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Jul 282013

If you’ve read this then you know that I had struggled with anorgasmia for quite a long time. It’s ultimately what led me to exploring sex toys. I was looking for anything that could help me have orgasms again. I have “normal” orgasmic functioning when not on antidepressant medications (SSRIs and SNRIs). Unfortunately, all of these medications have caused anorgasmia for me. It’s actually a pretty common side effect despite what some doctors and pharmaceutical companies would have you believe. But I simply must take the medication. Without it…life falls apart. So, I just lived with being sexually dysfunctional for many years; suffering from both low libido and anorgasmia. I finally got fed up with it and went on a search for a “cure”. The first stop on my journey was sex toys, which helped me to have orgasms again but it was still painfully difficult to get there. Having orgasms from oral sex was still impossible.

Then I decided to start researching the issue to see if there was some pharmaceutical solution to my problem and I discovered that there were in fact, several possibilities. First I tried Viagra. It didn’t help at all and was terribly expensive. The second medication I tried was Buspar and I am so happy to say, I have hit the orgasmic jackpot. Not only did the Buspar reverse the anorgasmia, I seem to be going in the other direction. I am becoming multi-orgasmic when I never was before. All of this without any negative side effects. Yeah, I’m not complaining one bit. I wake up every morning wanting to kiss my bottle of Buspar. I owe my wonderfully rekindled sex life to this drug.

Recently, I received an email from a reader who found my blog while searching for information on Buspar and anorgasmia. She said that it’s having the same effects on her. The interesting thing is, she’s not taking an SSRI or SNRI. She’s actually taking Buspar for the labeled purpose, to treat anxiety. So for her, this is a happy accident. How great would it be if this med controls her anxiety and gives her the best orgams of her life? I had never considered the possibility that Buspar would have a positive effect on sexual functioning for anyone whose difficulties were not brought on by antidepressants but apparently, it just might. She brought to my attention that there is a company developing two libido enhancing drugs for women and one of them contains buspirone (the generic Buspar).

The two drugs are named Lybrido and Lybridos (no, those names won’t be confusing at all). They are being developed by a company incorporated in both the Netherlands and the US, called Emotional Brain. They claim that the two medications can treat HSDD (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder), a form of FSD (Female Sexual Dysfunction). Emotional Brain doesn’t say much about the medications on their website but a little research led me to an article that describes the medications in more detail.

Lybrido is said to contain an ingredient similar to Viagra plus testosterone. Lybridos contains buspirone and testosterone. It seems to me that adding the testosterone might be a way for Emotional Brain to grab patents on the medications. Because in either case, the first ingredient already exists and could be prescribed off label to treat HSDD and a testosterone supplement could always be added if indicated.

However, I’m all for getting something approved specifically for the treatment of FSD but that doesn’t mean insurance companies will cover it. A lot of insurance companies, mine included, don’t cover even a portion of the cost of Viagra. When I took it, I thought they weren’t covering it because it was obviously being prescribed off label because, ya know… I don’t have a penis. But on their website I looked up coverage in my husband’s name and it was not covered for him either and we have really good insurance. The message sent by the insurance companies is that sexual functioning isn’t a necessary component of good health. Of course, we all know that’s bullshit.

And while I’m happy to see some serious efforts to develop treatments for FSD, not everyone shares my enthusiasm. Yes, once again we see the double standard. Viagra for men is of no concern but some believe that developing drugs to help a woman have a more fulfilling sex life will result in an epidemic of cheating wives and lust crazed naked women running amok in the streets. Seriously, I can’t make this shit up. Some people are actually concerned that libido boosting drugs for women could work “too” well. Do they have this same concern when it comes to drugs that enable men to have erections when they couldn’t otherwise? Probably not. In a lengthy article by Daniel Bergner in the New York Times, we see what has these people so fearful.

Beyond what might happen in millions of bedrooms, it’s even more difficult to foresee what societal transformations might be stirred. Just as with the birth-control pill, a foreboding not only about sex itself but also about female empowerment may be expressed in a dread of women’s sexual anarchy. Over the last decade, as companies chased after an effective chemical, there was fretting within the drug industry: what if, in trials, a medicine proved too effective? More than one adviser to the industry told me that companies worried about the prospect that their study results would be too strong, that the F.D.A. would reject an application out of concern that a chemical would lead to female excesses, crazed binges of infidelity, societal splintering.

“You want your effects to be good but not too good,” Andrew Goldstein, who is conducting the study in Washington, told me. “There was a lot of discussion about it by the experts in the room,” he said, recalling his involvement with the development of Flibanserin, “the need to show that you’re not turning women into nymphomaniacs.” He was still a bit stunned by the entrenched mores that lay within what he’d heard. “There’s a bias against — a fear of creating the sexually aggressive woman.”

Gaining control of their reproduction in the ‘60s affected not just women’s sex lives but also everything from their social standing to economic empowerment. What might it mean for conventional structures if women could control, with a prescription, the most primal urge? So many things, personal and cultural, might need to be recalibrated and renegotiated, explicitly or without acknowledgment. The cumulative effect of all those negotiations could be hugely transformative, in ways either thrilling or threatening, depending on your point of view.

So just be forewarned… women having rich and satisfying sex lives will surely lead to the destruction of society as we know it… or not.

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