Addicted to Viagra - before we're even 30!

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This article presents the standard sexologist assumption that ED is "psychological" (performance anxiety). In fact, it appears that in younger men, numbing of the pleasure center of the brain via overstimulation due to today's hyperstimulating porn is a big piece of the puzzle.

At first glance, Nick looks like any other fit, healthy young man of 30.

Smartly turned-out, well-spoken and the managing director of his own small ­business, he is perfect boyfriend material. But throughout his 20s, Nick was concealing a very intimate secret.

In his wallet, along with cash and credit cards, he always kept a small pack of Viagra. For years the little blue pills have been seen as an essential aid for older men with erectile ­problems, not normally men in their 20s. But Nick is not alone. He is one of the new generation of young males turning to the drug to deal with ­performance anxiety.

Unable to cope with expectations raised by the easy availability of internet porn – and intimidated by the growing sexual confidence of young women, Viagra ­becomes a crutch some can’t do without.

Therapist Raymond Francis specialises in sexual problems – and says he is ­contacted by about 15 patients a month who feel unable to have sex without taking the drug. And far from being men in their 50s and 60s, he says their average age is just 32.

Raymond, who is based at the Apex Practice in London’s Harley Street, says: “I think that’s only the tip of the iceberg. These men don’t have any physiological symptoms. Instead men feel they need it because they are putting too many ­expectations on ­themselves – based on what they believe women want in the ­bedroom. The result is psychological ­impotence.”

And Raymond links this feeling of ­insecurity to women’s growing confidence. “Women are now so empowered,” he says. “They want sex on demand. They feel they have just as much right as men to dictate the pace sexually.

“Yet young men can then find themselves unable to have erections on demand – and they can start to bring these performance fears to the bedroom long before any sex takes place. ”

For Nick, the problem began when he started viewing internet porn at the age of 12. It left a deep impression and the ­message he took away was that he had a lot to live up to.

He recalls: “I found it really stressful. Seeing all these virile men with huge ­erections lasting for hours on end just seemed to accentuate what I couldn’t do.

“Everywhere I looked I saw this ­expectation I had to be a great lover. I also found that a lot of the girls I met were quite sexually up front about what they wanted. I ended up panicking because I got scared I wouldn’t be good enough.”

Viagra was Nick's guilty secret

At the height of his ­addiction, Nick was spending up to £300 a year ­buying pills on the web, despite the risks. “I felt like I was living with a guilty secret all the time,” admits Nick.

“I’d cover my tracks when I ordered them and remove the history on my computer. I’d keep my ­supply hidden in a locked box in my desk so my cleaner wouldn’t stumble across them.”

But though Nick found that the pills nearly always did the trick – ultimately they did not provide an answer.

He says: “Throughout my 20s, I’d never attempt sex without taking Viagra. ­Timing was always a problem. I had to take the tablet a certain amount of time before I expected to need it. At the same time, I didn’t want to take it too soon in case it wore off. It was like ­spinning plates.

“When I was in a relationship, I‘d take Viagra first thing in the morning, so I’d get the sex over and done with. But it meant I could never fully commit ­emotionally ­because I couldn’t be honest about this most basic thing.

“It was all getting so stressful I ­actually started avoiding sex altogether. Overall, it really knocked my ­confidence in other areas of my life. My mates started to think I was gay because I’d give up trying to pull. I felt like a failure.

“The other problem was that sometimes I would get some of the well-known side-effects of the pills. They’d make me flushed and my vision would get a bluish tinge.”

It was when Nick met and fell in love with his current ­girlfriend Victoria, after ­meeting her at a wedding, that he decided to seek help.

“I took Viagra ­secretly the first time I slept with Victoria,” ­admits Nick. “But the expectations were very high ­because she was so special to me. So that time even the Viagra didn’t work. I could see she was worried it was her fault, so I decided to be very ­candid – and told her everything.

“With her encouragement, I plucked up the courage to get therapy for the ­underlying issues. It’s been difficult because Viagra’s been so embedded in my lifestyle for so long. But by taking the pressure off sex and proceeding slowly, I’m changing the way I think.”

Adele, an attractive bank worker in her late 20s knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the problem – as the partner of a young man taking Viagra. ­Looking back, she admits it was partly the high sexual demands she put on her fiance which helped trigger the ­anxieties that contributed to his ­impotence.

“I was very vocal about what I wanted in bed from the get-go – and that didn’t help,” she says. “When the sex didn’t live up to my expectations, I would also be very ­honest about how ­frustrated I was – which made the problem worse. We tried Viagra but it felt like a planned event. So now I don’t want him to tell me if he’s taken it or not. I just want to think the sex was ­naturally great.” Now, getting couple’s therapy has helped her recognise she needs to take the ­pressure off her boyfriend – and be more patient, she says. “It’s difficult, but I try to ­remember that if my fiance doesn’t get an erection, it’s not because he doesn’t desire me.”

As a young woman growing up post “girl-power”, Adele says many of her female friends have grown up believing they look confident if they are sexually forward. “I do find it important to be acknowledged as sexy. It validates who I am. My sex drive is also pretty high. Ideally, I’d like to have sex five times a week. But then my ­generation has grown up feeling entitled to be completely sexually satisfied.

“Women our age probably do have more of a sexual past. For example, I’ve had 15 partners, while my partner’s had five, so that’s another layer of pressure on him. Because I am quite skilled sexually, he probably wonders where I learned it from – and how he compares.”

Raymond says the first line in any ­treatment is to throw away the Viagra – which, as manufacturer Pfizer points out, should only be taken with a doctor’s ­prescription and is not physically ­addictive.

Raymond says: “The problem is that many men try and camouflage the problem with Viagra – so very often the women involved are not aware. For instance, I have one client, a professional man in his 30s, who has been married for four years and who’s started ­coming home late so he can tell his wife he’s too tired to have sex.

“But as soon as men start to open up and relax instead of placing such high ­demands on themselves – it becomes possible to get to the root of the issue.”

Sex and relationship ­expert Dr Pam Spurr ( says: “I hear from young men in this ­position quite a lot, and there are a few different strands to what’s behind it.

“Young men are under ­immense pressure to be sex gods. We always think it’s women who are under pressure to perform in bed, but whether it’s a bad thing or not, women can also fake it. Men just can’t.

“If they’re not into it, the woman will know - they won’t have an erection for a start and that’s pretty difficult to disguise – and of course they feel they’ve got to carry on until they satisfy their partner.

“Now combine that pressure with the attitude of a lot of young people ­towards what they see as recreational drugs.

“A lot of the guys I hear from see sex drugs as an extension of these and they can become a psychological crutch. In the old days some young men needed a lucky charm like their pulling pants to perform, now some rely on sex drugs.

“This is worrying because of the possibility it could be combined with other ­medication, either ­prescribed or so-called ­‘recreational’ drugs, or a lot of alcohol. ­

“Because so many young people now have ­several ­sexual partners, the ­pressure for guys to compete is greater.

“We really must start to ­consider more the pressures on young men when it comes to sex.”

Viagra manufacturer Pfizer said: “As with all ­prescription ­medicines, Viagra should only be used when prescribed by an ­appropriately qualified healthcare professional, and ­always in accordance with the labelling information.

“Viagra is one of the most studied ­erectile dysfunction (ED) drugs and has an ­established safety profile of more than 10 years.”

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That is an eye opening

That is an eye opening article Marnia. Thankfully I've never experienced ED even from PMO. I always wondered how many people watch porn and think that is how "real" good sex is (25 minutes marathon sessions).

I also wasn't aware of the change in female attitudes about sex (or their empowerment). Curious how some of the females here will respond to this. If my wife had ever walked up and told me "I want this much sex and in this way" I may have passed out!

It is really scary that people that young are relying on Viagra. Tells me that Internet porn is more out of control than even I have admitted.

The first thing I think of

when I read this article is the idea I recently learned from von Urban about sexual frequency:

He says that when intercourse (karezza or otherwise) lasts for at least 30 minutes, then it does not need to be repeated before 5 days- he has a sort of formula or schedule he arrived at which he feels he established helps partners stay together satisfied for life- I haven't practiced his ideas yet so I can't confirm of deny them- but given that relationships seem so seldom to work out long term these days, it seems the kind of ideas (young) men and women have presently about sex and relationships, as the article above reflects, are not necsessarily conducive to successful relationships- of course, when von Urban was living, studying and writing 50 to 100 years ago he witnessed then too how people often did not know how to make relationships work-

Thank God for this site, and for the karezza tradition, going back to Noyes (if not before that unrecorded) in the 19th century- because this is an approach of sanity to relationships which has perhaps been missing throughout the history of Western Civilization until very recently.

I know many take viagra as a

I know many take viagra as a means to counter the issues caused by alcohol and other drugs. A very expensive means, 30 bucks a pills (unless you trust the spammers on this site haha) although the funny thing is the pill taken under the tongue I believe is 4x times as effective and doesn't get into problems if one has a fatty meal (which makes the viagra useless). To those that get a total of like 4 pills by their insurance, they cut them up and take it under the tongue to get the same [literal] bang for their buck.

I do worry about soeciety, how can we be connected at all hours of the night with text messages at 4 am in the morning about someone eating nachos, and yet our genders treat the other like a foreign creature. It is very sad sometimes.

Do women these days

Do women these days generally have more partners than men?

I was pretty surprised at the drug concoctions a guy I know planned to take for sex. He was mid 20s. As far as I know he doesn't use porn. I'm not sure about MO. The problem as I see it is an unreasonable expectation of sex before there is sufficient intimacy. Boy and girl like each other and both are supposed to be ready sexually. Neither are. The women fake it or get to orgasm somehow. Many don't orgasm. The men can't fake it as easily and so turn to pills, fantasy, etc. Both sexes expectations need to change. Sex isn't love. Sex is just easier to fake until love perhaps comes along. This article explains how love is undermined by the intimacy free sex as there isn't enough trust to perform as nature intended or be truthful about performance doping.

Did women suddenly become free or are they responding to the perceived male expectation from porn? Or is it a psychological thing in the sense that women think if the guy is getting sex from them, he isn't getting it elsewhere? In societies without porn, how does the male/female demand for sex vary?

Personally having been involved with a sexually demanding women, it bother me more that she was not sensitive to my needs than that she was sexually demanding. She had clearly been programmed by society based upon things she said. Women could perhaps be demanding and sensitive at the same time if they could see guys as more than human dildos. Perhaps then guys could perform naturally.

Women ,too

can desensitize their brains with too much stimulation - with an equally broad range of symptoms and unfortunate behaviors.

That's an interesting point, Freedom. Since humans are pair bonders, it's likely that trust *is* programmed into many brains as relevant for optimum sexual performance. Of course each person will be slightly different, but casual sex may not be the idea. Gary (and others) guesses we were "programmed" for serial monogamy...with the capacity to enjoy monogamy, at least with a bit of careful management. Wink

Humans are always a

Humans traits generally lie on spectrum, but I can't imagine casual sex all the time falls within the as evolved normal range. If we were in tribes, there would be some inherent trust between potential and actual partners within the tribe. Perhaps in that environment, an occasional non-monogamous intra-tribal or inter-tribal tryst would be no problem. Or perhaps even then, it would take time to trust a member of another tribe. Traveling people used to visit the same partner each time. Now, more might prefer to find a new one online or in some venue.

It also has to do with who we are as a culture. It is pretty rare to find people capable of thinking of another person before themselves. Casual sex often and even relationship sex sometimes involves this thinking deficiency. People are free to put their own needs first, but most can't even think of another first. I try to keep an is this good for us, her, and me perspective at all times. It's a lot to juggle. However, when all is aligned things work out well. It's a pause and check system.

High Sexual Demands?

>Unable to cope with expectations raised by the easy availability of internet porn – and intimidated by the growing sexual confidence of
>young women, Viagra ­becomes a crutch some can’t do without.

>For Nick, the problem began when he started viewing internet porn at the age of 12. It left a deep impression and the ­message he took
>away was that he had a lot to live up to.

>she admits it was partly the high sexual demands she put on her fiance which helped trigger the ­anxieties that contributed to his ­impotence.

I'm trying to find anywhere in this article that suggest it's the PMO use that is the cause of the impotence/ED problems. They seem to be saying that, because men are viewing porn, they have unrealistic expectations of what their performance should be, and it's causing anxiety. Also, it's due to womens' "high sexual demands" that is at the root of the problem. Pretty much the only thing me or my friends wanted in our 20's was a girlfriend with high sexual demands! Boy how times have changed. Could this be an instance of our male-dominated society trying to push the blame onto women? Like, an expectation of a full erection now and then is unreasonable?

>“We really must start to ­consider more the pressures on young men when it comes to sex.”

Interesting that nobody in this article suggests that men should simply stop viewing porn!

I feel like this website, and those that understand the knowledge that Gary and Marnia are disseminating, are at the vanguard of a new understanding about the dangers of porn. In today's world you're seen as having Victorian values, or a prude, if you are anti-porn. A mere 10-20 years ago, being a porn star was seen as shameful. Today people proudly wear the moniker on their t-shirt. Our society needs to learn that porn is unhealthy and destructive, to both viewers and performers. I think in the near future people will know this, like we now know that smoking tobacco is unhealthy but didn't in the past.

I'm sad and regretful that this knowledge only came to me in my mid-40's, after so much of my youth was lived energy-depleted and anti-socially. But, at least I'm in the vanguard, woohoo :|


the truth will be trickling out into mainstream consciousness slowly. It has to. There's simply too much evidence piling up that overstimulation of the brain can dysregulate dopamine sensitivity.

Better late than never. Wink

Wouldn't it be nice

if men and women could dialogue and come to know each other's true wants and needs, rather than hiding behind forms of sex that maybe neither one truly enjoys? Women faking orgasms, for example, young men on viagra. Yet then there's this imagined danger, real or misperceived, that talking is going to spoil spontaneity, or the romance and passion of love. There must be some middle ground- maybe it's accessible if you're truly friends with the person you're with. I very much agree that this site is totally prescient in the direction that relationship consciousness needs to go. But even with what I'm learning here I still tremble at the thought of how I am actually going to create a genuine, sincere, loving relationship in my life, given that there is so much impatient miscommunication between men and women it seems.