What an interesting project. I just watched a series of movies called, “Hysterical Literature” by film maker Clayton Cubbitt. A woman sits at a table and reads from her favourite book. Underneath the table out of view of the camera, an “unseen accomplice” tried to bring the woman to orgasm with a vibrator. There was something quite beautiful about the black and white treatment, the reading of the literature and the intimacy of the orgasm. It is a very different treatment of female orgasm that is seen in pornography!
There is a distinct sensuality in these short films, which I really enjoyed watching. There’s even some humour as the woman struggles to maintain her focus on the words in front of her! Apparently it was a back massager that was being used, and if you listen carefully, sometimes you can hear the buzzing!
The director sums it up nicely, “It’s quite interesting to hear about what was going through their mind as they started to lose track of what they read and surrendered to their bodies. They talk about it almost like it becomes a religious trance, and they usually have no recollection of the last half of the reading.”
I love how they don’t remember the last section of what they’re reading! And the director also mentions the interesting struggles the sitter has between mind and body. One of the women said she held on for as long as she could, reading the literature, before she decided to give in to the pleasure.
“The title is a winking reference to the quack Victorian medical theory of “hysteria” in women, and the vibrators and hydrotherapy treatments used to “cure” them. On an individual level, I’m interested in the battle the sitter experiences between mind and body, and how long one retains primacy over the other, and when they reach balance, and when they switch control.”
As a sex therapist, I couldn’t help but see the films as a nice metaphor for letting go and stopping thinking and overanalysing everything, in order to experience pleasure. During sex a lot of people find it hard to stop the non-stop narrative going through their head, and this can make it hard for them to let go and experience orgasm. What are your thoughts? When has your mind and all your thoughts blocked you from letting go and feeling pleasure and/or orgasm?