Manly Men Take Viagra

Viagra, a male enhancement pharmaceutical, wasn’t on the market until 1998. This drug, with the promise of treating erectile dysfunction, seemed to market itself very well. In most commercials and advertisements, the men are portrayed as being “manly men”. In the advertisement example we watched in class, the narrator was building a fire, camping in the wilderness, and doing all kinds of activities that could scream out the fact that just because he can’t keep it up, doesn’t mean he’s not an established man. These commercials market on the fact that Erectile Dysfunction happens to anyone, it does not discriminate.

Through this picture of rough and tumble men taking this pill to have a better sex drive, Viagra has marketed itself into being one of the top male enhancement brands in the world. But the question we should look into is who is really benefiting from this pill?

Sure, Viagra has been given high praise for it’s ability to treat Erectile Dysfunction. This is great and all, but we seem to skip right over the potential risks of taking Viagra. Many times, Erectile Dysfunction isn’t something that is merely physical, it can be an underlying emotional problem. While Viagra does help a man to have a higher and longer sex drive, what this pill doesn’t do, is to foster that bond between the man and women partaking in the sexual intercourse. If the problem for the man, is that he isn’t feeling a close connection and spark with his partner, then Viagra shouldn’t be the solution. In this case, their sex is forced and the emotional problems between their relationship will build.

I actually don’t think Erectile Dysfunction was something that had such a negative, “unmanly” connotation until Viagra was invented. This was something couples would struggle with in silence, and not something the whole world would engage a conversation about. I believe that Viagra commercials coming out insinuating, “Just because men have this problem, doesn’t mean they aren’t masculine” really sparked the thought in people’s minds- “Is this something that is a serious problem that needs medical attention?” and “Am I not performing sexually as well as I should?”. This is exactly what the Viagra company wanted. They wanted men to flock to this drug because it is the “cure all, end all”, it’s the “magical pill” that could resolve their sex problems.

As discussed, this pill does not come without stipulations. It seems to me more as a “temporary fix” for whatever really might be going on in the relationship (not saying Erectile Dysfunction isn’t real). Viagra announced to the world that Erectile Dysfunction is a problem that needs immediate solving and can be done with their pharmaceutical, and the world flocked to it. This is the way advertising and medicine work in our world. If a doctor comes out and tells the world, “This is what you need” or “This is what will help you”, we are going to be interested, and we are going to give them our money. Viagra knows how to market their product toward men, and they will continue to grow (No pun intended).

-Jocelyn Scott

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3 thoughts on “Manly Men Take Viagra

  1. Good post here. I noticed this the other day, they do try and portray a manly man feel. The way they market the product is to give a feel of no shame and you are almost more manly if you do take the pill. It shows people smiling and enjoying their lives. Often time growing up people would make jokes about the pill when it is not something to joke about. I enjoyed your post here.
    -Trevor Ginn

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  2. Great post! I love how you said ED could be a multitude of factors, especially emotional. Sex sells and Viagra was a genius for tapping into that market in a whole new way. Being good in the bedroom is akin to the “look thin always!” for women. We are told if we do not perform women will essentially shun us. Thank you for this post

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