The Hollywood actress turned CEO has shared the latest add to her lifestyle emporium, Goop, on her Instagram – a supplement that claims to support sexual health and boost the female libido, dubbed ‘DTF’.
As in “down to fuck”. Yes, you don’t need to be told. The pills, which cost $55 (around £40) for a little pink and red bottle of 60 capsules, aim to address “some of those common physiological roadblocks to desire”, according to the website, and must be taken twice a day for two months before you see the results.
“We’re not ashamed to say we want help shifting our sex drive into gear,” reads the product blurb. “We also know we’re not alone: Everyday stress and anxiety, hormonal fluctuations, and fatigue can all impact female libido and sexual health. (It’s wild out here.)”
The ingredients in the supplement include fenugreek extract, which Goop claims is clinically shown to support healthy sexual arousal and desire in women. Also on the list is shatavari, described as a “traditional female health adaptogen” (and yes, it’s a regular in the wellness world, sold and marketed for fertility and general women’s health by companies ranging from Pukka Herbs to Fushi).
Saffron extract rounds out the Goop formula, said to offer mood support. “It’s not just about sex,” the site says. “It’s about supporting our pursuit of more pleasure, more often. And yes, we chose to name it DTF. It can be a joke we share.”
Paltrow appeared to underline this tongue-in-cheek naming. “Everyday stress and anxiety, hormonal changes, exhaustion, age… these can impact our libido and sexual health,” she wrote in her Instagram post. “So yes, we (with our science and research team) created a supplement that REALLY helps and, yes, we called it DTF. Because, you know, we’re Goop.”
But, err, here’s some crucial info in the small-print on site. “The website’s statements have not been evaluated by the [US] Food and Drug Administration. Nor is the product intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
So, we’re taking everything with a pinch of salt. We chatted to a sex expert to get her perspective.
Jessica Leoni, who has a 25-year-career in psychosexual and relationship therapy, says she will be giving Goop’s latest launch a wide berth – but applauds the site and its founder for talking about women’s sexual health.
“I think Gwyneth Paltrow has done a lot of good with Goop in helping women to explore their sexuality more fully in lots of imaginative ways,” she tells HuffPost UK.
“Only a quarter of women consistently orgasm through intercourse alone and it is refreshing to see such a high profile star seek new ways to find pleasure. But marketing a new sexual health supplement, which says it will shift your sex drive into gear is a step too far.
“My first concern is the price – $55 (£40.50) – is a lot to pay for a treatment which you’ll to take for two months in order to reap the ‘benefits’.”
Leoni stresses that DTF is a supplement, not a medication, and that there is no strong evidence its listed ingredients – shatavari, saffron and fenugreek extract – actually boost a woman’s libido. (Sildenafil, the ingredient in Viagra and similar pills that treat male erectile dysfunction, actually encourages blood flow to the penis to aid an erection, and is available on prescription or at pharmacies).
“Even Goop make no strong claims that the supplement will work,” she says of DTF. “I want a bit more scientific evidence before I invest in a supplement.”
However, she says Goop isn’t wrong in shining a spotlight on the issues. “Its key selling point is how it addresses ‘common physiological roadblocks to desire’,” says Leoni. “There is no doubt these exist and explain the big orgasm gap between men and woman, with a quarter of women orgasming during sex compared to 90% of men.”
Ultimately, there are “cheaper and more effective ways” to remove these roadblocks than taking a pill, she adds.
“Start by communicating better with your partner, shaking up your sexual routine and looking at news ways to add fresh impetus to your physical stimulation. And if you are looking for an immediate adrenalin rush, a scientifically proven natural high, I would suggest going for a run.
“You will feel 10 times better afterwards, it won’t cost £40, and the feeling of wellness it inspires will enhance your desire for sex.”