Where's My American Pie?
It’s been 20 years since American Pie catapulted into the world capturing male teenage angst and awkwardness perfectly and serving it up in an apple pie. Since then we’ve had various incarnations of the comic bildungsroman from the perspectives of boys turning into men and trying to find their place in the world. But, be it Superbad or the Inbetweeners the main plot always appears to focus on the quest of finally having sex but one of the main ingredients of these successful films seems to be multiple references to male masturbation. It’s funny; the jokes, the male camaraderie about it all, the whole ‘everyone’s doing it’ mind set so where, I ask, is the female counterpart?
Until I was around fourteen I believed that wanking was a purely male thing. They were the ones who got specific sex-ed on burgeoning sexuality, of awkward moments of the horrendously named ‘wet dreams.’ What did the girls get? Literally nothing. We were left to roam around Anne Summers like lost little lambs staring at these seemingly torturous devices and wondering what the hell they were. Porn was something only boys watched and whilst they could quite happily discover themselves from their early teens we were left to panic about losing our virginity- apparently the first time we would ever encounter sexual feelings.
This left generations of women feeling perverse and guilty of enjoying a bit of ‘me time’ believing that they were the first woman ever to discover what was between their legs.
The specifics wouldn’t actually be revealed to us until much later in our teengaedom when rumours were started by the older more matriarchal women in our lives we finally got the whisperings that women wank too! And what a relief, the shame evaporates, those mystical machines in Anne Summers finally made sense and you realised that porn wasn’t illegal and was perfectly accessible for you to watch too.
But I want more; I want a female American Pie that’s bawdy and stupid and mind-rotting but hilarious and normalising. One of my favourite shows ever; Fleabag became my favourite show because in the opening scene she’s caught-out wanking over Barack Obama, and let’s talk about Sex Education on Netflix where a girl is ‘prescribed’ a wank and in a masterful piece of cinematography the glorious moment of enlightenment is captured; and suddenly sex is pleasurable and not just something you have done to you.
I wish I had seen those shows earlier, I think it would have helped me make better choices when I began to have sex. I think it would have made me realise that I wasn’t abnormal that I didn’t have to put up with shit sex and could know what I liked and ask for it. So my challenge to some director out there, can you please make a female inbetweeners where you make jokes about sore hands and taking batteries out of tv remotes and endless cystits? A whole generation of girls are waiting.