Category Archives: Sexuality
Adult Themes Throughout – Taboo The Beginning of Erotic Cinema is a documentary on the history and beginnings of the adult film industry, an insightful journey that takes Erotic Film to a different dimension.
The great myth of erotic cinema is that its creation began in the 1970s with movies like “Deep Throat” but nothing could be further from the truth. As soon as moving camera were invented, people starting using them to make pornographic films.
Refer to them as artists, pioneers, Voyeurs or pornographers but the early amateur film makers behind these short films pave the way for the multi-billion dollar adult industry which along the years has become one of the most powerful and profitable industry around the world. Once you have a target audience, the sales will always start rolling in. The adult industry has always been profitable to high degrees. (The documentary contains adult entertainment images that may not be suitable for children).
Steve Humphries’ Sex in a Cold Climate is a documentary denouncing the Magdalene Asylums, which were operated by Catholic nuns in Ireland for over 100 years, caused an uproar when it was televised in England in March 1998 as part of Channel Four’s Witness series. An estimated three million people watched the documentary, one of the highest figures ever recorded for the series. A help line was set up, which received calls from almost 450 women who had experienced abuse and trauma through the Magdalene Asylums and the Catholic Church. The documentary was blacklisted by the Irish network RTE and to this date has never been officially aired in Ireland.
Mr. Humphries has produced over 80 social-history documentaries and written 20 books based on ordinary people’s life stories. But he insists that Sex in a Cold Climate is the most important story he’s told yet. “The shame of being a Magdalene still runs so deep in Ireland nobody would talk. It was only women who’d later escaped to England who were prepared to talk. This is the film I’m most proud of. There were Magdalene Asylums all over the world, especially in Catholic countries, so this film has relevance to a lot of people.”
One of the viewers of Mr. Humphries’ controversial 1998 film was actor-writer-director Peter Mullan. Mr. Mullan was so inspired by the documentary that he decided to direct own his fictional version on the subject, entitled The Magdalene Sisters , which was released in 2002 in the U.S. to rave reviews.
So what really went on in the Magdalene Asylums? In some cases, the women-many in their early teens-washed and scrubbed and ironed laundry from 6 in the morning to 6 at night, six or seven days a week, with a day off on Sunday (for incessant prayer, of course) and a day off for Christmas. The laundries were very profitable for the church, but the female “sinners” were paid nothing for years and decades of hard labor. The Magdalenes were not arrested, tried, or convicted for any crime; they were simply “detained”.
In the mid-19th century, secular asylums in Ireland were taken over by the Catholic Church and converted into Magdalene Asylums. They were originally intended to serve as a refuge for prostitutes, but their numbers grew, along with the number of abandoned children due to the Potato Famine. The industrial orphanages that arose as a consequence were exposed long ago for their cruelties in the treatment meted out to their helpless charges. Yet amazingly, the last Magdalene Asylum didn’t close until 1996.
These supposed Brides of Christ took charge of women from poor or nonexistent families, some for having children out of wedlock, others for having “provoked” their own rapes by possessing potentially “sinful” attributes, still others for simply being judged too dangerously attractive to avoid being plunged into sin with pitifully susceptible males. Curiously, oversexed boys and men were never consigned to monasteries to repent of their sins, and as we’ve now come to know, misbehaving priests were never, ever disciplined.
Phyllis Valentine, Brigid Young, Martha Cooney and Christina Mulcahy are the four eloquent real-life Magdalene “penitents” featured in Sex in a Cold Climate. Ms. Young describes how a priest at confession masturbated on her dress and then walked away as if nothing had happened; the young virginal girl was too inexperienced to know if anything had. Ms. Valentine was delivered to the asylum because she was considered “too pretty” and therefore a moral danger to herself and others. Ms. Cooney was incarcerated after she complained that a cousin had sexually molested her. It was her fault, of course. But most moving of all was the story of Christina Mulcahy, who agreed to talk about her experiences only because a diagnosis of terminal cancer had freed her from the prospect of any long-term stigma she’d inevitably have to carry. Mulcahy was torn away from her illegitimate baby while she was still breast-feeding him, on the grounds that she was an unfit mother. The baby was placed for adoption with a “good Catholic family,” and Mulcahy was whisked off to the Magdalene Asylum with baby’s milk still in her breasts. She searched for her abducted son for much of the rest of her life, and was finally reunited with him shortly before her death in 1997.
Sex in a Cold Climate highlights the complicity between society at large and a so-called holy organization that fostered a class of women steeped in shame and self-loathing, preventing all but a very few from finally bearing witness to their suffering.
Type the words “the girlfriend experience” into your favorite search engine. Within seconds, you’ll find ads promising companionship by the hour. Much of the sex industry has moved online. Today, an entire workforce of women is just an internet connection and a phone call away. National Geographic’s Mariana van Zeller journeys to the heart of the American escort industry and uncovers the gritty reality behind the supply and demand of high end sex work.
Mariana heads to Las Vegas, ground zero for the escort underworld. Here, high-end escorts like Sarah explain how they cultivate their illegal business online. As an independent escort, Sarah calls the shots and commands big money from clients. Yet for many women, a much different reality awaits.
Las Vegas Vice Detective Chris Baughman is on his way to investigate another pimp. He says that the image of glamour and luxury that high-end escorts project is a part of the problem. For the majority of men, “what they’re getting isn’t some knockout that lives in a penthouse, that saves all her money and has the little toy poodle. It’s the same girl that’s getting beat. That’s being threatened.” His mission: to dismantle the Las Vegas sex industry — one pimp at a time.
Not far from the bright lights and bustle of the Las Vegas strip, Mariana sits hidden in a van in a parking lot beneath a highway overpass. She is investigating an office building that houses call centers for dozens of escort agencies. These agencies send girls to hotel rooms for private lap dances, and as long as they don’t advertise prostitution, they’re protected by free speech laws. We can’t get the agencies to talk to us, so we go undercover to learn what’s really going on behind closed doors.
In the small town of Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, seven years ago, a 19-stone rugby-playing ladies man and bank clerk Chris Birch snapped his neck while larking around doing somersaults and backflips with his friends. As the tabloids excitedly revealed a while ago, he suffered a massive stroke and woke up as a completely different person, a person who happened to be gay.
It’s well-documented that strokes can completely alter a person’s character but Birch is one of the most extreme cases that neurologists have ever seen.
Now 26 and a hairdresser, he has a fiancé called Jak (and no, nobody explains why this cute couple have a curious aversion to the letter C), a dog that wears clothes and a whole new friendship group in the form of the cackling women he works with at the salon. BBC Three clearly spied a glimmer of “the only gay in the village” and ran with it but, if you cast aside the lazy clichés, there was far more interesting stuff to explore.
The crux of the documentary was whether Birch truly “woke up gay”. Was it really a transformation, as he insists, or merely a realisation of something that had been dormant within him his whole life? Nobody knows, and the lack of co-operation from people from Birch’s past (including his mother, who is still struggling to come to terms with her reborn son) meant that, by the end of the documentary, we were just as bewildered as we were at the start.
Ultimately, though, it was an extremely uplifting hour of TV because, despite everything he’s been through, Birch absolutely loves his new life.
“I’m happier now than I’ve ever been,” he said from beneath his two-tone, asymmetric fringe. It seems he “woke up gay” in both senses of the word, which is a pretty good outcome from a rare, near-fatal accident.
The clitoris is a female sexual organ present in mammals, ostriches and a limited number of other animals. In humans, the visible button-like portion is near the front junction of the labia minora (inner lips), above the opening of the urethra. Unlike the penis, the male variant of the clitoris, it usually does not contain the distal portion or opening of the urethra and is therefore not used for urination. While few animals urinate through the clitoris, the spotted hyena, which has a particularly well-developed clitoris, urinates, mates and gives birth via the organ. Some other carnivorous animals and mammals, such as lemurs and spider monkeys, also have a well-developed clitoris.
The clitoris is the human female’s most sensitive erogenous zone and the primary source of female sexual pleasure. In humans and other mammals, it develops from an outgrowth in the embryo called the genital tubercle. Initially undifferentiated, the tubercle develops into either a penis or a clitoris, depending on the presence or absence of the protein tdf, which is codified by a single gene on the Y chromosome. The clitoris is a complex structure, and its size and sensitivity can vary. The glans (head) of the human clitoris is roughly the size and shape of a pea, and is estimated to have moresensory nerve endings than any other part of the human body.
Extensive sociological, sexological and medical debate have focused on the clitoris, primarily concerning anatomical accuracy, orgasmic factors and their physiological explanation for the G-Spot, and whether the clitoris is vestigial, an adaptation, or serves a reproductive function. Social perceptions of the clitoris range from the significance of its role in female sexual pleasure, assumptions about its true size and depth, and varying beliefs regarding genital modification such as clitoris enlargement,clitoris piercing and clitoridectomy; genital modification may be for aesthetic, medical or cultural reasons, and cultural perceptions also impact on knowledge of the clitoris. Studies suggest that knowledge of its existence and anatomy is scant in comparison to that of other sexual organs, and that more education about it could help alleviate social stigmas associated with the female body and female sexual pleasure; for example, that the clitoris and vulva in general are visually unappealing, that female masturbation is taboo, or that men should be expected to master and control women’s orgasms. (source: wikipedia.org)