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26 Responses

  1. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune February 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm |

    Uh, technical nitpick: a vagina has more than one muscle, if it’s not a super weird possibly Marvel-universe vagina.

    For the rest: fuck “Drunk dubiously-consenting stat rape is awesome because lesbians” Eve “they tried to beat the girl out of my boy” Ensler.

    I’m really fucking done with this.

    Honestly, the “but the V-Day does good” campaign reminds me more and more of the “but think of the Catholic charities!” crowd.

    FWIW I like your idea of a video series. I’ll probably be back with suggestions once my immediate Ensler-exposure disgust’s subsided.

    1. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla February 18, 2013 at 5:19 pm |

      Thank you, mac, and QFT!

    2. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen February 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm |

      Yeah, I definitely get your gripes with V-Day — as an LGBT advocate, certain monologues that shall go unnamed rub me the wrong way. For this pilot, we had a contractual obligation to plug the Monologues, but future episodes will tangentialise in their own direction.

  2. elfabla
    elfabla February 18, 2013 at 1:03 pm |

    Maybe this is because I am so very old but I found it difficult or impossible to tell which person was suppossed to be typing questions and which person was replying and neither of them using complete sentences increased the confusion as they each seemed to be unable to allow the other person to finish their train of thought and instead jumped in with suggestions and I found myself wondering “but was that actually what they were wondering about or did you just butt in and then they were too embarrased to say what they had actually wanted to say”., which I am aware is ridiculous because the conversation is obviously scripted. On the positive side I did like the vulva art and everything that was suggested(in incomplete sentences). Im soooo old.

    1. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen February 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm |

      Nah, it’s not because you’re old. We got the same comments from viewers beyond the 18-34 focus groups, and by no means were they dull-edged fogies — some of them were renowned HIV researchers who’ve done deployments in Africa. We’ll definitely address these issues in future episodes, if we get clearance to take another crack at things…

  3. onetinythought
    onetinythought February 18, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

    I think I am getting a little sentimental in my old age. The cupcake video made me a little teary, in a good way.

    1. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen February 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

      It might be because it’s an homage to Sesame Street’s stop-motion shorts from the 1980s. This one I made for my predecessor, as a token of appreciation for zir faith in me as a reproductive health advocate. Needless to say, it has more of a personal touch than the generic ad consulting I do for birth control…!

  4. jojo
    jojo February 18, 2013 at 6:14 pm |

    The vibrator myth they address is interesting. What I hear more often is folks are afraid they’ll like a vibe so much that human touch will be less enjoyable. I have no idea how to debunk that, except that if you have the option to try something *that* sexually fulfilling (if you think it will be so much more awesome than humans), why wouldn’t you?

    1. Tyris
      Tyris February 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm |

      Indeed. Why wouldn’t you push the electrostim button, over and over again until sleep deprivation finally overcomes you? Maybe you’ll even manage to eat when you wake up, before you go back to pushing the button.

      OK, comparing a vibrator to direct stimulation of the brain’s pleasure centres isn’t really fair, but it’s the far end of that path. Perhaps they’re afraid of jumping off the slippery slope?

      (Of course, some would say that the first step on said slope was the one before the vibrator, ie the “human touch” as you put it…)

      1. SamLL
        SamLL February 19, 2013 at 5:05 pm |

        I think a better analogy is “you’ll enjoy food created with heat and with tools so much you’ll not want to go back to eating heaps of uncooked raw ingredients”.

    2. onetinythought
      onetinythought February 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm |

      Why My Vibrator is My Awesomest Friend:

      –it won’t leave me for another
      –it won’t give me an STD
      –it lives to serve only me
      –it doesn’t bore me with a lot of talk
      –no undesired fertility fears
      –it doesn’t leave its clothes and dishes around

      I could go on, but I have to go pet myself.

      1. Angie unduplicated
        Angie unduplicated February 19, 2013 at 11:47 am |

        It doesn’t kiss you with morning breath.
        No razor burn.
        It never criticizes your hair, skin, weight, or friends.
        It recharges without any expensive drugs.
        It doesn’t drink and drive.

      2. Echo Zen
        Echo Zen February 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm |

        I’m seriously considering the use of these responses as material for a future episode (with everyone’s consent, of course)!

  5. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune February 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm |

    Uhm… I really like your talking points, but the fact that this guy rooted around in his mother’s closet and fucked off with her sex toys and neither of the women called him out on doing that? Threw me out of the scene so hard I was frankly just *splutter wargle blurg* for the rest of it. Like…what the fuck? Taking someone’s sex toys out of their rooms and waving it around at their (adult) kids is kosher and okay now? o_O

    Also, further technical issues/question: I… don’t know how accurate the whole “losing your virginity hurts because of lack of arousal” thing is. At the risk of TMIing the shit out of this conversation, I was incredibly aroused the first time I was penetrated by more than one finger, and there was all the lube ever being used, and it still hurt a fair amount, compared to now, when I can use much larger toys at a significantly lower level of arousal. So, uh…while I get that there’s a Feminist Party Line about how losing your virginity doesn’t have to hurt, there’s a fuckton of women out there like me with the Aluminium Hymen(TM), which we don’t realise while masturbating, but a dildo. Or others, who don’t lubricate enough, or who dry up, or who need One Particular Angle and everything else hurts like hell whether they’re virgins or not, etc, etc.

    In the grand balance of things, I would rather that 90 women are pleasantly surprised with a relatively painless first penetration than ten women like me getting fucking traumatised right out of the gate with penetrative sex because we didn’t know to anticipate pain. This sounds uncomfortably like when the Patriarchal Party Line was that childbirth was totes not painful if you were Doing It Right.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm |

      *but a dildo, say, hurts like hell initially.

    2. onetinythought
      onetinythought February 19, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

      Ewww…sorry, I confess that the only video that I watched was the cupcake one, and was responding to the comments about vibrator/human. Yikes.

      Now, I kinda wanna barf. o_O

      1. onetinythought
        onetinythought February 19, 2013 at 11:34 pm |

        I don’t wanna barf about your comments, but rather the info on the idiot son/sex toy thing. Sorry for any misunderstanding

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 20, 2013 at 9:09 am |

          No worries, I didn’t misunderstand. And the son thing was pretty fucking barfy, yeah.

  6. Tess Eract
    Tess Eract February 20, 2013 at 4:55 am |

    If something hurts, back off…check for physical mismatch of interfacing parts…use something different if needed…if that doesn’t help see a doctor. No blasted reason it should ever hurt. And I don’t want to think about what’d happen if there was any physical damage, with its risks of infection.
    Stretching exercises are said to help for some sports, and one wonders if something like that could be done here. There’s also desensitizing stuff with benzocaine, found in the dental-care aisle, but I don’t know if that would help here or not. It would interfere with pleasant sensations, so if it is feasible at all maybe you’d do the stretch thing on alternate nights or something.
    Thanks to all of you who help people not be injured. Thanks also for the cupcake thing. Even the music was nice.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 20, 2013 at 9:05 am |

      Um, are you talking to me? I can’t tell, but I was the only person who raised the issue of pain, so…

  7. Tess Eract
    Tess Eract February 20, 2013 at 10:40 am |

    …anyone who is worried about pain or tissue damage. No one should have to endure that, and it sounds like it ought to be preventible. We all know what to do if we cut or scrape our hands, but first aid for one’s slippery bits might be more complicated, and even if it isn’t, they should stop leaving that part out too, in case despite precautions something goes awry.
    And I don’t feel that good about someone racking through another’s stuff let alone displaying it to all, even if that other person was a huge hypocrite who thought their kids didn’t deserve pleasure. Of course, the item in question might not have actually belonged to the actor’s mother…

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune February 20, 2013 at 11:08 am |

      Ah, I see. Yes, your advice is useful in the abstract, but in my case I was well aware of the medical issues I have, and all precautions were handled, and it was still uncomfortable initially. And that discomfort hasn’t ever returned, so I’m really baffled as to what other reasonable explanation anyone could give me as to what was going on there.

      And, um, since you brought it up as a possible suggestion, I would say that no, benzocaine is probably a terrible idea. Not only does desensitising the vaginal canal make it less pleasurable for the receiving partner (and frankly as a lesbian-leaning bi woman I don’t know why I’d even bother with penetrative sex if I had to put freakin’ Orajel-by-any-other-name on my ladybits to handle it), it can also make it hard to feel if there’s any actual injury or something that isn’t discomfort. Also, I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly uncomfortable with this idea. If a person can’t handle vaginal sex without anaesthetising themselves, I would stare *real hard* at their partners if the partner suggested such a thing. I don’t very much care for English Thoughts 2.0 you know? (That said, I can see some really specific disability-related situations where benzocaine might be a good thing, so I’m not going to say it’s never ever positive.)

      And I don’t feel that good about someone racking through another’s stuff let alone displaying it to all, even if that other person was a huge hypocrite who thought their kids didn’t deserve pleasure.

      Yeah, me either. Sex toys are private, and they should stay private. What the hell was that kid doing in mom’s closet, and how did this oh-so-feminist sister not “what the fuck” at it? I mean, it’s the vagina monologues, not the others’-vaginal-implements-trialogues, you know?

    2. Echo Zen
      Echo Zen February 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm |

      Yeah, the bit with the vibe is definitely one of the less polished aspects of this pilot. Ideologically it doesn’t jibe with the feminism espoused in this piece either. It’s something we’ll definitely be more attentive about in the future, so thanks for drawing attention to it.

  8. The Golden Root
    The Golden Root February 25, 2013 at 4:49 am |

    I like the first video, the open discussion about some sex myths from a woman’s point of view. Wasn’t so sure about the second one though? Unless there’s some sort of metaphor going on about woman being ignored and men thinking food just makes itself. Maybe I’m reading too much into it though.

  9. Echo Zen
    Echo Zen February 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm |

    Oi, sorry for not keeping up with comments — V-Day, for all its negatives, has been eating all my time (and sleep).

    In addition to all your feedback, here’s a summary of what we’ve taken away from feedback from other quarters…

    1) We posted the pilot to UCLA’s subreddit, where it got negative reception — not because it wasn’t feminist enough, but because people automatically deemed it stupid since it featured 2 girls as main characters. How do we know? Last year we posted a similar (though cheaper, cruder) pilot where a sarcastic English male lectures about vagina myths. That pilot got great reception, despite its cheapness, with much praise for the male’s comic skills. (Actually we wrote all his lines beforehand.) This year we posted the same thing, content-wise, but since the main characters were girls this time, people hated it, despite using the same humour.

    2) Our takeaway from this is to broaden appeal with male characters. It’s a depressing conclusion, yes, but to get feminist messages out, we have to adapt to audiences. If anyone has a better idea, we’d love to hear it.

    3) As other people have already commented, the messaging should be more feminist. Compromising feminism for the sake of a one-liner isn’t acceptable.

    Those are the points we’ll factor into our followup to this. If anyone disagrees, well, comment and we’ll listen…

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