The orgasmatron is a fictional device that appears in the 1973 movie ‘Sleeper,’ which also shows the effects of a related device, an orgasmic orb. Similar devices have appeared in other fictional works. The term has also been applied to a non-fictional device capable of triggering an orgasm-like sensation using electrodes implanted at the lower spine. Author Christopher Turner has suggested that the orgasmatron was a parody of Wilhelm Reich’s ‘orgone accumulator,’ a device which claims to concentrate ‘orgone,’ a bioenergy theorized by Reich.

The orgasmatron is a fictional device in the fictional future society of 2173 in the Woody Allen movie ‘Sleeper.’ It is a large cylinder big enough to contain one or two people. The orgasmatron was made by decorating an elevator in the home where the movie was filmed. Once entered, it contains some (otherwise undescribed) future technology that rapidly induces orgasms. This is required, as almost all people in the ‘Sleeper’ universe are impotent or frigid, although males of Italian descent are considered the least impotent of all groups.

The main character Miles Monroe, played by Allen, is being hunted by the police as being subversive to security of the state, and attempts to hide in it, thinking it is a closet. He is discovered there, and easily captured in a daze, with a sheepish smile on his face. Another, related device, an orb also appears in this movie. It is a silver-colored sphere about the size of a grapefruit that contains some (otherwise undescribed) future technology. When the orb is touched by a human, it induces pleasurable sensations. In a scene where Miles impersonates a robotic servant, he is ordered by the hostess to pass the orb among the guests. Unlike the robot he is imitating, he is not immune to the effects of the orb. Much physical humor results from his reaction to firmly holding this device, which party participants only lightly caress. Later on, they encounter a gay male couple, one of whom offers Miles a ‘hit off the orb.’ Miles reports that he’s ‘cool’ and does not need to indulge. It appears the effect of the orb is more like social drinking or drug use, pleasurable rather than orgasmic.

The device has been invented by Dr. Durand-Durand, the evil antagonist in ‘Barbarella.’ Instead of being called an Orgasmatron, Durand-Durand refers to it as the ‘Excessive Machine.’ It resembles a clamshell that once grasping the passenger’s entire body below the neck, gently (at first) and pleasurably massages the passenger by flexing its upper half with a wave-like motion from right to left. The lid is made of long, rigid rod-like paddles that lie in a row, side by side. The paddles themselves each have one end at the bottom of the lid, near the joint of the Excessive Machine’s ‘clamshell,’ and the other end moves freely. Because the paddles are not glued or welded together but instead move together, and because the paddles pivot around the ‘clamshell’ joint and move parallel to the sagittal plane, they can have this wave-like motion. It is operated from a keyboard resembling that used to control a large organ. By properly manipulating the keys the operator may induce great sexual pleasure in the victim, sufficient to cause death by orgasm. In one of the final scenes of the movie the evil opponent is torturing Barbarella with the pleasures of this machine, during which she vocalizes extensively. But in the end the machine overloads and is destroyed, while she survives, and feels rather well.

In the 1974 film ‘Flesh Gordon,’ a ribald parody of the science fiction adventures of ‘Flash Gordon,’ the villain ‘Emperor Wang’ directs a ‘sex ray’ at Earth which causes the planet’s inhabitants to become uncontrollably sexually aroused. ‘Senso Rings’ were use in the movie ‘Coneheads’ to provide pleasure to the other partner. John Spartan (played by Sylvester Stallone) is introduced to an orgasmatron-like device by Lt. Lenina Huxley (Sandra Bullock) in the 1993 movie ‘Demolition Man.’ The device is in widespread use in the film’s future world, since actual sex (‘fluid exchange’) has been deemed unsafe and become both illegal and socially taboo. In ‘Orgazmo,’ the ‘Orgazmorator’ was built in the form of an oversized water gun. It was operated by pointing it at a subject and firing. Apparently, it could even generate multiple successive orgasms in a man.

Discovered serendipitously as a potential side effect of a spinal cord stimulator used in pain relief, the medical ‘orgasmatron’ device has been judged effective by some recipients, but costs $3,000 and requires surgical insertion of electrodes near the spinal cord. Invented by Dr. Stuart Meloy in Winston-Salem, the device employs a function generator manufactured by Advanced Medical Electronics Corporation (AME Corp.). It has been described as being of great potential in treating sexual dysfunction in women.

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