Online shopping for erections

2014-02-01 17:44

Not even Nostradamus, Prophet Joshua, the 419 scammers and renowned Astrologer Linda Shaw could have predicted one of the oddest medical breakthroughs of our age. No, it’s not a cure for AIDS, Herpes or Cancer. It’s not an eternal youth pill. It’s a pill that creates erections. A half hour after taking this pill, if a man gets any mental or physical stimulation of a sexual nature at all, he gets hard.

What would an intelligent person have said if this had been predicted 100 or even 50 years ago? Can’t be done? Won’t be done? Heaven forbid – shouldn’t be done? As a sex therapist, I have some predictions of my own, but let’s not make this about me.

To be fair, these pills, (or should I say ….fill’s – we now have Sildanifil - Viagra, Vardenafil - Levitra, Tadalafil – Cialis, as well as the Viagra Generic - Avigra) have been good news for some people: older couples who miss sex, diabetics and others with neurological problems, the spinal cord injured, the virgins in their 30’s with performance anxiety. There are people who struggle with sexual side effects of anti-depressants, chemotherapy and many other treatments.

The black market is now also firmly established with “Buy Viagra on line” and “herbal Viagra”. I’m concerned about these people, as a lot can go wrong when shopping for erections. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the erection that I’m concerned about, but it’s the person that is attached too it. It will create erections, but it won’t fix the problems that are not erection problems.

In my thirty years of working in sexual health I’ve seen very few erection problems. I’ve seen relationship problems, religious problems, guilt, shame, anger, size, masturbation, anxiety, trauma, violence, drug and alcohol problems. These usually go hand on gland with no erections and whilst a pill may create the missing erection, it won’t solve the other problems.

What will happen if the magic bullets don’t fix the sex problem? Men are now faced with a whole new set of rules. Would that mean he’s become a dildo with a credit card? What about the wife? Can she tell the difference between a shop bought erection and a good old fashioned one? Women might become insecure, as an erection is no longer the reliable evidence that he is attracted to her. Erections have become thermometers – he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me?

Women have been begging doctors to write scripts for their partners, and women have been swearing at doctors for writing scripts. In my youthful days, questions were a lot simpler. Doctor, do you think this is Herpes or Syphilis, was easy to answer. Shopping for erections in the year 2014 is a whole new ball game (excuse the pun).

“Hello doctor, I would like an erection” gets greeted with: Would you like the 36 hour one, or the shorter quicker with the blue tint, or what about a quicker longer faster with a touch of French flair or if you on a budget let’s give you the Generic. What about under your tongue in 20 minutes and nobody will know the difference? We can pump them up, a quick injection in the shaft and if all else fails well there is always the option of an implant, yes that’s what I said ……. Implant!

How can the Health Care Provider prevent a lot of these problems? By simply asking, questions such as the following:

• Do you always have trouble with erections, or only under certain circumstances?

• Does your partner know you are taking Viagra/ Cialis/ Levitra/ Avigra?

• How does she (or he) feel about it?

• What other ways have you tried to resolve your erection difficulties?

• Do you (or your partner) have other sexual issues?

• How well do you and your partner talk about sexual issues?

• What will you do if Viagra / Cialis / Levitra / Avigra doesn’t solve your problems? Other sexual problems?

However, beware, if you are asked these questions, you might give answers you are not prepared for. Are you prepared for the extra minutes it will take your doctor to explain the sexual response cycle, to use words such as “oral sex” and “vulva” and hear about sexual practices which you may not approve of or haven’t even heard of? This is what high-quality medical care involves in the era of the ….fil’s.

In the words of The Pointer Sisters:

I want a man with a slow hand

I want a lover with an easy touch

I want somebody who will spend some time

Not come and go in a heated rush

I want somebody who will understand…….

Elna McIntosh, PhD is a Professor of Sexology at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, in San Francisco, California. She is an American Board certified Sexologist and maintains a full-time private practice in Sandton. She trains health care workers “how to talk sex” to their patients.



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