Sexual Pleasure Young Men Now Turn To Viagra

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The “little blue pill” celebrates its 20-year anniversary. It started out as a drug for erectile dysfunction but it’s now taken by younger men for performance anxiety.

After 20 years, is Viagra now a young man’s drug?

Pfizer’s famous blue pill was approved on March 27, 1998 as the first oral treatment available for erectile dysfunction in the United States.

Billions and billions of dollars in sales later, the drug is now even more ubiquitous.

And its users appear to be getting younger.

But, for this next generation of men, the drug is being taken for reasons beyond the initial scope of erectile dysfunction.

Some studies have suggested that younger men who take Viagra take it to deal with psychological barriers, including stress and anxiety surrounding sex such as “performance anxiety.”

Others take it recreationally to aid in sexual encounters among men as essentially a party drug that can increase sexual performance. In these circumstances, it is often taken alongside other drugs as well.

But the question is, should young men be taking a drug to deal with their nerves or to perform better during sex? And furthermore, is it even safe?

Viagra reflects changes in sexual culture.

Healthline spoke with two sexual health experts and got differing opinions on whether or not it’s a good idea.

However, both experts agreed that the surging interest in Viagra has a lot to say about how sexual culture in the United States has developed over the past two decades.

“Sexual rights of women have been more of a focus in the media and in the whole sociocultural context right now. When a man enters a relationship or a dating scenario these days, sex is not something that you shy away from, and it might be good or not. Sex is actually a component that could be a deal breaker for many of the relationships these days,” Sara Nasserzadeh, PhD, a psychosexual therapist, told Healthline.

Men are aware that in a sexual situation, there is a certain expectation, which can lead to things such as embarrassment and anxiety when those expectations aren’t met.

The problem, explains Nasserzadeh, is that short-term erectile dysfunction can become more problematic if it stems from a psychological issue.

That is, if every time a man has sex he gets nervous and worries he can’t perform and subsequently loses his erection, that process may become chronic.

To take the blue pill or not?

For a situation where a psychological barrier is having an effect on one’s physical ability, Nasserzadeh says that Viagra can actually be helpful.

“If I’m convinced that he’s absolutely fine and it’s only the anxiety of not being able to maintain his erection with a partner, and if he reports that that was previously a source of embarrassment and distress from him in previous attempts, I would say go for it,” she said.

However, while Viagra may have some legitimate use in younger men, it is also seen as problematic.

“A lot of Americans want that instant gratification. I’m going to send a tweet immediately and I want a response in the next hour. I’m going to call you and expect you to pick up. I’m going to take a pill and it will work for me within 20 minutes,” Eric Garrison, a clinical sexologist at William and Mary College in Virginia, told Healthline.

Yes, it will give you an erection, but the pill won’t necessarily take away all those feelings of anxiety and stress related to a sexual encounter.

“That nervous piece, Viagra’s not going to get over that. They will still be nervous, but now they are just nervous with an erection,” Garrison said.

Viagra is generally considered safe, but it can have health consequences and contraindications, particularly if taken as part of a night out.

The drug lowers the user’s blood pressure, which is not an issue on its own, but if combined with other drugs with a similar effect, the results can be serious.

Garrison notes the combination of Viagra and alkyl nitrites (commonly known as poppers), a common party drug, particularly among gay men, is especially dangerous.

Whether or not drugs and alcohol are involved, Garrison explains that Viagra is a quick fix for dealing with issues of intimacy, and engaging in meaningful discussion with our partners about sex.

“In the United States, sex is always easier to do than to talk about,” he said. “It’s not about achievement or conquering or those other things. It’s all about pleasure and you can have sexual pleasure without an erection. You can have sexual pleasure without an orgasm, but we tend to think that you need that full Eiffel Tower in our pants.”