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photo The Clitoris
Forbidden Pleasure
By Stephen Firmin & Variety Moszynski

"The clitoris is the only part of the body which has no function other than providing pleasure." - Natalie Angier, author of Woman: An Intimate Geography

This provocative and often humorous documentary explores the "mysteries" of female sexuality, focusing on the clitoris; a tiny, highly sensitive organ with 8,000 nerve endings at its tip, making it the most responsive organ in the human body, including the tongue or, in men, the penis.

In The Clitoris interviews with doctors, psychologists, writers, therapists, and sex educators are interwoven with graphic imagery, animation, hilarious TV commercials to examine both historical and contemporary perceptions of the psychology and physiology of women's sexual response.

Originally "discovered" in 1559 by an Italian anatomist, the clitoris was long ignored or misunderstood in the medical literature. But the film includes sequences with Dr. Helen O'Connell, a Urologist at the University of Melbourne who did the first complete anatomical study of the clitoris, as well as animated sequences illustrating both its internal and external physiology.

Other sequences look at the clitoris' crucial importance in terms of female sexual response; a clinical psychologist discusses how seventy percent of women report that they do not have orgasms during vaginal intercourse. And teenage girls discuss overcoming social taboos involved in discussing their sexual anatomy, learning about the pleasures it can afford them, as well as the importance of sexual responsibility in their relationships.

The film also examines other issues, such as women's response to erotica, whether or not the "G spot" actually exists, the nature of female sexual urges, women's ability to have multiple orgasms, the debate over Viagra and the potential for a female version of this sexual-enhancement drug, and women's basic right to sexual pleasure.

In short, The Clitoris is a stimulating documentary that is sure to generate discussion and debate in a wide variety of settings!

60 minutes
© 2003
Purchase $390 DVD
Order No. QA-523

" * * * [3 Stars!] Recommended! Exposing the many historical omissions and peculiar myths surrounding this most complex part of the female anatomy. Lots of saucy fun!"—Video Librarian

"A fine film, done with high production values, tasteful explicit nudity and sexual discussions. One can feel comfortable using it in a variety of settings. The film will be useful for classroom work, men's and women's discussion groups, and other locations where sexuality can be openly presented and discussed. Some very lovely images of the female body and specifically the vulva, open onto an assortment of interviews, discussions, cartoons, medical images and animations, and, in particular, a wide ranging discussions of the history, problems and pleasures of female sexuality."—David S. Hall, PhD, for The Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality

"Recommended! A refreshingly open exploration of a topic that is usually considered taboo. The video and audio qualities are excellent and the graphics greatly enhance the clinical explanations presented in the film. This documentary is recommended for libraries in educational institutions, especially those specializing in medicine or issues of sexuality. This video would also be useful for non-profit organizations specializing in sexual education and women's issues. "—Educational Media Reviews Online

"Very good... informative and educational."—World Screen News

Awards & Conference Screenings
2005 National Women's Studies Association Film Festival

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Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website