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OneTaste: The Truth About Turning On 100% (Netflix Documentary)

Published March, 2024

Definition of "Turn On"

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary¹:

turn on
verb
turned on; turning on; turns on
transitive verb

1
: to activate or cause to flow, operate, or function by or as if by turning a control

turn the water on full
turn on the power

Netflix Documentary Misinterpretation

The second out-of-context quote used in Orgasm Inc. is plucked from the same August 2013 lecture as the first (Link). This excerpt, where Nicole Daedone says to a room of advanced students, “If you want to know the real way to deflect rape, it’s to turn on 100% because then there’s nothing to rape,” has a few ideas to unpack.

To correctly interpret what Nicole means here, it’s necessary to understand that the phrase “turned on” carries an entirely different meaning in the OneTaste philosophy and vernacular. Without that understanding, it sounds like Nicole is saying a woman being raped should become “100%” sexually aroused and relish her rape; this way, there’s nobody being violated.

OneTaste’s Mission

OneTaste’s mission has always included helping people — women especially — to develop a healthy relationship with their sexuality. Nicole often paraphrases Freud in saying, “What is not integrated is exaggerated.” She is not a hedonist who touts the benefits of instant gratification but instead geared OneTaste’s teachings towards a vision of healthy adults who include their sexuality as a part of their identity on equal footing with the other aspects, not as something to be ashamed of and hidden away nor overexpressed, i.e., “exaggerated.”

This is difficult for a woman who lives in a culture that offers scant rewards unless she fits into the Madonna-whore complex where she is either devoid of sexual identity or defined by it. Nicole’s perspective is that early feminism’s goal of equality (largely realized in the United States) resulted in the neglect of an honest sensual self in the modern woman.

The Origin of "Turned On"

In 2008, Nicole coined the term “Turned On” because she wanted to bring the confidence and power she had found being a sexually integrated woman to the masses of women who had confidence in many other aspects of their lives but wanted to find it in their sexuality. She understood that if a woman had not matured in this primal and primary way, she would lack a fundamental confidence and fortitude.

Unless women learned to define their sexuality on their own terms, they would forever live in reference to the ill-fitting models they were presented with. She understood how deeply a woman’s sexuality is tied to her sense of self-worth and deserving the good things in life, and without it, a woman would continue to hit the same self-imposed limitations. A classically trained semanticist, she went to the root of the linguistic problem. The concept is simple: by taking the precious thing women had disregarded and defining the movement based on giving it due attention and care, she gave it value.

Launch of a Movement

Through OneTaste, she launched the eponymous Turned On Women’s Movement in 2009. She created a Turned On Woman’s Manifesto, Turned On Woman books, merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, stickers, etc), webinars, teleclasses, and in-person Turned On Women’s weekends.

Now, Turn On was not just something you felt in one part of your body at a special time; it was a way to say “powerful and whole.” Participants wrote letters, recorded videos, and took pride in being a Turned On Woman: a woman who had committed to living a full life, including the development of her sensual self, her honest self.

Media Recognition

San Francisco’s 7x7 magazine even did a story on Nicole and the Turned On Women’s Movement in 2011, which surfaces this quote:

Interviewer:

Is being turned-on a matter of pure sexual pleasure, or is it more general?

Nicole:

A turned-on woman is someone who’s comfortable in her own body. She’s powerful and comfortable with her power. Everybody has the power I’m talking about. It’s like gravity — it just exists. Our power comes when we are fully who we are. Sex is just where most women block their power.

TurnON Events

OneTaste’s success is in no small part due to the Turned On Woman’s Movement. OneTaste’s main public events (which were communication games nights) became known as “TurnON events” because participants would leave feeling the power and confidence that came with being their true selves.

Expansion and Trademark

OneTaste affiliate cities were named TurnON Brooklyn, TurnON Phoenix, TurnON East Bay, and so forth. At its peak, OneTaste fostered nearly 20 TurnON cities. OneTaste even registered the term “TurnON” as a trademark. For a woman to claim the title of Turned On was to declare that she was a force to be reckoned with, with the support of a community of women to be reckoned with. Since that’s been explained, let’s return to the quote.

If you want to know the real way to deflect rape, it’s to turn on 100% because then there’s nothing to rape.”

So, if “turning on 100%” was Nicole’s way of letting women know that the confidence and power they were accruing had protective benefits, how would that have worked? It turns out that Nicole is saying exactly what female self-defense instructors have been saying for decades: confidence, as communicated through body posture, eye contact, and walking gait, is the first line of defense against sexual assault. A casual search on YouTube or Google turns up plenty of hits that advise women that their personal defense begins before anything ever gets physical.

Empowerment Self Defense (ESD)

A 2021 New York Times article about women learning to defend themselves lauds ESD, Empowerment Self Defense. According to the article, ESD trains women to “interrupt assaults in their early stages” through confident eye contact and speech. The article goes on to state,

“More than anything, I felt newly aware of my body and its potential. This confidence, it turns out, is protective. Perpetrators seek out easy targets, like people who scurry around quietly with their head down, said Dr. Cermele. The confidence gained from self-defense, said Tsahi Shemesh, founder and lead instructor of Manhattan-based Krav Maga Experts, is a way to ‘remove the target from your back.’”

Plainly, they are also talking about “deflecting rape” through confidence. The article also cites a 2018 University of Oregon sociology study comparing the efficacy of various women’s self-defense programs when it comes to actually preventing assault. From the abstract:

“[…]empowerment-based women’s self-defense (ESD) training is so far the only approach that has produced substantively significant decreases in victimization rates.”

Confidence as a Deterrent

Scientific research also supports the notion that confidence is a deterrent to sexual assault. Many studies have been conducted that show victim selection follows consistent patterns. For example, women who exhibit more submissive body language¹ and uncoordinated body movement² while walking are more likely to be assaulted, while women who present as more confident with fluid walking styles are at lower risk. Research has also shown that facial expressions that communicate sadness, fear, or shame are perceived as more vulnerable and weak³ in the eyes of those who would do them harm.

Expert Opinion

Dr. Daniel Kriegman, a renowned psychologist who has worked with countless individuals who have experienced sexual assault as well as those who have committed it — he was the Chief Psychologist at the Massachusetts Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons, a maximum-security prison housing the most dangerous sex offenders in the Commonwealth — agrees, commenting:

“‘Political correctness,’ with its legitimate concern about victim blaming, has a negative side effect that can block us from considering reality: Predators (animals and humans) detect and target vulnerable prey. The serial killer, Ted Bundy, told an interviewer that ‘he could tell a victim by the way she walked down the street, the tilt of her head, the manner in which she carried herself, etc.’

Beyond Victimhood

Acknowledging this simple fact is not ‘blaming the victim.’ In fact, it is the opposite in that it is intended to help potential victims become more aware of the signals they are emanating as well as the dangers around them so they can avoid being attacked, or in Nicole’s words, ‘deflect rape.’”

While nobody is saying that only insufficiently turned-on women get raped or that women who don’t practice ESD will be assaulted, it seems that Nicole’s advice to women to “turn on 100%” precisely aligns with not just the most effective, but the only effective form of women’s self-defense training as well as the best scientific research available on the topic when it comes to having the best chance of preventing an attack.

Regarding context, in a recent podcast, Ruwan Meepagala is asked about the comments in question and relates his understanding of what Nicole was saying about using assertive, confident language as an empowering, deflective technique and gives an adjacent example in terms of catcalling. He concludes by saying Daedone’s words were used without proper context (37m13s)

Podcast Interview Clarification

Interviewer:

Because it’s it’s kind of, it’s telling women that, oh, if you’re being raped, just like it, you should just consent you should just give in, you should submit and be turned on by and that just, I could not deal. So was that taken out of context? Or did they actively teach this that in order to be in control of your sexuality, you just had to be turned on in any situation?

Meepagala:

Well, I do want to preface this by saying, I don’t feel totally qualified to really comment given that I’m a man. You know, like, how useful it is. I did hear her speak a lot about dropping victim stories. And I did see that being useful. There was one thing that I shared with a lot of female friends that I thought was interesting… and I again… I have no personal experience of this. But like, if you’re getting catcalls, if you get upset, or contract or, you know, somehow get flustered, you kind of encourage the other person to catcall you more. Whereas if you, in her [Nicole’s] terms, if you ‘throw the ball back’, like you, you say something provocative back at them, you know, the person catcalling you will kind of get thrown off and the power’s back in your hands.

And I asked a lot of my friends, my female friends, about what they thought of that, and a lot of them thought it was interesting, and some of them thought, you know, tried it and thought it was like a cool, empowering tool. But then, of course, you know, with everything at OneTaste, it got taken to a level that, you know… they did show the minority of that conversation in the documentary, the worst parts, but there was a lot more context to it. Not to say it was right or wrong, but like it was generally about doing what you can to not be a victim in the situations that you are, from my outside perspective.

Changing Perceived Vulnerability

This brings us to the last part of the quote where Nicole says, “There is nothing there to rape.” This is simply her way of saying that when a woman changes the set of negative beliefs and behaviors that would cause her to become a target, she changes her identity: she becomes a “turned-on woman.” As shown earlier, Tsahi Shemesh, the founder and lead instructor of Manhattan-based Krav Maga Experts, seems to agree in the New York Times article where he is quoted saying, “She “remove[s] the target from [her] back.” There is, in this way, “nobody” left who could be targeted.

Related Posts:

OneTaste: The Truth About The Orgasmic Mediation Company

OneTaste: The Truth About Emotional Abuse (Netflix Documentary)

OneTaste: The Truth about Nicole’s T-Shirt Comment (Netflix Documentary)

References:

[1] Richards, L., Rollerson, B. and Phillips, J. 1991. Perception of submissiveness: Implications for victimization. The Journal of Psychology, 125: 407–411. [Taylor & Francis Online], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar]

[2] ​​Grayson, Betty, and Stein, Morris I. 1981. “Attracting Assault: Victim’s Nonverbal Cues.” Journal of Communication 31 (1): 68–75.

[3] Wheeler, S., Book, A., & Costello, K. (2009). Psychopathic traits and perceptions of victim vulnerability. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 36, 635–648.

Additional Studies on Victim Selection:

Book, A., Costello, K., & Camilleri, J. A. (2013). Psychopathy and victim selection: The use of gait as a cue to vulnerability. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 28, 2365–2383.

Book, A. S., Quinsey, V. L., & Langford, D. (2007). Psychopathy and the perception of affect and vulnerability. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 34, 531–544.

Farrell, G., Phillips, C., & Pease, K. (1995). Like taking candy: Why does repeat victimization occur? British Journal of Criminology, 35, 384–399.

Gunns, R. E., Johnston, L., & Hudson, S. M. (2002). Victim selection and kinematics: A point-light Investigation of vulnerability to attack. Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour, 26, 129–158.

Johnston, L., Hudson, S. M., Richardson, M. J., Gunns, R. E., & Garner, M. (2004). Changing kinematics as a means of reducing vulnerability to physical attack. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 514–537.

Murzynski, J., & Degelman, D. (1996). Body language and judgments of vulnerability to sexual assault. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26, 1617–1626.

Sakaguchi, K., & Hasegawa, T. (2006). Person perception through gait information and target choice for sexual advances: Comparison of likely targets in experiments and real life. Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour, 30, 63–85.

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