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TV shows we love: The Principles of Pleasure

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As amazing as it would be to have a one-size-fits-all magical guide to pleasure, the psychological and physical symptoms behind the sensation are much more complicated than that.

The 2022 Netflix docuseries The Principles of Pleasure, tries to unwrap the complex world of female pleasure and touches on the lack of understanding that modern science has on it. In three 50-minute episodes it addresses myths about orgasms, the female body, the G-spot and virginity while talking to industry experts about the many branches of sexuality.

Through beautiful animations and interviews with professionals and ordinary women, the series addresses topics that are usually kept ‘hush-hush’. Sex toys, consent, asexuality, brain stimulation and the orgasm gap are some of the issues it dives into. My favourite thing about it, besides breaking down some mind-blowing myths, is how inclusive it is.

Not just in the topics of discussions or in conversing with black, trans, non-binary, and gay individuals but in the language the experts use. When talking about issues that have been disregarded for decades, it is encouraging to see that people of all backgrounds are included in the conversation.

Packed with information, it is impossible to watch The Principles of Pleasure without learning something new. The different types of adult entertainment that exist for example, (audio porn is one of them), or that the first time a scientist mapped out the whole organ of the clitoris was as late as 2005! Thanks Dr Helen O’Connell, better late than never.

Though eye-opening and educational, the docuseries also leaves me with troubling thoughts as it becomes obvious that industry experts and modern scientists still have not discovered or understood the full scale of female pleasure. Why does it feel like we always come second best?

“Pleasure belongs to you,” concludes the narrator, Michelle Buteau. “Whether you’re by yourself or in a partnership, you are worthy of it.” Amen to that.

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