June 1, 2015

"Is sexual desire a human right?"

"And are women entitled to a little pink pill to help them feel it?"
Those questions are being raised in a campaign that is pressing the Food and Drug Administration to approve a pill aimed at restoring lost libido in women. The campaign, backed by the drug’s developer and some women’s groups, accuses the F.D.A. of gender bias for approving Viagra and 25 other drugs to help men have sex, but none for women....

The drug, flibanserin, has been rejected twice by the F.D.A. on the grounds that its very modest effectiveness was outweighed by side effects like sleepiness, dizziness and nausea....
I don't see how women are "entitled" to a drug in the general area of Viagra as some kind of gender equity proposition. The standard for approval of all drugs should be the same — some balance of effectiveness and unwanted effects. And obviously, there's a big difference between wanting to have sex and the capacity to physically carry out the act. Why is not wanting to have sex even regarded as a dysfunction? I want to want what I don't want. What the hell kind of problem is that? Or is it that my partner wants me to want what I don't want and I want to satisfy him? Drugging women so we'll be able to do what men want? How did that get turned into a women's rights issue? I guess you could say that it's for women to decide — don't take away our choice! — whether we want to want what he wants when we don't want it.
“Our usual patient is someone who is fearful of losing the relationship they have been in for years,” said Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego and a consultant to many drug companies. “It’s tragedy after tragedy after tragedy.”

One of his patients, Jodi Cole, 33, of Porter, Okla., said her lack of desire “tends to cloud my thoughts of everything related to my husband.” She said that “replacing the dread I have for intimacy with desire would be life-changing.”
Meanwhile, on college campuses, Cole's frame of mind — needing to have sex out of fear of losing the man — would be enough to brand her husband as a rapist if he proceeded to have sex with her knowing that's how she felt. And yet we're asked to think a drug that causes sleepiness, dizziness and nausea should be approved — in the name of women's rights — so she can blot out her lack of true consent.

This flibanserin is like those rape drugs frat boys are said to put in the unguarded drink. Oh, but if the woman chooses to take the drug? Well, isn't that like choosing to get drunk at the party? The man isn't supposed to exploit the opportunity of a drunken and seemingly willing sexual partner. Why is it okay to have sex with a woman who's taken the flibanserin?


103 comments:

Meade said...

The drunken politician leaps
Upon the street where mothers weep
And the saviors who are fast asleep, they wait for you
And I wait for them to interrupt
Me drinkin’ from my broken cup
And ask me to
Open up the bottle of flibanserin for you


Laslo Spatula said...

They already make this in a gel format for which you do not need a doctor's prescription; one just directly applies it to the genitals.

Its called 'lube'.

Maybe I'm missing something.

I am Laslo.

rhhardin said...

She wants to enjoy what she used to enjoy; a side effect is saving her relationship.

The guy, if he is not old, has an obsession that normally would support the marriage, but otherwise works against it.

It's not a character flaw.

So you can see it as a medical problem, unless you see men's wiring to obsess over women as a problem instead of an opportunity you might want to preserve.

Laslo Spatula said...

Or are we talking about a pill that ensures an orgasm for the woman?

Because that would be nice -- you get those two or three minutes of foreplay out of the way.

I am Laslo.

Coupe said...

On the Internet: "For every pound of fat you gain, your body produces seven miles of new blood vessels."

Read that as, blood not going to the clitoris.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

The drug, flibanserin will be OK if it doesn't create flibbertygibbitism.

EDH said...

Much of the coalition’s activities are run by a public relations company, Blue Engine Message and Media. Officials declined to discuss the budget and how much is paid for by Sprout and two other companies developing drugs for female sexual dysfunction — Palatin Technologies and Trimel Pharmaceuticals.

Michael K said...

I foresee a black market for men to buy this and slip it to girlfriends.

Robert Cook said...

One's choice between the two survey questions would depend, we may suppose, on whether one has a partner or partners to have sex with.

Laslo Spatula said...

The drug might make women less discriminating both in partner and placement.

This, of course, could be great news for Ear-Fuckers.

I am Laslo.

chickelit said...

"Give me libido or give me death!" was the early 21st century rally cry.

Wilbur said...

Dizzy, nauseated and sleepy would seem to cancel out any desire for sex. Especially nauseated.

jr565 said...

Sexual desire is not a human right. And if you want an orgasm pill, buy it.

Rob said...

How can anyone be against fighting the scourge of frigid women?

The Drill SGT said...

And here I thought that there already were two drugs that would work. C2H6O, and 5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-methyl-7-nitro-1H-benzo[e][1,4]diazepin-2(3H)-one.

e.g Alcohol or Roofie

Jane the Actuary said...

Oh, that's creepy. I saw a link somewhere yesterday complaining about exactly this: the lack of sexual-enhancement drugs for women. Didn't follow the link but also didn't imagine it was a marketing campaign to push the FDA to approve a drug, but (apparently) a claim that libido enhancement was so crucial that it needed more weighting in the cost/benefit analysis.

And, yes, based on Ask Amy, it is about the men whose post-menopausal wives don't want sex any longer.

Laslo Spatula said...

Maybe they can refine the Woman's Pill to specific 'bedroom' activities: Pink for straight sex, Yellow for blow-jobs, Brown for Anal and Purple for three-somes.

Now THAT would be marketing.

Like the Seventies Mood Ring, but it also helps you get laid. Which is a good Mood to have.

I am Laslo.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laslo Spatula said...

Of course, associating "Brown for Anal" might make things more difficult for UPS drivers.

Side effect, that.

I am Laslo.

Scott M said...

"Women...can't live with 'em...hey, pass the beer nuts." Norm Peterson

madAsHell said...

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.

Wisdom from my father. Unfortunately, I never clarified if it was liquor, or lick her.

I am not Lazlo.


Fritz said...

Dizzy, nauseated and sleepy? Pretty much the same side effects as booze.

Ann Althouse said...

"One's choice between the two survey questions would depend, we may suppose, on whether one has a partner or partners to have sex with."

Really? How much? Maybe that could be a different poll, but I don't think this should make the difference, perhaps because it's so obvious to me that having to feel sleepy, nauseated, and dizzy isn't worth it (especially if the sexual desire is only drug-induced desire).

Would you want your partner to take a drug so she (or he) would want to have sex with you? And when you don't have a partner, sexual desire still has a significant place in your life -- both because it motivates you to form new connections with other people and also because it's intrinsically valuable, whether you end up performing the act or not.

Paddy O said...

"Why is not wanting to have sex even regarded as a dysfunction? I want to want what I don't want."

In our era, sexuality is now understood as identity. It's the prevailing cultural sense of self.

This is what drives a huge amount of contemporary debates. It's what makes the key difference between contemporary and ancient views on homosexuality. Sex is what you did. Now, sex is who you are.

Who we want to have sex with. How much sex we are getting. This is true even in churches, which is why singles are generally treated as second-class.

Lacking the desire for sex, then, is lacking a sense of identity. Like losing one's memory. In light of this, it's not too far to say a pill that restores a sex drive is a 'human right'. It's what makes us human in our present culture.

Bob Boyd said...

"Dizzy, nauseated and sleepy, but interested in having sex."

Its called "closing time."

Louis said...

Corporatism masquerading as a liberation issue.

steve uhr said...

How about letting the woman decide whether to take the drug? If they decide the side effects outweigh the benefits they can stop.

The FDA should only approve drugs that are safe and effective. Here, the evidence indicates that it is effective to some degree. And the risks are not life threatening and presumably go away once you stop taking the drug.

Ian F. Shield said...

"This flibanserin is like those rape drugs frat boys are said to put in the unguarded drink. Oh, but if the woman chooses to take the drug? Well, isn't that like choosing to get drunk at the party? The man isn't supposed to exploit the opportunity of a drunken and seemingly willing sexual partner."

Could someone please explain why a man isn't supposed to "exploit the opportunity" presented by a woman who voluntarily and knowingly got herself drunk, thereby making herself more open to having sex than she would be sober? (Obviously, I don't mean a woman who has drunk herself into a stupor.) What am I missing here? If the man is also drunk, why isn't it equally wrong for the woman to "exploit" him in this way? Why isn't a woman just as responsible as a man for what she does after she voluntarily gets herself drunk?

Sertorius said...

Rather than just agreeing to have sex with their husband periodically in the name of saving the marriage, these women want a drug which alters their thinking? Passing strange.

pduggie said...

It's a feminist issue because lesbian bed death.

traditionalguy said...

Desire is a many splendored thing. All men and all women have a right to a life of Romance.... in their minds, maybe.

Call me when Big Pharma just develops the pill that stops romantic partners from having their dreams of youth fade.

robother said...

"My baby, my baby, I love the way she walks
And when the girl gets sleepy, I love the way she baby talks."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Why is not wanting to have sex even regarded as a dysfunction? I want to want what I don't want. What the hell kind of problem is that?

It's the same kind of problem as not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to leave the house, not wanting to engage in the kinds of activities that you used to enjoy. Clinical depression is a widely recognized and widely treated medical condition. We don't just say Oh, they don't want to do those things anymore? Fine, they can stay in bed, lose their jobs, lose their social life. We recognize it as a dysfunction, and try to help them.

Why would we not do the same for someone who wishes they felt sexual arousal, but does not?

walter said...

"This flibanserin is like those rape drugs frat boys are said to put in the unguarded drink."

What? Are you referring to these?
https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/date-rape-drugs.html

A little different from a libido enhancing med..analogy fail.

walter said...

But I anxiously await Sandra Fluke to run with this.

Gabriel said...

@Ann: Rape drugs don't make women willing, or make women appear to be willing. They make women either "blacked out", paralyzed, or unconscious. These drugs are generally sedatives and they do not arouse sexual desire in women.

A pill that actually produced sexual desire in women would be a totally different thing and would not affect consent the way surreptitiously administering a powerful sedative does.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Yea, we can all make jokes. Doesn't testosterone therapy work?

Todd said...

Yeah, what guy doesn't want a really horny girl that is constantly throwing up on the bed? That be SEXY!

walter said...

By the way, remember when WI's public sector's big concern was full coverage for Viagra?

hombre said...

The FDA is quite right to make the choice for women that avoiding the side effects of the drug outweighs the prospect of an increased sex life. After all, college women are demonstrating that women need to be protected by the government regarding the choice to have (more) sex.

Gahrie said...

Why isn't a woman just as responsible as a man for what she does after she voluntarily gets herself drunk?

Because women have reproductive and sexual rights while men have reproductive and sexual responsibilities.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I'm not saying the FDA should approve this drug, or that the lack of approval is due to gender bias. They should follow the normal approval standard.

The normal approval standard should be that if the drug has a positive effect, and the side effects are temporary, then approve the drug and let the patient determine if the positives outweigh the negatives.

I would say that all healthcare is a right. ( As with other rights, you do not have a right to have it provided to you, but you have a right to obtain it in the free market, and the government must have a compelling interest before it can limit that right. )

Fabi said...

Have these people never heard of Ecstacy (Molly, MDMA, beans)? It's called the 'love drug' for a reason.

Todd said...

If I understand it correctly, this is nothing like Viagra. Viagra is a treatment for a physical problem that prevents a man [who wants to have sex] from physically being able to have sex. The desire is there but the body can not comply. This is completely different from a pill to make one horny.

Not that there is anything wrong with wanting a pill to make you horny, it is just not like Viagra. That is the reason Viagra is a covered drug. It treats a physical condition (blood flow issues to a specific area of the body - I believe).

I am not saying that the type of drug under discussion might not be a good thing and that there indeed might be a number of men that would want a male version of this drug too BUT it is not like Viagra.

Jane the Actuary said...

So: what if there was a pill that had the specific effect, in women, of intensifying desire for sex with men?

dbp said...

Althouse said,

"Why is not wanting to have sex even regarded as a dysfunction? I want to want what I don't want. What the hell kind of problem is that?"

The phrasing is the problem here. One presumes that a woman who takes the purported drug, wants to have sex but doesn't feel like having sex. The pill would put her in the mood. She wants to be in the mood.

Rick said...

This flibanserin is like those rape drugs frat boys are said to put in the unguarded drink.

The current date rape drugs don't increase sexual interest, they cause blackouts and memory loss so the victims can't resist. These pills are somewhat akin to the mythical "spanish fly" which is what I suspect you're referencing.

Earnest Prole said...

Upper-middle-class American women are the richest and freest women in all of human history. One of these days someone will figure out why they are so damn unhappy with the choices they have made.

Unknown said...

You're pretty stupid about real world things, Ann, so let me just quickly mansplain that side effects DO NOT ALWAYS HAPPEN so some people might benefit while others have the side effects outweigh the benefits.

There, hope that stayed within your limited attention span.

Robert Cook said...

"Really? How much? Maybe that could be a different poll, but I don't think this should make the difference, perhaps because it's so obvious to me that having to feel sleepy, nauseated, and dizzy isn't worth it (especially if the sexual desire is only drug-induced desire)."

1. My answer was intended humorously.

2. To be serious about it, whether it would be worth feeling dizzy, nauseated and sleepy as a cost of feeling sexual desire would seem to me to be a personal preference, with at least some (I'm guessing) probably agreeing that it would be a price worth paying.

walter said...

" It treats a physical condition (blood flow issues to a specific area of the body - I believe)."

Many covered "causes" of ED...not that one needs or even can be objectively diagnosed.

TreeJoe said...

Ann,

This post is medically mis-guided. , Let's talk about the medical condition, which your wording mocks. Let me change it instead to depression and use your mocking tone, "I want to feel happy and excited but I just can't feel happy and excited." - what the hell type of medical condition is this depression? And why do we need to treat it?

That's a first order bullshit argmument and I'm surprised you of all people made it.

For over 30 years the psychiatric community has identified women who want to have sexual desire but just can't as a serious condition leading to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. This isn't "I want to have sex with my husband but am not into him." - this is "I want to have sex but can't seem to get the motivation or interest and instead of just blocking it out, I recognize I have an issue."

For some, the answer can be to de-stress, exercise, eat right, lose weight, whatever....but for others, it's a real quality of life issue that isn't being solved for them using current methods.

I'm not saying i'm pro-drug treatment here, but i am saying this is a serious condition that affects a really surprising amount of women (and some men).

Renee said...

We should experience sexual desire, but before we go to the pill is there something else that is preventing it?

Anything that alters that natural fertility/menstrual cycle will affect sexual desire. Irregular period or lack of sexual desire is a sign of a possible health problem, a pill is treating the symptom not the underlying condition.

Bay Area Guy said...

Obviously, if the drug is safe and effective according to general FDA standards it should be approved.

Larger point: If you have problems like this, and you think the solution lies in a pink pill, boy, are you disconnected from reality.

Sebastian said...

"I don't see how women are "entitled" to a drug in the general area of Viagra as some kind of gender equity proposition."

Oh? What women want = ipso facto an entitlement = a matter of gender equity = a human right.

"there's a big difference between wanting to have sex and the capacity to physically carry out the act. Why is not wanting to have sex even regarded as a dysfunction?"

Covered upthread. Not wanting sex = modern sin = loss of identity = relationship poison = dysfunction.

Of course, female dysfunction + human rights requires access to OPM, the drug that sates all desires.

"I want to want what I don't want. What the hell kind of problem is that?"

What, you want to deny women the right to desire desire? You, a feminist?

"Drugging women so we'll be able to do what men want? How did that get turned into a women's rights issue?"

The moment Prog chicks made it one. You are so old-fashioned sometimes. Get with it.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Jane the Actuary said... So: what if there was a pill that had the specific effect, in women, of intensifying desire for sex with men?

Bonus question: What if prescriptions for that pill were offered to those diagnosed as lesbians?

Or did I give away where you were going to go with your question?

Big Mike said...

Reading the article, I'm very concerned that approval appears to be based on political considerations and not medical considerations. That the side effects are similar to a woman getting drunk to get laid should not be an issue -- men have been plying women with alcohol since the first australopithecines discovered fermented fruit.

However I was surprised, since it's the Times, that the article didn't address the potential of this drug to be abused as a date rape drug, which I think is something that the FDA needs to grapple with. What is its effect on a healthy, pre-menopausal female with a normal libido who may already have imbibed a drink or two? Would this become the new date rape drug of choice at college parties?

Todd said...

walter said...
" It treats a physical condition (blood flow issues to a specific area of the body - I believe)."

Many covered "causes" of ED...not that one needs or even can be objectively diagnosed.

6/1/15, 10:35 AM


Don't know about that, I am just saying that these two "conditions" are not the same and should not be discussed as though they are. I don't know if there is a male version of this drug, one that "inflames male desires" as this pill claims to do for women.

As I understand it, regardless of whether a man wants to have sex, Viagra will make it physically possible to. He may not mentally be "horny" but would be able to [at least] look like he was.

Paddy O said...

"That's a first order bullshit argmument and I'm surprised you of all people made it."

I think you miss her point. You equate not having what we want that leads to depression is itself equivalent to depression. That's a fallacy.

My car caught fire while I was in graduate school. I had to take the bus everyday. I wanted a car, and because of the hassle of bus time and social status (I live in SoCal where car is identity), my depression increased. Is having a car a human right? Lots of people live without cars. In some places it's more common not to have a car. Instead of giving me a car, it's a perfectly acceptable response to discuss whether the want itself is an inherent value.


That lacking something leads to depression doesn't make that thing itself inherent to who we are as a person. So, wanting a want (not necessarily a bad thing) might also expose an underlying symptom that itself should be addressed if the depression is to be more fully treated.


Being willing to put up with significant side effects to satisfy a desire to want is suggestive of deeper issues. It is certainly understandable for Althouse to point to the key underlying issue at hand.

That's not to say it's an unimpeachable position. There's good relational reasons to want the want of sexuality, such as in helping struggling marriages. But, it's very far from being a "first order bullshit argument."

Unless of course we are so wholly committed to the idea that sexuality is identity. Which is where a lot of the current psychological field is at, which leads to incoherence and the perpetuation of pathologies, rationalizing symptoms rather than addressing them.

Peter said...

"Is sexual desire a human right?"

Once you get started on positive rights ("I have a right to this, so you have an obligation to provide it for me") it becomes difficult to stop demanding more, doesn't it?

And why would you, so long as the tactic works?

steve uhr said...

Paddy -- No one is saying you can't have a car if you can afford one. Here, the law says you can't take a pill that you think may be beneficial and won't cause substantial harm to you or others even if you can afford it.

One could argue that being very religious is a sign of deeper issues. Is it really the job of the government to get into that debate?

grackle said...

I have my own version of flibanserin. It's called "staying single." I stay single and get lot's of sex from women who almost always seem willing and in the mood. Haven't needed Viagra yet. Wouldn't hesitate to use it if the need arises.

lgv said...

AA was right on target, until the date rape drug analogy. That one kind of fell apart.

We have been expanding what is a human right by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Why not this? OK, you are right, it's not even close to a human right. I'm pretty sure the drug company is spending a brazillian dollars trying to make the argument.

OTOH, we have always had this same problem with FDA approval. Safe and effective are fuzzy words that are relative. Some committee decides how to score each drug on those two words. I find it puzzling that given the lack of severity and permanency of the symptoms it would not be allowed, unless the side effects occur in a high percentage of people. Heck I took a drug whose side effects included cancer, death and weakened immune system. It was for a dermatological problem and it didn't work. The FDA decisions on these things isn't quantifiable.


Seeing Red said...

I thought they found Viagra has other good properties for other illnesses?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said... I want to want what I don't want. What the hell kind of problem is that?

I have to echo a couple of other commenters here in saying the analogy to clinical depression sprang to my mind when reading your incredulity here, Prof. Don't antidepressants, in theory, address a very similar problem? People feel depressed and experience the symptoms of depression (esp. disconnectedness, lack of motivation or desire for things they formerly enjoyed doing or pursuing), and want to "fix" that...they want to go back to wanting things like they used to. It's fine if you think antidepressant use is strange, as well, but given their widespread use in our society today I'm not sure we're in "what the hell" territory.

SGT Ted said...

Funny how everything revolving around a vagina is a right.

Fen said...

No, its not a human right. And if you Vjays keep this up, we'll take back some of the rights we gave you. This is really not working out. You women are fruit loops crazy.

SGT Ted said...

A pill that actually produced sexual desire in women would be a totally different thing and would not affect consent the way surreptitiously administering a powerful sedative does.

The Legendary Spanish Fly, being demanded as a right by women.

Whodathunk?

Fen said...

Why would we give sex drugs to women who refuse to be responsible for consensual sex?

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damikesc said...

And if the FDA approves it and it causes huge problems --- I bet they won't want to sue the drug manufacturer, will they?

Then again, FDA approval isn't protection either.

Would you want your partner to take a drug so she (or he) would want to have sex with you?

Women seem to have come to grips with Viagra long ago.

Sigivald said...

"Sexual desire" is a human right in the same way free speech is - the State may not take it from you.

And just as the State doesn't have to give you paper and pens or an internet connection to speak, it doesn't have to give you free pills for arousal.

No positive human rights, only negative ones.

Sebastian said...

"This flibanserin is like those rape drugs frat boys are said to put in the unguarded drink."

Clearly, what we need is a drug that produces consent. The real thing, mind you, not a phony approximation of a simulacrum.

Manufacturing consent: now there's a challenge for our pharmaceuticians.

Todd said...

damikesc said...
And if the FDA approves it and it causes huge problems --- I bet they won't want to sue the drug manufacturer, will they?

Then again, FDA approval isn't protection either.

Would you want your partner to take a drug so she (or he) would want to have sex with you?

Women seem to have come to grips with Viagra long ago.

6/1/15, 12:15 PM


Sorry, that is not what Viagra does. He already wants to have sex but for physical reasons can't. Viagra makes it so he can. Not the same as this drug which is supposed to make women horny. Viagra is [mostly] for guys that are already horny but can't maintain an erection.

And as I recall, a large number of women complained about Viagra when it was first introduced as they were "glad to be done with all that [sex]" whereas that little pill remedied a medical issue preventing some men from acting on their desire, allowing them to once again have an active sex life.

Not saying that there might not be a need or market for this pill but it is not a "women's version of Viagra".

PB said...

No one has a right to another's product or service. You have the freedom to purchase it if it is for sale at a price the seller agrees to.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...This flibanserin is like those rape drugs frat boys are said to put in the unguarded drink.

Is it? Is involuntarily having someone else render you incapable of consent the same as voluntarily changing one's own desire to give consent/engage in certain activity? Those two things are self-evidently not equivalent, and I'm not sure how much sense it makes to say they're "alike."

n.n said...

SGT Ted:

Including the right to life... and, apparently, the right to abortion. Women's rights know no bounds.

James Pawlak said...

The "Lady" of a real man will not need that pill as he will "worship her with his body" to fully arouse and satisfy her.

TreeJoe said...

Paddy O said, "I think you miss her point. You equate not having what we want that leads to depression is itself equivalent to depression. That's a fallacy.

My car caught fire while I was in graduate school. I had to take the bus everyday. I wanted a car, and because of the hassle of bus time and social status (I live in SoCal where car is identity), my depression increased. Is having a car a human right? Lots of people live without cars. In some places it's more common not to have a car. Instead of giving me a car, it's a perfectly acceptable response to discuss whether the want itself is an inherent value. "

I think you wound up agreeing with me but maybe misunderstanding me? Or I mis-wrote my intention?

An inability to manifest a physical and emotional sexual desire, despite an intellectual desire to have sex, is a significant physical problem. My comparison was not to it causing depression, but instead that it compares TO depression well - people who are depressed and seek treatment are basically saying, "I am lethargic and feel depressed but I don't want to anymore - help me feel normal."

This is very, very similar, in that women are saying, "I have no sexual desire and can't force myself into the mood, but I want some sexual desire - help me feel normal."

This comes from a deep-seated sense of what is normal for you. Someone who grows up with no sexual desire isn't clamoring to be treated for a lack of sexual desire; conversely, a woman who had a healthy sex life for 20-30 years suddenly having no desire is not normal.

Again, this is similar to depression. If you are used to being energetic/vibrant and suddenly you are not, and you try different things to improve and nothing works, then you identify that you don't feel like yourself.

This is about personal baseline, not external influence.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

This is about personal baseline, not external influence.

Also note that decreased libido is a common side effect of other drugs. If the lack of interest in sex is caused by one medication, what is wrong with correcting it with another?

Peter said...

"No one is saying you can't have a car if you can afford one. Here, the law says you can't take a pill that you think may be beneficial and won't cause substantial harm to you or others even if you can afford it."

Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to separate the two, as once a safe and effective treatment becomes available for a recognized medical problem then Medicare and Medicaid will almost always become obligated to pay for it.

clint said...

I thought the FDA existed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs.

Are they now in charge of telling us what we should want? Because that's a really nasty path to go down.

"You were born male, you should want to be male."
"You are very old, you shouldn't want to fight the cancer."
"You are just lazy, no Prozac for you!"
"You are fat and ugly, I don't even want to think about you having sex. No viagra until you lose twenty pounds."

Krumhorn said...

This blog post is the perfect example of what defines our hostess. Her analysis is sharp and takes us in an unexpected direction. I'm pretty sure if I had read something about a rights issue in connection with a pink pill the FDA had refused twice to authorize for commercialization, I would not have ended up where Ann took us.

But now that she has forced the whole issue of consent wide open, I later realized that she hadn't gone far enough when she asked:

Would you want your partner to take a drug so she (or he) would want to have sex with you?

What about a woman who, with or without the aid of drugs or drink, willingly has regular sex with her partner because she knows he wants and expects it, and she wishes to preserve and maintain her relationship, not because she particularly desires sex herself? Has she really consented to a sexual act? Or has she acceded to pressure and has been incapacitated by fear of losing him?

Such a woman is a rare creature, particularly, if she is successful in maintaining the illusion that she actively wants the sex.

Unfortunately, I didn't marry that woman. So my answer to Ann's question is, enthusiastically yes!

- Krumhorn

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Krumhorn-

Don't feel bad. Not everyone can be Laslo.

Todd said...

Krumhorn-

In another context, if I don't really, REALLY want to take out the trash but do it because I don't want my wife to b*tch at me, have I really consented to taking out the trash or was I pressured into it? How is that different from my wife having sex with me even if she really does not feel like it? We both did it in order to make the other happy and to "grease" the marriage gears.

OK now, no jokes about my wife, sex, and me, mkay?

Is the new rule that if something is not done enthusiastically for your own personal reasons, it is coercion? That appears to be the case when it involved women and sex. Is that rule going universal?

glenn said...

My father, bless his long gone heart, told me that there were no frigid women only clumsy and insensitive men. Long ago before I met my one and only wife I did my level best to find out if he was right. I can't prove to a mathematical certainty that he was, but in the cases of all the ones I slept with .....

Coupe said...

"worship her with his body"

She can call it worship, I just call it a quicky as she tries to climb the stairs...

Skeptical Voter said...

Oh I don't know. The Victorians handled the problem by telling women that they should just lay back and "think of England".

Modern guys sometimes handle the problem with a couple of martinis.

But what about the wife who wants to enjoy sex with her husbands--but for one reason or another (he doesn't have Laslo Spatula's technique [or since Laslo is a legend in his own mind, his purported technique], or her libido is way down)?

I have some sympathy for her--but not much. Not all problems are worth solving.

Todd said...

Skeptical Voter said...
Oh I don't know. The Victorians handled the problem by telling women that they should just lay back and "think of England".

Modern guys sometimes handle the problem with a couple of martinis.

But what about the wife who wants to enjoy sex with her husbands--but for one reason or another (he doesn't have Laslo Spatula's technique [or since Laslo is a legend in his own mind, his purported technique], or her libido is way down)?

I have some sympathy for her--but not much. Not all problems are worth solving.

6/1/15, 3:38 PM


Hey, if there is a pill and she wants to take it, fine, who am I to care?

One question is, is it "really" medical? Does it get covered by insurance? Who pays?

Another is, is this really the problem or is the pill a coverup of the problem? Is the low/no libido due to other hormonal issues or other medical problems that this pill gets around but does not help the "root cause"?

Lastly, great, we have this pill that "fires up the ladies", it becomes the new hit "date rape" drug at all the campus parties. That will be an entirely difference set of court cases: Yes your honor, my client admits to spiking the lady's drink with "libido-builder" but he didn't rape her! He didn't force her to have sex with him nor did he force her to have sex at all, with anyone. He just enhanced her desire to have sex. That sir, is not a crime!

Rhythm and Balls said...

It's hard to know how to respond to a post that could occupy a team of at least a dozen psychiatrists for several years. I'd say a couple case studies for the medical journals could be published based on what's in the first paragraph alone. Never before has so much been voluntarily said by someone so unaware of how abnormal she was.

Rhythm and Balls said...

I think what conservatives need to do is petition the FDA to create a drug that satisfies their eminent desire to transform themselves into the social equivalent of an insect colony.

n.n said...

The sexual revolution, including libertinism, contraception, and abortion was a narrative spun by female and male feminists with profitable sales... and collateral damage exceeding 100%. It seems that women have a different idea of [positive] progress that does not reduce them to a collection of orifices, womb bank, and taxable asset, and exploited as democratic leverage.

DavidD said...

"I don't see how women are 'entitled' to a drug in the general area of Viagra as some kind of gender equity proposition."

"War on women. Hater. Sexist. Because patriarchy."

How'd I do?

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

You're not in the mood. Well, get in the mood. Here's a contraceptive, Planned Parenthood magazine, and a little something extra... because, I love you?

Anonymous said...

How about "It's none of the government's fucking business"?

cold pizza said...

Use it to fight depression? If my SO doesn't want sex, I get depressed. Solved it. Next up, World Piece.

I, too, am not Laslo. No, I am.... Spartacus! No, not really. But that is the name I use when leaving a name for a restaurant reservation. -CP

walter said...

Sex with a spatula sounds like it would be painful..or breakfast.

Joe said...

Didn't read all of the comments, but I hope someone pointed out that Viagra doesn't change sexual desire; it helps give men an erection. The equivalent for women is lubricant.

BTW, I've tried Viagra and it gave me a brutal headache. That's a real turn on.

Kirk Parker said...

Earnest,

"One of these days someone will figure out why they are so damn unhappy with the choices they have made. "

Actually some guys (pseudo-) named Roissy, Rollo, and Dalrock think they have. You might disagree with them, but that's a different matter.

Largo said...

Some people lack an appetite for food for various reasons. They are physically able to chew and swallow, and they do to the extent needed to keep themselves alive. But it a chore, and they miss the joy of eating with a healthy appetite.

Maybe the person has to take a medication whose side effect is to suppress appetite.

Maybe the person has to take a medication that causes nausea.

I think medical marijuana might have a roll here.

But hey, you know, Why is not wanting to eat even regarded as a dysfunction, providing that you are capable of it?

Now clear your plate!

Unknown said...

Largo, ooh ooh maybe somebody has ANOSMIA! That's way different. Because Althouse.

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