Thursday Trends: Censorship of Cunnilingus on Film

'Black Swan' cunnilingus (That Just Won't Do)

‘Black Swan’ cunnilingus (That Just Won’t Do)

With the announced remake of the 1973 film “Don’t Look Now” on the horizon, there’s a good chance that one of the film’s most controversial scenes will once again make the cut: Laura Baxter receiving cunnilingus from her husband John. (Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland played the roles in the original film.) But this time, it might not raise much of an outcry.

Movies began to be bolder about depicting cunnilingus around the end of the last decade. In the 2009 movie “Away We Go,” the opening scene shows Burt (John Krasinski) going down on his partner Verona (Maya Rudolph). Two years later, “Blue Valentine” showed Dean (Ryan Gosling) pleasuring Cindy (Michelle Williams). However, this depiction led to some pushback on the part of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which tried to give the movie an NC-17 rating. Interestingly, the 2010 film “Black Swan” was in theaters, which also featured an oral sex scene, but with two women: Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman. “Blue Valentine” star Ryan Gosling spoke out against the hypocrisy of rating a film with an oral scene involving two women an R, while a film that depicts the act with a heterosexual couple (as well as within marriage) would get slapped with an NC-17. “Blue Valentine” eventually received an R rating.

Within the past two years, more films involving cunnilingus scenes have been released: “Wild,” “Charlie Countryman,” and “The Counselor.” A very notable example occurred in 2014’s “Gone Girl.” Amy (Rosamund Pike) ecstatically receives pleasure from Nick (Ben Affleck) after their first date, which occurs within the first 15 minutes of the film. There was no pushback from the MPAA regarding ratings for this one (presumably, they didn’t need to fight that battle twice).

It’s great to see cunnilingus depicted as normal within the smorgasbord of sexual acts. Let’s hope media depictions of the act continue to grow so more people become normalized to it.

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Thursday Trends: Technology in Sex Toys

Crave's Vesper vibrator (Fast CoDesign)

Crave’s Vesper vibrator (Fast CoDesign)

Legend has it Cleopatra may have been one of the first women to use a vibrator. (In her case, it was a calabash filled with buzzing bees.) The legendary queen/sex toy early adopter clearly knew she needed some extra stimulation, and the simple invention paved the way for a future industry.

Now, things have become a little more complex (and thankfully bee-less). Some sex toys have become more high-tech, and take advantage of opportunities within that field. Clearly, when technology enters the bedroom, fun follows.

Below are just a sampling of what tech looks like…in bed:

We Vibe:

The couples’ vibrator We-Vibe 4 Plus makes use of an app designed to maximize each users’ experience. It can used during sex, stimulating both partners. But it can also be used at a distance, with one wearing and the other controlling via the complementary app. The controller can choose the sensations, which the other partner then receives.

Lelo:

Sometimes you just want oral. Enter the Ora 2, which simulates cunnilingus via a rotating hub that stimulates the clitoris.

Crave:

One central component of technology is that it must look good (thank you Steve Jobs for making this commonplace). Sleek is generally the operative term. Crave’s Vesper is a wearable, thin vibrator the consumer can wear around her neck (and only use externally). Creators of the Vesper made sure the product is as elegant to wear as it is useful.

 

…And into the future:

Una:

This company doesn’t yet have a product on the market. But their goal is to sell a “smart” vibrator that learns from what the user likes. It’ll be interesting to see how this one takes shape.

 

As technology continues to evolve, it’ll be interesting to witness how sex toys incorporate the new tech into existing and new toys. Who knows? We could soon see something that looks straight out of “The Jetsons.”

 

Sodomy Laws in the US: By The Numbers

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

While many states are passing laws allowing gay marriage, some areas regarding sexuality are still in the Dark Ages: Fourteen states still have laws on the books banning sodomy. And these laws aren’t just for the LGBT crowd; they’re for everyone, regardless of orientation.

Contrary to popular belief equating sodomy with only anal sex, these laws can also cover oral sex, and certain sexual acts between homosexual couples, unmarried heterosexual couples and even married couples.

Though these “crimes against nature” laws were invalidated in 2003 with the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case, some remain, and are still enforced, in certain states.

How common are these laws? Let’s take a look:

Number of states with active sodomy laws: 14

Number of states outlawing anal sex: 27

Number of states outlawing oral sex: 24

Number of states outlawing both anal and oral sex: 24

Number of states with laws including certain acts between homosexual couples: 27

Number of states with laws including certain acts between unmarried heterosexual couples: 20

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

US Sodomy Laws by Year of Repeal/Struck Down

Number of states with laws including certain acts between married couples: 16

 

If you’d like more information, Wikipedia has a very helpful matrix.