Orgasm, Inc.

Here’s an great article about it in Wired, along with the trailer.

I saw this entertaining but serious documentary last night. Has anyone else seen it, perhaps at a film festival? I thought it was going to be a fun documentary about orgasms in Myth and history, but it’s really about Big Pharma’s search for the product that will become the female version of Viagra, and how the medicalizing of female sexuality is designed to make perfectly normal women think there’s something wrong with them. The bullshit “disease” called “Female Sexual Dysfunction” was created by the pharmaceutical industry to make women think they need whatever products end up coming on the market, to whip up a pent-up demand that will cause sales to skyrocket the minute they go on sale. Helping to market and spread the myth of FSD are talking heads all over the media who are being paid or hornswaggled by pharmaceutical and other invested companies.

It’s a fascinating documentary, lots of fun, but it should make any woman and men who love women pissed off and wary.

It’s distressing but also nothing new. If there is any trend in “female sexual dysfunction” it’s probably due to cultural conditioning from the previous generation of medical propaganda. I suppose it’s marginally better than repressing sexuality, but barely. I wonder what sexuality would look like without any cultural conditioning at all?

That quite a politicized belief, innit?

What about women who typically experience hours of struggling to get off and as often as not just end up frustrated, no matter what they try? Is it the filmmakers’ position that they don’t exist? That they’ve been pre-emptively tricked by “big pharma” into thinking that they have trouble reaching orgasm, even if they’ve never considered it a medical issue? That they are merely requiring education about what needs to be rubbed and how?

I don’t know. Interesting question.

Not at all. They speak to all different types of women. The reasons why some women can’t or don’t have orgasms vary wildly. Some women can’t have orgasms due to very real physical problems, such as women who’ve had hysterectomies. Some women can’t have orgasms due to very real psychological barriers, such as sexual abuse victims. Some women don’t have orgasms because they’re stressed, or tired, or depressed, or just don’t feel up to it. Some women can’t have orgasms because of religious conditioning. Some women can’t have orgasms because they’re with a partner who doesn’t give a shit.

Some women can have clitoral orgasms but think there’s something wrong with them if they don’t have an orgasm during intercourse. One women had an electrode put in her spine because she had never had an orgasm during intercourse, thought she had a “disease” (FSD), and wanted to be “normal.” The electrode didn’t work, and it turns out she’s always been able to have clitoral orgasms with no problem at all. She came to realize that she was already normal.

In some cases, yeah. They talk to doctors and sex therapists who have seen women who have absolutely no idea what or where the clitoris is. Not everyone finds it on their own, and sex education in this country is abysmal.

The point is that there are so many different reasons, a thousand different reasons, yet they’re all being lumped into one diagnosis that might possibly fit only a tiny fraction of women. Tiny fractions of women don’t make lots of money for pharmaceutical companies, so it’s important to make large masses of women think they’re abnormal.

Well, the advertising worked great on the men; it must have been too tempting to not tap the other half of the population.

Here’s a pretty good article. The Marketing of a Disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction by investigative journalist Ray Moynihan that appeared in the British Medical Journal.

The documentary showed the FDA hearing where P&G’s testosterone patch was turned down for approval by a unanimous vote. It was pretty hilarious to think that P&G spent all that money for nothing, but depressing to think that so many real diseases, including many affecting women, get no funding at all.

'S in the queue. Thanks for mentioning this. Is “Female Sexual Dysfunction” really understood by anyone to be a monolithic “disease,” though? It’s even less specific than male sexual dysfunction.

I thought we already had this medication over the counter…“batteries,” I believe they’re called.

I used to work for an Internet Service Provider, and a guy came in to talk about setting up a website about his “research” into female sexual dysfunction.

What he didn’t know was that the Manager of the ISP used to be a bio-chemist who specialised in gynaecological something something something (I have no idea of the specifics, the point is he knew his onions). Because he knew everything the guy was claiming was crap, he refused to let him host with us.

This makes me sad. The women I know that have issues with orgasm can’t mentally relax enough to let it happen, or confident enough to find out and discuss their own needs.

If they can actually perfect a medicine that facilitates female orgasms, it will sell like hot . . . whatever. Even if the warnings include language like, “ORGASMEX should not be used by women who are pregnant or who may wish to become pregnant at some time in the future or who are personally acquainted with any woman fitting that description. Side effects may include rashes, night sweats, palpitations, tremors, involuntary muscle spasms and tics, incontinence of urine and feces, explosive diarrhea, projectile vomiting, hysterical blindness, grand mal seizures, blackouts, hallucinations, and occasional episodes of uncontrollable psychotic rage.” Even then, man, you know it!

There might even be a male market . . . Is it still a form of date rape, if you slip a drug into a woman’s drink that does not make her any readier to sleep with you, but will cause her to enjoy it more if she does, and perhaps invite you back for more?

It’s probably assault to give someone a drug (any drug, not just sex-related ones) without their knowledge, but I can’t see how it’s rape if she willingly and lucidly agrees to sex.

But what if you slip it to her, so to speak, and she goes home with someone else? You’ve just made both of their night.

How long before this becomes an episode of L&O: SVU?

If anyone thinks there’s a large market for a female viagra just because there is one for males they should stop for a minute to consider how ovary removal is handled in this culture compared to castration.

Now that’s what I call an orgasm!

Is that really as big a deal for a woman as castration would be for a man?

Serious question.

No, not even close. Ovaries are removed from women all the time. They are often removed “just in case” when there is uterine disease. Neither the women involved nor the medical professionals who do it view it in terms of “she might as well be dead as not have ovaries.”

In contrast, there are several conditions of men where removal of the testicles would be very beneficial (prostate cancer is one) but to do so is totally off the table.

It speaks to how important males and females in this culture view their sexuality. Which in turn determines the market for this type of product. Men have been looking for a female aphrodesiac since time recorded. Women, not so much.

To put it another way - how many 65-year-old women who are 100 pounds overweight, have heart problems, and other assorted chronic medical conditions would 1) worry about their lack of libido or the frequency of their orgasms and then 2) purchase a pill to alter that. That’s viagra’s market. It’s very important to the 65-year-old, overweight, medical problems, heart condition man to be able to get a woody.

I think I know a girl who’s part of the human test subjects :cool:

Hmm, i just realized something: does this mean my tongue should be used in hospitals?