Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Review: Orgasm Inc.


Orgasms don't come from bottles, unless you're, you know, using them in another way.

Orgasm Inc, is available on Netflix Watch It Now, and I think it’s worthwhile, particularly for those of us who are worried about the increasing medicalization of everyone and everything.

Orgasm Inc. looks at the way the pharmaceutical industry is looking to medicalize women’s sexuality.  Film-maker Liz Canner was initially hired to help a small pharmaceutical company, Vivus, who had just lost the male-enhancement race to Viagra.  They decided to give Female Sexual Dysfunction drugs a shot with their cream Allysta.  Ms. Canner helped put together a pornographic film for their clinical trials.  While she worked for them they also allowed her to film their researchers and ask questions.  She also spoke to other leading specialists in the field.  As well as those who oppose the medicalization of women’s sexuality.

Part of the problem comes from the way we view women’s sexuality.  Very few women orgasm from nothing but penile-vaginal intercourse.  Most women require at least a little clitoral stimulation in order to achieve orgasm.  This is actually fairly well documented in the literature.  The problem comes with media that shows women that the norm should be orgasm with no stimulation other than penetration.  So women who can orgasm with a vibrator or manual stimulation of the clitoris wind up feeling substandard or dysfunctional.  Very few women appear to be actually anorgasmic, less than 10%.  Part of the problem comes from a society that teaches women nothing of their own sexual geography, or stimulus.  Many women wouldn’t know an orgasm if it bit them on the ass, if it didn’t look like a porn movie orgasm.

Orgasm Inc. explores the industry of Female Sexual Dysfunction, including the results of Vivus’s Allysta studies, which proved that when exposed to pornography designed to titilate women, orgasms in women increased.  The Allysta itself had no such result.

Lenore Tiefer, Ph.D. has spent the last several years inveighing against the medicalization of female sexuality with The New View Campaign.  The National Women’s Health Campaign is another organization working to end the medicalization of women’s sexuality.

I have to say, I side with these organizations and Ms. Canner.  I think what women need is not more pills and creams, but the full knowledge of their own sexual anatomy and to know how orgasms actually work.  I think we need to teach women how to own their own sexuality and to ask for what they want and need in order to have fulfilling sex lives.  And I think we need to teach men that women’s sexuality matters as much as their own.

I highly recommend Orgasm Inc. for a look at how women’s sexuality is treated as an illness, and not as natural.

One comment on “Review: Orgasm Inc.

  1. Sophie Lagacé
    March 15, 2012

    Heh. Yeah, every time I see a sex scene which consists or immediate penetration that appears to send the woman to seventh heaven, I kvetch about it. I could make it into a drinking game, but my liver couldn’t keep up. Doesn’t work that way, anymore than the popular scenario of giving birth, about 40 minutes from my-waters-just-broke to “PUSH!” and “It’s a boy!”


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This entry was posted on March 14, 2012 by in Featured Articles, Feminism, Media, Misogyny, Sexism.

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