Sunday, December 21, 2008

Orgasmic Birth

Ok, this is my attempt to stop feeling guilty about the wildly intermittent variability (is that an oxymoron?) of my blogging...

I know this post about the film "Orgasmic Birth" was a couple weeks ago on Motherlode, but the film hasn't aired yet, so I'm not too late. (It will air Jan. 2.)

While researching my book, I did discover that some women have reported having orgasms during birth (yeah for them) so I am not shocked by this. What is more surprising to me is the huge number of negative comments posted about the film/concept/title on the blog. Yes, birth can be incredibly painful, especially if we are in a strange place (aka the hospital), surrounded by strangers (aka the OB), and not allowed to move (b/c of the bed/IV/monitor etc.)

But why is orgasmic birth such a mental leap for so many women? And why is the knee-jerk reaction to the concept annoyance or hostility?


DamselFish said...

I was wondering the same thing. I thought that it was strange that the post generated such aggressive hostility from people, nearly all of whom had not seen the film! I couldn't believe how committed some people are to the idea that birth is scary and painful; they psychology behind that must be fascinating.

pinky said...

Why can't it be all these things? Painful, scary, orgasmic, spiritual, mindblowing, numbing, add any adjective you choose here. Each birth and each woman is so different. And YES it does change the playing field on where you birth.

I don't agree with out of Hospital birth. That is the great thing about America I am free to disagree. but that does not mean folks have to get all up in arms and prove their point. Birth is a long process for most so it is dynamic. I know it is not one 12 hour orgasm for most women. I am an L&D nurse.

But it is not always as painful as folks expect. Usually it is more painful than folks expect. But each woman and each birth is different. So my opinion would be to see how it goes. Get the little guns out before the big guns. Try the bath tub, try position change, try hot packs and massage.

I used to be able to give women nubain and phenergan and then put them in a hot tub. I had my water doppler so I listened to the baby every 15 minutes. If I found a problem in one of the fhr checks, off to the Continuous efm you go. I would stay with the woman. The whole time. So no I was not afraid of her drowning. Her loved ones were there too so they were not going to let her drown. And for many women this was enough. They didn't need the big guns of the epidural. Now folks don't even want to try the little guns. They want to go straight to the big guns. And I have too many patients to stay with one laboring woman. I think we have lost something in our progress for better pain control. Something I think I miss a bit.

Laura Shanley said...

I think much of the criticism is due to the shame many people feel about their bodies and their sexuality. Sex is "dirty" but babies are "clean" and "pure" so seeing "orgasmic" and "birth" in the same sentence makes them uncomfortable.

But I'm not surprised by the comments I've read. I write and speak about orgasmic birth (I posted my article "Orgasmic Childbirth" on my web site in 2000), and have received countless angry letters over the years. Often people write about how horrible a grown child would feel if they discovered that their mother had an orgasm as they were being born. These same people, however, don't seem to have a problem with the child eventually learning that their father (and hopefully their mother) had an orgasm when they were conceived. Or that their parents continued to have sex and orgasms while the baby was in the womb. But somehow once labor begins, only pain is acceptable.

I also think some of the criticism is due to fear. People are used to viewing birth a certain way. They think they understand it, and suddenly they're presented with new information. Many people are simply more comfortable believing what they've always believed.

Lastly, I think there is some jealousy from women who didn't experience pleasure in birth and feel they never will. Rather than truly listening to and learning from women who have enjoyed birth, they'd rather mock and condemn them. But I think in time this will change - in part because of films like this one. Eventually the shock will wear off and people will discover a new way of looking at birth.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I think many women are either deeply afraid of disappointment, or they are deeply afraid of doing something shameful. Come to think of it, those are the things that keep many women away from natural birth in the first place. I think an orgasm during birth is an extreme, but we can't ignore the fact that most births can be much more peaceful than they are in our current medical system.

Sheridan said...

I saw the film and really liked it. I just put my review up at

willowlost said...

I just posted this message on another blog about the same topic in response to one woman who was brave enough to share her "orgasmic post birth experience"

Like you I was saddened at the negative, diminishing comments about this experience. Thought I would share here too.

Diminishing The Sisterhood

"I'm so pleased to see you share this. None of my birth experiences in and of themselves were great, but after my thrid child was born I experienced the most amazing orgasm! Everyone was busy doing their thing with my new babe, cleaning her up while I lay there unnoticed, wrapped in a heated blanket contemplating a job well finished. As I lay back it simply started to happen all of it's own accord! WOW! it just happened. Noone knew, and like you I kept it to myself for quite some time, although I sure didn't feel bad about having it occur. Honestly? Totally BEST orgasm I ever experienced in my life. Sad but true!

Why so many women feel the need to instantly deny another woman's experience simply because it hasn't happened to them is beyond me. Are we so in need of being the ones to have "the most, the best, the most unusual experiences" that denial of anything outside the realm of our own personal reality makes us feel empowered in some way? Better than the next woman?

I was very saddened for womankind in general to read many of the thoughts posted here that negate and belittle the experience of other women. How devastating some of those comments, accusing of lies and shams, must have felt to some others who were honest enough to share with the sisterhood.

Women are quick to jump all over something when society diminishes them in some way, yet when they do it to 'one of their own' they feel it is completely acceptable! No wonder things haven't "really come a long way Baby"

This thread of conversation actually makes me feel embarassed to be a woman!

So, thank you again for having the courage to set the record straight."

theknotfairy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theknotfairy said... how intensely, deeply afraid we are of our yet unmanifested divine potential as women, I will make it my mission to spread the word to every sister that is open to receive it...

Anonymous said...

Personally, it just sounds pornographic to me. I don't want to see someone else have an orgasm, birth or otherwise. I do believe that birth is a wonderful beautiful BUT sacred experience. I feel the title has more to do with selling videos, than actually helping women see their bodies as beautiful, sexual, procreative vessels. There are better ways to do this than shocking people with such a strong title.
Erin Behnke

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