I apologize if this column sometimes feels like a boys’ club. It’s not my intention to cover entertainment of a more testosteronally inclined variety, but looking at past columns, it does tend to skew that way.

So this week, I’d like to push the tone hard in the other direction. Tonight and Friday, Space is proud to present “Orgasm Inc.,” a documentary centered on the female orgasm.

Maybe Space is trying to atone for excessive masculinity, with these screenings coming on the heels of last week’s Henry Rollins performance, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Everything I’ve read suggests there’s more to “Orgasm Inc.” than simple sexual provocation.  The setup has documentary filmmaker Liz Canner editing pornography for drug company Vivus. Its purpose? To assist in testing a female Viagra aimed at stopping what drug companies call “female sexual dysfunction.”

Canner got the go-ahead from Vivus to document the testing of the drug, ostensibly to provide a puff piece chronicling the company’s chemical triumph. Except things didn’t work out that way. As Canner filmed, she began to suspect something less than altruism at work, and that Vivus had doctored research and statistics to pump up the myth of feminine frigidity into the imposing “fact” of FSD. 

Vivus’ endgame: dependence on a drug for a non-existent condition. For those of you playing our home game, that’s yet another example of the soullessness of Big Pharma.

Everything I hear suggests a certain level of irreverence to Canner’s documentary, and I’m all for that – something about sugar and medicine comes to mind. I think it’s telling, though, that in 2010 America you can’t examine the health care industry truthfully without it turning into “All the President’s Men.”

Contact Space now (828-6500) if you’re interested. Demand is high – the showing at 1 p.m. on Friday was added to cover overflow from the 7:30 p.m. screening tonight – so get on board for the film that, according to B**ch magazine, “concludes that the key to women’s sexual satisfaction is to change not just our sex lives but also our society.”    

Final note for those on the fence: Nomia, a sensuality boutique, is sponsoring these screenings. Keep that in mind when considering the film’s level of adult content and whether or not you should attend.

Josh Katz is a freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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