THE BUZZ

The Buzz

Role Reboot: If You Hate The Idea Of ‘Female Viagra’ So Much, Then Don’t Take It

This medication may not work. But to denounce the very idea of it is to deny women’s basic nature as sexual beings.

This week I have been barraged by well-meaning people who are telling the world just how much they believe that the new medication for women’s primary sexual dysfunction, hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD), is horrible.

Here are the arguments against the drug that I have heard:

1) It can be used as a date rape drug.

2) Women who have a low libido just don’t want sex.

3) Problems with a woman’s libido can be fixed within the relationship.

Respectfully, I call bullshit.

First of all, it cannot be used as a date-rape drug in the classic sense of the word. You might have this confused with the mythical Spanish fly of Cosby fame. It takes two to four weeks of taking this medication every single day for it to work.

Next we get to the idea that women with a low libido just don’t want to have sex.

It’s true that some women have a naturally low libido, and don’t really want sex. And some women are asexual and aren’t interested in sex at all. But many, many women enjoy sex. And when their libido up and leaves, they are not at the window yelling, “Good riddance!”

When you lose your libido it isn’t like sex becomes distasteful or repugnant. Instead, you want to want sex. You miss it and all of the great things that it brings to your life and to your relationship(s.)

We need to be very careful that we are not repeating the lie that has dogged women for ages, that we are naturally less interested in sex than men. The truth is that women are fully sexual beings. And many of us feel that when we lose our libido, we have lost a vital part of ourselves.

I understand the struggle that people with a loss of libido face not only because I have been through bouts of it, but also because I live with a partner who has struggled with low libido our whole marriage. He truly wants to want sex. On his list of things that really upset him, his loss of libido is much higher than his work or his need to lose 40 pounds.

If my husband could cure his libido lag with a simple pill, he would be the first in line and side-effects be damned. He would take it not just for me, but for himself.

And here we come to the next argument: That a loss of libido can be overcome within the relationship. If that were true, so many people wouldn’t be clamoring for this medication.

The two major causes of loss of libido are hormonal changes and anti-depressants. I have been through both, and there is absolutely nothing that you can do within a relationship to make more than a small movement on either count.

One of my best friends has been struggling with low libido since she started taking anti-depressants about seven years ago. She and her husband had really wonderful sex for the first 13 years of their marriage, before she needed the medication. She deeply misses their sex life. Regularly, she tells me about something that she is trying or a new counselor they’re seeing. But the only thing that really works is going off her medication. And she needs that to survive.

This new medication may not work. But to denounce the very idea of it is to deny women’s basic nature as sexual beings.

What worries me about these denunciations is that they will place a self-fulfilling stigma on use of the medication. It is entirely likely that this climate of intense criticism will make some women too embarrassed to admit that they got it for themselves. And so they will blame it on their significant other, giving seeming validation to the medication’s critics.

Now, if you want to denounce this drug based on the fact that it may not work and that it could cause dangerous side effects, you have my support. And if you want to talk about the ways that the advertisement may be misleading, you have my ear.

But if the only reason you oppose this drug is that don’t want to take it, and you cannot image a scenario in which you might want to use it, then I would ask you to kindly shut up.

This is not about men or what they want. This is about women and who we are: sexual beings who want to have great sex lives.

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