In the shocking and hilarious documentary ORGASM INC., filmmaker Liz Canner takes a job editing erotic videos for a drug trial for a pharmaceutical company. Her employer is developing what they hope will be the first Viagra drug for women that wins FDA approval to treat a new disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). Liz gains permission to film the company for her own documentary. Initially, she plans to create a movie about science and pleasure but she soon begins to suspect that her employer, along with a cadre of other medical companies, might be trying to take advantage of women (and potentially endanger their health) in pursuit of billion dollar profits. ORGASM INC. is a powerful look inside the medical industry and the marketing campaigns that are literally and figuratively reshaping our everyday lives around health, illness, desire — and that ultimate moment: orgasm.
Upbeat, engaging, enlightening, and provocative, ORGASM INC. will change the way you think about sex.
Since I get a lot of questions through email and on AllSexAdvice.com about women’s orgasms and about women having trouble reaching orgasm, I was very interested in what this documentary had to say. For the longest time, it wasn’t available on DVD, there were only public showings of it; but when I found DVDs were available, I put in an immediate request to receive a copy for review.
Hubby and I went into watching this movie with the attitude that it will hopefully present some hard facts, and with expectations that bottom line, things will be edited with a certain point of view in mind and that this is after all, entertainment.
I have tried to be very careful in writing this review. I understand that the filmmaker will have a definite point of view on Female Sexual Disfunction and I’m also coming into watching this movie with my own point of view, but I have tried my best to keep a very open mind. Just so you know where I’m coming from, I would define myself as being pro-sex, pro-woman, pro-information and I am skeptical of everything, without being cynical. So I can say with confidence that I wasn’t on the filmmaker’s side at the start the film. I questioned everything I saw on this DVD. In fact, Hubby and I paused the DVD often to discuss the information we were given as it was served up.
It was as though Liz anticipated the questions viewers would have while watching the video. As soon as a certain piece of information was served up, we’d pause the DVD, discuss, then press play and by the next scene our questions or comments would be answered and/or confirmed. It was as if she was reading our minds.
This is a really big topic and as you watch it, you can feel how it started out as one thing and then turned into so much more. Orgasm Inc. starts its focus on the drug companies and their role in, not only trying to find a cure or treatment for Female Dysfunction, but also presents evidence about their possible role in creating this illness that may not actually be an illness. Next, we explore Sex Education revealing how kids are learning about sex in school; how they feel about it and then we are shown how it’s affecting them years down the road, to then discovering what adults really understand about sex. From there, we move on to explore another aspect of treatment for this illness, cosmetic vaginal surgery and hear one woman’s experience with it.
Besides being exposed to all the issues around Female Sexual Dysfunction, throughout the film, we also follow others: an older woman on her journey find treatment with her orgasm issues, Leonore Tiefer, PhD and The New View Campaign’s fight against the big pharma companies getting FDA approval on treatments that they feel could be potentially harmful to women and another woman who had difficulties in her previous relationship having orgasms, but in her new relationship has no trouble at all.
Plus to move the story along, there’s an animation of a race of all the prominent drugs & treatments that are trying to get FDA approval and whoever wins the race, wins the chance to make some seriously big bucks. This animation not only helped in the storytelling, but lightened the mood.
Sure the ultimate message in this movie is that finding a treatment for FSD is going to make a company a huge amount of money and all associated industries are trying to get in on any form of treatment to make big bucks as well, but this documentary didn’t only focus on that. It also focused on the unfortunate amount of misinformation we are receiving from various sources about sex and about the female body. So I ultimately did not feel that movie was overly biased. There was enough balance among the information in the film that I didn’t feel like the filmmaker was trying to convince or persuade me. It really just felt like she was serving up the information that she discovered along the way.
This question is also covered in Orgasm, Inc. You’ll hear a variety of opinions from doctors and health care providers that are interviewed by the filmmaker. You’ll also see clips of different doctors on TV shows and news programs and while it’s all very frustrating and confusing to see, I’m so glad that it’s all included because we look to our doctors for health care advice and guidance. They’re supposed to be the ones to know the answers or at least seek real answers out for us, but it looks as though some of them are working a little too closely with the pharmaceutical companies.
Yep, Liz tackles this question too. You see an interview with a group of college students and they share their thoughts on the matter. It’s amazing to see what they’ve learned from their abstinence teachings and where they ultimately get their sex information from.
There are some notable folks highlighted in this film, which are working to get another point of view out to the world. A female sex shop owner goes out to medical conventions and although she’s usually not invited to officially give a talk, she still sets up shop to educate doctors on other less invasive and even fun options to for women to enjoy sex and even climax. Leonore Tiefer, PhD and The New View Campaign are constantly getting the word out there for women to learn more about their bodies and are campaigning to question whether there really is such as a thing as Female Sexual Dysfunction.
Just like with any important issue, one source of information cannot be the “be-all-end-all” of your research and I understand that while Orgasm Inc. was created to educate, it’s also edited to entertain as well; so it can’t be the “be-all-end-all” of this topic. However, it does promote enough aggravation and curiosity in its viewers to seek out more information that is provided by the big pharmaceutical companies, or funded by them either. The well rounded variety of information also creates enough doubt that invasive medical treatments, creams and drugs are NOT the only possible solution. Spending thousands of dollars is not necessary. Changing or altering your body is not necessary. In fact, with all the possible sources of misinformation that we encounter on a daily basis, it’s very possible that FSD isn’t even a real illness. In a world where Big Pharma has more than enough of money to get out any message they want; we need a counterpoint such as Orgasm Inc. to be seen, heard and thought about to keep us informed and on our toes. Ultimately, I think this is a wonderful film. I think it’s a film that every one, not just women and girls, boys and men too should see and I hope it finds its way onto a mainstream outlet. Regardless of the answers Liz provides, she’s definitely bringing up some extremely important questions…Questions that anyone watching should want to get some answers to. Please buy this film and support all their hard work to get this message out there.