Sex Sells?: Our Review of ‘Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste’

Posted in Netflix by - November 08, 2022
Sex Sells?: Our Review of ‘Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste’

Women in Sarah Gibson and Sloane Klevin’s Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste are the victims and the perpetrators, the root of the problem and the solution. Maybe it’s my male gaze, but some of the most compelling participants in this documentary are men. One of the former male members of the titular cult, Chris Kosley, who traces his sexual anxieties back to his mother’s death. Cliché, yes, but true, as he, like many men and women, found refuge in the cult. To the documentary’s credit, it partially answers why some of its members would say yes to joining this cult. But those questions are more apparent in tackling a subject like this. Like, what’s the difference between these people and other people’s spending habits and moral justifications?

Other than why would people say yes to this cult while most people would say no, other questions include how did these people change their perspective on what’s good or bad? Or what separates OneTaste’s pyramid scheme from regular capitalism? Fine, I’ll get to what Orgasm is about, which is obviously about OneTaste. This startup’s selling point is initially about how women’s problems stem from their lack of good orgasms. The documentary has footage of things like the cult’s founder, Nicole Daedone, giving female volunteers a massage that eventually gives them an orgasm. Orgasm then splices that footage with voiceovers telling the viewers how compelling Daedone was. It tells and doesn’t show, and this documentary needs to show and do it right.

Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste. (L to R) Eli Block and Justine Dawson in Orgasm Inc.: The Story of OneTaste. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

In fairness, a woman selling orgasms, much less fifteen minute ones, may be compelling to rich and sexually frustrated people. But the product isn’t that difficult to deconstruct. Fifteen minute orgasms, who has the time for that? Orgasm takes shortcuts on explaining the appeal of the product so it makes no sense to most people. People including working class people who don’t have time to go to the doctor. And people who think that orgasms lasting more than seconds to not be a luxury but is nonsense. It also takes too long to show the difference between the cult’s salespeople and, say, Avon makeup ladies. It’s understandable that making the cult appealing is replicating the harms that it makes but the documentary that do that job and pull the rug just in time.

Eventually, Orgasm gets to what makes OneTaste a cult that’s inherently bad. Even a female centric sex group will have more male members. And the cult allegedly coerced its female members to have sex with the male members who are paying full price for their classes. The classes, starting out with female empowerment, eventually encourage ‘beast’ behaviour and condoned rape and child molestation. I’m not saying I’m the most moral person on earth but had I heard those things I would have walked out regardless of how much money I sank into the cult. Daedone is, likely, a scumbag, but the documentary does a terrible job in showing the intricacies of such scumbag-ery. This would have been easier to do if it treated its subjects with more depth.

Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste is a Lena Dunham production, and it’s already out on Netflix.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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