What if You Took Viagra and Nobody Came?

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To judge by media coverage, Viagra isn’t just for impotent men; it’s the wonder drug for lazy writers in search of pithy metaphors and for late-night comedians in search of cheap laughs. But Viagra isn’t cheap. Not only is it $10 per pill—the drug has been linked to cardiovascular problems. As it turns out, there are many products that can help you achieve an erection—some will even help attract a partner. Many are cheaper; most are safer.—Adam J. Davidson

The Bulge
How it works: The Bulge is a nylon-polypropylene mold of a very large penis designed to be inserted into Speedos or tight jeans. Product co-inventor Storm Jenkins insists it will inspire someone to “take you home and get naked with you.” Your partner’s nudity will cause your erection. Number of erections: 1,000, estimates Jenkins. Cost: $19.95 (2 cents per erection). Possible side effects: Partner’s shocked disappointment. Extra benefit: Makes a great revenge gift to poorly endowed enemies.

Simplified Erection Aid Device
How it works: The plastic device dangles from a belt and wraps around the penis’ base, keeping blood from re-entering the body. “It gives a strong erection, a full erection, a long erection,” says inventor and former Methodist minister Joe Yong. Number of erections: 2,080. “It lasts 10 years,” says Yong. “You can use it four times a week.” Cost: $79.95 (4 cents per erection). Possible side effects: It looks ridiculous. Extra benefit: “It adds a quarter inch to your penis length,” Yong says.

Penile Implant Surgery
How it works: “We open the penis and place two silicone rods, which can inflate and deflate with the touch of a button,” says Greg Bales, assistant professor of urology at the University of Chicago Medical Center. “Sensation is not altered at all.” Number of erections: 2,000. “These are men who are pretty motivated. The average patient is 60 and has sex twice a week,” he says. “They can be active another 20 years.” Cost: “$12,000—lock, stock, and barrel,” Bales says ($6 per erection). Possible side effects: “It hurts like hell for about four weeks,” Bales says. “It’s your dick.” Extra benefits: “You can keep an erection 24 hours a day, if you want.”

Corvette
How it works: “A Corvette is an extension of the penis,” says Paul Somerman, a salesman at Lynch Automotive in Chicago. “Guys go around beeping the horn and, strangely enough, women get in. I had an ’87 Corvette, and I did meet a lot of women.” Once the woman is in the car, erection automatically ensues. For the best effects, Somerman recommends a Corvette convertible with a pewter finish and a black top. Number of erections: 240 over 10 years. “I’d say, on average, guys with Corvettes get two women a month,” says Somerman. Cost: $60,000 ($250 per erection). Possible side effects: “The women you meet are pretty superficial,” says Somerman. Extra benefit: “It’s American made. Much more reliable than a European car.”

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