17

Up and At ‘Em!

Here’s an excerpt from an interesting article I found at MSNBC.com on the perils of ED drugs like Viagra and Cialis, written by Judith Newman of Prevention magazine. 

She explores these drugs from the viewpoint of women on the…er…”receiving” end of their benefits. 

(I always knew those bathtubs were the Devil’s playground!)   

The problem can be especially daunting for older women who are widowed or divorced or just beginning to date after years of being alone or with one man. Certainly this was the case for Marjorie P., a 60-something woman who complained about the drugs on a 50+ Web site:

“Men have been saved from their middle-age sexual issues by Viagra and Cialis. They can be thirty again, while I have to deal with the sexual issues of being my age. It’s put the world on ’tilt.'”

Andrea D., a twice-divorced physician from Santa Monica, CA, and an over-50 dater, put it more bluntly. “Viagra has been liberating for men, but unless a woman is taking hormone therapy, she may have vaginal dryness and really not be that interested in the kind of driving, pounding intercourse he’s now capable of.”

There is also fallout from the erroneous belief that Viagra causes not just greater blood flow but also greater desire. The hormone testosterone is the driving force behind libido; a man with little or no testosterone will not have any desire to have sex, Viagra or no.

Moreover, even with normal amounts of testosterone, “Viagra does not just instantly give a man an erection,” says Abraham Morgentaler, MD, associate clinical professor of urology at Harvard Medical School and author of The Viagra Myth.

“You have to be in a sexual situation, you need to have desire and intent, in order for the drug to work.”

Dr. Morgentaler tells the story of a patient who was very upset because Viagra didn’t do the trick for him.

“He said, ‘Doc, I followed your directions exactly. I took the pill an hour in advance. Then I watched a baseball game on TV and waited.’ The man’s wife was in the other room, waiting too; neither of them realized that the drug would be effective only if they were together, doing what couples do.”

Adds Andrea, whose own Viagra dating experiences and the experiences of similarly aged friends have ranged from excellent to Emergency Care Needed:

“You have to be crystal clear about what works for you and what doesn’t. Because even with someone you really, really adore … sometimes you just want to get back to reading your book!”

Your thoughts, ladies?  (And gents.)