When you’re making a podcast about sex in film, there’s no way to go on for very long without addressing the topic of ‘erotic thrillers’. It’s the genre to end all genres if you want to talk sex in mainstream movies. And there sure is a fuck-ton to choose from. I have an entire book on the subject, The Erotic Thriller in Contemporary Cinema by Linda Ruth Williams. She did a pretty complete look at the genre from the origin of the term to circa 2003… and still managed to miss Beyond Desire (1995). For shame, Mz. Williams, for shame. How could you have overlooked such a gem?! It has a sex scene… with William Forsythe! And Kari “I’m-Not-Ashley-Judd” Wuhrer! Pure gold.

But we decided our best bet for broaching the subject would be to start with a couple of classics. So we chose the Hollywood megastar, Basic Instinct (1992) and the bizarre-to-the-point-of-madness, Color of Night (1994).

And if that doesn’t have you erotically thrilled already… you’re dead inside.

You can find the Pinterest album for this episode here.

S&M. Dominant, Submissive. If Fifty Shades of Grey is what pops into your head when I say these things… well then, shame on you. You deserve a spanking. And not in a sexy way. That film holds all the sadomasochistic impact of being whipped lightly with a silver necktie. And then whining about it.

Here. Have some schooling… I rather like this little excerpt from Wikipedia’s entry for ‘Sadomasochism‘.

“The two words incorporated into this compound, “sadism” and “masochism,” were originally derived from the names of two authors. The term “Sadism” is derived from the name of Marquis de Sade. Not only did he practice sexual sadism, he also wrote novels about these practices (best known is Justine ). The term “Masochism” was named after Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. He practiced masochism and wrote novels expressing his masochistic fantasies.”

Even better is this little bit from the same site, that very well describes an element of Sadomasochism that Laura and I discuss in this episode.

“Richters and colleagues (2007) examined the common belief that people with sadomasochistic sexual interest are damaged or dangerous. Their research found that BDSM is simply a sexual interest, and it is not a pathological symptom of past abuse or difficulty with sex.”

Thank you. Thank you very much. As much as Laura and I are not, ourselves, of this particular sexual persuasion (though, without question I skew Dominant, and she, Submissive) we both find the idea that it would require a damaged psyche to find it appealing, deeply irritating.

I think our selections this time around will help combat that viewpoint as well. Both Secretary (2002) and Venus in Fur (2014) will offer plenty of non-S&Mers a delightfully sexy entry into the genre.

For the Pinterest album to go along with this episode, click here.

Masturbation. It’s pretty familiar to most of us. If not, well, you may have some internal obstacles that could probably take a little investigation. Unfortunately, it appears that movie makers may have some of those same internal obstacles that could probably also use a little exploring.

How did men end up with the crap end of the stick on this?! They’d be well-polished professionals in this category and yet they seem to have been handed a paltry array of variations on the matter. When we so often look to film to express the many nuanced facets of being human, being left with such an unbalanced depiction of male masturbation…. well, it’s just so disheartening!

But not nearly as disheartening as the Swiss cheese Laura and I have apparently modeled our memory banks on.

For the record, that Hammer movie I had so much trouble with IS called The Resident (2011) and it stars Hilary Swank, Lee Pace and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. (My deepest apologies to Mr. Morgan for being a total twit about his name.) And yes, she does masturbate… in the goddamn bath, no less! Ridiculous. But also, it’s super wimpy. Also, he masturbates as well, when he’s alone in the bathroom… in the empty bathtub! But they cut away before it gets good. Way to wuss out, Hammer.

And the Colin Hanks movie I could-not-for-the-life-of-me remember the name of is Alone With Her (2007).

But if you were hoping Laura and I had figured out the other one… nope. No idea. So, have fun with that.

Want to enjoy the Pinterest album for this episode? You’ll find it here.


The thing about coming of age, is that we all do it. Time doesn’t wait around letting us stay kids until we decide otherwise. It pushes us forward into an aging skin until all the mysteries of adulthood have been firmly handed to us as a big old wad of chewed up lassitude. The strange contradiction of it all is that the events of those turning points in our lives often make up some of the most interesting moments of our history. I’d venture a guess that this probably has something to do with the popularity of the subject in filmmaking. It’s a complex and varied experience that has a magical way of being hugely universal, while at the same time remaining deeply individual and personal.

For Laura and myself, the two films we chose this time around… 1992’s The Lover and 1996’s Stealing Beauty… had a lot of personal connections to our own youthful experiences moving from our teenage years to adulthood, and it was very interesting for us to see how our perspectives on them have changed over the years.

We didn’t originally intend to split the subject into gender editions, but it happened naturally… so expect a ‘Gentleman’s Edition’ to make it’s way down the pike sometime in the not-too-distant future.

You can find the Pinterest album for this episode here.