Monday, October 30, 2017

Sperm Count: Is Squirting an Urban Myth?

screenshot from L'Arroseur arrose (Louis Lumiere)
Is squirting an urban myth or is it the country cousin of priapism? If you are a purveyor or pornography you know that squirting films are a genre until themselves. Some urologists and gynecologists  discountenance the notion of female ejaculation though  no one would doubt the prevalence of varying levels of lubricity in women corresponding to similar degrees of tumescence in men. From the point of view of cinema studies producing the illusion of ejaculation is a rather simple process that would require none of the advanced montage present in say the shower scene of Hitchcock’s Psycho (recently analyzed in the documentary 78/52). Remember Ray Ashley’s Little Fugitive (1953). It’s the gritty story of a young boy who runs away from home after he thinks he’s murdered his brother. The murder scene is brought about courtesy of a bottle of ketchup. All anyone desiring to make an X-rated film called The Trevi Fountain would have to do would be to artfully plant a squirt gun off-camera. L’Arroseur arrose (The Sprinkler Sprinkled, 1895) was an early silent film directed by Louis Lumiere which illustrates film’s capacity for such simple tricks--which fall slightly below the bar of illusion. It may have been the eponymous squirter film since it shows how any discharge of liquids can come right back in your face.

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