Test-Driving the Little Blue Pills

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About Stephen G. Bloom

Stephen G. Bloom, the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor of Journalism at the University of Iowa, is the author of Postviile: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America, Inside the Writer's MInd, The Oxford Project (with Peter Feldstein), and Tears of Mermaids: The Secret Story of Pearls. For more than 20 years, he was an award-winning reporter for The Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, San Jose Mercury News, and Sacramento Bee. His work has appeared in many publications, including the London Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, Salon, Smithsonian, Russian Esquire, and the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry. He writes frequently about issues men talk about when they're not around women. Check out more here.


  1. Tom Matlack says:

    Tough duty my friend. Glad you survived to tell the tale!
    One question though, in the other article you said that if you don’t have erectile disfunction the drugs won’t do anything. Your story seems to refute that. Did I miss something?

  2. At age 68 I sometimes appreciate a boost in the boner department However, the bottom line I learned was that if I am not really turned on by my partner, none of them will work very well. Thus, at orgies there were mixed results. Also my mood affected the effectiveness of the drugs. when I have a really exciting partner, I don’t need the drugs. Go figure.

    I have tried all three also. Viagra worked fine the first few times then I began to get a headache/sinus symptom when I took it which was unpleasant before and after sex and usually prevented me from sleeping normally later the night I took it. Gave Viagra up. Levitra was a little better but cost more so I only used a 3 sample pack.
    Cialis comes in a smaller daily dose, 24 mg. I think, but it hardly had any effect. Now my doc gave me 50 mg. and it works better for me than Viagra because I don’t get the headache/sinus pain afterwords.

  3. Can somebody please explain the two bathtub thing?

  4. Though the writing was clever, I’m still not sure if any of the three were needed, actually helped or increased pleasure and, as Larry David has said, I would rather retire w/o an asterisk after my name. Guess I’m just not there yet.

    • My experience, as a 68 year old who after 33 years of marriage to a woman came out at age 64, is that in the gay culture is that if your tool is very small and not semi-erect, you may not be as attractive to other men. The use of these enhancing drugs may increase the likelihood of scoring. Unfortunately there are those who abuse this stuff and use other drugs to have dangerous, unprotected sex. I am not endorsing that kind of use.

  5. Reminds me of the hilarious eXile article “Viagra Challenge” where the guy tests all three ED pills on middle-aged prostitutes. It’s brutal reading: http://exile.ru/articles/detail.php?ARTICLE_ID=7681&IBLOCK_ID=35

  6. ED.. oh boy.. yea, my husband now and then. Big deal. I’ll NEVER have 1 cent spent on pills. Sex isn’t worth spending HOW MUCH per month?? To me, it would be like him paying to have sex. Nope, not going to happen! ALOT more better things to spend money on!!

  7. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    Cialis rocks. Good for 36 hours. Then it does stop- as advertised. But my insurance doesn’t pay for C. I bit the 100mg Viagras in half because I did get the headache every time if I didn’t. This worked for three years, then I needed the 100 full dose. Now, no headache. My wife can tell if it’s ready (about an hour) because my face turns red.

  8. I am happy that the pill worked. I have found for myself and other men that a healthy diet and life style does the same. In the book, NO More Heart Disease: How Nitric Oxide Can Prevent–Even Reverse–Heart Disease and Strokes Louis, Ignarro speaks about how Viagra was developed essentially from the amino acid l-Arginine.

    A man at any age is capable of having all the erections he would want if all his blood vessels are healthy. Our penises are the barometers for our general health.When they work well, we are well.

  9. Marcus Owen says:

    On Owen, That is hot!

  10. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    Still no compliants regards Viagra. Keep on truckin’. I take the position that we older people who are on high blood pressure meds may need the extra help in spite of being in good vascular health otherwise. I do a lot of exercise.

  11. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I read the Mieka Loe articles and book critiquing Viagra use. Yesterday, I had fun refuting some of Loe’s and Marcia Angell’s arguments at a sociological meeting. As is usual, few people in the audience, though.


  1. [...] We got a page-two mention in Donnelly’s piece. We are “on the right track.” Cool. Donnelly goes on to, in essence, write us a job application, parroting our mission statement (“we can recognize that coping with being a man in the modern world is challenging”) and then suggesting impeccably on-brand ideas (“Did that NY magazine cover story on the effects of rampant online masturbation on Actual Sex Life cause people to rampantly masturbate less? [yes]“). I love all of these ideas. Are they for sale? Gift? We’ve already run one or two. [...]

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