Dating Diary Part Six

Last week I got caught cheating on a girl I’ve been dating.   

“How could you do this to me?” she asked. 

She sounded hurt. She looked wounded. And I felt ashamed.

“Why are you doing this? Is it me? Don’t you fancy me any more?”

she asked.

I know what you’re thinking. Cheat! Love Rat! You’re just another sad older guy who has affairs to boost his deflating ego! Sorry, but you’re wrong. It’s not my deflating ego that’s the problem: it’s my deflating penis. 

I haven’t been cheating on her with some young blonde with large breasts; I’ve been cheating on her with a little blue pill. That’s right, she found my hidden stash of Viagra – and now I fear nothing will be the same again. 

But is it really cheating when you take Viagra and have great sex? To some women – and I suspect some men – the answer is YES! My partner regarded it as “cheating”. After all, as she said, if I really desired her why would I need to take Viagra? And why did I hide my use of Viagra from her?

Having been caught taking that little blue pill makes me feel like a brilliant gold medal-winning athlete who everyone thinks is amazing — and then they discover he’s been taking performance-enhancing drugs! In an instant I’ve gone from stud to dud. In her eyes I’m the Lance Armstrong of lovers!

I know I should have told her from the start of our relationship about my Viagra use, but I wanted to make a good impression. (And I did!) But now she’s convinced that our sexual chemistry is down to just chemistry. 

But that’s not true. Viagra can not create desire. It can’t make you aroused if you’re not aroused by your partner in the first place. And Viagra is no guarantee of great sex; it can’t make you a sensitive, caring and exciting lover. Sorry, but there’s no pill for that. 

The end result of my Viagra usage is two damaged egos. Her ego is bruised because she thought it was her innate sexiness that aroused me; my ego is bruised because I’m not seen as the great lover of her life!

So it’s no wonder Viagra is the great taboo topic for men over fifty. They don’t want to admit using it which is odd, considering that many men aren’t embarrassed about using porn, recreational drugs or sex toys to achieve arousal. And men — and women — like a few drinks to get in the mood, so what’s the big deal about using a little blue pill?

One reason is that Viagra has such negative associations. Just say the word Viagra and what comes to mind? Older blokes who can’t get it up. (Try putting that in your dating profile!) But it’s a myth that only older men use Viagra. According to surveys in the USA only a minority of men over fifty regularly use it. And now there’s growing number of younger men who are using it too.

Part of Viagra’s image problem is due to the medical terminology it uses. It’s described as the pill for men with “erectile dysfunction.” It’s that word ‘dysfunction’ that’s the problem, evoking ‘dysfunctional families’ or ‘dysfunctional marriages’ – it suggests something toxic or anti-social requiring an ASBO or a divorce. Couldn’t they market Viagra as a drug for men looking for “erectile adventure”? That way men would no longer have to hide their little blue pills from partners. A functional rebrand?

Cosmo Landesman is the former dating columnist for The Sunday Times and writes about love and romance for a wide range of publications including The Times and The Spectator magazine. He is currently single — but remains optimistic that true love is just one date away. 

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