Female Arousal

female arousal - do we need Viagra for women?

The topic of female arousal is receiving more and more press of late – there is even talk of a treatment similar to Viagra for women.

Expectations

However, the question “Do women need Viagra?” probably needs to be preceded by the question:

“What are women’s (and their partners’) expectations of themselves around sexual function?”

Sex therapy in the 70’s set up a cultural construct that persists today, around performance and expertise, dictating that people needed to be shown “how to do sex better” in order to have a “satisfying sexual relationship”.

There may be a case for some women to benefit from drug enhancement, but one would hope that reliance on a drug for “better sex” would not erode the values and meaning for individuals around intimacy, closeness and sexual function that is good enough, most of the time.

Sexuality is such an emotive subject, carrying huge performance pressure for both men and women. Sadly this performance culture is perpetuated by commercial advertising and pornography, with unrealistic portrayals of sexual interaction that lead to similarly unrealistic expectations between couples.

Cultural Pressure

An example of cultural pressure is when men are told through various advertising media that they need to “last longer” to satisfy their parent, or they are less masculine, considerate, loving or capable.

However when one looks at the fundamentals of the act of intercourse (which essentially is to procreate) in a more primal setting, the perpetuation of the species relies on transfer of the male seed to the female as efficiently and quickly as possible.

In fact statistics show that males lasting over 1 minute before ejaculation is normal with average times to orgasm being 3-6 minutes (1). Why then the perpetuation of the idea that masculinity is tied into “how long he can last”?

Could it be the influences of social media, Hollywood or porn – and exploited by drug companies who make billions each year?

If the general population use the media and/or pornography as a benchmark for their own sexual performance rather than real life norms, is it any wonder they require drugs to enhance their experience to match the perceived reality they are convinced is normal?

Do we really need Viagra for Women?

What is society saying to women in offering them performance-enhancing drugs? It is certainly controversial with some doctors seeing it as a breakthrough, while others are concerned about unrealistic “perfect-sex” expectations (2).

The promotion of understanding normal sexual function, effective communication around sexuality, acknowledging what is working and exploring differences in expectation, language and expression of intimacy might be far more useful steps toward enhancing one’s expression of sexuality, than popping a pill or even being taught “how to do sex better”.

Author: Julie Fickel, RN, PG Cert Health Science, PG Dip Midwifery, Cert IV T & A, Cert IV Pastoral Care.

Julie Fickel is a highly qualified professional sex therapist with many years of experience.

Julie offers counselling sessions via Skype, telephone, and face-to-face at M1 Psychology Loganholme. To arrange an appointment, please call (07) 3067 9129 or book Julie Fickel online now.

Research reference: