost too easy in 2014 to view this conclusion in the context of an enjoyable romantic comedy film. Actually, this conclusion is profoundly radical in the context of traditional Christian theology. It is even more profound to realize that this film (I believe) represents a consensus view. Helen Hunt is brilliant as the sex surrogate. The film is surprising explicit and erotic. Helen Hunt casual acceptance of her frequent nudity, her discussion of sexual functioning while nude and her “acting or maybe not acting” to achieve successful sexual penetration with her disabled partner is heartwarming. Yes, heartwarming is an appropriate adverb. I give a strong recommendation for this film. 7/6/14

A’ L’ aventure 2009 NR

Some would dismiss this movie as disjointed segments of eroticism, pseudo-psychological, mystic fantasies, physics and philosophy. These segments clearly do not fit together. However, taken separately each segment has value both as a film and as a lesson in life’s meaning. The story is of a young women’s search for meaning. She seeks meaning in erotic adventure, hypnotic altered states, physics..yes physics and lectures from a wise elder. I found the film both erotic and fascinating, however, also highly disjointed. 7/5/14