Health

Why Go To Couple's Therapy When You Can Just Pop a Female Viagra?

For your daily dose of girl power, get the scoop on Lybrido, the first female arousal drug

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Cue the infomercial -- "Finally, what you've all been waiting for... the first female arousal drug! Developed to help women to reclaim their desires, feel excited about intimacy, and reach their sexual prime! First researched by female scientists hoping to equalize society's male-centered focus on pleasure." Right?

Yeah, we wish. Lybrido wasn't actually developed by women seeking to close the gender gap -- it was designed by Adriaan Tuiten in order to understand why his long-term girlfriend dumped him.

The breakup "inspired a lifelong quest to comprehend female emotion through biochemistry and led to his career as a psychopharmacologist," according to Daniel Bergner's New York Times Magazine report. It's actually kind of a sad story -- she broke his heart seemingly out of nowhere more than 30 years ago, and he's been searching for the answer to female emotions ever since. (Good luck with that, by the way.)

But what's actually perplexing is Lybrido's stake in monogamy. The drug trials have excluded women who weren't in long-term monogamous relationships, since the data involving women with new lovers brings "surges of lust." OK, that's all fine and good, since there's evidence suggesting that, "for many women, the cause of their sexual malaise appears to be monogamy itself."

But it still seems odd that while Viagra is associated with male vigor and playboy antics, Lybrido is inextricably linked to maintaining marriage. According to the Times article, if you start to feel sexual disinterest in a long-term marriage or relationship, think "how much easier it would be if we could solve the insoluble by getting a prescription, stopping off at the drugstore and swallowing a pill." Anyone else miffed by this?

But even amidst all of the pro-monogamy testing of Lybrido, some companies are still concerned that a too-successful drug would lead to "female excesses, crazed binges of infidelity, societal splintering." Where are we -- Downton Abbey?

If you still want in on this, Lybrido could be out on the market as early as 2016. Gender politics aside, the drug's testing so far has shown "happy" results. It's tailored specifically to the female psyche -- by raising dopamine levels (to increase feelings of lust and impulse) and turning off serotonin levels (to decrease feelings of calm and inhibition). So even if its ramifications seem a bit misguided, at least it's working.

And we also need to remember the huge changes in the '60s sparked by THE pill -- after women gained control of their reproduction. As Bergner asks, "What might it mean for conventional structures if women could control, with a prescription, the most primal urge?"

We'll leave that one for you to decide.

Source: The Cut and The New York Times

If you want to read about other "sex-crazed," wild women: Disney Pulls Sexy Merida
If you want to laugh more about men: Our Friend Tests a Man Diaper
If you're sick of this gender stuff: The Chocolate Chip Cookie Diet
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