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Is the World Finally Ready for a Female-Orgasm Machine? [Reason Podcast]

Meet the father-daughter team behind the Yarlap, which promises to fix incontinence...and so much more.

Yarlap.comYarlap.comWhen Brent Reider, a 58-year-old medical-device inventor from Oxford, Ohio, set out to develop a fix for the suprisingly widespread problem of female urinary incontinence, one of the last things on his mind was building a better orgasm. He was just trying to use a neuromuscular electrical stimulator (NMES) device to strenghten women's pelvic floor muscles so that they could better control their bodies in the face of changes wrought by aging, childbirth, and other life experiences.

Yet by the time he brought his newest contraption, the Yarlap, to market last year, he'd discovered something that only a very few (and almost always female) researchers had ever seriously thought about: A woman's pelvic floor is almost unfathomably complicated, designed by evolution to control and influence all sorts of bodily functions from bladder control to posture to sexual functioning. The pelvic floor's health and strength affects not just obvious parts of a woman's anatomy but also her lower back, hips, and knees. As important, Reider found that his device, which uses low-level electrtical stimulation to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, not only helps cure incontinence but often heightens a woman's ability for sexual satisfaction in a way that the most-dedicated Kegel practitioner could only dream about. Reider's findings, which draw on work by academic researchers such as Beverly Whipple and Elisabeth Lloyd, has been published in The Journal of Women's Health, Issues and Care, and crosses boundaries between sex and medicine that are rarely acknowledged, let alone traversed.

Unsurprinsingly, then, when it came time to start certifying the device through the Food and Drug Administration (which has been tasked with "clearing" medical devices for safety and efficacy since the 1970s) and marketing it through sites such as Amazon and Facebook, Reider and his business partner, his 24-year-old daughter MaryEllen, ran into a different but equally knotty set of issues. It turns out that neither the government nor social media are quite ready for a medical device that transcends the traditionally separate categories of sex and medicine.

In the latest Reason podcast, I talk with the entrepreneurs about the difficulties in launching a device that not only promises to help the one-in-three women (including many high-performance female athletes) who experience incontinence but also reconfigures the way we think about personal health and well-being. The Yarlap, says MaryEllen Reider, can be bought without a prescription and is an example of a medical technology that's "about improving your lives and taking your health into your own hands." As such, it joins a growing roster of "electroceuticals" and other devices, drugs, and techniques that empower individuals to improve their lives in very specific and personalized ways.

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This is a rush transcript—check all quotes against the audio for accuracy.

Nick Gillespie: Brent, what is the problem that the Yarlap was designed to address originally?

Brent Reider: The Yarlap is designed to treat female urinary incontinence, both stress and urge incontinence, and of course incontinence.

Nick Gillespie: Now we are talking, we're all in Oxford, Ohio, where Brent and Mary Ellen or Brent lives and they work out of. I live their part time. Brent is a friend of mine, I want to say that upfront, and that's how I learned about his business and industry.

The reason we're talking about this is because the Yarlap is one of a class of new devices, a type of device, that is allowing people to take more power and more control over their individual health, and medical wellbeing.

So, Brent, how does the Yarlap work? What type of device is it? And what does it do that helps women deal with incontinence?

Brent Reider: Yes, in fact, to answer your question it's a trans human device. I think it improves the life wellbeing of the individual. The device is intended to do the pelvic floor exercises for a woman, particularly if she is looking for strength in the pelvic floor to control urinary incontinence. There you go.

Nick Gillespie: How big a problem, Mary Ellen, how big a problem is female urinary incontinence and what are its primary causes?

Mary Ellen Reider: It's a very large group of women within the United States, somewhere between 20 and 40 million women in the United States experience some form of bladder control issues and bladder control leaks. The reason that this occurs, your urinary incontinence issues occur, is because your pelvic floor muscles are weakened. And when your pelvic floor muscles weaken if you think of them kind of like a hammock, all those organs, the visceral organs, like your bladder, your uterus, your intestines, all kind of start to shift. And when that shift happens there is an excess pressure onto your bladder and that causes stress urinary incontinence, which can also lead to the muscles around your bladder to spasm. And then that causes urge incontinence.

Nick Gillespie: And some of that it comes after child birth, it's aging. What are the contributing factors to a weakened pelvic floor?

Mary Ellen Reider: There is a huge list of factors that can cause urinary incontinence. Child birth, like you mentioned, is one. And a misconception is that urinary incontinence is a part of aging. That's not true. It can happen with an excess of moving, so if you're jumping a lot, you do an activity, such as running, or dancing, gymnastics, anything like that where there's a lot of movement on your pelvic floor, and a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor, that can lead to urinary incontinence.

Nick Gillespie: Okay, and then tightening, or strengthening, rather, the pelvic floor muscles, that kind of takes the hammock and kind of straightens it out or pushes things back up in a way? Brent, could you explain, and I realize we're on audio here so we're asking people to kind of imagine in their mind, and this is a first for the Reason Podcast, I want everyone listening to think of themselves as inside a vagina. What's the structure there and then why is the pelvic floor so important to keep everything kind of in working order?

Brent Reider: Well, the pelvic floor runs basically like a basket or a hammock across the bottom of your pelvis. It's primary function is to hold your visceral organs in place. So just as Mary Ellen mentioned, when the muscle gets fatigued, it begins to sag, and then the muscles will allow your organs to move out of position and this creates stress incontinence because they put pressure on your bladder. The inactivity of the muscles then could lead them to spasm and this would create urge incontinence, as Mary Ellen said. So you have this basket at the bottom and so as it fatigues it kind of stretches and it puts more weight on your organs, which they all lay on your bladder, and that's where you get stress incontinence.

Nick Gillespie: What the Yarlap does, and it uses a low voltage, is it low voltage? Low wattage? I'm not even sure. But an electrical pulse that helps stimulate the pelvic floor muscles so they strengthen and then that flattens things out; it keeps things in order. And then Brent, it also, I know you have a paper in a medical journal talking about this, that it doesn't just help the pelvic floor, it also helps with lower back pain and knee pain and hip pain. Why is that?

Brent Reider: Yes, precisely. The Yarlap does put a, just like in nature, because when we're exercising our muscles in nature, our brains send some mild electrical impulse to the muscles to tell it when to contract and relax. In this case, we put a very mild electrical impulse through the vaginal wall into the pelvic muscles telling them when to contract and relax so you can get the perfect correct exercise protocol every time, which leads to then very efficient use of your time and doing the exercise because in 20 minutes a day you can start to regain your pelvic floor muscle tone.

And then this is, of course, is then important because as a postural muscle, it holds your body in alignment and the idea that is in the peer review British Medical Journal that I've written talks about how the pelvic muscle acts as a band that holds your pelvis and lower extremities, your leg muscles, in position so that the weight that comes from your spine and your trunk is carried to your heels correctly. If you want to you can think of it as a gothic arch where the weight is at the top ... The top of the gothic arch is where your pelvis joins your back bone and it goes run down to your heels. And in a church you'd have a flying buttress, which would hold in the sides.

In this case though, you have the pelvic floor muscles which hold in the alignment of your legs and your pelvis so it keeps the weight going to the floor. And indications would suggest, from our research and this is presented in the paper, that good alignment promotes good muscles health and keeps back pain to a minimum, knee pain, and thigh pain, to a minimum.

Nick Gillespie: You were saying, or you've said that, in these studies that you did, the kind of clinical trials and then the user studies that you did for this, a lot of women said that right around the time that they started experiencing incontinence they had back trouble, they had knee trouble, they had hip trouble. The idea is that it's all connected. As we get older if you don't do sit ups or you do too many back exercises, you're posture gets thrown out of wack. Once one muscle goes they all start to compensate and you get more and more pain.

Brent Reider: That's exactly it, yeah. It keeps everything in position. That's exactly it.

Nick Gillespie: And you found over time that the range of women who, there's 20-40 million women who experience some type of incontinence, sometimes it's older women, sometimes it's middle aged women, and sometimes it's women who have just given birth, sometimes it's performance athletes. So it's a broad cross section of women. How is incontinence normally treated of that sort?

Brent Reider: Incontinence can range anywhere from your 20s all the way up into your 80s, and collegiate female athletes will have hypertonus, which is tense muscles. But usually it's treated by doing kegel exercises, which everybody's heard about. The issue with kegel exercises though is over half of the women that are shown how to do them leave the office and can't remember how to do it. And, of course, everyone who's an athlete knows that the efficiency and the effectiveness of an athletic work out is how you follow the protocol.

Nick Gillespie: And on top of kegels, which are difficult to do, than you might also be prescribed pills or you get a surgery, right? That is-

Mary Ellen Reider: Yeah, so when it comes to incontinence most women are incredibly shy about this, and that's because there's a stigma associated with when you start to leak you're basically turning into your mother, or your grandmother, and it's all down hill from here. And that's not true.

Nick Gillespie: I gotta tell you right now then, I've really got problems because I don't want to turn into my mother. I don't want to turn into your mother either Mary Ellen, nothing against her, but.

Mary Ellen Reider: Yeah, see. That's the idea.

Nick Gillespie: So the problem is you start wetting your pants and it means either you've just given birth maybe, and like if you had an episiotomy or a c-section or something, God, like you're life is over. Or you're cruising into your 40s or 50s and you're hitting menopause and you're becoming your mom or your grandmother, that tends to keep people that want to keep that on the down low, they keep that to themselves, is what you're saying?

Mary Ellen Reider: Yeah, but then there are women who go to their doctor and they're told to do pelvic floor muscle exercises and so they do the kegel and they're taught how to do it and when they go home they tend to forget it. And then they aren't doing it correctly and they aren't getting the benefits and then they say, "Well, these kegel exercises are doing nothing for me and I'm still having urinary incontinence. What's the next step?"

Well, the next step then, in the United States, to usually go to prescription medication, which has an array of side effects, such as dizziness, constipation, that kind of stuff, the normal ones you see on those ads on TV. Or surgery and some women opt for the vaginal meshlings that you've seen on the television.

It's different in the United States than it is in Europe, because in Europe the frontline of treatment is actually using a device like the Yarlap, which trains the pelvic floor muscle for you in an easy effective manner so that you have these incredible pelvic floor muscles of steel, instead of opting automatically into prescription or surgery.

Nick Gillespie: Right. Brent, this is an FDA cleared device. Explain what that means. I think most people understand that the Food and Drug Administration tests or certifies and validates drugs, pharmaceuticals, to be safe and effective. What is an FDA cleared device? And what did you have to do to get through that?

Brent Reider: Well, an FDA cleared device really can encompass a lot of things, which also includes absorbent pads, adhesives, bladder support devices that are approved by the FDA, even the pelvic sling, which has to be cleared by the FDA. Our device is cleared by the FDA and has to submit clinical efficacy studies to prove that the device is reliable and effective.

Nick Gillespie: Right. And safe for-

Brent Reider: It's quite a long process.

Nick Gillespie: So you discovered, and I guess Brent, why don't you pick up on this, you discovered as you were doing the focus groups, as you were doing your researcher clinical trials and stuff, you were trying to treat urinary incontinence in women and you did that by using a low level stimulator to basically do super kegels and then you discovered a side benefit that had to do with sexual performance. What was that and how did that come about?

Brent Reider: Well, historically, society has pretty much understood the importance of sexual fulfillment and sexual response is sometimes an important part of even your cultural identity, like aphrodite and all. These skills are usually passed down from mothers to mothers and things like this, but of course, as Dr. Kegel points out, who the exercises are named after, that the sexual feeling within the vagina is closely related to muscle tone and can be improved through muscle education and resistive exercises, which is exactly what the kegel exercises are. And exactly what the Yarlap does, except the Yarlap does the exercise for you.

Nick Gillespie: Does it make sex better for women? I guess that's my question.

Brent Reider: Yes. Most women we find are really pleased with the results that they get in a number of ways, not only structurally and reduction of back pain and the lessening of knee pain, in fact, we've had people call in and ask us about that. But they're really pleased with how quickly it works, particularly with urge incontinence, and they are very pleased that they have regained some of that youthful feeling that they had when they engaged in sexual activity. But the indications for use for the device are for treating urinary incontinence.

Nick Gillespie: Although, once it's out there, are medical devices similar to pharmaceuticals, or drugs, where once they've been approved then there are multiple uses to which they can be put?

Brent Reider: That's a difficult question for me to answer.

Nick Gillespie: Okay, you can't do that but a doctor or somebody else could say, "Hey, why don't you try this for that?" And so for instance, there's something like mirtazapine, approved as a pre SSRI antidepressant, is now mostly prescribed as a sleep aid. Viagra was originally came out of attempts to create something for heart attacks, I think, and is now used as a sexual aid.

Mary Ellen, what were women saying about this? Because you guys are selling this as a ... It's a pelvic floor exerciser, muscle exerciser, and it does that well, and it builds up muscle tone and it helps in all of the things that you're talking about. But then what did you find when ... At the FDA do you go into, is there a way that, people tend not to think about sexuality and medicine or health in the same way. You go to a doctor for one thing and then you watch porn or you read sexology books for the other, is there a problem or did you find through the FDA process, that it was difficult to talk about these two things at once?

Brent Reider: I think that the FDA is a very good organization in protecting and fulfilling their role for the American population and I have a collegial relationship with them. Certainly, one of things is when it is a medical device, it does have the clearance by the FDA for efficacy and safety. A lot of people don't understand, and this is one of the things that maybe you're alluding to, is that in the usability studies for our device we were surprised that many women didn't understand that adult toys were not regulated in any way and that there were some assumptions that they had all made about that.

And certainly I think that if I, as a parent, and certainly as a lover, I would prefer my wife or or daughter to have her information from someone that is responsible and understands the risks that are involved with the medical device design, educating me and my family about pelvic health as opposed to someone who might make less educational.

Nick Gillespie: Now, brent, I know that you have distinct libertarian leanings but you're really talking about putting the FDA, the government, in the vagina. I didn't expect to hear that from you, to be quite honest. But we live and we learn. But I mean you could have got-

Brent Reider: I was gonna say there are some very serious considerations that need to be made, especially in the delivery of power and things like this, I think that it's-

Nick Gillespie: You should probably be thinking very carefully and reading all of the small letters on the box, right, when you buy a vibrator or a dildo or anything kind of sex toy, is what you're saying. Or any kind of medical device for that matter. You also talked about, or we have talked about in various conversations, about how you could have taken this through a urological track and at FDA or a gynecological, would that be the separating? Or like you could have had this cleared as a sexual device or an incontinence device but it would have been virtually impossible to say it's going to do both because the government doesn't think that way. Is that correct?

Brent Reider: I would say that the government has a number of constraints. The FDA does encourage innovation and the FDA does encourage development of responsible products. Certainly though, there are guidelines that you need to follow based on case experience that make for prudent decisions. So when it came down to how we would introduce a device that would make effective muscle tone, considering how the energy was delivered and how the safety considerations, it was best to go as a device to treat urinary incontinence. And I think their decision was very good.

Nick Gillespie: I'm not asking you to badmouth the large government organization that regulates you and holds your future in the palm of its six fingered sweaty hand but then, I guess, but it is true that the government, and I guess it's not just the government, Mary Ellen, you guys, your primary outlet for this at this point is online sales. And you have a Facebook page, you're constantly trying to get on amazon, and we'll talk a little but about that, but there seems to be a reticence for Americans, and maybe it's all people, I don't know, to talk about medicine and health; medicine and sex and health all in the same kind of conversation.

These are talked about in very separate ways and talk a little bit about how at Facebook, for instance, you're under their advertising terms. You're not allowed to kind of make any kind of sexually explicit claims in advertising. Is that right? Is there kind of a wall of separation between you can talk about incontinence but not orgasms, essentially?

Mary Ellen Reider: Yeah. We ran into a few of the guidelines with Facebook when tried to run some ads because they thought that we were trying to promote sex and trying to promote sex toys and all that other kind of stuff and we had to open multiple cases with them saying that we are an FDA cleared medical device that treats urinary incontinence, that we are not a sex toy, we are not a sex device, and it took a few back and forth exchanges before they realized that there is a separation between our medical device and an array of sex toys, which makes sense because I think if they didn't have that regulation we would probably be seeing dildos and all that other kind of stuff displayed on our ads constantly. But it took a while for them to kind of see that there was a differentiation between us and who they thought that we were.

Nick Gillespie: Right. Well, here's a slightly different question and then I want to talk about how the Yarlap, for what it does and the multiple functions that it performs, I think it's at the leading edge of a whole kind of way of thinking about self directed wellness. But do women, Mary Ellen, do you find that do women themselves have trouble thinking about kind of the body, about their body, and learning, understanding and knowing their bodies better, but medical health and sexual functioning as related as opposed to these are three very separate categories and you talk to different people about them and you're not really sure what's what. Which seems to reflect, to a certain degree, the hesitancy of whether it's the FDA or amazon.com or Facebook to allow the consumer to kind of decide what's what.

Mary Ellen Reider: Yes. Only recently has the United States, and I think a lot the world, started to look at pelvic floor health as a collective issue instead of separating it by the orgasm and the pelvic floor health and your post partum depression. Those are all separate entities, I think. And in reality there all one being; it's all about your wellbeing. It's all about your pelvic floor health wellbeing as a collective issue, and I think that there is, personally, I think that there is when it comes to woman a huge divide between sex, your health, and all things embodying that because we've kind of been told to hush hush for a while and if you look at different outlets, only very very recently have people started connecting the orgasm with your health. And especially that was outlined in the British Peer Review Medical article, and that was very big, that was very ground breaking. So I think that there is a definite divide, yes.

Nick Gillespie: And Brent why don't you talk a little about this because this is actually kind of in a way one of the big reveals of everything that you've been working towards in that medical journal article. You posit a function of the female orgasm, which is very different than what we've seen over the years. I mean essentially there's a long history of science saying obviously if you believe in evolution you believe that all behaviors that are widespread and reproduce constantly that they have some benefit on spreading genes, on propagating genes. A lot of theories about the female orgasm was that it made it more likely that a woman would be impregnated by a particular act of sex or that it would help emotionally would help her pair bond with the man or something like that. In your article, what's the function of the female orgasm?

Brent Reider: Well, your exactly right. I think that it's a little bit androcentric to think that the female orgasm is exclusively related to reproduction. And Elizabeth Lloyd, a professor at Indiana University, wrote a book that was published by Harvard about the data that is when your examined clinical data the orgasm is not necessarily reproductive. And I read the book, thanks to you, and it was very clear for my ears of a medical device design and human anatomy that the female orgasm and the clitoris, which runs along the pelvic floor along with the muscle, is a maintenance mechanism to keep the pelvic floor muscle tone and the body in line, as we talked about earlier.

Nick Gillespie: So it's basically, this is Freud famously asked "What do women want?" And we don't know. I don't know, Brent. Mary Ellen maybe if you want to write it down and slide it over on a sheet of paper would be appreciated. But what you found was essentially that the female orgasm, rather than being directly linked to the motility of sperm or anything like that, that it helps maintain the pelvic floor muscle tone and, hence, they enjoy sex more but, as important, it keeps their posture good, it keeps them from being incontinent and things like that. It's like a workout, essentially.

Brent Reider: Precisely correct. It has so many ramifications because, as not only as Dr. Lisa Lloyd pointed out but as Beverly Whipple has pointed out when she's writing for the World Health Organization, the female orgasm is part of well being. It's not only its physical ramifications but there are emotional ramifications to it, psychological wellbeing comes into play, particularly after post partum, when urinary incontinence could be associated with depression and things like this. So yes, it's all about wellbeing. It's not just structural or physiological, it's also psychological-

Nick Gillespie: So, where do you go from there? Or well lets talk a little bit about this. One of the things, how much does the Yarlap cost? And you sell it online at, if people look up Yarlap, Y-A-R-L-A-P, and they go to is it yarlap.com?

Mary Ellen Reider: Yes, they'll see a beautifully designed website, thanks to a great graphic designer. And it is $299 and it includes free shipping and a ton a lube; a lot of lube.

Nick Gillespie: Because it's essentially it's like a couple of inches long and women will insert it into their vagina and then there's a I mean it's like if anybody has used a tens device for muscle pain and sensation and things like that. There's a pad that you use to punch in the right numbers that you want for the program you want, etc.

Mary Ellen, talk about how is this diff-, or I don't want to say it's different from everything else, and there are other pelvic floor muscle exercisers out there, but we seem to be entering a few age where people know that they are going to be male or female. That they are going to be more and more in charge of their own health, and especially that broader term of wellbeing. We have insurance companies that are always try to cut our payments. We have doctors who are too busy to see us.

How does the Yarlap fit into that idea of becoming a more educated person? All of us take our diets more seriously. All of us take our exercise programs more seriously, etc. How does the Yarlap fit into that urge to own our bodies kind of literally and figuratively more than we have in the past?

Mary Ellen Reider: Yeah, no, you're 100% correct on that and the Yarlap, just real quick about the size, when it's says like a few inches, that sounds a little daunting, it's about the size of like a lipstick tube. So it's actually incredibly tiny, which is what I think separates us a lot from our competition is because we actually listened to women when they wanted to know how they would like to take urinary incontinence treatment into the privacy of their own home.

And the number one thing that we heard was: small and discrete and comfortable. So we created that for them. So it's not something huge or daunting. This is the Yarlap. It's cute and it's tiny and you will have that bladder free leak life. I have it in like a tiny little make up kit, so.

Nick Gillespie: Thank you for, and you just made all of our male listeners, who are probably a majority, feel good that size matters but not in the way that you think. Sometimes small is good.

Mary Ellen Reider: Yes, what is it? It's like the rhythm of the boat not the size of the ship. So I literally just wrote it on a post-it note and slid it across to you of what women want. You're very welcome, all of you. All of the men out there - you're welcome.

But to go back to what you were talking about, what it says to women about improving your lives and taking your health into your own hands. The Yarlap is, you could actually regard the Yarlap as a trans human medical device, which isn't to say that we're going to make your life longer, but we'll make your life better because when you do have incontinence, and you know that you do, you don't want to have it. You don't want to always be leaking.

I mean if you look at the commercials or you look at the testimonials, you have these women who are embarrassed, who are kind of in fear, that they will be socially exiled or isolated because they're leaking themselves. When in reality, you can easily treat that and you can kind of flip it and go back to where you were and take that control back into your own hands, in your own home. And kind of give yourself your own treatment because who knows your body better than you do? No one.

So that's the great thing about the Yarlap is that it is specifically designed for each woman, so you are able to find a level that feels comfortable for you. It's not a one level program or it has like ten different channels and then that's it. You can make it comfortable for yourself and you can control it in your own betterment. And it kind of, I think, you can regard the Yarlap as a trans human medical device because it does make your life better, you do have a more fulfilling life because you're able to do the things you weren't able to do with incontinence. Like you can go dancing or jump on the trampoline again, whatever you want, ride a horse.

Nick Gillespie: Finally. The trampoline jumping is really taking a hit, especially under the failed Obamacare and then failed repeal and replace. Nobodies jumping on trampolines anymore, now we can.

Mary Ellen Reider: Yeah, I know. It's a travesty.

Brent Reider: Well, I would like to encourage, if large majority of your listeners are men, you guys, think about it. Just think about the muscle control of the pelvic floor. Might want to try as a nice wellbeing gesture.

Nick Gillespie: In dreams begin responsibility, Brent, of course, and thoughts....

Do you, Brent, is there a male analog, both in terms of pelvic floor muscles and problems that are associated with male incontinence or sexual functioning, or posture, and then are you designing something for that?

Brent Reider: Men, of course, we certainly have pelvic floor muscles, and they are also involved in our sexual response. The answer is yes, we are always looking to develop devices but the key for the Yarlap is that female urinary incontinence by way of especially birthing is a very big issue in the United States and as Mary Ellen mentioned in the beginning of the conversation that 20-40 million American women will have some kind of urinary incontinence, and about six million of that will be severe. And addressing that problem is simple and effective and actually has some wonderful results as we've been talking about.

Nick Gillespie: Well we will leave it there. This has been a really an offbeat conversation for Reason but I think an essential one. What I find fascinating about the Yarlap and about what you guys are doing is that it, I guess Mary Ellen as you were saying, it puts more control and more power into the individual patient, precisely at a time when technology is creating all sorts of interesting innovations and what not. But also we see everywhere around us the medical or the health insurance industry, they don't really care about individuals. They care about bottom lines, and that's fine and well, but this gives you knowledge and power and another way of thinking about stuff that doesn't just effect medical problems but also sexual, psychological, broader cultural things. I think it's at the leading edge of a whole new world that we're rapidly moving into where we take more control of our retirement and of our education than ever before, why not our bodies?

Mary Ellen Reider: Exactly. We are in the same boat.

Nick Gillespie: I just hope the motion isn't gonna, I'm not gonna get sea sick then. We've been talking a little bit too much about motion and boats and sea sickness.

Brent Reider: Well I think the motion analogy was pretty darn good. Ask all your male listeners to think about it.

Nick Gillespie: Okay, well we have a lot to think about. So I want to thank Brent Reider and Mary Ellen Reider, they are the people behind the Yarlap, a pelvic floor muscle exerciser that you can find online at yarlap.com and check it out. And it's not just what it is but what it symbolizes about the near future, the immediate future, the present, of kind of an individualistic take on health and wellbeing.

Brent and Mary Ellen, thank so much.

Mary Ellen Reider: Thank you so much.

Brent Reider: Thank you very much.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Yawn. (Non-nude but NSFW?)

  • creech||

    Surely "female orgasm machine" was somebody's nickname in school?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Simple Mikey firmly believes that the male orgasm is a myth.

  • B.P.||

    I was thinking more along the lines of "pelvic floor".

  • Elias Fakaname||

    How did you know?

  • ||

    Seriously, reason double-yawn.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    the father-daughter team

    Trying to imagine saying "Hey, we should build a sex machine together" to one of my parents.

  • ||

    Haven't listened or read very much but I got the impression that it's the other way around. You get to have a second 'talk' with your parent(s) about helping them sell the sex machine they invented.

  • Meh.||

    Yeah, the way I understood it, it appears to have been developed by the father and then he made his daughter his business partner. It was originally created to help with incontinence but then they discovered the bonus side effects, so I guess it's a little less creepy. Still, to answer the original original question, no, I would never ever go in on a business deal like this with my dad, and I am positive the feeling is mutual.

  • Careless||

    I'd probably go into the business with my father. Not my daughter, though

  • Mickey Rat||

    The creepiness deprnds on how (and who) the side effect was discovered.

    "Dad, you will never believe what your invention does!"

  • Elias Fakaname||

    This is an article where the proper procedure is to read the headline, ignore the whole article, and go straight to the comments.

  • Libertarian||

    The obvious question is, "Does it go up to eleven?"

  • ||

    Nope. Numbers would just reiterate the control of the patriarchy, it goes all the way up to Turkey Sandwich with a side of coleslaw.

  • Meh.||

    Huh. I think the difficulty of Kegels is overexaggerated here. But I wish them good luck!

  • ||

    I'm also finding the marketability and/or FDA obstructionism aspect a bit... missold. You can readily buy TENS units off of Amazon.

    After skimming the article, it sounds like they want something for free. That is to say, nowhere do they say that they've actually run clinical trials or done the quality testing for FDA clearance, but for neither transdermal stimulation nor sex toy marketing, do you exactly need FDA clearance.

    If anything, they should be counting their blessings as they don't have a pre-existing device to compare it to and can/should readily find a customer patient pool as well as a revenue stream. This article, again, seems more like one of ENB's Women's Interest/*l*ibertarian pieces rather than a Libertarian issue.

  • ||

    If anything, they should be counting their blessings

    Not that I condone FDA obstructionism, but the floodgates aren't going to open (any further) for these people and since it seems that they essentially want the 'as prescribed by a doctor' sticker from the FedGov rather than to actually sell product, I have trouble squeezing any blood from my chest cavity.

  • Robert||

    the floodgates aren't going to open


    Good, because I thought the idea of it was to keep them closed!

  • therabidfrog||

    I think the name needed a bit of market testing. I hear Yarlap and I think mythical Russian swamp creature more than sex device.

  • Juice||

  • Citizen X - #6||

    "Yarlap" is the noise it makes when you put it in.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Is the World Finally Ready for a Female-Orgasm Machine? [Reason Podcast]

    What do you think Diane Reynolds is? Chopped liver?

    *adjusts pinky ring*

  • Longtobefree||

    I thought their already were a bunch of marches and protests ad all that to keep the federal government out of the bedroom?

  • ||

    This article was clearly teleported from an alternate universe where the Sexual Revolution never happened.

    I hate to break this to you Nick, but in this reality, vibrators have been around for decades, and nobody needs to pretend they have urinary incontinence to own one.

  • Careless||

    You have a really bizarre misunderstanding of how vibrators work. Or possibly a badly malfunctioning vibrator

  • ||

    Vibrator, electrical stimulator, the point is that "device which gives women pleasure" is not exactly a terrifying new concept that society needs to learn to grapple with.

  • Brandybuck||

    Precisely. Even the Queen has one. They've been around since the late 19th century, while male orgasm machines that didn't electrocute their users when used propertly didn't come about until the mid 20th.

    "It will give you an orgasm. Just don't get it wet." Wait, wat?

  • ||

    Sure.

    The more I read about it, the more it seems like plain old hucksterism.

    Not that it doesn't cause orgasms and/or doesn't help women or should be pulled from the shelves, but if Reason had titled and bylined the story:

    'This one weird device will fix your back pain, solve incontinence, and help you have more orgasms!' As documented in the renowned medical journal The Journal of Women's Health, Issues and Care

    No one would be confused.

  • Paloma||

    Helps improve your posture too!

  • sasob||

    "device which gives women pleasure"

    Several such devices come to mind: cell phones, credit cards....

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    I saw this episode of Mad Men.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Female-Orgasm Machine

    This is my nickname.

  • Brandybuck||

    Female orgasm machines actually predated male orgasm machines by a century.

  • Daily Beatings||

    Female-Orgasm Machine

    That title has already been taken for some time.

  • HalLinden||

    People! It doesn't give you an orgasm - it just tightens up your muscles , for crying out loud. Obviously not too many middle aged women on the reason.com subscribers list.

  • sasob||

    "it just tightens up your muscles"

    Yeah, so do female orgasms....for both partners.

  • patches44||

    Call me old and crotchety, but any sympathy I had for them and their problems getting their ultimate whoopie cushion to market need the moment they referred to it as a "trans humanist device". I view such a statement coming from an entrepreneurs mouth as natures warning sign that the speaker is a moron who deserves every bit of market failure that is heading his way.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    Nick needs to go to fuckingmachines.com, for more info on these alleged female sex machines that seem to be a big surprise.

  • sasob||

    The important thing is will it be covered by insurance under Obamacare, or will it be taxed? Or both?

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