Sorry, but I only endanger my wife.
FAMILY TIES (1982-1989). i havent seen this episode for some 25 years, and i only saw it once, but ive remembered it all this time. (i didnt remember that the “other woman” was judith light though!) this woman wants (very badly apparently) to have an “affair” with stephen keaton, the father on family ties. its the perfect illustration of one of our common themes/criteria: normalizing simulated/exaggerated female pleasure from PIV and PIV-centric sex.
the “sexually aggressive woman” in the RED blouse (apparently this visual cue works in many genres — anya is wearing an “other-woman red” sweater-set when spike
has drunken PIV with rapes her at the magic box) says so many things that make PIV sound unbelievably appealing — unbelievable as in, not to be believed, but for me as a 12 year old or whatever, i didnt know that the script was probably written by a man (or a male-identified woman from a male-centric perspective) and that she was advancing a PIV-centric narrative. on a childrens television show.
and i definitely didnt know about any of the radfem critiques of PIV or of heterosexuality or of men and aggregate male behavior, and even though my parents were both medical professionals and my mom gave me “the talk” by hand-drawing the female reproductive tract (with bullet points!) on a piece of butcher paper, i wouldnt make the connection between PIV and female-harm for some 25 years. stunning.
anyway, in the clip below, judith light is a co-worker who propositions stephen to go back to her place and “make love.” she says she wants to “share a moment” with him, that they would “be so good together” and should “share a bed.” and judith must be a seriously good actor, because i believed every fucking word she said, and even watching it again now, im just shaking my head: shes talking about PIV, right? with the vaginal probing and the pregnancy scares and the bladder infections and such? sheesh.
and then (AND THEN!) he goes home to his wife and she knows that he was thinking about cheating (“do the words ‘open book’ mean anything to you?” i love meredith baxter too, and she did a fine job of convincing me of the greatness of PIV in this episode too) and they reminisce together about their life and their children and “everything theyve been through together” (a phrase which evokes trauma-bonding BTW) and then she propositions him to go upstairs and have PIV too! but in a sweet, wifely way. jeebus.
it was thanks to this episode that i included “female sexual aggression” in the category of normalizing simulated/exaggerated female pleasure from PIV and PIV-centric sex. because thats exactly the effect it has, isnt it? not only is judith light an actor (a good one!) and shes literally faking it for the camera, this kind of extreme motivation for PIV implies a correspondingly extreme payout in terms of female sexual pleasure, doesnt it? well, ive been having PIV for 15 years (or, i was before i stopped) and im still waiting for the payout. there never was one, when i balanced the pleasure and the risk: the risk was always too high, and the pleasure was always too low. but thats PIV for you, when you are female.
watch the clip below.