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The cost of getting it up

Gerald Ingolby practises his Braille

I suppose it was inevitable that there had to be a downside to something which can give such great pleasure to the human race – and indeed indirectly cause it to perpetuate itself.

This week media stories have it that the drug Viagra, which over the past decade or so has grown into considerable worldwide use as an aid to … er … ‘performance’, has the potential to make you go blind.

See here for a report on this subject, as currently featured on the website of THE INDEPENDENT

Writing as someone who has never needed to use Viagra – or perhaps, to put it another and more accurate way, has never considered it necessary to resort to said drug in order to deal with any issues I may (or may not) have come across in this department – I am delighted to know that on this occasion I have avoided any such self-inflicted blindness. Even if I didn’t know it at the time, of course – when Viagra was first marketed, nobody mentioned any side effects – well, other than the most obvious one that was its cause célèbre, if not raison d’être.

The irony of all this is, of course, that in Victorian times – when sex, and indeed the perceived character-building and other benefits of repressing the human sexual urge, were first invented – there was a determined movement to discourage masturbation amongst teenagers and the young before marriage, primarily via dire warnings about the supposed negative effects of the practice, e.g. general listlessness, the growth of hair in the palms of the hands and … er, yes … even potential blindness.

The human sex drive being what it is – even if the above ‘doom and gloom’ warnings and effects had been based upon scientifically-researched facts – at any one time about 60% of the world’s population would be lying around on street corners, shaving their palms and using sticks, if not their faithful guide dogs, to manoeuvre themselves about their daily business.

Furthermore, it seems to me that most of us – both men and women – would happily accept such minor downsides as part of a ‘fair exchange is no robbery’ deal in return for ready access to the joys of intimate human relationships and sexual congress.

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About Gerald Ingolby

Formerly a consumer journalist on radio and television, in 2002 Gerald published a thriller novel featuring a campaigning editor who was wrongly accused and jailed for fraud. He now runs a website devoted to consumer news. More Posts