Female sexual dysfunction discussion Bingo!

09/26/2010 at 3:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments
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[Description: A 25-square bingo board with light blue and lavender accents. The theme of the board is feminist bingo-worthy quotes in relation to female sexual dysfunction. A transcript is below the cut.]

Hey you! You there! At the computer! Everyone! Step right up folks, step right up and come on dooooown! *Fanfare plays, light bulbs flash in the marching ants pattern*

Have YOU ever run into stereotypes and archetypes about what sort of women develop sexual dysfunction? Have you been offered unsolicited advice on what to do about your sex life, which perhaps has quite a few major complications going on? Have you become frustrated with a lack of satisfactory resolution to your problems and feel like you have nowhere to go to talk about them? Are you tired of hearing the same tropes over and over again when talking about female sexual dysfunction?

Well then step right up folks, yes step right up and get ready to play Female Sexual Dysfunction Discussion Bingo!

It’s easy to play along! All you have to do is hang around any discussion of female sexual dysfunction long enough or experience in real life some variation of the experiences described above, and then mark the corresponding box off on your Bingo board. Fill in five in a row up, down or diagonally, and you “Win!”

(Unfortunately I’ve been cleaned out of prizes to give to the winners of this game and in fact if you have FSD then lurking in the comments section of a discussion of female sexual dysfunction is likely to be upsetting at best and triggering at worst…)

Impress your friends!

Annoy your enemies!

Stop in your tracks with the sudden realization of, “Oh my god but I’ve done stuff on this board! I never realized how much it piles up on the folks I’ve been talking about!”
[I am pessimistic that anyone will have this reaction in real life; the most likely scenario that will play out is probably more like: Upon realizing that someone has used variations of the above and upon meeting this bingo board, that same someone will say, “Well this blogger is clearly a bitch and is much too close to her own experiences to be able to look at FSD ~objectively~.”]

Think you can’t play because you don’t got FSD yourself? No problem! Simply support someone who does! You can start by checking your own privileges at the door and listening without judgment to a friend who does have a dysfunction!
Don’t know anybody with FSD? Yeah maybe you should think about that for more than 5 seconds and see if you can think of any reasons why no one has felt comfortable disclosing their sexual health problems to you.

With FSD Bingo, everyone’s a winner!

Yes folks this right here is a brand-new, limited edition addition to the collection of social justice Bingo Boards! Trade with your friends! Complete the set! Gotta catch ’em all! Collect ’em all!

Right-click save (or click and hold) your copy of FSD Bingo today!!!

But seriously folks,

This is another collaborative effort brought to you by me and frequent commenter and sometimes guest poster Flora. (Hence, version 1.2 presented here – I have incorporated elements and feedback from boards we came up with.) You asked, and we delivered.

Everything in the bingo board box is based on real stuff we’ve seen & heard. I’m not making any of this up. Read the archives back far enough, and you’ll probably be able to trace a lot of these boxes back to their original inspiration.

There were even more valid candidates to make it onto the board – I just ran out of room and couldn’t include them all. Unfortuantely there are more than just these 25 pieces of sexist, rampantly disablist rubbish floating around in discussions of female sexual dysfunction. Perhaps some day I’ll release a version 2.0 if this one gets enough feedback to warrant revisions.

Until then, enjoy. Don’t leave home without it!

Transcript follows below the cut in case you can’t see the above image.

From left to right, then down:

1. You just need to learn to accept your body as it is
2. Women with FSD are afraid to take control of their sexuality
3. [Unsolicited sex life advice]
4. Women’s sexuality is complex!
5. It’s all in your head!
6. Only middle class white women deveop FSD
7. Your partner must be really bad in bed
8. You’re too young / sinful / unmarried to be having sex anway
9. Your partner just needs to do more chores
10. FSD is the new hysteria
11. Maybe you’re not really the orientation you claim to be
12. Intercourse-centric views of sex / hetero-centrism
13. Free Space! “Female Viagra”
14. [Unsolicited medical advice]
15. Sexual medicine patholigizes everyone with a sex problem
16. Sexual problems are social, not biological
17. You just need to masturbate more
18. Women who think they have FSD have been brainwashed by the patriarchy
19. Have a glass of wine & relax!
20. There are more important things to discuss than sex!
21. FSD was invented by Big Pharma to prey on women
22. Gratuitious use of “Scare quotes”
23. A drug for FSD will become the new date rape drug
24. I had sex problem once but I’m fine with it; you should be too!
25. Your poor partner!


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  1. I’m happy to see one that’s missing, which i heard a lot as a young woman a couple-three decades ago: You have poor psychosexual adjustment to your female role and need to learn how to love men.

    • So heavy with Freudian psychoanalysis that it imploded under its own weight.

      Actually, that psychoanalysis perspective of FSD is still around. Luckily, it’s in artifact form, for the most part.

      Here’s a book published as recently as 1999 about psychoanalysis, and the page about Vaginismus… The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis sex:

      “Vaginismus frequently is no pure inhibition but rather a positive conversion symptom; it then not only expreses the tendency to offer an obstacle to sexuality but also a distorted unconscious wish. This wish may be the idea to break off the penis and to keep it; in other words, vaginismus may be an expression of the revenge typ eof female castration complex (20), or a spasm of the floor of the pelvis may be an expression fo an anal conception of penis envy; the idea of pressing out and/or of retainng an anal penis (1136.)”

      Published as recently as 1999.
      Someone read this.
      Someone wrote this.
      In 1999.
      That’s only 1 decade ago.
      But on the other hand it’s in a dedicated psychoanalysis text… psychoanalysis is supposed to be like that.

      Talk about taking symbolism to the extreme!

      • What is this I don’t even…

        Does this mean women with FSD are penis bandits?


        • Yeah I think it’s something like that comic…

          Although I did get a chuckle out of the “Anal penis” bit.

          See this is why I often balk when I look at the symbolism of sex, and especially sex problems… like, yeah, you can look at the deeply symbolic meaning behind a sex problem…
          But I’m probably going to wish that you really hadn’t done that… Looking at the symbolism of sex can be as dangerous as not looking at it.

    • Hmm you know what else is missing from this one? The ubiquitous “DIET AND EXERCISE!” square. It’s on the disability & invisible illness board.

      Hmm did I miss something common? That may be my own thin privilege showing. Haven’t had a doctor use the diet & exercise thing with me. Unless you count the physical therapist showing me how to do the exercises. Which is what I wanted anyway. Does that count? She didn’t say it would be a magical cure-all though, or that it would be easy… she didn’t say I needed to change my diet either since I haven’t noticed any dietary clues.

      Uhh and there was this school doctor who was like, something about eating more vegetables when I went into her office a long time ago when I first started noticing problems brewing downstairs.

      Strangely, the alternative medicine doctor didn’t throw that one at me. You would think he’d be the first one.

      Has anybody else here gotten the Diet & Exercise thing when talking to someone about sexual problems?

      • I got (& gave, I think) the exercise part of Diet & Exercise, but not from a doctor (it was from a sex partner and during “girl evenings”).
        On the other hand, I never bothered checking with a doctor about FSD.

  2. Love this! Thanks for posting it.

  3. This is brilliant.

  4. I love you and I want to do your taxes free of charge.


  5. […] Bingo and sex: a rich mine of hilaritySeptember 27th, 2010 @ 3:56 am This just in: there is now a Bingo card for female sexual dysfunction. […]

  6. Just came back to vent. There have been some clusterf*cktastic articles about FSD on some of my favorite ladyblogs recently. Just makes me wonder if people are being willfully dense.

    I thought about sending you links, but decided that would just be mean. Maybe I’ll do an angry post on my own neglected site this week.

    • I wonder if the resistance to serious exploration of FSD is yet another example of female genitalia being “open” to control by others? If our vulvae are not behaving, then we deserve external control?

      Not to mention, nobody wants to contemplate the reality pain in the temple of pleasure.

      Not excuses, mind you, just perhaps explanations.

      • But…but…wouldn’t having the option of getting safe, effective treatment for vulvar health problems mean that I had *more* control over what happens to my vulva, not less???


      I know one of the posts you’re talking about… Won’t name names… Sufficcent to say you mean the one that was just a re-hash of the major social construction arguements but that didn’t quite make a bingo score, right? The one that most lectured the readers about the history of FSD and left a *little* wiggle room for sympathy…

      Yeah I saw it… Thought about responding to it but I am still in the middle of molting everything I know and like you know what, I don’t have to eat every little piece of bait & cause anxiety.

      So fuckitall.

  7. […] or even attempted to adhere to every other piece of rubbish that did and didn’t make it onto our new Bingo Board, still hit a wall. Happy now? Obviously, I am in fact not happy. I am so pissed off. Even BI cited […]

  8. […] In practice, I’m still wary of the manifesto and the eponymous organization. Reading the entire body of work has not sufficiently addressed my apprehensions. Because in practice, I’ve seen the New View’s positions and activities turn into another prescriptive theory, one that creates new complications and restrictions for women even as it attempts to free them. For example, in practice, the strong emphasis on relationship problems can also oversimplify women’s sexual problems and turn into partner blaming. The New View’s insistence on referring to “Female/Pink Viagra” further obfuscates understanding the difference between arousal and desire, even when drugs like flibanserin do not work like Viagra. I was horrified to see New View organized petition to stop FDA approval of flibanserin, since I felt like the petition organizers overlooked whatever small number of women might actually benefit from such a drug, questionable though it is. Anti-Big Pharma arguments can easily turn into anti-medicine rants and rampant disablism. Looking for the deeper meaning behind sexual problems can turn into so much ‘splainin and Freudian analysis. And I think that by questioning the very existence of such a thing as female sexual dysfunction, the New View contributes to the further stigmatization of FSD. Basically, when used irresponsibly, the New View lends itself to Bingo Board fodder. […]

  9. […] it till the day I die! There’s a reason I included the ol’ wine glass advice on our FSD Discussion Bingo card, version 1.0. I’ve heard it from doctors, I’ve read about it in advice columns, and I’ve heard […]

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