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This female orgasm game is controversial – but why?

La Petite Mort features pixelated vulvas that you stroke and tap to climax

According to the La Petite Mort app description, it’s “a mindful game that allows you to take a break and get into a deeply relaxed state.” How to reach the gateway to nirvana? Tap and stroke an onscreen vulva until it orgasms.

The touch-based game – described as a “one of a kind digital erotic experience” by its creators – uses real images of vulvas, albeit a little pixelated. An algorithm sets the different preferences for every little pixel, and touching an area the right way will cause the cells to light up around the particularly stimulated area. Stroke it, draw circles, tap it the right way and you’ll reach a big, colourfully pixelated O.

Each vulva in the game has different likes and dislikes, so as in real life, you’ll have to experiment with your technique. Because La Petite Mort can’t detect the strength you’re pressing the screen, it’s all based on movement and speed. It’ll respond with moans of encouragement or discomfort, and if you listen to the feedback, you’ll be met with a big “THAT’S THE SPOT! WELL DONE!” Score.

The concept grew from a small Danish company called Lovable Hat Cult, who’re involved in the network Copenhagen Game Collective. Patrick Jarnfelt, the designer, told the Guardian: “We have had a focus on expanding games as an artistic medium in general. We felt like erotic games was a very unexplored area.” And so the idea of female orgasm simulation came to be.

He continued: “We thought, ‘What kind of thing can you do with that?’ And like, ‘What if it was touch-based?’, and then somehow this eroticism came out of that, so if you interact with this cell-based system it could become erotic because each cell is intelligent and responding to your touch.”

The game has been met with some criticism, mainly because it isn’t ‘educational’ enough. Then, Apple removed it from its store because of its ‘crude’ nature, apparently breaching guidelines as an "excessively objectionable" game. Never fear though, it’s available on Android still. 

“I was talking to the guy from Apple on the phone, actually, which is cool, they take the time out to talk to you,” says Jarnfelt. “He told me, ‘Yeah, you and me are French. We understand these things.’ But they have to reach a broad market, and America, and they have to be family-friendly, so they have just not accepted anything like this. And they put their own kind of threshold on what is crude and not crude, and you cannot even discuss it.”

This dismissal of female stimulation is pretty indicative of how society views female sexuality in general. Jarnfelt also explained an aim of La Petite Mort is to bring these ideas more into the mainstream, so women can discuss pleasure much more openly.