Thanks to journalist Tania Rabesandratana who reminded me of this excellent documentary by Liz Canner (which she wrote about here). Orgasm, Inc. manages to be both funny and serious, offering a behind the scenes look at the medicalization of female sexuality and the pharmaceutical race to find a female Viagra.
Directed by Kirby Dick this is one of those documentaries where you can't quite believe the access given to the filmmaker. A fascinating look into the world and work of sexual surrogate Maureen Sullivan. The film follows two clients as they struggle with sexual difficulties and offers unparalleled access to their therapy sessions and family interactions over the course of one year.
Among the best documentaries about sex, art, and embodiment, Kirby Dick's ability to make films with minimal intrusion means we get to see people very much as they want to be seen. At the time of his death Bob Flannagan was the oldest living survivor of Cystic Fibrosis. This groundbreaking film, at times difficult to watch, follows the artist and "super masochist" documenting his last two years of work, life, and struggles with his full time Master, Sheree Rose.
Director Jill Morely worked as a stripper and produced both a one woman show and this film documentary based on her experiences. In Stripped she focuses on four women who explain their reasons for stripping. This is one of many documentaries that approach the subject of dancing (or more broadly sex work) with a lot of unconscious assumptions and agendas. Which is not necessarily a criticism, but it is something to consider while watching.