Beware Viagra's Possible Love Side Effects!

And now, an article for the men. Dang!—it turns out Viagra has a sneaky side effect of making you feel love and not just arousal whenever you take it. In lab studies, it increases the amount of oxytocin in rats, which is a hormone associated with “feelings of love,” including nursing and childbirth as well as sexual pleasure. (This should not be confused with the drug OxyContin, which does something else entirely, and which tends to be widely abused by lab rats in the midwest.)

What’s the point of chemically induced party sex if it’s just gonna lead to willful monogamy? And if it turns out to have the same effect in humans, can Pfizer be found legally responsible for failed marriages that were initiated by drug-induced false love? Are these even scientifically literate questions? No, they are not. On a more serious note, however, it may indicate that drugs like Viagra could be used for other purposes—the article suggests “to promote social bonding,” but that sounds eerily like one of those sci-fi movies where the water supply has been laced with tranquilizers to make us all docile. (Aroused, but docile.)

We can’t tell if Professor Meyer Jackson, who led the study, was being sarcastic or not when he gave the following quote: “I hope that this doesn’t cause some wild orgy of inappropriate recreational use.”

“Viagra boosts feel-good ‘love’ hormone: study” [Reuters via Slate]

(Photo: Getty)

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  1. bigTrue says:

    I love the fact you use a picture of what appears to be a Viagra colored Ecstasy tablet as the picture.

    Some of us who spent way too many nights in huge legged jeans and plastic bracelets know all too well the side effects of ‘love’ those pills caused.

  2. the article suggests “to promote social bonding,” but that sounds eerily like one of those sci-fi movies where the water supply has been laced with tranquilizers to make us all docile.

    Then the 0.5% who have the opposite reaction become insanely violent cannibals and…no wait, that’s a movie.

    Maybe they were thinking more along the lines of therapy for people with serious emotional and mental problems.

  3. rmz says:

    And if it turns out to have the same effect in humans, can Pfizer be found legally responsible for failed marriages that were initiated by drug-induced false love?

    I smell more frivolous lawsuits!

  4. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    Oxytocin is the chemical that causes muscle contractions for ejaculation in men. If there were a link between this biochemical and “falling in love”, every man on the planet would fall instantly in love with anyone after they just had an orgasm. Usually for most men, that’s what they have to say to get the women into bed in the first place.
    The only thing that is worse than bad science is bad journalism hyping up bad scientists.

  5. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    Pardon me, I meant to say, “that every man on the planet would instantly correlate to falling in love with anyone…”

  6. Cogito Ergo Bibo says:

    …it may indicate that drugs like Viagra could be used for other purposes-the article suggests “to promote social bonding,”

    Because nothing says “I’d like to socially bond with you” like a huge, inappropriate boner.

  7. kimsama says:

    @mrsultana: Did you read the article? It doesn’t say that oxytocin makes people “fall in love,” it says:

    “This hormone is involved in nursing and childbirth but also in orgasm and feelings of sexual pleasure.”

    Also, there’s boatloads of journal articles over many years on how oxytocin is involved in pair bonding, socializing, inhibition of fear, love, and trust (in good peer-reviewed stuff like Journal of Neuroscience, Nature, Biological Psychology, etc).

    Oxytocin does a lot more than aid in sperm transport: it’s involved in lactation, maternal behavior, and social processes, etc.

    But I do agree with you that people who assume that Viagra will make men fall in love are wrong! But it’s not bad science to claim it boosts “feel-good ‘love’ hormone,” since it’s quite definitely involved in the act of making love ^_^

  8. Trackback says:

    Ed Koch’s movie reviews are the sauce on the steak platter that is your life. If you did not know, he is the former mayor of New York. He supported Bush, I think twice. He’s still a Democrat, I think. This is his spectacular review of the movie Superbad. He posts his reviews a lot.

  9. andrewsmash says:

    Well, seeing how a lack of sex can kill a relationship, it makes sense that its presence could lead to a deepening of one.

  10. wring says:

    It’s about time men started associating good sex with love!

  11. jerseyjokeboy says:

    viagra has a love effect? that renders it totally useless!