Drugs to Enhance Sex Can Damage Health

Boulder Weekly | July 15, 2005
I'll bet you didn't know that FAA regulations forbid pilots from taking Viagra twelve hours before a flight. They don’t want the captain grabbing the co-pilot’s erection instead of the landing gear lever. Viagra can also interfere with an enzyme in the eye that’s similar to an enzyme that it targets in the penis. As a result, strange things can happen to a pilot’s vision, but I’m not sure it’s any stranger than when they are flying one of those big jumbo jets with a blood alcohol level of .08.

We are now hearing that Viagra might be causing some men to go blind. Not to worry, everybody knows that blindness is caused by masturbation and not Viagra. It’s only a matter of time before Pfizer discovers that the men who are losing their eyesight had been using Viagra for masturbation instead of intercourse. Pfizer will voluntarily slap a new warning label on the side of the prescription bottles, and all will be well.

One of my concerns about Viagra has been the number of young men in their 20s and 30s who take it for recreational purposes, as if a woman is going to remember them for their erection rather than for their kindness, integrity and character. Viagra is also being used in the gay fast lane to help counteract “crystal dick”--which is when your penis stalls out after the crystal meth you’ve been taking has thrown the rest of your consciousness into hyperdrive.

What worries me is that we have no idea about the long-term effects of taking drugs like Viagra when you are young. For instance, is the blindness problem an isolated glitch, or the tip of the iceberg? It could be that the hardest thing these 20-year-olds will be grabbing when they are 50 is a white cane.

Women will soon need to be vigilant, as well. Procter and Gamble (P&G) recently asked the FDA to approve a new testosterone patch called “Intrinsa” to cure “low sexual desire” in women--a condition that apparently strikes every woman past the age of 37.

Unlike Viagra, a woman doesn’t take a hit of testosterone an hour before sex and she’s good to go. Testosterone is a steroid--the kind of drug that helped female swimmers from East Germany achieve that unique, chiseled look. We’re talking an Arnold Schwarzenegger look alike, lumbering along in a pair of women’s Speedos.

Drug companies assume there is a billion-dollar market for a new drug like Intrinsa to take the place of hormonal replacement therapy. In the years ahead, they will be pushing testosterone for everything from wrinkles and low energy to depression and all things sexual. Who cares if their own studies show that the stuff doesn’t work all that well?

Fortunately, the FDA’s advisory panel voted 17-to-0 against approving P&G’s magic patch. There was the little issue of increased breast cancer, heart problems, liver ailments, skin inflammation, excessive hair growth and masculinization that P&G forgot to address.

You would think if drug companies were going to sell a potent steroid they would have a test to tell if a woman actually needs it. But scientists can’t agree what form of testosterone should be measured and what to make of the results. And what if a woman is 30 as opposed to 60? How would the extra testosterone effect her fertility or future children? Nobody knows.

Women will soon be bombarded with a wave of testosterone products in the form of sprays, inhalants, patches and pills. Studies will claim that girls enjoy sex more when greased with the new guy juice. Forget the reality of your life or your relationship, testosterone will be the new Prozac for Your Pelvis or Boyfriend in a Bottle.

If you feel that the possible increase in breast cancer and heart disease aren’t too high of a price to pay for a drug that promises more than any drug in the history of humankind--imagine a woman with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s forehead and jaw. Then ask yourself what’s going on.

The good news? If enough men go blind from Viagra, they’ll never notice!

Paul Joannides is the author of "Guide To Getting It On, The Universe's Coolest & Most Informative Book on Sex." You can contact Paul at www.GoofyFootPress.com. Copyright © 2005 by Paul Joannides

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