By Keegan Hamilton
By Albert Samaha
By Village Voice staff
By Tessa Stuart
By Albert Samaha
By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
Over 40 percent of American women (that's over 50 million!) have some form of sexual dysfunction, a complex condition that may include low sex drive or total lack of desire, pain during sex, decreased genital sensitivity, and an inability to achieve orgasm. Researchers have gone in search of the female equivalent to the magic blue pill called Viagra. Many companies have developed creams, available without a prescription, that promise to enhance sex in several ways, like increasing clitoral sensitivity, heightening sensation and pleasure during sex, raising sex drive, improving the ability to achieve orgasm, and increasing the frequency and/or intensity of orgasms. While none have FDA approval, they all claim to be safe and without side effects, except for women who are pregnant. Nearly all the creams contain L-arginine, an amino acid that increases blood flow and circulation, which hypothetically improves the sensation of nerve endings in the clitoris, thus leading to more pleasure for women.
In the interest of research, randiness, and plain ole curiosity, I decided to test-drive three of these topical solutions to see if frosting my coochie would really make a difference. First up was a product called Sensitille (www.sensitillecreme.com). It's touted as all-natural, costs $79 for a 30-milliliter bottle, and is composed of stuff like aloe vera, shea butter, apricot kernel oil, wild yam, ginkgo, and peppermint. I followed the accompanying directions, which instructed me to rub a small, teardrop-sized amount on the underside of my clitoris. I deduced (less from the confusing diagram and more from my knowledge of sexual anatomy) that the cream was meant to go on the underside of the clitoral hood. Just to double-check, I consulted the equally nebulous diagrams that came with the other products; all the paperwork placed great emphasis on the so-called underside of the clitoris (referred to in one place as the "clitoris membrane"), which was a roundabout way of getting it on the clitoral glans itself. Warnings not to put the cream on any other pussy parts appeared in all the literature. Sensitille didn't do much for me, but to be fair, none of the creams promise perfect results, and all recommend continued, successive use (three or more applications spread out over several days) to achieve the full effect of the product. This is due in part to the residual effectiveness of L-arginine, which apparently stays in your system for an extended time period.
At the other end of the chemical spectrum, Viacreme (www.viacremedelight.com) lists less organic substances on its label, like propylene glycol, hydroxyechylcellose, and methyl paraben, and is the most widely available, especially on the Web, at $12 for two milliliters. It has another ingredient that seems to be the most popular next to L-arginine: menthol. Described in a Viacreme pamphlet as a both warm and cool burning sensation, the menthol's contribution gave me pause. To me, menthol conjures up Newport Lights, Vicks Vapo Rub, and Ben Gay, none of which I am in any rush to introduce to my cunt. But I thought of you, my readers, and slid my panties off. Elsewhere, the sensation from Viacreme was called "a vigorous tingle," but it felt more like a noticeable twinge, starting out cold, then warming to almost hot. While I definitely felt something, in my head I heard David Letterman asking, "Is this anything?" It was enough to get me to grab my vibrator, so I guess it was. Viacreme was the only product that claims to be edible, which raises another issue: Once you put it on, does it rule out muffdiving? The menthol alone is enough to scare off prospective lickersunless they're into burning lips and hot tongues.
For $18.95 for a 20-milliliter tube, you get a little hemp with your hump in O Clitoral Stimulating Gel (www.omyonline.com), which has added hemp seed oil for its purported moisturizing and antibacterial properties. O also contains menthol, and the box reads, "You should feel an intense warmth for about 20 seconds." After the Viacreme, I was much less apprehensive of having physical-therapy flashbacks. I put a tiny dab of the clear gel on my clit, and the immediate feeling was more like a burn. Imagine holding your clit over an open flame, and you're there with me, regretting my experimental nature for those 20 seconds. My instinct was to jump in the shower, but in the brochure it specifically said not to wash it off in the 20-second period, and that doing so may in fact increase the discomfort, which didn't seem possible. So I sat tight, and when the burn faded, a wave of warmth and arousal came over me. Blood started rushing to my cunt, and I got really turned on. Maybe there was something to this Ben Gay on the puss after all. I started jerking off, but decided to wait till a certain someone came over to, um, assist. I ended up bringing myself to the edge of orgasm, then backing off, then getting there again. By the time I was in the thick of two-person sex, I was so overstimulated that I couldn't come! I don't hold O responsible: It definitely worked some major mojo on me and deserves a second chance.