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2013/04/05

Acquired Tastes, XXXVI: Viagra

Introduction:

Who knew a little blue pill could change the world?  Well, sort of.  It certainly has given hope to those suffering from erectile dysfunction, as well as providing a means of entertainment for those who choose to use it recreationally.  In a way, this scientific wonder, along with the internet, has helped usher in a second wave of sexual revolution with a healthy dose of knowledge and awareness.

The reason why I chose Viagra for an Acquired Taste entry is a rather alarming comment I received after writing about a recent adventure during which I consumed Viagra.  I wanted to address the concerns raised while providing a little information about the drug – which, and I can’t stress this enough, can only be legally procured via a prescription from a licensed physician.

I also wanted to blow the whistle on the myth that is ‘Generic Viagra’ and those websites that promise to mail you the drug without a prescription, as featured on gay hook-up sites like Adam4Adam. 

So, let’s gain a little knowledge so we might lose a little fear, drop our resistance in order to drop our trousers, and deconstruct our preconceived notions so we might erect a mighty, mighty tower of love with the help of a little blue pill that goes by the name…

Viagra

Scope of Activity:

The taking of Viagra for medical reasons (erectile dysfunction) or as a means of recreation in order to improve/enhance one’s sexual experiences.

The Official Line:

From Wikipedia

Sildenafil citrate, sold as Viagra, Revatio and under various other trade names, is a drug used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). It was originally developed by British scientists and then brought to market by the US-based pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It acts by inhibiting cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5, an enzyme that promotes degradation of cGMP, which regulates blood flow in the penis. Since becoming available in 1998, sildenafil has been the prime treatment for erectile dysfunction; its primary competitors on the market are tadalafil (Cialis) and vardenafil (Levitra).

The primary indication of sildenafil is treatment of erectile dysfunction (inability to sustain a satisfactory erection to complete intercourse). Its use is now standard treatment for erectile dysfunction in all settings, including diabetes.

Viagra pills are blue and diamond-shaped with the word "Pfizer" engraved on one side, and "VGR xx" (where xx stands for "25", "50" or "100", the dose of that pill in milligrams) engraved on the other. It is not taken more than once per day between 30 minutes and 4 hours prior to sexual intercourse.

Psychological Aspects:

Well, just imagine: a little pill that promises you an erection like you haven’t experienced since you were 18 years of age!  Perhaps you didn’t know what the fuck you were doing back then, but with the help of this miracle drug, you plan on making up for loss opportunities, am I right? 

Based on my understanding of how the drug works, it basically allows greater blood flow to the penis, thus encouraging an optimal erection.  It doesn’t actually affect the brain, psychologically – and yet, it does.  Something about the opening of the blood vessels made me feel more confident.  I felt in control of my penis for a change.  It reminded me of those times back in high school when I wasn’t in control of my erections and I would have to walk around with my books covering my crotch.  Now that I am older, I miss that feeling.  So, while the drug does not actually alter our psychological state, the physical manipulations it does encourage do affect the way we feel.

And let’s face it – the erection of an eighteen year old on the body of someone considerably older, what with a lifetime of sexual experience and all the information afforded us thanks to the likes of the internet and people like Dan Savage?  That holds the potential for some awesome, mind-blowing, memorable sex, which in turn can certainly build one’s self-esteem and confidence.

Sure, to base one’s self-esteem on such a shallow foundation casts a person in a lesser light (I guess).  Our self-esteem should be based on other things like accomplishments, our contributions to society, our intellect, blah, blah, blah.  But it’s well established that sexual prowess is a skill worthy of hanging your hat on (picture that!).  Isn’t that what all that adolescent bullshitting in the locker room was all about?  True, that would render such laurels as adolescent or juvenile in nature, but hey, not all of us can win a gold medal in the Olympics, cook the perfect cupcake, or sing like an American Idol.  Talent comes in all forms, so set aside your ‘Judgmental Nancy’ and acknowledge that gifts to the world can indeed be purely physical in nature (and, yes, very, very shallow, indeed).

That said, a study of recreational users (men not suffering from erectile dysfunction) suggests that Viagra has little effect and that a 25 mg dose has been shown to cause no significant change in erectile quality, though it did reduce the post-ejaculatory refractory time. This study also noted a significant placebo effect in the control group – in other words, some psychological benefits.  Yes, Dorothy, sometimes believing can lead to achieving!

Should you feel bad about taking it?  Well, number one, if you can afford to buy it, then you are doing pretty well financially, so you should feel good about that.  Number two, if you have a need to take it then there must be a chance (however slim) that you will be getting it on, so you should feel good about that.  Number three, if your need is totally recreational and you just get off on the additional sense of power and self that you derive from it, then you’ve already given yourself permission to enjoy it, so why waste time feeling bad about what others think?  Personally, I’m jealous of those dudes my age who can run around sticking their dick in anything that moves.  I don’t necessarily want to do that, but I would love to have the ability to do that sans Viagra. So, Viagra guilt?  Oh, please, if you can’t handle it, don’t do it – it really is that simple.

Precautions, Misconceptions, Fallacies, and Encouraged Practices

Any doctor with a modicum of integrity will only issue a prescription for Viagra after checking your medical history to ensure that it is safe for you to take the drug.

Any pharmacist with a modicum of professionalism will make sure that you are aware of all possible side effects before dispensing this drug.

Your health insurance will most likely not cover any part of your prescription for Viagra.  This stuff is expensive and it is all out of pocket, kids.

The huffing of poppers (video head cleaner) while taking Viagra is an absolute no-no.  The sudden drop in blood pressure could be life threatening and lead to a stroke or heart attack.  People who tell you it’s no big deal and that they have done it without suffering any consequences are akin to someone telling you the routinely enjoy a round of Russian Roulette. Mixing Viagra with amyl nitrite is particularly dangerous and potentially fatal.

You should not take Viagra if sexual intercourse is inadvisable due to cardiovascular risk factors, or have recently had a stroke or heart attack.

You should not take Viagra if you are at risk of the following: severe hepatic impairment (decreased liver function), severe impairment in renal function (kidneys), hypotension (low blood pressure), or hereditary degenerative retinal disorders (your eyes), including genetic disorders of retinal phosphodiesterases.

If you use an alpha blocker, taking Viagra may lead to low blood pressure.  This will not occur if they are taken at least four hours apart.
If taking protease inhibitors for the treatment of HIV, it is suggested that you limit your intake of Viagra to no more than one 25 mg dose every 48 hours.  Protease inhibitors inhibit the metabolism of sildenafil, effectively multiplying the plasma levels of sildenafil, increasing the incidence and severity of side effects.
Do not consume alcohol or any other recreational drugs when using Viagra.

You may experience the following:  the feeling of being flush, headaches, body aches, heartburn, nausea, nasal congestion, and/or impaired vision.

Bottom line: responsible, informed use of Viagra will not result in death.

Here is some colloquial advice that may or may not have any scientific basis: users have reported increased success when eating a low-fat diet or a protein-rich, low-fat diet in conjunction with their use of Viagra.

Drink plenty of water.

Don’t take more than once a day.

If you experience an erection for more than 4 hours, blah, blah, blah – you know the drill.

There is no evidence that taking Viagra will result in permanent penis enlargement.

While Viagra may give you the erection of your dreams, it does not improve sexual performance.  You still need to do the heavy lifting - do your homework, be creative, practice good hygiene, communicate with your partner, and bring your ‘A-Game’ - if you want to be considered a good lover.

Those ads on Adam4Adam and other hook up sites advertising mail-order ‘Viagra’ or ‘Generic Viagra’.  Yeah. Do a little research.  These companies are not on the level.  Frequently you will receive no product.  If you do receive product it will not be Viagra.  These companies frequently do nothing more than commit credit fraud.  Giving your personal financial information to these companies can cause you big headaches down the road.

There is no such thing as ‘Generic Viagra’.  The Pfizer group knows a moneymaker when they have one and they have been rigorous in their protection of their Viagra related patents.  Their patents were originally to expire in 2012, but it looks like they have found a means of extending them until 2019.  So, within these United States, there is no such thing as ‘Generic Viagra’.
Exactly what that ‘Generic Viagra’ is… anybody’s guess and not something any reputable physician would recommend you put in your body.  It is probably as effective at treating erectile dysfunction as eating a rabbit pellet.

So, that said, I do not understand why sites like Adam4Adam promote these ads.  It’s irresponsible of them.  If you know why (other than for the money), please let me know.  Or, if you can point me in the direction of any reputable article or information that contradicts the research I have done, please share.  I would like nothing more than be proven wrong. The idea of cheap, easily-accessible Viagra is attractive, but not reality.

My Experience:

My recent overnight stay at the Duluth Sauna gave me the opportunity to experience the rejuvenating effects (physical and psychological) of Viagra.  I took a full 100 mg (not typically recommended).  I had a great time playing top and acting like a total badass.  This is an experience I plan on repeating.

I have taken Viagra in the past with mixed results.  Sometimes it would work well, other times it would work for an extremely short time and with less than desired results, and sometimes it would not work at all.  It was ‘secondhand’ Viagra (given to me by someone other than a pharmacist).  It may have been past its shelf life or not the correct dosage.  I may have consumed something that interacted with it or caused it not to work (alcohol will cause the drug not to work and a high-fat meal before use will inhibit its effectiveness).  

Because of the shame in having to ask for it, I have always put off getting a prescription through my own physician.  This is silly.  They’re my physician.  I choose them.  I should be able to talk with them about anything I feel the need to.  I had a vacation coming up and I wanted to try it out.  So I put on my big boy panties and had ‘the talk’ with my physician, who happens to be a very sex-positive doctor.  She reviewed my medical history and saw no problem.  If she had, she would not have allowed me to have it.  She’s been my primary now for nearly ten years, so she has a very good sense of every little thing that is wrong with ‘this guy’.  She would never knowingly give me something that may result in death.  That’s just not part of a good business model for her.

Do I need Viagra?  Hmmm.  Not really.  With proper stimulation I get hard.  I am not the horndog I used to be, and though I do everything I can think of to keep my libido up and active (exercise, routinely see my doctor, eat reasonably well, limit alcohol consumption, avoid drugs, etc.), my cylinders no longer fire the way they did in my… sigh… youth (ugh, yes, I am older – not ‘old’, just older). 

So you would think that having a Viagra-inspired ménage a trois where I got to play king-pin, dom top would have raised my self-esteem through the roof and made me come to the conclusion that sex without the drug would be a waste of an opportunity and utter nonsense?  But that’s not the case.  Yes it was fun.  But it was a one-time thing.  I have more pills, but in the almost three weeks since that event I haven’t had the slightest desire to take one.  In fact, the experience may well have spoiled me, or at least caused me to reevaluate my need and motivation for sex.  It’s weird; now that I have the power, I don’t necessarily want to use the power. But it’s not just a matter of having a dick that won’t quit – I am primarily a bottom - but in my current state, I am not feeling the need to pursue any sex.  Which is odd, given the last 15 years of my life. 

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I still appreciate a great hard-on.  Don’t we all?

Maybe I’ve come to value mine just a bit more.

My Conclusion:

Viagra is not a bad thing.  Using it because you need to due to erectile dysfunction for whatever reason, or as a means of recreation is perfectly acceptable.  Good sex is an important part of a balanced breakfast… er, life.  The drug companies are not the only ones that profit from this drug.  The world of slightly older, sexually-creative men benefit as well.  Staying sexually active as we age is important, if for no other reason than it serves as great exercise and keeps us in touch with our own bodies. 

I hope you walk away from this article having learned a few things about the drug and that you definitely know that the only way to get the drug is by talking to a reputable physician, preferably one that is knowledgeable regarding your medical history.  That said, I may have missed something, and if I did, I apologize.  Please share what you know or have experienced via the comment section.  Your experience may be vastly different.  I am particularly interested in hearing about anyone who has good success with any of the herbal versions out there.  I didn’t cover that in this post because it’s an entirely different topic.  That said, if anyone has found the magic ingredient to kick-ass, take-no prisoner erections that is not dispensed by a legitimate pharmacy, let me know. 

I’d love to give it a try.

Happy hard-on’s, everyone!

6 comments:

Explorer Jack said...

Very interesting.

I have a regular suck buddy that turned me on to a vendor in India, and I think I called a number, and talked to a doctor, and voila, some blue diamond shaped pills arrived in the mail a short time later.

These are 100 mg pills, so I cut them into quarters, and take only 25 mg at a time....more or less, they're not that easy to cut symmetrically.

I only use them when I'm going to top, because with a condom, I don't always maintain an erection, even if I have an interest in continuing the coitus.

It seems to work for me, but have no idea whether it's the placebo effect or not. I guess it really doesn't matter though, does it?

TornJeans said...

What I like about it is take half a pill, go to the bath, and walk around naked with erection! I love it! I take it once a while for fun. Your post was interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing!

Skilled4Men said...

I have a relationship with my physician quite similar to what you describe... Years back, I was able to obtain trial packs for all three (Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra) for the purpose of experimentation. For me, the side effects and required abstinence from other substances made them "just not worth it". I suppose if one had serious issues w/ E.D. they'd happily make the trade/sacrifice. FYI: GNC offers a few natural alternatives (male performance enhancers) which have proven effective - w/o the side effects.

Stan said...

I take Cialis mostly to treat BPH (benign enlargement of the prostate) which gives the feeling of wanting to pee a lot. I got the pills from a Canadian RX online but they actually come from India.
After being on 40 mg a day it has help tremendously! Also being able to get a hard on any time I want now is great. I'm 62 y/o and since about the age of 55 my cock doesn't get real hard like it used to. Cialis has totally changed that.
I have high blood pressure and I am on meds for it but it does seem to interfere or have any interactions with them at all.
My not wanting to have to pee all the time due to the BPH has changed my life. Cialis has really helped me with that.
I took Viagra a couple of times too and I understand that generically it's the same drug Tadalafil.
Great post, thanks!

whkattk said...

While I can't be certain about this, I think the comment you refer to at the beginning may have been mine. I hope you didn't misconstrue my intent...

Anyway, I want to thank you profusely for doing this in-depth post. It's very important for men to understand that, yes, our ability to get good and hard is vitally important to our self-esteem and boosts our confidence tremendously, but... You covered all the "buts" and I can't thank you enough!

mistress maddie said...

Viagra? Oh dear, that's the last thing I need. It seems my junk never down now as it is!