Improved Sexual Function (Medication: Viagra, Cialis...)

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While it was once assumed that sexual function and virility naturally declined with age, the sexual capacities of the aging body have more recently been aligned to new performative standards, particularly for men. This article explores the history and contemporary dimensions of this new culture of virility. The first section reviews shifting scientific and cultural narratives of the sex/age problematic. The latter part of the article explores how the robust post-Viagra ‘men's health’ industry has expanded the medicalization of masculinity and male sexuality in later life, particularly via the recuperation of the ‘male menopause’ as ‘androgen deficiency in the aging male’. As the aging male body is opened up to new manifestations of dysfunction and disorder, attention is drawn to emerging understandings of risk, health and surveillance in relation to sexual function.