Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste 2022 Movie Review | ABC Entertainment
February 4, 2023

Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste 2022 Movie Review

Orgasm Inc
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Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste 2022 Movie Review

Nicole Daedone is roaming a stage in her headset, speaking about the market sector her OneTaste Urban Retreat Center has fulfilled. “There’s a pleasure deficit disorder in this country,” she says, a statement that seems to define damaged sexuality as a software bug fixable by Silicon Valley. “What she was selling was an innovation in relating to your sexuality,” Bloomberg journalist Ellen Huet says in Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste. “The Bay Area is a place where people are gonna be attracted to and be open to that kind of idea, and where they, frankly, might have a little extra money to buy courses.” The operation Daedone co-founded in 2001 promoted its unique approach to relationships, leadership, and sexual healing, an approach that boiled down to “OM,” or “orgasmic mediation” – basically, the power of a single finger to stimulate a woman’s clitoris in a specific, Daedone-taught manner – and by 2017 it was raking in millions in class package and membership revenue, with endorsements from Khloe Kardashian and promotion on Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Podcast. But were Daedone’s wellness practices legitimate? Or a baseless concoction created by a smooth talker who knew what people wanted to hear?

Huet’s reporting forms the base of the Orgasm Inc narrative. It was her 2018 Bloomberg story “The Dark Side of OneTaste” that put a national spotlight on the company and its principles, and she’s interviewed here along with a handful of former OneTaste members, many of whom describe their inculcation, their being convinced to hand over more and more cash, and their eventual difficulty with escaping Daedone’s orbit. If she wasn’t operating an actual sex cult, many of the ex-members say, she was definitely at the center of a cult of personality. “The type of personal reflection that they encouraged us to do was all about finding your deeper desire,” says former member Audrey Wright, “yet they would do this complicated psychological thing of inserting their desire into you and telling you that it’s yours.”

There’s a ton of footage here that reveals the inner sanctum of OneTaste, from life inside its San Francisco “living center” – lots of people gushing about “OM-ing” and engaging in unbound sexual practices – to pep rally-style seminars, complete with hefty ticket prices, that feel like something crossing sex positivity with the motivational gospel of Anthony Robbins. But when allegations of sexual servitude, predatory behavior, and financial trickery surfaced, Nicole Daedone was suddenly nowhere to be found.

There’s so much squishy touch and feel stuff in Nicole Daedone’s core pitch for OneTaste that its nonspecifics beyond catchwords and testimonials seem to align her more with the cold reading of PT Barnum or Bradley Cooper’s grifter in Nightmare Alley than anything resembling a foundational practice of health and sexual wellness. But watching the footage from inside OneTaste, and hearing the experiences of its former members, it’s also possible to understand how individuals could be so easily swayed, how people could willingly submit themselves (and their money) to Daedone’s teachings because they were searching to be seen, to have their inner lives validated, or to simply uncover the elusive source of their own sexual pleasure.

Things get grim. Former members, most of them interviewed in their bedrooms, speak of feeling forced to perform sex acts, of their doubts about OneTaste practices being gasligted until they submitted to Nicole Daedone’s version of the truth. There are serious allegations of condoned rape. And there is at least one ex-OneTaster whose stated experiences with the company forced her into hiding for fear of reprisal. But on its surface, Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste is the story of one woman’s profound ability to transform peoples’ personal desires into saleable product, to transform their trust and vulnerabilities into revenue and personal gain.

Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste 2022 Movie Review