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Viagra - Is It All That It's Cracked Up To Be?

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Article by Christopher Swane

Christopher Swane Counselling Psychotherapy Profile | Email | Website
Christopher Swane Counselling Psychotherapy I am a relationship and couples counsellor based in Sydney for over 5 years with a further 5 years in Europe. I also assist clients with grief and loss counselling. Psychotherapy/counselling for men single men or part of relationship counselling and counselling for anxiety and depression. 254 Henderson Road
Alexandria
NSW
Australia 2015
0405 606 330

 

During 1998 many men in their 50s breathed a huge sigh of relief when Viagra was first introduced to the shelves at pharmacies. Viagra was a way for men to rediscover there lost masculinity through a drug that almost guaranteed an erection. This gave men the opportunity to engage in sex with their partner without the fear of failing to obtain a firm erection.

 

Millions of men across the world started to use this modern wonder drug to turn back the sexual clock. Viagra offered men in their 50s the opportunity to enjoy a new and vigorous sex life.  The days of constantly worrying if they were going to obtain a satisfactory erection were gone. It was both liberating and empowering.

 

But is Viagra all that it’s cracked up to be? Are men constantly focusing on the proof of their masculinity by being able to obtain and sustain an erection? Is it healthy for men in their 50s to be trying to turn back the sexual clock? Rather than understand and accept that it’s a natural progression for the body to change and age over time.

 

There are concerns by many specialists that there is a medicalization of sexuality and the constant focus on performance over the relational aspect of sexuality. Male sexuality is not as straight forward as men and society would often like to think. An erection does not mean that couples are enjoying a happy satisfying sexual relationship. A lot of research points to the lack of sensuality, interpersonal connection and intimacy that is often absent from the lives of men.

 

If the medical world is constantly focusing on and re-enforcing male sexuality problems as purely physical which can be solved with an ever increasing range of pills. It’s failing to acknowledge that sexual and emotional problems are closely linked. Many men in their 50s have never been liberated from the gender roles that have limited their emotional, personal and sexual development.

 

Some men in their 50s are living in homes with their partner as empty nesters. The focus of their lives for the past twenty years has been work, children and the house. As the children grow and leave home the world they have known begins to change. During this period of time men may begin to lose meaning and purpose in their lives which may leave them feeling depressed and isolated.

 

Research has shown that men are very resistant to showing and sharing their emotions as it’s perceived as not masculine. During their 50s men have fewer friends than in their 20s and in some cases they are friendless. Men seldom confide in anyone. Confiding is perceived as a weakness. Even a partner of 30 years may not know what a man is really feeling. The image of men which is often portrayed in the media is stoic, silent and standing side by side, communicating only about sports or politics. This is communication without closeness or intimacy. While the image of women in the media is regularly portrayed as facing each other, where there is a closeness, intimacy and sharing.

 

If men are socially and emotionally isolated due to societal pressure to conform to gender roles, then the possibility of acknowledging the problem with penile dysfunction being anything but physical would be hard to accept. This problem is further compounded by pharmaceutical companies spending millions of dollars on advertising campaigns offering men a quick fix. The issues that hinder men from enjoying a healthy sex life may be far more complicated than just physical. And this may require men to take a good hard look at their life and relationships and ask themselves - am I getting what I really need?

 

17 Dec 2014

Last Update: 18 Dec 2014

Article/Information supplied by Christopher Swane

Disclaimer - Any general advice given in any article should not be relied upon and should not be taken as a substitute for visiting a qualified medical Doctor.

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