Author Archives: Bat Sheva Marcus

The Lilith Blog

August 20, 2015 by

The Talmud and “Female Viagra”

pillsThere are passages from the Talmud which are incredibly sex positive. And while admittedly there are some which are less so, I like to focus on those which support sexual activity within a marriage as a critical component of a healthy relationship. In a passage in Ketubot, the tractate which deals with issues pertaining to marriage, it is clear that the rabbis would not, or could not, conceive of a sexless marriage, to the extent that if a vow to abstain from sex lasted more than a week or two, the partners needed to either absolve the vow or divorce.  What I’d like to think is that those passages support  the idea that sex is not just about what happens in the bedroom between two people, but rather it is a powerful glue that, in the best of circumstances, shapes the relationship adding an element of intimacy, shared secrets, fun and enjoyment.

And ultimately, if you can ignore the recent rather vituperative discourse on the development of a drug to boost sexual desire in women, that should be the focus of our discussion.

Flibanserin, or Addyi, the first female sexual dysfunction drug to be approved by the FDA, shouldn’t be compared to Viagra, (although it constantly is) because it doesn’t work anything like Viagra. Viagra brings blood to the genitals. Flibanserin works in the neurotransmitters of the brain. If successful it will raise Dopamine levels, or allow pleasurable impulses to transmit more easily in the brain. Drug trials have shown those women who take the drug are more receptive to sexual stimulation and have more satisfying sexual activities. I like to think of it as helping you feel your sexual hunger.

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