Theology of the Body Thursday #31: Women’s Viagra

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I talked about it before and I doubted they’d do it, but they did.

Late last month the FDA has approved a Viagra for women called Addyi. To the FDA’s defense, they have approved it with a number of unusual restrictions such as only a physician trained specifically in this drug can prescribe it and it has to have a major warning label forbidding use of the drug with alcohol.

An odd mix of sex activists, sex therapists and social conservatives who will likely never agree on anything else ever again are all criticizing this medication. It has only a 15% success rate and even then, it only makes a small positive change in the patient’s sex life. It has some awful side effects including a risk of fainting.

Unlike Viagra, Addyi has to be taken daily for months before you can feel any affects. This puts you constantly at the risk of fainting, unable to drink or to safely drive or use heavy machinery even if you have no immediate plans of having sex. It was originally made to be a anti-depressant, but after the drug company failed to get FDA-approval, they repackaged it as a treatment for low sex drives in women. Speaking of the drug company, this isn’t the first time Sprout has messed up.

Pretty good illustration of men's sex drive vs. women's sex drive

Pretty good illustration of men’s sex drive vs. women’s sex drive

Anyone can tell you, sex is much more complicated for women than it is for men. Women need to feel safe, they need to feel like they can trust their partner, and they need to feel an emotional connection. It makes sense given a woman’s amazing capability to bring new life. They need to feel like the person they are with will stick around for the long haul to raise whatever potential life could come from this act. All of these very natural, understandable things cannot be fixed by a simple pill.

Starting in October, a drug company will start to try to sell women a drug to solve problems that cannot be solved by drugs and their particular medication is not only ineffective, but outright dangerous.

Here's what it looks like so you can avoid the trap.

Here’s what it looks like so you can avoid the trap.

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Theology of the Body Thursday #19: A Blow to the “Sexual Revolution”

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There is no such thing as a “sex drive.”

Let me repeat: There is no such thing as a “sex drive.”

A behavioral scientist, Emily Nagoski, who has done extensive research on women and sex dropped this bombshell a couple weeks ago. She explains that “a drive is a motivational system to deal with life-or-death issues.” Hunger is a drive, being too hot or too cold is a drive, sex can’t be a drive for two reasons: 1) Sex isn’t needed for the survival of the organism and 2) the desire for sex doesn’t always happen spontaneously.

She makes the argument that people who don’t experience “spontaneous desire” aren’t broken. She says that most men experience “spontaneous desire” while most women do not. Since, for far too long, men’s experiences have been seen as the norm, women who don’t experience it often think they need a pill to fix it.

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This taking the white male as the norm has been a huge problem in medical research that is slowly but surely getting fixed.

She calls for a reclaiming of what she calls “responsive desire.” It is the desire for sex triggered by arousal. She explains it thus:

But there is another way of experiencing desire which is also healthy and normal, called “responsive desire”, where your interest only emerges in response to arousal. So, your partner comes over and starts kissing your neck and you’re like, “oh, right, sex, that’s a good idea”. [Source]

While she acknowledges that “spontaneous desire” is fun, she explains that it is not necessary for pleasure or fulfillment. I think she could have learned that by asking anyone who has used NFP to postpone pregnancy, but anyway….

What does this have to do with the “sexual revolution”? It was only in the 1970s that people started to argue that we had a sex drive. A drive, in turn, quickly becomes a need and then a right. Now in 2015, it is taken for granted that sex is a right. I’ve had plenty of arguments with my peers about this. Now, we who argue that sex is not a right have another point to use.

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You can bet your bottom that I will be reviewing Nagoski’s book, Come as You Are. There will be plenty of points to ponder. Some will reaffirm my worldview, some will definitely challenge it. I’m so looking forward to this book.