"Female sexual dysfunction" is totally a thing right now, and yet so much mainstream coverage on the subject is unsatisfying. A new Vogue article on the sex aids of the future provides a good object lesson.
From the weird-ass accompanying photo (Donnie Darko called, it wants its scary rabbit head back) to the faux-futuristic opener (will our 2012 bathrooms really contain four different types of sex meds?), Alexis Jetter's "Lust, Caution" is profoundly bonerkilling. Below, some words and phrases that should be stricken from all future articles of its kind:
It's Valentine's Day 2012, and your lover is already in bed, hinting madly.
Maybe the reason future-you is not so into sex with this guy is because you call him your "lover."
You grab the vial of flibanserin pills from the top shelf. The experimental antidepressant was a flop until women (and men) in a pilot study mentioned that, while still gloomy, they were feeling decidedly sexy.
This one isn't really Vogue's fault — flibanserin is real, and it really sounds like the noise a fish makes when it's flopping around on land, about to die. Or the technical term for Flubber.
sexually satisfying events (SSEs)
The German drug giant Boehringer Ingelheim reported last November that in a six-month study of more than 1,000 women, a daily 100-mg dose of flibanserin gave premenopausal women 0.8 more "sexually satisfying events" per month over a placebo. (That metric doesn't necessarily mean a woman has more orgasms, or even more sex. SSEs can include greater fantasies, arousal, and orgasms-or just feeling closer to a partner.)
I get that this term may have its place in sexological studies. I also know that thinking of something as a "sexually satisfying event" automatically makes it not one.
"I want to have sex tonight, darling."
"They say they feel more vital. They've got their mojo back. They may not be jumping out of their skin and saying, ‘I want to have sex tonight, darling.' But if the partner makes overtures, they're more responsive."
Re: darling, see "lover." Also, who is jumping out of their skin and saying, "I want to have sex tonight, darling?" This is terrifying.
Bonus tip for future writers of similar "female sexual dysfunction" articles: can we all acknowledge that an orgasm from clitoral simulation still "counts" as an orgasm? Jetter describes a documentary called Orgasm, Inc., in which a woman named Charletta receives a fearsome-sounding spinal implant to help her orgasm during intercourse. It doesn't work. Then she reveals that she "can have orgasm. But it's not the normal situation where two people get together and have sexual intercourse, and each has an orgasm." Jetter writes,
When filmmaker Canner, speaking from behind the camera, informs Charletta that 70 percent of women need clitoral stimulation to climax, Charletta looks incredulous, then bursts out laughing. "I no longer know what's normal," she says finally, with palpable relief. "You've turned that upside down for me. So that's wonderful because that's a brand-new start."
Yes, a woman who's been orgasming for years got electrodes inserted and then removed before someone told her she was actually quite normal — clearly Charletta's not the one who's "dysfunctional."
Lust, Caution [Vogue]