Turn Me On, Dammit! Horny Teenage Girls

In the US, girls are supposed to be sexy, but not sexual. In Norway, girls are expected to be both sexy and sexual — the problem is when they're horny. A "horny girl" is still very much taboo; obscene, too much. Even in so-called gender democratic and sexually liberated Norway.

The American Pie movies immortalized horny boys on film; Turn Me On, Dammit! (original title is Få meg på, for faen!) finally does the same for a horny girl who wants sex, but in a much more true, real way. This quirky, offbeat Norwegian sex comedy, which won the award for Best Screenplay at Tribeca Film Festival (2011) as well as Best Debut Film at Rome Film Festival, and which has been widely praised by among others The Huffington Post, Variety, Bust.com, and Salon, is about a 15-year-old girl, Alma (performed by 17-year-old Helene Bergsholm), who is insatiably horny all the time. Consumed by her out-of-control hormones, her fantasies range from romantic dreams of Artur, the boy she yearns for, to smutty scenarios about practically everybody she lays her eyes on.


The film's key scene is an awkward, erotic encounter with Artur at a party which she makes the mistake of telling her incredulous friends who in turn ostracize her at school, nicknaming her "dick Alma."

What I love about Alma is that she refuses to repress her lust, though not unfazed by all the slut shaming. She racks up her single mom's phone bill, calling sex lines (a certain "Stig," a male phone sex worker, seems to take some pity in her). Working at the local store to make up for the money, Alma's caught stealing a porn magazine only to further exasperate her already mortified mom. "There's something abnormal about Alma," she pleads with the shop's owner. To her friend, she airs her shame about Alma's constant self-gratification, which she wears earplugs to muffle.

Poignantly capturing the awkwardness and vulnerability of adolescence, especially for the social outcasts who fail to fit in (and it's not just Alma), Turn Me On, Dammit! is ultimately a story of staying true to and owning who you are, including your desire. Even Alma's mother in the end comes around to see Alma's struggle for what it is. Turn Me On, Dammit! is bound to strike a chord with youth and those who remember the awkwardness of adolescence. I believe it also can be a good conversation starter for parents to talk with their kids about sexual awakening, masturbation, slut shaming, fitting in, and all the other trials and tribulations of adolescence. (And a reminder for parents not to shame kids about their sexuality.)

Based on a novel by the same name (by Olaug Nilssen), and adapted by the director, Jannicke Systad Jacobsen, a young, up-and-coming filmmaker who has already won praise for her non-traditional documentary films, Turn Me On, Dammit! is made available to a US-audience by New Yorker Films. It premiers in theaters March 30th. Take a look at the trailer here.

(This review was originally posted at Good Vibrations Magazine.)

Quizzical mama, aka Anne G. Sabo, Ph.D., is a former academic turned public educator, author, speaker, freelance writer, and mama- and sex blogger. LOVE, SEX, AND FAMILY is a resource site she founded devoted to progressive human sexuality information. In her New porn by women blog she writes about sexual politics and re-visioned porn. Her Quizzical mama blog is an educated and personal approach to the politics and philosophies of parenting. Her book After Pornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters is forthcoming fall 2012. She lives in Northfield, Minnesota, a small college town just south of the Twin Cities, with her husband and their toddler daughter.

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