April 30, 2007

The pill that increases women's sex drive and decreases their appetite. It's a sex + diet pill!

Yeah, they're trying to invent it.
The Edinburgh team, led by Professor Robert Millar, have been looking at the properties Type 2 Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone.

When it was given to monkeys, they displayed mating behaviour such as tongue-flicking and eyebrow-raising to the males, while female shrews displayed their feelings via "rump presentation and tail wagging".

But the animals also ate around a third less food than they normally would.
Tongue-flicking and eyebrow-raising, eh? I look forward to the day when the world is full of skinny women who seem to be imitating Groucho Marx and William F. Buckley simultaneously. Sexy!

35 comments:

reader_iam said...

Whose fantasies does this most fulfill?

paul a'barge said...

I found the rump presentation almost, well, oh never mind...

Chip Ahoy said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Oh my God.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
slaps knee.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
Professor Miller
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
That am so so so so funny

Bissage said...

Oh, my sweet lordosis!

SteveR said...

Already exists. I saw the video on VH-1.

If you got it flaunt it, boy I know you want it
While I turn around you watch me check up on it
Oh you watchin me shake it, I see it in ya face
Ya can't take it, it's blazin, you watch me in amazement
You can look at it, as long as you don't grab it
If you don't go braggin, I might let you have it
You think that I'm teasin, but I ain't got no reason
I'm sure that I can please you, but first I gotta read you

Ron said...

"Within our demimonde it would be inchoate to enquire as to the exact nature of your fertile delta at this time, but would it not be untoward to ask viaduct?"

If taking that pill also pays my credit card bill, and gives me a foot massage, I'd take it!

Meade said...

"Whose fantasies does this most fulfill?"

Potentially, it would fulfill fantasies of libido-depressed couples who are in deep denial of their relationship problems in which the female is willing to take a drug causing her to develop a gonadal tropism toward males expressing a proclivity to mate with lordotic presenting females with facial tics.

Wild guess here but a lucrative market might be found in the steadily increasing population of postwar middle-aged counseling-phobic stressed-out overweight shrews.

Oh, and monkeys.

Peter Palladas said...

So is a skinny pill that will make thin women want to mate with monkeys?

Science eh! Where would we be without it?

Woody Allen gets the film rights I presume.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

Hmmmm... I hope the appetite suppressant characteristics kick in for a little while before they get horny... Otherwise, there'd be all these fat chicks waving their rumps in the air.

vnjagvet said...

BuckleyMarx syndrome.

Wow, that takes imagination.

And a real sense of humor.

Galvanized said...

Oh, Lord, I think my husband's looking up the doctor's numberrr. ;)

ricpic said...

In my experience, women are burdened by the sex drive they already have; they don't need anymore, thank you very much!

Ann Althouse said...

Burden or no, why would anyone take a drug to cause them to want more than they already want? Either you want something or you don't. I can see wanting not to want something you want, but why would you want to want something you don't want? It would have to be that other people make you feel that you should want something, and you're trying to accommodate them. Imagine going so far as to take drugs for that! How strange!

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JimM47 said...

why would anyone take a drug to cause them to want more than they already want? Either you want something or you don't.

Althouse is apparently unfamiliar with the purpose of drinking alcohol....

But seriously.... Some anti-depressants inhibit the sex drive. Would the "either you want something or you don't" argument apply to someone who decided to try to go off the meds to regain their sex drive? Perhaps you can argue that one is altering a natural state while the other is restoring it, but really, there is variation in the "normal" levels of sex drive.

As for why, the way people seek and respond to affection, etc. is pretty important in forming intimate social relationships, which are very important to people. Being closer to neurotypical can make forming and maintaining those relationships easier.

That said, I can foresee circumstances in which a reduced desire to eat might be more socially problematic than a lack of libido.

Eli Blake said...

This scares me.

We already live in the only country in the world where people starve to death in a house full of food, and when you look at just a few of the celebrities and supermodels we've seen probably weighing in in the double digits, I can only imagine that this kind of a pill will result in more deaths from anorexia and similar conditions.

Kevin Lomax said...

They're going to call it the Fergie pill.

"My Humps, My Humps, My Lovely Lady Lumps..."

Ann Althouse said...

Theo: I didn't say "off" was preferable, only that if you position is "off" that you shouldn't want a drug to turn it on, you should respect your actual feelings. Obviously, there is a problem if you have a partner, but taking a pill as a way to accommodate your partner is not a good way to have a relationship.

And I do realize this is why some people drink. But I think if you are with someone whom you don't want to have sex with and you find you are drinking so you'll be able to go through with it anyway, something is very wrong. You ought to respect yourself enough to want to feel your own feelings, not throw them away.

Some use of alcohol is just about overcoming inhibitions, where you actually really do want to have sex with someone. But that isn't what this pill is. It is about increasing the sex drive artificially, not allowing you to act on the sex drive you already have. There is a huge difference.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I can see wanting not to want something you want, but why would you want to want something you don't want?"

The paradox that leads to low-libido sexual dysfunction never being addressed, no matter the frustration it causes the other partner in a relationship.

The reasons one should want to want something they don't want, if the something wanting is a healthy sex drive, include the fact that sex is fun, and that relationships are stronger when there is a healthy match between the libidos of the couple.

But if one only wants what one wants and that's that, and needs the partner to bend to her own particular wants without reciprocation, then one's potential partners would need to consider that.

Ann Althouse said...

"The reasons one should want to want something they don't want, if the something wanting is a healthy sex drive, include the fact that sex is fun, and that relationships are stronger when there is a healthy match between the libidos of the couple."

Enigmaticore, I would encourage you to think more deeply. That's full of assertions. "Healthy" and "fun" are subjective concepts here. (There is no actual physical health question involved. You're talking about an idea of what constitutes the good life.) If the person doesn't want something, why try to brainwash her into accepting that other people think this is the right way to be? That's just sad. As for making a better relationship, shouldn't the emphasis be on the relationship itself? And shouldn't women want relationships with partners they are actually sexually excited about, rather than to artificially supply the sexual interest? Don't we care about living real life anymore? I consider this to be a profound philosophical question.

Richard said...

And maybe we can also get a pill which will make us crave brussels sprouts? Because I don't like them now, but maybe I should....

JimM47 said...

My comparison to alcohol seems less apt when the category is refined down, as Ann does in her response. But wanting to want different things than what you want is a pretty normal human emotion. And a pretty common reason for substance intake. And anyone whose libido is the same when drunk, just less inhibited, has a different experience than I. (Or for something less politically charged: being drunk does not lower my inhibition to an existing desire to rub my nose with my finger, it creates a desire for that tactile sensation that I do not normally have.)

I think the assumptions that Ann makes are telling: 1) that it is someone else telling the woman to want to be more libidinous, and 2) that the lack of libido is the result of the partner she's with. I think those of us defending the pill would explicitly disclaim it if either or both of these were true in a particular case. But they are not always the case, so it isn't appropriate to say it is ridiculous ever to want it.

Meade said...

An alternative drug strategy would be to shoot the male up with Depo-Provera, causing him to stop wanting something his female partner thinks he needs to stop wanting so much. The pig.

Now they can both relax, enjoy a tasty meal together, a glass of wine, and a have a frank discussion about their dysfunctional drug-dependent relationship.

I'll admit that it may be less exciting than being road-hogged by their respective sex drives. Still, by obviating the nervous tics and compulsive rump presentations, there are bound to be oprahesque dividends gained by conserving energy that can be directly applied to getting their train wreck of a relationship back on the rails.

Of course, this strategy may need rethinking as it could end up with the female feeling so damn good about the relationship that she expresses that eyebrow-raising come on look to a depo-ed partner who interprets it as nothing more than a repulsive nervous tic à la William F. Buckley, Jr. or Groucho Marx, causing him to laugh inappropriately and her to flick her tongue in ways she later comes to regret.

Meade said...

Can't those tireless Scottish researchers, for one lousy minute, turn their attention to just developing a relationship-fixing pill?

hdhouse said...

a pill made in heaven obviously.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"bistable" ... I'd never noticed that word before. Is is bi-stable or bist-able? So I looked it up, and, considering the subject here, what a hilarious diagram!

EnigmatiCore said...

“Enigmaticore, I would encourage you to think more deeply. That's full of assertions.”

Assertions can be right or wrong. I hope that I have thought about this quite deeply, as it has touched my life for some time.

“"Healthy" and "fun" are subjective concepts here. (There is no actual physical health question involved. You're talking about an idea of what constitutes the good life.)”

Of course there is some amount of subjectivity here, but there are also some generalizations that can be made from the total human experience. I think I am on relatively firm footing to say that people, in general, are wired to find sex pleasurable. Most of the time, if one does not find this to be the case, there are underlying problems that cause this.

I speak from experience here, which I will go into briefly in a moment.

“If the person doesn't want something, why try to brainwash her into accepting that other people think this is the right way to be? That's just sad.”

If a person does want something, why try to brainwash him into accepting what his partner has decided is the right way to be? That is equally sad, in my estimation. A relationship is not about a man subjugating himself to his wife’s comfort level with sex, any more than it is about a woman subjugating himself to her husband’s. While I use husband and wife there, it works for other relationships as well. A relationship should be about both partners, shouldn’t it?

I guess this is a good time to bring up the personal experience of my wife and I in order to put some flesh on the bones of the points I am trying to make. I hesitate to do so, because I don’t really like going into much about myself in this manner, but I think it is an important point to make and I do not really know how to without giving an example.

My wife and I had a very good sex life early on. However, her feelings towards sex changed. Things she used to like, she no longer did. Her feelings about what was fun and what constituted a healthy sex life for her changed. As this became apparent, we talked about it, because we talk about everything. We have a great relationship.

Her stance was pretty similar to the one you are expressing. Why would I want her to do ‘go through the motions’, or try to be someone she wasn’t? Why couldn’t I be happy with her the way she was (or, to be more accurate, had become). I saw her point. My stance was “why do you want me to eat my feelings, and try to be someone I different?” Why should it be that her desire level be what set the norm for our relationship? Shouldn’t we meet each other half way, with me tempering my libido to be closer to hers, and her working to bring hers up to be closer to mine? Unfortunately for me, she did not at that time see my point.

A few years went by, and some other things happened. My wife gained weight. She started having some back and hip pain. She developed some lethargy. Then her neck started to swell. Many doctor appointments later, focus was giving to her thyroid, which we discovered now had many sizeable nodules. We still do not know what we are dealing with. Hopefully it is not cancer.

The point here is that her libido was not just the way she was. It was not a value judgment of what is the good life. There was something wrong, and we did not do her any favors by just accepting it as the way she was. We both wish we had investigated things more diligently much earlier.

Our disconnect had a physical reason. It could have been a psychological one, and the issues would have been the same. Treating a problem as a non-problem would have led to the underlying problem going undetected and unaddressed. Maybe the impact would have been limited just to sex. Maybe the impact would have been more far reaching.

My point is that it is detrimental to a relationship for the tenets of the sexual relationship to be set completely by either partner. Further, if one partner is sensing that the other’s libido has become ‘unhealthy’, it might not really be in anyone’s best interest to dismiss the idea. It is possible that partner is just being a jerk, but it could also be that the person has picked up on the fact that something is wrong.

That is just relevant to your comment, not to the point I was originally making. Why would someone want to want something that they do not want? If it would bring them closer to their partner or enrich their partner’s life, and they have either of those as a goal, then that would be a good reason why. That was the point I was trying to make. Relationships are made more fulfilling when partners adapt, without sacrificing themselves, to make their partner happier. Both parties.

I am not sure I like the idea of this pill, because I think it would oftentimes mask symptoms rather than treating the real problem. In my wife’s and my circumstance, it would have meant a better sex life for a few years, but we would still be where we are today. It would have been better for us if, back when her libido and mine became unsynched, we had spent more time on finding out why and less on her telling me I needed to accept her as she had become.

“As for making a better relationship, shouldn't the emphasis be on the relationship itself? And shouldn't women want relationships with partners they are actually sexually excited about, rather than to artificially supply the sexual interest?”

The emphasis should be on the relationship, and on both partners. But in a committed relationship, if the sexual excitement has dimmed, then there is a problem of some sort. The problem may be that the relationship has died and cannot be brought back to life. Or the problem may be something else. But there is a problem, and treating it as if there is no problem does not help. I doubt the idea that they should find another partner who they are sexually excited about will work for those who are in committed relationships.

“Don't we care about living real life anymore? I consider this to be a profound philosophical question.”

I hope we do care about living real life. Do you think that sex is completely disjoint from real life? I would consider that to be a profound philosophical discussion.

Hey said...

What Ann highlights is that rather than staying in a relationship with a selfish, frigid woman, one should dump the shrew and find someone more nubile and libidinous. Trophy nymphettes for everyone!

I do find it interesting that Ann has repeatedly refused to engage with external causes of low libido. Prozac and many other anti-depressants reduce or eliminate the libido (as do many other drugs). Counteracting the side-effects of a drug seems to have no philosophical issues. Thyroid problems and depression can also cause low libido. Ann, do you have philosophical issues with using drugs to counteract depression or hyperthyroidism, as Leon Kass does?

Philosophising goes to the entire point of medicine. Many "biological-conservatives" want to reject medicine (of some varyong level) because it goes against nature or God. Be they hippies, Amish, or whatever certain people view attempts to change fate as evil. Ann's feminism seems to have thrown her into this camp, at least for this group of symptoms.

Philosophically there is little difference between hormonal birth control and this libidinous pill. Many leftist womyn's groups fetishize periods and oppose "regularisation" of periods and the stigma surrounding periods, claiming that medicalisation creates problems and that periods are happy, natural situations that should be appreciated rather than changed. So Ann, do you oppose mydol too? Or birth control for young girls so that they don't want to kill themselves to end their cramps?

To be a true woman, depressed and pregnant is the only ethical way to go through life, if we were to broadly follow Ann's logic about this medication. Or one can celebrate our increasing abiity to intentionally regulate the organic processes that create our behavior if our behavioral instincts are causing us problems or are not to our liking. Take out the bad feminist posturing, and this is simply another way to choose to change our behavior. Adderall, provigil, caffeine, prozac, lithium... are all positive and effective drugs that help to change or regulate our "natural" states. Increasing intentional control is a pro-human advance, despite the ire it may raise in too many academics.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for responding, Enigmaticore. I certainly think that there can be physical problems that need treatment, but they shouldn't be masked by drugs that are aimed only at a symptom.

You also raise the question of a woman who remembers being happier at an earlier time when she wanted what she doesn't physically want now. So it could be part of one's real psychology to want to feel something physically that has gone. This seems related to depression, or a loss of the joy in life. The real you feels that loss, and it can make sense to want to deal with that artificially, just as you might want to numb pain artificially. You know you don't like pain. You're not just caused by other people to think that pain is bad. So there is something like that.

I'm only arguing against people losing touch with their own real feelings. It seems to me that a central part of sexuality is awareness of your own feelings. If you put that to the side and just follow what you believe you should feel and then use drugs to actually feel that, where is the real sexuality?

EnigmatiCore said...

"I certainly think that there can be physical problems that need treatment, but they shouldn't be masked by drugs that are aimed only at a symptom."

I agree.

I was just making the case for why it is healthy, at times and within reason, for a person to want to want something they don't want. Such an attitude can lead to better relationships and to discovering health (physical or psychological) problems that would otherwise go undetected. And if there are no problems, then this pill might be of value then.

Hey said...

Just to go back to the idea of wanting to want things: there are many situations where a lack of desire for somethign you once enujoyed is a serious symptom. Loss of appetite or ability to eat is almost always seen as a very serious sign that there is something tremendously wrong.

We eat for all sorts of reasons, and experience all different kinds of emotions thanks to what and how we eat. Even now Ann is setting up one "right" reason to eat and way to eat. There are unhealthy ways and reasons to eat just as there are unhealthy ways and reasons to have sex.

Are marijuana or other appetite supports bad because we are hiding real gstronomic desires? Are the pleasures of eating and the benefits that come from eating annihilated by the artificiality of the desire to eat?

What abou the anorexic? Are they really sick, or do they just have a low appetite? Should we ignore their lack of food intake and instead work on their emotional problems?

This entire set of ideas stems from some therapist trying to drum up business and hamper comptition in a deeply unethical manner. Should surgeons have been allowed to block the use of antibiotics for gangrene, so that they would sontinue to have a sufficient flow of amputations?

All health issues, but especially those involving the brain, need to be approached in a systemic manner where the whole patient is treated. Peple who are suffering need to have thir symptoms relieved while also progressing to relieve the causes of those symptoms. Cancer patients need painkillers AND chemotherapy, not one or the other, and they frequently need lots more besides.

Haranguing people for treating a problematic symptom because you have philosophical issues is mean and inhumane. The idea that the partner with the high libido must do all the work to match libidoes also says something deeply troubling and telling.

Kevin K. Biomech said...

I think that this pill would have very little market.

I say that because it has been my experience that women's sexual impulses are mainly controlled by what they can get out of a man, rather than actual desire. The more they can make you jump through hoops, the less they're willing to have sex.

And boys, the old saw is right. Marriage IS the end of sex. Wish I'd listened. Once they've got you, you better get familiar with your hand.

What I'd like to see developed is a drug that turns off libido without any major side effects. THAT would actually be extremely useful for men.