Viagra rave

Impotence drug popular with Canadian club crowd.

Published May 30, 2000 6:30PM (EDT)

A year after the Pfizer pharmaceutical company introduced Viagra into Canada, sales have grown to more than $1 billion. Any way you view it, that's a lot of erections. According to recent news reports, a healthy percentage of these chemical-induced stiffies are bobbing about the dance floors of rave parties.

Calgary, Alberta, police drug squads are discovering more and more Viagra among their busts, says Detective Steve Walton. "Calgary seems to copycat the Toronto culture and I expect there to be a surge of the drug here over the summer."

What the kids in funny clothing are doing, apparently, is first taking Ecstasy, aka the "hug drug," which increases the desire to touch and be touched, and then adding the Viagra to increase sexual desire. Throw some music into this recipe, and you can dance and screw until dawn.

Of course Pfizer doesn't suggest you do this with their product, but Canadian kids aren't listening. Especially when Toronto is considered the rave capital of North America.

"Viagra is not an aphrodisiac and has no effect on the libido," insisted Don Sancton, director of corporate affairs for Pfizer Canada. "It should only be used by people with erectile dysfunction and treated with all the respect given a prescription drug."

But who wants to listen to warnings when you're young and flush with hormonal secretions, hopping about with other people your age, as drumbeats rattle your internal organs? (The Calgary Herald reports that Viagra is also gaining popularity in British rave clubs.)

Canadian authorites can do little to stop kids from ordering Viagra online, because the little blue pills come from outside the country.

But if rave kids don't ingest Viagra with any other drugs, it should be fine, says Dr. Jack Barkin, chief urologist at Toronto's Humber River Regional Hospital, and a consultant for Pfizer. "Otherwise there's a 15 percent chance the person will experience headaches, 10 percent chance they'll experience facial flushing, 5 percent chance they'll have an upset stomach and a 3 percent chance they'll experience red-green color disturbance (an inability to differentiate the two colors)," said the physician.

Of course, mixed-up colors might be just what horny raver kids are into.

By Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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