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Is Easy Viagra Access ‘Normalizing’ the Drug for Millennials?

“Put your hand up if you’ve taken Viagra.” A room full of Millennial men raises their hands. This is the opening scene of a Vice documentary about Viagra use among young men in the UK. 

Since the introduction of over-the-counter sales of erection drugs in some countries, the pills are gaining popularity among guys in their twenties. But should these healthy men be using Viagra in the first place?

ED no longer older men’s condition

A decade or two ago ED was an older men’s condition. Guys in their fifties or older asked their doctors for a prescription. Their erectile problems were related to cardiovascular health, diabetes, and aging.

Today, more and more young men are asking their physicians or pharmacists for ED treatment. According to a recent British study, 50% of men in their thirties had trouble getting an erection or keeping it long enough for satisfactory intercourse.

Stress and working overtime can lead to ED in young men

Stress and working overtime can lead to ED in young men

Pressure to perform

But why do young men have erectile difficulties? Usually, the root cause is not physical but psychological. It’s called performance anxiety. The Millennials, raised on pornography and in the hook-up culture, have unrealistic expectations of their own sexual performance. Other common reasons are stress and tiredness.

Over-the-counter ED drugs offer a “backup” option for young men who want to get hard and stay hard every time, anytime. What they fail to understand is that occasional erectile difficulties are completely normal and don’t require medicines.

It’s not surprising when you think about the state of sex education today. At best, school kids learn about contraception, sexual orientation, puberty, and STIs. Nobody talks about sexual health in the broader sense. Nobody addresses peer pressure and media portrayals of “the perfect lover”.

Reaching for a pill allows men to avoid awkward conversations with their bedroom partners. It may work short-term, when you are single, want to party and explore life. But without learning to communicate with another person, it may be hard for you to build an actual relationship in the future. 

Young men use Viagra as party pill

Another issue with Viagra use among young men is the risky combination of medicine, alcohol, and drugs. Therapist Murray Blacket tells “The Huffington Post” that men take Viagra before a night out. They know that drinking and drug use will make it harder for them to achieve an erection. At the same time, they want to be ready for casual sex.

Combining ED pills with illegal drugs may have unexpected and serious health consequences. Also, having sex while intoxicated increases your risk of taking risky behaviors, such as forgetting to use condoms. Not a great idea altogether.

Whatever you decide, make sure to listen to your pharmacist’s prescription information. Taking a higher dose of ED drugs won’t help you last longer. It may only have unpleasant consequences. For example, you may end up with an hours-long painful erection and need treatment at the hospital.

Alcohol and drugs may lead to erectile difficulties

Alcohol and drugs may lead to erectile difficulties

ED drugs are not a magical solution

It’s understandable that as a young man you’d like to make the best of your sexuality. You want to have satisfying intercourse and please your partner(s). Expecting 100% performance every single time is, however, unrealistic.

There’s more to sex than penetration. If your erection doesn’t last long, you can ask your partner what they like and give them fun oral or manual stimulation. You’ll gain new lovemaking skills, trust me! If you have occasional difficulty getting a hard-on, think about the reasons instead of automatically reaching for the pill.

Are you tired or stressed? Deal with it and your erections will get better. Feel you go overboard with alcohol or drugs? Do something about it now before you fall into some serious addiction. Being a sexually mature man means taking care of your health and well-being.

And if you notice that your ED symptoms show up regularly, get a proper checkup with your doctor. He or she will decide if you need medical support or perhaps therapy to handle anxiety and stress. Click here to learn about ED treatment options available online.

Anka Grzywacz is a sexologist, reproductive health expert and Certified Sex Coach™. In her online practice she helps busy parents solve their intimate problems.