orgasmatron, inhaler version

Today's vocabulary word is "erectogenesis":

So colourful and exotic is the list of substances that have been claimed to heighten sexual appetite that it is hard not to feel a twinge of disappointment on first beholding the latest entry - a small, white plastic nasal inhaler containing an odourless, colourless synthetic chemical called PT-141. Plain as it is, however, there is one thing that distinguishes PT-141 from the 4,000 years' worth of recorded medicinal aphrodisiacs that precede it: this one actually works. And it could reach the market in as little as three years.

The full range of possible risks and side effects has yet to be determined, but already this much is known: a dose of PT-141 results, in most cases, in a stirring in the loins in as little as 15 minutes. Women, according to one set of results, feel 'genital warmth, tingling and throbbing', not to mention 'a strong desire to have sex'.

The precise mechanisms by which PT-141 does its job remain unclear, but the rough idea is this: where Viagra acts on the circulatory system, helping blood flow into the penis, PT-141 goes to the brain itself. 'It's not merely allowing a sexual response to take place more easily,' explains Michael A Perelman, co-director of the Human Sexuality Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital and a sexual-medicine adviser on the PT-141 trials. 'It may be having an effect, literally, on how we think and feel.'


Two years earlier, and just three years past its start-up, the company had bought the rights to develop a substance called Melanotan II. Originally isolated by University of Arizona researchers looking for a way to give Caucasians a healthy, sunblocking tan without exposing them to dangerous ultraviolet rays, Melanotan II achieved that and more: it also appeared to facilitate weight loss, increase sexual appetite and act as an anti-inflammatory, too. Quickly dubbed 'the Barbie drug', Melanotan II seemed too good to be true.

In fact, it was too good to be good. A drug with so many effects, Palatin decided, was not an effectively marketable one. So Palatin's researchers set out to isolate the individual effects in the laboratory, experimenting with variations on Melanotan II's molecular theme. The compound that became PT-141 was one of the first variations examined.


'I see a lot of couples in my practice who don't know how to relax,' says Leonore Tiefer, a professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. 'That's fine - it's a big asset to them in their corporate lifestyle, where they can work 80 hours a week. They're trained to multi-task. Well, it doesn't seem that that is really doable when it comes to sex. And they're angry about that: they need it to be doable because they only have their five minutes.'

The five-minute meaningful sexual encounter: if ever there was a holy grail for the age of the tight-wired global economy - with its time-strapped labour force and its glut of bright, shiny distractions - that is it. And if ever there was a reason to be wary of the pharmaceutical industry's designs on the market for sexual healing, say critics such as Tiefer, it's the attractiveness of that simple-minded ideal.

And here's a fine out-of-context quote:

'He notices it's there, and he grooms it to detumescence,' says Annette Shadiack, Palatin's executive director of pre-clinical development. 'And then it happens again.'

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21 Responses:

  1. recursive says:

    God, that sounds horrible.

  2. 33mhz says:

    This image appeared on my friends list immediately after this entry:

    • dojothemouse says:

      Crane's been smuggling his toxin hidden in Falcone's drugs... and they're dumping it into the water supply!

    • taffer says:

      Can you give an Amazon link to that reference work he's pulling out of the library? Thanks.

      Searching them for "Greatest Boners of All Time" got me some golf-related book.

  3. The fact that this is tasteless and odorless is kind of terrifying. But I think its pretty dam cool that finally someone has come up with a way to help women who have trouble reaching orgasm or becoming sexualy excited. there are tons of drugs out for ED, but nothing for women.
    This could also significantly improve sexual side effects of SSRI medications.

  4. uke says:

    Just wait 'til the underground chemists start manufactring Melanotan II. It'll be a huge thing.

  5. zonereyrie says:

    I want someone to pump large quantities of that into a fundie meeting or revivial - or maybe the Republical National Convention.

    Just because.

    I also see that being another date-rape drug - if taking advantage of someone while intoxicated is criminal, I would think altering their brain chemistry to make them more receptive to your advances falls in the same general area.

    • greyface says:

      It's not illegal to take advantage of somebody who is intoxicated until they are too intoxicated to consent.

      The line of reasoning you're using would extend in a different direction. Like, would it be illegal to wear deoderant, because it makes people more receptive to your presence. Rather than the direction it should (and does) extend which is that somebody physically incapacitated (whether through their own actions or not) is not sufficiently free-willed to consent to sex-acts, and the fact that they have not consented means any sex acts are non-consensual (i.e. rape).

      • zonereyrie says:

        Yeah, I was kind of reaching there. :-)

        Where is the line on brain chemistry and what makes someone incapacitated and unable to consent? We have legal limits for alcohol, but how do they determine it in a general case? Anything that messes with your brain chemistry can influence your ability to reason.

        Is influencing someone's brain chemistry enough to impair their judgement and remove their ability to consent? I don't think it actually is now. But this is a bit more than just being well groomed, it seem to have a direct effect on the brain. We may decide to sleep with someone because they 'turn us on' - but what if that feeling of arrousal came in a bottle? Is it unfair to use that to turn someone on? Where is the line that makes it illegal? How far does it have to go, how strong an effect does it need to have before it is considered to impair reasoning and remove the ability to consent?

        (I just picture this stuff being sold in a two-pack with E as a club drug bundle...)

        • greyface says:

          The point is that "influenced" is not a criterion. "Incapacitated" is.

          The rohypnol/alcohol rape laws says that a rapist saying "They never said 'no' and they never resisted" is still a rapist and should expect jail time. It has nothing to do with whether or not somebody took advantage of an abnormal receptiveness. It isn't, for example, rape if somebody takes somebody to bed with the promise of a cash reward (prostitution laws are entirely different) regardless of whether or not the person being paid would have had sex with the other person without the monetary incentive.

          • wfaulk says:

            You're ignoring the other half of this, which is that giving someone a drug without their knowledge is still illegal. One applies deodorant and/or cologne to himself, not his intended ... partner.

            Of course, that still doesn't speak to the rape charge, but I'd think that a jury would be inclined in that direction if presented with another charge that the suspected rapist also drugged his alleged victim.

  6. nightrider says:

    I, for one, welcome our new thinner, tanner, hornier, un-inflamed overlords!

  7. daria_4 says:

    "A drug with so many effects, Palatin decided, was not an effectively marketable one."

    Granted, I'm sure ALL (good, bad, ugly, etc.) the effects haven't been researched, but do they really think something that had all those effects wouldn't be marketable?
    'Well, I really want a safer tan, but I like the way it looks in my rolls... do you have a tanning drug that'll keep me fat?'
    I'm with nightrider.

    • Im sure it was a 2 fold thing.
      1 - lots of side effects (good or bad) made them nervous. Who knows what else might be going on?
      2 - Why develop 1 drug that does several (Benifical) things when you can develop several drugs that do 1 thing. Then you can then sell several pills to the same person.