By Mark Schoen, Ph.D.
SexSmartFilms has added a new film category, “Stag Films.”
The phrase “Stag Films” technically refers to those films produced from 1915–1970, before adult (pornographic) films were legal. These sexually explicit motion pictures were produced early in the history of film. They were produced with the sole intent of initiating sexual arousal and pleasure.
The first known “Stag Film” of any kind appears to have been made in Europe in 1908. Most historians consider the first American stag film to be A Free Ride, produced and released in 1915.
When viewing a stag film on SexSmartFilms try to imagine a world with no television or Internet. Stag films were the only possible experience for live action viewing of sexually explicit media.
The technical qualities of these films vary greatly. Many are black and white and some are silent.
It is important to recognize the Kinsey Institute, who preserved and archived these films so they will be available to scholars in the the future.
An excellent “Stag Film” reference, which was researched at the Kinsy Institute:
Dirty Movies: An Illustrated History of the Stag Film
by Al Di Lauro and Gerald Rabkin
Ethical Use Of Video In Sex Education, Counseling and Therapy
By The World Association For Sexology
Guidelines For Ethical Use Of Video or Multimedia In Sex Education, Counseling and Therapy
As sex educators, counselors and therapists, the videos/multimedia we use must be congruent with our basic values. Otherwise, we send a mixed message harmful to our patients, and unworthy of our professional obligations. Ethical practice requires that we use ethical materials in our work.
ACCORDINGLY, THE ETHICAL SEX EDUCATOR, COUNSELOR OR THERAPIST WILL:
- Strive to utilize videos and multimedia that affirm our basic values and depict human sexuality as a bonding force between authentic, loving adults.
- Carefully, personally. review all videos/multimedia to be used in practice and will search for, and heed, reviews by peers.
- Refrain from using videos/multimedia that perpetuate a 'sex as a performance' model, including the depiction of sexual acts by known or aspiring porn industry participants. If such use occasionally, with careful professional judgment, occurs, such actors will be clearly thus identified.
- Not participate either as principal, or in any other capacity, in exploitative ventures, commercial or otherwise, that are not in accord with these guidelines, and the Code of Ethics of The World Association For Sexology. In particular, ethical practitioners will not offer endorsement in any manner, on screen, or off, to any venture which in its practices demonstrates that they do not share the ethical standards adhered to by our profession, and our Association.
My SAR Experience
By Becky Knight, MPH
What is a SAR? My Experience
In order to be certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) as a sexuality educator, one of the many requirements that I must meet is to participate in a Sexual Attitude Reassessment (SAR). The SAR originated in the early 1970s as a tool for understanding how a person's attitudes and values affect him/her professionally and personally.
“In order to function competently, the health professional needs to be keenly aware of his or her own attitudes, feelings, and judgments about all areas of sexuality, and should have a basic body of knowledge and the skills to address the sexual concerns of the patient, client, or student." (William Stayton, 1998)
The SAR can take many forms, depending on the instructor(s) and the facility. The SAR that I chose to attend was a one-day, 10-hour intensive led by Joan Sughrue. Joan, a nurse, and her late husband John, an OB/GYN, were trained by sexology pioneers William Masters and Virginia E. Johnson (Masters & Johnson) and began doing sex therapy in the Southeast in the early 1970s. I chose to take my SAR with Joan because I value her combination of medical and counseling expertise.
We began the day with an ice-breaker that definitely cut the tension and got us talking about sex right away. There were about fifteen men and women in attendance, including a doctor, a midwife, a minister, several counselors, and a handful of graduate students. The day consisted of large group exercises, small group discussions, and viewing short sexually-explicit films including:
- The Internal Clitoris, by Betty Dodson
- Betty Dodson: Her Life and Art, a film by Mark Schoen
- 20/20 Special on Transgender Children
- And a number of clips and films found on Sex Smart Films
The true benefit of the SAR is not found in the media, which is obviously readily available online. The real value (and the real point) is the opportunity to reflect on how your own views of sexuality have been formed and discuss them with others, who may or may not share your opinions. I didn't necessarily change my personal views on sexuality, but in hearing other people's stories, I have a deeper appreciation for diverse perspectives.
I appreciated meeting other sexual health professionals and learning from their varied experiences. This particular SAR's participants were aged 25 to 65. One counselor had extensive knowledge in working with transgender clients, another worked with girls who had experienced sexual trauma, and another specialized in working with minority LGBT clients and inter-racial couples.
If you are interested in attending a SAR, you can find a number of opportunities listed on the AASECT website. The DIY approach would be to gather some friends, watch some sexual-themed clips or a thought-provoking documentary, and then discuss your sexual beliefs and attitudes and how you arrived at them. I would love to organize an informal SAR, so if anyone's interested, please let me know. I think we can learn so much from each other! http://www.livingsexuality.com/
*If you want a funny, fictional account of the SAR experience, there is a book called Sex Camp based on the Annual Workshop on Sexuality, the nationally renowned training that has been held for nearly 30 years at an Episcopal Church-owned retreat facility in upstate New York. Note: I have not read the book, so this is not a personal recommendation.
[Editor's Note: We HIGHLY recommend Sex Camp.]