Don't Like Sex? Take A Pill!

by Janis Cortese

They're at it again -- trying to pathologize a woman's dissatisfaction with life, the universe, and everything.

You know, like the relentless marketing of Prozac under every brand name you can imagine, until women can ask their doctors for mood-altering antidepressants without even realizing that's what they're downing with their coffee every morning.

Only this time, it's sex. Again. Before, it was just bitchiness, moodiness, or plain old speaking your mind that would get you doped to the gills. You know, all those TV commercials that show the woman overworked, working, shopping, taking care of her (inevitable) kids -- no husband in sight, mind you -- and the gentle, avuncular voice of the announcer reassuring the viewers who identify too closely with this exhausted white-woman-with-kids that, no your problems don't require that you think long and hard about your marriage or kids and just why you have them -- just take a pill.

It's not that you work and have to come home and do the childcare, too. It's not that marriage wasn't at all what you thought it would be when you said, "I do." It wasn't that you've changed greatly since your early twenties and might be regretting your life. It wasn't that you aren't doing for a living what you imagined you would. Not that. Not the way that women are shoved aside, ignored, brushed off, and dismissed constantly. Not that at all! Just take this little pill, and everything will look much rosier. It won't be rosier, but it'll look like it -- and why work so hard to change your life when all you need to do is to change your perception of it?

I can hear you all now complaining about how some people do have chemical imbalances, and these drugs help in some situations. To those people I ask, "Is it always women? And if not, then why the fuck are they the only people who are shown in the commercials?" Why is it that their bad moods result in wars, and ours are nothing but an excuse for mood-altering drugs that pacify us and get us to shut up and go along without kicking up a stink?

And now, it's sex. Dr. Mary Lake Polan (who is in the pay of the company who's manufacturing this crap, btw) has lately burbled about the wonderful effects of ArginMax, a nice eco-friendly warm-n-fuzzy herbal supplement that promises "female sexual healing."

Really? Female sexual healing? Will it cut the dicks off of all rapists? Will it increase the amount of male nudity in movies until it's equal to the amount of female nudity? Will it make men wear better clothing and take care of themselves more, instead of wearing whatever stinks least that they can pull out of the hamper that morning?

Will it make him brush his teeth before he tries to get randy? Take a shower? Maybe work half as hard at his appearance as women are expected to work at ours?

I mean, really. We're taught from the cradle how to be attractive to a man. We're sold products to look right, smell right, walk and talk right -- everything guaranteed to be precisely what they want. What about them?

Don't wait up. Every man I've ever talked to in a relaxed and non-defensive mood has admitted openly to me that men do not want to look good to women, because any man who does pay close attention to his appearance is reviled as gay. Men are therefore actively attempting to be as unattractive as possible. And then they wonder why our sex drive is lower than theirs?

Of course, it's not. I've never heard of a teenaged boy getting vaguely woozy over Marilyn Monroe, but I've seen girls scream themselves into a faint over pretty young boys. Oh, but I forgot. That's not sexuality; that's just a buncha timid little girlies who like "non-threatening" men and want to have babies. So sorry, that keeps slipping my mind.

So is that what that pill promises? Is that what's inside the bottle? A magic vapor that will make men take care of themselves, maybe wear a little eyeliner, use some conditioner, not fart under the bedcovers and act like it's funny? (Hint: did you wonder why your girl rolled over and went to sleep on your when you pulled that stunt? Well, stop wondering, Einstein. I can't believe I have to tell you this, but shit-stink isn't sexy.)

That's the pill I want. The one that buries our society in as many images of pliant, sexy, submissive men for women's delectation as the opposite. The one that matches up the Michael Douglas movie where he's banging some barely-legal jailbait with a movie that shows Judi Dench sucking on Leo's tonsils. The one that changes the interpretation of law so that a woman who plays the field isn't fair game for any rapist who wants a crack at her. The one that makes men ask, "Do I look fat in this?" The one that makes them primp and pose for women, wearing cute fetish clothing and pouting.

In the meantime, you can shove your "sexual healing pill" up your ass.

Then again, I forget so often how, once again, it's much easier to just pop a pill than to implement meaningful change in your life, or in the world. As I said above, why bother to change your life when all you need to do is to change your perception of it?

Copyright © 2001 by Janis Cortese

02/10/07 at 5:15