Record: oai:ARNO:630695

AuteurMaaike Hommes
TitelA Pink Pill Daily: Curing, Styling and Hacking Sexual Desire with the Lust Enhancing Pill for Women
BegeleidersMurat Aydemir, Niall Martin
FaculteitFaculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
OpleidingFGw RMA - Arts and Culture: Cultural Analysis - 425025
TrefwoordenSexual Desire; Female Sexuality; Relationality; Molecular Reductionism; Psychoanalysis
SamenvattingThis thesis is about the loss of sexual desire and the chemical possibility to bring it back. Following the approval of the lust enhancing pill for women, also called the Pink Pill, or female Viagra, by American media, I engage with three different modes of usage of the lust enhancing pill in which female sexual desire is either cured, styled or hacked with Addyi.
Contrary to (male) Viagra, the Pink Pill works on female sexual desire as rooted in brain chemistries. Women have to take the pill daily, and libido increases after a month of usage. What emerged in my analysis was how neuro-reductionism was assisted by a commercial frame that ‘psychologizes’ and limits the experience of low sexual desire.
Focusing on a narrative in which sexual desire is cured with Addyi, in the first chapter I comment on the sexist division of localizing female sexual desire in the brain, and combine a critique on neuroreductionism with Lauren Berlant’s notion of the good life to highlight the relation between sexual medication, an account of the material conditions of sexual desire and sexual normativity.
In the second chapter I review an article that appeared on Vogue, in which an author sets off on an ‘adventure’ with the pink pill. Here, I disclose the commercial structure that surrounds the chemical boost of desire with Addyi. By calling upon Jean Baudrillard’s consumption theory in conversation with the notion of desire in (Lacanian) psychoanalysis I refer to this usage of the drug as the styling of female sexuality.
With the help of the concept of Hacking, in chapter three I explore the possibility for new materialism to open up a different relation to chemically reinstated female sexual desire. What could flibanserin do as an off-label drug outside a limited commercial or medicalized framework? I first separate a Deleuzian Ethics from Morality and comment on the notion of sexuality as being scattered across many different instances of the self. Following this, and drawing on Rosi Braidotti’s distinction between Bios and Zoe, I show how a usage of the Pink Pill that hopes to reinstate a desire that was lost does not follow a Deleuzian inspired Ethics of potential but is rather prone to fall within moralizing structures and limited normativity.
Overall, this analysis contributes to an understanding of female sexuality in its many (chemical) entangled possibilities, and argues for an understanding of sexuality as a complex and relational given.
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