Jun 16, 2023

The 'orgasm cult' founder accused of recruiting people with childhood sexual trauma once told Insider these victims have 'a heightened ability to experience arousal'

Michelle Mark and Julia Naftulin
June 15, 2023

OneTaste founder Nicole Daedone pleaded not guilty to forced labor conspiracy on Tuesday.

A federal indictment alleges Daedone "intentionally recruited" trauma victims.

Daedone previously told Insider that victims of childhood sexual trauma have "a heightened ability to experience arousal."

The founder of an organization often called an "orgasm cult" pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to allegations that she coerced, manipulated, and abused members in a forced labor scheme, and targeted individuals who previously suffered sexual trauma.

Federal prosecutors have charged Nicole Daedone with one count of forced labor conspiracy for her role in the company OneTaste. She was released on $1 million bond on Tuesday. 

Daedone and OneTaste advocated for a practice called "orgasmic meditation," which involved one person lightly stroking the upper left part of another person's clitoris for 15 minutes. 

In a 2022 Netflix documentary, some of OneTaste's former members described being psychologically manipulated into sexual activities they wouldn't have otherwise partaken in.

The FBI accuses Daedone and co-defendant Rachel Cherwitz of extracting labor from their members by "subjecting them to economic, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse; surveillance; indoctrination; and intimidation."

Federal prosecutors said Daedone "intentionally recruited" people with traumatic backgrounds by advertising that OneTaste's courses and teachings could "heal past sexual trauma and dysfunction."

Daedone spoke with Insider last November about her time at OneTaste, and made similar comments about victims of sexual trauma.

"One of the most difficult-to-treat groups is people who have adverse childhood sexual experience. Because one of the primary symptoms for that group is an inability to experience arousal. And arousal is associated with joy and contentment," Daedone said. "What happens in [orgasmic meditation] for some reason…is that people who have high adverse childhood sexual experience have a heightened ability to experience arousal."

Daedone went on to explain that this arousal led to a "heightened ability to have access to the states of wellbeing that are very difficult for that group to have access to."

Daedone said both partners participating in orgasmic meditation are brought to "heightened states of consciousness" that lead to healing — the person being stroked experiences "a sense of merging or oneness" and the person who's stroking has "a hyper-focus or flow."

Former OneTaste members interviewed for the Netflix documentary "Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste" said they often felt pressured to participate in orgasmic meditation — in some cases to become successful at the company, and in other cases as a result of pressure from Daedone.

Daedone did not participate in the Netflix documentary, and told previously Insider the film inaccurately portrayed OneTaste.

A spokesman for Daedone did not immediately respond on Thursday to Insider's request for comment, or a request for an interview with Daedone.


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