A pill to kill male sex drive

Oz Conservative brings the following Spearhead comment to our attention

 Justa thought, guys keep talking about male pill how about libido suppressant? Are there any drugs out there that will suppress a man’s libido so much he would be a functional eunuch (oxymoron i know)?

Imagine never even thinking about sex, means you can without effort treat every hot chick without that mild inner bias to her goodlooks. Possible with game but this time, you wont be feinging dis-interest, with the utlimate aim of getting in her pants.

You would genuinely not be interested in chicks. We might be surprised how many guys would actually go on such pills if they were available

The context of this quote was a discussion over an absurd proposal that men should separate themselves from women until the latter get over their feminist entitlement complexes.  However, I think the appeal of such a pill would be far larger than “confirmed old bachelors” like Henry Higgins.

In an alternate universe, where the hegemonic culture was Christian rather than libertine, I’ll bet such a pill would already exist.  Think about the good, chaste Christian boys who have to wait a decade or so into their sexual maturity before they’re able to raise a family and can responsibly marry.  Consider married couples who want to put a little space between their children.  My wife and I have a newborn now, and she’s taking up all of our energy.  It would be very hard if my wife were to get pregnant again just now.  The upshot is that I’m looking at about a year of celibacy.  So far, I’m a couple months in, and a pill to take away sexual cravings would indeed make my life more comfortable.

The dilemma is this:  if a man had sex every time he wanted to, the population would explode beyond our means of support.  Therefore, we can either suppress female fertility or suppress male appetite or demand a good deal of male self-control.  The elite hedonistic culture has jumped on the first solution.  The Catholic Church has nothing to offer but the third.  Why doesn’t somebody look into the second?  Honestly, I do think that our wives would prefer that we desired them less, rather than that they should chemically alter themselves to make themselves barren.  Is what I’m suggesting just a technical fix to a moral problem?  Don’t men gain virtue through continence?  Perhaps.  But the same sorts of things might be said about Tylenol.  Isn’t enduring a headache an opportunity to cultivate patience?  Yes, but that doesn’t mean we need to seek out such opportunities.

8 Responses

  1. I wonder what the Church’s view of such a pill would be. Even natural family planning is immoral if it is done with contraceptive intent. So, I assume, that taking a libido-killing pill with contraceptive intent would also be immoral. The distinction between contraceptive intent and child-spacing intent has always struck me as a bit worrisome—it might be quite difficult for most people to be sure they are on the right side of that distinction. I mean, many married people contracept with a child-spacing motive (but contraceptive intent, obviously), and the motive-intent distinction eludes most people most of the time.

  2. I think you’re right to point to NFP as the relevant example. Neither periodic abstinence nor libido-killer pill popping is intrinsically immoral (at least, as far as I can see), but the reason for doing so may be valid or selfish. As I indicate in my post, I think there are a lot of valid cases in today’s world when a man would legitimately want sex off his mind.

  3. You mean I don’t have to choose between

    a) a life of slavery to a passion that has a life all its own

    or

    b) a life of self-possession and dignity that is always permeated by inexorable craving?

    Sign me the hell up. I didn’t ask for this “male sex drive” and I don’t want it.

  4. Well, my above comment shows my enthusiasm for such a pill, but in reality I would wish to know two things before taking it:

    1) Is it consonant with Church teaching? (doubtful)

    2) How does the pill work? In other words, what are its potentially adverse effects? We are all aware of the harm fertility control pills do to a woman’s body; I suspect this sort of pill would function in a way comparably harmful to men.

    By the way, Bonald – you describe the proposal that “men separate themselves from women until the latter get over their feminist entitlement complexes” as absurd. Why do you think this is absurd? What are the problems you see with this proposal? Do you disagree that in this culture, women who have “feminist entitlement complexes” can do great harm to men, especially when said men are legally bound to them in marriage? Interested in your thoughts here.

    Also – you said, “Think about the good, chaste Christian boys who have to wait a decade or so into their sexual maturity before they’re able to raise a family and can responsibly marry.” I submit that in a Christian hegemony, good Christian boys would not have to wait a decade into their sexual maturity before they are ready for the responsibilities of marriage. About a hundred years ago men married as young as eighteen. The fact that men today take longer to mature is, I believe, the result of the absence of certain cultural supports which existed for their forbears, but not for them. Young men today are floundering because there are few older men willing to shepherd them into mature manhood, because male-only associations have largely been eliminated from the public sphere by feminists, and because the surrounding culture encourages the worst in everybody, to name but a few reasons for this phenomenon.

  5. Just want to add that I do not believe the average young woman is really more prepared for the responsibilities of marriage than the average young man. On the whole, our entire culture is juvenile and narcissistic.

  6. Hi David,

    You may be right that using such a pill would be sinful, and the Church would disapprove it. It’s not obvious to me, though, what moral stricture it would violate. I would be happy to learn more from my ever-perceptive readers.

    I think shunning marriage is a grave mistake because it is most men’s vocation, so they’d be ruining their lives. Also, while most women are feminist in theory, many of them organize their private lives quite differently, and inconsistency that makes many lives more bearable.

    You are probably right that the fact that men have to wait so long to get married is a consequence of perverse social structures. My main candidate would be the silly idea that everyone needs to burn four years of their youth getting a college degree. On the other hand, long periods of continence after marriage are an inescapable consequence of the decrease in infant mortality. With today’s medical science, if a man were to “do what comes naturally”, all couples would have ten children, and while we like to disparage the Malthusians, something like this would have serious environmental and social consequences. Of course, the actual solution most people have chosen is contraception. I regard this as gravely immoral (and am paying a price for that belief), but have nothing but continence to offer in its place. Until somebody invents this pill, that is.

  7. Just found this post while skimming the archives. Incidentally, virtually all of the SSRI-class antidepressants are noted for having a strong antilibidinal effect in a large proportion of patients (50%+), including not merely reduction or total cessation of the sex drive but, in some cases, localized anesthesia and nonresponsiveness to sexual stimuli (e.g., ED, anorgasmia, etc.). If you want a sex-drive killing pill, something like Paxil’s probably your best bet.

    The question of whether or not it can be taken licitly is pretty important, but I think the case can be made in some circumstances. For unmarried men, it’s pretty easy: if the procreative faculty is naturally ordered toward noncontraceptive marital sex, a strong sex drive compelling a man to sin is always necessarily (morally) disordered, and correcting disorder is a legitimate medical concern. For married men, it’s stickier — since such a pill could produce situations in which he is unable to fulfill the marriage debt should his wife request it, so it could easily become a near occasion of sin. I suppose, like marital sex itself, it’s something a couple would need to talk over extensively and come to an agreement on (especially since SSRI discontinuation can, in rare cases, contribute to continuing sexual dysfunction), but I don’t see how it could be per se illicit.

  8. Old post I know, but the ultimate solution is not so much the elimination of male sex drive, but to develop a mind that is so powerful that it can completely TRANSCEND the body’s urges. Unfortunately, only the most highly evolved souls can do this. That hacks out well over 99% of the human race.

    The ONLY solution for the common man is castration. Whether you agree with it or not; the desire for sex has caused much more suffering in our society than even money. Boy, did the Christian bible get it totally wrong.

    The human body is a flawed design. Humanity will only work when sex for pleasure is COMPLETELY eradicated from our bodies. In a few millenia time, if we are still around… the human body should evolve to the point where box sexes and the capacity for reporduction occur in the same body, and where procreation follows natural laws rather than the whims of the human ego.

    On then, will the vast majority of human suffering be eradicated.

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