Debra was asked about the different film titles: Organic and Organic from Mr. Bernard Bel of AFAR: Alliance francophone pour l’accouchement respecté. Mr. Bel explained that people were concerned (or horrified to be exact) that the Organic title was an attempt at self-censorship of the Orgasmic Birth title and further explained that in France ” ‘organic’ food/farming is still perceived as a marginal activity and “natural” is often associated with a regressive vision of women being naturally “complimentary to men” – as recently spelled out by a proposal for the Tunisian constitution (inspired by religious fundamentalists). Whereas “orgasmic” is undoubtedly connected with pleasure and freedom, i.e. democratic values.” It is so interesting how the same word can have such a different context in different languages and cultures! This discussion inspired Debra to write the backstory about the titles. Here it is….
I know many of you are wondering why the name changes from Orgasmic to Organic Birth. I’ll begin with why we even chose the title “Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret” in the first place. Some of you that have attended screenings with me over the years have heard this story of how I attended a pitch session in New York City for independent filmmakers. We were in the middle of making Orgasmic Birth and our working title was An Ordinary Miracle: Global Models of Care. The film was the same vision as it today, about pleasurable birth but we didn’t yet have a title that reflected the power and possibility that birth offers in our lives.
The day of the pitch session I was teaching a workshop in New York City. I had spent a great deal of time talking about the sexuality of birth, the ecstatic hormones of labor and “Orgasmic Birth”. One of the women who was at the workshop was also a filmmaker. When I mentioned I had to leave right on time to attend an independent film pitch session with top Television executives, she offered to come with me and be my film doula. We were all gathered in a big auditorium with a long table down below with executives from different networks. I felt like it was the American Idol of filmmakers. I waited and waited and finally my name was called out. I was asked to stand right where I was and begin my pitch. I stated my name is Debra Pascali-Bonaro and my film in production is An Ordinary Miracle: Global Models of Care. One of the gentlemen said you can sit down now. I quickly stated I thought I had 10 min. to share about my film. He said with a title like that he didn’t need to know anymore as I wouldn’t have an audience for this film. I quickly, shared my 2nd working title, which was Ecstatic Birth. He repeated please sit down. My film doula next me hit me as I was coming down to my seat and said: “yell out “Orgasmic Birth”. Under my breath, I said “I can’t”. She said: “Why! What do you have to lose?”. So with that I jumped back up and yelled out “Orgasmic Birth!” The auditorium broke into laughter and the gentleman in the front said: “Now, that is not possible?” I went into my 10 min. about the sensuality, sexuality and the possibility for pleasure, bliss, ecstasy and orgasmic joy in labor birth and beyond. “We birth the way we live”. He ended my 10 minutes by saying if you make that film you will have something people will be intrigued by. I sat down smiling and then thought am I really going to step out to the world with the title Orgasmic Birth?
Running through my mind was something my friends had said: the definition of insanity is to… do the same thing and expect different results. I knew it was time to borrow a slogan from Karen Brody “To be bold!” I was ready to step out and speak about the ecstatic bliss and joy available to women and men during childbirth. We needed to have a new discussion if we were to make change in birth around the world.
Well as they say, the rest is history. We released Orgasmic Birth in the end of 2008. Orgasmic Birth has traveled to 46 countries, numerous film festivals and is translated into 10 languages. We continue to receive interviews weekly from around the world. So you ask, why did we create a shorter 52 min. version with a new opening, a new birth and revised editing of many of the scenes? We have been asked to create a broadcast version to air in many countries around the world. A broadcast hour is 52 minutes of film. I welcomed the opportunity to go back into the edit room after having watched the film literally thousands of times and redo some of the scenes with a new eye. After many hours of work, money and time put into the new addition, we thought what else could we do with it to share it with the world?
It was decided we would release our new, revised, shorter version of Orgasmic Birth as a DVD. If we use the same title how would people know the difference between the two? Should it be Orgasmic Birth 2? That did not feel right to us. We knew we needed a new name, a way that people could distinguish between the two copies. Over the 3 years since the release of Orgasmic Birth we’ve notice consistently that 40% of our Google analytics come from people googling the name Organic Birth. I had often wondered; did people really think we were saying the word organic not orgasmic? Maybe with our focus on organic gardening and organic living it seems more culturally appropriate. So another late night searching for a title, we thought let’s give people what they’re looking for Organic Birth.
Orgasmic Birth’s cover is the color red so we made Organic Birth green. We call Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret, Organic Birth’s tag line is Birth is Natural! Organic Birth is still about pleasure, ecstasy, transformation, facing our fears, and finding orgasmic pleasure. It is a slightly gentler approaching, sharing all that is possible in birth. Our new version is another approach to bring a message to the wider world.
Orgasmic Birth still creates a larger discussion, sells more and generates the controversy needed to look into the issues and make change. We must view the connection between birth and a woman’s sexuality. For if we are to truly support women and their partners, fathers and others in childbirth, we must see the sacred, sensual connection to how our hormones and physiology of birth and sex are connected.
If caregivers honored the intimacy of birth: created privacy, ensured all women felt safe, offered a variety of comfort measures, many more women would find their way to an easier, safer and more blissful, orgasmic experience.
In the end, I believe each film Orgasmic Birth: The Best-Kept Secret and Organic Birth: Birth is Natural! add to the discussion and can be used in different ways and settings to help woman and men see all that is possible in birth and beyond.
I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Have you seen both versions? Which one do you like better? How do you feel about our titles? What is your favorite quote? Both version of our film are now available on the Orgasmic Birth website for digital rental or purchase a well as to purchase DVD’s.