ASWITH THE PILL, VIAGRA HAS USHERED IN BLESSINGS AND CURSES
When Viagra was discovered more than 20 years ago, it was hailed as a ‘wonder drug’ that was going to revolutionise sex, much like the birth control pill did in the 1960s. The unexpected discovery that this little blue pill could help men get and keep erections meant that their sex lives wouldn’t be as impacted by age as they were previously. This sounds like great news, right? And for many men it was. But while doctors, psychologists and marriage counsellors extolled its virtues, little thought was given to women and how it would affect their lives – something which hasn’t changed much in the intervening decades. On page 30, we talk to a range of women who have been hugely impacted by the drug. From a woman whose husband didn’t tell her he was taking the drug so she thought their improved lovemaking was due to him being more turned on by her, to a woman who, post-menopause, was happy her marital sex life had slowed down and now felt pressured by her husband to want to engage in sex a lot more. There are a wide range of stories that prove that, yes, it is a wonderful invention but, like any drug, it needs to be managed. And if a man is in a relationship, he must include his significant other in any decision about taking Viagra, after all it is something which will affect her just as much. As with the birth control pill, its has ushered in blessings and curses in equal measure – and I think many of you will identify with some of our stories. I think the world was shocked recently when our cover star Mel B alleged in her memoir Brutally Honest that she had been subjected to years of abuse and controlling behaviour during her marriage to Stephen Belafonte. The saddest part of this whole tale is that the Spice Girl spent so many years trying to hide her misery from her children but as you’ll read in their story on
page 20, Phoenix was very aware that something was wrong in the marriage. She reveals that she had to carry the weight during her teen years. It’s a tragic read, but one that shows the resilience of them both. It’s also a stark reminder that if Mel B – Scary Spice, the personification of ‘girl power’ – can be scared in her own home, then it’s the ultimate proof that abusive relationships can happen to anyone. Our thanks go to Women’s Aid as a thank you to them for the important work that they do for so many women and children. Enjoy the issue.