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Get Mortified: How to Celebrate Your Awkward Teen Years

November 7, 2013

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One of the most moving moments in the new documentary Mortified Nation — based on the popular and hilarious Mortified live show that has been staged across the country — is when a participant talks about how teens just want to be heard. They don’t necessarily need to feel understood — especially by adults — but they do want to know that someone’s listening. And performing in a Mortified show, this participant said, is a way to make people listen, albeit decades on. And, as the documentary notes, it’s still worth doing, because that awkward angsty insecure egomaniac sex-obsessed zit-ridden teen is still essentially you.

The best parts of this documentary are the live performances filmed at various Mortified shows: adult participants read aloud from old diaries or poems or song lyrics or letters in front of a live audience. If you’ve never been to a live Mortified show — and you really should — this documentary is the next best thing. One of the reasons why these shows are so successful and so fun to attend is that the audience is now fully on the side of the performer — even though the diary entries themselves might be full of loneliness and desolation. As one performer notes, “There was no one back then to say aw about my life.”

Sex and sexuality, of course, rule the day, and these journal entries are a fascinating glimpse into the way teens struggle with identity and sex. The way that kids lie to everyone, including themselves — even to their own diaries! — just to make it through the day. And the way that kids fantasize and dream about the future, so sure that as soon as they experience their first kiss/first love/first sexual encounter, everything will be okay.

They were wrong, of course, but they were also right, because for all of these performers — and for everyone in the audience, too — that excruciating period did end, and they were all able to embrace their angst and shame and terror and embarrassing teen misogyny and own it in front of a room of strangers.

We guarantee that after you’ve watched this film, you’ll want to dig up your own childhood diaries and start sharing the shame, too. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll squeeze your bumhole tight in mortification. Feels good, right?

Get tickets to screenings or watch the trailer and film online at MortifiedNation.com

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The Best Dirty #AddAWordRuinAMovie Tweets

October 7, 2013

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One of the funniest hashtags in a while took over Twitter this past weekend. Here are some of the best sex- and love-related ones. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Top 10 Things the “Fifty Shades” Movie Could Do Better Than the Book

September 4, 2013

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Since the casting was finally announced this past Monday for the adaptation of the first Fifty Shades of Grey book — with Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson (The Social Network) as Anastasia Steele — the general consensus has been “They got it wrong!” We’re not sure any casting would have been universally warmly received (short of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart), but we do think the filmmakers have a chance to definitely get some other things right. Behold, our top 10 improvements on the book we hope to see in the movie:

1. No cable ties: In the first book, when Christian visits Ana at the hardware store and picks up some DIY bondage supplies, it’s implied — intentionally or not — that he’s hoping to use cable ties as wrist restraints on his next guest in his Red Room of Pain. Big mistake. HUGE! If used in such a way, cable ties could cause cuts, poor circulation, and a little thing called nerve damage. The only thing they should be used for in BDSM play is organizing all the cords of your various plug-in vibrators.

2.  No explosive orgasms from Ben Wa balls. It’s just not realistic, at least not for the majority of women. Giving them the same power as, say, a vibrator just sets women up for yet another sexual expectation most can’t meet. Balls (like LELO’s Luna Beads) are better suited for working out your pelvic floor muscles and thus improving pelvic health, which can lead to better sexual sensations. But as little balls full of cosmic orgasm potential? Uh uh.

3. Give Ana some sexual experience. Just a smidge. We’re supposed to believe an adult woman who’s not a member of the FLDS can graduate college with absolutely no sexual interest, no experience with men, and no attempts masturbation ever? It perpetuates the myth that women aren’t sexual creatures until the right man comes along. Please. She’s the virgin and he’s the stud, and they save each other — gross. And even if we were to believe that such a mythical woman could actually exist, it would be totally irresponsible — reprehensible even — to dunk her over her head into the world of BDSM.

4. Full disclosure on the slave contracts. Christian doesn’t ever clearly articulate to Ana that slave contracts are not actually legally binding — you know, thanks to Abraham Lincoln and that whole abolitionist movement. Here’s a kid, for all intents and purposes, who is not what you would call worldly or business savvy or lawyered up. Not cool for a romantic interest who’s supposedly falling in love.

5. Easy on the controlling, abusive, stalker-ish behavior. Christian spies on her and tries to control who she can see, where she works, what she eats — and she is not down with it. She’s afraid he’s going to hurt her; he causes her physical and emotional pain she doesn’t want — that’s not a D/s relationship, that’s abuse. And where’s the aftercare? Christian is a terrible top. The movie should make him a better one.

6. More well-adjusted kinky characters. It would be nice if the movie could add a character or two who’s into kink who isn’t royally fucked up. In the book, it’s Christian the controlling abusive boyfriend, his crazy gun-wielding ex sub, and his statutory rapist from when he was a kid. Not exactly the best advertisement for the kink community, the majority of whom are uber-responsible, law-abiding, stable citizens.

7. Drop Ana’s issues with eating.  With Ana forgetting to eat all the time, not being hungry and being forced to eat by Christian, it’s like she’s got an eating disorder. Maybe EL James was just playing around with a woman’s ultimately fantasy of never being hungry, but it’s a distracting issue — let the girl have a healthy appetite.

8. Have Ana enjoy the kink more. She can be conflicted about it, sure, but she should ultimately love it, embrace it and not be so afraid of it.

9. Make the sole minority character less date rape-y. Jose, basically the one minority in the book, is on a clear path to sexual assault as he tries to take advantage of Ana when she’s super drunk outside the bar. He tries to kiss her even though she keeps saying no and trying to push him away. He continues to hold her in a bear hug and is about to commit a crime before Grey breaks it up. Criminal tendencies aren’t a great quality in a “really good friend.”

10. No Ana narration. We hope and pray the movie dispenses with Ana’s insipid internal dialogue. Please no voiceovers about the “ghost of a smile” on Christian’s face or her cartwheeling Inner Goddess.

 For an awesome book about kink that should be made into a documentary movie, check out our award-winning “150 SHADES OF PLAY: A Beginner’s Guide to Kink.”



New Movie: Afternoon Delight

August 22, 2013

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Afternoon Delight, the directorial debut by Jill Soloway (best known for her work on “Six Feet Under” and “The United States of Tara”), opens next Friday in NY and LA, followed by other cities Sept 6th. It joins a (thankfully) growing number of projects on issues of sexuality from the female perspective with frankness, even raunchiness: think Bridesmaids, Friends with Kids, The To Do List, Girls… In Afternoon Delight, a stay-at-home-mom in Silver Lake makes a 19-year-old sex worker her savior project; dramedy ensues. The New York Times has an interesting profile on Soloway and her film that’ll make you want to see it too.

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We Are So Over Celebrities Playing Strippers

August 8, 2013

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Celebrities playing strippers seems to be a sort of rite of passage, a self-inflicted casting couch: Lindsay Lohan, Kristen Stewart, Salma Hayak, Olivia Wilde, Natalie Portman, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Daryl Hannah, Heather Graham, Marisa Tomei, Julianne Hough, Diane Lane, Demi Moore, Elizabeth Berkley, Rose McGowan… we could go on. WTF? And to balance it out, you get the cast of The Full Monty plus Channing Tatum.

Maybe celebrities playing strippers are just the grown-up, well-paid version of college sorority girls who use Halloween as an excuse to dress like a “sexy cat” or “sexy nurse” or “sexy French maid” or “sexy stripper” (ha). Whatever it is, we’re over it.

But actually, you know what we’re more over than celebrities playing strippers on film? Celebrities talking about the crazy diets and work-outs they submitted themselves to in order to “prepare” for their role as a stripper. Because every real-life stripper totally spends hours a day in the gym with a personal trainer and hires a fancy personal chef to prepare kale a hundred different ways to trick her body into feeling satisfied.

The latest contender in this field is Jennifer Aniston, who plays a (yawn) stripper in the new comedy We’re the Millers. “I was on a very like, you know, greens and vegetables and lean proteins and kale,” Aniston said of her diet plan. “When I really wanted to have a cheat day,” she said, “I had to have a kale chip.”

Because that’s totally what strippers do to unwind after a hard day on the pole: Treat themselves to a kale chip. Not a bag of kale chips, mind you, but a single kale chip. In Hollywood, it’s only hard out there for a stripper because she’s so goddamned underfed.

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New Documentary: AFTER TILLER (Out Sept 20th)

August 7, 2013

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An official Sundance selection and winner at the Sarasota and the Full Frame Documentary film festivals, AFTER TILLER explores the controversial subject of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller. The procedure is now performed by only four doctors in the United States, all former colleagues of Dr. Tiller, who “risk their lives every day in the name of their unwavering commitment toward their patients.” The Hollywood Reporter said of the film, ““Whether one is pro-life, pro-choice or without an opinion on the issue, After Tiller provides personal insight into a heart-wrenching, complex reality.” It’s out on September 20th — go see it.



LELO Pleasure Objects Have a Cameo in “The Wolverine”!

July 29, 2013

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According to movie goers of The Wolverine, the latest summer blockbuster based on the Marvel Comics superhero, LELO makes a special cameo amidst all of the action and high-flying stunts.  Items like the dual-action vibe Soraya™ and the wearable couples’ massager Tiani ™ 2 make an appearance in a scene in which Hugh Jackman, as Wolverine, finds himself in a love hotel in Tokyo, Japan, where much of the film takes place.

We’re told that it’s a fleeting scene though – so keep your eyes peeled!

It’s not their first foray into mainstream entertainment: LELO has been seen on TV shows around the world (like on Inside Amy Schumer), and their G-spot vibrator GIGI™ had a very big role in a comedy film out of Hong Kong recently. However, The Wolverine marks their first appearance in a big budget Hollywood movie.

The Wolverine, the sequel to 2009’s X-men Origins: Wolverine, is out in theaters worldwide now.

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Next Movie We Want to See: “Thanks for Sharing”

June 28, 2013

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Not because it has Gwenyth Paltrow in it — that’s almost enough to keep us away. But add Mark Ruffalo with a script about sex addiction co-written by the co-writer of “The Kids Are Alright” and we are there. That it features Pink’s movie debut is just icing.

 

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Watch This, Not That: 5 MORE Netflix Date Movies to Watch (& 5 Not To)

June 14, 2013

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Last week we reviewed some great love stories available on Netflix Instant — along with our opinions on which were best for date night and which were probably best saved for quiet moments alone with a pint of ice cream and your favorite sweatpants. And with so many good options to choose from, we’re back with more recommendations!


1. Awkward Love
Watch Lars and the Real Girl, NOT Dark Horse

Dark Horse is the gentlest of the Todd Solondz movies, but considering he’s made such feel-goods as Welcome to the DollhouseHappiness, and Storytelling (aargh), that’s not saying much. For a cringeworthy movie that’s much sweeter and more positively hopeful, go with Lars, with the bonus of golden-boy star Ryan Gosling.


2. Iconic Horror
Watch Nosferatu, NOT Rosemary’s Baby

The classic ’60s flick starring Mia Farrow’s Vidal Sassoon haircut is basically a movie about date rape and a metaphor for anti-choice zealotry. Not exactly a fun Saturday night. Plus, there’s an orgy scene with lots of naked old people. ’Nuff said. Better to go with the one of the first-ever of the genre: Nosferatu. Sure, it’s silent, and it’s almost 100 years old, and it’s German Expressionist, but don’t let that scare you. It’s one of those films everyone should watch — so why not watch it together? The tragic ending is way more romantic than almost any other horror available on Netflix Instant (except maybe Let the Right One In, which is great if you prefer your scary stories from this century). And since it’s a mere 81 minutes long, have yourself a bloodcurdling double feature with The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari!


3. Italian Costume Drama
Watch A Room With a View, NOT Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet

You might think, How could we go wrong with the quintessential Shakespearean romance in the hands of an Italian master? Well, it’s long, and there’s a lot of complaining. Stick with a witty Edwardian period piece by Merchant and Ivory that’s based on the E.M. Forster novel, shot beautifully all over Italy and just oozing romance. No double suicide or annoying whining to contend with!


4. May-December Relationship
Watch Manhattan, NOT Lost in Translation

If we have to watch some relatively unattractive older man win the heart of an incredibly good-looking much younger girl, we’ll take Woody Allen’s neurotic over Bill Murray’s depressive any day — and so should you.


5. TV Series
Watch The L Word, NOT House of Cards

Don’t get us wrong: House of Cards is a great show — and the first original series on Netflix. But the sex in it is way more about power than love, or even lust. There’s prostitution, pedophilic-ish relationships, and hand-job rapes on dying cancer patients (no joke!). If you like the sex on your shows to actually be sexy — at least when you’re watching with someone you hope to have sex with later — you can’t do much better than Showtime’s ode to modern Sapphic love, The L Word.

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Watch This, Not That: 5 Netflix Instant Date Movies to Watch (& 5 Not To)

June 7, 2013

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There are some gems on Netflix that you can watch instantly, and many of them are especially good for a date night. But choose wisely: some are perfect for cuddling up on the couch together, while others just seem that way.

 


1.Recent Indie RomCom:
Watch Safety Not Guaranteed, NOT No Strings Attached

The huge star power of No Strings Attached (starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher) doesn’t hold a candle to the adorable power of Safety Not Guaranteed (starring…we couldn’t even tell you). It’s sweet, smart and funny — everything you want in a date movie (and in a date!). Meanwhile, NSA is totally forgettable (just like you wish all your bad dates could be).

 


2. Tested Love: 
Watch 2 Days in Paris, NOT Like Crazy

They both are about the harsh realities of real relationships, but one is frenetically funny and the other just fizzles out.

 


3. Homoeroticism:
Watch Brokeback Mountain, NOT Heavenly Creatures

Well before his Lord of the Rings empire, Peter Jackson directed Heavenly Creatures, a small, stylish indie starring then-unknown Kate Winslet and featuring a lot art, fantasy, and gothic romance between two kindred spirits in undies and ankle socks. One prob for date night, though: it ends in bloody murder. For a gay love story that also ends in murder but much less graphically, try Brokeback Mountain – it can teach you and your date a thing or two about passion, forbidden or not.

 


4. Lost Love:
Watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, NOT Blue Valentine

Most of the promo materials for Blue Valentine tried to trick us into believing it was a hot, passionate, romance about crazy love. Nope! If you’re up for a movie about love dying, make it one that is simultaneously about love (and hope) triumphing over experience. It also doesn’t hurt that ESotSM is visually stunning, incredibly clever, and totally innovative.

 


5. Older Foreign Love Story:
Watch Cinema Paradiso, NOT Like Water for Chocolate

They’re both classics from the late 80s/early 90s, but for date night, we’d suggest the one that focuses on love, kisses and movies, rather than the one that focuses on love, digestion and bodily functions.

 

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