The once-popular, pricey “orgasm workshop” OneTaste is now defunct, but its founder and a top executive were indicted Tuesday for forced labor conspiracy and forcing people to perform non-consensual sex acts.
You might remember a late 2000s, early 2010s San Francisco-founded “orgasmic meditation” group called OneTaste, whose name elicited giggles every time we walked by their clearly marked Fell and Market Streets headquarters. It was incredibly pricey, with one Yelp review describing their offerings as a “ridiculously expensive $13,000 p*ssy stroking courses,” but the group’s highly Botoxed founder Nicole Daedone was a huge hit on the TED Talk circuit. And the media were of course fascinated with OneTaste, though many reports started to examine the group's cult-y and perhaps a little sexual misconduct-y side, notably the 2013 long-form Gawker piece, “My Life With the Thrill-Clit Cult.”
But then a 2018 Bloomberg exposé revealed that OneTaste was under an FBI investigation for sex trafficking, prostitution, and labor law violations. OneTaste effectively disbanded shortly thereafter, but that investigation obviously did not go away. And on Tuesday, the New York Times reports that Daedone and former OneTaste head of sales Rachel Cherwitz were indicted on the forced labor charges.
Cherwirz was arrested Tuesday in San Diego, Daedone remains at large.
“Daedone and Cherwitz are both charged with forced labor conspiracy in connection with a years-long scheme to obtain the labor and services of a group of OneTaste members—including volunteers, contractors, and employees of OneTaste—by subjecting them to economic, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse, surveillance, indoctrination, and intimidation,” the Department of Justice sad in a release.
OneTaste was the subject of the 2022 Netflix documentary Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste, which brought up alleged sex trafficking and prostitution violations. The Justice Department's indictment seems to believe these allegations are true.
“Daedone and Cherwitz also recruited and groomed OneTaste members to engage in sexual acts with OneTaste’s current and prospective investors, clients, employees and beneficiaries, for the financial benefit of OneTaste and, in turn, themselves,” the announcement says. It adds that the two women “instructed the OneTaste members to engage in sexual acts—including acts the members found uncomfortable or repulsive— as a requirement to supposedly obtain freedom and enlightenment and demonstrate their commitment to OneTaste and Daedone.”
Daedone and Cherwitz each face a maximum 20-year prison sentence.
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