THE ARRIVAL OF THE LITTLE PINK PILL
By Skye Huntington
While men have as many as 25 different drugs, including Viagra and Cialis to combat sexual dysfunction, women have had zero. Awaited by men and women alike, the little pink pill has finally gotten approved by the FDA. It has been touted as the “Female Viagra,” but after learning more about it, much of the media have wrongly interpreted it, as indicated by syndicated columnist, Cal Thomas, in an article he wrote for the Tribune Content Agency regarding the subject:
“Men of a certain age may rejoice at such a breakthrough. Imagine the possibility of no longer hearing, ‘Not tonight, honey—I’ve got a headache.’” Think of the time and money this pill could save men. No more expensive dinners. No more mandatory chick flicks. No remembering birthdays or sending flowers. No back rubs or faked sensitivity. Just a simple pill and she’ll be “ready,” as the male enhancement commercial euphemistically calls it. Cut to the chase, except there would be no need for a chase. No romance. No “getting to know you.” It sounds like the 1973 film, “Westworld”, where lifelike android women fulfill any male fantasy and never say “no.” Many believe the contraceptive pill transformed sex from a marital act to a mechanical action. Love would also be redefined from a selfless regard for another person, to a focus on pleasing oneself. In this latter definition, when the feelings end or can no longer be sustained at the hormonal level of a randy teenager or newlywed, one jettisons the object of one’s former affection in pursuit of new feelings and new conquests. If women today complain about men who can’t commit — and many do — how do they expect commitment when a little pill can lead to pharmaceutical arousal? The same holds true for men and Viagra.”
“Hypoactive sexual desire disorder,” or HSDD, is characterized by a woman who doesn’t think about sex, she doesn’t fantasize, she doesn’t desire sex. What makes it different is that it’s distressing to her. This has a negative impact on her. She’s worried about it and she’s frustrated,” said Dr. Lauren Streicher of Northwestern University.
According to the International Journal of Women’s Health, as many as one in ten women suffer from HSDD, or roughly 16 million women in the U.S. Dr. Streicher stressed: “This is a huge advancement in women’s health, because for the first time, we have an FDA approved, non-hormonal option for women who have this very distressing lack of sexual desire. As a sexual health expert, as a gynecologist, as someone who takes care of women every single day…this is going to be a game changer for me, because right now, I have women that come into my office and have these issues, and I just have had to say, ‘I’m so sorry—there is nothing that I can do.’”
The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill that aims to increase a woman’s desire for sex and also increase a woman’s ability to become sexually aroused. The drug, Flibanserin, will be marketed under the brand name Addyi. Flibanserin shifts the balance of three key brain chemicals. It increases dopamine and norepinephrine, which are supposed to enhance libido and decrease serotonin, which can dampen the sex drive. Scientists have known for years that a woman’s most significant sexual organ is actually her brain, but this drug seems far from being an aphrodisiac.
Both men and women can suffer from sexual dysfunction, but for men it’s visible, and for women it simply can’t be seen. When a man wants to get an erection, and his body isn’t cooperating due to age, illness or medications, he can take a Viagra, which increases blood flow all over the body, including the genitals. The Viagra doesn’t create desire or make him want to have sex, it just helps the man’s physical ability to have sex. One big difference is that Viagra is taken as needed, Addyi is a drug that must be taken every day.
A woman named Katherine Campbell said to news anchor Katie Couric: “One day, I had this great, awesome sex drive and a great relationship with my husband, and the next day, I didn’t even think about it any more.” She thinks she could benefit from the drug. One thousand women participated in clinical trials for Flibanserin. Results from Sprouts Pharmaceuticals showed that, on average, the amount of “satisfying sexual events” doubled among women who took the pill. Women also said they experienced a 50 percent increase in sexual desires. About 15 percent of those women in the clinical trials dropped out because of side effects, including sleepiness, dizziness and anxiety. Maybe it’s to be expected… Viagra commercials warn that you can experience nausea, diarrhea and risk having erections lasting over four hours.
Now that we have the little pink pill, Addyi—is it all that it’s cracked up to be? You will only be able to obtain it from a prescription written by a licensed physician. The FDA is also requiring a strong warning to women that they should never drink alcohol while taking the drug and stressing the risk that it can cause sudden fainting—a special danger for drivers. Physicians will supposedly be required to assess each female patient, to see whether abstaining from alcohol is possible. Other side effects include severely low blood pressure and loss of consciousness. “This is a drug that’s meant to be taken every day for the rest of a woman’s life. We don’t know what the long-term effects are,” says Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, Associate Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center.
“ This is a product that is neither very effective nor particularly safe,” says Dr. Susan Wood, a former FDA official.
We should also take a look at the drug industry and wonder why they’re pushing this so hard. Is it really that they want to help women? Two days after winning approval of its drug, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, a Raleigh, N.C. company with just 34 employees, and Valeant Pharmaceuticals, based in Laval, Quebec, announced that Sprout would be bought by Valeant for about $1 billion in cash. That is a sizable return on the $100 million that had been invested in Sprout, which was created in 2011. Addyi was made available just this October, 2015, with the anticipation that it would be covered by health insurance companies with a co-pay of $30 to $75.
In my mind, one thing is for sure. It is not accurate to call the little pink pill the “Female Viagra”—because it doesn’t work the same way as the little blue pill, Viagra, does for men. If the most significant sexual organ is actually the woman’s brain, then maybe we should turn off all our technical devices once in a while and rely on old-fashioned chemical attraction, and slow down time for some quality romance, which might be the key to sparking the female flame. As much as I wish the pink pill could bring on ecstacy for all women who need it, I feel that to manipulate certain chemicals in the brain in order to achieve desire seems pretty risky and scary. Women certainly deserve an equal opportunity to enjoy their sex life with the products available to them, just as men have. We will just hope they can come up with something that will be an aphrodisiac, without all the side effects and messing with our brains. It seems, taking the pill the rest of your life, is more like a prison sentence—with no parole possibility.
NOW THAT’S A CONDOM WORTH PUTTING ON!
The Michigan-based condom company, IXu, L.L.C., have created a unique vibrating condom—that just possibly no one will deny using. Their upcoming new “VA w.o.w” (standing for “worn of women”), condom is one which they guarantee will have your lady orgasming practically every time. Their test of 50 couples proved a whopping 70 percent of the women to experience orgasm with its very first use. Climaxes increased to 84 percent on the second go-round. And by the fourth romp—100% had an orgasm! STD prevention, birth control and orgasms all-in-one!
The company plans to connect the vibrating condom to be used with smartphones, for orgasmic remote control use, with a world of possible app useage from pulse sensations to sound, heat and light all at an individual’s or partner’s fingertips.
Women and their eager-to-satisfy partners will anxiously await this condom’s release, which first needs FDA approval, as the company looks for manufacturers to bring their design to the U.S., after its initial 18 months of availability in Europe.