The news that Flibanserin, marketed as the "female Viagra," has failed to do what its manufacturers promised isn't surprising. Even less surprising is that it is purported to cause a laundry list of side effects, including dizziness, anxiety, nausea and insomnia.
As I say in my recently published book, Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable (Crown Publishing/Ten Speed Press) it's time to create a new paradigm of sexual health:
If we aspire to redefine sexual health for a new generation of eco-sexuals, we should start by redefining sexual "dysfunctions" or "conditions." Let's call them "imbalances," with the understanding that we can almost always bring our bodies back into balance with a combination of nutrition, detoxification, exercise and psychological wellness. It's the pharmaceutical industry that wants you to believe that you're "dysfunctional" and therefore must rely on their wares. Before you fall for that line, explore other options.
The myths of "sexual dysfunction" are many. If a person learns that the way they feel is "dysfunctional," the first thing they'll do is reach for a (little blue) pill, or whatever the doctor is currently dispensing. But what if we looked at our sexuality through an entirely different lens? What if we started with our baseline health, instead of instantly running for a pill the moment our bodies fail to perform they way we want them to?
Do you know how much Big Pharma spent on lobbying between 1998 and 2006? A whopping $855 million -- more than any other industry in the US.
The aggressive marketing of Viagra, Cialis and the rest of the drugs in this category are proof positive that making a buck is the point -- improving people's sex lives isn't. If we were healthier in general -- fit, free of diabetes, high cholesterol and the many toxins that make us exhausted, perhaps we wouldn't need a chemical boost in the bedroom. Maybe we'd rev right up at the right moment, without the pusher that is Big Pharma.
Some sexual imbalances may be addressed through diet. Heavy meat-eaters and those that consume too many processed foods are often obese and on a sugar see-saw. Experiment with vegetarianism or Meat-free Monday or if you're more daring, go raw. If that's all too radical, just cut down on the poisons and toxins and adapt a diet based on whole foods instead of nutrient-free processed foods, especially Frankenfoods. Insist on organic and GMO-free produce whenever possible.
Next: get moving. It's nice to aspire to a little boom-boom in the bedroom, but if the rest of your life is sedentary, how do you expect to find the stamina to make it happen between the sheets? (No less to get it up in the first place!) Daily exercise, even walking for thirty minutes a day, can almost instantly change your perception of "sexual dysfunction".
We can get back to health, and subsequently back to great sex, by paying a bit more attention to the way we treat our bodies. Let the sexual healing begin.
Follow Stefanie Iris Weiss on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ecosexuality