Hysterical Literature

I read about a project called Hysterical Literature on Salon yesterday. It was listed in the article on classy and offbeat porn sites. After watching a couple of sessions on the site, I was completely amused and impressed. I don’t even know if I can call this porn at all. Our idea of porn, mostly governed by what is available in abundance, is so unlike what this site is all about. When I think of porn, all I can think of is mean and women with dead eyes, making fake noises, staring blankly at the camera and pretending to have so much fun, or joyful agony, zero respect for female bodies, storylines (huh?) catering to mostly all male audiences, and male fantasies. Basically, not something sexually arousal.

But this is a whole new take on erotica. First off it’s not just about sex. What the site features is a couple of women, fully clothed, in a black and white very clinical but classy looking setting, reading a book of their choice aloud. You only see the upper half of their bodies. And then there is a vibrator, totally out of the women’s range of control, that keeps massaging them from below. More than porn, it’s portraiture of women when they are distracted. It’s the manifestation of the duality between mind and body. The women have to keep reading for as long as they can. It’s really interesting to watch the changing voice levels, the fluttering of eyelids, change in reading speed. Some of the women are just adorable, they laugh and it’s wonderful to watch women enjoy the experience so much.

I have a new found respect for people who can leave behind their inhibitions, especially when it comes to topics like the ever elusive female orgasm. The women come from various backgrounds and age groups. They are all mostly artists from NYC. Many of them have written essays on their experience, and these are available on the site. The FAQ section of the site is brilliant as well, and explains in detail what the project and the concept is all about.

Do take a look, and let me know your thoughts.



  1. Wow. This was a good find. I watched one video – Janet’s and it is quite a revelation how satisfied I felt as a viewer at being able to participate in the delight she takes in her own pleasure. Like watching a good movie that ends well. There was a survey a couple of months ago that women find lesbian porn more satisfying than straight porn. I also read that more than then visuals its the aural sounds that both men and women find most arousing about porn. I wonder if men and women are getting different things out of these videos.


    1. I felt the same way. And how often do we get to feel so nice about another human being’s happiness, especially someone you don’t even know. I have watched Janet’s session. I loved it. And somehow, you sort of start rooting for their climax. I was unable to concentrate on anything they read, just like their concentration goes on dwindling.

      I was wondering if they would be unable to orgasm if they were reading something very very tragic. But husband believes it wouldn’t matter. If you know what this session is about from the beginning, you’ll anyway not be concentrating on the meaning of the words you read. I am still not too sure though. Forget a book, may be a letter?

      That article in salon also featured a website where people just upload the sound files of orgasms. So it could well be that it’s a largely unexplored territory but something that people do find arousing. It also had a website, where people upload the videos of their faces as they orgasm, but there is no sound. If I had to pick one, I’ll probably go for the sounds. You know what…you should just read this article: http://www.salon.com/2015/04/13/the_7_smartest_classiest_porn_sites_partner/

      I can sort of understand why women might find lesbian porn satisfying. I remember I had this discussion with my roomie in JNU. She mentioned that men prefer two women, one man in threesome videos, instead of two men, one man. When they watch porn, they temporarily want to imagine that they’re the man to whom the women are doing things. I guess there’s a conflict of ego if they see two men. It’s harder to identify yourself with just one. Which is why women are unhappy with the porn options out there. It’s all made from the male PoV. It is never a mutually satisfying act.


  2. I was also wondering about the kind of activity there were doing. So many layers to it.. What if it were like you say something tragic, or what if it were some other activity such as cooking or watching TV or a conversation with another person? And then one also has to account for the fact that the participants are in front of a camera and there are people watching them so there is a degree of performativity involved and how different would it be if it were a hidden camera?

    And that line of thought then meanders into the whole production process. Was it a first take/one take shot etc..? I think reading their essays will shed more light on the process. Haven’t had time to explore it fully, yet. Yes, that survey was actually about how women don’t find porn satisfying because it does not satisfy their needs in any way so lesbian porn comes closest from what’s available.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! I hadn’t considered how it would be while performing other activities. And like you said, there is an element of perfomance. Just like you sort of pose when you know someone is taking a pic.

      It is very possible that they shot each person over days. Although, I wonder if the repetitiveness would also interfere with the intensity of the orgasm, especially when the surprise and novelty elements are gone.

      It has so many facets. Really worth exploring na?


    1. Hahaha. I totally know what you mean. That happens to me so many times. In fact I read the salon article in office, but had to wait until I went home to actually visit the sites.

      It really is interesting.


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