I see here where the FDA has now approved a drug to treat “female hypoactive sexual desire disorder,” previously known as “not tonight, honey” or “I have a headache.”
It’s an adorable little candy-pink pill that works on the dopamine and norepinephrine systems in the brain — for those who are not medical hobbyists, those are the heavy-hitter neurotransmitters manipulated by most psychoactive drugs, which regulate reward and arousal. When you feel lifted by a drink (or an illegal drug) or a hot look from someone sexy, or a high speed careen on a motorcycle or just creating a poem or painting successfully, that’s dopamine. When you respond to a situation with excitement and physical energy and mental focus, that’s norepinephrine. I’ve manipulated them both with amino acids and supplements, though I may say the dopamine precursor I tried once didn’t get me hot and bothered, but I did finish scoring a verse of my setting of John Donne’s “Lecture Upon The Shadow.” It was too expensive for me to go for the rest of the poem though.
This Flibanserin stuff — did anyone notice it sounds like Flubber? — apparently has a host of side effects that the amino acids don’t have, like dizziness, fainting, nausea, and drowsiness, which sound like the perfect combination with ravening desire (or maybe like a frat party flashback). Reportedly users experience, on the average, 0.5 more sexually satisfying events per month, though how you have half a sexually satisfying event (more college flashbacks rear their, um, heads) is beyond me. Nonetheless, the FDA approved it and I guess some doctors will start prescribing it to women who just don’t feel all that randy any more.
Everybody stand back from the table with their hands in plain sight. An old broad would like to address you.
I am sixty and I have been in this game since I was fourteen. I actually bit the
bullet pillow three years later, in my freshman year at college, when I remember the last shreds of virginity exiting to the remark, “Okay, I trust your funny little rubber things.” At the fifty-year mark I finally met the Cute Engineer, and he is still here. In between I was married once, engaged twice, had three other serious boyfriends (the Nazi Ex, the Albino Ex and the Transgender Ex), and if I ever take my standup routine on the road it will include the 68-year-old virgin as well as something Boccaccian that happened in an organ loft, you should pardon the expression. I stopped short, I admit, of keeping an actual catalogue.
And then again, there have been times when I just wanted to put on a flannel granny nightgown and read Tolkien.
They want to give us a pill for that.
Do they have a pill that you can give to Congressmen and state legislators to cure their obsession with restricting abortion and contraception? Because you can’t enjoy sex very much if you don’t trust your birth control method or the one that you could trust isn’t covered by your insurance. The joy of coming together as one blanks out if you know that, despite your own best efforts, it could lead to a pregnancy you didn’t want and can’t end (or can’t end without three trips upstate and a biased counseling session).
How about some birth control methods that don’t themselves screw you up, come to that? Can you dig allergies to latex, to that horrible spermicide they used to put on condoms, septic intrauterine devices, hormone pills that put you in the mood — to tear everyone a new asshole? Diaphragms that no one can get to fit right? You want a tubal ligation? Ready for a lecture from some mansplaining OB-GYN about how you need to see a psychiatrist becuase every normal woman wants at least one child? Years of that kind of experience will really light your fire.
Do they have a pill that will make women’s partners — male or female, I don’t care — clean up after themselves, show respect, take a frickin’ shower, hold a job? Do they have one that will change the labor market and laws so that everyone, male or female, comes home with enough energy to do more in bed than fall on it?
Back in my college years, a friend who transferred from a state school told me how the male students there compiled a photo album of all the incoming female freshmen and passed it around, in aid of deciding which ones they wanted to score with. They called it, charmingly, “The Pig Book.” This morning I read a story about a rape case involving a prep school where the young rascals compete to see “how far they can get” with girls who think they are being genuinely courted. Plus ca change, plus ca reste. Is there a pill for those guys? Because I can’t think of a better boner-equivalent killer than knowing how many men in this world have sex with women in a haze of vague, or even explicit, contempt.
I could go on. You get the idea. At times it’s kind of amazing that women are horny at all.
One piece of good news. If I had not followed up this Flibanserin flap I would not know there was a group of doctors digging in their heels against the pharmification of everything, to include providing continuing education that isn’t funded by someone with a pill (and all its side effects) to sell.
Maybe they’ll come up with a drug for “irresponsible greed disorder” someday. That, I would consider putting in the water.