If the little pink pill ever comes into existence (the latest version is flibanserin), I know a lot of women who both desperately want and desperately do not want to take it. Low libido is a very common side effect from the Pill. You take the Pill so you can have lots of sex, and then the Pill, in a rather brilliant doubling-of-efficacy effect, makes you not want to have sex. So along comes the female Viagra to the rescue. Now you get to take TWO pills every day, or maybe wear a patch and a pill or whatever combination of tedium you prefer.

At Psychology Today, Paul Joannides brings up two problems that this pill needs to pass before getting FDA approval: placebo effect + situation (does the pill help more than a vacation or new lover?) and co-eds (frat guys spiking your drink with love drug). After making valid points, he meanders into some offensive, male-centric versions of how the drug works, but that’s mostly irrelevant to why I didn’t like his article.

Joannides skips over the real problem with the approval process: female arousal levels have to be normalized (range X is normal) and then pathologized (below range X is abnormal, treat with pink pill), for FDA approval and for insurance to cover it. And so once again we enter into the cycle of inventing problems so that the enhancement is justified as medicinal. I can’t wait to read Cosmo articles on flibanserin.

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