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Home » Women’s Sexuality Isn’t ‘Complicated’: Sarah Barmak at TEDxToronto (Transcript)

Women’s Sexuality Isn’t ‘Complicated’: Sarah Barmak at TEDxToronto (Transcript)

Sarah Barmak at TEDxToronto

[WARNING: This talk contains mature content]


Would you take a pill every day if it could save your sex life?

That question was on the minds of thousands of women recently when a new drug called Flibanserin went on the market. It was approved to treat a condition that doesn’t get much press but affects about 1 in 10 women. It’s called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD).

It means women don’t feel as much sexual desire as they want to. So they wish they felt a stirring for their spouses or a new date. They want to want to have sex, but they don’t.

Unfortunately, the new drug had drawbacks. First, in order to take it, you had to give up drinking alcohol. So say goodbye to that big glass of wine to help get you in the mood.

It also carried a risk of side effects: dizziness, tiredness, even nausea. Not very sexy.

And on top of all that, the drug only kind of worked. It guaranteed just one more sexually “satisfying event” per month over placebo. Still, women asked their doctors for it.

In our culture, we tend to see sex as something that’s more important to men than it is to women. But that’s not true.

What is true is that women often feel more shame in talking about it. Over half of women quietly suffer from some kind of sexual dysfunction. We’ve been hearing more about the orgasm gap. It’s kind of like the wage gap but stickier.

Straight women tend to reach climax less than 60% of the time they have sex. Men reach climax 90% of the time they have sex. To address these issues, women have been sold flawed medication, testosterone creams, even untested genital injections.

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