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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Lesbian Sex & Sexuality (review)

Hey, it turns out that lesbians aren’t just people too, lesbians are women too. Who knew? Yes, it’s sadly true that even as gay men have been busting their way into the mainstream, homosexual women have had a much harder time finding spaces for their voices in the larger culture. And yes, it’s true that this documentary miniseries was made by a lesbian (filmmaker Katherine Linton) for lesbians — it aired on the gay cable network here! So why does this uncensored and frank exploration of such sexy topics as the evolution of erotica aimed at women, modern lesbian porn, the sexual fantasies of lesbians, and more feel so, well, mundane? It’s hard to imagine anyone motivated enough to seek out, either on TV or DVD, these six half-hour episodes who isn’t already aware of the fact that not all women, straight or gay, think alike, and that all women, straight and gay, span a wide variety of sexual experience, desire, and adventurousness. And I really, really would like to know why, in a series absolutely replete with casual and total female nudity and explicit sexual behavior, the penises (yes, there are some here) are blurred out. That’s a far more illuminating example of how far women, gay and straight, still have to come even in the most progressive minds: men’s vanity still must be coddled even in an environment that couldn’t be less concerned with their needs. The only bonuses in the set are trailers for other here! programs. [buy at Amazon]

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MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

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  • Shadowen

    “men’s vanity still must be coddled”

    …huh?

    Given the audience, you’re sure it’s men that are being coddled? The only reason I’d ever censor something is if I knew the intended audience really wouldn’t get anything out of it. i.e. Lesbians.

    Unless they censored phallic sex toys, too, in which case you might have a point.

  • MaryAnn

    Are you suggesting that lesbians can’t stand the sight of a penis?

    When I say that men are being coddled, I mean that our culture in general is far more protective of men’s nudity than it is of women’s. Doesn’t matter whom the material is aimed at.

  • AJP

    Pretty much all movie material is aimed at men though. Even movies about the ordinary lives of lesbians. And it isn’t about “coodling male vanity”, it is about selling the product, and the simple truth that you can pretty much guarantee that you will increase sales of a production by including a naked woman, but including a naked man is a much riskier proposition.

  • Shadowen

    I wouldn’t say they can’t stand to see it. I’m saying most lesbians simply don’t want to.

    And yes, men are “coddled” most of the time, but I highly doubt the dicks were censored for the sake of men. Any man with half a brain and an internet connection can find better female nudity (or more) for free than anything shown on TV. An at least quasi-documentarian show about lesbians on cable? Bah.

  • MaryAnn

    Pretty much all movie material is aimed at men though.

    What?!

  • Belen

    This was the most frustrating thing for me as a lesbian to watch. First of all the film maker Katherine Linton used Porno and Erotica some of which was downright sadistic and uncalled for to present to the world Lesbian Sex and Sexuality which is totally false. She would have the world think that we are all oversexed and concerned only with sex, bondage, perversion and torture as well as voyeurism in our every day lives and work. She also does an entire segment on some fat guy being hooked up to a cock and ball torture machine. What is this woman thinking? Why a film maker who identifies as Lesbian would seek out an extreme example of sadistic sex torture on a man??? is beyond my and I hope most of the Lesbian communities wildest imagination. We should all be outraged at the irresponsibility of Katherine Linton in making Lesbian Sex even more of a turn off to the mainstream as it already is. These depictions are false. We are mothers, partners, working people and self respecting people. The people in this film are extremists and exhibitionist and sex workers, not Lesbians! By making a shocking and distasteful film of this nature, Katherine Linton has hurt the community at a time when we need all the help we can get.

    SHAME ON KATHERINE LINTON!

  • Paul

    Granting that I have peculiar tastes in media, I thought there were more lesbians than gay men on TV because our culture was more comfortable with women loving and touching each other than men doing so.

    On the gay man side I know of “Will and Grace” and “Six Feet Under.” On the lesbian side, there’s Ellen’s talk show, “The L Word,” and Willow from “Buffy.” I’m not sure if Firefly’s courtesan counts, but she swings both ways. There are also two lesbian singing pairs (I’m not counting TATU because I’ve heard rumors they’re just pretending), one who sells records through regular channels and the other while on their limited tours.

  • Mathias

    Funny you say that lesbians have a harder time becoming mainstream than gay men. I’ve always thought that lesbians have it far easier.

    After all, many consider lesbian sex “hot” and gay sex as downright disgusting and one of the few remaining taboo subjects in America.
    Bruno’s boxoffice dissapointment is a perfect example of this.

    In an era where Ellen is achieving massive success on her talk show without ever hiding her sexuality and poor Anderson Cooper can’t even come out of the closet for fear of somehow damaging his “journalistic integrity” i do think Lesbians have it easier than gay men.

    Whenever the whole same-sex marriage debate rears its ugly head in the US and they show stats that say “52% of americans are against same-sex marriage” i always wonder how many of those 52% would allow lesbain marriage but continue to ban marraige for gay men.

    Something tells me that a lot people (maybe 20 – 40% of men and 5 – 20% of women?) comprising that 52% would settle for that ;)

  • On the subject of penises, when I saw watchmen and took my two daughters I was lamblasted by people (including my mother of all people) for taking my kids (17 and 14) to a movie that I knew had male genitalia in it (blue or not).

    My oldest daughter (20) even got into the act. Now at 17 my middle daughter has seen this already. Not cause I encuraged her, but at the same time I am not stupid enough to believe she hasn’t done a thing or two (just as most girls her age have).

    My 14 year old knew men had a penis (I mean no point in not admiting that durning “THE TALK” you have to have with a teenage girl) but she had never seen one (Unless she had seen a picture and wouldn’t admit it) so I was hedgy on her, but me and my wife talked to her beforehand and desided she could handle such knowledge. I mean not like she hadn’t seen a woman naked before.

    So I am not sure why everyone went ape ka-ka on me about it. I thought I had made a mature, progressive, and informed desision there. But ultimatly I think it has to do with perseved “innocence” of girls (Actualy got into a discussion with my mother about that last night conserning my 17 year old, will spare the details) and a bit of male inseccurity (the whole “shortcoming” thing) That is the two responces I got from people at least

    On lesbians, anything I say I will sound like a total perve so I will leave that one alone. LOL

  • MaryAnn

    You should tell your mom, RobertH (if you didn’t already!), that, statistically speaking, it’s likely that your 17-year-old has already seen a penis in the flesh. What’s the point in pretending that she hasn’t?

    After all, many consider lesbian sex “hot” and gay sex as downright disgusting and one of the few remaining taboo subjects in America.

    Well, sure. Many men find two women gettin’ it on arousing, but those same men are threatened by gay men. A lesbian ain’t gonna bother a straight guy, but a gay man is sure to want to rape him, or something.

    All I can imagine is, some men know what jerks they are, and are well aware of how badly they treat women, and they can only assume that other men would treat them the same way, were those men to find the jerk in question sexually enticing.

    As a straight woman, homophobes terrify me, because it means they believe they know how poorly men treat the objects of their sexual desire. And I don’t want to be on the receiving end of a man who thinks all men are like them, whether they’re gay or straight.

  • I actually have spoken to her MaryAnn but she is a very conservitive woman, so much so I wonder how I was ever conseeved. To be fair she is very conflicted as she fully believes in a woman’s right to make choices but is also very Catholic (although I was not raised in Catholism, she retained much of the viewpoints).

    On gay men, I can say that the idea of two men doesn’t nessessarly bother me. That doesn’t mean I would like to watch or anything, but I am not threatened by it at the same time.

    There is a bit of truth inwhat you say though. I have noticed the most homophobic males are also teh same males who say the crudest remarks loudly to women.

    Also though I know that (as a male) we constantly look at women. It’s not ment to be insulting but the reality is we do (at least any male I have spoken to does but most are polite enough not to be obvious nor vocal).

    Anyway I think the assumption is gay males do the exact same thing. On the one hand men are afraid they are being oogled by someone they have no desire to be with as they do but also at the same time are afraid they aren’t (but would never admit it). Odd but I think its something.

  • Mathias

    As a straight male, i gotta say, i think i’d be flattered if i noticed a gay guy checking me out. If he finds me attractive, then chances are liekly many women do too.

    As we all know women and gay men have a lot in common. ;)

  • I’ve seen a simmilar girl,maybe some one i saw on f-foxx
    this site is disgusting nasy
    but i have toconfess in some situations i love it a lot more hardcore

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