[Politics of Intimacy: Kathy, Dr. Sherfey and Harriot 2]

This is raw footage shot for Julie Gustafson's documentary, "The Politics of Intimacy." In this seminal feminist video, ten women address the camera and seemingly each other in a wide-ranging exploration of such previously taboo subjects as women’s sexuality, power, and fears about intimacy. This interview is with Kathy Mahr, Dr. Mary Jane Sherfey & Harriot Robinson. Originally shot in 1/2" B & W video.

00:07Copy video clip URL Camera setup. 

00:20Copy video clip URL Kathy, a mother and housewife, discusses the importance of orgasm to her and to her husband Rich. She says that it’s more important for her that her husband have an orgasm. The video cuts off as she seems to finish her answer.

01:30Copy video clip URL Dr. Mary Jane Sherfey talks about the difficulties of orgasm for women. She observes that American men are not brought up to be good lovers, which she contrasts with Europeans. She tells a story about an Italian boy who was introduced to sex when his father bought him to a sex worker. 

03:38Copy video clip URL Being a “good lover” requiring a man to hold an erection for fifteen minutes or longer. 

05:07Copy video clip URL Women being more easily stimulated pre-menstruation. Using an electric vibrator to bring women to orgasm and the physical reliance on consistent stimulation that can result from using a vibrator. 

07:42Copy video clip URL Women who have never experienced an orgasm, largely due to a lack of adequate stimulation. Women settling for not having orgasms when they are physically capable with effort on their part or the part of their partner. 

10:17Copy video clip URL Overcoming sexual obstacles within an otherwise stable longterm relationship. Learning to communicate with each other to discover how the woman may achieve orgasm. Dr. Sherfey notes that there are many situations in which women might find it preferable to remain stable, especially in communities that discourage intimate communication. 

12:40Copy video clip URL Psychological differences between orgasm by masturbation and by intercourse with another person. 

13:50Copy video clip URL Differences in sexual activity between heterosexual and homosexual intercourse for women. Women understanding each other’s bodies better. “I don’t think there’s any question that women are better lovers than the average male is, especially in the United States.”

14:54Copy video clip URL Multiple orgasms for women. Women regularly having “five or six orgasms to a man’s one” during intercourse. 

17:08Copy video clip URL Sherfey’s theory that before recorded history, women were much freer sexually, and that the advent of agriculture and settled homes, along with laws of inheritance, brought restrictions on reproduction and the repression of women’s sexuality. 

21:20Copy video clip URL Men’s sexuality being “imprinted” very early on. The difficulties of undoing habits and patterns that are established as children, especially premature ejaculation. 

24:40Copy video clip URL Harriot talks about her definition of “sex,” which for her is much more expansive than intercourse. Being turned on by a partner who knows her desires and her body. 

27:05Copy video clip URL Experience with a male partner who eventually disappointed her. Other early sexual experiences, including before she fully understood the feeling she was experiencing. 

30:55Copy video clip URL Growing up in a household in which sex and even menstruation weren’t discussed. 

32:10Copy video clip URL Speaking with a male cousin about sex and about the feelings and experiences of men during sex. 



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