New documentary showcases attempts to profit off myths about female sexual pleasure

Large pill with the words Orgasm Inc written over. Tag line: The strange science of female pleasure

Orgasm Inc is a documentary that exposes big pharma’s attempts to profit off of myths about female sexual pleasure.

It’s shocking and incredible the blatant way that pharmaceutical companies are involved in the creation of medical problems that they can then solve with their new drugs and tools.

That’s right: for-profit pharmaceutical companies CREATE medical disorders for the sole purpose of creating a new market for their new drug.

This film focuses on “female sexual dysfunction” and big pharma’s attempts at creating drugs to solve it.

Now I’m not saying that there aren’t women out there who have legitimate medical concerns that affect their sexual functioning. They do.

But what I am saying is that the classification of these kinds of disorders, which are complex in nature, seriously vague, and extremely affected by society’s ideas about female sexual pleasure, is creating a shitstorm for women.

For example, in the documentary, the filmmaker follows one woman who decided to enroll in a clinical trial for a new device called the “Orgasmatron.” (Note: This article about the device tells a very different story than the documentary did.) This clinical trial is pretty invasive–she has to have a mechanism that provides electricity surgically installed into her body, with a wire running up along her spinal cord. She remains light-hearted about the whole thing, including laughing as she shows us what the mechanism did for her after the fact. She turns on the remote (similar the remote one might have on a vibrator like this one) and her leg begins to shake violently, as she laughs.

The Orgasmatron did nothing for her sexual pleasure, and was removed within a few weeks.

After watching her go through all of this, we discover this shocking revelation. Why did she think she suffered from female sexual dysfunction? Because she could not orgasm from just vaginal penetration alone.

Sit with that a minute.

A perfectly healthy woman who was able to orgasm regularly with clitoral stimulation participated in a clinical trial that involved surgically implanting an electric mechanism into her body because she believed not being able to orgasm from simply vaginal penetration was abnormal.

WTF. I can safely say that MOST women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Why aren’t we being taught this??

This is only one example of many in the film that illustrates how the medical industrial complex is invested in convincing millions of women that their sexual responses are abnormal so that they will go out and purchase whatever pills, cremes and surgeries these companies can come up with.

What women don’t need is technologies that are motivated by profit rather than science. What we do need is this:

  • Comprehensive sex education that teaches us about safety AND pleasure
  • Feminist sex shops where people can learn about the tools out there (no prescription required) to help us achieve sexual pleasure
  • To debunk all the heteronormative myths about what “normal” sexual functioning and desire look-like.

Check out the film if you can. The trailer is available here, and the list of screenings here.

Pharmaceutical companies should not be in charge of telling us what female sexual pleasure/functioning should be.

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