Amy Carlotto Zuckett of State College said she had a positive birth experience because of the supportive midwives and nurses around her.
"I can't say I had an orgasm," she said, " ... but I definitely had all the feelings you want to have."
Zuckett was one of about 300 people who came to the State Theatre Saturday to watch Orgasmic Birth. The film followed about a dozen couples, most of whom gave birth outside of a hospital, often in their own home and without medication.
After the film, a panel of midwives and women who experienced home birth agreed the film's purpose was to show the benefits of natural, undisturbed birth and to encourage women to be aware of all their options.
Though Zuckett gave birth in a hospital, not at home, she felt she was in control of her birth experience, which panelist and professor of women's studies Jill Wood said is extremely important. Wood said the film encouraged women to make decisions from a place of power, not fear.
The screening benefited the Midwives Alliance of Pennsylvania, and many in the mostly female audience were midwives or had given birth with the help of a midwife.
The film also discussed the sexuality of birth and showed that, for some women, birth can be a sensuous, enjoyable experience.
"I was pleased it showed birth can be sexual in a different sense," panelist Liz Crossen said, adding that while apprenticing as a midwife she almost blushed at some births because of how intimate they were.
But Heidi Loomis said those who haven't experienced an orgasm during birth should not feel bad.
"We need to be careful not to strive for orgasms during birth. That's not the ultimate goal," she said.
Crossen was happy to see students in the crowd and expressed hope that despite some bad behavior -- a group of male students occasionally laughed and jeered at the sight of naked women giving birth -- the majority of the students learned something.
"Maybe they took something more from it than getting extra credit," she said.
Farnaz Farhi said she used to think home birth was primitive and unsafe, but after taking a class with Wood, she said "that view is factually incorrect."
Farhi (junior-biology and women's studies) said she hopes other students learned from it, even though they may not be thinking about birth right now.