Americans are obsessed with sex. Racy innuendos sell everything from soap to cars. Now the ads are practically selling sex itself. Turn on the evening news and you are likely to see a commercial featuring a drug to treat erectile dysfunction. Viagra ads showed a man with devil horns urging viewers to “get back to mischief.”
A Levitra commercial stars a babe who smiles provocatively while bragging coyly about her secret: ” My man takes Levitra. Let’s just say he notices a difference in the experience, like a we-should-do-this-more-often difference.Just look at that smile!”
A Cialis ad takes advantage of the long-acting nature of this drug by asking: “If a relaxing moment turns into the right moment, will you be ready?”
The trouble is, Americans have too few relaxing moments. Sex has become an elusive fantasy for millions who don’t have the time or the energy to actually make love.
A new survey by the National Sleep Foundation reports that fewer than half of Americans are getting enough sleep. Nearly 25 percent of couples report that their sexual relationship suffers because they are just too tired.
It’s little wonder, if you look at our busy American lifestyle. Every moment of the day seems taken up with work or family responsibilities, carting the kids to sports events or music lessons, attending PTA meetings or undertaking other civic duties.
Add in email, television and hobbies, and most people are exhausted by the time they fall into bed. This is hardly the best condition in which to pursue romance. Then in the morning the alarm goes off too early and the race begins all over again.
Another often-overlooked factor that may interfere with sleep or sex is medication. Many people taking antidepressants do not realize that drugs such as Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft could cause both insomnia and sexual difficulties. Studies have found that from 30 to 60 percent of patients on such medications experience sexual problems such as lowered libido or inability to achieve orgasm.
Certain blood pressure medications can also interfere with sexual ability or with sleep. Many men may not realize that their erectile dysfunction could be traced to a prescription.
Many people feel embarrassed about discussing intimate details with their doctors. But physicians cannot read minds. If someone gradually loses interest in sex or has problems with arousal or enjoyment, the doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine less likely to produce such complications.
To help with that discussion, we offer our Guides to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep and Treating Sexual Dysfunction. Anyone who would like copies, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (60 cents), self-addressed envelope: Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. IP-793, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.
Sometimes it seems as if we are surrounded by sexual messages, but lack the time to nurture our love lives. It’s like the old mariner’s lament, “water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.”
Perhaps we need to give romance–and sleep–higher priority in our hectic schedules. That way there will be more opportunity for relaxing moments that turn into the right moment.

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