Fifty Shades of Mirtazapine

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January 22, 2013 | 3 Comments

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  1. EL’s new drugs have clearly fired up her sexual turbines — I agree, not disinhibited her but have created desires where previously few existed. I’m baffled about the gays who apparently go straight on SSRIs. In my view, sexual orienation is something deeply biological, acquired at birth, and for a pharmaceutical agent to change it would be very surprising though not impossible.

    Is there a pharmacology of fetish-sm? Clearly, drugs such as ethanol disinhibit, and open doors people previously didn’t know existed. But do they create doorways?

    I take it you haven’t yet had any posts about the fetish-roleplaying scene? Its adepts are still deeply in the closet, far more buried behind the coatrack that the gays ever were. Here is what I might predict: Octavia reads Fifty Shades. She is also on Prozac. She is one of the atypical responders you mention, as the Prozac prompts her to leave her husband because he refuses to gratify her new sadomasochistic interests. She reports all this to Riisk couched as marital breakdown as a side effect of Prozac. It wasn’t that she was disinhibited. She had never been interested in sm before. It was Fifty Shades that created new doorways and Prozac that let her march through them. She’s very happy now in her leather jacket and boots as she stalks about looking for female subs to dominate.

  2. I can’t disagree there’s something “deeply biological” about one’s basic sexual orientation – but behavior can be a lot more flexible. In repressive situations like prison or the army, there have always been men who start seeking out other men simply because no women are available. And I have known women to move from straight to gay, and back to straight, for social, emotional or even political and philosophical reasons. These transitions may not last a lifetime but they are real enough. Do people who can make them readily have a higher sex drive than the rest of us? Maybe. So maybe those who change from gay to straight (or vice versa) on SSRI’s are really just becoming bisexual on a drug that seems to raise their sex drive (rather than suppressing it, which is much more common). Does anyone know how these people’s new lives work out in the long term, like five years after the big change?

    As for fetishes, etc. – SSRI’s are actually prescribed these days to reduce the urge for such behavior when it’s seen as compulsive and unhealthy. Peter Kramer’s Listening to Prozac described one man who took the drug for depression after his dad died. Supposedly his “normal” sex life was unaffected, but his lifelong interest in pornography vanished. The man had always seen his porn habit as part of his liberated, adventurous nature, but now started to wonder if it had been a disease. After all, a pill had “cured” it. (Like a lot of stories in that book, this one struck me as almost too good to be true.) So if this is an opposite, paradoxical reaction, maybe people just start searching the Internet or whatever for “something more” to absorb all that extra sexual energy. It reminds me of what you often hear from recovering cocaine addicts – many recall a very driven, compulsive pursuit of porn, sex clubs or other things they’d never thought much about before. It never sounds very liberating – just the opposite.

  3. I can fully understand how a drug can disinhibit you. This happened to me when I was taking Enbrel/Entanercept to the point where I would have been so happy to have joined a Burlesque or Strip Tease club! (If I’d been 20 years younger I would probably have done it for real!)
    My libido shot throught the roof – and I felt teriffic however the darker side of this is how do you contain it within ‘normal’ boundaries?
    I can well understand how people go way off the rails when feeling something like this – I managed to soak my own libido up in various ways which didn’t cause a massive amount of damage but nevertheless- it is pretty scary to think what it could make people do!
    Now I am no longer on the drug and feeling well -er – normal – I sometimes wish I could feel like that again but be in control of it!
    Nope – I think I have enough libido normally- but never underestimate a drug’s ability to change your biological make-up and bring out the excesses in you!

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