Skepticism

AI: Selling Sex(ual dysfunction)?

In a few weeks, a new drug is set to go before an FDA panel in search of approval. Â It’s called Flibanserin (Doesn’t that just scream “sex”?) and has designs on becoming the female viagra; designed to treat a condition called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Unlike the Viagra family of drugs, which work by increasing blood flow to the genitals, Flibanserin is purported to act directly on the chain of chemical reactions in the brain that trigger sexual desire. Karr on Culture takes a quick look on his podcast over at PBS. There is also a documentary film, asserting that the entire idea of female sexual dysfunction has been manufactured by pharmaceutical companies in an effort to create a new market for Viagra-like drugs. I watched the trailer, and without seeing the film, it seems to fall into the “Big Pharma” conspiracy camp, but some of the questions raised are interesting ones.

First, is this really a problem, or is it just a case of the pathologization of a normal range of female sex drives? What’s normal? I guess for me, the question is whether or not the individual feels it is a problem. Obviously, once we start talking about possible “big pharma” seeding of doubts in women, well, it gets a whole lot more complicated. But really, is there anything wrong with the pharmaceutical companies seeking applications for their drugs if those new applications will indeed improve people’s quality of life?

Our own ARealGirl, who was part of the clinical research team involved in the creation of Viagra, had the following to say on the mechanics of the drug and how it affects each sex (and why Viagra type drugs have not been successfully marketed to women):

Viagra increases blood flow by acting as a catalyst in the nitric oxide cycle. in the bloodstream. This process is gender-independent, and therefore should work exactly the same way in either gender.

Published data suggests men are much more visual-input oriented as a gender, and “in-the-moment” measurers of success and enjoyment. If the plumbing works, the event trends toward success.

For women, I wonder if it’s more “ambient.” It’s more about what it means and how the overall experience feels. If women enjoy it more if there is more relationship around the act. (Yes, I know there are outliers, but as a general trend, do men want to fuck and women want to make love?)

If so, the answer seems to be that men like sex more as an individual act. Who wants to market that?

As an aside, and in a totally biased way, I’ll say I’ll take a drug business that cares about the quality of my life and not just the quantity. And the only way they do that? By looking for lifestyle issues that might be treated. It’s how Viagra came to be, that’s true. But it’s also how allergy drugs came to be. And excema drugs came to be.

I think there’s nothing wrong with wanting to provide a happy life in addition to a long life. It’s disingenuous to pretend that QoL drugs are unnecessary. Unless they also want to say alcohol shouldn’t be marketed.

Personally, I wonder how much of this supposed female sexual dysfunction is rooted in lingering social and cultural hang ups around female sexuality itself. I tend to think of myself as one of A’s “outliers”, and I also tend to find myself outside of the norms on many gender metrics. I wonder if it’s a chicken or egg thing; if I’m just an atypical female, or whether by virtue of my various social deficits, I missed out on some of the socialization that shapes the typical female experience.

In other words, hypothetically, if you flipped the gender roles in this conversation utterly (women as the dominant sex, and men as the sex fighting for equality and the recognition of the legitimacy of their sexual needs) what would you see? Would women’s sexuality still seem so mysterious and complicated? We know that psychological factors are a major influence in sexual performance, in both sexes. Isn’t it possible that growing up in a society where your sexuality is portrayed in such conflicted ways can create just such a complicated animal? I mean, there’s just no way to control for the culture we live in. Not unless you raise kids in labs, and that’s just not possible (OK, well, it’s possible, but clearly unethical.)

Ultimately, I think many women are in a confusing place. In many ways, our society still has a major double standard when it comes to female sexuality. This movie poster is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

It’s 2010, and we like to think we’re so advanced, but here we are, clearly portraying a classic post-coital stereotype: A man’s pleasure and a woman’s shame. That poster makes me angry every time I see it.

Efforts to popularize sex positivism and the normalization of women’s sexuality, while being awesome and well intended, may be creating dissonance for women who do not have the underlying knowledge about and comfort with their own bodies to properly move toward more healthy, satisfying sex lives. For many women, it might seem much less daunting to take a pill than to actually sit down and have a discussion with their partner about their sexual satisfaction (or lack thereof). This, of course, does not mean I think these efforts should stop. Quite the contrary.

I’m positing this as an AI because, as you can probably tell by my rambling and inconsistent thoughts, I haven’t made up my mind on it, and I think it is a fascinating topic that you all will have tons of fun dissecting.

Do you buy into the “Big Pharma” marketing of diseases line of thought? If so, is this necessarily a bad thing? What are your thoughts on the whole female sexual dysfunction topic? Is education the answer? Discuss.

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 3pm ET.

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34 Comments

  1. …I had to register just for this.

    I think this is a good thing, overall. Yes, in some cases it might give some women an ‘out’ from talking about things, allowing a chemical fix when a bit of communication and/or therapy would do the same thing (perhaps like drugs for some cases of ADD).

    But it’s also an acknowledgment that women are SUPPOSED to enjoy sex. It’s saying that having a low sex drive isn’t just normal because you’re a woman, and women aren’t supposed to want sex. The message is, a sex drive is normal, and healthy, and if you’re unhappy not having one, there’s a fix. (and if you are happy not having one, well, you certainly don’t have to change anything)

    So…yay Flibanserin!

  2. I think education’s always a good answer, but not necessarily a complete one. I blogged a bit about this here, and was also rather rambling and inconsistent, but I’ve been pretty much persuaded by Dr Petra.

    The way Flibanserin’s being marketed seems designed to give women the impression that, if they don’t want to have sex as much as they should (whatever that means), or don’t enjoy it as much when they do, then this is a medical problem for which they should seek a pharmacological solution.

    The way I understand it, this is where the problem lies, with the way it neglects other approaches like counselling, education, or simply better communication between partners, which may make substantial improvements without requiring a prescription. Drugs might often not be the best answer, even if they sometimes seem like the easiest – those lingering social and cultural hang-ups you mention can be insidious little bastards.

    I’d not really heard the argument against “big pharma” getting involved in quality of life drugs before, and I don’t really buy it. There are many areas in which that seems like an entirely valid thing for them to do, and I don’t have a problem with it here in principle. But… eh, I would just hope it’s not really necessary and wouldn’t need to be pushed as such a prominent option, I guess.

  3. I think the transhumanism approach is valid here. I think that individuals in society will figure out whether to use these drugs and what the should mean. If it is not needed, forget it, if you want something different, try it. The advertising and sexist confusion will fall away as we develop as a culture. This has to be good if one person finds it helpful, and I think the other people will have a concrete way of illuminating just how much they appreciate the status quo.

  4. I think the trend to make everything a disease, and advocating medication to bring everyone as close as possible to “normal”, is harmful. But which elements of life we should regulate with drugs, and which we shouldn’t I don’t know.

    But I’ve always had an irrational aversion to taking drugs for any reason except severe or persistent pain or discomfort, and I’m relatively pain, disease and depression free, so maybe I underestimate how bad merely living is for those in the middle of the bell curve.

    I’ve absolutely no thoughts on female sexual dysfunction that are appropriate to share.

  5. In some respects I do. In the case of ulcers, for example they did not respond with any sort of haste to the discovery that they are often caused by bacteria. I am not convinced that they always have my best interests in mind. I am not entirely convinced that marketing drugs to citizens is ethical. Nor am I convinced that marketing to doctors is ethical.

    However, I do trust my doctor, and if he prescribes something to me, I will take it. I can’t even pretend I know enough to disagree with him, at least in regards to medicine.

    I also do not shy away from over the counter medicines. I am skeptical of new products, and would research them before buying. For example, the KY Intense gel that has been advertised heavily on Hulu recently. For now, I have no reason to actually care about it though.

    The females I know are usually pretty liberal and frank about sex. Better education may help. I come from the liberal part of New Hampshire, so I wouldn’t be surprised if their attitudes are a result of decent education.

  6. The thing that concerns me is how treatments like this try to normalise what is an appropriate level of sexual response. If someone is genuinely unhappy with their sex drive, that is one thing, but what about if they are being pressured into taking them because they’re expected to put out more because their level of sexual response is deemed abnormal?

  7. This article on Less Wrong seems relevant here:
    http://lesswrong.com/lw/2as/diseased_thinking_dissolving_questions_about/

    Part of the reason things like sex drive get classified as diseases is that there’s a cultural view that it’s OK to take drugs for a disease, but not if you just want to enhance your life (except for a narrow range of culturally allowed recreational drugs). So calling something a disease gives you permission to medicate for it. Unfortunately the word disease comes with some other baggage, like the idea that something is fundamentally wrong with you. If you don’t fell like anything is wrong with you, that sucks.

    I tend to be a bit of a transhumanist so if taking a drug makes you feel better I say go for it (if you want to). But so long as the cultural aversion to life enhancement exists the question of whether or not something is a disease has real significance.

  8. It wasn’t that long ago I debated a similar issue, except it was about a perscription drug for hypotrichosis (sp?) being sold as an eyelash treatment and featuring some beautiful actress with perfectly great eyelashes. The add (I forget what the drug was called) basically was trying to tell women that they should ditch mascara in favor of a perscription drug and all its side effects. Sure, there are women with hypotrichosis that should be taking this drug – but this is ridiculous.
    There is a trend right now to fix everything with pills. I get it that for a doctor it’s easier to say “give your kid one of these every day” that to talk a parent into actually cooking a balanced meal a few times a week at least, and making sure the kid eats their broccoli. It’s also a lot easier for a parent to get a kid to eat a few gummy vitamin supplements than their veggies. But easy isn’t always the answer. This philosophy of popping pills to solve every problem is already coming back to bite us in the rear.
    Now, I don’t know anything about Viagra outside of what I’ve just read here, and what I’ve heard on TV ads for it – but it was my understanding that what it does is treat a physical issue that prevents people with a healthy sex drive from acting on it. I don’t have a problem with that at all.
    However, I do have a problem with this drug. Here’s why:
    1 – the female sex drive is different than the male sex drive. For a very long time a lot of people put forth a lot of effort to make women ashamed of having any sex drive at all, but now it seems that there is a push towards promiscuity. It’s as if the world is determined to think that any woman who isn’t out there looking for one night stands every weekend must be repressed, in pain, and in need of help.
    2 – Almost every woman who has ever said “honey, I have a headache” or has simply not been in the mood is going to look at something like this and wonder if they have HSDD. The simple fact is, it’s easier to think that there is a health issue here that could be treated than that the guy in their lives can’t be bothered to care enough to get them in the mood.
    3 – If a guy doesn’t care enough to make me want it, he isn’t going to care enough to help me enjoy it either.
    The bottom line – good sex is a powerful enough drug on its own. The way to make sex more appealing to women is to work to make it good for them. Creating desire through pills may produce the same net effect (as measured in the number of times you get laid), but it will also produce the ultimate fake orgasm.

    And finally, drive doesn’t have to equal mileage. I’m 32 and have a sex drive I’m not ashamed of. But it’s been 6 years since the last time I had sex. I refuse to get together with someone just because I have an itch. After all, part of a healthy sex drive is knowing I can do my own scratching.

  9. I really think your approach to this subject is a bit biased. Are you suggesting that there should not be a drug like this on the market? I would certainly agree that this sort of thing should not be force-fed to women, but if a woman genuinely feels like there is a problem with her sex life then I don’t see why there shouldn’t be a drug to help solve that problem.

    I recall reading an article on this website that discussed the issue of sex as a taboo discussion point. I think that sex is largely a taboo because, on the one hand, society demands one thing and counter-cultural institutions – like the outlier of feminism that is Skepchick – demand that we all feel the exact opposite.

    Anyway Yes, I think education is the answer. I think women and men need to understand that, on the one hand, satisfaction with their level of sexual libido is fine. But they also should understand that a dissatisfaction, whether it’s too much or too little, is something that can be resolved through various psychotheraputic approaches including counseling and, yes, medication.

  10. I also registered to make this comment.

    I think what’s needed is an understanding of what such a drug would try to treat. Here’s the definition of Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder from the current version of the American Psychological Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR).

    http://behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/hyposexdesdis.htm

    The crucial requirement in this, and most other psychological disorders, is B. “The disturbance causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. “ Language like this is used often in the DSM. For most things, you only have a disorder if you have clinically significant distress or impaired functioning.

    In discussing whether or not female sexual dysfunction is ‘real’ dysfunction or dysfunction just because society says it’s abnormal, this is the key thing to keep in mind. The APA is saying it’s a disorder if the person has marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. So a person who:

    * Has a low or absent sex drive
    * Is not bothered by this fact, and
    * Does not have interpersonal problems because of it

    is not disordered, and the professionals aren’t saying they are (or at least, aren’t really supposed to).

    Now, there is a legitimate issue to bring up with this definition. What if my interpersonal problems are caused by other people buying into double standards, or other societal problems? Then, am I disordered, under this definition? Is that right, or fair?

    On that last point, I don’t know what the response from the professionals would be. I just wanted to make clear that day 1 of Introduction to Abnormal Psychology (Psychopathology) is mostly talking about what we mean by “abnormal” or “disordered”. Statistical infrequency s is not the standard for calling something “abnormal” in this field; maladaptiveness is.

  11. I get so frustrated by the stereotype that women have lower sexual drive than men. From my experience, and the experience of many of my female friends; it is commonly the woman who has the higher sex drive in a relationship.

    Sure, you can slip a Viagra into your man’s cocoa at night and give him a rush of blood to the privates, but what if he still doesn’t feel the desire? Depression, PTSD, stress and a myriad of other conditions can cause even a man to go off the idea. If this drug was developed for both sexes, instead of singling out women, it could save many relationships.

    Personally, I have never met a man who could keep up with me, and even though I suffer from migraines, I have never used that as an excuse!

  12. I think the biggest issue is Marketing of drugs. When you see these commercials you find yourself wondering if you are in fact depressed, or itching, or whatever….
    If they didn’t advertise it, it wouldn’t be creating a disease out of the sexual desire continuum. People who were truly unhappy with their sexual drive would speak to a dr, who would happily have a remedy to offer. The rest of us would not be questioning our sex drive.
    Its the advertising, not the creation of the drug that is the problem.
    Information about drugs is good. And advertising does not provide information. On some of the ads you can’t figure out what disease they are trying to fix.

  13. Many women who suffer from disability, chronic illness, etc. have lower sex drives due to the illness itself or the medications they’re on. In this case the pathologizing is dead on and this medication could be a boon to those women if they are still interested in sex but having trouble due to their condition.

  14. My major concern with the described marketing of the female sexual dysfunction drug is that it seems to be targeting desire, not ability.

    Viagra solves a problem of ability: If Bob wants to have sex, but can’t keep erect, that’s a problem and medication may be an appropriate way of dealing with it. Similarly, if Alice presents to her doctor that the previous night she drained a brand new 12-pack of batteries and still didn’t get off, perhaps there’s a physical problem and a medical solution to her frustration.

    A drug like Viagra can increase desire if the desire is being squelched by psychological issues surrounding inability to perform, but it doesn’t affect desire directly.

    But acting on desire itself is different. Why would I want to take a drug to make me want something I don’t want otherwise? Giving a drug to provoke sexual desire to someone, or pressuring someone to take said drug seems in the same general family as rape.

  15. @blaisepascal

    That is a dichotomy to be sure, but…rape family? Really? I had a good friend in college who was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at roughly the same time she entered her first serious and healthy adult relationship. It was a great relief to her to be on medications that made her feel better, but they also dampened her sex drive, which frustrated her a lot. Her boyfriend wasn’t pressuring her in the least, but she WANTED to want to have sex with him. I doubt that situation is altogether rare, even for people not on mediation.

    Obviously nobody should take this drug — or Viagra, for that matter — because they feel pressured to perform. So YOU don’t have to take a drug to want something you don’t. But lots of people might WANT to want it.

  16. I don’t have any hang ups associated with sex, per se. I was promiscuous as a teenager, and very aware and in control of my sexuality. I was not really raised in a religious household, and I was not really taught that having sex outside of marriage was wrong, only that I should be sure to use birth control. I was aroused -a lot- through my teens and into my very early 20s, and I had a lot of sex. I experimented, explored, learned my body, learned how to pleasure my partners, and had a jolly good time doing it.

    I’m 44 now, and I’ve been with my husband for 21 and a half years. There have been a lot of health issues over that time, and there have also been some relationship/emotional stuff that’s come up. I have, in that time, developed a few hang ups with sex because of performance pressure (yeah, women get it, too) and a fear of not getting aroused at all during the sex act (which happens and it is -incredibly- upsetting).

    I hardly ever think about sex at all. When I do, it comes with a sense of being startled like “Oh yeah, there’s that sex thing that’s fun to do”. I seldom have spontaneous thoughts of a sexual nature and I am very rarely aroused spontaneously (and never at a good time to do anything about it). I have had a few biological changes and health issues resolved that mean I no longer have problems with getting aroused when we’re being intimate, but I still have emotional baggage that built up over the years tied to those fears. Added to that are issues with not wanting to interrupt my -always- busy husband when he’s busy (yes, we’ve had this discussion, yes, he wants me to interrupt him for sex, yes, we’re working on it).

    The fact remains that we have sex, maybe, three times a year. A YEAR. And that’s because I’m pushing myself and I decide “we are GOING to have SEX whether I want it or not!” Of course I get to the point of being aroused, and much more quickly these days, so I know that I will, eventually, want it. But the thing is, I don’t THINK ABOUT IT. It’s like I forget it’s fun. I forget that it’s worth the time and mess. It’s worth worrying about the dog trying to interrupt. It’s worth it because we really enjoy it, we need the intimacy… all the things that are healthy and good about sex, I can’t seem to retain them, or when I’m thinking about having sex, there’s this whole “is it worth pushing on this that or the other thing?” that runs around and around my brain.

    Maybe you can’t understand that. Maybe it makes NO sense. I can’t make any sense of it at all. But if there’s something out there that will actually make it more likely that I’ll have sexual thoughts, that I might actually get back in the habit of wanting sex? You bet I want that.

    I MISS having sex with my husband. Stupid as that sounds.

    Every time I have that twinge of memory, or something pokes me with “it’s been six months since the last time you did it” I feel like pure shit. I feel guilty, but apparently not guilty enough to DO anything about it.

    This is not normal. How I feel is not normal. I’m not happy with it. It’s not ruining our lives. Our marriage is not on the rocks because my husband is far more awesome than I deserve. But I am not satisfied, and neither is he.

    No, big pharma has not convinced me there’s something wrong with me. I’ve known there’s something wrong with me for a long time. I’m glad they’re finally doing some research and having some results that I might actually benefit from.

    Doublehelix20, you are spot on. I want to want to have sex again. I MISS spontaneous arousal!

  17. @Non Believer: “People who were truly unhappy with their sexual drive would speak to a dr, who would happily have a remedy to offer. ”

    Sorry, but that made me laugh. I went to two different doctors for that problem, and both told me it was because I’m old and fat and should just get over it. I’m only 40! I don’t want to get over it! I want to want to have sex again! So maybe doublehelix20 is right, and this is a first step in correcting the idea that it’s normal for a woman’s sex to just shut down when she hits a certain age.

  18. @marilove:

    Guess I should have been more clear. I didn’t say it was better or worse, only different. As in differently motivated and affected by different factors. Emotions play a bigger part. I dunno, maybe I can’t make it any clearer without some serious girl talk to hash it out. But I seem to be the one everyone around me turns to for advice, and this is my observation. Different things affect sex drive in males and females. They’re like different operating systems, basically accomplishing the same things, but going about it differently, with different shortcuts and different potential pitfalls. And yes, I know I’m generalizing, and I know there are always exceptions. One of my favorite quotes (by Carl Rogers) goes something like: my own experience is the most valid source there is, more valid even than my own or anyone else’s ideas. This is not because it is the most authoritative source or because it’s somehow infallible, but because it is the only source that is always open to revision.
    This is what my experience tells me. I could be wrong, of course.

  19. @marilove:

    Wow… I think marking the difference between male and female sex drive as a stereotype is a bit overzealous. That, incidentally, IS the difference between the sexes: Quite literally, sex. I don’t think it is in any way prejudiced or even incorrect to say that women and men desire different things from sexual experiences: different people of the same gender want different things out of sex, it makes sense that individuals with different physiological and chemical arrangements would as well.

    I think this whole discussion is something of an example of oversensitivity.

    @im_robertb:

    I think you are correct to cite the DSM-IV on this one. If one’s sex drive is causing problems, it’s a problem and should be treated – as I said earlier – with drugs or therapy. If one’s sex drive isn’t interfering with one’s functioning, even if one’s sex drive is lower or higher than normal, it isn’t a problem and doesn’t need to be treated.

  20. @ZenMonkey: COTW. I’ve read a few articles about sexual dysfunction in women and the drugs that researchers are trying to come up with to help, but the discussion always seems to veer toward the sociological interpretation rather than addressing the fact that there are, in fact, women with health issues that decrease libido, or make it nearly impossible to achieve orgasm. My girlfriend, for one. We’ve been together for almost 20 years. In that time, she developed a lot of depression/anxiety issues and was put on medication for it. It took a lot of experimenting (doctor regulated) to find the right dosage/prescription so she didn’t feel like a zombie, didn’t lose her creativity, etc. However, a lingering problem is loss of libido and difficulty in achieving orgasm. Whenever she lets her prescription lapse, (whether from forgetfulness or lack of funds) the sex drive comes back with a vengeance, as do the multiple orgasms. She is extremely sensitive to drugs, so any new prescription would have to be approached with caution, but I know, from the many discussions we’ve had, that she would welcome a drug that might bring back some approximation of what was normal for her.

  21. @Ledfox: no, i’m not suggesting anything, really. i put out a bunch of questions that seem to be swirling around this story, in the hopes of inspiring a good discussion and possibly making more sense of the matter (which is exactly what is happening, imo).

    as i thought i said above, for me, the trouble with this comes in the grey area where maybe somebody doesn’t really have a problem, but is being made insecure about something she’d never thought of before by media hype and advertising.

    and frankly, i don’t think that is ever a reason not to make a drug available. of course there are people who will benefit from it, and that’s great.

  22. Allergy and eczema drugs aren’t just “quality of life” drugs. Unless you count being able to move or breathe as quality of life. But wait, I’m just nitpicking, of course you are actually talking about the topical symptom easing drugs and not the stuff for chronic sufferers.

    As for the actual issue here, the problem is not with the drug but with marketing. And we all know marketing is evil. It’s not just “pharma” telling women what is “wrong” with them. Though I guess it’s more deplorable saying “you are sick” as opposed to the “you are ugly” we seem to have gotten so used to.

  23. I think that believing women don’t experience sexual dysfunction can be just as dangerous as preferring to believe that any lack of desire is caused by sexual dysfunction. As a woman on antidepressants which kill my normally voracious sex drive nearly completely dead and make it almost impossible for me to have an orgasm no matter what I or anyone else does – I would feel extremely frustrated if someone tried to tell me that I was simply doing it wrong. I’ve been clicking my own mouse for somewhere around…forever and I’d never had a single problem until the medications. I know what I like, I know how to make things run and when I’m on meds – it Just. Isn’t. Working.

    I’m not hung up on anything, I’m not ashamed – I’m mentally all set to go but physically, I’m not even in the running. So what do women like me do when we would love to do something about this problem and people look at us like we’re just having some emotional issues? (Well, I mean…clearly we are, hence the medication but…well you know what I mean.)

  24. @junco My wife is in a similar boat. She is on a cancer drug (long term treatment) that has very few side effects other than a complete lack of sex drive. Her drive also roared back when she had to be off it for awhile. We are both glad that this kind of research is being done.

  25. well if my old husband was balding, wrinkly and fat I wouldn’t want to have sex with them either. If men kept up with themselves the way women painfully do to be attractive maybe they’d have more success.

  26. I suppose this would help in some cases but I also think more people need to be made aware how some women/men work (like this woman.)

    To get a little bit personal, right now I am suffering a lack of drive. It’s all situational too — my husband is in paramedic school and we are all severely stressed. I am the randiest when I am relaxing in the morning/afternoon with a cup of coffee next to my husband, watching stupid shows (ie relaxing without a schedule.) The only problem is right now we have zero days off together and the majority of the week consists of rushing to get the baby ready and then coming home and cooking dinner, getting the baby to bed etc. I am exhausted when the day is over and I can’t just flip a switch.

    My husband is ready all of the time, but I am spent. I am turned on the most when I am fully relaxed but my husband still has a problem understanding that and feels like he isn’t sexy — which is not the problem whatsoever.

    If this drug could help me in that respect than I would love to try it – but it’s not really combating the root cause which is stress. People need to talk and talk and talk within their sexual relationships to help their partner understand. I have to do this quite frequently because my husband gets hurt and doesn’t quite get that it’s different for me than it is for him. Lump into that the stress of having no sex drive right now and it makes the entire process even worse.

    If paramedic school wasn’t almost over than I would have to really think about how to fix this situation, but I know that it will be over in a couple of months and I will be able to take a breather after that. Hopefully, after the stressful situation is over, the sex will return (because damn it, I LIKE sex and WANT to want it, LOL)

  27. Judging by my mom and my aunts, I know I’m in for a world of hormone problems once I hit thirty. I’m also currently dealing with some physical problems that exhaust me and make my libido a lot less predictable. Given that neither of those looks likely to change, I figure that when the time comes that I find myself without the ability to act on what I want, this might come in handy.

    It’ll still probably be marketed in really weird and probably headdesky ways, because there seems to be a complete lack of awareness and/or ability to deal with women and sex in reasonable ways. I’m not particularly looking forward to that part of things.

  28. @CobaltG: So it’s go bald and no more sex for you? Get old and acquire some wrinkles and keep your pants on old fart?! What a sad thing to think that in your world there is a diminishing chance to get lucky when the inevitable degradations of age make their presence known. Next thing you’ll be saying is that guys with gobs-o-money and a tight pre-nup should all drop their saggy aging wives and order that new trophy bride asap, cuz ya gotta keep up!

  29. I don’t think women need Pharma to let them know that there is a disconnect between their drive and their partner(s)’ drive. Some people naturally have lower drives. Some people have lower drives because of health issues, mental or physical. But, just because they have that lower drive doesn’t necessarily mean they are satisfied with it. Having a solution to bring that drive to a desired level can provide serious emotional healing for some. Too bad Pharma hasn’t got any other solution for male libido than the Viagra-type drugs. Women aren’t the only ones with desire issues.

    @tandilicious: SSRI-induced anorgasmia is about the most frustrating, demoralizing thing out there. There are some options out there.

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