Like most things I did in my early 20s, Female Ejaculation: Perceptions began as an act of defiance.
This particular incident took place in an introductory video production course that my advisor forced me to take in the first year of my doctoral coursework at Wayne State University. For my final video project of the semester, I pitched a screenplay that was loosely based on an short fiction essay by Steve Martin. When the instructor cried “copyright” and rejected my pitch, I reached into my bag and pulled out my best trick: female ejaculation. I believe I said something along the lines of, “fine, then. I’ll just do a documentary on female ejaculation.” I had just completed my Master’s thesis on the subject.
Like so many defiant acts before it, this one also garnered the exact opposite of the response I had hoped for. The instructor was intrigued. In the short time that I had to develop and produce my project (two weeks or so) he consistently engaged me and challenged my ideas with an earnestness and that I wasn’t used to. Having only had about an hour’s worth of camera experience, I wound up creating a very meaningful piece. I believe that the questions Female Ejaculation: Perceptions raises are far more significant than the answers I provided in the 60-page thesis I had completed a few months earlier.
Of course this sentiment wasn’t realized until long after the course was over. While I shot the female ejaculation documentary, I was anxiously closing out my first semester as a PhD student and as an instructor at Wayne State. The last thing I wanted to do was make a stupid movie for a stupid class. Especially because I didn’t know how to work the stupid camera. I didn’t give a shit about this documentary when I started shooting it. But as I saw themes emerge from the interviews and began editing those themes into something more cohesive, I developed a deeper interest in the story of where people learn about sex and an enthusiasm for the video production process.
I have such love for all of the people who let me interview them for this project, for the intimacy and honesty that they gave me, for their range and completeness as an ensemble; for the unanticipated and lasting influence of my teacher; and for the people who continue to see and appreciate its value.
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