Would you take a sex drug if it really worked?+comment
Viagra has been on the market for well over a decade and has become ubiquitous that if you say ‘the little blue pill’, everyone and their great-grandmother knows what you’re talking about. The pharmaceutical companies still haven’t made ‘the little pink pill’, an effective sex drug for women, but it’s not for lack of trying. It turns out that making a sex drug for women is a much more complicated task than it was for men.
Viagra works on the concept of ability; the drug’s effects are purely physical. It increases blood flow to a man’s genitals, creating an erection and making him able to have sex. This is effective because in the vast majority of men, sexual desire and an erection are synonymous – if a man has a boner, he wants to have sex – or he wants to have sex so he takes Viagra to get an erection. With most men, the ability to have sex, i.e. having an erection, equals wanting to have sex. The readiness is all.
Not so with women.
There is no exact equivalent of an erection for a woman. Of course, there are physical aspects to a woman’s desire – increased blood flow to the genitals, lubrication, etc., but for most women these are just a small aspect of arousal. Versions of the ‘female Viagra’, which dealt exclusively with the physical aspects of arousal have been spectacularly unsuccessful. This is because for most women, the location of desire is less in her genitals than in her brain. And in her heart. And in her endocrine system. Desire is complicated for women and differs greatly from woman to woman. Can a pill ever simplify things? Would we want it to?
A Dutch pharmaceutical company thinks it may have found an answer with Lybrido(s), a pill which attempts to address the physical, mental and hormonal aspects of desire. They are currently applying to the FDA to begin trials.
So perhaps this new pill will actually help feed women’s sexual appetite. Is that enough? Will increased desire also help increase our satisfaction? Certainly there are women who’s lack of libido has reached clinical levels, such as those diagnosed with hypo-sexual-desire disorder. As well as those who have sexual issues due to trauma, abuse or drug and alcohol related issues. Such issues are dealt with at places such as the Ranch Sexual Recovery Rehab Center.
There are also many women who’s lack of sex drive is negatively impacting their relationships and by extension their quality of life; many marriages end because the woman’s sexual desire for her husband evaporates over the years. Would this pill actually be the savior of sexless marriages or would the pill simply mask the underlying problems that actually lead to the lack of sexual desire in their relationship? Despite the prevalent notion that women are commitment-obsessed monogamists by nature, study after study shows that women crave sexual novelty much more than do men. Would a pill help with that?
Though Viagra was technically put on the market to help men suffering with erectile dysfunction, many healthy men use it for recreation. I’d guess that the potential users of Lybrido aren’t just the chronically undersexed. But are there enough women out there who want to amp up their sex lives to make Lybrido the cultural and financial juggernaut that Viagra continues to be?