OMGYes promises better orgasms through science—and interactive videos.
The videos feature a diverse group of women, varying in age, race, and sexual preference, as they discuss masturbation-specific techniques like orbiting, edging, and hinting, as well as general sexual techniques on how to get out of your own head and improve feedback with a partner. Most topics feature multiple videos—as OMGYes uses as an example often, circling the clitoris may feel great to two women, but the exact orbit necessary can vary wildly—and each video follows a basic format: a brief interview with an individual woman, before two to three minutes of watching closely (at times, very closely) as she demonstrates the technique.
CAN 2,000 VIEWPOINTS DISTILLED DOWN TO 50 VIDEO CLIPS ACTUALLY DEMYSTIFY MASTURBATION?
The company touts the research behind its products; 2,000 women were interviewed on sexual pleasure and orgasm, and the brand has worked to align itself with famous sexuality think tank The Kinsey Institute, rather than just pop psychology. (The Kinsey Institute has been supportive of OMGYes’ work, but has stated they are not formally involved with the company.) But 2,000 interviews don’t necessarily equal a peer-reviewed study, and masturbation, like most things sexual, is highly personal. Can 2,000 viewpoints distilled down to 50 video clips actually demystify masturbation? Or is it just another statistic, sold to a captive audience that fears they don’t know their own bodies as well as they should?
Contrary to all my expectations, the videos are excellent. The interviews are sometimes funny and always conspiratorial (as one woman discusses how she learned about edging, a technique of gentle orgasm denial to build to a stronger climax, she reflects fondly on the partner who had never been with a woman before who taught her the process), while the lighting and staging is more evocative of a well-stocked WeWork office space than anything resembling a porno film. The nudity becomes routine quickly, and there’s something immensely comforting in seeing a series of breasts that flop to the sides of women’s bodies as they recline backwards, even if the parade of vulvas all are more groomed than my own certainly has ever been. (I assume this is for demonstrative purposes, more than any sort of pubic shame.)
THERE IS UNDENIABLE AGENCY IN EDUCATION. . .BUT NOT WHEN IT TEACHES YOU TO PUT YOUR FAITH IN A PRODUCT OVER YOUR OWN BODY.
Perhaps the bigger issue for all these products, intended to unlock the secrets of ourselves, is what they seek to solve. Is a problem still a problem if you don’t think it’s a problem? There is undeniable agency in education—an agency even I felt as I noted tips to save for use myself—but not when it teaches you to put your faith in a product over your own body. At 61 videos on over 12 topics, it can seem almost enough to ruminate through an indirect study of other people’s vaginas, rather than finding the answer organically over time, on a journey of discovery within yourself. This category of wellness-focused tech—our sleep sensors, and mood trackers, and spit-and-send DNA kits—is selling us what, exactly? It offers a solution, sure, but to which issue: the accessibility of information, or the larger, specious fear that no matter the topic, when it comes to our own bodies, we may never be able to know it all?
This article originally appeared on www.elle.com