Thursday, May 30, 2013

"The pill to save monogamy"

Actually, I think they meant "misogyny."

To be fair, that headline I paraphrased was meant rather tongue in cheek.  It takes as its source a story in the New York Times that speaks of "female Viagra."  The author of the Jezebel piece, Lindy West, accurately points out that such a phrase is actually a misnomer.  The new pill "Lybrido" does not enhance sexual performance as it does for men.  It enhances desire.

The article in the Times details the stories of a few different couples, the disparate sexual strives between given husbands and wives.  Old evolutionary-psychology paradigms tend to support this as the "norm."  Women are domestic nesters and once the children have come about, sexual desire disappears.  Men, on the other hand, are ready to have a go at it whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Much, as West points out through the NYT article, of this kind of evolutionary-psychology is now thought to be senseless.  More stilted reasoning propped up by a patriarchal society.  There are many biological reasons for sexual desires to wane over time for either gender.  The most powerful force behind the decline might even be plain old human nature.  You know, the hip argument that people just aren't meant to be monogamous.  At least from the evolutionary point of view.

But wait!  Big pharmaceutical has the answer!  Here's a pill (you know, we've got a bunch of those now.)  Once your wife/girlfriend/partner takes it, her sex strive will return and you sir will not have to have that affair after all.  The American fairy tale of "happily ever after" continues apace.  By equalizing the playing field of sexual desire, monogamy is saved.  But don't get too libidinous, ladies.  Why, that would make you less desirable and you shall face the wuther of conservative mores.

Hoo boy.

First, I don't mean to make light of someone's medical predicament.  If you, regardless of your gender, have a genuine condition that prohibits you from engaging in sex the way that you want to, I can understand your desire for a solution.  Medication might very be the trick (like they say in the ads, check with your doctor.)

My problem is just how...Republican the thinking seems to be behind this drug.  You know, that same political party that seems to have a problem reaching out to women or even seeing them as humans with rights.  It's this mentality of "if you don't want it as much as your man does, then there's something wrong with you."  But if we fix it with Lybrido, things'll be fine and your relationship is back on track.

Right.  Because it's the panacea for any relationship.

Again, I am absolutely not mocking anyone, man or woman, who is seeking this kind of treatment for themselves.  I'm more concerned with the thought process behind the medication and the muddy pool of social conditioning it appears to be spawned from.

This is giving me ideas for a science fiction book.  A future society, one split between "red" and "blue" ideologies.  In the "red,"  the "womenfolk" take their pills and service their men.

Because of course, everything can be solved with a pill.

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  1. On Facebook, Dr. Rich said: "I'm gonna have to ask "Jonny Sunshine" to step away from the little blue pills this time. Most of the time, answers don't come in a bottle, but occasionally, feasible workarounds do. I'd be happy passing them around like old AOL CDs."

  2. On Facebook, Armando said: "I'm bothered by this development in chemistry. There are legit cases of low desire that this drug might benefit, but mostly this seems like a tool for a piece of shit to pressure someone else. Maybe I'm just projecting, but this seems like an "easy" solution to a big societal problem that won't fix a damn thing. Sounds like the quick fix we all love!"

  3. Well, Armando gets it. Not sure about Dr. Rich.