Monitor

The News of the World Reaction to the launch of Viagra, the impotence drug
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The Independent Culture
Linton Weeks, Washington Post (US)

THE BIRTH-control pill transformed the baby-boomers at the beginning of their sexual lives. Viagra comes at the latter stages. But the upshot could be equally powerful. The birth-control pill eliminated one undesirable outcome of extramarital and premarital sex - pregnancy. The promise of Viagra is the obliteration of the physiological and psychological obstacles to performance. For a society that has operated under the construct that people in their fifties and sixties are physically in decline, less interested in sex, more preoccupied with jobs and careers than with sexual pleasure, Viagra could redefine an entire stage of life.

Vincent Mak, Hong Kong Standard

THE VIAGRA craze is coming to Hong Kong, with a pill fetching $200 to $500 on the black market. "Couples may need to re-co-ordinate their sex life after the impotent male partners take Viagra," said Dr Desmond Nguyen, senior medical officer of Kwai Chung Hospital, who also runs a Psychosexual Clinic at the Caritas Medical Centre. "Husbands need to increase their exercise tolerance before trying sex again with Viagra, especially if they have not done that for a few years," he said.

With the media's portrayal of the little blue pills as an aphrodisiac, there is speculation that they will lead to more men hanging out in nightclubs and going to various hot spots in Southeast Asian countries. But will the little blue pills bring about a sexual revolution? We'll have to wait and see.

Maureen Dowd, The New York Times (US)

WOMEN ALREADY think men are led too much by their anatomy. If Pfizer's rivals are smart, they are looking for the Viagra antidote. For each woman who celebrates Viagra, there's another who has nightmares about her 62- year-old husband undergoing a satyric transformation and chasing 21-year- old interns. As men know, women like to think they're special. With Viagra, women will never know for sure whether it's their own allure or just chemically enhanced blood-vessel function.

David Friedman, Salon Magazine (Internet)

ON MARCH 27, the FDA approved Viagra, a little blue pill that, according to its manufacturer, Pfizer Inc, has created a forest of wood in up to 80 per cent of the 4,000 impotent men tested in their clinical trials. The sound of trees rising is beautiful music to stock analysts, no doubt thinking of the 30 million American men who are said to have erectile dysfunction. And as baby-boomers age, that number will soar. Like teeth, penises weren't designed to last 80 years.

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