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Ask Fairy Butch. (Curvatures).

Dear Fairy Butch: Are aphrodisiacs for real? I mean, can you really take something that has that kind of effect? My friend and I have been going back and forth, trying to figure out if this is an old wives' tale or really valid. -- Curious in Kansas City

Dear Curious: Well, pumpkin, old wives nowadays and in days of yore alike have been just chock-full of wisdom, so don't be surprised to find that their tales and modern science are often in sync! Obviously, though, the main issue burrowing its way into your noggin is whether or not there are medications or supplements by which you can elevate your sexual desire, to which I can readily answer: yes. But before I proceed with a description of sexual alchemy, let me issue a fervent preface: Do not take any of these medications or supplements without the consent of your doctor!

Now, I know it can be tough bringing up the subject of sex with your physician, but you'll have to sally forth, muffin. This missive refers to agents that pack some serious firepower and are nothing to be toyed with. And much to my Jewish mother's chagrin, I am not a doctor, and some of the following procedures could cause serious harm to some folks. If your doc can't handle your sexual frankness, consider taking your business elsewhere. Now, in the interest of science and veracity, and with my disclaimer foremost in your mind, darling, on with the show!

There are three major actions by which sex drive can be increased externally. These means are certainly not mutually exclusive -- they depend on one another. Nonetheless, this distinction may help you to understand their respective functions, my dear. The first of these is hormonal; that is, you can increase your sex drive by increasing the level of testosterone your body manufactures. This can be done through various means: for example, lifting weights, watching action flicks (no kidding!), or taking either prescribed medication or over-the-counter (OTC) supplements. The hormonal medication most frequently prescribed to increase a woman's sex drive is a low-dose testosterone cream or patch, usually worn on the upper arm. OTC hormone supplements that may increase testosterone include DHEA and Androstene (Mark McGuire's fave.) Many doctors, however, don't advocate the use of these androgenic supplements, particularly for their female patients, for fear of masculinization, liver trouble or an increase in cardia c risk factors. Exercise caution!

Another pathway through which spontaneous libido can be increased has to do with certain neurotransmitters. These puppies are responsible for telling us when to "feed and breed," and consequently have a lot to do with sex drive. And while some antidepressants can lower one's sex drive, certain agents in this class can have the reverse effect. Prominent among this group is the supplement Yohimbe, as well as its refined prescription cousin, Yohimbine. This drug has been used to reverse impotency in men, but can be employed to increase sex drive in women as well. Again, if this prospect interests you, be very cautious and consult your doctor. Both Yohimbe and Yohimbine have an effect on the vascular system, which we'll discuss next. They have been found to dramatically increase heart rate, sometimes to dangerous levels. They also can exert a stimulating action on mood and may increase anxiety.

Manipulation of the vascular system is another means though which sexual desire can be increased; or in this case, better utilized. The most famous member of this family is, of course, Viagra. Viagra and other vascular agents work by increasing the flow of blood to the erectile tissue. When blood flow to the pelvic region is increased, your body often responds by sending your brain the message that you're turned on. An OTC supplement that has a similar effect on the body is Ephedra, but be very careful with this drug. Though it is well tolerated by some people, it makes others a nervous wreck. Overuse has even been responsible for several deaths, so be sure to check in with your doctor!

But fret not, peacock, for you can also increase the flow of blood to the pelvic region sans drugs or supplements. For example, there's aerobic exercise as well as clit pumping, which is a mechanical means of drawing blood into the area. I've been chatting about clit pumping for years and the federal government has finally caught on: The FDA has approved a $400 battery-operated prescription clit-pumping device. Clit pumping can be employed to other sexual ends as well, teacake, so you might want to give it a whirl. At any rate, clit pumping is a serious prospect and requires instruction. My book, The Ultimate Guide to Strap-On Sex: A Complete Resource for Women and Men, has an instructive chapter on the subject and can be purchased at my Web site at

Gentle Readers: To submit your queries regarding the finer points of lesbian life, sexuality, romance and other matters of the heart, go to or send a note to
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Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2002
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