Cast of Characters

Rachel Maines, author "The Technology of Orgasm"
author of The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction, and a scholar of needlework and technology.
While researching the changing patterns of needlework in early twentieth century women’s magazines, Maines kept being distracted by ads that sounded remarkably like the modern day vibrator. Investigating further, Maines discovered that a doctor, Mortimer Granville, had invented the electro-magnetic vibrator in the 1880s. This documentary, based on her book, traces the history of one simple invention, the vibrator, and its relationship to one complex human behavior, the orgasm. Maines traces the sometimes lascivious, sometimes ludicrous trail of the “hysterical” woman and her search for sexual release from the days of Hippocrates to the present uncovering a complex history of sex, power, and gender.
Dell Williams, feminist founder of Eve’s Garden (NYC)
pioneering feminist and founder of Eve’s Garden
In the 1970s, Dell Williams discovered the power of sexuality in bringing about equality and change in women’s lives. Williams organized the first women’s sexuality conference in 1974 and was inspired to open Eve’s Garden, the first feminist sex shop. Recounting charming anecdotes from those early days, she reminds us how far women and society have progressed and, ironically, how far we have yet to go.
Reno, Performing Artist
New York performance artist
Reno’s sharp wit, observations, and openness about her vibrator experiences keeps things in the proper perspective.
Joanne Webb, Texas sales consultant for Passion Parties
Texas housewife and sales consultant for Passion Parties
A church going mother needing to bring in a little extra income, Webb became a sales consultant for Passion Parties. Modeled on Tupperware and Avon, Passion Parties sells erotic goods in women’s homes. Unbeknownst to her and Passion Parties, Texas has laws forbidding the sale of items that stimulate the human genitals (having six or more of these items is interpreted as intent to sell). Webb unwittingly sold to two undercover cops masquerading as a couple with sexual problems and was arrested.
Beann Sisemore, Attorney for Joanne Webb
Texas attorney
Sisemore, outraged at this assault on women’s rights and privacy issues, took the case on pro bono and she and Webb are ready to fight to the finish.
Pat Davis, CEO Passion Parties
CEO of Passion Parties
Davis was as surprised as everyone else about the Texas law enacted in the 1970s. Davis believes that Passion Parties help empower women to explore their own sexuality in a safe environment and that helps maintain healthy relationships. Besides that, her growing sales force are women who are becoming financially independent and, in addition, having a great time.
Betty Dodson, Ph.D., Author and Sexologist
Betty Dodson, Ph.D.
Author and Sexologist
Dodson is credited as the godmother of the masturbation movement of the 60’s and 70’s and for bringing the exiled vibrator back into women’s lives. Noticing that men were having a better time at her “orgies” while the women were frequently faking it, she started on her quest to introduce women to their sexual selves. The vibrator is her technology of choice and she exuberantly extols it’s virtues.
Kathryn Young, Ph.D., "Philosophy of the Body"
Philosophy of the Body
Young describes how images of men and women are cultural constructs. In medieval times, it was thought that women needed to have orgasm in order to conceive. By Victorian times (and the present), orgasm was no longer needed for conception and, in fact, there was a question of whether proper bourgeois women had orgasm at all.