When I started getting anxious about more frequent loss of erections I went the pharmaceutical route. Viagra is really effective, but sometimes causes headaches and a flushed feeling in my face. Now trying Levitra, which comes on more gently and doesn’t have the above 2 symptoms for me, but even with 20 mg, produces erections that are less reliable, meaning we rarely can have vaginal sex to conclusion, which distresses me a little and my partner more. Any advice?

Responses

  • Michael Castleman says:

    You’ve learned the dirty little secret of erection medications. They may not work all that well, and when they do, the side effects can be annoying.

    That said, since you’re interested in the pharmaceutical route, there are two other drugs you might try. One is Cialis, which is similar to Viagra and Levitra, but lasts longer, 36 hours instead of four. In several studies comparing Viagra and Cialis, consumers consistently preferred Cialis. You might, too.

    The other drug you might try is yohimbine, an extract of the bark of a West African tree with a centuries-old reputation as an erection-enhancer. Yohimbine works, and the FDA approved it a decade before the agency approved Viagra. It’s a prescription drug marked under the brand names yohimbine, Yocon, and Aphrodyne. If you opt for yohimbine, ask your doctor for a prescription. Don’t buy the yohimbine supplements for sale over the counter. Studies have shown that many of them contain too low a dose to provide real benefit. To learn more about all the erection medications, read Everything You Need To Know About Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra.

    In addition, you might consider a brief course of sex therapy. Several studies have compared couples’ satisfaction when the man takes an erection drug only, or when the man takes the drug and the couple has sex therapy. Couples are consistently more satisfied after combination treatment–drugs plus sex therapy. For more on sex therapy, read An Intimate Look at Sex Therapy. To find a sex therapist near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists or the Society for Sex Therapy and Research.

    It sounds like you and especially your partner really value vaginal intercourse. That’s not surprising. Our sexual culture is very intercourse-focused, and many couples love the special connection and closeness it provides. But as people get older, erection becomes increasingly problematic for men (even with drugs) and vaginal dryness makes intercourse increasingly uncomfortable for many women (even with lubricant). As a result, couples who remain sexual as they age generally evolve their lovemaking away from vaginal intercourse and place more emphasis on mutual hand massage, oral, toys, and other caresses. I suggest you read Great Sex Without Intercourse: A Creative Alternative for Couples Over 40.

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