The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘sex’

Female Ejaculation Doesn’t Exist

Posted by caitlinate on January 26, 2010

This news popped up on my radar last week and boy, is it news to me. From now on films that feature female ejaculation will now be Refused Classification (RC) by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC).

I did a little hunting around the OFLC website and found that films (or computer games) will be refused classification if they include or contain various ‘extreme’ forms of violence, sexual abuse and drug use as well as:


Depictions of practices such as bestiality.

Gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of:

(i) activity accompanied by fetishes or practices which are offensive or abhorrent;
(ii) incest fantasies or other fantasies which are offensive or abhorrent.

Elsewhere in the code a fetish is defined as:

“An object, an action or a non-sexual part of the body which gives sexual gratification. “

How broad. Do they have a list somewhere of which parts of the body are sexual and which are non-sexual?

The next classification category down from RC is X18+ (only available in the NT and ACT but, as wikipedia helpfully informs me, “these films may be legally purchased from interstate via mail-order.”) and applies to films that contain ‘consensual sexually explicit activity’. The classification guidelines here state that:

“Fetishes such as body piercing, application of substances such as candle wax, ‘golden showers’, bondage, spanking or fisting are not permitted.”

What does this have to do with female ejaculation? Well, according to the OFLC, female ejaculation doesn’t exist and what is actually being expelled is urine or a ‘golden shower’. Great! Another aspect of female sexuality disappeared by a powerful statutory body! I’m so glad the former Chairman of the ABC can inform me as to what fluid is coming out of my urethra at any given moment.

It’s disturbing to me that the OFLC board have the power to determine which bodily functions are real and what they mean. You’d think that just telling us whether they were bad or not was enough. Now, they can just make them be something else entirely! If someone in a film having consensual sex has a vestigial tail will that film be RC too because of it’s representation of bestiality?

It’s not only that female ejaculation has been rendered non-existent by the OFLC that bothers me – it’s the way it becomes condemned by default. Male ejaculation = awesome, female ejaculation = freaky, non existent, fetish.

As Ms. Naughty says:

“One thing all the censors seem to agree on is that semen is an above-board bodily fluid. It can be ejaculated anywhere – internally, onto a woman’s body or face, across the Russian wallpaper – and it can even be mixed into milkshakes and drunk. If 20 guys all want to ejaculate their semen onto a woman lying on the floor waiting – or onto each other – that’s A-OK, thanks very much. Nothing kinky about that, it’s just normal sexual activity.

If a woman ejaculates onto a man’s face, however, that’s a fetish. That mean’s in Australia it’s offensive, obscene and Australians should not be allowed to see it lest it corrupt our immortal souls. Or something.”

For those interested here’s a New Scientist article from last year that talks more about female ejaculation and recognises the fact that, you know, it exists.

Related – Apparently, the OFLC have also been banning films that have small breasted women in them. In case anyone should get confused.


Posted in law, porn, sex | Tagged: , , , , | 12 Comments »

And now for feminist pornography

Posted by Nic Heath on November 24, 2009

Popular pornography is undeniably big business and, thanks to the internet, virtually ubiquitous. I mean, it isn’t something I encounter often when I’m online checking the news but if you’re halfway interested, porn is a click away.

Pete Malicki’s ‘How Liberating is Porn Really?’, published at New Matilda, sums up my thoughts pretty well about the problems in the way mainstream pornography portrays women and sexuality. He also provides a neat description of what makes your bread and butter porn, which you can read for yourself at New Matilda. The thrust of his definition hinges on the preoccupation in popular pornography with male desire and the concurrent indifference to women’s sexuality.

I recall as a teenager when the porn craze hit. Girls and boys would watch it, probably mostly a typical teen taboo-breaking exercise. Adult audiences aside, the most dangerous consequence of young people viewing mainstream porn films is that the watching often constitutes a first explicit glimpse of a sexual act. It would be impossible for a young person to be impervious to its influence; pornography sets unhealthy and unrealistic expectations for boys and girls to try to emulate in the bedroom (or wherever). I can’t imagine that sex education in schools offers a correction to this skew.

As Pete Malicki says:

“Given that porn overwhelmingly represents a version of male fantasy, female viewers will be shown what males “want” sexually. It’s pretty easy to understand why women who have been overexposed to porn might feel pressured to fit that fantasy, even without being asked to perform [such] acts.”

Behaviour isn’t all that can be affected – porn provides an aesthetic template too. Arguably the rise in labioplasty, or cosmetic labial surgery, is in some part attributable to the unrealistic “elegant-looking labia” you can see in mainstream pornography.

I suspect women who voice any opposition to popular pornography are often accused of being sexual spoilsports. Statistics show that many women watch porn, and it is possible that many of them watch your standard money shot stuff in the absence of explicit films that pay more mind to a woman’s pleasure.

Of course there is plenty of pornography out there that resists adhering just to the male gaze. In October this year the first Feminist Porn Film Award was awarded in Berlin, and you can read about the awarded film makers here, and the criteria – which include ‘no misogynistic portrayals’ and more women in production roles – here. Films that fulfill the criteria will be given a ‘PorYes’ stamp.   

It’s safe to say that watching pornography can be an ethical minefield and for those who’d like less degradation with their titillation, the PorYes seal of approval could prove helpful in finding enjoyable erotica, and the internet – often blamed for spreading misogynistic material – is the perfect vehicle for the dissemination of feminist pornography.

And I note that while the Sydney Morning Herald recently reported on the PorYes movement, Life & Style web editors stuck to house pictorial policy and used a breast-enhanced image to accompany the article.

Posted in porn | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Fairfax Still Loves Bettina

Posted by caitlinate on April 4, 2009

A short while back The Age published this piece by Bettina Arndt (an anti-feminist pro-rape sociopath masquerading as a sex therapist). There were, you know, some disgruntled people as a result. Their way of restoring balance isn’t to publish a well written, articulate and composed response (of which there are so many available) but to instead publish this piece of crap. An article that presents itself as a rejoinder to the fucked up notions that Arndt is pushing but, in actual fact, does nothing to explain why anyone would find Arndt offensive or why her women-blaming misogyny is, you know, not okay. Instead it tacitly legitimises Arndt’s arguments by publishing a juvenile, confused and completely fucking stupid response involving something about men being old, fat and bald and that’s why we don’t wanna fuck em. I suspect the author of the article is trying to be funny (forgive me for not getting the joke) but the whole article is based on the premise that, yes, women are to blame, women are doing something wrong, it is the fault of women that men aren’t having sex… but here are some reasons why. Why are we still coming up with fucking reasons why it is okay for a person to say no to sex? Why can’t we just accept NO!?!

Part two of my outrage involves the ‘Your Say’ page for this article. First off they refer to women as “fairer sex” in the blurb. I kid you not. Hello, calling Fairfax, are you aware we’re in 2009? Arriving at this page I then made the fatal error of scrolling down and actually reading some of the comments and I’m so choked with anger and jaw-to-the-floor I can’t even type straight so will rely merely on quotes. Here is the very first cab off the rank comment for your perusal:

“I think the photos of the men in the Age and the Heading Implying that men are to blame is In appropriate.

Women also are looking overweight and gross..”

Yes. It is inappropriate to suggest men are to blame because that would mean we weren’t blaming women and brain explode for Andrew.

The next best one is about ten down:

Wow what a bitter and biased article. I find it particularly suprsing that this article is written by Wendy Frew, who I put politely will certainly not be challenging the next Miss Universe contest.

The point of the initial survey is that after having children many women focus too much on themselves and the children, and not enough time on the relationship with their husband. It doesn’t have to be the bitter slant Ms Frew put on it but it is a very real issue.

I find her comments particularly stupid considering out of the group of friends that my wife and I spend time with I’d say as far as appearance goes this would be a fair indication. Out of 10 males only two would be considered overweight and none would be considered obese. Out of the ten females I’d say 5 of the women would be over weight and 2 would be considered obese. I’d also say that of these seven over weight women, only the two who are obese would actually think they are are over weight. Yes it is true that most of these women have had children but we are purely talking about attractiveness here, not how it happened.

Many women have what I call the “David Brent” opinion of themselves. They delude themselves to thinking that being overweight is just normal and still attractive.

Now are the men in the survey complaining about their overweight partners? On the contrary they want more sex and their overweight wives are not giving it to them.

As far as I can tell this guy can be summarised as saying: “fuck fat bitches, you’re a fat bitch, fuck you”. Which is quite a thoughtful and considered argument really. I wish that guy would bring his thoughtfulness and consideration over to my neck of the woods. We could have a beer, go for a walk, maybe kill a little time in the park kicking a ball around. It’ll be swell.

This is all just another reminder of why I find myself regularly boycotting The Age… isn’t it meant to be better than the Herald Scum? At least the HS aren’t pretending to be something they’re not.

– Edit – In the comments Amber mentioned a Lateline interview with Bettina Arndt. It’s 17 minutes long and you hear some pretty yuck things from Arndt but it’s worth taking a look at – Emily Maguire and Tony Jones (the interviewer) do a great job of bringing light to and discounting some of Arndt’s more questionable assertions and placing them closer to the context of reality. You can read the transcript or stream the video here.

Posted in Blog Watch, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Ladies, Do You Want Sam De Brito Instructing Your Potential Paramours?

Posted by Clem Bastow on September 12, 2008

Dawn Chorus pal Elmo emailed me this link with the subject “Is this serious – or has his account been hacked?” – and as soon as I clicked the link, my heart sank and my vagina closed over indefinitely.

In short, evidently I missed the memo that the Fairfax stable was going to turn its second biggest blog into a how-to guide for the sexually challenged, because today’s All Men Are Liars post is… well, here’s some edited highlights:

Say you’re kissing on the couch – don’t immediately dive your hand between her legs and start massaging her breasts like they’re mounds of wholemeal dough. Kiss her gently, softly, use your tongue judiciously, get the rhythm right. Bite her lips tenderly, then break away, give her a smile perhaps, smell her neck, touch her face, then start again.


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Posted in Blog Watch, Relationships, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

Hookup Hangups

Posted by Mel Campbell on August 4, 2008

I’m not sure if Australians really use ‘hooking up’ as a catchall term for casual sexual activity (except deliberately, where a tone of yearning-for-Brooklyn coolsiness is called for) – among friends I’m more likely to discuss “disco pashes”, “picking up” or even “wearing the white shorts”. Nonetheless, it’s a deliberately vague term that encompasses everything from making out at parties to one-night stands, friends-with-benefits or even fleeting relationships.

However, that vagueness often seems to escape media commentators, who draw up a dialectic of Gen-Y sexuality that’s pithily summarised by Salon‘s Tracy Clark-Florey:

…increasingly, young women are being told they are either respecting or exploiting themselves; they’re either with the “Girls Gone Wild,” sex blogger set or with the iron-belted and chaste.

Tracy begs to differ: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Media Watch, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Tracking The Jess Origliasso “Porn Storm”

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 1, 2008

News spread around the web like brushfire yesterday when PhotoBooth shots of “Jess Origliasso” from The Veronicas (I use inverted commas because no one – including her spokesperson from Warner Records – is certain whether the baps-out shot is actually her) turned up on Fleshbot (NSFW, der). Naturally, the reaction on the home front has been predictably, well, predictable. Here’s a selection of News Ltd headlines:

Jess Origliasso embroiled in porn site picture scandal
The Veronicas’ Jess Origliasso caught in porn storm
The Veronicas’ wild child in porn site storm

And so on. You get the sense the News stable is gearing up for some serious slut-shaming in their continued coverage; cop this excerpt:

Cementing her status as the wilder of the two siblings, Jess – identified by her distinctive tattoo on her bare upper back – is pictured with a suggestive expression in the sepia-toned image.

“Cementing her status as the slutty one” is what they really mean. (And I love the use of “suggestive”.)

What bothers me about these sorts of stories – and there are a lot of them these days, from the Vanessa Hudgens pics to the Kristin Davis shots – is that, inevitably, they are about “exposing” women as unstoppable sex machines (and, occasionally, revealing a male star’s gay secrets; nude scandals rarely seem to target straight male celebs, unless it’s in a high-fiving, “Go you stud!” manner).

There’s the implication that these women are somehow dirty or slutty (or porny) for having taken photos with/for someone they were (presumably) in a relationship with, which to me always seems like a perfectly normal bit of sex play (and let’s face it, taking dirty photos is pretty much vanilla these days).

And has it really come to the point where taking some reasonably tasteful sexy photos of oneself is “porn”? The shots might have ended up on Fleshbot, but they weren’t made for it.

The wailing in the streets seems at odds with the whole Cleo/Cosmo culture that tells us we should all be having incredible sex lives, but when a celebrity is revealed to actually be, you know, having an amazing sex life, the media gets in its time machine and presses in “1950s” on the destination keypad.

Posted in Blog Watch, Celebrity, Media Watch, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Jezebel’s Moe And “Condom-Gate”: Hang The STIs, Bareback Feels Better!

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 26, 2008

Another week, another Jezebel “controversy” – Jezebel writer (and star of the last Jezebel vs. the world debacle, and who this week joined and then left Radar within a matter of whiplash-inducing moments) Moe Tkacik has walked into another blogosphere fracas with her Thursday post, “Sex Without Condoms Is Actually Better Than Diamonds, People!”

Here’s an excerpt:

[…] I have only really engaged in bareback sex with the types of dudes who don’t fear HPV and whose diseases I don’t particularly fear, because the worst thing I can think of about most of them is the ensuing lifetime of awkward conversations, and the worst thing about that is that awkward conversations summon memories, and summoning bad memories every time you’re about to fuck a new person is no way to live, but, if you can smile and say (hypothetically!) “Hey, just so you know, I have [insert STD here], but I got them from this really hilarious guy who is still one of my best friends, so it was kind of worth it,” before you do it with a new person, it’s almost nice. Like: oh yeah, that was a good time.

My instinctual reaction was (and remains), man, when did women buy the “But it feels better, baybeee” line, too?

I know Moe has made a point of discussing her experience with STIs, and I commend her for that – such is the state of the world that people who have STIs (or have had) are made to feel as though a) they can’t discuss it freely because b) it’s gross or yucky or dirty. Like Moe, this is something I feel particularly strongly about.

But considering this, I find it hard to believe that Moe can be so glib about practising unsafe sex. Because you know what? It’s easy to buy the ‘bareback feels better’ line – until an STI stops the party.
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Posted in Blog Watch, Media Watch, Sex And Love, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

I Wanna Sext You Up

Posted by Mel Campbell on July 10, 2008

You learn something new every day, don’t you? Today, I learned the ‘word’ “sexting”. I also had to wonder whether the Fairfax press’s clammy excitement over this tawdry teen fad was just sublimated chortling at that awesome portmanteau word.

Last year I had a brief sextual liaison with a chap who lives in another city, and we managed to text each other in complete sentences, without the use of pictures. But I realise now that this is unusual sextual activity – kind of kinky even, like fucking while blindfolded – because The Age would have us believe that:

a) only teenagers sext, whereas adults are “blind to the trend”;
b) sexting is always a form of cyber-bullying, aimed to coerce and humiliate
c) only females ever circulate sexually explicit images of themselves by phone, so this is only a problem for them

Okay, let’s go through these one by one. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Media Watch, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

“Should Parents Be Worried About HPV Vaccine?” How About Women?

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 9, 2008

This CNN article raises some of the emerging concerns about adverse reactions to the Gardasil HPV vaccine; some girls and women who get the course of jabs are experiencing side-effects ranging from nausea to, well, death (apparently). The American stats are as follows:

Gardasil has been the subject of 7,802 “adverse event” reports from the time the Food and Drug Administration approved its use two years ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Girls and women have blamed the vaccine for causing ailments from nausea to paralysis — even death. Fifteen deaths were reported to the FDA, and 10 were confirmed, but the CDC says none of the 10 were linked to the vaccine. The CDC says it continues to study the reports of illness.

But what bothers me about the piece is not so much the worrying emergence of stories such as Oklahoma’s Jesalee Parsons, 13, who developed Pancreatitis after her shot (which is, to be sure, horrifying), but the way CNN has pitched the piece: its title is “Should Parents Be Worried About HPV Vaccine?”

Fair enough, it’s a question that needs to be asked, as many of Gardasil’s recipients have been young girls. But what about those of us over 18 who went and got the injection ourselves? Are we irrelevant? Do we only need to, as The Simpsons‘ Helen Lovejoy likes to scream, think of the children?

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Posted in Media Watch, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Samantha Brett: Stereotyping And Offending Straight Women, Straight Men, Lesbians, Gays, And Bisexuals!

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 4, 2008

You know, I’m starting to think that quoting Samantha Brett’s blogs is tantamount to taking photos of the toilet bowl and posting them on RateMyPoo, because it’s questionable as to whether she’ll ever come up with something (sorry, “opine”) that isn’t hideously dated, gobsmackingly sexist and utterly offensive to one gender/sexual preference or another – or, in this case, pretty much everyone.

To wit, Wednesday’s opening salvo:

If you’ve ever watched The ‘L’ Word television series, you will have been privy to the ultimate male fantasy that seems to turn on gents like no amount of cleavage or gold spandex hot shorts can do. “Visual candy for men,” is how the New York Times described the steamy series which follows the sex lives of super sexy women who make out with one another. (I can just hear the male pheromones being switched on as we speak.)

Yes, lesbian sisters, you read that correctly – The ‘L’ Word is not about lesbians, it is about “super sexy women who make out with one another”, evidently all for the benefit of the male gaze.

Now, I know The ‘L’ Word is about as gritty and realistic as Sex & The City, and yes, there was probably a marketing think-tank in the pre-production days that thought the show would likely attract a male audience, too. But to describe a show about lesbian relationships without even using the term “lesbian” – does Sam think those scary dykes are going to put the gay on her?

She continues “opining”:

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Posted in Blog Watch, Media Watch, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »