Celia Rivenbark

From the Belle Tower | Show of hands, ladies: Give up wine or give up sex?

Sprout Pharmaceuticals CEO Cindy Whitehead holds a bottle for the female sex-drive drug Addyi.
Sprout Pharmaceuticals CEO Cindy Whitehead holds a bottle for the female sex-drive drug Addyi. AP

Good news, ladies! The FDA has approved a drug that claims to get your motors running, so to speak.

Hailed by its supporters as “the female Viagra,” the pink and white pill known as Addyi sounds as if it was named for somebody’s aunt who perhaps needed a little somethin’ somethin’ to get in the mood.

What a great time to be a woman!

What an even better time to be a man!

The drug has been approved to help a condition called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, which affects an estimated 1 in 10 women in the United States. Although I am fairly certain at least 9 out of 10 of these women would find that their libidos would be significantly boosted if their partners would help out with the laundry and pick up the kids from lacrosse practice, like, ever.

If I sound underwhelmed, it’s because the clinical trials found that women given Addyi had sex about one time more per month after taking the drug. This isn’t exactly transforming anyone into a cauldron of burning desire. More like a little Sterno canister that flickers out way before you want it to under that banquet chicken. Also there’s a black box warning that there’s a chance you could keel over in a dead faint while taking Addyi. Let’s face it. There’s nothing more off-putting than fainting during sex, unless it’s fainting during sex with Josh Duggar.

Not everyone faints, of course. The fainting seems to only be a problem if you’ve had, say, a glass or two of wine before. So here’s your Sophie’s choice, ladies. You can give up your evening glass of wine or you can give up sex. Show of hands. Right. That’s what I thought.

Addyi isn’t female Viagra because it works on the brain, not the, uh, naughty bits. Viagra tackles a physical problem; Addyi is all about brain chemistry so results are not as reliable. No magic pill is going to negate a partner who is emotionally unavailable at best or drunk and smelly at worst.

The FDA had twice rejected Addyi but finally relented after a campaign by supporters who claimed it would end “gender bias.”

But, after apparently getting the guilts about approving a drug whose best quality is its ability to inflate the bank accounts of pharmaceutical companies, the FDA decided to require doctors who prescribe Addyi to first complete a training course.

I’ll bet that’s rigorous. While I picture physicians having to drive fast cars on an obstacle course of traffic cones and crash dummies before they can write that script, it’s probably not that dramatic. More likely, it goes like this:

Pharma rep: “Tell the patient she can’t drink anything when she takes Addyi.”

Doc: “Got it. Hey, is that Lobster Cantonese under your coat or are you just glad to see me?”

Kidding! I know pharma doesn’t bribe docs with lunch anymore. That’s a relic of the past. Kind of like common sense.

Celia Rivenbark is the New York Times best-selling author of “Rude B****** Make Me Tired.” Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.

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