TV’s Hottest New Sex Move Is Power Fingering

In the fourth episode of HBO’s “Sharp Objects,” redheaded journalist Camille (Amy Adams) and compact cop Richard (Chris Messina) are alone in the woods, surrounded by buzzing cicadas and rustling trees. 

“I was under the impression you were starting to like me,” Richard tells Camille with a cocky half smile. She walks to him slowly, her gaze glued to his. When they’re face to face, Richard raises his hand to Camille’s cheek, inching his face toward hers, plunging into the familiar choreography of a romantic kiss. 

“No,” Camille whispers. She slides her bag off her shoulder and unzips her jeans. With one hand she tips Richard’s chin upward so it’s level with hers. With the other, she sticks his hand in her pants. They embrace, each resting their head on the other’s shoulders as Camille’s breaths elongate and intensify, becoming pants, then moans. She bites down on his shoulder as she comes. 

This boss move will henceforth be called Power Fingering, and thanks to HBO, it seems to be the sex move of the summer. 

“Sharp Objects” was not the only show on the cable platform to feature a man digitally pleasuring a woman sans reciprocation. In the seventh episode of “Succession,” Shiv (Sarah Snook) and Nate (Ashley Zukerman) are chatting in Nate’s car when he humbly suggests returning to his Airbnb to do it on a memory foam mattress.

“Turn it off,” Shiv says when Nate starts the car. He does, and for a moment, they sit in silence. Then Shiv (also a redhead!) unzips trou, grabs Nate’s hand and places it right where she wants it. “Let’s just sit here a minute, so I can think,” she says, closing her eyes as she puts him to work.

Watching Power Fingering happen in not one, but two prestige television dramas left me feeling some kind of way.

If sex is what happens when a man and a woman love each other very much, Power Fingering is what happens when a woman just needs to get off without the romance of a kiss or the whole ordeal of a dick. Yes, she could use her own hand, but why not make the man in the vicinity do all of the work? Being a woman requires too much uncompensated and overlooked labor already.

I must mention that both aforementioned Power Fingering scenes fail to depict enthusiastic consent from the men involved. Although Richard was in the process of trying to kiss Camille, and Nate was trying to take Shiv to bed, neither party ever explicitly agreed to Power Fingering being on the menu. But how many times have you seen a fictional dude direct a woman’s head toward the vague direction of his crotch, regardless of her feelings?

It’s about time pop culture addressed the gray area of women’s carnal desires. On-screen, the move helps to undo long-standing misunderstandings about female sexuality. In the overwhelming majority of sexual encounters in film and on TV, men call the shots ― it’s their desires that are fulfilled, first and foremost. While men are presented as voraciously horny, women are often depicted as gentle and romantic, and the resulting sex is a compromise somewhere in between.

It’s exhilarating, then, to watch a sex scene where a woman has an orgasm and the man beside her does not. Even better, she does so while remaining entirely clothed. Thanks to Power Fingering, women can see themselves as having the upper hand in a sexual tryst ― and by upper hand, I mean quite literally putting their hands atop a dude’s hand to guide it straight to the clit.

So ladies, when contemplating new moves to try out with your consenting partner or summer fling, take a hint from HBO’s female protagonists and stick his hand in your pants in a deliberate manner. Being a woman is exhausting business. When it comes to pleasure, why should you have to lift a finger?  


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