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Watch Clayton Cubitt’s So-Called “Art Videos” of Women Having Orgasms While Reading

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If you’re at work, we would suggest watching Clayton Cubitt’s video series “Hysterical Literature” with headphones on. You won’t be at risk as a woman sits at a table with a book, states her name, and begins reading. But in a few minutes, your co-workers will want to know why they hear sounds of a woman stuttering, breathing deeply, and eventually moaning.

In Cubitt’s series of artworks dedicated to female pleasure — the first three of which are now available on YouTube, and thus embedded below — a female reader sits clothed from the waist up with a book she has chosen and begins reading the novel or poem aloud normally. While she does this, an unseen worker is, well, working under the table to bring the reader to an orgasm. How and when she gets distracted is the kernel of Cubitt’s interest in the series.

“I’m filming these very demurely, almost clinically aloof,” he tells the news site Alternet, “in an attempt to provide a mysterious place for the reveal to happen, without ever having to reveal anything.” Among the choices of reading material are Supervert’s “Necrophilia Variations” and Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”

Our hats are off to Cubitt for his novel attempt at combining something ostensibly high-minded — like a poetry reading — with something cheap — like a video of a woman being pleasured with a back massager. Indeed “Hysterical Literature” is like any good work of art in that it seeks to generate and reflect tension and ambivalence, and in this case, that ambivalence is between what’s acceptable and what’s not.

We write this even as we admit that most attempts to combine High and Low culture are quickly and justifiably placed in the latter camp. It’s not hard to imagine someone making videos like these with an entirely prurient interest, and if he called himself a pornographer, then he would be. Of course, if he called himself an artist, then he would be, too.

“Session One: Stoya”:

“Session Two: Alicia”:

“Session Three: Danielle”:

— Reid Singer

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  1. These are brilliant. Of course they are art. Seriously what are you thinking?

  2. by M.S. Patterson

    That the author thinks there’s any real distinction between High and Low culture is telling.

    Caravaggio was a murdering bastard, the Medici were thugs and gangsters, Oderus Urungus of GWAR is a well spoken, thoughtful guy and (though I hate to admit it) reality teevee is deeply revealing about human nature.

    High and Low is about legitimacy bestowed by the elite and ‘cultured’, determining what is acceptable, or beautiful. It has nothing whatsoever to do with what is truly Art.

  3. I’ve seen the first three ‘Hysterical Literature’ films. The setting is stark, the women dressed demurely above the waist. What struck me was the tension-filled juxtaposition of the staid erotic poetry readings—so proper—and the genuinely erotic, culturally improper pleasuring going on literally ‘under the table’. ‘Hysterical’ itself is a play on the womb and the female, as well as orgasm. The women are daring and intelligent, the concept slyly brilliant. Well done all around.

  4. “What they said.”

    Patrick, you hit the nail on the head. Like Andy Warhol’s “Blow Job” before it, the juxtaposition (down to the title) and execution are real, honest, and now female/sex-positive. Remarkable.

    FWIW, Supervert (“Necrophilia Variations”) provided a thoughtful weigh-in on Stoya’s reading:

  5. So … slender, young, white women with long silky hair and beautiful faces are in full view while being pleasured. How novel.

  6. by David Foreman

    Has no-one who’s seen these heard of K R Buxey? Her “requiem” deals with similar issues, and demonstrates that “attractiveness” is not what this is about, and as for “high” and “low” culture combinations being “low”, where does that leave Andy Warhol (whose 1964 “blowjob” was possibly the first of these) or for that matter, pop art?

  7. by chris desmond

    Erotic art this is. Questions: what would the result have been had not the readings been erotic?
    How were the women primed to what they were about to get into?
    Apparently it was a man “under the table” – how was he guided to what he was to do e.g. work her up to a point and then stop a few times or just keep going until she reached orgasm? Was it point stimulation or whatever he pleased? All these would have an effect on the results and therefore the art
    Very good though – interesting exercise.

  8. by chris desmond

    Do you respond to questions?

  9. Link to men doing the same, please? :)

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  11. by Patrick Kennedy

    Though I am not a medical doctor of any kind, I find myself wondering if this type of activity might be a valid form of therapy / training for women who suffer with an inability to orgasm…. Since so much of orgasmic response is subconscious and reflexive, I’m thinking that by separating the conscious mind, full of tension, anxiety, apprehension, from the subconscious sexual response might be a great method to achieve orgasm.

  12. Very good article and very interesting, I like to pay a lot of attention when I’m about to ejaculate, I like to build myself up and up, I can control myself to a point where I want to last forever! (never like to rush the things I enjoy so much) while having sex I can slow myself down, change positions etc… all this to control myself from wanting to ejaculate, my big question to you is, when I’m about to cum, I slow myself down and keep myself on the edge and just before I’m about to shoot! I grip / clamp / clench all I have and I can shoot a couple of streams of cum and continue having sex while still maintaining a hard cock! I can do this as many times as 7 or until I’m empty! when I ejaculate a couple of streams, I also only have part of an orgasm, I feel as if I’m going to have an orgasm until I start using my PC muscles, it’s a great feeling but nothing like what your describing, I can only get a full orgasm when I just let go and don’t try and control anything, what am I doing wrong? would like to achieve a full orgasm when controlling myself using my PC muscles.

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