“exploring mind/body dualism”


Hysterical Literature: The Orgasm as Art by Clayton Cubitt


When I first clicked on this Hysterical Literature link,
I was piqued. Obviously. What could possibly be more
awesome than wonderful women reading books they love,
dressed beautifully, recorded in black and white,
being stimulated to orgasm… It ranks high
for this woman-loving nerd.

And yet, when I sat there, having read
the description of the project,
looking at the still of Teresa, I felt shy,
hesitant. Like I didn’t want them to be so exposed
and so vulnerable in front of millions of people,
even if it was just three people and a camera in the room,
at the time. I sat there like a trespasser feeling like
I should walk away from this voyeurism.

But then curiosity won out.
Curiosity nearly always wins out for this cat.
And I’m so glad it did.

There is such similarity in all their experiences.
The fight to maintain composure,
the determination to continue on.
The interplay of control and release
focus on the words
focus on the words
the breathless oh my god
finally giving over to the body is incredible.
Listening and watching their breath move through them.
I was swept up in Alicia’s reading of Leaves of Grass,
likely the most beautiful recitation I will ever
have the pleasure of enjoying
I found myself laughing when they laughed,
felt giddy and breathless right along with them
watching their fingers spread stiffly, tension coursing through them,
then grab pages, clutch book, claw table,
hand to face, flushed, such a beautiful union of
the intellect, the unbelievably sensually intimate
and, of course, the humour, because
the whole situation is awesomely ridiculous.
Hysterical, one might say. I cheered for Solé,
raised my arms in the air and cheered.
And Amanda’s question at the very, very end was perfect.

It all finishes with wide grins and laughs
and is such a wonderful contrast of genuine humanness
to the slick, pre-packaged voyeurism of conventional
pornography. For me, I found a marvellous sense of
connection watching these women.

A highly pleasurable experience not to be missed.