How Long A Leash?

While prediction markets on project completion dates often give spectacular accuracy improvements over official forecasts, hearing about this doesn’t make most organizations interested in adopting them. A plausible explanation for this is that managers often try to induce employee effort by manipulating the perceived chances of making the deadline. Employees will slack off if either the deadline seems impossible, or if it will be easily achieved; they work hardest when there is only a decent chance of success.

Similarly, it seems to me that many women (often unconsciously) try to keep their men maximally motivated to please them by giving them some but not too much sex. Men who think getting sex is easy, or impossible, don’t try as hard. At a party this weekend, I heard two middle-aged women lament that they had given away sex too easily in college; they envied the high prices young high-class prostitutes command.

This is why I predict the new “pink Viagra” will sell far less than its blue cousin. This new drug will be demanded by women who find it hard to offer their men enough sex to keep him near that optimal most-hungry point. But most women do not find this difficult.  In fact, I suspect some high-libido women have affairs in part to help them offer less sex to their men. Also, many women avoid sex with their man because they’ve decided (often unconsciously) that he’s just not good enough. Consider:

A German pharmaceutical giant wants to sell … “flibanserin.” … The company has sponsored studies involving more than 5,000 premenopausal women ages 18 to 50 in the United States, Canada and Europe in whom HSDD had been diagnosed. A 100-milligram daily dosage increased the number of satisfying sexual experiences that women had reported from the previous month — a key benchmark the FDA has set for such drugs — from an average of 2.7 to 4.5, compared with 3.7 among those taking a placebo. …

Critics say … “People think they are sick when they are not.” … For many women, waning sexual desire is a normal part of aging. For others, it could be a sign of other medical problems, a dysfunctional relationship or even an abusive partner. … “Is this going to make women desire an abusive partner?” asked Liz Canner, a documentary filmmaker who produced “Orgasm Inc.,” about the pharmaceutical industry’s role in developing drugs for female sexual disorders. “Is it going to make us desire every guy who walks by?”

I very much doubt men were as concerned that blue Viagra would make them too attracted to abusive women.

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