7 Honest Reasons Viagra Is RUINING Your Relationship (Yes, Really)

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Sex

The "second-chance revolution" for men that some women CANNOT stand.

Does the date March 27, 1998 mean anything to you?

It's a date that will live in pharmacologic infamy — the day that the long-awaited Viagra was FDA-approved.

It created a "second-chance revolution" for millions of men. It began the era of "Viagra-mania", a cultural phenomenon unparalleled in modern history. With the "little pink pill" just around the corner, I thought it might be a good time to revisit the sex drug that started it all.

Like most new innovations, there is an "up" side and a "down" side. In the case of Viagra, the "up" side is obvious. Although most women appreciate the benefits of sexuo-pharmaceuticals (AKA lifestyle drugs), not all women are jumping for joy.

1. Those Nasty Side Effects

Women report that the side effects of vasodilators are sometimes intolerable for their male partners. One woman said the side effects of Viagra were worse than the side effects of her husband's chemotherapy.

"We can't use it because he gets such a bad headache and backache that he can't think straight," another female client told me. "His face feels like it's going to blow up," another client said.

The most common side effects of PDE5's (the class of drug that contains Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, etc.) are facial flushing, headache, backache, sinus pressure, and visual changes. And we've all seen the commercials on TV warning of erections that last for more than 4 hours. This is called priapism. It's not only extremely painful but could also lead to a medical emergency.

2. You NEED A Pill To Have Sex With Me?

It offends some women that men need pharmacologic intervention to get aroused. This causes them to feel like they're not sexy enough to turn their man on (or that he lacks virility).

Rather than perceiving the need for vasodilators as a physiologic problem, they perceive it as a personal affront to their desirability. In fact, I believe that the "Cougar" phenomenon was a backlash to Viagra.

3. Pressure Not To "Waste" A Single Pill

Some women report feeling "obligated" to have sex because their partner doesn't want to "waste" a pill due to the expense and typically rationed inventory. Each pill can cost up to $35, and most insurance companies are stingy about dolling out this magic tablet.

Many female clients report that they're often not asked if they're receptive to intercourse before their partners swallow the pill. Some women report they've been raped by their partners to avoid wasting a pill. Once it's "down the hatch", the pressure is on to take advantage of the impending erection.

4. Sex Is MORE Than Just Penetration

Sexuo-pharmaceuticals reinforce our misinformed cultural bias on penetrative sex. Many still believe that if you didn't have vaginal-penile intercourse, it doesn't count. This notion perpetuates rigidity and narrow thinking about what constitutes sex.

When erections are unreliable, men need to think outside the box and infuse some creativity into their night life. Furthermore, some women report that they came to enjoy the more "platonic" nature of their relationship when erections were unreliable or absent.

Others complain that the "foreplay" nurtured during the "impotence phase" disappears or is significantly reduced.

5. There's Zero Discussion For Alternative Methods

Many partners complain that they weren't involved in the decision to try Viagra (or other similar drug). Most weren't included in the initial medical consultation and were given no input regarding their feelings about using this type of medication. Research shows that a "buy-in" from the partner predicts higher satisfaction for both parties.

Overall, even when partners are included (which is rare), physicians do a poor job of providing adequate instructions on how to safely and effectively use these drugs.

In one study, 12 percent of men reported they didn't know sexual stimulation was required in order for the drug to work. Nearly half of men were taking too small a dose, 22 percent didn't know when to take the pill, and only one third of men were scheduled for a follow-up appointment. (YIKES.)

Even when vasodilators work (65-80 percent of the time), couples often report no increase in sexual activity. The discontinuation rate is nearly 50 percent! This is because good erections don't fix bad relationships. Many complex dynamics may stand in the way of one or both partners feeling sexually satisfied.

Life-style drugs are a wonderful boon to couples who report high non-sexual satisfaction. If, however, there's unresolved resentment, you must explore this in therapy before your partner approves using medication to induce an erection. If your partner truly does not like you, a rock-hard erection will only go so far.

6. He'll Depend On It Each And Every Time

Over time, men may become psychologically dependent on vasodilators and believe they can't enjoy any aspect of sex without them. Even when the Diabetes that caused the vascular problem (that caused the ED) is well managed, he may still fear he cannot perform without the drug.

Even if the OCD that created performance anxiety is well treated, he's afraid he will lose his erection. Some women complain that this psychological dependence puts needless parameters around the frequency and spontaneity of sexual contact.

Instead of increasing confidence, Viagra leaves some men feeling vulnerable and dependent on chemicals to have a good time.

7. The Risk Of Infidelity Increases

It has been shown that starting a drug like Viagra may increase a man's risk for having an affair. Some divorce attorneys have carved out a niche practice handling exclusively "Viagra affairs". When one gets a new toy, one wants to play with it.

If his partner is unreceptive to sexual contact, a man may consider finding an extramarital opportunity.

I believe the "up" side of sexuo-pharmaceuticals far outweighs the "down" side. Millions of couples enjoy the healthy benefits of these drugs every day. Vasodilators have enabled millions of loving couples to resume lovemaking, which is an integral part of overall life satisfaction.

We're fortunate to live in a time when medicine/pharmacology can enhance our quality of life and sexual health.

Let us not overlook, however, the importance of psychological factors and relationship dynamics (such as sphere of influence, open communication, power/control, collaboration, expectations, etc.) when making changes to the delicate sexual equilibrium.

If you think you want help sorting out the sexual dynamics in your relationship, please contact me via Clinical Concepts In Sexual Health at (818) 334-5811 or email Kimberly@KimberlyResnickAnderson.com.