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when harry met sally orgasmAh, the mysteries of sexual desire. For me, Billy Crystal summed them up best with this line from his 1991 blockbuster, City Slickers: “Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place.”

Of course, that’s not true for all women. In fact, just last night, my new friend, Leslie, told me that every man she’s ever been with has complained that she wants sex too much.

Oy, what I would give to have such a problem!

Long ago, in a distant time and place, a woman’s lack of libido was called “I’m not in the mood.”  However, in today’s bionic and wacky world of perfection, the old “I’ve got a headache” is now a female sexual dysfunction requiring serious attention.

In 1998, Viagra made the scene, forever changing the future of men’s boners. However, in the 17 years since, no treatment has been developed to help women increase their sex drives.

The outcry for a female version of Viagra has steadily grown over the years. And finally, it appears that the pharmaceutical company, “Sprout” has obliged with a drug designed to increase a woman’s sexual pleasure.

FLIBANSERIN– Viagra for Women

I’ll get right to the point, ladies, so you don’t get your knickers in a twist:

  1. Flibanserin is not yet available, or FDA approved
  2. Flibanserin has side effects
  3. Flibanserin is not as effective as Viagra is (for men)

viagra for womenWhen will Flibanserin be on the market?  Flibanserin has been rejected by the FDA not once, but twice. It’s currently being reviewed by the FDA for the third time. As of this writing on June 21, 2015, the FDA faces a decision deadline of August 18, 2015. I’m not sure what happens after that, but, assuming the FDA gives the green light,  I’d expect we could see it on the market by early 2016. That’s just my guess.

What are the side effects?  Dizziness, anxiety, fatigue, dry mouth, insomnia and nausea.

Why won’t it work like Viagra?  Just so you know, Flibanserin was once an antidepressant. So, it’s been morphed, re-packaged and re-marketed as a libido enhancer for women. (Don’t forget, Viagra was originally designed to treat angina and control blood pressure). Unlike Viagra for men, Flibanserin works on the brain, and the neurotransmitters therein: dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin.  Conversely, Viagra “works on the physical, treating erectile dysfunction… doing nothing to induce sexual desire.”   

One extra pleasurable sexual experience a month!?
flibanserin

So, what does Flibanserin do, you ask? The most recent study of Flibanserin found that, out of the average 3.5 sexual experiences that women enjoy per month, Flibanserin enabled them to enjoy… wait for it… ONE MORE!

In other words,  don’t get your hopes up. Flibanserin will NOT be your magic bullet.

Look, don’t take it too hard.  Who knows, when Flibanserin finally comes out, you may be one of the lucky ones to have a positive reaction.

What’s up with that, you ask? Why are there all these sexual aids on the market for men, and a veritable dearth of solutions for women?

Women Are Complex

I remember once hearing the expression “Ninety percent of sex happens between the ears.” That really struck a chord with me.

But then, I’m a woman.

A recent CNN episode (and accompanying online article), explains:“…for women, the cure for a low libido is more likely to be found in their brains than in a a bottle.”

Clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist, Judy Kuriansky states:

“Women’s sexuality is very complicated. It’s not a matter of just taking  a pill. You have to feel good about your body. You have to feel good about yourself. You have to feel the guy really loves you… It’s complex.”

So, I repeat: “Women need a reason; men need a place.” Even Dr. Jennifer Berman, director of the Female Sexual Medicine Center at UCLA states that Flibanserin “can’t overcome mental and emotional barriers to a satisfying sex life.”

Confused? Here’s a brief summary of the nuanced differences between the sexes, with particular regard to sexual desire:

  1. A man’s sexual dysfunction is most often due to a flaccid penis. A physical matter, not mental inhibitor. Viagra works great for that. It engorges both the penis (and clitoris) with blood.
  2. A woman’s libido, on the contrary, is more influenced by environmental stressors and self image concerns. Flibanserin may or may not help with that. The jury is out.

th-13So I’m Complex. I Still Want Help.

When a guy can’t get it up, it’s called “Erectile Dysfuntion.” When a women experiences a decline in her libido, it’s apparently called HSDD. Short for Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder.

Bull-poo-poo. Sisters, please don’t let yourself be labeled. Especially not for a disorder which simply means: “I’m not a teenager. I’m a grown woman with a grown up body. Sometimes I want sex, sometimes I don’t. When I was young, I wanted it all the time. Then came LIFE. Yeah, life that includes work, kids, dishes, stress, meetings, my aging mother, my period, my parents, church, mean people, menopause,  traffic, my boss…. REAL FREAKIN’ LIFE. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!”

That is the first and last time I’m ever going to mention HSDD. Because– it’s bullshit.

Alternative Solutions

I. VIAGRA – Women Can Take It Too

A few years back, I went to my doctor and asked if there was a Viagra for women. She said no, but suggested I try the little purple pill for men. “It can’t hurt,” she said, and sent me on my way with a few samples tucked into my purse.

Needless to say, my oversexed boyfriend at the time, Allaister, was delighted to hear viagra for womenthe news. One night he urged me to take a pill. So I did. And it did absolutely nothing. Nada. Niente.

But that was just me.

It turns out there was a study conducted a few years back by a guy named Irwin Goldstein. Dr. Goldstein tested the effects of Viagra on women with low sex drives due to the antidepressants they were on. (Irony Alert: Remember, Flibanserin was originally designed to be an anti-depressant).

In a nutshell, the women taking the Viagra had far more encouraging results than those taking the placebo (according to the very nebulous statistics reported). But here’s where it gets interesting: Those women noticed an improvement in achieving orgasm, but no improvement in sexual arousal or lubrication.

Do you know why?

According to Dr. Goldstein: “What Viagra does in women… is engorge their clitoris. Viagra acts on a man’s penis and a woman’s clitoris.”

He goes on to say that it was no surprise to find that Viagra did not affect desire or arousal and it “has never been shown to increase desire in men or in women.”

So you see, the one pill out there, Viagra, which  is working very well for men (and somewhat well for women) does one thing, and one thing only: engorge the genitalia with blood. Pure and simple.

Remember, Viagra works on the physical, not the mental.

2. MARIJUANA

Truth is, I don’t really like pot. Not my kind of high. But I have found that it not only is a great dis-inhibitor, but also enhances the sensations in my girlie parts, and makes for a great orgasm. So I keep a pinch or two at my bedside ’cause, you never know!

3. PORN

You don’t hear much about women watching porn, right? But we are visual creatures too. Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it, is my motto.

SUMMARY

During my research on this topic, I learned something interesting: A woman’s libido seems to be affected primarily by her mind. Much moreso than a man’s. The articles I ran across pointed to menopause, raising children, job stress, lower testosterone levels– all culprits of a woman’s loss of sex drive.

Men & Women Are Different

  • For men, it’s physical. Their brains are ready to go, their thoughts are fully focused on the task at hand. They just seem to need a functioning body part.
  • For women, it’s mental. Women need a kick-start to the brainThey need to block out the worries of the day, stop obsessing about the kids, the extra 12 pounds they’re carrying, and the boss at work; they need to pretend they’re on a warm desert island with George Clooney. Once the mental desire kicks in, they’re pretty much good to go.

In other words, it’s complicated.

Diana Karp blogs at thoughtidask.com

 

Why The “New Viagra” For Women Won’t Work was last modified: by

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