Personally, I hate this concept of “female viagra”. It has been eating at me more and more. I am particularly incensed by the implication that this drug is a step toward sexual equality.
It is NOT.
Especially when taking into account the side effect profile (low blood pressure, fainting, dizziness, sleepiness, insomnia, nausea) which increases with use of hormonal birth control and alcohol, and the fact that this new drug is only marginally effective, bringing about 1 extra orgasm per month. Hell, a glass of wine every now and then is probably safer and more effective.
Women deserve better.
Erectile dysfunction is a physiological issue when you treat it with Viagra. Viagra and related drugs change how blood flows through the penis to allow erections. Libido in women, the desire for sex, generally is a psychosocial issue with a myriad of causes and as such does not have a good, pharmacological fix. There is not just one simple fits all answer. There are a multitude of variables at play, each with their own subset of issues. Hormones. Fatigue. Stress. Ambiance. Medication side effects. Relationship dynamics. I could go on.
The DSM-5 lists the diagnostic criteria for Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder as including a minimum of three of the following present for more than six months and that causes clinically significant distress:
1. Absent or reduced interest in sexual activity.
2. Absent or reduced sexual/erotic thoughts or fantasies.
3. No/reduced initiation of sexual activity, and typically unreceptive to a partner’s attempts to initiate.
4. Absent/reduced sexual excitement/pleasure during sexual activity in all or almost all sexual encounters (75-100%).
5. Absent/reduced sexual interest/arousal in response to any internal/external sexual/erotic cues.
6. Absent/reduced genital/nongenital sensations during sexual activity in all or almost all (75-100%) sexual encounters.
I don’t know about you, but that describes me about 75% of the time…
When looking at the prevalence of female sexual dysfunction, some studies state that it occurs in 25-63% of women. In fact, Even the Score (a lobbying group closely affiliated with the pharmaceutical company that stands to make millions off of this drug) states that 1 in 10 women meet the criteria for hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Can something that prevalent really be a disease?!?!? There may be women who would benefit from this drug but I find it hard to believe it would be that many and I am angry that a pharmaceutical company is allowed to manipulate public opinion in this way. Let women believe there is something wrong with them so that you can sell the pill that “fixes” them? At what cost? That is hardly a humanitarian act.
More importantly, however, do we want sexual desire reduced to taking a pill? Because despite what the drug companies say, this is what this is about.
Do I want a pharmaceutical making me feel something that isn’t there? Something that perhaps I should not be feeling for certain people?
Further, it begs the question what should a woman be to you? A fuck toy? A robotic companion without free will? Or a challenge? A loving partner?
And should we define successful intercourse as achieving orgasm 100% of the time? Should women be in a perpetual state of horniness? That is a pipe dream, an unrealistic expectation that sets us all up for failure.
I want a man, I deserve a man, who takes the time to find out how to make love to me and not just sexually. What turns me on? What turns me off? What are my day to day needs? Makes me feel loved. Safe. Beautiful. Puts my needs above his.
Take care of me and I will take care of you…
Medicine has failed women in this respect, neglecting to advocate for women’s sexual and emotional health like it should and as a result we end up with this, this pill. This is what failure looks like.
I won’t pretend to know all of the answers. I cannot pass on the secret codex for a consistantly fulfilling sex life because I do not know it myself yet. I am as frustrating to deal with as any other woman. I go through periods of not wanting to be touched. I fake orgasms from time to time just to get it over with. Ultimately, though, I believe making sex easy would cheapen it, cheapen women.
As you can see, I have very strong opinions on the matter, but that does not necessarily make me right. I would love to hear from you! How do you feel about sex? This pill? Would you take it? Men,would you want your partner to take it? Am I overreacting? What attracts you to your partner?
(And if you are wondering why I picked this seemingly unrelated photo… Think mossy, unused walls.)