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September 24, 2018

I am dating an older man. Will he need viagra?

Viagra
Viagra

Valentine,

I have recently started dating an older man but we haven’t had sex.  Will he need viagra?  Is it safe?  He is 53 and he looks young, in fact we met at the gym.

Anita

 

First of all Anita, congratulations on the fit new man. You did not mention your age but I will assume that you have a 10-year gap between you, at least, which is why you are thinking of him as ‘older’. 

Viagra was initially designed as a blood pressure medication but it became famous for allowing men to achieve and maintain their erections for longer. A healthy erection is the gift of a healthy circulation system. Cardiovascular exercise (exercise that gets your heart pumping) is a great way to achieve this and it sounds like your man is well on the way. I cannot diagnose his need for Viagra but from what you say it doesn’t sound like he will need it.

I should point out though that your concerns are valid. As both men and women get older, our sexual response slows down. Women take longer to get aroused and lubricated, while the refractory period (time between ejaculation and the next erection) in men gets longer. Lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes or clogged arteries all have an impact on sexual function and response and we are all more likely to be affected by them with age.

I would suggest that you relax. You like this guy and he likes you. Your sex life will be a beautiful thing that you create together, making space for how each person’s body works and responds. Also he will know much more about his need for Viagra, or lack thereof, than you do. If he does suffer erectile dysfunction then make sure he sees a doctor as it is frequently a symptom of a much bigger systemic issue like heart disease or blocked arteries.

 

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I loved Anita’s question because it pointed to a much larger problem — self-medication. I once met a 55-year-old man who told me that Viagra was a part of his grocery shopping. He might have been right that he needed it but there is a reason prescription drugs are taken under a doctor’s supervision and that is because they can have lasting and dangerous effects on our bodies. Also, we might take drugs that mere treat symptoms and not the underlying cause.

Erectile dysfunction is always a symptom of a larger and more serious issue — blocked arteries, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Each of these affects the cardiovascular system negatively making it difficult for blood to rush to the penis and create an erection. The good news is that with adjustments like exercise and a healthier diet, these issues are solvable. So if you are dealing with erectile dysfunction, do not self-medicate because you are too embarrassed to tell your doctor. Be grateful that your friendly penis is speaking to you and trying to save your life.

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