The first time we had sex,
-Yeah. -I was using Viagra.
-No, you’re lying.
-Nah. -No, you’re lying.
-I, I was... -No you’re lying!
-No, you’re lying. -I’m not.
-You’re lying. -I’m being deadly serious.
When you hear the word Viagra you might think of old men keeping
the dream alive with blue pills prescribed by doctors
or ordered online from dodgy websites
that assault your spam folder.
Boom! Erectile dysfunction treatment.
Well, let me tell you, the times, they are a changin’
with the advent of Viagra Connect in March 2019, which can be bought
over the counter without a prescription,
grossing £4.3 million in it’s first 12 weeks,
and the almost hysterical spread of glossy online websites
marketed specifically to millennials and Gen Z.
This trendy marketing alongside the removal of the embarrassment of
doctor’s appointments has started to normalise Viagra use amongst
young men who don’t suffer from erectile dysfunction,
That night I took a Viagra. Worst decision of my life.
Annual sales of Viagra and its competitors
now amount to over $5 billion.
And it is also the most counterfeited drug in the world.
Put your hand up if you've taken Viagra.
My name is Obi Juwah,
a 24-year-old healthy young man without ED
who takes Viagra.
I’m hoping to discover what’s behind this boner renaissance,
and whether young men like myself
really should be taking erectile dysfunction medication.
The first time I took Viagra, it was pilly willy basically.
One of my dealer friends, he offered some pills.
We took some. We found some girls that we knew,
started chatting to them.
We were lipsin’, about to get down to business, and my dick was asleep.
In my head I was like, “What the f**k is wrong with me? Like,
s**t, this has never happened before.”
So that’s the reason why I started taking it more,
and I got a bad dick report one time.
Tell me that wouldn’t fuck you up, just slightly.
“I’m still disappointed in the trash dick I got yesterday.”
Bro, I was actually shaking. And then she sent another one.
“Oh my God, you’re so tight.”
“First of all we didn’t do enough foreplay.”
So I was like, “OK, I don’t really like this feeling,
how can I avoid it from happening?”
I wasn't getting into any pharmacy and asking for Viagra.
Firstly, the confidence I had. Hell! I would be so embarrassed,
and secondly, they would be looking at me like,
“You’re obviously lying, you’re a young man what do you need it for.”
It's very easy to get.
So I just googled it.
Look at this website right here: ‘hims’
I think they are quite cynically targeting
people my age or Gen Z or whatever.
Looks like a f***ing Urban Outfitters website.
It’s just seeming like the end goal is to make
Viagra usage in young people just normal.
Oh Snap! This is the one I take then.
Sildenafil and Tadalafil.
Oh my God, they’ve given it little pet names as well.
Lasts up to 36 hours!
We know which one we are getting.
There’s a 36...
there’s a 36 hour Viagra. What the f**k!
In my current stage of life
I take Viagra from time to time. I’m not always on it but maybe if
there’s some situation where I think that, “Oh my god she’s stunning”
and she’s actually giving me time of day,
I might bring it along with me or I might use it.
But I do want to get to a point in my life where
I’m like, “I don’t need this” and maybe I can prevent other people
from actually going down the same path that I did
and buying it so willy nilly because they think that they need it.
Nobody actually needs it unless you actually have erectile dysfunction.
One of the biggest reasons Viagra has suddenly spread to young men is
the ability to buy it on a high street without a prescription.
I went to a pharmacy to see how easy the process is now.
So I just bought some Viagra.
It was quite an easy experience like they gave me a little questionnaire
and then she went through all of the health risks and stuff like that.
They asked me if I had erectile dysfunction.
I didn’t straight out lie to them but I said that sometimes
I have symptoms of it, it does happen from time to time.
I basically got Viagra within like two minutes of walking into
a high street pharmacy brand.
Considering how easy it is to get your hands on Viagra.
I was surprised to hear some people still get it from a dealer.
But strangely this scene is still thriving.
I went up to Birmingham to meet one such dealer who serves
his Viagra with a side of dildo.
I’m gonna drop a dildo off
and a packet of liquid Viagra.
Why would you say like people come to you rather than going over
the counter and buying it from like Boots and s**t?
I mean you go to Boots, chemists and you’re paying all that money
for only half the dosage and you’ve gotta sign a disclosure form.
You know, nobody wants to do that really.
Who are your customers?
I have more young customers than I do over 40s
-Swear down? -I do yeah.
Jeez! Do you think you’ve noticed an increase in usage
like more in the recent times?
They call this one ‘The Snapper’, it splits down the middle.
You can snap it in half and that will split in half so she could have half
or you could have half because it works on women as well.
That would make her clitoris erected.
These you’d rip off or you would
cut it with a scissors and this would get you really hard. Yeah.
Fantastic product. But the young kids like these because if they’re coming
out of a nightclub and they’re sniffed up with coke and they
know it ain't gonna work and they've just pulled a bird
they’ll take that and it’ll start working in 10 minutes
without them, without the bird even knowing.
I’m just gonna pop to this customer. OK?
Bust your shot rudeboy. Rah, this is the dildo.
Pearl and shine blowing vibrator. Rah.
And then the Viagra obviously.
It’s for a guy.
He’s in his 50s. He loves them.
Oh, and another, yeah, this is a vibrator as well.
It’s a good toy.
And err, oh God, there is a cockring in there somewhere.
-It’s in the back. -Oh, I think I found it.
There you go.
So he's gonna have a nice afternoon with his partner.
We're on our way to a pub now.
So what, do you get a lot of deliveries at pubs?
-Oh mainly pubs, yeah. -Swear!
How old are you?
Ah, bloody hell.
Well, you don’t need them.
What you need is what I sell a lot of: delayed spray.
I mean I’ve took it once in my life.
I couldn’t come and I ended up snapping my foreskin
and I never used it again.
That’s the truth.
After meeting with Viagra Kev
and seeing how like it might be a bit embarrassing
to talk about your dick to a stranger,
to any doctor filling in a quiz,
when on the other hand you can literally just give my man a call
and he’s there in your house, within a couple of hours innit.
But with that being said, it’s a bit ropey.
Viagra is a strong piece of medicine,
like it needs to be given to you, prescribed to you.
What I want to do is speak to a doctor, to find out whether
this, like, ease of purchase
for people that actually don’t even have ED,
whether that causes a psychological problem
down the line or even health risks.
Basically I’ve been taking Cialis and I don’t
have erectile dysfunction.
And why have you been taking it?
Just as a way that I’m sure that I can get up
when I’m about to have sex.
Now the problem when you're going to take a pill to help you with your
erections is that you will be dependent on these pills for
the rest of your life and so it's almost like you're dependent
on something when you don't really need it.
What you're describing seems to me like performance anxiety rather than
a physical weak erection or actually what’s probably
happening to you is that each time you are with your partner you are
In my head I’ve been thinking that girls would expect me to f**k them
like a porn star and like last hours in bed.
Have you spoken to your partners about what they want?
Why don't you try speaking to your partner about what
she expects from you?
Are there any risks involved other than the psychological dependency?
The other problem that can happen is priapism, which is a prolonged
erection lasting more than six hours.
The problem when you have this prolonged erection is that there is
no active circulation so there is not enough oxygenated blood reaching
these tissues so smooth muscles of the penis begin to die and scar.
And therefore you can permanently develop genuine weak erection with
scarring and shrinking of the penis.
And one last thing.
What the hell is this?
This is a penile implant or penile prostheses and it's used to treat
men with physical weak erection when nothing else works.
So men... or when you get a priapism.
You have these two balloons
that go inside the penis.
You have this reservoir that goes inside your tummy and you have this
pump in your scrotum.
When you want to achieve an erection you will
squeeze the pump like this.
And what you see is happening: fluid is migrating from the reservoir
filling the cylinders.
Everything is good if you really need it.
If you don’t need it, why?
It seems the best thing I can do is work on
my confidence and speak to my partners rather than use erectile
dysfunction medicine as a temporary fix.
Hearing about priapisms and dick pumps has pranged me out
as well, and I wanted to hear about these horrific consequences from
someone that’s going through it currently.
This guy took Viagra and an enhancement injection on a night out
and is now hospitalised with a three week erection,
which might spell the end of his dick.
Man, how are you feeling right now?
Well, right now I just feel a bit rubbish so that’s great compared to
the agonising pain I was going through.
Talk us through that fateful day please.
I was at Lab. A men-only fetish party in Berlin.
I take Viagra because it’s hard for me to get an erection when I’m
drinking due to my anxiety medication.
Anyway, I’m at the party, I meet a man, I took him home
turns out he was quite into giving people erection enhancing injections.
I wasn’t a big fan of the idea,
but I was drunk and I thought, “What could possibly go wrong?”
Yeah. Worst decision of my life.
The Sunday morning I realised that there was something very wrong.
The level of pain was just getting worse and worse.
I didn’t go to hospital until 3pm on Sunday.
I was screaming in an ambulance.
I could barely walk and then the procedures themselves
would sound like they were medieval torture.
Needles of different lengths inserted into my penis
with the blood drawn out didn’t work.
Curly plastic nails pushed into each side.
I lost a lot of blood and was very sick for a few days.
It didn't work.
I've been in more pain than I thought was humanly
possible to experience.
So yeah, over 10 on the pain scale.
What are the next stages of your medical treatment?
Well it really depends how my cock responds naturally,
the stent might close on its own.
One of the worst case scenarios is a pump put into your scrotum
into your ballsack.
By shining a light on priapisms
I'm just really grateful and feel humble that I've been able to
potentially save so many guys from this horrible painful condition.
Clearly, Viagra is a stronger drug than people think.
And I’m realising more and more that it’s not something I want to rely on.
One of the reasons I turn to is that I’ve always felt alone in my
anxieties about performance.
With male society so drenched in bravado,
no one chats about this honestly.
I wanted to meet men who occasionally or regularly
turn to the drug, talk about our #feelings and get to
the bottom of this growing popularity among young men.
I brought you guys in here today because we all take Viagra and
I think it'll be better for society if you have a open
and honest conversation.
I think we should all be able to talk about our dicks without getting
embarrassed, and also guys
I've been told that there's a gospel session going on in
the next room so just try to keep the dick talk to a little bit...
a little minimum.
So put your hand up if you've taken Viagra.
Who here would like to get to a point where they don't have to
take Viagra anymore.
So yeah, what’s your name and what’s your story?
Hi, I’m Samora and I’ve been using viagra
well, sporadically I would say for about two years.
I was going through a bit of a sort of like an
under confident spell to be honest.
Because of that your mind then goes on to the fact that
you can’t perform. When it starts to happen more frequently,
that’s when it starts to become like, “All right, s**t,
like this is happening more often than I thought it would.”
My name’s Jason. Hey everyone.
So I take viagra just recreationally when I’m combining it with chemsex.
So like meeting guys, and Mandy, drone, T.
Just those things where you just know, you pre-empt that you’re
not going to be able to get it up,
so you’ve got to pop a bluey.
My name’s Luke, I did viagra once as a bit of a an experiment
and it was really exciting.
It was like, “It vibrates!”
“That’s incredible. I’ve never...”
You know that sense of it looks the same size but a little bit
bigger, it’s really weird.
Hello my name is Dima.
I do bodybuilding and, as well as that, I take Viagra because, as
taking steroids you have some side effects so you need to take Viagra
when you cannot perform.
So I'm Ricardo and I was seeing a girl that I met on Tinder.
She had such a high sex drive and I knew I couldn’t match that and
I felt like I had to take Viagra.
I felt like I’d then set the bar really high.
I was like I'm either gonna take this for life and just never tell
her and have loads of great sex or I should just stop taking it
and just call that a good night.
So I’m Jamil and I was in a relationship and my partner
actually committed suicide and it left me riddled with all kinds of
- Sorry to hear that. - insecurities and...
but I was like, well, kept popping the pills,
the Viagra, being like, “It’s fine.”
And it’s just like a little plaster really on a big open wound like
I never actually addressed the underlying issues.
Actually taking it, like,
it kind of hurt inside a bit I was like,
“This... I should be able to do this.”
Like, “This is what young men should do, you know.”
Because we are programmed to,
that is the primary function, the biological function is to be
able to get hard and have sex.
Having had issues, loads of issues, around sexuality and intimacy there’s
just so much to be said for working out these things through therapy.
And it’s like even when you’re going through s**t and you can get it up,
you then, you’ve got to deal with the issue of premature ejaculation.
Whilst it’s going on or if you can’t get it up, you’re thinking,
“Ah what is she, what is my partner thinking.” Like,
“Are they gonna blame themselves are gonna blame me?”
“I really like this person,
I don’t want them to feel like it’s their fault.”
And some girls do think that. They get even offended, some girls.
“How can I not make the guy come?”
Then you’re thinking to yourself,
“What is the best excuse I can come up with?”
Is the fear of not being able to get it up
less of a problem in the gay scene?
Or is it around about the same?
Yeah yeah yeah. I’d say so.
I think because you’re on a mutual party where you both
have probably had the circumstance happen to you before.
Porn, funnily enough is
the biggest teacher to a lot of young people, their first experiences
with sex but it’s so far removed from how sex normally is.
Yeah, 100 percent. Porn puts even more expectation than just
being to be able to perform like that, like a machine,
with a like switch. Like, “Boom! Perform!”
It’s just the phallocentric nature of heterosexual sex.
It’s like this assumption that women want to get f****d you know, whereas,
you know, you can’t get it up, whatever.
If you say, “Sorry I can’t get it up,
but would you like 90 minutes of oral sex?”
-They’re not going to be like, “Ow.” -“That’s a shift, f**k!”
Before having sex if you communicate with your partner,
number one, the sex would be better.
And number two, even if it is a one night stand,
there’s like a level of trust that you’ve built with that person.
If I’m gonna be open and honest enough saying like,
“I wanna have sex in this certain way.”
Or, “How would you like to have sex?” Then you might feel open and honest
enough to relay that information back to me.
This is very sage advice,
but I haven’t always followed it in the past.
I was intimidated by a girl and took Viagra before sex
without telling her.
I've learned that communication is clearly key.
So I've arranged to meet her for a drink to come clean and speak
about my anxieties that led to me popping the bluey.
Maria, I brought you here today because
the first time that we had sex.
I was, I was, I was
No you're lying.
-Nah -No you’re lying.
No you’re lying!
-No, you’re lying -I’m not
-You’re lying. -I’m being deadly serious.
Because I was actually so nervous that I wasn't going to be able to
perform or I wasn’t going to be able to get a boner or anything, yeah
because I remember chatting to you and genuinely thought like,
“Rah, this girl is really beautiful.
I don’t wanna f**k it up or anything like that.”
If, let’s say, we had sex and
I couldn’t get up, or like I only could last two minutes or whatever.
We would resolve it together.
We’d find ways.
So you wouldn’t like think I’m less of a man or anything like that?
No. We resolve it together. No.
-So yeah. -I’m shook.
I’m shook that you’ve actually done it.
-You’re shook? -Yeah!
-Oh wow. -Have you done it again?
Eh? Nah, not with us.
As in sneaky! But like, it’s funny because literally as a guy
you’ll be thinking, “Ah f**k! like she’s now gonna be
telling her friends.”
And if you can’t perform in the bedroom like you’re not a man.
So like in a situation where men couldn’t get,
like doesn’t get it up,
what would your first thought be?
My initial first honest thought would be like, “It’s because of me.”
Like, “I’m not hot enough,” like, “I’m not doing something right.”
Because I’ve had that situation before
and I thought OK there’s something wrong with me.
Obviously with guys of this generation we base a lot of sexual
experiences on porn and we sometimes tend to think that we need to last
five hours and hammer it.
Yeah but also in porn the girl seems to be able to suck dick for three
hours and I can’t do that!
So, I mean, it’s unrealistic altogether!
Would you ever want me to take Viagra again?
The first time that we done it, it was good.
But, comparing that first time to the other times that we’ve done it
the other times were much better when you didn’t take anything.
-Swear down! -Yeah.
Like much better.
I never would have actually expected that, you know.
I can’t even lie. Maybe
like obviously familiarity and we know what works
-with our bodies and stuff like that. -Yeah, exactly.
Yeah it’s just I think it was just mainly lack of confidence built up.
It’s like you said once you’re comfortable with that person
you don’t even have to think about it you just go straight into it
and it’s like good.
It’s all about having the conversation and
like finding OK you know what this is actually what I like.
And then the other person say like, “Oh this is what my
kind of preferences are.”
And then you find what works with like you both and then you don't
need to take it.
Yeah I’ve realised that and through talking to you
I’ve realised that I shouldn’t have worried at all.
I used to think that I had cracked life with the secret blue weapon in
my wallet that would allow me to own any sexual situation and be known
as the biggest don on Earth.
I know now that I was just slapping a plaster on insecurities that
needed to be defeated through thought and conversation.
I'm not alone and I think these lessons could benefit thousands of
men who jumped the gun and bought Viagra in increasingly easy ways.
Marketing specifically targeted at young men that make erectile
dysfunction medicine look cool and casual is not helpful
and may be creating a new generation who are hooked on the drugs,
not able to function without them.
I reached out to one such company, Men of Manual, with my concerns
and they responded.
“Our aim is to destigmatize the use of ED medication so men seek help
rather than brush their problems under the carpet.”
I would however argue that taking it without actual ED is in fact
brushing it under the carpet.
Mandem, if you get nervous and can’t get it up:
Chill. Chat to your partner, and if all else fails listen to this guy
and go down on her for 90 minutes. You’re welcome.
90 minutes is a bit long though, still.
Maybe like 10 minutes. Fam, my jaw’s gonna start hurting I swear.