Friday 30 September 2016

'Female Viagra', dirty talk and how a woman's orgasm is all in the mind

We all love easy solutions in life but sometimes the answer isn't always found in the medicine cabinet, writes Niamh Horan

Published 23/08/2015 | 02:30

PILL POPPING: New wonder drug may not be that wondrous after all as it is similar to an antidepressant which works on the mind
PILL POPPING: New wonder drug may not be that wondrous after all as it is similar to an antidepressant which works on the mind

Pop a pill. It seems to be the answer to everything these days. Ageing looks, sleepless nights, anxiety, weight gain, hell, there's even a capsule to develop a tan.

  • Go To

In a world of instant gratification, the demand for immediate results - with zero effort - has trickled into every facet of life.

Smartphones kill the wait for a delivery, a taxi, a message, a date. We are a generation of quick-fixers and our sex lives aren't exempt.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last week the dawn of 'female Viagra'.

Cue the Twitter jokes: "Female Viagra? I thought that was already discovered - it's called diamonds!"

It's fantastic news for the group it targets (a pre-menopausal age group) and all the other women it will help.

But the temptation is also there for those who do not fit into the category of 'chronically low sex drive' - especially when you consider that 30pc of women never orgasm during sexual intercourse. And it's not all down to a physical dysfunction.

Women of all ages are now talking about it. The drug has sparked huge interest, despite only 12pc of women (aged 45 to 64) and 7pc of over-65s suffering from chronically low sexual desire. For many, the elusive orgasm is still seen as the 'Holy Grail'. And for drug companies, that means there's big money involved.

Fifteen years ago, Viagra also only targeted older age groups. Their marketing campaigns featured grey-haired couples holding hands and were fronted by well-known figures like Bob Dole.

Fast forward to today and more recent TV ads depict a beautiful blonde writhing on a bed in a little blue dress, while cooing male viewers to get a Viagra. Aired during the ad breaks of major sporting events in the United States, the target audience has clearly expanded.

The message is clear: this is no longer about a medical solution - this is about sexual performance.

Remember, men can also feel pressure to perform. Sometimes women tend to forget this, but with online porn and the sexual revolution, an invisible bar has been set.

If they genuinely need to pop a pill, the way it works is a bit more physical. It gives them an erection by stimulating blood flow to the penis.

What revs men up is all about the physicality of it: they are visual beasts. The jokes doing the rounds following the launch of the little blue pill reflected this: a guy goes to his pharmacy and asks for a pack of Viagra. 'Do you have a prescription?' the pharmacist asks. He replies: 'No, but here's a picture of my wife.'

They are more consistent in getting aroused and climaxing in the presence of naked women and, apart from wanting to spice things up or create more sexual tension or novelty over time, they are game for having fun. Good for them.

But when it comes to women, as with everything in life, it's a little more complicated than that.

The catchy title "female Viagra" works well in headlines but in reality, the drug - Addyi - is similar to an antidepressant and it works on the mind. In females, climaxing depends on a myriad of factors and the brain is the crucial sexual organ. Physical, emotional and relationship factors can all play a part.

Women need to feel relaxed, with no pressure or thought that they have to impress.

Despite the idea that men think they give women orgasms, they don't, women open themselves up to taking them.

If it doesn't happen on a one night stand or in the early days of a relationship, maybe she doesn't feel comfortable enough around you yet.

In the long term, maybe she's simply having trouble letting her guard down or afraid of getting hurt.

In marriages of 20 odd years - the market that female Viagra is targeting - perhaps she needs to feel more appreciated or for her partner to show he cares, and a bunch of roses, or a weekend away from the kids are worth putting the effort into before reaching for the medicine cabinet.

Every woman is different. If only there was a hard and fast solution that can fit in the capsule of a pill.

Looking for the small flutters again, making sex a priority in your relationship, introducing a novelty factor like role play, a toy, a fun location or a bit of danger, even simply showing more enthusiasm, can all work wonders.

There is, however, a solution that covers everything and can open up the path to all of the above: talk to each other. I recently met a producer, who had worked on the most successful chat show in the country.

"The secret to the show", he said, "was that we spoke about the every-day things people were terrified to broach.

"A married couple of 30 years could sit across the breakfast table from one another every morning and one day this topic would come on air and it started a conversation."

It's no surprise then that in 2013, marriage counsellors across America were asked the number-one factor that leads to divorce and a couples' inability to resolve problems. The overwhelming response came back that the trick to staving off relationship breakdown rested in the ability of spouses to communicate.

Similarly, great sex is all about great communication. So once you start talking, keep doing it.

"Honey, I want you to talk dirty", "I feel like you don't find me sexually exciting anymore", "could you slow it down a bit", "sometimes I feel like I wish we were comfortable enough to be able to initiate sex without thinking about it, maybe just while you're watching TV", "do you want to try it outside?", and so on.

If you still need to go the medical route, then at least your relationship will be the stronger for it.

It's tough. But I guess that's why pharmaceutical companies like the firm behind female Viagra are now in line for a pretty penny.

Sunday Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice