Opinion: The pursuit of happiness

POSTED: 11/5/13 12:27 PM

Now that the debate about Black Peter has fizzled as it ought to, the Netherlands has something new to get excited about – a pill that arouses the sexual desire in women. This is typical a product that fits perfectly in a society that is in the perpetual pursuit of happiness. The thought that there must be an app for everything is rooted deep in the human psyche, but the reactions to this particular pill vary wildly.

Psychiatrist Bram Bakker is among the critics of this pleasure pill for the ladies.  When the Volkskrant reported the news about this pill under the headline “The desire triggering pill for women is on its way,” it instantly became the best-read article on the paper’s website. That did not surprise Bakker, as his opinion shows.

“It is of course an interesting subject, for men and women,” he writes in an opinion piece in the Volkskrant. “One of the most frequently occurring problems in relationships, especially in longer lasting ones, is the difference in the interest for having sex. For reasons that have never been entirely clarified, the impression has come into being that this is mainly due to women. We, the healthy Dutch boys, are willing and able at all times, but our girls too often have a headache – or so many men think. They do not often say this aloud because it is politically incorrect. But still.

The supporters of such simple ideas get what they want when a medicine will be registered that gives women a better taste for sex. This would be highly undesirable for several reasons.

The first and maybe the biggest problem is the medicalization of something that is part of our every-day life. If we do not like it, it is not normal. And for something abnormal, a disease, you have to be treated, especially when there is medication available. Most people do not realize that the hidden motives behind these trends are rather crude models for making money. There is already talk of a medicine as potent as Viagra and this phrase has not been chosen accidentally. That sex is the product of the relationship between two people (more is also okay), and that this makes it rather complicated to turn it into pathology on the individual level, does not interest the devisers of this pill at all. They claim to do humanity a service with Lybrido (a name that sounds like a lubricant). There is a realistic fear that impatient partners will push the use of this pill. Fortunately, a headache is one of the side effects.

That humanity is becoming increasingly lazy and is no longer able or prepared to make an effort for having an interesting sex life is completely ignored. “I want sex and I want it now,” seems to be the thought more and more often, especially among people with little time or patience. Take this pill at five in the afternoon and by eleven o’clock you will certainly feel like it. What on earth are we doing?

If it were due to the woman, you hear that more often with complaints about sex, things are made very easy indeed for men. She has a disorder and has to swallow a pill. That he could maybe spend some more time with foreplay disappears from the scene as a possible explanation. However: women who fake an orgasm usually have a partner who simulates foreplay, someone with common sense once said.

The new wonder pill does not contain revolutionary components. It is actually a blend of traditional substances like testosterone and Viagra. There is also a variety with a bit of fear-killer and then it is called Lybridos. If a woman really has an objective disorder that negatively affects her sex life – like multiple sclerosis – doctors already are able to prescribe medication. However, this is for rather rare indications. As far as this is concerned the new medication does not offer new possibilities. It is targeting new groups, like women whose only problem may be the choice of their partner.

If this pills hits the market, our sex life is going to be a lot less exciting. Creativity and investing in the relationship will get even less attention. In a time where everything seems to happen under enormous time pressure, ample attention for the love life could offer a wonderful counterbalance. It helps against stress and it makes you produce all kinds of feel-good substances. At least, if you are getting it out of yourself. If you still want help: drink a glass of wine or switch off the light. And forget Facebook and Twitter for a bit while you are at it.”

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