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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 04/14/2011

Viagra: Great for guys, but what about the gals?

Viagra’s undoubtedly been a good thing for the millions of men whose sex lives it has, er, perked up.

But what about the women in their lives?

An article in the May issue of Prevention examines the issues facing women whose menfolk use Viagra.

Love in the Time of Viagra” starts like this:

Be careful what you wish for, I think as my husband reaches again for his new toy. Tragically, it’s not a Ferrari or the latest Mac laptop — although it certainly is an object he considers upgraded. It’s his Penis 2.0 — the new, pharmaceutically enhanced model.

Author Judith Newman explains that while her husband’s sexual performance was perfectly fine, she suggested he give Viagra a try as his contribution to the reporting for her article. Their experience raises all kinds of unsettling questions. Do women really want as much sex as a Viagra-fueled man might want? And might men get so stoked by their Viagra-inspired prowess that they seek other women with whom to ply that prowess?

Newman reports that fully a fifth of American men ages 45 and older have used Viagra or another erectile dysfunction (ED) drug such as Cialis or Levitra. And for those men, she says, those drugs are a godsend; they don’t just improve sexual function but can confer psychological and cardiovascular benefits, too.

But the article points out that older women’s hormone shifts may leave them desiring less sex and can alter their physiology in ways that can make sex uncomfortable. To avoid conflict, Newman suggests, couples in which the man plans to use an ED drug should talk openly and honestly about their expectations of what their sex life will be like thereafter.

After all, as Newman quotes a source identified as “Andrea D” in her story: “You have to be crystal clear about what works for you and what doesn’t. Because even with someone you really, really adore ... sometimes you just want to get back to reading your book!”

Does Viagra play a role in your life? Care to share your experience and insights?

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 04/14/2011

 
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