Op-ed: What will they think of next?

  • By Cal Thomas
  • Monday, June 8, 2015 5:43pm
  • Opinion

An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration has recommended approval of a drug created to raise a woman’s libido. It’s called flibanserin, but it is popularly known as “female Viagra.”

The 18-6 committee vote does not guarantee the FDA will give final approval to the drug (it has been rejected twice before), but the agency has a record of mostly going along with the committee’s recommendations.

Men of a certain age may rejoice at such a breakthrough. Imagine the possibility of no longer hearing “not tonight, honey, I’ve got a headache.”

Think of the time and money this pill could save men. No more expensive dinners. No more mandatory chick flicks. No remembering birthdays or sending flowers. No back rubs or faked sensitivity. Just a simple pill and she’ll be “ready,” as the male enhancement commercial euphemistically calls it. Cut to the chase, except there would be no need for a chase. No romance. No “getting to know you.” It sounds like the 1973 film “Westworld” where lifelike android women fulfill any male fantasy and never say “no.”

Flibanserin looks like a win-win for women suffering from low libido and men who fancy themselves followers of the Playboy philosophy. What’s not to like?

Plenty.

Many believe the contraceptive pill transformed sex from a marital act to a mechanical action. Love would also be re-defined from a selfless regard for another person, to a focus on pleasing one’s self.

In this latter definition, when the feelings end or can no longer be sustained at the hormonal level of a randy teenager or newlywed, one jettisons the object of one’s former affection in pursuit of new feelings and new conquests. If women today complain about men who can’t commit — and many do — how do they expect commitment when a little pill can lead to pharmaceutical arousal? The same holds true for men and Viagra.

Little pills can enhance biological function, but as with fire, which can either warm a house or burn it down, sexual activity is best for both sexes within historically and, do I dare say, “biblical” boundaries. These boundaries lead to mutual benefit and a healthier society, which has gotten out of control largely because such limits have been removed.

Are we not having enough sex? Is that the problem? Culture is drowning us with sex of all kinds while the media covers up the consequences of sex when it is unrestrained, or experienced outside of a committed marital relationship.

The maker of flibanserin, Sprout Pharmaceuticals, says about 7 percent of premenopausal women experience Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, the clinical name for low libido. Even the FDA committee acknowledges that the benefits of the pill are only “marginal” or “moderate.” For some women that might be enough and to the extent it can strengthen the marital bond it could be a good thing, some of the side effects notwithstanding. These include nausea, dizziness, fainting and sleepiness.

FDA officials say they are concerned with how this pill interacts with other drugs a woman might be taking, particularly birth control pills and alcohol. There is also the potential for increased accidents, including car wrecks, falls and other mishaps. Better include a warning label: Women, do not operate heavy equipment while taking this drug!

If the drug wins final FDA approval — a decision is expected by August — we might see commercials with seductive-looking women coming on to men, as we now do in the current crop of Viagra ads. If so, Sprout Pharmaceuticals could use Tina Turner’s hit as background music. It would certainly reflect the times:

“What’s love got to do, got to do with it

“What’s love but a sweet old-fashioned notion

“What’s love got to do, got to do with it

“Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken.”

Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com.

More in Opinion

Charlie Franz.
Point of View: Election integrity is not anti-democratic

The federalization of elections by the Freedom to Vote Act infringes on the constitutional right of states to regulate elections.

Snow blows off Mt. Roberts high above the Thane avalanche chute, where an avalanche blew across the road during a major snowstorm. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
An Alaska winter of discontent

It’s been a hard winter throughout the state.

A Uncruise Adventures cruise ship, with a fleet of kayaks in the water behind it, in the Tongass National Forest. Uncruise, a boutique local cruise ship operator, has been vocal about the importance of the intact Tongass National Forest, or SeaBank, to its business. (Photo by Ben Hamilton/courtesy Salmon State)
Alaska Voices: The dividends paid by Southeast Alaska’s ‘Seabank’ are the state’s untold secrets

Southeast Alaska’s natural capital produces economic outputs from the seafood and visitor products industries worth several billion dollars a year

teaser
Opinion: The pulse of fealty

Let’s be honest. Trump’s demands go beyond his one stated condition.

Former Gov. Frank Murkowski speaks on a range of subjects during an interview with the Juneau Empire in May 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Alaska Voices: Permanent fund integrity in peril?

Alaskans need to be kept informed of what the trustees are doing with their money.

A cast member holds up a cue card in Soldotna High School’s production of "Annie" on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Voices of the Peninsula: Is theater dead?

“It will not be an easy task, performing CPR on this theater, but imagine the joy that you could bring to the students.”

Bjørn Olson (Photo provided)
Point of View: Homer Drawdown moves forward with climate-change solutions

Two years ago, a small group of concerned citizens decided to use this book as a guiding document

A “Vote Here” sign is seen at the City of Kenai building on Monday, Sept. 21 in Kenai, Alaska.
Voices of the Peninsula: Fight for democracy

When the Insurrection occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, it was a direct attack on our democratic rule of law.

Most Read