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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » FDA Approved...sex toys?

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Author Topic: FDA Approved...sex toys?
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

The FDA approved a sexual device for women this week that is essentially a vibrator.

And it was made where I live. Too fabulous.

Perhaps this will be a turning point, considering Viagre was approved with rapid fire, while the pill and RU486 had to run on the proverbial gerbil wheel for eons.


Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hanne
Sexpert
Member # 100

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Actually, I hate to rain on your parade here, Scarlet honey, but I'm not entirely keen on this development...

Basically, this device is a small suction cup, about the same dimensions as the suction cup in a snakebite kit. This has being approved for use in treating female sexual dysfunction, by making it possible to use a suction cup to draw blood into the clitoris.

The price tag? $350 or so. The price of a snakebite kit at your local camping store? About $8. I heard about this device several months ago from a gynecologist I often call for medical info, and asked her what she thought the effective difference between the two was (since many female - to male transsexuals use suction cups to help enlarge their clitorises into smallish penises, and this particular doctor has a lot of transsexual patients, I figured she'd have a clue here).

The difference between the two, according to her? Practically nil. One's a bit more complex in construction (she can't figure out why that'd be necessary, neither can I). Aside from that, the major differences are that one has to be prescribed and the other doesn't, and one costs about $342 (plus tax) more.

Personally, I'd much rather see doctors who could simply cope with saying "Hm, using a small suction cup can help get blood into the clitoris, which can help with sexual response problems. Here's how you do it. It's easy, and you can get a small suction cup at a K Mart or camping goods store." But most doctors I know and have known are much more comfortable recommending or prescribing medical appliances, things they can have authority and control over, things they can say have been "rigorously tested and proven."

Well, frankly, snakebite kit suction cups have been pretty rigorously tested and proven for a lot of sexual uses for quite a number of years... just not by the FDA. Small suction cups are really fairly harmless (about the worst you can do is give yourself a circular hickey). And they're cheap, nontoxic, easy to get, and already on the market.

I appreciate the fact that women's sexual response issues are being taken more seriously these days. I'm not sure I appreciate being pandered to, to the tune of a couple hundred bucks, by a medical industry that can't just call a spade a spade and a suction cup a suction cup... and that implies that female sexual dysfunction or anorgasmia is a medical condition that should be treated by doctors. Sometimes there are aspects of it that can be and should be, but more often, sexual satisfaction and orgasm is about knowing yourself and your desires, as we all know, and doing what feels good.

Just like Viagra, this is about 80% snake oil -- unnecessary for most of the people who will be clamoring to their doctors to be allowed to get a prescription to use it in the hopes that it'll be the cure for their lackluster sex lives, without them having to put in much effort to change anything about their attitudes or how they approach having sex. For a few people, mostly women with vascular damage to the genitals, it will probably be genuinely physiologically helpful. But the people who are going to be helped most by this, just as with Viagra, are the people who make it and profit off of it, and off of our culture's screwed-up understanding of what makes sexuality tick. It ain't all about naughty pink bits and whether they stand up or sit down on command. Never has been, never will be, and pills and gizmos won't change that.

Slightly cynically,
HB

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Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!

[This message has been edited by Hanne (edited 27 September 2000).]


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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Oh, this is what I get for having a moment of faith in the western medical system. Sigh.

: pening umbrella:::


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Milke
Activist
Member # 961

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And dear God, why does everything that has to do with female sexuality have to be pink?! I mean, even with no idea what it was, I would have known what area that thing was used in!
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lemming
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 33

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*grins* good point, Milke...

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Mophead
Activist
Member # 7

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Actually, I'm kinda with Hanne. It's just physical. Viagra was the same thing, but this is a suction instead of a pill. They have those suction cups for men, too. But they are used with a **** ring. So, I don't know where I was going with this originally.

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My menstrual diary
Updated as often as my uterus


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Semisane
Neophyte
Member # 1436

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There is an enlightening article on the so called "Eros Clitoral Pump" to be found at:
http://www.joseyvogels.com/cgi-bin/article.pl/07-sexual_health/feelingpumped


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Hanne
Sexpert
Member # 100

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I still say you can do the same damned thing with a snakebite kit. Really. Honestly. And physiologically speaking, pump mechanisms are only really helpful in cases where there are vasculogenic problems with clitoral (or penile) engorgement. If it's psychological stuff that's holding a woman (or man) back from arousal, that same psychological stuff is going to be implicated in their ability to reach orgasm. Pumping it up ain't necessarily gonna fix the problem... it's a band-aid, not a treatment for the source problem, in most cases of anorgasmia.

Since we're trading articles, for a little more realistic, politically-grounded look at what's now being euphemistically called "FSD" or "Female Sexual Dysfunction," I quite like Susie Bright's article "The Summer of Our Discontent." I agree with Susie on this one -- why medicalize something that is largely NOT a medical problem? Why treat women's lack of sexual pleasure as something that has to be identified, treated, prescribed for, and monitored by doctors? Women ARE quite capable of doing this for themselves, and with education and support, women are quite capable (and I think the last 20+ years of sex-positive sex education has gone a long way to prove this) of learning to orgasm and learning to work at liberating their own sexuality.

Sure, there are cases where there are physiological barriers to sexual function. But ya know, they're relatively few, in comparison to the numbers of cases of women who are anorgasmic because of fear, repression, self-repression, stigma, embarrassment, shame, and so forth. And honey, there are no drugs, no medical treatments, and no surgeries that remove self-repression, fear, shame, and embarrassment. THe only thing that does that is thought, conscious attention, honest communication with other people about sexuality, and an effort to process a change in how you deal with and react to sexuality in your life. Prescribing a gizmo to someone doesn't assist that process half as often as it simply gives them one more thing to blame when the placebo effect wears off and the original causes of dissatisfaction remain. I say it's a flimsy, tiny band-aid, and I say (in most cases) the hell with it.

Like Bootsy Collins used to say, "free your *** and your mind will follow." Funny how true that is.

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Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!


Posts: 1538 | From: boston, ma, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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