Failure to launch

“Get it up,” “keep it up”….  These don’t feel remotely accurate to me.  They suggest that I have something to do with the mysterious hydraulics of my cock.

I’ve found myself hard on a bus filled with denture-wearing, demented senior citizens, and soft in the mouth of the hottest of sex partners.  Sometimes, I think my cock is a barometer of my mental state, my true, subconscious level of desire.  Others, I think its turgidity is random, or worse.

I don’t consistently have issues with… performance… but occasionally – just enough to create a bit of a vortex of confidence around the issue.  Thankfully, Pfizer has a solution – a little blue pill.  People misunderstand what the pill does, and

Pfizer hasn’t done itself any favors, in my opinion, in their marketing of it:  claiming it treats “erectile dysfunction” simultaneously stigmatizes the user and promises something it doesn’t do (for me).  Viagra doesn’t get me hard when I’m not aroused.  Nor does it get me hard when I am aroused.  No, what it does for me is to get me harder when I’m hard, to keep me harder longer.  It restores my cock to its state when I was 17:  easily aroused, hard as a rock, forever.  And ever.  If I show just the hint of an erection, with Viagra, that slightly erect tissue hardens into a full-blown hard-on.

I don’t know if I have “erectile dysfunction.”  I’ve talked with lots of guys about Viagra, and I’ve never met anyone who took it who didn’t swear by it, who wasn’t an evangelist, who doesn’t think all men should use it always.

I occasionally have sex without it – I might forget to bring it with me or take it.  And it’s honestly been a couple of years since I (recall having) had a problem.

With one glaring exception:

I’m a guy who’s had some sex in situations where there are others present.  I’ve had sex in swing clubs, at sex parties, and in threesomes and foursomes.  And my own experience is that, when I’m alone with a woman, the worst my cock will do is demand a lengthy blowjob.  In a group?  I’m capable of a cock as limp as, well, as limp as a cock can be.

And here’s the thing:  I’m not alone.  I can’t recall a single instance of group sex at which I’ve been present at which a man other than me hasn’t “failed to launch.”

I have no analysis of why this is, no sense of whether my experience is anomalous (though I suspect not).  All I can say is this:  when I’m having solo sex with a woman for the first time (or making out, or whatever), my cock is H-A-R-D.  When I’m having solo sex with a woman for the 50th time, I may well hunger for a blowjob, for some foreplay, to get me in the mood.  But I’ll get there, and it won’t take long – Viagra or not.

When I’m having sex in a room filled with others having sex?  Or even just with another couple?  All bets are off.

Which isn’t to say I don’t really enjoy it – just that it’s, I think, a part of the experience (at least for me, and, my sense is, for others) – one that’s rarely discussed.  So please – if you have experience of your own, please discuss down below in the comments.  Am I alone here?


  1. Yup.  Viagra doesn't create erections; it keeps the person taking it from losing erections.    The thing is, most men do stop having "psychogenic" erections (the kind that come from just thinking about something) at some point.  If there isn't good sexual communication, a woman may end up presuming her male partner just doesn't find her attractive anymore.  (In many cases, it's the only clue we get that you like us!)Even though I'm a woman, I've taken Viagra recreationally a few times, and the effect on sex was really fascinating.  

  2. The "psychogenic" part is just about how a man gets an erection — a lot of men require physical stimulation to get an erection, not just thinking about it.  But if that's a new phenomenon for the man in question, they may think that there's something really wrong.  As for my own use of Viagra?  Well, a few years ago, my husband and I scaled back our holiday-gift giving to each other and decided only to fill each other's stockings, and only with sex toys.  It's much less stressful, and the fact that we have to wait till everybody's gone to bed to open ours makes it quite sweet and funny.  Viagra is pretty expensive, so I received two tablets for Christmas in a repurposed earring box (funny!).  I generally split those tablets in half for use, so two tablets is four doses.  Women have erectile tissue too; it's just inside.  Viagra made sex feel hotter, tighter, more sensitive and tender.   I definitely would not have wanted a hard pounding, but my sensitivity was definitely increased and the orgasms were great.  I also suffered from the predictable side effects: a flushed face and the "Viagra headache" that many people who take it get.  I wouldn't want to use it all the time but every once in awhile it's fun. 

  3. That's great – thanks. The psychogenic is rarely enough for me, but how much physical stimulation I want/need is a whole 'nother thing. Viagra comes in different doses – 50, 100, 150 mg. (and maybe more). For me, after experimentation, I've found that 100 mg. is the best – it really does make my hard-on super-hard. And the side effects (again, for me) are minimal: I feel my heart beat a little, a little pressure in my head (not painful). But yeah, it is expensive. Every so often, I check to see when it'll go off patent – I think it's 2013. That'll be a good day…..

  4. I have wondered about this. I had a lover that was much older than me and he would always feel bad because he could see the worry on my face that I thought it was my fault. He would always assure me that it wasn't and that I did excite him. After a while i could tell that it was something more, like if the phone rang during sex it would break his concentration and he would go a little soft. I always wondered if a little blue pill would help him but i think he was too afraid to really push the issue and so i dropped it not wanting to put more on his mind to worry about. So i guess my question is, even if it is mental does the pill still help? you make it sounds like it does…

  5. I think the "psychogenic" language/explanation offered by Lily is helpful. Many men progress from a state of near-perpetual wood (morning wood, of the sort that every man remembers from his youth) to a less tumescent general way of being. I think there's a reason that every porn film starts with oral and then progresses to fucking: because it's easiest for us that way. As much as we all have the fantasy of just turning you around and fucking you, or throwing you on the bed and fucking you – and sometimes we DO do that – that's not always possible – at least not for me. For me, often, I require a little physical stimulation.The blue pill? It lowers the threshold for my tumescence. I need to be less aroused – whether that's "psychogenically," by the mere thought of what I'm about to do to you, or physically, by the sensation of your mouth on my cock. It doesn't substitute for arousal – it just brings it a little closer, and, more important, makes me harder once I am hard.So I don't know if it would have helped: it's certainly no substitute for being turned on.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.