A recent wave of pharmaceutical companies and entrepreneurs are looking to capitalize on certain women’s inability to orgasm, ushering in a new wave of easily commodifiable pharmaceuticals, products and techniques that take advantage of the orgasmic difficulty of ladies everywhere.

Since mankind figured out non-procreative sex was a nice way to spend the afternoon, experts have debated the existence, meaning and physiology of the female orgasm. That’s pretty stupid considering that not only do female orgasms exist (they exist so hard), but women also know more today about how to have them than they ever have before. However, a recent wave of pharmaceutical companies and entrepreneurs are looking to capitalize on certain women’s inability to light their fireworks, ushering in a new wave of easily commodifiable pharmaceuticals, products and techniques that take advantage of the orgasmic difficulty of ladies everywhere, a process called 'medicalization.'

Medicalization simply refers to the process whereby human conditions and behaviors come to be defined and treated as medical conditions despite whether or not there exists sound evidence they are as such. A woman’s inability to orgasm even has a special, medicalized name: Female Orgasmic Disorder.

While hormonal changes, past trauma and some health conditions can make it near-impossible for some women to come, the symptoms of FOD can also be caused by psychological problems, exhaustion and misunderstandings about how female sexuality works.

The American Psychiatric Association regards FOD as an official diagnosis. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, it’s defined as a situation in which a woman is experiencing stress because her “orgasmic capacity is less than would be reasonable for her age, sexual experience, and the adequacy of the sexual stimulation she receives.”

The inability to come can be deeply shaming for many women. “Maybe my boyfriend and I aren’t doing it right or something,” one woman wrote on WebMD.com. “I don’t understand. I feel like less of a woman because I can’t have an orgasm and I want to so bad. I feel incomplete sometimes after sex.”

However, an inability to orgasm doesn’t always point to a mental or physical dysfunction. Because of the nature of female arousal, stimulation without orgasm might actually just be part of the normal spectrum of female pleasure. In fact, it’s estimated that 75 percent of women can’t orgasm from sex alone and need clitorial stimulation to reach climax, while 10-15 percent of the female populace can’t orgasm at all. With stats like that, it’s clear that not coming is actually the normal state of female sexuality, not a sexual dysfunction. The medicalized definition of FOD ignores this.

What also goes unmentioned is how for most women, sex can feel toe-curling amazing without the climax of an orgasm. That means that even though her arousal may not mirror the male pattern of build-up followed by release, she might still be seeing stars and melting into four million little pieces when she’s getting laid.

Inadequate sexual education and the tendency for men to project their own arousal on to women means that many people are unaware of these facts and may label normal female sexuality as dysfunctional.

Dysfunction, however, is easily commodifiable and that’s the essence of medicalization. Dysfunctions often have cures and treatments in the form of medicine or therapy: two things that can be immensely profitable when marketed to a population who believes they need those “treatments” in order to function normally. The advent of erectile dysfunction and Viagra as a method to treat it is a classic example of a dubiously medical condition with a highly profitable cure. Restless Leg Syndrome is another.

No matter how the notion of FOD strikes you personally, someone is going to think your opinion is sexist. How we classify and name hypo-sexual reactions is hotly contested. On one hand, to deny that an inability to orgasm is a medical problem is to deny women’s rights to sexual prosperity — but on the other hand, to support it is to put undue burden and the stigma of a “disorder” on women who aren’t having orgasms. Both sides believe it affects how we regard and treat women and these symptoms, and both sides are right.

But regardless of who’s winning that argument, one thing’s for sure: The female sexual response and its status as something that necessitates treatment is a cash cow. Here are some of the products and services capitalizing on FOD currently on the market.

Orgasmic Meditation
Orgasmic Meditation (OM) is trend that capitalizes on FOD by focusing on manual clitoral stimulation in a public setting. Women spend 15 minutes having their clits massaged by trained “strokers” in a room full of similarly orgasm-deficient ladies, and if all goes well, the experience paves the way for climax. Although we could have told you that rubbing the clitoris results in reduced stress and overall life happiness, OM folks have successfully turned finger banging into a structured, holistic meditation practice — and a highly profitable one at that.

Foria is coconut-oil-based weed lube, and each spray of it contains approximately 2 milligrams of THC. And, when THC and your vagina hang out, good things happen. First, it brings a surge of blood and endorphins to your nether regions, which bodes well for orgasmic possibility. Second, it can help promote natural lubrication, reduce pain and tension, and create the relaxation necessary for sensual experience, or restorative rest.

Tefina Nasal Spray
Tefina is testosterone in the form of a nasal spray, which, like Viagra, dilates blood vessels. One place that happens noticeably is the genitals, where increased blood flow increases sensation. This dilation increases the capacity for women to experience an orgasm. It’s been effective in about 60 percent of patients when used prior to sex, but beyond the physiologic mechanism, the testosterone also has “strong effects on thoughts, desires, and fantasy” according to Trimel, its manufacturer. Fun!