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Juliet Linley

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Do Orgasmic Births Really Happen?

Posted: 10/06/10 11:35 AM ET

Can a natural birth be a sensual experience? Can you experience pleasure while giving birth to a child? And -- crucially -- do "orgasmic" or "ecstatic births" really happen?

It's not a new concept (the "Orgasmic Birth" documentary by Debra Pascalli-Bonaro was released a couple of years ago), but my dear friend M. from New York has just informed me that on October 20, 2010, an ecstatic birth tele-summit will begin, lasting eight weeks and costing $600-$700.

None of my Italian friends have ever heard of such a summit. Nor of such a concept.

The aim of this event Whose Name Is So Bizarre You Cannot Help But Be Intrigued is to increase awareness that birth is not just something women need to endure or survive.

Birthing experts and their counterparts from the field of female sensuality will apparently teach and talk about how women can enjoy their births at a spiritual, mental and physical level.

The concept is intriguing because it represents the polar opposite of what we expect childbirth to be: excruciatingly painful.

To the skeptics, the organizers would say: The more disconnected we are from our bodies, our sexuality and our sensuality, the more perverse we might label the whole idea of pleasure in birth.

I wonder how many ladies (and gentlemen) here in Rome will sign up for the tele-summit.

I wonder how many will discover that orgasmic/ecstatic births do indeed exist.

And, given the absurdly high rates of nonemergency cesarians we're seeing in Italy, I wonder whether this will start a new trend of women finally quitting begging their gynecologists for C-sections?