Can Male Performance-Enhancers Give You Mind-Blowing Sex?
Take this Tiger King and call me in the morning
Optimize Me is an Elemental column exploring (and fact-checking) the weirdest self-improvement trends. It comes out every Tuesday.
It’s a fact of life: Everyone wants to be better in the sack. “Male performance-enhancing” supplements promising to boost your “strength, stamina, and endurance” have been around for almost as long as the gas stations they’re sold in (okay, maybe not quite), and there’s a reason Viagra and Cialis are both in the top 20 most prescribed drugs despite only being effective for half of the population. Even common psychiatric medications such as Adderall and antidepressants are being used off-label to try to improve men’s orgasms. Sure, part of it is ego, but many men also genuinely suffer from sexual dysfunction issues, which can seriously impact their quality of life. So if you find yourself drawn toward advertisements for Tiger King, Bull Blood, or Black Rhino pills, here’s what you need to know.
First, not all performance problems are the same, and it’s important to know what you’re dealing with before you go down an Amazon rabbit hole. “A lot of times, if people are not used to the lingo — the concept of libido, the concept of erections, the concept of orgasm — that can be challenging for patients,” says Dr. Matthew Ziegelmann, a urologist at the Mayo Clinic. “It’s not uncommon you see a patient referred in for erectile dysfunction, but actually it’s an orgasm issue. You get a patient referred in for low libido, but actually, they’re really sexually aroused, they just can’t get and maintain an erection.”
47% of sexual enhancement supplements secretly — and illegally — contain Viagra anyway.
To start, let’s talk about the supplements named after aggressive animals and masculinity euphemisms. These are intended to help men maintain an erection; they cannot prolong, speed up, or in any way enhance orgasms. These pills ostensibly work through a similar mechanism as Viagra and Cialis, increasing and sustaining blood flow to the penis. An erection occurs when smooth muscles in the penis relax, which allows blood to pour in…