‘The Clit Test’ is rating female pleasure in film, TV and books – and we’re here for it

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  • I ain’t pressing play unless I see some foreplay...

    It’s fair to say that, in 2020, we’re getting better at depicting sex on TV. From Normal People addressing consent through Conall’s mindful, ‘If it hurts or anything, we can stop. It won’t be awkward’, to Marianne before their first sexual encounter, to the showing of a period-induced blood clot during a sex scene in BBC drama I May Destroy You – we’re finally getting some footage of real sex on our screens.

    But the truth is, we still have a long way to go. Even though 4 out of 5 women can’t come from penetration alone (clit stimulation is the One when it comes to reaching ‘O’), movie and TV sex scenes continue to place an emphasis on penetration, with too many women orgasming after what is often a minute or two of thrusting.

    We all know that this is just not how ‘it’ goes. So to encourage more accurate representations of female pleasure within pop culture, two women have come up with ‘The Clit Test’.

    Created by Frances Rayner, 34, from Glasgow and Irene Tortajada, 25, from London, The Clit Test is an online forum that celebrates TV shows, films, books and even music that acknowledge the existence of the clit (which, BTW, wasn’t even fully discovered until 1998) rather than the vagina, as the source of orgasm for at least 80% of people with vulvas.

    Speaking to Huffpost UK, Rayner explained the test was created out of frustration, after she was sick and tired of seeing too many TV sex scenes imply that women can always orgasm through penetrative sex.

    ‘Growing up, I was entirely clueless about my own pleasure because no one had told me about the clitoris. From a young age, I knew about blow jobs, penis in vagina sex and male masturbation, but nothing I consumed taught me how women’s bodies worked beyond periods and pregnancy.’

    She continued: ‘This misleading ‘sexual script’ is one of the main reasons women and girls who have sex with men have alarming rates of disappointing, bad or even painful sex.’

    According to Rayner and Tortajada, a ‘Clit Test pass’ occurs anytime the clitoris is as much as acknowledged. This could be anything from the mere suggestion of oral sex or fingering, to someone expressing disappointment after a solely penetrative sexual encounter (much more of this, please).

    Recent passes have included Olivia Wilde’s teen film, Booksmart, Michaela Coel’s comedy, Chewing Gum and Bernardine Evaristo’s Booker Prize-winning book Girl, Women, Other.

    Launching a campaign to coincide with National Orgasm Day last Friday 31st August, Rayner and Tortajada called on members of the public to share their favourite sex scenes that pass the test, and give a hearty shout out to the creatives who made them possible.

    People have been encouraged to share their passes and fails across Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtags #ClitTestPass and #ClitTestFail.

    ‘In the context of market-driven porn being accessible to children as young as 7, there’s never been a more important time to reset our shared norms around pleasure,’ Rayner told Huffpost.

    ‘The Clit Test celebrates the people who are getting it right, in the hope we will inspire others.’

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