The Desire Project

The Desire Project

Using MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy to Help Women Overcome Lack of Desire

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is a common female sexual disorder characterized by persistent low sexual desire and emotional distress that are not attributable to an existing medical condition or relationship issue. According to current estimates, 40% of women in the US have self-reported low sexual desire, with the true disorder affecting 10% of adult women and 14% of premenopausal adult women. In the U.S. alone, HSDD affects an estimated 9.5 million premenopausal women, all reporting that their low desire results in a state of distress.

Women’s desire issues have not been adequately addressed — we think we can help. It’s time to level the desire playing field. The Desire Project brings together a team of experts in sexual disorders and psychedelics to drive clinical outcomes for HSDD. Our proposed clinical study will focus on the root cause of millions of women’s sexual desire issues. The Desire Project introduces a new focus in mental health care, combining MDMA and psychotherapy.

The Unspoken Disorder

Addressing a long-overlooked issue in women’s health with psychedelic research

Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) has only been recently recognized as an issue, perhaps as a consequence of the historic taboos of speaking about female desires, yet the topic of male sexual dysfunction is widely spoken about. This limits the conversations around shared experiences and potential for solutions. The Desire Project aims to eliminate the stigma affecting female desire and open the door to empowerment.  

We believe that mental health and sex are intimately tied, with sexual health contributing to overall well-being and female sexual desire being rooted in the mind. Sex prompts the release of endorphins that influence mood, promote emotional intimacy, and ultimately impact certain relationships.  

Throughout our investigation of female sexual desire disorders, we found that current solutions on the market do not solve the underlying issues and challenges that impede on women’s sexual function. We imagine a care paradigm whereby psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy becomes common practice for women suffering from decreased desire.  

MINDCURE’s research into  female Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD)  brings together a team of experts in sexual disorders and psychedelics to drive clinical outcomes and promote female sexual desire using MDMA.

The Struggle of Desire

“During my decades as a psychiatrist, I’ve seen first-hand the limitations of existing treatments. This is an exciting opportunity to find a potentially more effective and better tolerated treatment for women affected by this disorder.”

– Dr. Joel Raskin, MD – CMO of MINDCURE

Living with HSDD is damaging as it can not only cause depression and anxiety, but also destroy personal relationships. There is also extreme frustration, a loss of oneself, anger and the constant worry about how the lack of desire will affect intimate relationships. This can create a destructive, never-ending loop. MINDCURE aims to break this cycle.

According to current estimates, HSDD affects 10% of adult women and 14% of premenopausal adult women, all reporting that their low desire results in a state of distress. In the U.S. alone, HSDD affects an estimated 9.5 million premenopausal women.  

Despite their prevalence, women’s sexual desire disorders remain a highly under researched and under treated area of mental health care. Stigma around female sexuality limits access to sexual health discussions. Current drugs offer only mild, temporary solutions without solving the problem directly.  A safe and effective treatment for women’s sexual desire is crucial, and it is the MINDCURE’s aim to find this treatment.  

The Effects of HSDD

The effects of HSDD are severe and can lead to a strong distress in a women’s life. This distress can lead to a decline in mental health.

Depression
Anxiety
Frustration
Loss of self
Worry about relationship with partner
Anger

14% of premenopausal women in the US suffer from HSDD. This equates to an estimated 9.5 million women struggling on a daily basis.

Our Approach to Addressing HSDD

“MDMA has enormous potential beyond PTSD, and we hope to create a care paradigm whereby MDMA-assisted psychotherapy becomes common practice for women suffering from decreased desire. The empathogenic nature of the psychedelic allows for a healing experience in women, whose access to desire may be more rooted in the mind than body.”

– Kelsey Ramsden – Founder & CEO of MINDCURE

With the Desire Project, we’re developing a safe and evidence-based research environment with an optimal setting in order to develop a solution using pharmaceutical MDMA and psychotherapy to treat HSDD.

Negative sexual experiences, some mental health challenges, in addition to other socio-cultural factors may result in a disconnect from the self and other, leading to material effects on a woman’s sexual function.  

MDMA-assisted psychotherapy could address the effects that such experiences have over time. MDMA has been shown to help people heal from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). After participating in clinical trials, people who have chronic PTSD experienced long-lasting symptom improvement and even complete remission.

Desire is considered a product of the mind. Studies show that MDMA allows one to open up and work through tough challenges that would otherwise be difficult to address. Commonly known as the "Love Drug", there is scientific evidence that MDMA can increase desire.  

“MDMA is so powerful in its capacity to help someone reach a new level of empathetic understanding about their own experience” - Dr. Sherry Walling, PhD. It is through this empathetic understanding that we believe that MDMA is the correct treatment for HSDD.  

The first exploration of MDMA studies for this indication will be a clinical study focusing on premenopausal women.

Meet The Desire Project Team

“We’ve hired an esteemed group of advisors, including some of the most well-cited researchers in female sexual desire research. I’m honoured that they’ve chosen to work with MINDCURE and look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

– Kelsey Ramsden – Founder & CEO of MINDCURE

Led by Dr. Joel Raskin (CMO), MINDCURE’s Desire Project research team is comprised of some of the most well-cited researchers in female sexual desire, as well as the lead author of the MAPS MDMA for PTSD study.

Dr. Anita H. Clayton, MD

Dr. Jennifer M. Mitchell, PhD

Dr. Cindy M. Meston, PhD

Dr. Robert E. Pyke, PhD

Dr. Sherry Walling, PhD