In August 2015 a momentous event occurred in the world of sexuality and sexual health . The FDA approved the first ever drug to treat a sexual dysfunction in pre menopausal women, namely , Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. It is defined
as ” a persistent lack of sexual desire in women that causes personal distress.” The Society for Women’s Health Research estimates that one in ten women have HSDD, making it one of the most common female sexual health complaints.
The drug, Flibanserin , known as Addyi, was thrust through the FDA machine, having been rejected 3 times due to lack of robust enough evidence of its effectiveness and safety..
works by raising levels of dopamine and norepinephrine while lowering levels of serotonin. In this way, chemicals that help promote sexual desire are increased and one that can suppress desire is decreased. Women are instructed to take it nightly , cannot drink alcohol at all, and cannot drive immediately after taking it.
It was touted as the “female Viagra” .. and what a flop it has proven to be. You would expect that now the world would be populated with horny women. Alas, no.
.At this point, you may be feeling a little uncomfortable and thinking “that’s me” or “that’s my female partner”. No sexual desire . Of course it is you! No doubt as a woman you have felt low or no sexual desire at times, or many times. For example during your menstrual cycle , pregnancy, while, on certain medications, and experience illnesses . And then you may feel no or low desire, when you’re pissed with the world, your partner/s, your body, your boss, whatever…
Fast forward to now, June 2019 : a different drug, a different mechanism , the same intention: to provide these many millions of women who suffer this sexual dysfunction , relief through medication. However the same problem.: not enough robust evidence to prove that this new drug really really makes a difference to women’s low desire. Once again the FDA ponder, reject, ponder (pressure from different groups that like to pathologist sexuality – or collect money from drug companies ) , reject and finally approve.
Bremelanotide from Palatin , marketed as Vyleesi™ is launched. Women self-administer an injection under the skin of the abdomen or thigh at least 45 minutes before anticipated sexual activity. It its an on-demand drug which means you take it about 45 minutes before you plan to be sexual … do women plan to be sexual ?! .
Admission is made by experts that there is uncertainty how the drug actually works. The theory is that it works by increasing dopamine
— a brain chemical involved in reward processing — in certain parts of the brain,
Approval was based primarily on this one study : more than 1,200 premenopausal women with HSDD
- Only 25% improved versus 17% placebo
- Nausea experienced by 40%
- Flushing 203%
- Injection site reactions 13.2%
- Headache 11.3%
- The drug is effective for up to 8 hours.
Here is the kicker : there was no increase in satisfying sexual events (SSEs). This means that sexual quality/satisfaction did not increase – they were more interested in being sexual but the sex remained the same .
I ask you : how do you manage your lower sexual desire than your partner? Are you keen to get your hands on either one of these 2 new drugs ? Because in every connection there is a disparity in desire, one person is always going to want sex more frequently than the other one.
What Ive learned is that women and men use strategies , and plot and plan to get sex back online. Apparently women use strategies more than men to get more frequent sexual activity.
Consider. What do you do when your desire is higher/lower than your partners?
What does your partner do ?
How helpful are these strategies?
indicates what women do to get sex back on track. People turn to solitary strategies. They disengage . That means they first do nothing, then they wait, then they request sex, and when declined they use distractions to fill that gap– and feelings of rejection and hurt.
They begin to do sexual activities without their partner. Masturbate, watch porn and women read romance novels.
The communication goes like this : you communicate your desires and feelings, try to meet partner’s needs, have sex without desire, and have patience/letting time work out the problem. .Then you compromise , and then you respect the other’s wishes. You schedule sex. Women in the study mentioned several specific strategies they had employed: communication, scheduling sex, lingerie, and a date night.
Perhaps you plan partner activities to do together to try and trigger desire. You may try to introduce other kinds of sexual activities to spark desire .
Perhaps you, like the women in this study, feel that the issue is not resolved, and you remain dissatisfied with your attempted strategies.
The most helpful strategies have a higher leave of satisfaction and relationship satisfaction. Helpful can be interpreted as turning towards each other for solutions rather than away from each other into solitary activities .. and infidelity. And once there is rational discussion about desire discrepancy as a fact , both of you can move into acceptance rather than judgment and pain .
Be creative and respectful as together you create solutions. Open relationships , consensual non monogamy, is a popular option – not for the faint hearted nor jealous types. Taking a pill to increase her desire or keeping him permanently erect with Cialis, is not a healthy solution. A few sessions of sex and relationship therapy will set you on the path to an accepting satisfying intimate relationship. Im putting my money on that strategy !