May 2009 Archives

Your Penis and Wolfram Alpha

The "computation knowledge engine" Wolfram Alpha may still be working out some kinks. But they're apparently working some in, too.

As of last week the massive data compiler didn't know how to parse "penis size", turning their standard "I don't know what you mean" reply into a hilariously deadpan double entendre

Hard Working Data Curators!

Apparently popular demand for this bit of data spalpha.gifurred their data curators to get on top of things and plug those numbers in, because you can now do a search on "penis size" to find average lengths of both erect and flaccid penises, global or broken down by country.

Sizing Yourself Up?

Wolfram is helpful in case you don't have a ruler or tape measure handy.  It offers equivalents using a few other common objects as units of measurement: the average penis equals the length of 3 AA batteries, or 1.8 credit cards
Wolfram Alpha is still pretty unworldly when it comes to carnal knowledge. The word "sex" just brings up some lexicographic facts. But so much is still uncharted: What's the average duration of intercourse? How many times per month does the average couple have sex? What's the average amount of semen in an ejaculation? All questions that apparently baffle the Wolfram mind. However, we predict that this period of innocence won't last long.

Of course, we had to input Viagra to see what results we'd get. The engine returned some info on sildenafil's chemical properties and drug classification, but no sales figures, estimated users, number of Viagra spam emails sent annually, etc. However, we did learn that Viagra has a melting point of 189 C (about 375 F). That has to be good for something - don't leave your prescription bottle on your car dash this summer - especially if you spend summers on Venus.

Can I take Viagra with food and alcohol?

It should be perfectly safe to take Viagra with food and moderate amounts of alcohol. However, you're likely to achieve best results sober and on an empty stomach.

Food, especially fatty food, can lengthen the time Viagra takes to work and can even decrease its effectiveness. You might need to take more to get the same effect, and that could increase side effects.

Alcohol is even worse. Many men find that alcohol hurts their ability to get an erection. Since the whole point of Viagra is to get a good, strong erection, it seems counter-productive to drink before taking it. This is especially a problem if the alcohol forces you to take a higher dose.

Some men report that Levitra works better than Viagra in combination with food and alcohol. So, if you like your love tipsy and/or on a full stomach, you might want to experiment with that alternative.

We always recommend using as low of a dose as you can. You'll have fewer side effects and have  less of an "unnatural" erection; the ideal is to take enough.

Check out stories from our readers about taking Viagra with food and alcohol.

Research Report: Viagra and Vision

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for research_icon.jpgThe press was buzzing over a new research study which showed that Viagra doesn't appear to negatively affect vision. We've read through the research, so you don't have to. Here's the title:

Retinal Effects of 6 Months of Daily Use of Tadalafil or Sildenafil
Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(4):367-373.

"Tadalafil" is the generic name of Cialis; "Sildenafil" is the generic name of Viagra.

What they did:
Took generally healthy men with mild erectile dysfunction. Gave some Viagra (50 mg), some Cialis (5 mg), and some a placebo every day for 6 months. Checked their retinas; everything seemed fine.

Who paid for the study:
Eli Lilly, the makers of Cialis, paid for the study. They wanted to show that Cialis is safe for everyday use. Viagra was included in the study for comparison. Levitra wasn't tested.

What it tells us:
It's pretty safe to take Viagra or Cialis every day, and it doesn't cause any medium-term eye problems. The vast majority of patients were able to tolerate the drugs without any serious problems.

What it doesn't tell us:
The test only went on for 6 months, so it doesn't provide information on long-term effects.

Cool things we found out:
Cialis reaches peak plasma concentrations 2 hours after a single dose
Viagra reaches peak plasma concentrations 30 minutes to two and a half hours (mean 88 minutes; median 60 minutes)

So it seems like Viagra takes full effect very differently for different people, even on an empty stomach. For some people it takes only 30 minutes, others over two hours. Cialis seems to take two hours to take full effect.

Myth #4: "Viagra for Women" is Just Around the Corner

Periodically the press breathelssly reports about how "Viagra for women" is just around the corner. If you read the details, it generally is just a report on some researchers somewhere doing something that might help women someday. The dream is that someday there will be a "magic blue pill" for women as there is for men.

Reality is a lot more complicated than this myth. Viagra is not approved for use by women, but some women do find some benefit from taking it. Studies have suggested it might help women who take anti-depressants, for instance.

The heart of the confusion comes in the idea that there can possibly be one pill that be as useful for women as Viagra is for men. Viagra has a very specific chemical function; it solves a plumbing problem. It allows men to get an erection. This is a huge benefit to men, because without an erection, intercourse is impossible.

Women, though, suffer from a wider variety of sexual dysfunctions with a wider variety of causes. Some lack interest in sex, some have difficulty getting aroused, some have difficulty with orgasm, etc. Each of these difficulties may have a different cause for a different woman. A single pill won't solve all of these problems because each problem has a different cause in each woman. 

So, though we might see "Viagras for women," a variety of treatments for a variety of causes of female sexual problems, there's never going to be a single "Viagra for women" that helps such a broad class of women like Viagra does for men. Just not going to happen.  

Headline Watch: Pfizer Gives Free Viagra to the Jobless

Hot Viagra news alert! Pfizer is offering some of its drugs for free to people who lose their jobs, including Viagra! Good news if you lose your job or if, like us, you enjoy some Viagra puns.

recession_depression.jpgHow Viagra Would Have Been Distributed in the First Great Depression

Headline writers have been hard at work on this story, here is the best we've found so far:

Laid off, still laid: Pfizer will help keep it up in bed with free Viagra (Minneapolis/St. Paul City Pages)

And some of our own:

Pink slipped? Pfizer helps you keep on slipping it in the pink

Job loss leads to erectile gain

Drug maker helps you stay hard in a soft economy

Concerned about deflation? Pfizer to re-inflate the jobless

PETA's Putrid PR Pop-Up

The faux-righteous fools at PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have put out a press release suggesting that Manny Ramirez should explore "Veggie Viagra" to cure his "impotence":

"Guys who stuff their bellies full of dead animals in the kitchen are often unable to score in the bedroom."
In fact, Ramirez doesn't suffer from erectile dysfunction and wasn't, as PETA seems to suggest, taking Viagra. Press reports explain clearly that Ramirez was suspended from playing baseball for taking drugs to counteract the effects of steroid use:

HCG is popular among steroid users because it can mitigate the side effects of ending a cycle of the drugs. The body may stop producing testosterone when users go off steroids, which can cause sperm counts to decrease and testicles to shrink.
Of course, PETA hopes that a press release mentioning "Viagra" will catch people's attention. I guess they were right, because I'm writing this blog post to counter their disinformation campaign.  Spew enough crud into the world and some of it is bound to stick, and I got stuck.

Anyway, erectile dysfunction and Viagra have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the Ramirez story. Suggesting otherwise is a vicious attempt to capitalize on a real health issue men face. Not to mention that there's no science to back up their claims either. There are plenty of ways to eat meat and maintain a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, just as there are plenty of vegetarians whose diets are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Eating meat has nothing to do with it, whatsoever.

I Tried 100mg and It Didn't Work. What Should I Do?

What if you try the maximum dose of Viagra (100 mg) and it doesn't work for you. What should you do? Should you go above the maximum dose?

We get this question a lot. The first thing you should do, before even considering upping the dose, is to see what other steps you can take to make the drug more effective.

First thing to make sure of is that you have sufficient sexual stimulation. If you have no desire for sex, or have nothing to stimulate your interest in sex, Viagra alone won't do anything for you. It isn't like the old injection therapies for ED that produced instant erections; you need something to excite you for it to work.

Also, make sure you've given enough time for it to work. You probably should wait at least 30 minutes, and probably an hour, before attempting anything.

Most importantly, try it on an empty stomach and completely sober. Fatty foods and alcohol can hurt the drug's effectiveness.

If you try all of these things and still don't get any result, ask your doctor whether a higher dose might be appropriate. The higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience side effects, so we strongly recommend not going above 100mg without a doctor's supervision.

Another option would be to try Levitra or Cialis. These drugs work better for some men. However, never mix medications. You should never take Viagra and Levitra within the same 24 hours, and you should give Cialis several days to leave your system before taking Viagra or Levitra.

How to lessen side effects with Viagra?

Viagra's harmless side effects are common and well-known. Many users report headache, nasal congestion, facial flushing, or upset stomach.

The most important thing you can do to lessen side effects is take as low a dose as possible. The higher the dose, the more likely you are to experience side effects. So if you are bothered by side effects, experiment with your dosage. Many men find success with 25mg or even less.

Our readers have suggested many other ways to limit side effects. Many men take the pill with a big glass of water. Others, who consistently experience a certain side effect, will take a preventative medicine ahead of time. So men who always get a headache when they take Viagra might take a Tylenol ahead of time to lessen the effect.

You can also experiment whether you take it on a full or empty stomach. Some men find that abstaining from alcohol can increase effectiveness and so require a lower dose; in that way, they can reduce side effects as well.

Of course, if you experience more serious side effects, like dizziness, fainting, vision difficulties, etc. you should contact your doctor immediately.

Congressman Takes Courageous Political Stand!

See, our Top 10 Reasons Politicians Need Viagra was prescient. Rep. Jim Moran is taking on the big drug companies:

Last month, Democratic Rep. Jim Moran introduced the "Families for ED Advertising Decency Act," which prevents erectile dysfunction and male enhancement ads from appearing on radio and television between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

We hate to ask the obvious question, but exactly why should there be ANY TV or radio advertising for ANY prescription drugs?

Myth #3: Viagra is Just for Older Men

Even though Viagra has a reputation as Grandpa's wonder drug, erectile dysfunction isn't something that only affects older men. Many younger men have erectile difficulties as well.

Men in their 20s and 30s can experience many sorts of erectile problems. Performance anxiety afflicts men of all ages; they may have completely psychological issues for their erectile problems. Viagra can give them the confidence they need. Often using it for a short time is enough to get them over that hump and restore confidence so they no longer need the drug.

Many younger men also take medication, like antidepressants, that can have sexual side effects. Using Viagra can improve performance greatly. People are often hesitant to take antidepressants for this reason, so in this case Viagra is helping them improve their mental health.

From the reports we've received, younger men often find success with much lower doses of the drug. 25mg, and even 12.5mg is often enough to give them a good effect. So we recommend younger men to start with a low dose and work their way up only if necessary.

Can Viagra help with premature ejaculation?

Viagra, of course, works wonders for erectile dysfunction - the inability to maintain or sustain an erection. Many men, however, have no trouble getting an erection but ejaculate too quickly - they suffer from premature ejaculation. Viagra may be able to help with premature ejaculation in two ways:

1. Taking Viagra can decrease sensitivity somewhat during sex. Some men might find this a negative, but for someone with premature ejaculation, it might actually help them last longer in bed. Many men who take Viagra report that it helps them last longer. You can read some first-hand accounts on our site.

2. Viagra can decrease recovery time after an ejaculation. So, even if a man ejaculates before he wants to, if he's taking Viagra, he may be able to get an erection again quickly. It even allows some men to maintain an erection after they ejaculate, so there's no "downtime" at all.

There's an important difference, however, between erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. While most cases of erectile dysfunction won't respond to therapeutic treatment, most people who suffer from premature ejaculation can learn to gain control of their ejaculatory response.

The so-called "stop/start method," where the patient practices, by himself or with a partner, getting close to the "point of no return" and not ejaculating, has been used for decades to successfully treat this problem.

Recently, a new drug has been approved in Europe for the treatment of premature ejaculation. Priligy (dapoxetine) should be available there by the middle of 2009; we'll have to wait and see how effective it is at helping with this problem. 

Getting a "Viagra Handshake"

Ever get a "Viagra Handshake"? This article at seems to recommend them:

I use the term "Viagra handshake" to describe the firm handshake that is vitally important when you're on an interview.

Not sure what that would mean. Your hand becoming so stiff you can't even close it around the other person's? I wonder who gets the slight flush to the face and mild nasal congestion, the giver or the recipient - or both!

Maybe Viagra handshakes are short-lasting and extremely firm, while Cialis ones are a bit softer but last all day long? Levitra ones signal strength even on a full stomach?

Seriously, though, if you're popping Viagra before your job interviews, to improve handshakes or something else, you've got more problems than we can help you with.

What Viagra Dosage Should I Start With?

Unlike some medications, Viagra is short-acting. Though its effects may linger for a day or so, its main impact comes in the first few hours after taking it. So, it's easy to experiment with dosages to find the one that's best for you.

Generally, I recommend starting with a relatively low dosage, seeing if that works, and increasing it if necessary. The higher the dose, the more side effects you're likely to experience. Too high of a dose might also decrease your sensitivity; it may work "too well," giving you an erection that either won't go down or doesn't feel natural.

If your purchase Viagra online or from your local pharmacy, it's usually most economical to buy 100mg pills. Then, use a pill splitter to break it into two pieces or four. Many men have success with a quarter piece (25mg); I recommend you start with that if your erectile dysfunction is mild. If you have a known medical condition that causes your problem, you might start with 50mg.

If the low dose works, great. You can stop there, or see how it feels with a higher dose. If the lower dose doesn't work, try a higher dose. But I recommend going in steps. If you don't have success at 25mg, try 50mg first, before jumping to 100mg.

Remember, you don't have to try Viagra with a partner. You may want to try it out by yourself first, see how it feels, see what kind of side effects you experience. Viagra affects everyone differently; you need to learn how it affects your body, and how you can make it suit your needs best.

Note: whatever dose you try, don't exceed 100mg in a 24 hour period. If 100mg doesn't work for you, try again on another day, in other circumstances. Don't try to overdose or mix it with other medications.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2009 is the previous archive.

June 2009 is the next archive.

This is the blog for the Viagra Stories website, aka where real people share their experiences taking Viagra.