Sex: Female

2003, 69 minutes, produced and directed by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker
What's on the mind of the woman next door when it comes to sex? We know all about the sexual preferences of Cosmo girls and the women of Sex in the City, but the views of ordinary American women are sometimes drowned out by their more glamorous sisters. In Sex: Female, five dozen American women representing a rich variety of ages, ethnic groups, and economic backgrounds go public with some of their innermost secrets.
In Sex: Female, five dozen American women representing a rich variety of ages, ethnic groups, and economic backgrounds go public with some of their innermost secrets. A 76 year old grandmother talks about how she manages sex with her 77 year old boyfriend three times a week, no Viagra needed. A sexy single mother says "when I do need sex, I get the man out of the drawer. He's not going to complain, he's not going to give me any trouble. He's just going to do his job, wash off, and then get back in the drawer." A long-married couple compare notes on why sex has completely vanished from their lives, despite their efforts to spice it up with such things as edible panties.

Hugely entertaining but also poignant and thought-provoking, Sex: Female is a sensitive look at a topic that rarely gets treated intelligently on television. The film is neither prurient nor euphemistic - instead, it's a frank and open discussion about a topic that's on everyone's mind. None of the interview subjects had been interviewed before, and none are "professionals" of any sort - no therapists, writers, or sex workers. They're just honest and compelling.

Sex: Female consists of free-spirited discussions around particular topics - everything from "How I Learned About Sex" to cheating spouses to feelings about fellatio - mixed with closeup portraits of a several women, including Linda, a young mother who got pregnant the first time she had sex and has never really been able to enjoy lovemaking, and Simone, an energetic seventeen-year old who is totally enamored of being a lesbian but confesses to feeling that "the logistics of performing oral sex on a woman are hellish!"

Sex: Female ends with a discussion featuring four couples - three married and one lesbian pair - who have seen their sexual passion recede over the years. It's a poignant and provocative conclusion to the film, and a refreshing reality check to a lot of the gauzy views of sexuality presented in American media.

Sex: Female was completed in December 2002. The finished film will be broadcast on Oxygen Media - the women's cable network - in June 2003.