Viagra vs. The Pill

If there's one thing the world needs more of, it's humor involving Viagra and/or sex.

A strange thing happened when Viagra was initially released, back in the "dark ages" when many old coots had to settle for holding hands or plotting ways to spend the grandkidsÂ’ inheritance. You see, when Viagra first came out, roughly half of the medical plans in America covered it. This might not seem like that big a deal, until you consider that only about a third were paying for birth control pills at the same time.

Needless to say, this double standard (like this sentence) didn't play well with the chicks. Nor should it. Viagra and birth control pills have a lot in common, and it's downright rude to pay for one but not the other. It also shows, without much subtlety, just how much street cred you give to the notion that the two sexes are equal and should be treated as such. 


C'mon, insurers: at least pretend you think everyone is of equal importance.

Viagra and birth control both do one fundamental thing: They allow you to fool with the rules Mother Nature laid down. As it turns out, dudes were supposed to slow way down in bed as they got older, and women were supposed to get pregnant nice and early. Unfortunately for that whole nature thing, these rules don't sit well with modern society. We want what we want when we want it; no sooner, no later.

So, courtesy of modern science, older fellahs (and younger, more embarrassed fellahs) can finally order the little soldier to salute when it suits 'em. The younger ladies in the audience can have the sex but hold the fertility. ‘Course, some of them try to hold the fertility too long and end up needing a little help in that department, but that's a whole ‘nother barrel of monkeys – one involving twins, triplets, and a lot of intimate encounters in petri dishes.

Now, both of these "miracles" have their own problems. I already pointed out the problem you get when you delay pregnancy too long: infertility. The problem with Viagra is perhaps not so dire, but I'll bet there's still plenty of disappointment out there. It allows older guys to perform with the same sort of "turbo-boost" they had as youngsters and removes what I can only assume is something most women look forward to in their partner: foreplay. Impotence, you see, isn't an all-or-nothing proposition. As you age, it isn't so much that Mr. Happy throws in the towel – it's that he isn't necessarily the world-class athlete he started out as. He takes his time warming up: calisthenics, knee bends, and that sort of thing.

While all those preliminaries are going on, the guy's partner benefits from these delays. She gets a little attention, since the guy has to wait before dashing for the end zone. You know what I mean – the guy has to put in a good ground game. Grind the yards out. Not so with Viagra: we're talking long bombs on the first snap from scrimmage.

We men are basically lazy. That, or we're gay. We know, intellectually, that foreplay is a good thing. We also know, from our limited experience, that it's a lot of work. We might like the idea, in theory, but we're probably not going to extend a whole lot of time and effort on it. On the other hand, if we find that our equipment is taking a little break – well, foreplay suddenly sounds like a “great” way to disguise our problems.

Sex is a funny thing, particularly when you start to pay for it. No matter who foots the bill, the goal is universal: sex on our own terms. Terms so secret that we rarely talk about them with ourselves, let alone with anyone else. Boy howdy, those Puritans sure did a job on us.

Jared Kendall is a freelance writer in Baton Rouge where he lives with his wife and two children, three dogs, and four mortgages – that's in order of expense. He can be reached for comment at jared@redshtickmagazine.com.