I should have known something was badly askew when I received a piece of U.S. Postal mail addressed to: CURRENT FEMALE RESIDENT. That’s a first. And a tip-off. Especially since the return address is a website for, and I quote, Decreased Sexual Desire. Gee. Why would someone make the assumption, if I’m female, I must have this problem? Hmm. Are my private parts blabbing behind my back again?

Turns out the mailing’s a scummy, disgusting piece of agit-prop from Big Pharma, headlined: “Has a decrease in sexual desire come between you? You’re invited to see if you qualify for a medical research study for women concerned about their decreased sexual desire.”

Such sympathy, concern, caring. Whatta bedside manner. Irresistible, huh?

Gives new meaning to the term JUNK MAIL, doesn’t it?

I flip the page to see what they’re pushing: “A medical research study under way for women concerned about their decreased sexual desire. The study will help evaluate an investigational medication for a condition called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSSD). …” Visit or call … Yadda-yadda-yadda.

Right. More drugs. More medicalization of ordinary behavior. More pathologizing typical everyday emotions. There’s always a new drug they make you think you need. And so they’ve sent three pages crammed with persuasive, small-print “scientific” data guaranteed to make the most sexually self-confident woman a quivering mass of indecision.

Let me share some of it with you:

We invite you to be part of a medical research study for women concerned about their decreased sexual desire.

As a woman, you know with the demands of day-to-day life, there are times when you don’t have the time or the energy for intimacy. However, if your desire for sex is not what it used to be – and it’s been this way for quite some time – there may be a larger issue at hand. You may be wondering if you’ll ever have interest in sex again. This may bother and concern you, and cause you distress. If this sounds familiar, you may have a condition known as Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD).

HSDD is the most common form of female sexual dysfunction. The condition is typically identified by decreased or absent sexual fantasies and desire for sex – exact cause unknown. This change from what was a satisfactory sexual desire also causes significant personal concern, as well as strain on relationships – potentially impacting negatively on your home life, your job, your self-esteem.

Right now, research is under way to determine the effectiveness and safety of an investigational medication for HSDD.

The search for a way to rekindle your desire …

If you’re a pre-menopausal woman (still experiencing regular menstrual cycles) with a decrease in your sexual desire, you’re invited to see if you qualify for a medical research study for women concerned about their decreased sexual desires. … Physicians right in your area are conducting the medical research study. Each individual will be evaluated to determine her eligibility. If you qualify, you’ll receive study medication, medical exams and lab tests at no charge. Financial compensation for time and travel may also be available. And, if you know someone experiencing HSDD, we encourage you to pass this information along. …

Hmmmm. Decreased sexual desire. Formerly known as simple, garden-variety indifference. What my mom, may she rest in peace, might have called, back in the ’50s, being Sick and Tired! Any fool knows romance, aka libido, usually flies south when women are faced with screaming kids, piles of laundry, unmade beds, hyper-critical husbands, picky mothers-in-law to placate, messy houses to clean, menus to plan and cook, and other household chores to complete, Martyr Stew-It notwithstanding.

Why do they do this to us? Besides, I mean, the potential for big bucks brainwashing and exploiting women yet again.

Their pitch, health practitioner/therapist Pam Ladds says, “reads like a male fantasy. Only men could come up with such terminology and pathologize an appropriate female response to the general ‘overwhelm’ of life and the demands of males who think if it ain’t up it ain’t working. And who don’t have an identity unless a woman is ‘desperate’ for them. Instead of wasting $$$, time and energy on this snake-oil and psycho-drivel, a blow-up doll would be as effective a receptacle for a male who wants a canned response. The thought of [male] Viagra meeting [female] Viagro for a cosmic experience is bizarre! And we’re encouraged to think this is reality. We’re doomed as a species!”

Personally, I’m a fan of biological determinism. Maybe, as brilliant anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D. once suggested, desire wanes after seven years because that’s the time span needed to launch a “starter family.” After that, everything else is just … redundant?

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