Join 3,553 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Hysterical Literature
August 25, 2012 12:47 AM   Subscribe

Clayton Cubitt's Hysterical Literature is a video project where women seem to reach orgasm simply by reading a favorite passage from a book. Session 1 features alt-porn star Stoya reading Supervert's "Necrophilia Variations", while session 2 features Alicia reading Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass". Stoya's thoughts on the project, and Supervert's thoughts. (all NSFW)
posted by Joakim Ziegler (33 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think the sexiest part of these is how much the women smile.
posted by whitneyarner at 1:09 AM on August 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


We, of course, need this for comparison.
posted by HuronBob at 2:54 AM on August 25, 2012


Oh man, this is laugh-out-loud hot!
posted by aubilenon at 2:59 AM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


The supervert link explains that they're having a vibrator used on them while they read, so I don't think the idea that they're seeming to be pushed to orgasm just from reading is propagated too strongly.

Not that that makes it any less fun.
posted by dry white toast at 4:36 AM on August 25, 2012


Sliterature?
posted by lalochezia at 5:30 AM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Very sexy!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:46 AM on August 25, 2012


The supervert link explains that they're having a vibrator used on them while they read, so I don't think the idea that they're seeming to be pushed to orgasm just from reading is propagated too strongly.

Stoya describes that in detail on the "Stoya's thoughts" link.
posted by Forktine at 5:53 AM on August 25, 2012


I wasn't prepared for how charming and sweet the end of that first one was. Weirdly, I am a touch disappointed that they weren't faking. My first thought was "damn, she's a pretty good actress!"
posted by middleclasstool at 5:55 AM on August 25, 2012


I didn't know there was a second video out. Who is this Alicia?

What really stands out when comparing the two videos, is that Stoya is really into the literature, even passionate, but Alicia choice of Whitman is unimaginative, and she reads it like it is a chore. I know which woman I'd rather read literature with.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:57 AM on August 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


That smile on Stoya's face is just...ye gods.
posted by Ber at 6:09 AM on August 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


What really stands out when comparing the two videos, is that Stoya is really into the literature, even passionate, but Alicia choice of Whitman is unimaginative, and she reads it like it is a chore.

Stoya may be into the literature, but she's not reading a very good story. Session 2 uses Whitman's Song of Myself, which is pure poetry, where the images and the combination of them matter more than the strict narrative that Stoya reads in Session 1. Also, Session 2 has a better or more well placed microphone, which captures the huskier and sexier (and unfortunately the growl of the vibrator at times). Even better, Alicia's voice warms up and melts as she's seemingly seduced by the words.

Still, both are great to listen to and the idea is fantastic. Now excuse me, I have to whip out my library card.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:01 AM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'll have the same thing she's having.
posted by bukvich at 7:53 AM on August 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Would improve Fox News.
posted by Devonian at 8:05 AM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Amazing. Now I want to read some Supervert. Among other things.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:48 AM on August 25, 2012


I could watch Stoya all day long and it doesn't have to be porn. She could just sit there and read or count numbers or eat a sandwich or talk about her nails or stare at the wall.
posted by Fizz at 10:42 AM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it's not enough that Stoya's way out of my league physically--she has to be way out of my league intellectually as well.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:45 AM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oy vey I'm getting old. Been too long since I've seen that smile. What a nice reminder.
posted by pdxpogo at 1:27 PM on August 25, 2012


I could watch Stoya all day long and it doesn't have to be porn. She could just sit there and read or count numbers or eat a sandwich or talk about her nails or stare at the wall.

If that applies to just listening to Stoya, she was a guest on my podcast and we did a 2-hour show with her. Not the usual boring "let's talk about porn" convo, we talked about all manner of things. It's basically just like hanging out with her for 2 hours.

You can probably just google "Stoya podcast" and find it, since I don't wanna self-link.
posted by revmitcz at 2:44 PM on August 25, 2012


i really really don't know how i feel about this
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 4:08 PM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wish I liked this. I may be growing into a prude, but the fact that this is a male artist getting females (and female porn stars at that) to read pieces of literature on video while being stimulated by a vibrator really bugs me. I know that it's antithetical to art-for-art's-sake, but I'd like it a lot better if it had been the women-on-camera acting on their own initiative. Cubitt has crossed some line for me in terms of exploitation.
posted by Kattullus at 10:27 PM on August 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ugh. Repellent in concept and in execution too, I don't doubt, though I have no interest in actually looking at it.
posted by jamjam at 8:33 AM on August 26, 2012


but I'd like it a lot better if it had been the women-on-camera acting on their own initiative

Did someone force them to do this? Did I miss something? If you read anything that Stoya writes you'd see that the "all women in the porn industry are exploited victims" stereotype is something she's specifically trying to dispel.
posted by tempythethird at 9:36 AM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


this is better than porn!
posted by adrianspiegel at 12:25 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you read anything that Stoya writes you'd see that the "all women in the porn industry are exploited victims" stereotype is something she's specifically trying to dispel.

Stoya is about as far from a victim as you can get, based on what she writes and says in interviews. But these two videos are boring in the same way that most pornographic videos are boring. You can call me deluded, but I can't help but think that the boringness is related to the issue Kattullus mentions, of an industry that is largely male directors focusing on female bodies to create product sold to men.

The essays by and interviews with smart, articulate performers and directors like Stoya and Joanna Angel are a million times more interesting than most of the largely formulaic pornography that they help create, which is a fascinating contradiction and not what I would have guessed. But these videos read to me less like a meta-commentary on sex and pornography (ie what makes me interested in what someone like Stoya has to say), and much more just another version of the same thing I've seen already, albeit with more clothes on.
posted by Forktine at 1:00 PM on August 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


One thing you can bet on, if there's sex involved, accusations of sexism/exploitation of women will be leveled by someone on MeFi...

Apparently, if a male is involved in planning it, and a woman stars in it, and men might watch it, then, no matter what the content, no matter what the thoughts and intentions of the participants, and no matter how good the product...it's morally/politically reprehensible.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 2:18 PM on August 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


....well, that is one way to expose people to classic literature.
posted by Canageek at 2:25 PM on August 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


charlie don't surf: "I didn't know there was a second video out. Who is this Alicia?

What really stands out when comparing the two videos, is that Stoya is really into the literature, even passionate, but Alicia choice of Whitman is unimaginative, and she reads it like it is a chore. I know which woman I'd rather read literature with.
"

Yes! I saw part 2 first, and assumed the poem was chosen for the performer. Then I watched part 1, and was certain that Stoya chose her piece.

The difference in passion for the literature was amazing. Especially, as Brandon Blatcher points out, that the Whitman poem in #2 is so passionate, erotic, and heated in its words. Or would be.


And, I see the contingent of "men are somehow involved, so this is EXPLOITIVE!" have arrived. We even have a "This sucks so much I didn't watch it!". Yay.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:15 PM on August 26, 2012


One thing you can bet on, if there's sex involved, accusations of sexism/exploitation of women will be leveled by someone on MeFi...

And, I see the contingent of "men are somehow involved, so this is EXPLOITIVE!" have arrived.


One person used the word "exploitative," one person said "ugh," and I said "boring." A bunch of people said some variation of "hawt!" If you can turn any of those into a contingent, have at it.
posted by Forktine at 5:37 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forktine, it fits the definition of contingent.
posted by IAmBroom at 6:39 AM on August 27, 2012


Forktine, it fits the definition of contingent.

The "hawt" people are definitely a contingent. One person saying "exploitative" is not.
posted by Forktine at 6:56 AM on August 27, 2012


...boringness is related to the issue Kattullus mentions, ... largely male directors focusing on female bodies to create product sold to men...

...a million times more interesting than most of the largely formulaic pornography that they help create, which is a fascinating contradiction and not what I would have guessed...


I generally feel the same way that you do about porn, and I'm not familiar with anything that these performers do, so you may be right.

But I think you're overlooking the fact that porn is seeing the same DIYification / decentralization / fragmentation thats currently effecting countless other cultural genres. Throw in the increasingly visible consumption of porn by women and the increasingly vocal participation in its creation by with-it non-victims like this, and I think its becoming increasingly unfair to tar the entire porn world with the same brush.

...less like a meta-commentary on sex and pornography ... much more just another version of the same thing I've seen already, albeit with more clothes on.

I don't think this was an attempted meta-commentary, more like a hybrid of porn and theatrical/literary performance. It is still meant to be at least partially, porn. Its the tension between the fact that this is meant to be and succeeds in being arousing, and its cultural substance/ambitions that makes it interesting.
posted by tempythethird at 7:20 AM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Forktine, I'm two weeks late to this and I can't believe no one has done this already...

Metafilter: just another version of the same thing I've seen already, albeit with more clothes on.
posted by RedOrGreen at 5:39 AM on September 6, 2012


Session Three: Danielle
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:39 AM on September 20, 2012


« Older How Silence Works: Emailed Conversations With Four...  |  "Wanna buy a Penguin?"... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments