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Orgasm, Inc Review: Unraveling Female Sexual Dysfunction

By Dustin Rowles | Film Reviews | February 11, 2011 | Comments ()


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Fellas: If you can't bring your lady to fruition, there's three very simple reasons for this: 1) You're not attractive to her; 2) You're an asshole; or 3) She's exhausted and stressed out because you didn't make her dinner.

Female sexual dysfunction is an invention of drug companies; so posits Elizabeth Canner's documentary, Orgasm Inc. After the billion dollar success of Viagra, pharmaceutical companies basically invented this disorder so that they could come up with another billion dollar drug to treat it. Basically, female sexual dysfunction is the new restless leg syndrome. Drug companies want women to believe that, if they can't have an orgasm every time they have intercourse, then there must be something wrong with them. And if there's something wrong with them, then surely there must be a drug to treat it.

It's bullshit.

The bigger reality here is that women don't always go to their happy place every time. The reasons are almost always psychological or contextual, and very rarely biological. If a woman doesn't give you an O-face, it could be that you're doing it wrong. Seventy percent of women, so says the documentary, need direct clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. A lot of guys don't know how to provide that. A lot of women don't know how to help their partners provide it, either. (Here's a map, guys. Study it.) Or it could be that she doesn't want to be doing it at all, or at least not with you. Or it could be, simply, that she's fucking exhausted: She's got a full time job, she comes home to take care of the kids, and does three times more house work, on average, than the man in the relationship. That's not exactly conducive to a flying unicorn.

And yet, the drug manufacturers would prefer for you to believe that the reasons are biological: You're not pumping enough blood to your sweet spot or you need a low dose of testosterone to get yourself off. Interestingly, pharmaceutical companies did a study many years ago that concluded that 43 percent of women suffer from sexual dysfunction. That statistic came from asking women ten questions like "have you failed to achieve orgasm in the last several months" or "have you had a problem lubricating in the last several months," and if the female answered in the affirmative to any one of those questions, then she was put into the female sexual dysfunction category. It's ridiculous, of course, like asking a dude if he forgot one or more times in the last several months to ogle some woman's ass. Surely, at least 43 percent of men were, at least on one occasion, too engrossed in a football game to notice.

So, drug companies invented a market for this drug by convincing women that they weren't normal. However, in the decade since, they haven't actually been able to bring a drug to market. Why? Because there's not a drug that makes a woman's husband or boyfriend more attractive, a better lover, or attentive enough to erase some of the daily stress many women endure. Moreover, the few drugs that have made it as far as clinical trials have more risks (increased rates of cancer, blood clots, aneurysm, etc.) than benefits (one more orgasm per month).

Orgasm Inc delves into all of this, and more, including vaginal cosmetic surgery, the drug manufacturer's skeezy ways of working around rules prohibiting off-brand labeling, and other medical procedures doctors will convince women to have under the auspices of an increased rate of orgasm.

The most instructive and enlightening moment of the documentary, perhaps, was this: During the drug testing phase, one drug manufacturer split women who claimed to suffer from female sexual dysfunction into two groups. One group was given a pill to treat their disorder. The other group was given a placebo. Each group of women flicked their beans while watching erotic films. Guess what? Both groups of women achieved orgasm at an equal and much higher rate, with or without the pill.

The lesson here? Watch more porn.

Orgasm, Inc. opens in select cities today. This review was originally published after the Boston Independent Film Festival.



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