Diary of a Viagra fiend

In which a randy, modern-day Thomas De Quincey confesses: "Hi Ho Silver! I'm the Bone Ranger!"

By Jayson Gallaway

Published November 24, 1999 5:00PM (EST)

"Have you tried it?" he asks. I look up from my desk to find a middle-aged friend leaning toward me conspiratorially, his face an odd combination of deadly seriousness and abject glee. "Viagra ... have you tried it?"


Like I'm sure thousands of other people did today, I made a joke about Viagra. A co-worker walking by made an offhand comment about the droopiness of a floral arrangement on my desk, and I jokingly suggested dropping a Viagra in the vase to "perk things up" a bit. I expected to hear a courtesy chuckle as he walked away, but I didn't. And now here he is, lurking ominously over me, essentially asking me if I have trouble getting it up.

"No!" I finally say defensively.

Why would I have tried it? That stuff's for old men whose spouses sleep in separate beds. I'm a virile, healthy, 29-year-old American male. Sure, there has been a time or two when, for reasons ranging from disinterest to methamphetamine, little Tyson wasn't quite ready to get in the ring when the bell rang. But that happens to everybody, right? OK, yeah, so I recently acquired a 19-year-old girlfriend and maybe I've been feeling just a tad insecure about not being capable of some of the erectile heroics I was capable of at 16, when random stiffies occurred more often than not, and were so solid they were almost prehensile: you could hang umbrellas on them.

But things are fine ... I haven't been worried about it.

"You should try it. Trust me," he says, "it's amazing."

But I ...

"Doesn't matter ... try it. You will thank me."

Hmmm. Do you have any?

"Nope. I just tried it last weekend. A buddy gave it to me. It's easy to get. Try the Net." He winks and walks away.


Six hours later I'm at home in front of the computer looking at one of about 47 Viagra Web sites I found and answering a confidential medical questionnaire over a secured Internet connection. Pretty basic stuff at first: Name, Date of birth, Medicinal allergies. Then we get to the good stuff: No, I am not "experiencing erectile dysfunction," (really!) but for the sake of this experiment, I click the "Yes" button. I hear a voice of dissent begin to growl from within my pants. Soon it's crying out in anger ... rage at the slander that is being committed online. I tell it to calm down, that this is just an experiment, blah, blah, blah.

And then I realize I am speaking out loud to my penis. Jesus, maybe I do have a problem.


So I submit my form and my credit card number and am told that an online physician will carefully review my questionnaire and, if his expert diagnosis determines that Viagra is right for me, my order will be shipped immediately via commercial carrier.

Two seconds after I click the "OK" button, I receive an e-mail saying the online physician has carefully reviewed my questionnaire (and presumably my credit card number) and after much deliberation has decided that yes, Viagra is indeed for me.

Hot damn.

Twenty minutes later, the package arrives at my door. Amazing. I rip open the package and find the holy pills complete with instructions. Highlights include the following:

  • Take about one hour (preferably 90 minutes) before anticipated sexual activity with a snack or light meal. (Sexual activity with a snack or light meal? Is this stuff gonna make me wanta mount a Twinkie?)

  • Avoid fatty foods that can delay absorption.

  • Stimulation is required for Viagra to work.

  • Viagra should not be used more than once daily.

    Hmmm. Is it just me, or would anybody else dating a spontaneous 19-year-old (let's call her "Lolita") who is the keeper of very strange hours have trouble predicting whether or not they will be having sex an hour and a half from any particular moment? Though I am getting to know her pretty well, I have not yet learned to pinpoint her moods well enough to prognosticate the onset of uncontrollable libidinousness more than an hour before impact, let alone to maintain the mental wherewithal to then cavalierly ask for a snack or light meal low in fatty content.

    And nowhere in the literature does it say how long the effects of the pills are supposed to last. So how crucial is the timing of this whole operation? What if, like many other drugs, when it wears off, you are left not just in the same shape you were before you took it, but worse? Hmmm. No conclusions. I pocket the bottle of pills.

    It's around 10 the next night, and I'm sitting in an all-night diner with Lolita. As she quickly and predictably orders fried mozzarella sticks with Thousand Island dressing, I face a dilemma: I can't possibly order the Massive Fat Burger that is my usual (thus predictable) faire: it is huge and fat, thus instantly violating two Viagratic prohibitions. But what am I going to do: claim that I've suddenly started worrying about cholesterol and tryglycerides and order the skinless chicken patty with the little Healthy Heart icon next to it on the menu? I don't want to raise suspicions. Screw it ... I order the Massive Fat Burger, the MegaFries, and a Big Ass Shake. Fat content be damned.

    As we eat dinner in relative quiet, my thoughts take on the form of a sixth grade word problem:

    Jayson and Lolita typically commence foreplay almost as soon as they climb into bed at night, and things proceed rather quickly from there, with intercourse beginning, on average, 13 minutes later. The white trash diner they are presently sitting in is approximately 11 minutes away by car from Lolita's house. The Happy Pills in Jayson's pocket take approximately one hour to kick in when taken as directed. However, Jayson is railing against medical science by ingesting the better part of a cow and an inordinate number of MegaFries before taking the pills. Jayson can probably get Lolita to go to bed an hour after they arrive home tonight after dinner. Maybe an hour and a half. Assuming that it would be much better for the pill to kick in too soon (i.e. while brushing teeth) as opposed to too late (i.e. after Lolita has already entered REM sleep and has become less than receptive to any elephantine sexual overtures in the middle of the night), then just when pray tell should Jayson take the frickin' pill?

    Actually, if sixth grade word problems had been like that, I probably would have done better in math.

    I excuse myself and head for the can. In the stall, I open the container and shake one of the blue diamonds out onto my palm. I pop it. Then I pop another one. Just in case. You know the old drug culture wisdom: "If yer gonna take one, you might as well take two." That's that. Here we go.

    On the way home Lolita announces that we have to stop for gas.

    "No! We can't!"

    Shit. Did I actually just say that?

    "What? Why not?"

    "Uh ... nothing ... no. We can. I'm sorry. I just kinda wanta get home."

    It's when she asks me if I'll "pump it" for her that it happens.

    Boner Time.

    Jesus. It might just be a coincidence. It's only been 20 minutes. And I ate the Fat Burger. And since when does the idea of pumping gas qualify as "stimulation"? But this is not merely happenstance. This is a severe and random case of Hammercock the likes of which have not been seen in my pants since I was about 14.

    We pull in to the gas station and for the first time in years I have a matter of seconds to figure out how best to hide a completely unsolicited woody. Doing a weird little dance/hop-thing as I get out of the car, I somehow manage to work it quickly into "high noon" position, and am thus able to ambulate with relative normalcy and pump the gas.

    I start smiling. Man, this is great. The surprise in my pants is like Elvis in the '68 comeback special, when he showed up all slimmed down, clad head-to-toe in black leather, looking like a bad ass, and everybody was damn glad to see he could still rock. Yeah. That's me. The voices from my crotch that were wailing and gnashing their teeth just 24 hours ago when I was ordering this stuff online are now cheering like college guys at their first wet T-shirt contest. There is much rejoicing throughout the pants.

    Lolita is looking at me in the rear view mirror. She is giving me her "sexy" eyes. I think she senses something is up, as it were. I look at my watch: 27 minutes. I holster the gas pump and dance a sick little jig that involves several savage pelvic thrusts on my way to the passenger's seat.

    "You're in an awfully good mood all of a sudden."

    Well, darling, I think, that's because if I were to stand facing due north, you could tell the exact time of night by the angle of the shadow cast in the moonlight by my alarmingly erect member. But all I actually say is, "Let's go home."

    It's around 11:30 when we finally get back to her room. She begins looking through her formidable collection of CDs for something to listen to: a process that experience has demonstrated can take hours. I'm starting to worry that I'm going to peak (no pun intended. Actually, no pun achieved. Never mind) here, only later to be left "hanging" when the time comes. I try to ignore the voices of doubt: the effects must last for hours, right? They must. No problem. Let her choose a CD. I'll just lie languidly across her bed and try to exude my godlike state of arousal without being too obvious about it.

    Thirty-seven minutes later. Thirty-seven minutes. The appropriate CD has been selected and implemented. Soft music fills the room.

    And now it is time for Love.

    I give her the Eyes and tell her to turn off the lights and Come Hither.

    "No. I'm not tired yet."

    I'm not tired either, woman. This ain't about tired. Git over here!

    "And I need the lights on so I can read you some of what the kids wrote today."


    It is damn near midnight on a weeknight, we both have to be up early in the morning. Cockzilla is on the rampage in my drawers, and she wants to read me selections from essays written by the 7-year-olds she tutors. I wonder what would happen if I fed her one of these amazing blue diamonds.

    About halfway through the 13th essay about something called Pokimon, it happens: Deflation.
    In a way I'm relieved. For an unrequited stiffie to go on for more than 90 minutes is kind of a spooky thing. There are worse problems to have, of course, than a hard-on that just won't quit, but still, there can be too much of a good thing.

    Finally she finishes reading what must be about the 29th of these boner-killing rants, and I excuse myself to go to the bathroom to take out my contacts, etc. Lolita's an intelligent young woman: I'm sure she understands that this means "when I get back here, you'd better be buck-ass nekkid and ready for love."

    If someone were to make a sci-fi/horror movie about my trip to the bathroom, it would have to star somebody large and hard and bald with a big hole in the top of his head who is always followed by two smaller, shadowy friends, and the movie will be called "Boner 2: Return of King Dong." Or maybe "The Res-Erection: Back form the Dead." Yup. He's baaaaack.

    Just walking into her bathroom, smelling the smell created by all the girlie-girl products that are in the room: that's all it took. Once the contacts are out, I pelvic-thrust my way back down the hall to her room where I'm quite sure I will find her in the prenominated state of buck-ass nekidness.

    No dice.

    Lolita is sitting on the floor, Indian-style, fully clothed, playing solitaire.

    "What are you doing?" I ask with more than a hint of menace.

    "A tarot reading."

    I climb into bed, doomed. My only hope is that she gets the all-too-illusive Boner Card.

    I have found the key to heaven, but I cannot find the door.

    I'm not sure how long I doze. Long enough to dream incredibly vivid dreams about various scenarios in strip-clubs, girls' locker rooms, and a weird brothel in Peru in which I seem to have unlimited credit. I wake briefly. She is still on the floor, now painting her toenails. For what it's worth, it's been roughly two hours, and the general is still at attention.

    I'd love to tell you about having the sort of carnal Olympics that fuel The Artist Formerly Known as Prince's lyrics; that we researched the entirety of the Kama Sutra and found it to be embarrassingly sophomoric; that the fleshly pleasures that were indulged that night would make Caligula blush ... so maybe I will. But it won't be true. The awful truth is that I simply drifted off to sleep, alone, and dreamt of Carmen Elektra.

    I wake up in the morning feeling like I'm still dreaming. It feels like it's time to get up, but it is not the alarm clock that has awakened me: it is something much nicer than that.

    It is her. Lolita!

    She (evidently) finally came to bed, got a little sleep and is now in The Mood. "Why now?" I wonder. Doesn't matter. What matters is that she is kissing my neck. But wait. What's this? I should be getting heroically aroused right now, but nothing's happening. I send several synaptic messages south. The only response I get is a tired little voice in my head that says "Can't talk -- coming down" and hangs up. Unbelievable.

    It has fallen and it can't get up.

    Lolita is now chewing on my neck like it is a rawhide dog toy and I suspect she is in no mood to be refused. Having spent the entire previous evening in the state she is in now, I know all too well what she is going through. I panic.

    "Wait ..." I stop her. "... I hafta pee."

    I grab my pants and canter down the hall. Lock the bathroom door behind me. Pee. Think. OK. I run through the instructions in my head. A low-fat snack is simply out of the question. A one hour, even a half-hour digestive period is unthinkable as well: we only have 20 disposable minutes until we're supposed to be commuting. Think. I look at myself in the mirror. The mirror ... Yeah. I pull the bottle of blue diamonds from my pocket and drop a pill onto a mirror lying on the counter. I use the plastic cap from the bottle to crush the pill and pull a credit card from my wallet to shape the powder into a line. A dollar bill quickly becomes a hollow cylinder and I lean over.

    Viagra burns like nothing I've ever snorted in my life. For a moment, with the inside of my head on fire, I curse myself for being an idiot. And it's true: I am an idiot. But guess what? Two minutes later: Hi Ho Silver ... I'm the Bone Ranger. Back down the hall, and for the next 16 minutes, a physical congress occurs that is indeed the stuff of legend. Enough said.

    Thirty-seven minutes later I am on a commuter train, boner still intact, Viagra dripping down the back of my throat. I'm making horrible snorting noises and I smell like sex. Though the train is completely packed, no one sits next to me, which is fine because I need some space to think. On the one hand, I am overjoyed at this medical breakthrough and am thinking about having a big red and blue "S" tattooed on you know what. Maybe get if fitted for a little red cape. On the other hand, I have the new problem of trying to coordinate boner pill intake with the hormonal swings of a girl that still wears Hello Kitty panties. And I didn't have a problem in the first place! Have I become instantly addicted to the Erection of the Gods?


    I remember the hit of ecstasy in my drawer at home. Normally, one hit of X is as useless as nonalcoholic beer. But in this case, it might be exactly what is called for. I call Lolita on her cell phone at school and tell her I've got a "surprise" for us. She says she is excited. Hah ... she doesn't know the meaning of the word. I tell her to be at my place by 8.

    People have asked me about that evening. My landlord has made several inquiries regarding the events of that night, in particular the felonious noise complaints and the damage to the ceiling fan over my bed (apparently those things are not made to rotate while supporting a naked woman: Hey, you live, you learn). My boss has questioned my absence from the office the following several days, and noted the bruises, scratches and teeth marks that were visible even several weeks later. Yes, people have asked me about that night. All I tell them is that if the Olympics wanted real athletic competition, they would do away with that silly decathlon business and institute the Decathahump, an event in which a male participant ingests a Viagra and is locked in a room with a girl crazy on Ecstasy. Whoever can still walk after 10 hours wins.

    The details of that evening are so carnal, so profane, so unspeakably decadent, that I can't even think about them without becoming aroused. Of course, these days, now that I am eating Viagra pills like they are M&Ms, there is not much I can do without becoming aroused. As a matter of fact, I am actually typing this with my penis.

    Suffice it to say this stuff works like a bastard. But if you don't really need it, don't even try it.

    My bill at Temporarily Yours Escort Service is not something I can think about while sober, and my perpetually engorged member has scared even my cats into seeking more peaceful accommodations elsewhere.

    But I guess there are worse problems a guy can have.

  • Jayson Gallaway

    Jayson Gallaway is a writer in San Francisco.

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