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Watch a TV commercial for Viagra, Levitra, Cialis or any of the other ED (erectile dysfunction) drugs and tell me that they aren't as appealing to women as they are to men. A couple outdoors bathing in his-and-her clawfoot tubs, holding hands and watching the sunset. A man and woman elegantly dressed and dancing, then running off to be alone and intimate. Those commercials are the best-case scenarios.

Here's the worst-case. Stop reading if you don't have the stomach for a very disturbing true story.

A man who'd qualify under AARP's definition of a senior (50+) has a wife who is dying of cancer. He cares for her, but his sexual needs aren't being met. He's something of a loner, an odd bird, and lives in a dilapidated house in a suburban neighborhood.

One day he drives into a poor urban neighborhood and kidnaps a teenager off the street. He holds her for months in a foul place - a cinderblock dungeon connected to his basement. He rapes and abuses her. After a while, he lets her go - but then he does it again with another victim. And again and again and again.

Five women, ranging in age from 14 to 52, were held as sexual slaves anywhere from months to years - while this twisted man's poor wife died upstairs and never knew a thing. When he was finally arrested, what did they find in his home? Prescription bottles of Viagra.

By the time John Jamelske was caught, he was 67 years old.

Since its introduction, Viagra and other ED drugs have had quite an impact on our society and culture. A conversation with Meika Loe, author of The Rise of Viagra: How the Little Blue Pill Changed Sex in America, outlines some of those changes.

Viagra has been a gift for the men and women who've found their lives enhanced by warm and loving sexual relationships at an age when performance can be difficult. Others have found it a challenge to negotiate sexual needs with sexual desires - or lack thereof.

And then there's that worst case scenario. It isn't discussed much. But five women's lives might not have taken such a horrific turn if one senior citizen hadn't gotten his hands on a bottle of Viagra. And what does that say in the end?


November 14, 2007 at 7:03 am
(1) Prof.H.McCaffrey says:

And to add insult to injury – Medicare and public insurance plans PAY for this drug which does nothing to cure life threatening disease or ease physical pain but is solely for individual gratification. Maybe Nature is trying to tell these guys something – like concentrate on something besides your sexual desires.

November 14, 2007 at 7:12 am
(2) Andrea says:

Oh come on! Viagra didn’t abduct and assault those women – a very sick man did it. If he had been a younger man and didn’t take the drug, what would we blame it on then? The car he used when kidnapping the women? When are we going to finally place the accountability where it belongs?

November 15, 2007 at 11:12 pm
(3) Mary says:

I think these ED drugs are too easy to misuse and to abuse. They also have potentially serious side effects. If used as intended, they may help many couples, but ways need to be found to avoid misuse and abuse. The worse misuse can lead to criminal activity as well. I think that intimacy can be achieved in very creative ways even by men who may experience ED. To take an ED drug is to induce an artificial element into intimacy. That does not sound like an attractive proposition to me.

April 29, 2008 at 10:09 am
(4) d says:

how do we get those awful Viagra and Cialis commercials off the air or at least put on after hours. They don’t want to promote Safe sex for teenagers, but they can show these commercials and it’s down right embarrassing. I want to crawl under my sofa when they show them> They are even on in the afternoon shows when kids are watching.

April 2, 2009 at 3:07 pm
(5) Judith says:

I agree that we need to get these embarrassing commercials off the television, especially when children are watching. We need to get some petitions going around that can put pressure on the drug companies to run their ads during late hours. All pharma commercials downplay their side effects with soothing or romantic music and visuals that do not show the people in CCU or whatever who have suffered these side effects. Anyone know how to get petitions running on about.com?

December 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm
(6) Chuck says:

Do you think this guy would live his sexual fantasies another way if he didn’t have viagra. My question is, is it viagra or his charcter that cause these horrible events?

September 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm
(7) Phil says:

Im 37 and sometimes because of limited time or kids or any of the many other things that just make it almost impossible to have an intimate moment with my wife, ill take one. All it does for me is increase response time. Doesnt do anything sexually otherwise. There is nothing fake about the desire or the intimacy. Ive never felt driven by it, like oh god ive taken this “magic” pill and now i HAVE to have sex!
I havent become deranged or a sex addict. Granted i dont take them everyday, but i am familiar with what it actually does. Like one of the other posters said, it doesnt make you a bad person.

Abuse happened because the person wanted to abuse it. As he could have used and abused almost anything. Its up to the people to be responsible. The guy that did that needs to fry. Hes obviously evil and sadistic. He could have taken the drug and had an affair or got a prostitute even. Not really prefferable in most relationships, however definitely better than what he did. But no, he decided kidnap women and keep them as sex slaves. Its not Pfizer’s fault that he did this any more than it is Fords fault that a drunk driver killed someone.

I dont disagree that it can be an issue for seniors, when the man has all this sexual desire and the woman is dealing with nature as intended, im sure it doesnt help the relationship. It obviously not intended for everyone. Men need to talk to their wives about this before hand to see if its going to be a positive addition to their relationship. Unless shes not satisfied with the way things are then there is no reason to use it. Love her… thats whats most important.

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