Sprout Pharmaceuticals celebrates a hard-won battle to distribute their newest drug,Flibanserin (aka, “Addyi”)– which they will advertise as an effective treatment for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, or HSDD.

Which begs the question:

What is HypoActive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)?



Yeah, so okay. You might have noticed from my tone – I’m a bit skeptical about HSDD.

And I’ll tell you why.

#1. Have you ever heard of HSDD?

I mean, until just recently?

I certainly hadn’t. Not until I heard about Flibanserin and Sprout Pharmaceuticals. Which, right there, makes me stop and wonder.

viagra for women“Hmmm…”

Nevertheless, it turns out that HSDD is indeed a legitimate disorder, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Also known as the DSM-V (“V” for “fifth edition”).

Anyone and everyone who works in the mental health field relies on this manual to assess patients and classify their diagnoses.

All disorders in the DSM-V are written and approved by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). So, we’re talking pretty legit stuff.

On the other hand…

#2. The APA isn’t infallible. 

That’s one of the reasons the DSM has been revised so many times since its first incarnation in 1952.

Unknown-14For instance, once upon a time, the DSM-I listed homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance. This pathology was not revised until 1974. And “homosexuality” was not completely removed from the book until 1987.

Along the way, the APA has updated, revised, added and removed a number of classifications to, and from, the DSM.

For instance, did you know that “Aspergers” – along with all other sub-categories within the spectrum of autism– has been removed from the latest edition of the DSM?

Also, the APA once considered  “Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder” and “Masochistic Personality Disorder” as possible new additions to the manual; but ultimately … reconsidered.

Just Sayin’!

Again, putting my skepticism aside for a moment, here is the current definition of HSDD, according to Wikipedia:

Hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD)  is considered a sexual dysfunction and is characterized as a lack or absence of sexual fantasies and desire for sexual activity, as judged by a clinician.

For this to be regarded as a disorder, it must cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulties and not be better accounted for by another mental disorder, a drug (legal or illegal), or some other medical condition.

Now I want to ask that you read the above definition one more time, very carefully, and pay particular attention to the words in “bold.”

  • What this means is that: HSDD is a disorder whereby you experience 1). Low sex drive AND 2.)Your low sex drive bothers you.
  • If your low sex drive does not bother you, you do not have the disorder.


If So, Let’s Take The Following Quiz Together:

(1.)  I’m single and never horny– doesn’t bother me at all. And it’s obviously not causing any “interpersonal difficulties.”

♦ Does this mean I DON’T have HSDD? 

(2.)  I’m in a relationship and I’m never horny– of course,  this makes my boyfriend unhappy, which causes me “marked distress.”

♦ Does this mean that I DO have HSDD?

(3.)  I’m in a relationship. I used to feel sexual with my boyfriend, Paul, but not lately. And this is distressful. However, I recently met, and am having great sex with, Pauls’ brother.

♦ Does this mean that I DO have HSDD? And I also DON’T have HSDD?

(4.)  I was seriously horny when I first met my boyfriend – but less horny a year into the relationship.

 ♦ Does that mean that I once DIDN’T but now I DO suffer from HSDD?

(5.)  I was seriously NOT horny– until I met my brand new boyfriend.

♦ Does that mean I once DID have HSDD, but now I DON’T have HSDD”?

(6.)  I just answered “yes” to all of the above.

♦ Does that mean that a person can have and not have HSDD at the same time?


 HOW COOL!  You can have HSDD and NOT HAVE it at the same time!

Because, according to the DSM-V:

  • HSDD can be general (general lack of sexual desire)
  • HSDD can be situational (still have sexual desire, but lack sexual desire for current partner),
  • HSDD can be acquired (HSDD started after a period of normal sexual functioning)
  • HSDD can be lifelong (always had no/low sexual desire.) 

 #3. Beware of “disease mongering” 

In his recent article about Flibanserin, Dr. Naveed Saleh explains that “disease mongering” is what happens when  pharmaceutical companies “pathologize” aspects of the human condition in order to make a buck.

Personally, I consider “disease mongering” to be right up there with “corporate marketing and manipulation.”

For example, halitosis or bad breath only became a condition that needed treatment after Listerine was developed to “treat” it.


Additionally, you may want to keep a watch on the press as the news of Addyi and Flibanserin unfolds.

For instance, you may hear about how women’s groups are rejoicing over the FDA’s decision to allow Sprout to manufacture Flibanserin. And that “it’s about time females get their own equivalent to Viagra!”

But guess what?

Those so-called “women’s groups” were put together by none other than Sprout Pharmaceuticals, to boost their PR and advance their credibility with the FDA.

What Am I Saying?

  • I’m saying that, HSDD is (apparently) a real disorder. But that could change.
  • I’m saying that, while HSDD is a real disorder, be wary of the lengths to which pharmaceuticals will go to make a buck, by exploiting a disease.
  • I’m saying: I recommend we all follow our best instincts, and not doubt ourselves unnecessarily.


Damn straight I would!

I may be a skeptic, but I’m not stupid. I like to have a good time as much as the next gal.

I’m just going to wait until I hear more about it. More solid, hard-core testimonials. Otherwise, I have better things to do with my time and money.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?! This is exciting new stuff and I want to know what women like you are saying! Please leave your COMMENT below.


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