thegrandnarrative + female-sexuality   5

Love, lust, a midlife crisis: Naomi Watts TV drama lays bare female desire | Television & radio | The Guardian
Keen to explore the idea of a female midlife crisis, Rubin also wanted to examine why society in general, and television in particular, tries to pretend that the sexual wants and needs of older women don’t exist.

“I thought it would be interesting to have a woman in her mid-forties being portrayed as desirable and desired, because the world is full of these women and yet we so rarely see them on television.”

She was determined not to rush the story, preferring instead to take the risk that the audience would wait as she patiently built up her world. “I really wanted the relationship between Jean and Sidney [the twentysomething barista Jean finds herself drawn to] to unfold slowly,” she explains. “I didn’t want us to just jump straight in with a sex scene. There is something romantic about longing [and] something sexy about the tease, about thinking about what might happen rather than seeing it straight away.”

...Netflix was very supportive, but not everything went her way. “My plan was to have only female directors because all the scenes are from a female perspective and it’s female desire that we’re examining, but we ended up with three women and two men,” Rubin says. “I still think it works – I was very conscious that I didn’t want the female characters to be objectified, for this to become another show told from the male gaze.

...“I really wanted to speak honestly about female desire, how it feels like and what it can means. It might be polarising and it may make some uncomfortable, but I’m fine with that because people are more than just good or just villains. They can be, and often are, both.”

Rubin, who grew up in Long Island in a resolutely unstarry family – “my mother is a social worker and my father works in textiles” – acknowledges that Netflix took a huge chance in first commissioning her pilot script to series and giving her a level of control that is rarely handed out to a newcomer.

“I think a lot of people were confused when they met me,” she admits. “Having read the script, I think they were expecting to meet a 45-year-old or someone who had been a therapist, and then I’d turn up.” She laughs. “So then they’d think again and go, ‘Oh, you’re not Jean, you’re Sidney.’

“The truth is I relate to all of the characters, and I’d argue that Jean and Sidney are similar in some ways – they’re just at different points in their lives.”

Gypsy starts on Netflix on 30 June.
female-sexuality  female-desire  gypsy 
june 2017 by thegrandnarrative
Eye tracking study finds women rate men with a lower waist-to-chest ratio as more attractive
In the study, 90 women of Mexican American descent (aged 18–38) viewed color photographs of a young Caucasian man in his early 20s while researchers tracked their gaze using an eye tracking device. The researchers found that women directed most of their visual attention toward the upper part of the man’s body. Women first directed their gaze towards the chest followed by the head, midriff, and lower portions of the body.

Women were more likely to rate the man as attractive when he had a lower waist-to-chest ratio. In other words, men with larger, more muscular upper bodies were rated as more attractive. Whether the man had facial or chest hair did not appear to influence his attractiveness on average.

PsyPost interviewed the study’s corresponding author, Ray Garza of Texas A&M University. Read his responses below:

PsyPost: Why were you interested in this topic?

Garza: I was interested in the topic because of my general interest in evolutionary reasons in predicting attraction. With that said, we noticed that there was limited information on men’s attraction by women during different stages of the menstrual cycle. Recent research (e.g., Dixson) who I cite repeatedly, has begun using eye tracking as a means to assess visual interest, and we have done the same. To our knowledge, our particular use of the eye tracker with cyclic changes is one of the first studies to investigate this phenomenon.
female-sexuality  sexual-attraction  men's-body-shape  body-shape  chests 
march 2017 by thegrandnarrative
Hunkier than thou
In a paper published earlier this year Dr DeBruine found that women in countries with poor health statistics preferred men with masculine features more than those who lived in healthier societies. Where disease is rife, this seemed to imply, giving birth to healthy offspring trumps having a man stick around long enough to help care for it. In more salubrious climes, therefore, wimps are in with a chance.

Now, though, researchers led by Robert Brooks, of the University of New South Wales, have taken another look at Dr DeBruine's data and arrived at a different conclusion. They present their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. Dr Brooks suggests that it is not health-related factors, but rather competition and violence among men that best explain a woman's penchant for manliness. The more rough-and-tumble the environment, the researcher's argument goes, the more women prefer masculine men, because they are better than the softer types at providing for mothers and their offspring.
sexual-attraction  female-sexuality 
march 2017 by thegrandnarrative
Women and desire: the six ages of sex
Six women across six decades talk about how their sex lives and sensuality have changed, and what they’ve learned about the politics of pleasure

by Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Emily Witt, Clover Stroud, Mariella Frostrup, Penny Arcade, Marie de Hennezel
female-sexuality  sexual-desire 
february 2017 by thegrandnarrative

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