It has been reported that 43 percent of American women are non-orgasmic and 70 percent can not reach orgasm by penetration alone. While such stats may seem fantastic in our immodest 7x7 enclave, it is inarguable that research on female sexuality is 20 years behind that focusing on males. In 2004, Joanne Webb -- a churchgoing mother, teacher, wife, and Chamber of Commerce member -- was arrested for selling vibrators to undercover cops at a Tupperware-style party in Texas. In her state, as well as three others, the sale of vibrators is prohibited by law, but Viagra is advertised on T.V. Passion and Power: The Technology of Orgasm conveys such bias with lighthearted tenacity as it explores the lively history of the modern vibrator: In early 20th century, Victorian doctors advertised in-office medical "treatments" for "hysteria" in the back of women's magazines; by the 1970s, Betty Dodson, "Godmother of the Masturbation Movement," was waging a nation-wide crusade after discovering the joys of a barber's scalp massager. With its cheesy musical score and frothy graphics, Passion and Power is no cinematic achievement, but it might be just what the doctor ordered for trigger-shy women living in anti-pink states.
A free reception with directors Wendy Slick and Emiko Omori starts at 6 p.m. on Feb. 22 at Good Vibrations, 603 Valencia (at 17th St.), S.F.
Feb. 22-27, 7 & 8:40 p.m.; Wed., Feb. 27, 3 & 5 p.m.; Thu., Feb. 28, 7 p.m., 2008