Rating the Sexuality of Bridgerton

With Lock Down extended, and a vast collection of assignments and reports calling my name I couldn’t help but venture back through some of my best loved Netflix Hits while at home (maybe procrastinating) and low and behold one of which was Bridgerton.

I did indeed love this series when it first appeared on Netflix, for many reasons; I love period dramas and this one was a fresh spin on the genre. It was colourful, it was sassy,it was scandalous and the music score was sensational! Also- the sexual tension was amazing.

I am hoping by now you have all watched it because there will be many spoilers in this. Released Christmas 2020, Bridgerton was a most anticipated show during COVID and it lived up to the hype. What I really liked about it however was the way it addressed sexual encounters and scandals in it. There were some parts that I took issue with too, but I felt like it was a good show that opened up an array of healthy conversation regarding sexulity as a whole; good and bad. This is always a positive as far as I am concerned.

Masturbation:

It is a scandalous intrigue indeed that the Main character Simon indulges Daphne when she asks him about pleasure. When at first she doesn’t understand Simon candidly tells her “When you are alone, you may touch yourself. Down there.” and basically gives her a very Regency Era-esque run down of the basics of masturbation. Of course Daphne is both shocked and stunned and a little bit fascinated by this. Simon is- amused. So later on, Daphne indeed tries, she fantasises about Simon touching her, removing a glove, kissing her and it is insinuated that she orgasms. There are many websites, articles and chat rooms that will argue “Oh impossible-the fastest orgasm for a first timer” or “She would not have cum that quickly her first time” haters gonna hate. What do I see? I see someone who is discovering self pleasure for the first time and enjoying herself. And it is good and satisfying. I often advocate that sex, masturbation even self pleasure should not have the end goal of an orgasm. So I loved this scene.

For the die hard literary/film buffs who like seeing the attention to detail, I also really enjoyed the use of symbolism that she had the white rose next to the bed symbolising purity blooming as she finds her pleasure.

We get another positive view of masturbation on Simon and Daphne’s wedding night where the two talk about when she did masturbate, and Simon asks her what she thought about, not only that, but he asks her to show him how she touched herself. I am a big fan of mutual masturnation so this was sensational to see in the screenplay! Top marks.

Sex as pleasure:

Before I go down the dark road of casting negatives on this amazing series, lets talk about the pleasure. The sex scenes in Bridgerton I found were sublime and not simply about finishing or orgasm. It was nice to see a show that took into consideration that sex is not all about the end orgasm and instead focussed on the pleasure felt by both parties in their detailed montages.

 

Even the scene on the stairs with the delectable display of cunnilingus, which focuses on Simon bringing Daphne to riveting throws of bliss; this focuses on her pleasure. Yes it is a scene that ultimately Simon does not wish to continue because he is mad at her, but cannot resist her, he still brings her pleasure.

Attention is also given to asking what the other likes, what pleases them. I think this is beautiful because it is not often drawn attention to in sex scenes or romances where couples can ask their partners what the other likes. They don’t need to instinctively know or be the best straight off the bat, it should be normalised to ask what the other person likes. It is afterall, the quickest and best way to find out how to please your partner.

The Pull Out Method:

SIGH

Simon tells Daphne he cannot have children in an effort to derail her from marrying him (It is more the point that he refuses to have children to spite his dead father and end his family line with himself.)

Daphne, who has not been told how babies are made, and how a man reaches orgasm and his sperm through ejaculation is what impregnates an egg and that is how babies are made (at least in the Regency Era) She doesn’t know this.

So Simon-Who by the way is labelled a RAKE meaning that he is a notorious womaniser and has slept with many many woman in his life- has sex with Daphne (and these other women) but pulls out before he orgasms and ejaculates beside her, in a cloth or somewhere that is not inside her womb.

Pause for dramatic effect and eye rolling.

The pull out method is not a great birth control method. It is approximately 78% effective, 22 in every 100 women still get pregnant, let’s break that down further approximately 1 in 5 women still get pregnant using the Pull Out Method. Why? Because pre-cum can still carry impregnating material, because even pulling out, some swimmers might swim out a little early before the majority of the load. Let us not even get started with how much more fertile people were back in the Regency Period. Daphne was a Debutante – historically that would make her roughly 16years old give or take. Lets just say- very fertile.

Consent:

Ah yes- The controversial consent scene. Daphne puts a few things together and interrogates her lady’s maid about how sex is supposed to go and how babies are made and relaises the error in the Duke’s semantics. Instead of confronting him about it, she seduces him, rides him and they have amazing all passionate sex which looks amazing until Simon says “Stop.” and Daphne does not and rides him until he orgasms inside her. At which point, she hops off, he looks at her shocked, betrayed and accuses her “what have you done?”

 

There is a lot of controversy online and in person about this scene, some people seem to think that because Simon lied to Daphne she had a right, others feel that differently. Simon should NOT have lied to Daphne. Very true. Daphne should NOT have kept going once Simon said stop. That was forcing his hand (penis) and his wishes past a point that he was comfortable. As an effect, this distances them from each other, puts up walls and creates animosity. Trust was broken on both sides, and no one can tell me differently. It was handled very poorly.

Sex Parties:

I loved this so much.

Several sex parties made it into the series and not only that, but it was discussed with one of the other characters whose wife had been one of the consensual participants of the Bridgerton’s escapade. So not only were sex parties openly discusses but so too was non monogamy as an option for the couples of the era. Building on this discussion, the two male characters were in discussions and the husband was open in his insinuations of being bisexual and polyamoruous. He was in love with another man and his wife was aware and guarded his secret. I thought this was amazing and I loved it and I loved that it was addressed as an alternative way of living for the Bridgerton brother.

Gender Identities:

Two of the Bridgerton siblings frequently have the discussion in passing how it is unfair of what is expected of them based on their gender and sometimes even their birth order. They don’t get to explore this too much, but there is a second season so maybe we will get to see that play out. But the fact that they even discuss it is enough for me. I am grateful to see these kinds of conversations just because it shows a variety of different perspectives of people and ensures that viewers are made in a way that not everybody needs to think the same.

I enjoyed that Eloise very vocally stood up for her views at every point in that she didn’t want to be like her sister, she didn’t want to “come out” into society and would often say “if I were a man” because she would not have had the expectation of coming out into society as a debutante and finding a husband. Her Best friend Penelope criticised her at one point, rebuffing her by saying that she did not have the luxury of thinking like that.

Say what you will, whether you loved it or hated it, Bridgerton is a whimsical smutty delight for lockdown and I am looking forward to seeing how it inspires season 2.

At your Service,

 

Tiffany

OhZone Sales Consultant, Educator and Smutty Romance Buff

Singing In The Rain (1952) – Dr. Satish Movie Review

Have you ever become transcendental when the sky becomes dark and it is about to rain? Does your heart gets elated imagining yourself getting drenched in the torrential down pour and throw your  raincoat to the winds? And then croon a beautiful song while getting wet from head to toe and dance in the muddy puddle splashing the water all over,  careless of the world around you? If so you have fallen in love, just like Gene Kelly when he sings “Singing In The Rain” .
His solo dance  right after he as Don Lockwood  and young Kathy Selden ( Debbie Reynolds) realize they’re falling in love. That explains the dance: He doesn’t mind getting wet, because he’s smitten with romance. He dances with the umbrella, swings from a lamppost, has one foot on the curb and the other in the gutter, and in the scene’s high point, simply jumps up and down in a rain puddle. And when the policeman is in the sight… he does a wonderful acrobatic which only a Gene Kelly class can do.  Yes It is a title song of the film. It is as fresh as a dew on the rose petal and classic musical in the league of Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, An American In Paris and many others.   But “Singin’ in the Rain” is a transcendent experience, and no one who loves movies can afford to miss it.

The three stars–Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connorand 19-year-old Debbie Reynolds- make the movie most memorable by their sheer footwork. The movie is  about the film industry in a period of risky transition. From silent to talkies. It  shoecases the changeover in a simplified manner at the same time keeping the authenticity in tact. Like   how the microphones were hidden in the flowerpots, how the cameras were kept in soundproof rooms,  The movie simplifies the changeover from silents to talkies, but doesn’t falsify it. And, yes, preview audiences did laugh when they first heard the voices of some of the actors.
When the film was made in 1952. Gene Kelly and O’Connor were established stars, and were past masters in the footing section.  Watch O’Connor’s “Make ’em Laugh” number in this film. It remains one of the most amazing dance sequences ever filmed in Hollywood.  A majority part in longer takes and oh  no dummy and no  body double and no computer animation .  He grapples with a mannequin, runs up  the walls. His somersaults? Matchless. He flings  himself  in the air  like a rag doll, dashes  into a brick wall and a lumber plank, turns cartwheels on the floor and smashes  into  a drapery.
Debbie Reynolds was comparatively  a newcomer, with five small roles previously, and this was her big break. She had  to match the professionals like Kelly and O’ Connor. Well what she did? Watch her determination. This petite girl  takes giant strides when they all march toward a couch in the “Good Morning” and finishes as if she werea  guru to these two men.
Now let us talk about most interesting character in the film. Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), the blond bolt from the blue with the voice like, have you ever   scratched  your fingernails on a wooden plank? How is the sound? Yes she has the same. She plays a comic dumbo.   A blond, who  reads  in the fan magazine that she is in love with her leading man, Don Lockwood (Kelly), and believes it.  When questioned about it and explained that it is all false, she blurts out,   “What do they think I am? Dumb or something? Why, I make more money than Calvin Coolidge put together!”  She steals the scene.  The real Hagen had a perfectly acceptable and sweet  voice. But this role helped her win an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.
The climax is wonderful. Lina had borrowed her voice from Kathy but when audience cheers Lina to sing on stage, everyone is in dilemma.  Kathy is requested to sing behind the curtain  while Lina mouths the words. Lockwood and studio boss, after some minutes raise  the curtain and when  the audience sees the trick, all hell breaks loose.  Lina’s face is drained of color,  Kathy takes  flight down the aisle—to save herself from the embarrassment but then, Lockwood, onstage, cries out, “Ladies and gentlemen, stop that girl! That girl running up the aisle! That’s the girl whose voice you heard and loved tonight! She’s the real star of the picture–Kathy Selden!”  It makes one of the great romantic moments in the movies.
The magic of “Singin’ in the Rain” will live on forever.
Dr. Satish

SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

The movie has Marilyn Monroe. What more do you want? She was under drugs during the shooting of this film. Barbiturates. The end was death and yes, she died three years later, at the tender age of 36. But look at her perform. You won’t believe she was a compulsive drug addict. Had lost her memory. She couldn’t even remember her lines. Director Billy Wilder pasted her lines any which way she could read to say the words. She was at her worst but still gave the best performance and became a Hollywood icon. The film has Miss Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon in it. When this is the trio, It has to become one helluva cocktail which has a power to intoxicate you all through the film and still keep you alert. Can you doubt about their histrionic talents? No way..!

The plot is a classic screwball comedy. The opening scene will make you believe it is a gangster movie. It is Chicago 1929 and a wagon of bootleggers is chased by Chicago police. Finally, it stops at a hotel named funeral parlour run by the mafia, where Curtis and Lemmon play Chicago musicians. It is a police raid and Curtis and Lemmon escape the arrest. After witnessing St. Valentine day massacre they disguise themselves as women to avoid being shot by Mafioso and hop on a train to Florida with an all-girl orchestra. Tony is Josephine and Lemmon is Geraldine.

Their first encounter with Monroe is in the rest room of the train where Tony takes Jack to fix his bra. Monroe is taking a swag from the pitcher. Well, you guessed it. Monroe is the orchestra singer, and wishes to marry a millionaire but despairs, “I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.” Curtis disguises himself as a millionaire to win her. Monroe wants money and so she gives him love lessons Their relationship shapes in a comical way as Lemmon disguised as a woman gets engaged to a real millionaire! Whether Monroe comes to know that this fake millionaire is disguised as a girl in her orchestra? And whether that real millionaire knows Jack is not a woman?

The movie is classic slapstick with gangsters chase and its musical numbers. Yes… Monroe sings. Did she have a great voice? No, but she lends an originality to the story.

Listen to her solo “I Wanna Be Loved by You.” Pretty basic situation – a lovely girl performing a song. But Monroe and Wilder shoot it into one of the most enchanting scenes. The spotlight is focussed on her, illuminating her from the waist up, but it moves with her as Monroe moves higher and lower. The timing is pretty much accurate. Monroe shows that she is unaware of the light and sings innocently while Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play instruments clad as women. Watch that scene and understand why Monroe has a sensual chemistry with the camera and why she was Hollywood venus.

The movie title concerns the story of  Lemmon and Curtis characters. It is they who are telling about who likes it hot. Yes.. but as always and innumerable times it happens in every Monroe movie, Monroe steals the show. You require a sheer willpower not to watch anyone else when Miss Monroe is on the screen.

One must admire Tony Curtis’ performance and patience because of the number of takes and retakes Monroe needed. Tony did it staying fresh and alive at every retake. Monroe first meets him on the beach, where he introduces himself as the Shell Oil heir and millionaire while imitating Cary Grant. Next is the scene of seduction in the yacht. Watch Tony’s timings! Sheer magic and the way Tony plays with her naivete.

“Water polo? Isn’t that terribly dangerous?” asks Monroe. Curtis: “I’ll say! I had two ponies drown under me.”

Jack Lemmon is awesome. He is iconic comedian in every sense of the role and carries the movie in his usual self and with aplomb. Jack is accurate choice for the character he portrays and no one could make a chemistry with Tony the way he has done. Billy Wilder needs accolades for his conviction of the choice of Jack.

Want to miss Miss Monroe? You need your head examined!

A Bittersweet Romance In A Roman Holiday

Romantic movie Roman Holiday

A friend rang me up last week and during the conversation, he said that he was holidaying in Europe this summer. Among the cities he was visiting in Europe, one was Rome. The first words that came to my mind was Roman Holiday.

Movie Review: Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday (1953) is a bittersweet romance between a princess and a journalist, lasting only for a day. Roman Holiday is a film you can watch countless times and you will never get enough of it. I bet you will fall in love with Princess Anne (Audrey Hepburn). Love has many shades but with her, it is a sublime one. This was Audrey’s first film, and she sparkled. Petite, captivating, pensive, polite, gracious, charming, delightful, genial, courteous – one runs out of adjectives to describe Audrey Hepburn in this film. She is alternately majestic and naïve. Her sad expression when she stands, watching the man she loves and then turns her head to walk away from him is an absolute contrast to the marvellous ecstasy in her eyes when she realizes she has found true love.

Joe Bradley (Gregory Peck), a Hollywood icon, offers a restrained thwart to her cheekiness. His attraction to her keeps him in turmoil with his professional impulses. Yes, he walks away from her finally, restraining himself with dignity. If the love had a happy ending he would become the prince of the princess. But no, you realize that the man of his stature could have done no less than restrain himself. Roman Holiday is a blend of being romantic but with a sweetness that will not make you diabetic, it’s humorous but not a slapstick comedy, it is tender like a tulip but does not deteriorate.

Roman Holiday princess scene
Image: Princess Anne

When the chemistry between Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn lights up, the city of Rome becomes beautiful and the Vespa scooter that they ride becomes awfully romantic.

If you ever make a list of romantic films, Roman Holiday would top the list. It is impossible to watch this film and not fall in love with Anne and Joe, or the whole idea of falling in love. It is impossible not to wish for such love, even if the ending is so poignant.

If there is one scene that symbolizes the saying ‘It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’, it is the last scene where Joe indirectly promises Princess Anne that her faith in him will not be deceived, and the look on her face when she knows it is goodbye. It is the only way the film could have ended. Finally Joe tells Anne, “Life isn’t always what one likes, is it?”

You are missing something unfathomable if you have not yet seen this film.

Interesting Movie Facts About Roman Holiday

  • At the beginning of this movie Audrey Hepburn was an upcoming British actress having starred successfully on Broadway. She was almost rejected during the audition for this film. During the audition, the cameraman kept the camera running even after the director called “cut” and her exuberance off-camera charmed the director.
  • Cary Grant was originally offered the role to play Joe Bradley. Grant felt that he would look too old opposite the young Hepburn and declined the role.
  • Gregory Peck insisted that the “introducing Audrey Hepburn” line be removed.
  • Gregory Peck said Audrey Hepburn should be given top billing alongside him.
  • Gregory Peck predicted Audrey Hepburn would win the Oscar for her role even before the film released, and he was proved right.
  • The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won three.
  • Audrey Hepburn won not only the Academy Award for best actress that year but also the BAFTA award and the Golden Globe for best actress for her portrayal of Princess Anne.
  • The Vespa ride scene is so iconic and influencing that the Vespa sales had risen to over 100,000 after the film released.
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