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xmag.com : April 2003:Sex and Science with Dr. Ed!

I love Viagra day at the clinic. Our wonderful Pfizer representative comes by with a crate of samples that I promptly lock up, and we are bestowed pens, watches, mouse pads, clocks and other knick-knacks that are spewed out of Pfizer's Indonesian trinket sweatshops. All this is done to drive home the brand-recognition of what is arguably the world's best impotence treatment. I always feel the eyes of jealous scrutiny as the staff longingly watches the crate of samples disappear into the locked narcotics closet. Just like Vicodin, this stuff has a strange way of evaporating into thin air.

Like a lot of good inventions, the discovery of Viagra's effects were accidental. During the initial trials as a blood pressure medication, some astute egghead noticed that a lot of candidates in the test group were sporting more wood than their counterparts in the placebo group, and as a result, testing on erectile dysfunction (ED) began. The rest is history. The stuff hit the market and saved an entire generation of spoiled baby-boomers from the mental anguish of their own faltering libidos, spawned an entire culture of recreational use among clubbers and bestowed a few chronically ill septuagenarians one last sexual frenzy before their pre-existing conditions killed them inflagrante.

Viagra works by inhibiting the PDE-5 molecule. I'd give you the full scientific name and explain the biochemistry behind it but by the time I got done you'd either be catatonic or lose all interest in this article. The short version is that Viagra allows Nitric Oxide (NO) to cause prolonged vasodilation of blood vessels in the penis.

In terms of dosing, I start most limpies off at 50mg, which is the standard blue rhomboid tablet that is ubiquitously displayed in men's "health" periodicals. It should be taken an hour prior to activity and on an empty stomach since fat molecules can theoretically slow the absorption of the drug. Maximum effect is generally reached within an hour and persists for up to 8 hours.

Now listen up because this is the important section about side effects and pitfalls. First, priapism can occur in rare cases. This is an erection that actually cuts blood flow off to the penis, and requires immediate intervention. Second, because of its ability to dilate blood vessels, Viagra can work synergistically with other nitrate containing hypertension medications or amyl nitrate "poppers" and cause a precipitous drop in blood pressure. Mild headaches, runny noses and a slightly blue tint in the visual field are all temporary and common side effects.

A lot of people ask me about the rare deaths that are loosely attributed to Viagra. Most of these occurred in old men who had bad hearts or numerous health problems. These were the types of patients that couldn't walk across the room without having chest pain, let alone tolerate the physical demands of a few minutes of the old in-out. There were also a couple of cases where dipshits took Viagra with amyl nitrate, crashed their blood pressure and died.

I'm constantly pestered for samples, mostly from my friends with irritatingly overactive libidos or others who are unable to conjure up a palatable mental image to cover up the erection-killing flaws of their partner. Then there are the middle-aged, divorced, baby-boomers. I must admit that listening to these guys whine inspires both revulsion and a shabby sense of superiority. I don't prescribe the stuff to anyone who's got any health problems. Funny thing is that the pushiest sample-nags are middle-aged men, a lot of whom are broken, divorced lonely sods who inevitably pursue women half their age. They are struggling to understand the utter mediocrity their lives have devolved into-guys whose greatest moments occurred on high school football fields, guys who are broken by alimony payments and dead-end middle-management jobs and guys who are not only sexually impotent but socially impotent as well. For this group Viagra has the same cachet that cigarettes have in the prison system. I got a discount on my tires from a guy who was too ashamed to get his own samples.

The other sample-nags are the sex maniacs--greedy bastards who have to stick their weenies into every available orifice.

Then there are the guys who ask about snorting Viagra with X; they're usually wearing puka shells and driving a lowered Honda.

Don't get me wrong, there are men who actually need the stuff. While there are no hard [ha-ha] numbers on how many American men suffer from erectile dysfunction, estimates put it at close to one-third. However, I have to say that the majority of the Viagra use I've seen has been recreational. Blue Thunder, V-Bangers... whatever you want to call it, Viagra makes a shitload of money for Pfizer at seven bucks a pill.

Just don't ask me for any if you're getting laid more than I am. I do have my pride you know.





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