By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Am I crazy, or is there something a little 1984- and Brave New World--ish about insurance companies making policy about whether or not they'll pay for pills to improve guys' sex lives?
Think about it: Prescription plans often cover birth control pills, Medicaid pays for condoms, and now insurance companies (many don't cover fertility treatments) are arguing about who should and should not get their libidos lifted for free (or at least at a co-pay discount). Hard as it is to comprehend, the stodgy insurance companies are happier paying for recreational sex than for procreational sex. Of course, this arrangement has worked pretty well for guys since the beginning of time--youdidn't see Charlie Sheen paying a Heidi hooker to mother his child, did you?
Not that covering the cost of great sex via Viagra is a bad thing. But what about us women? Isn't a garter belt, or some great-looking nightie, as important to our sexual happiness as Viagra is to that old coot over there?--that's right, the one ogling your daughter.
I mean, we aren't buying, and wearing, these tiny bits of see-through fabric so we can get a more comfy night's sleep. All that's required for that activity is nothing, or at most a nice pair of old flannel pj's. You can't really sleep well in a negligee so thin it rips when you snore.
Is it too much to ask that we get reimbursed for our Victoria's Secret purchases? I'm not even saying LaPerla--I'm willing to go down-market.
Who knew--besides Pfizer--that what with Bill Clinton running wild in the streets, so many men were weak in the knees? Did the president get all the sex drive, and leave none for the other guys? Sure. It's good to be king.
Considering that sexual harassment complaints are popping up faster than new Starbucks, I assumed that the last thing weneeded was to be passing pills like these around. And I was wrong.
At up to $16 a pill, Viagra ain't cheap. Insurance companies will probably settle on paying for six pills a month for men with medically induced impotency. So does that mean only rich old guys will be able to afford to screw around? Yes, but it's always been that way. There's nothing new about rich guys having sex well into old-goatdom. Rich is just the old-fashioned Viagra.
And despite the supposed worries about the pill causing husbands to cheat, I really don't think that's every wife's biggest fear. Ask any wife of 40 years. She'll tell you--just when she thought it was safe to go back in the water, here comes old Walter again, all hopped up and sporting an ascot.
The only drawback, supposedly, to the pop-up pill is that men need to take it an hour before sex. Now, how many men do you know who are going to spend an hour pleasing you before the big moment? Viagra should come with a remote control that shuts off the TV 55 minutes after love potion number nine is ingested. And a warning label: Do not use this medication during NBA Playoff Season, or when under the influence of Monica Lewinsky.
Of course, the jokes will be endless. But, in real life, is it really OK to let an insurance company decide whether we'll have sex, or have kids, and how many? Clearly, Big Brother won't pay for anything that's going to cost him big down the line. We know that when insurance companies pay for birth control pills and condoms, it saves them mucho dinero--on pregnancy costs, on pediatricians' fees, on German measles shots.
I just can't figure out why they want to be in the business of improving our sex lives. I'm scared.