Unlike many writers, including today's NYTimes article by Natasha Singer Sex and the Single Drug, we don't attribute women's sexual libido problems primarily to men and the so-called "men don't know how to please their partners" disease.
From our vantage point, men have made considerable progress in trying to please women in bed, with not enough credit for their efforts.
Many a man is trying to get things right in the bedroom with his wife.
Giving him credit for trying requires the couple -- including her -- to dig deeper into their sexual malaise, if she (or he) remains unresponsive. Growing numbers of American men are not interested in sex with her either.
When it comes to American culture, and its Conservative morality police -- including the strong prevalance of religious values in America compared to European countries -- we believe that outsiders are more to blame for women's sexual psychology than men as husbands and lovers.
American Women and FSD
We sit on the 50-yard line in the discussion of women's sexuality and FSD, female sexual dysfunction.
Anne is an apostle of the health and wellness benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and is moving to publish her manuscript on the health benefits of loving sexuality in relationships. When she reads articles that dismiss the importance of sexuality in women's lives, and especially as a component of positive aging, she bristles.
At the same time, we opposed the confirmation of Boehringer Ingelheim's flibanserin, as a new pill for treating low-libido difficulties, based on the reality that:
1) the drug only worked in America, not Europe and
2) the placebo benefit was the largest component of the total lift in sexual activity experienced by the women taking both the sugar pill and the actual flibanserin.
The flibanserin results only confirmed what most researchers around female sexuality know well: women's sexual desire is not only largely in the mind, but it's also highly impacted by lifestyle and cultural conditions, as well as physical ones.
Agreeing that America is a largely patriarchal culture -- compared to Scandinavia or even France and Italy when the subject is women's sexuality -- we do put men in charge of the women's sexual dysfunction but on a cultural plane.
Men who care about positive sexuality are joining women in helping us fight back against an American culture that promotes quick sex, a constant onslaught of sexual imagery and pulpit/wagging politico messages that still say 'good girls don't do it.'
America is schzoid, when the topic is sex.
Redefining Female Sexual Disorder
One note that got our attention in today NYT Sex and the Single Drug, is the proposal to do away with the old diagnosis of hypoactive sexual desire disorder with a rediagnosing of reduced libido as a lack of sexual interest for six months.
When losing interest sex for a short period of weeks labels a woman as 'sexually dysfunctional and creates a pool of nearly half of American women (43%) as candidates for a drug and all the advertising that will accompany it, the entire country is headed for a state of increased sexual dysfunction.
The placebo results in the flibanserin trials confirm what we've always believed -- that America needs a cultural, social makeover on the topic of sex, not a new blockbuster drug for women.
America's women need permission to be sexual from the authorities that matter -- not drug companies, but her church. She needs to love her body, not bury it in carb and addicting foods that increase her obesity rates, often creating sexual desire challenges.
The health challenges of obesity are well-established and loss of circulation are top of the list. When a woman's sexual organs aren't circulating with fresh blood and 'life energy' (not a medical term), sexual desire is often seriously diminished.
Anne is working on a list of 10-ways to improve loss of sexual desire without taking a pill.
The threshold for bringing a 'viagra for women' to the table is being raised and properly so. We are concerned -- knowing some of the players in not advocating a pill for women -- that these same experts are true advocates for women being sexual creatures.
Plenty of experts of both sexes believe in containing female sexuality, if we probe deeply into their views. They are building a medical case that the 'just do it' crowd rejects. As always, the answers lie in the grey matter middle, the hybrid of analysis of both sides of the female sexual desire debate.
Anne of Carversvile is on the side of women in the big pharma, but with the stipulation that we reject the argument that gardening brings the same sexual benefits as good sex. Both are life-enhancing activities but not substitutes for each other.
A book "Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticlals" will be published in Oct. 2010 with insights into big pharma's view that a women's libido drug is a $4 billion opportunity.
It's important to note that from our viewpoint, if such a drug was marketed to women through their doctors, we would support it more eagerly. But knowing that women will experience a sexual marketing TV message telling us that we are "sick in the head" about sex -- and on a daily basis -- will do nothing to solve the real challenges that American women face -- moreso than men -- in leading a positive sexuality in America.
Just as the nature of female sexual desire is more complex than men's, the industry evolving to diagnose and treat women's sexuality -- and women's health issues generally -- is vast, interconnected, and one capable of convincing women that they are suffering sexual dysfunction, without attacking the real problems that cause it. Anne