Flibanserin Sparks Debate About Women And Sexuality
This is a very long article. I do not want to copy all or even most of it to my blog, so please see the link to visit their site to read the whole thing, if the headline or excerpt look interesting to you:
- Will the FDA’s support of a female libido pill stall efforts to revolutionize how we think of female desire?
- Some critics argue that the emphasis on pharmaceuticals to solve women’s sexual problems is a result of projecting a male model of spontaneous desire onto women. “We tend to think that male desire and female desire should sort of look the same,” said Ian Kerner, an author and sex therapist who frequently sees women with complaints of low desire.
- “Maybe that’s because in the infatuation stage of romantic love, we often can’t keep our hands off of each other and it feels like sort of desire is matched for desire.” But that “neuro-chemical cocktail,” as he calls it, soon wears off and desire between the sexes often begins to look very different, he says.
- Indeed, one study found that 74 percent of men experienced spontaneous desire, while 2.5 percent had responsive desire. Compare that to another study which found that just over 30 percent of women primarily experienced responsive desire.
- There is disagreement on just how real this gender divide is, though.
- In response to a New York Times (Link): Op-Ed Nagoski wrote about responsive desire, she says she heard from three times as many men as women who wanted to thank her for articulating their experience.
- “That made me wonder if the cultural narratives around men’s and women’s desire have skewed the way men and women answer survey questions about desire,” she told me.
- …Nagoski goes so far as to rule out the existence of spontaneous desire entirely. “No desire is ever spontaneous, literally,” she said. “It just feels spontaneous for some people because it crosses the threshold into awareness before they’re aware of being physiologically aroused.”
- ..The low-desire condition flibanserin is meant to treat, hypoactive sexual desire disorder, was taken out of the manual, at least as it applied to women. It was replaced with female sexual interest/arousal disorder in an attempt to acknowledge the way desire and arousal are often difficult for women with sexual dysfunction to disentangle.
- “The [old] definitions were very much based on a more male-based conception of what sexual functioning is,” said sex researcher Meredith Chivers. “The revamping was really about looking at these phenomenon through a gendered lens.”