Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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The Little Pink Pill

I read an article about a pill to enhance female desire. Now on the face of it, this is fine; men have Viagra, by all means let's have a pill to make women hornier if that's what they wish.

However, nobody seems to have noticed that this pill is actually illegal for its intended use. Compare these quotes:

"Given that the drug has the potential for serious side effects, including passing out (it comes with a black-box warning, the strictest of the FDA’s caution labels, which advises users to abstain from “things that require clear thinking” for six hours), the dangers of taking it could outweigh potential benefits."

"Here are the basics of consent. Consent is:
Freely given. Consenting is a choice you make without pressure, manipulation, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol."

That is, the presence of mind-altering drugs is enough to make someone not legally able to consent to sex. A drug that clouds the mind is not supposed to be used during sex. The law does not acknowledge the right to give advance consent for sex. The fact that large numbers of people routinely have sex while intoxicated (lots of drunken fumbling) and some people like to give advance consent for sexual activities (wake-up blowjobs are very popular) doesn't make it legal. Since the whole point of the pink pill is to enable sex, but it comes with a warning that indicates people taking it should not engage in things that require clear thinking, that rather defeats the purpose -- and leaves a lot of men, almost all of them probably married to the woman taking the drug, in the position of having sex with someone not clear-headed enough for legal consent. Having sex with someone who can't legally consent, no matter how enthusiastic their encouragement, is not legal. If the law is actually interpreted as written, of course, which is always a gamble.

But let's look at another fucked-up aspect of this fucking drug. The whole point, again, is to enable women to have more sexual desire. What's the benefit if you're too stoned to enjoy or remember it clearly? Especially since state-dependent memory means that those memories won't be as accessible when sober as when hopped up on another dose. So they didn't really make a great female aphrodisiac.

What they made was a great date-rape drug. It raises desire and it clouds the mind. It's legal, until someone gets around to noticing how two unrelated aspects of legality (the drug is legal, but sex with an intoxicated person is not) and it's available. Supposedly the horniness takes a while to develop, but the mental blurriness? That probably happens a lot faster. The result would be subtler than currently popular date-rape drugs, which makes it harder to detect. And what if the arousal kicks in quickly? A woman is left having sex she wouldn't really want, but with chemically induced desire, wants for no discernible reason if she remembers it later. Not a good thing, considering the already-high number of rapes that don't get reported because they aren't recognized as such.

Color me unimpressed.
Tags: gender studies, news, safety

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