Flibanserin, also referred to (incorrectly) as “female Viagra,” has been a hot news topic lately. A few weeks ago, BUST wrote a story about this pill, and I couldn't stop think about what this whole thing would mean for women who identified as asexual.

After years of debate, flibanserin, the first drug designed to boost women’s libido, was finally approved by the FDA last week. Most feminist communities had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the pill and its approval. Many women’s groups see it as an achievement for gender equality since Viagra (and many other drugs that help with erectile dysfunction and male libido) has been around since the 1990s.

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Despite the strong support from many, the pill may make life harder for one group in particular. Asexuals have been fighting for a long time to have their lack of desire accepted as a sexual orientation, and visibility and awareness for this group has increased greatly in recent years. Unfortunately, a new medication that treats low libido as a medical problem could undermine those efforts.

According to a New York Times interview with asexual activist and founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), David Jay, advertising campaigns for flibanserin “could reinforce the position that a lack of interest in sexuality is a problem that needs to be cured." Jay says, "If we start seeing doctors and patients internalizing the message that not being sexual means that you’re sick, that could be very negative for our community.” That has to be frustrating for a group that’s been working so hard to gain visibility and acceptance.

I have to admit, I’m torn on this issue. My feelings and opinions are deeply complex because issues of female bodily autonomy and sexual identity are always deeply complex. Dealing with both issues at once, forget it. On one hand, of course if any individual woman wants to try a pill that could help her have a more enjoyable sex life, she should be free to make that choice. On the other hand, if people who identify as asexual have their identity threatened by a pill that promises to “fix” them, a different freedom is being compromised. Perhaps the only thing we can do is commit to always be accepting and understanding of other women’s choices and identities.

What do you think?

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Image via Twitter

Via NYTimes

Read more on Bust.com:

"Viagra" For Women Isn't Viagra — But The FDA Should Still Approve It

No Sex, Please—I'm Asexual

Lady Viagara Gets The Yes Or No Vote Today

Olivia’s first sentence was “No talk, just laugh” and since then, she’s made it her business to find the humorous side of life and share her absurd observations with others. She’s a writer, a lover of all things pop culture, and she can’t fall asleep without having 30 Rock on in the background. If you like looking at pictures of food and random dogs, you should check out Olivia’s Instagram.

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