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Finally, a little pink pill is on its way to revive lady libido. But is it any good, and do we even want it?

Female Viagra, anybody?

If it were up to me, this alleged miracle drug would have a sexy name. Volcano Minx. Sex Ballad. Midnight Tigress.

And yet, here we are, with a sexual dysfunction drug for women called ‘Flibanserin’ on its way to being approved by the Food and Drug Administration of the Unites States.

Basically, if this little pink pill proceeds to the next round of bureaucratic thumbs up, it could be available as soon as the 18th of August.

Sounds great, right? The first pill for struggling lady-libidos! Finally, pharmaceutical companies pay attention to female sexuality! A teeny, tiny, pea-sized feminist triumph! Let’s all get some! First round’s on me! Everyone gets to be Samantha Jones!

No, no, no. Sadly, no. Cool your vulvas for a moment, girls.

Hold off on baking those celebratory nipple cupcakes. This drug actually isn’t really like Viagra at all. A little like the human psyche or society’s general nonchalance towards the clitoris, it’s more complex and more frustrating.

The little pink pill that Kate is talking about.

Viagra for men is fast and easy.

It’s a chemical solution for a physical problem. When a man struggles to rise to the sexy occasion, he can pop a little blue pill that stimulates blood flow to his penis, and off he goes.

Currently, by the way, dudes can choose from 26 Viagra-like drugs to treat erectile dysfunction. Like any medication, they have serious potential side effects, including blindness and a rather dramatic sounding event called ‘penil rupture’. But dudes got options. Their sexual dysfunction needs have been well and truly met by the pharmaceutical industry.

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This alleged female equivalent is very different. Libido-challenged women have to swallow their little pill every day for a long time to boost their levels of dopamine and norepinephrine.

It could take weeks, months, or even years to notice an increase in sexual desire. And even then, there’s no definitive way to measure that change from a medical perspective. Over that period of time, any number of factors could affect a woman’s sexual desire.

So the organ we’re talking about treating here is the brain. And that’s cool, that’s great — there’s ample evidence to suggest that lack of sexual desire is psychological. And of course we have the enduring idea that sex, for women, is a psychological experience rather than a primal or physical one. And therefore not something that can likely be treated across the board with just one pill.

For the love of orgasm, if we are going to talk about female libido, let’s do it properly.

Let’s be very clear. Despite our secret, sexy hopes, this Flibanserin drug is not Viagra For Women.

It’s not something we can carry in our clutches for raunchy emergencies. It’s not a party trick to help us get wet faster, last longer, or go harder in bed. It can’t be used for fun, or for individual sexual encounters.

Maybe someday, science permitting, we’ll get our very own Viagra-like situation. Who knows, maybe we’ll even call it Sex Ballad. It could make women happier, relationships stronger, and this world a generally raunchier place. But right now, anyone who says Flibanserin is that drug… is prematurely excited.

Would you get excited for a female Viagra? 

Did you like this? Then you might want to read…

The female libido fairy. Rare. Endangered. Fragile.

Jean Kittson: “A woman’s libido is complex. It can go for all sorts of reasons.”

The surprising stories behind “sexy” pictures. Everybody sexts.

A record number of teenage girls are going to doctors with injuries sustained during sex.

Kate Leaver is a London-based freelance writer, and previously senior editor at Mamamia. She writes about feminism, social justice, famous people, Harry Potter, boy bands, and important things. She is known to occasionally be funny, and is working on a book about madness.

Tags: lifestyle , sex , health-and-wellbeing , women
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