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The Viagra Myth: The Surprising Impact On Love And Relationships

ISBN: 978-0-7879-6801-4
224 pages
September 2003, Jossey-Bass
The Viagra Myth: The Surprising Impact On Love And Relationships (0787968013) cover image
In The Viagra Myth Dr. Abraham Morgentaler (a practicing urologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School) shows us that while Viagra has proved enormously helpful to many men, it has also uncovered previously ignored aspects of identity and authenticity in sexuality and relationships. Some men, for example, may fear telling their partner they are using Viagra, yet still struggle with the hope of being loved for their true self. Women who discover their partner has resorted to a secret sexual enhancer may complain, "I thought it was me who turned you on . . ." Viagra may improve a man's sexual abilities, but there may also be a profound cost involved.
If you or your partner is using or considering Viagra, or even if you are only wondered what it might be like to have a better sex life, this book is essential reading. It will provide insight and instruction about the reality of quick-fix solutions, sexuality, personal growth, and meaningful relationships.


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Dedication.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Chapter 1: Viagra And The Perfect Cure.

Chapter 2: The Viagra Edge: Is Harder Better?

Chapter 3: Performance Anxiety and Viagra.

Chapter 4: Viagra And Desire.

Chapter 5: Viagra And Premature Ejaculation.

Chapter 6: When Viagra Doesn’t Work.

Chapter 7: The Viagra Myth In Gay Relationships.

Chapter 8: Viagra and Prostate Cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Viagra.

Epilogue: The Future Of The Viagra Myth.

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Abraham Morgentaler, M.D., F.A.C.S., is an associate clinical professor at Harvard Medical School and director of Men’s Health Boston. An expert in the field of male sexual function and dysfunction, he is the author of The Male Body: A Physician’s Guide to What Every Man Should Know About His Sexual Health (1993) and has published in such prominent medical journals as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, and The Journal of the American Medical Association.
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Morgentaler, a practicing urologist and a professor at Harvard Medical School who has done research on erectile dysfunction, wants to explode the "notion of Viagra as an automatic solution, as the quick fix to all sexual problems." He has no problems with the millions of prescriptions of Viagra that doctors have make since the drug was introduced in 1998. But he is effective at presenting facts that are not so well known, such as that the drug works in 80% of men with performance anxiety but only two-thirds of men with other types of erectile dysfunction. What he does best, however, is to demonstrate how "a firm erection cannot solve deeper problems." Each chapter describes a situation in which a patient who thought that Viagra was the answer to his problems finds that there are other explanations. In one, a man learns that his performance problems have to do with the lack of trust he and his partner share; in another, a man who thinks that Viagra will make his sexual performance last the right time learns that "studies have shown that humans average only a minute and a half for the sexual encounters." Short bullet-point summaries of important information at the end of each chapter and an excellent section of "Frequently Asked Questions About Viagra" help make this book an important resource for both physicians and patients who are contemplating prescribing or using the drug, but who may be doing so for all the wrong reasons. (Oct.) (Piblishers Weekly, August 18, 2003)

"...reveals for the first time the drug's popularity is waning as it leaves a trail of broken relationships and shattered expectations in its wake." (The Independent, 27 August 2003)

"...warns that the drug may be killing passion rather than igniting it." (The New Zealand Herald, 28 August 2003)

"...argues that the drug's side effects are not so much medical as emotional." (The Independent, 29 August 2003)

Viagra can help many men, asserts urologist Morgentaler (Harvard Medical Sch.; The Male Body). But its cure-all-penises reputation is only a myth. It is most effective for erectile dysfunction caused by performance anxiety, less so for premature ejaculation and for medically caused problems. Viagra cannot supply desire, guarantee partner satisfaction, or rescue a relationship aground on different issues. Moreover, secret use of the drug can raise issues of trust and honesty with a partner. Yet there are effective treatments for when Viagra fails-injections, implants, vacuum devices, and couple therapy. Morgentaler's needed corrective is readable and well organized, with case histories and summaries - plus a chapter on gay relationships. Unfortunately, it lacks a resource section, guidelines for finding a doctor/therapist, and illustrations. A good general work on sexual dysfunction is Lawrence Hakim's The Couple's Disease, and Robert Butler and Myrna Lewis's The New Love and Sex After 60 is also highly recommended. Morgentaler's books is a valuable if imperfect addition to collections where Viagra books circulate frequently. (Index not seen.) —Martha Cornog, Philadelphia (Library Journal, October 1, 2003)

"A delightful and thoughtful book on a timely topic by a sincere, wise, and experienced clinician. It is full of insights for men, women, and couples, and is very well written. I recommend it highly."
— Arnold Robbins, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Tufts Medical School, and Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association

"As a physician with vast experience treating men with sexual dysfunction, Dr. Morgentaler explains the facts and the fantasies about Viagra and erectile dysfunction in a way that every man and woman can understand."
— Irwin Goldstein, M.D., director, Institute for Sexual Medicine, and professor, urology and gynecology, Boston University School of Medicine

"Ever wish you could listen to what men say to each other about sex? Or better yet, listen in on a completely honest and open discussion between your man and his doctor? Read this book and get the inside scoop on sex, love, and Viagra. After this, you'll know what to ask (and what not to say) to get the loving intimacy you want in your own relationship."
— Bonnie St. John, author, Succeeding Sane: Making Room for Joy in a Crazy World

"Dr. Morgentaler is a rare breed of physician: psychologically savvy and perceptive about the way both men and women experience love and sexuality. The Viagra Myth is an intriguing commentary on the sexual notions of our society."
— Laura Berman, Ph.D., coauthor, For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Reclaiming Your Sex Life, cohost of Berman & Berman on the Discovery Channel, and codirector of the Network for Excellence in Women's Sexual Health

"This is a wonderful book that provides a new and unique perspective on human sexuality. Women and men who read The Viagra Myth will learn how sexual dysfunction impacts a relationship and about the pros and cons of the drug Viagra. I will definitely recommend it to all of my female patients."
— Jennifer Berman, M.D., coauthor, For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Reclaiming Your Sex Life, cohost of Berman & Berman on the Discovery Channel, and assistant professor of urology and director, Female Sexual Medicine Center, UCLA School of Medicine

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