Chicago Ideas Week video [THRILLING UPDATE] #pleasureisthemeasure

Chicago Ideas Week video [THRILLING UPDATE] #pleasureisthemeasure

Hey everybody! The video of my talk from Chicago Ideas week talk is up! It’s 12 minutes of me Bringing the Science. I had a great time in Chicago and the Ideas Week people treated us speakers like we hung the moon. If you ever get a chance go to, GO. UPDATE: They also posted the short Q&A with all of the sexuality speakers, including me, Chris Donaghue, Abiola Abrams, and Ducky DooLittle. THEY WERE ALL SO FABULOUS.

Flibanserin, the FDA, and the longing for spontaneous sexual desire

Flibanserin, the FDA, and the longing for spontaneous sexual desire

The FDA Advisory Committee voted 18-6 to recommend approval of Flibanserin, the twice-failed antidepressant being marketed as “pink Viagra.” Quick summary: the drug increases “sexually satisfying events” by one per month over placebo, and roughly 13% of women who take it experience side effects like somnolence, dizziness, and nausea.   I watched as much as I could of the live webcast, particularly during the open comment section, when women who’ve struggled with low desire described their longing for something, anything to help them. It was very moving, and I believe that it was for those women that the committee members voted

what we should be asking, instead of asking if the FDA is sexist (which it isn’t)

what we should be asking, instead of asking if the FDA is sexist (which it isn’t)

I’m not sure why journalists take it seriously, the assertion that the FDA is sexist. It’s a narrative invented by a PR firm for a drug company that has a massive profit motive for getting their drug approved. It is a very clever narrative, that feeds into cultural fears of government control of our bodies, and it cleverly coopts the language of “choice” and “women’s autonomy” for the purpose of making a drug company money. But, as Amanda Marcotte writes, “the reality is so much more complicated, and important to understand, than that.” I think, too, that it wastes everyone’s time and

on the “pink pill” and “perfect” sex

on the “pink pill” and “perfect” sex

NPR’s All Things Considered covered the question of a “pink pill” for women – a medical treatment for low sexual desire. The piece ends this way: Carla Price says she would like to try flibanserin. Marriage counseling and a hormonal cream have helped, she says. But not enough. “Even though it’s better, it’s not perfect,” she says. “I would gladly take risks of side effects to keep my marriage and my relationship.”   Which strikes me as a very, very important idea. Carla, whom we meet at the start of the piece, is 50 and has experienced a radical decrease in

with gratitude to Beverley, Carol, and Victoria

with gratitude to Beverley, Carol, and Victoria

Today was Day 1 of the FDA Workshop on Female Sexual Dysfunction. Among other conversations, three women read narratives of their experience with sexual problems. Because my goal – my only goal – is to maximize women’s sexual wellbeing, it’s important to me to honor the women who were willing to share their experiences with sexual problems in a public setting. This is a personal topic that women often feel ashamed about, and it can’t have been an easy decision for any of them. Respecting and BELIEVING their descriptions of their personal experience is the least any of us can do, to

why every journalist will want to read my sex book

Journalists. I love them and I love their important job, and god knows I could never do it. But one way I’d measure the success of my (putative) book is if intelligent journalists read it and then stopped making unnecessary mistakes. For example, everyone at the NYT needs to learn about responsive desire (it’s in my Chapter 5). They needed to know about it here and here and most recently here. These are all on the subject of medical interventions for “female sexual dysfunction” – and these are all articles published within the last year. And everyone at The Atlantic

what if… women’s sexual desire is a mass noun?

Back in my first semester in college, I took an Intro to Linguistics class because my advisor said I might like it. I did. I ended up with a cognitive science minor because of it. One of the things I remember, most of 20 years later: mass nouns and count nouns. Mass nouns: salve. water. willingness. mathematics. identity. Count nouns: stone. leg. olive. book. person. I haven’t thought much this week about men’s sexual desire, but women’s sexual desire has been right at the front of my mind, due to the NYT Magazine article, excerpted from Daniel Bergner’s forthcoming book.

for the “DeadBedrooms” subredditors

Hi there. So my site stats showed a weird little spike over the last week or so, and it turns out to be entirely from this relatively small subreddit called “DeadBedrooms,” which they describe this way: A support group for Redditors who are coping with a relationship without any physical intimacy in it. Advice is always appreciated, just don’t be surprised if we’ve heard it all. My original posts about responsive desire have gotten a lot of play there, helping people to understand that what seems like low desire may in fact be openness or willingness that needs the right