Welcome to The Watch List: a monthly feature where I choose a television series or movie that I’ve been watching and loving recently, and tell you why you should be watching it too. This month, 'Sexify'.
It’s becoming apparent the sex-positive turn that Netflix is taking with their scripted series (Sex Education, Easy, and Big Mouth, to name a few) and Sexify is no different. Set at a university, this new Polish TV series follows Natalia (Aleksandra Skraba), a brainiac of sorts, who enlists the help of her friends Paulina (Maria Sobocinska) and Monika (Sandra Drzymalska) to help her create an app that maximises the female orgasm. Wrapped in a package of electro background music mixed with upbeat moans of pleasure, this lighthearted series delivers a sex-positive message for women that may be reminiscent of some of its predecessors, yet still maintains its charm.
While in 2021 it may be more common for women to be claiming their sexual agency, it still deserves praise! Paulina, somewhat confined to religious expectations, goes on a personal journey sparked by a recent engagement to her longtime boyfriend, Mariusz, to discover what brings her pleasure — sexually that is. Although active in the bedroom, their shared intimate encounters are of the “quickie” nature, yet never swaying from missionary and only lasting until HE orgasms…we all know that kind 😒 A sex convention, a little porn, and a new friend in tune with their sexual desires later and Paulina realises the societal confines that have inhibited her from connecting with her sexual self. Instead of Paulina going from 0 to 100 in the embrace of her sexual agency, she endures a road of ups and downs that reinforce her relatability. She’s discovering the whats, the hows, and everything in between — I’ll cheers to that!
Monika on the other hand, that supposedly sexually in tune friend, lacks character development that makes it difficult to discern if her sexual agency is a conscious choice or just a ploy to piss off her parents. She takes charge of her pleasure through casual hook ups and masturbation, yet can’t seem to orgasm without thinking about her ex boyfriend. My take? She’s either ruled by the men in her life and uses her sexual power as a way to gain control, or she’s a young proponent of sex positivity. I think I’ll settle for the latter.
If you’re going to make a series about the female orgasm then foreplay is fundamental. Remember what I said about Paulina and Mariusz’s monotonous male-centric sex life? Well, foreplay is a key missing ingredient in her pleasure cocktail. A vagina haver’s discovery of their clitoris is for most nothing short of life changing and Paulina’s is exactly that. A quick masturbation session where she experiences clitoral stimulation and Paulina gets clarity on what she’s been missing. On a side note, Mariusz, despite his naivety to always being on the receiving end of pleasure, is open to making the necessary changes to help Paulina reach arousal. With this, Sexify chooses to avoid any men-bashing that is sometimes taken enroute to a female character achieving sexual fulfilment which is something I can appreciate. But unfortunately for him, she’s on her way to discovering her sexuality and a woman is what she feels will give her sexual fulfilment — Bravo, Paulina!
To start, two of the three main female characters (Natalia and Paulina) are not only unaware of what gives them pleasure but they don’t even understand their sexuality or how to explore it. Now, these being young women most likely out on their own for the first time this says more about sex education (or lack of) than anything else. Likewise, when Monika searches through her phone’s app store to find if other apps focused on female pleasure exist, what does he find? Zero. From the college students to their teachers to their parents, it seems almost every character (besides Monika and her sex guru of a mother) is clueless about what female pleasure is and why it’s important. This total lack of awareness might seem like a thing of the past but sadly, it stays relevant in many parts of the world today.
Have something you want to recommend for the Watch List? Tell me about it in the comments!