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Viagra: Saviour or destroyer?

Rhoda came to the Sexology Clinic with her mind made: her husband, Peter, had to be helped to stop using Viagra.

She wanted me to find a way of stopping her man from using the pill without causing disharmony in their marriage. As you may be aware, Viagra is used in cases of erectile dysfunction.

“I am not saying that I was happy with his failure to rise before the pill, no, that is far from the truth,” Rhoda explained. “Every woman wants her husband to function adequately,” Rhoda says.

But Viagra has changed the dynamics of her relationship. “Marriage is far way bigger than penetration,” she explained. “I want my marriage back,” she fumed.

Rhoda, a 42-year-old high school teacher, had been in the marriage for 13 years. She was married to Peter, a 60-year-old businessman.

They had three children and had been happily married until Peter developed erectile dysfunction (ED).

As happens, ED was devastating to Peter. He got anxious and stressed. He found it embarrassing to discuss this apparent failure with Rhoda despite Rhoda being patient and reassuring.

STOLEN LOVE

When he could not bear it anymore he went to a doctor in a private clinic and poured his heart out. He felt his world had come to an end.

The doctor gave him Viagra, and to his amazement, the small blue pill did the magic.

“But that was the beginning of our decline in intimacy,” Rhoda explained. “Sex became hurried and mechanical.”

Peter’s view of sex changed. When he got an erection he rushed into penetration. He would then grind on and on like a machine for hours on end caring the least if his partner was having any pleasure until the effect of the medicine was over.

“It’s a depressing experience. The blue pill has stolen my love,” she lamented.

But Rhoda is not alone in this depressing situation. The advents of Viagra and other wonder drugs for the treatment of ED has changed the way sex is viewed in relationships.

Take it this way, in a man’s younger years he has little experience with sex. He rushes into penetration with little or no foreplay, fumbles back and forth and has premature ejaculation.

With experience, a man learns to romance and has prolonged foreplay, which does not necessarily end in penetrative sex.

INTIMACY

He enjoys the pleasure of his partner and this increased intimacy. With increased intimacy comes better communication, and the mind and spirit become one.

“Very correct doctor! That is what has vanished from our relationship,” Rhoda interrupted nodding vigorously.

For most women, it is this intimacy that makes the core of a relationship. It is about enjoying the pleasure of each other which may be crowned by penetrative sex.

Viagra, however, focuses the mind on erection and penetration. The man forgets that the woman’s need is more for love and intimacy than mechanical penetration.

He forgets that while penetration still does have its place, it is not all that a woman needs.

“I agree, although I do not know how you then handle a man with ED so that they remain loving even if the ED is being treated and stops focusing on his penis as the most important thing in sex,” Rhoda said absentmindedly. She was thinking aloud.

ED has many causes and treatment should be directed at the cause rather than the symptom itself.

COACHING PROGRAMME

Sexual medicine experts go the extra mile of finding out the cause and deal with it while at the same time coaching the couple on intimacy so that this aspect of the relationship is not lost.

If Viagra or other similar drugs are prescribed, it is normally done on an interim basis as a more comprehensive approach to treatment is pursued.

It was prudent that Rhoda brings Peter along to the clinic to be examined. Peter had thorough medical, sexual history examinations and laboratory tests.

It turned out that Peter had been having high blood pressure and had been put on medicine that had ED as a side effect.

The first step was to change the anti-hypertensive medicine to one that did not affect erection. Viagra was also stopped.

The couple then had a four-week intimacy coaching programme to recreate their love. It took a while before satisfactory erections returned.

Rhoda did not mind waiting while enjoying the intimacy and romance of a man she so much loved. Peter’s erections returned fully after a month.

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