They put the fun in dysfunction

The marketing of ED meds

Images of old men with erections have been a tough sell for those endorsing erectile dysfunction meds

Images of old men with erections have been a tough sell for those endorsing erectile dysfunction meds

They have impossible names like Adolfo Snow, Socorro Cahill and Waukiesha Hightower, and through some apparent UN-backed micro-loan program, a whole invasive battalion of them sit on the dusty floor of some sweatshop in Biafra sending out thousands of e-mail spam from a coal-powered PC, hawking no-prescription Viagra, Cialis and Levitra with the precision English of people who learned the language using an antique thesaurus and watching poorly translated episodes of What’s Happening!!

Boner medicine. It’s a three-way race that—let’s be honest—no paid endorser really wanted to win. Or at least be associated with the winning team. Or worse—the losers. After a trial period of rubbery tumescence, no major league sport wanted a part of it, either. When the American public finally chorused a loud enough, “STOP SHOWERING US WITH MENTAL IMAGES OF GRANDPA CORNHOLING GRANDMA ALREADY!” they finally relented.

It pretty much started with Bob Dole. War hero? Yes. Great man? Whatever. But who short of madness wanted to think about the pen-clutching 100-year-old presidential nominee turning into John Holmes after taking “the little blue pill” and mounting poor Liddy with his cold, naked, hairy grossness for a four-hour nooner. Luckily for her, she worked for the Red Cross.

After some overly-suggestive, frisky baby-boomers in mock turtlenecks started making suggestive nods on the front lawn, and the couple throwing a football together began playing grabass as they hurried inside and closed the blinds, Viagra (25, 50, 100 mg) went to major league baseball and gathered pitchman and accused-juicer Rafael Palmeiro and a souped-up NASCAR Ford Taurus. With Palmeiro testifying to Congress and hired-ham Mark Martin wearing a jumpsuit with the VIAGRA logo splayed all over it and driving around the track in endless circles every weekend much to the disgust of, well, everyone, Viagra put the brake on that campaign.

Levitra (2.5, 5, 10 and 20 mg) went NFL and hired man’s man Mike Ditka in tie and sweater to rally men to “(1) talk to their doctor; (2) ask about Levitra; and (3) see if a free trial is right for them.” Good game plan, Coach. “For me, Levitra works fast, is reliable and improves my erection quality.” Shut up already, Mike! Nobody wants to hear about your erections! It was frightening, as though Mike was threatening to step into the shower with you some morning, grab your junk in his callused paw and send you to some penis doctor with a hall pass. Sickened and (hopefully) mortally ashamed of itself, the NFL soon dropped the subject entirely.

Teardrop-shaped Cialis (5, 10, 20 mg) dubbed “le weekender” by ummm, the makers of Cialis, thought virile PGA stars like Davis Love III or Vijay Singh might win the Cialis Western Open and encourage wealthy golf fans to plan time off at home with a script for Cialis and their better, more vaginal half. Of course, since most men play golf precisely to get away from home, the thought of spending 48 hours with the wife as opposed to two days on the links just didn’t compare. The Cialis-sponsored tournament was soon replaced by the BMW Open, a much less nearsighted euphemism for an erect member.

In the $1 billion erectile dysfunction business, men risk chest pain, nausea and sudden vision loss to achieve erections that nobody, their spouses included, probably want anything to do with, just to prove they still have It. Whatever It is. It should be relegated to the spam box of American culture. Which is where It belongs. When I lose It, that will be It. So be It.

I don’t mind deleting a few thousand e-mails a week promising cheap ED meds from Makayla Beejuice or France Weatherwax. Better them than Senator Dole.

Ladies and gentlemen, our long American priapism is finally over.