Bachelors out of luck

Saudi men must show proof of marriage before they can buy Viagra at pharmacies.

By Jack Boulware
Published August 10, 2000 7:38PM (EDT)

There is little hope for the flaccid penises of single men in Saudi Arabia. If you're a swinging bachelor in this Muslim nation, you'd better be able to achieve an erection. If you can't, you're out of luck, because Saudi men cannot purchase Viagra in pharmacies unless they show proof that they are legally married.

Because Islamic law prohibits sex outside marriage, it has always been a bit more difficult for Saudis to obtain the little blue boner pills. In 1999, Riyadh authorized the sale of Viagra on a prescription-only basis, following approval from the mufti, the kingdom's highest religious authority. Tests conducted on Saudi men had concluded that Viagra was 85 percent effective.

This prescription-only system was heaven for hapless bachelors. But now, Viagra will not be available without proof of family status.

"The requirement to show a family registration book in pharmacies for customers wanting to buy Viagra is to be imposed," Health Ministry official Bader Al Badia told the Al-Yaum newspaper. "It's a good way to prevent the medication from being sold to unmarried men."

It's not known if marriages are being arranged in Saudi Arabia for the sole purpose of buying Viagra. A woman could conceivably be paid to marry a man even if he couldn't get it up. But one thing is clear -- Viagra sales over the Internet are sure to rise.

Jack Boulware

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

MORE FROM Jack Boulware

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Love And Sex Middle East Sex