Why the Quest to Create a Pink Viagra Will (and Should) Fail

Posted on Jan 11, 2011

In October 2010, the pharmaceutical company Boehringer abandoned the research and development of a drug deemed the pink Viagra. Since the introduction of Viagra and other similar drugs, there has been a quest to develop a similar drug for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction. This quest continues because of the outcry from doctors and other helping professionals that they are facing an epidemic of women presenting with symptoms of the amorphous “female sexual dysfunction,” including such diagnoses as hypoactive sexual desire disorder and low libido.

There are women who do indeed experience certain physical symptoms that prevent them from living a healthy sexual life. These women do deserve appropriate pharmaceutical options for the treatment of their symptoms when it is discovered that there are no psychological or emotional causes for their challenges.

When examined more closely, women presenting with the symptoms of female sexual dysfunction often are not struggling with physical manifestations of sexual dysfunction, but in fact are presenting with psychological and emotional challenges relating to their sexuality.  These psychological and emotional challenges stem from diverse and varied causes, including relational issues, repressive cultural influences and sometimes long-standing alienation from their own sexuality.

The reality is there is no pill that will erase and replace the manifestations of repressed and unhealthy conceptions of one’s sexuality. It borders on tragic that women struggling with the integration of healthy sexuality into their day-to-day lives are presented with the possibility that taking a pill will eliminate the years of interpersonal and cultural influence to separate themselves from their sexuality.

What it is important to recognize is that many American women harbor a deep-seated confliction regarding their sexuality and that it is this interpersonally and culturally influenced confliction that is the source of the “dysfunction.” There is no pharmaceutical remedy for the process of dealing with and eliminating any sex-negative influences on one’s sexual life. No pill can provide sexual and erotic empowerment.

The questions we should be asking are not what drugs can we develop, but how can women redefine for themselves what healthy sexuality looks like for them. How can we deconstruct the popular notion sexual desire and reinvent it individually for ourselves?  How do mainstream cultural influences affect the way we define functional and dysfunctional? How can we proactively manifest erotic evolution as we define it and deem it satisfactory for ourselves?

As a call to action in response to the suggestion that a pill can strike null all the influence of our sex-negative culture on women, I propose that women start by supporting other women in their own, personal sex-positive evolution. Reject the damaging cultural messages that create an atmosphere devoid of sexually healthy oxygen for female sexuality to breathe, survive and flourish.  It is women supporting and encouraging other women that will facilitate positive change.

Share. Talk to one another. Give each other permission to create solutions to your challenges. Foster an atmosphere of openness with one another. Support each other in challenging the sex-negative paradigm. Believe and know that it is not only more fun and dynamic to integrate your healthy sexuality into your day-to-day, but also much healthier.

Women who own, define and integrate their sexuality on their terms have more satisfactory, empowering and dynamic sex lives and, more importantly, experience more passion, joy and fulfillment in their lives as a whole.

Women who define and manifest their own sexuality don’t need pink Viagra.