The latest development in women’s sex technology is almost too easy to make fun of. But I’ll take on the challenge-less exercise and I’ll snigger. Because behind every nasal joke is a whole lot of ugly, but sometimes serious, matter.
Tefina is the name. Not quite as memorable as Levitra or Viagra or Cialis, but that doesn’t really matter because a year from now, maybe two, it will be buried like its predecessors. Tefina is the latest attempt by the ambitious pharmaceutical industry to turn women’s lack of motivation for sex into a pathology. Because pathology has a doctor who can fix it and a pharmacist who can dispense something for it. Unlike a rocky relationship or situational stress or an over-committed lifestyle, which cannot be cured in an instant.
So Tefina has gone into testing in Australia and North America, in the hope that it will pass trials that others have failed, in the race to be the first “female Viagra”. The latest attempt at the hottest drug on the market is basically a testosterone gel, which is applied through the nose. And no, women with bigger noses or girthier beaks will not make better lovers.
Before you start getting excited and preparing those nostrils for a sniff that would be legal and socially sanctioned, consider the long list of drugs that were previously in line for the pink title, all of which died at some point in the process: Intrinsa – the testosterone patch for arousal problems, Flibanserin – the central nervous system pill for desire disorders, Alista, Bremelanotide, Tostrelle, Vasofem and many more molecules that didn’t even get named (with thanks to Leonore Tiefer for keeping up with the science and politics of the female orgasm).
The reasons for failure were many but they all come down to one common denominator female physiology and sexuality are too complex for any pill (or patch, or implant, or spray) that anyone has so far managed to come up with. Certainly anything as simplistic as a dash of testosterone, thank you, Sir.
So let’s agree that protruding bodily organs have very important parts to play in the theatre of human sexuality, but we don’t necessarily need to shove things into them, over them or through them to get it on. Sometimes doing the dishes or noticing a new haircut without being cued, will do the trick.