Whether Viagra Really Works… And The Truth About Spanish Fly & Cheap Sex Supplements

Have you ever tried the little blue pillViagra (aka Sildenafil Citrate) has been hailed as a ‘wonder drug‘ following the completion of its development in 1998 by Pfizer as a cure for sexual impotence. As it’s only available on prescription, many men try out the cheaper, herbal offerings which are readily available from sex shops. A question I’m often asked is, does Viagra really work? And what about Spanish Fly and other cheap sexual supplements?

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?

Look at the ‘bedroom essentials’ area of a typical online sex shop, and amongst the condoms and lube you’ll find these easy to obtain sex enhancers and sexual supplements. Not just orgasm delay sprays, penis hardening creams and vagina tightening gels, but what is colloquially known as ‘herbal Viagra’.

What Is ‘Herbal Viagra’? What Herbal Sexual Supplements Are Available?

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?You might have heard of some of these herbal sexual supplements – they include:

  • Spanish Fly
  • Gold Max
  • VigRX
  • Hard Man
  • JO LMax
  • Blue Zeus
  • V-Pro
  • Solid Gold
  • Viapro
  • Prelox
  • Viagel for Him
  • Ultim8 Blue
  • Zuyosa
  • Muira Puama

…with probably hundreds of others worldwide.

The one immediate difference you’ll notice between real Viagra and the herbal options is obtainability. Viagra is a strictly prescription-only drug; what manufacturers tell you are its herbal counterparts are obtainable by anyone (over the age of consent in your jurisdiction) from plenty of online sex shops. The herbal sexual supplements I’ve found online start at less than £5.

It’s easy to see why many men experiencing erectile dysfunction opt to try out these easy to obtain, cheaply and anonymously available herbal sexual supplements rather than visiting their GP, discussing their symptoms face to face and asking for a prescription for Viagra.

What Does Viagra Do?

Viagra, the clinical drug Sildenafil Citrate, works by increasing blood flow to the penis which keeps it hard enough for the penetrative sex session desired. You can take it up to 4 hours before sex, but it starts to work within 30-60 minutes of taking it. After sex the Viagra-enhanced erection should go away.

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?Viagra is prescribed to those with erectile dysfunction. Perhaps surprisingly, erectile dynsfunction / male impotence is quite a common condition, affecting about half of all men over the age of 40.

Viagra is the first line treatment in its class for erectile dysfunction, compared to other drugs in the same pharmacological class such as Levitra and  Cialis.

Viagra at 50mg or 100mg helped approximately 4 out of 5 men get and keep erections hard enough for sex. 72%, 80%, and 85% of patients on 25 mg, 50 mg, and 100 mg of Viagra (respectively) achieved erections hard enough for sex. This compares with 50% when patients took a placebo.

In addition, those taking Viagra showed an improvement in their ability to get and keep an erection compared to those who took a placebo.

Does Viagra Actually Work? Real-Life Experiences

Despite the medical claims of Viagra-manufacturing pharmaceutical companies, I was interested in real-life experiences. Does Viagra actually work? First, I asked Twitter:

An astounding 71% responded that yes, taking Viagra led to improved penis performance during sex.

Next, I spoke to 3 men who have taken Viagra in the past. Out of the 3, surprisingly, given the poll result above, 2 men said Viagra hadn’t worked for them. The third had a very positive response about the drug. Let’s have a look in more detail.

K’s Experience

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?The first respondent, an anonymous man we’ll call K, obtained Viagra due to being on other medication which interfered with his sex life.

I am currently on a high level dosage of sertraline, the major side effect of this has been an inability to ejaculate through intercourse, when last speaking with a [doctor] it was decided to try [Viagra] as it can often help with stimulation.”

So, did Viagra work for K?

No, I have suffered headaches and no changes to my penile sensitivity.”

Would K recommend Viagra to others, though?

I would if it were merely for erectile disfunction.”

M’s Experience

Secondly, I spoke to an anonymous gent we’ll call M. He heard about Viagra through TV ads, and decided to obtain some from the doctor due to having erectile difficulties.

Did Viagra work for M, and would he recommend it to others?

“It did not. I wouldn’t recommend it only because it didn’t work for me.”

Both K amd M have never taken the herbal sexual supplements obtainable from sex shops and similar. The responses here are interesting considering the very high positive result in my original Twitter poll. Perhaps these two cases are simply rare and I was unfortunate in not being able to secure more details of positive experiences.

N’s Experience

The third person I spoke with was N, author of the popular sex blog, My Dissolute Life. N has had a very positive experience with Viagra in previous years, and more recently with a similar drug, Cialis.

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?You can find N’s experiences with Cialis here at My Dissolute Life.

So what does N have to say about his previous experiences with Viagra? Here’s a snippet from the interview:

Q: What prompted you to get Viagra?

A: I noticed that my erections weren’t quite what I hoped they would be all the time, so I asked my physician to prescribe it.

Q: Did the Viagra work as you expected it to?

A: It worked better than I imagined: it left me feeling ready and able within 20-30 minutes after taking it. It felt great – like I was seventeen again. (And I wasn’t.)

Q: Would you recommend Viagra to others? Why?

A: I would recommend it to anyone. Whether you suffer from ED or not, increasing the blood flow to your (well, to my) cock is just an unabashed good thing. Why wouldn’t you do it, if it has limited to no side effects?

Q: Have you ever taken other, easier to obtain herbal supplements like Spanish Fly et al? What are your thoughts/experiences of those?

A: Nope, and I wouldn’t. I was always taught – and believe to this day – that they’re all placebos.

Thanks to all the respondents, and a special thanks to N from My Dissolute Life for allowing me to quote and link.

How Can You Get Some Viagra?

The respondents to my request for real-life experiences of Viagra all heard about it through TV advertising, especially in the 90s when Viagra was newly developed and launched.

Now, in 2017, I think it’s fair to say that the majority of adults have at least heard of Viagra. But where can you get some if you’re experiencing erectile difficulties?

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?Viagra, the drug which has clear medical research and evidence to support its claims, is only available on prescription. That means you’ll need to make an appointment with your doctor (or suitable prescription provider) in order to obtain a script for Viagra, which will be fulfilled by your pharmacist. Viagra is available in 25mg, 50mg and 100mg tablets.

It’s nicknamed the little blue pill because Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) comes as a diamond-shaped, blue coloured tablet.

How Does Viagra Differ From Herbal Options Like Spanish Fly?

Unlike Viagra, which is pharmaceutical and only available with a prescription, herbal sexual supplements such as Spanish Fly are available from hundreds of outlets online as well as over the counter. Over the sex shop counter, that is.

Although Viagra is a developed pharmaceutical drug with medically supported studies to provide evidence of its efficiency – the efficiency of the stated ingredient, Sildenafil Citrate – herbal sexual supplements can contain… pretty much anything.

Wikipedia says:

There are many different products advertised as herbal viagra, but with varying ingredients. There are no clinical trials or scientific studies that support the effectiveness of any of these ingredients for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and some products are known to also contain a “hidden drug ingredient”.

The last part is particularly worrying. I don’t consent to taking mystery drugs personally – how about you?

Do Herbal Viagra / Sexual Supplements Really Work?

Ok, so herbal sexual supplements could contain pretty much anything (as they’re cleverly labelled ‘dietary supplements’ they can remain unregulated in the USA and the UK), and there’s no medical evidence to back up claims that they improve sexual performance or help with erectile dysfunction.

How about some real-life experiences to back up their claims?

When I asked Twitter whether herbal sexual supplements had worked for them, the overwhelming response was negative.

77% said no, herbal sexual supplements designed to improve penis performance during sex hadn’t worked for them.

How about the female counterparts? They’ve sprung into the ‘sex essentials’ market relatively recently, overall known as the ‘pink pill’ but offering similar marketing spiel as Spanish Fly et al.

The herbal supplements labelled as ‘female libido / sex enhancers’  had an even worse press than penis-oriented herbal supplements. A whopping 90% of poll respondents say that they just didn’t work:

Real Reviews Of Herbal Sexual Supplements

Ok, so the above was simply the results of a couple of Twitter polls I put out. How about some real-life experiences here?

Let’s have a look at the herbal sexual supplements reviews at Cara Sutra. With the help of the fantastic Pleasure Panel team, I have been able to crowd-source real experiences of herbal sexual supplements.

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?I think it’s fair to say that on the whole, the idea that herbal sexual supplements are a placebo is borne out in the review ratings.

Cherry Flavoured Spanish Fly – 1/10

Rose Gold – 2/10

Male Angel – 1/10

Ultimate-X and Ultimate P3 – 3/10

What’s In Your Spanish Fly?

The most shocking review for me personally was for the Cherry Flavoured Spanish Fly. Despite being one of the best-known and bestselling herbal sexual supplements in recent years, an unbiased reviewer confirmed that their bottle had literally nothing sexually stimulating in the ingredients. At all.

What are you buying when you buy Cherry Flavoured Spanish Fly?

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?Water, preservative, colouring, flavouring (for flavoured types).

Yep, that’s it! £6.95 for a small vial of red-coloured, flavoured water. I’m actually aghast at how this can continue to be sold.

Spanish Fly was originally so-called due to the inclusion of cantharidin, which comes from the crushed up remains of Spanish Fly beetles. But as you can see, this modern-day Spanish Fly liquid doesn’t have that ingredient.

You’re literally buying branded water – and not that much of it.

Which Herbal Supplements Could Actually Improve My Sex Life?

Some people claim that, for them, certain herbal extracts do increase blood flow to, and sensitivity in, their sexual regions and that they therefore improve their sex life. Whether these positive effects are purely psychosomatic remains to be irrefutably proven.

Herbs which seem to have the most positive responses include:

  • Ginkgo Biloba – an anticoagulant, boosts blood flow
  • Asian Red Ginseng or Korean Red Ginseng – nervous system booster
  • Epimedium Leaf Extract (Horny Goat Weed) – works in a similar way to the Viagra group of drugs, it’s a phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitor
  • Rhodiola Rosea – said to promote both physical and cognitive energy, with studies into its efficency published by examine.com

Efficacy of the herbs used in sexual supplements continues to be heralded by supplement retailers and disputed by medical professionals. I thought I felt more horny when taking horny goat weed, but apparently this was simply a psychosomatic reaction.

The more you know!

Consider Your Options

You know what else contains useful dietary supplements without the sexual promise or filler ingredients? Vitamin tablets. That’s right, instead of spending your money on goodness knows what in your sex enhancers, or on flavoured/coloured water, why not take a look at the various tailored vitamins available.

I take a Centrum A-Z tablet every day which keeps me feeling energetic and healthy in all areas of life, even if my diet isn’t always perfect.

Before falling for the falsehoods and false economy of herbal sexual supplements, take a look at what it is you actually need. If it’s a little boost in the bedroom, could dietary improvements be made? Are you perhaps missing essential vitamins? Zinc? Folic acid?

Maybe increasing your exercise (out of the bedroom) will help with the blood flow to the right areas, at the right time?

Does Viagra Work? What About Spanish Fly And Cheap Sex Supplements?If all else fails, and you’re suffering from erectile dysfunction or other sexual performance problems, I’d urge you to make an appointment with your doctor or prescription provider. Medicines have been developed, and are available on prescription only, for a reason.

In my opinion, it would be naïve to think that a serious medical condition like erectile dysfunction can be solved with a cheap pack of mystery-powder tablets from a high-street or online sex shop.

 

Unsponsored post
Contains affiliate links

Please share your thoughts!