In their ground-braking volume, Orgasm: Photographs and Interviews (Daylight Books, November 5, 2014), Linda Troeller, an award-winning New York based photographer, and author and ethnographer Marion Schneider, collaborate to discuss and portray women’s feelings about orgasm through personal narratives and photographs.
This book continues the investigation into female sexuality begun by Troeller and Schneider’s landmark 1998 volume The Erotic Lives of Women, acclaimed in The New York Times Review of Books as “one of the gutsiest books of the decade.” Ten years in the making (2004-2014), their intention with Orgasm is to foster a discussion about female sexuality in the 21st century.
The safe environment Troeller and Schneider created enabled the collaborators to deliver extraordinarily candid revelations about their sexual and erotic lives from the early years through the present day.
Schneider asked each subject the same five questions and audiotaped her answers. Troeller photographed the women immediately after their responses to capture their spontaneous emotional and physical states. These are the questions:
Orgasm: Photographs and Interviews involved the participation of 25 women of different ages, nationalities, and cultural and social backgrounds who opened their bodies and minds to share intimate stories about their own experiences achieving orgasm independently and with their partners.
- What does the word orgasm mean to you?
- Can you remember your first orgasm and show the feelings to the camera?
- Can you remember your strongest orgasm and show the feelings to the camera?
- Do you have fantasies when you create or experience an orgasm?
- What is the future of orgasm in society / in the world?
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Watch our Gallery with Women participating in ORGASM.
Linda Troeller is well known for her ability to capture authentic moments of intimacy — in nature, movement, and healing. The trust and level of comfort Troeller creates with her subjects, in collaboration with Schneider, is critical to the true nature of her photography. With grace and sensitivity, these photographs and texts expose women’s humanity and vulnerability as they explore the joy, pleasure, and pain of sexual freedom.
Boldly and tenderly countering the taboo associated with the topic, this frank examination of the female orgasm as told by these diverse participants serves as a touchstone for women and men everywhere.
The book includes a preface by Marion Schneider and Linda Troeller, an introduction by Linda Troeller, and essays by Dr. Betty Dodson, Sexologist and Orgasm Expert, and Professor Jacques Poulain, Université de Paris VIII UNESCO Chair of Philosophy and Culture.
The stories raise issues such as the health and psychological benefits of achieving orgasm, the need for honest communication with sexual partners, the importance of self respect, the role of fantasy in female sexuality, the spiritual nature of orgasm and healing, and the need for women to take charge of their sex lives without shame or guilt.