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After “very impressive” drug trial results for Lybrido, a new pill to lift women's sex drive, may soon be hitting the markets. But it's not exactly Viagra.
Unlike Viagra, which stimulates blood flow to the nether regions to help men achieve an erection, Lybrido tinkers with the brain chemicals that control lust and desire.
According to a New York Times Magazine cover story, experts don’t actually know whether hypoactive sexual-desire disorder (HSDD) -- a disinterest in sex -- is an atypical condition or simply a normal byproduct of long-term monogamy. In other words, they may be nothing wrong other than a woman's sexual boredom in her relationship. Regardless of why, Lybrido's inventor, Adriaan Tuiten, Ph.D., says up to 43 percent of women will experience a low sex drive at some point in their lives and this drug will restore their libido levels to normal.
The story of many women with HSDD is similar: she and her partner couldn’t keep their hands off of each other when they met, but then over time -- say, one to four years -- her lust dwindled down to nothing. Though her partner’s sex drive fell, too -- slowly and only slightly -- hers was a steep drop-off. Whereas he might want sex a couple times a week, she rarely (if ever) is interested.
When recruiting women to test Lybrido, researchers chose women in stable, monogamous relationships. The reason: For all of these women with failing sex drives, the addition of a new (sexy) partner would probably "cure" them, with or without a magic pill.
The one concern aboutLybrido and other sexual desire pills is that they might work too well. Some drug industry experts worry that women might start stepping out on their husbands, because they have too much sexual desire. As one physician told The New York Times, “’There was …the need to show that you’re not turning women into nymphomaniacs.’”
So far, that doesn’t seem to be happening, though the trial of over 200 women found that many women had sex more often and were more likely to reach orgasm (the exact numbers aren't in yet, but researchers say it's a significant number).
One woman from the trial reported having sex with her husband five times in a single week -- which sounds, at least to this married woman, a lot more often than one’s baseline would be. But maybe that’s just my monogamy-addled brain talking.