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I Had a Night of Wild(ish) Sex on Horny Goat Weed, aka ‘Nature’s Viagra’

Does the supplement meet all the gas station and corner store hype? I popped a few capsules and fucked my boyfriend to find out

Male enhancement is more important to the marrow of American culture than anything else that makes this country great — like breastaurants or the Claire’s ear piercing kiosk. For those of you who still fuck unenhanced, the deal is: a number of pills, both prescription and not, have become available to boost your boner in recent decades. The gold standard is still Viagra, famously a happy accident in the manufacture of what was meant to be a pill for hypertension. Another famous option is Enzyte, which I know less for its effects than for its creepy-ass commercials featuring Bob, the guy who can’t stop fucking his wife now that he’s on Enzyte. 

Then there are unlimited Great Value options for people who can’t or won’t get their boner pills from a doctor. Gas stations and corner stores have long sold pills that claim they can do everything from induce boners to increase your dick size to make you look upon the face of God. Such pills have largely been debunked as quack shit that does much more harm than good, but that’s just for people with dicks, right? Surely I, a humble pussy-haver, am safe from the array of troubling side effects ranging from “pain in dick” to “severe nausea.” (There’s not a self-respecting doctor in the world who would agree with that assessment, but fie on them, I say!)

The plant epimedium, more commonly known as horny goat weed, has sung its siren’s song to me from the Amazon supplement market for a long time. Other dick pills may come from Dr. Strangelove-esque laboratories, but horny goat weed is a humble plant — one that, per Chinese legend, a canny farmer noticed his goats were eating before fucking like crazy. According to the limited experiments that scientists have conducted, it might work, but most products that claim to contain it either don’t or contain only a negligible amount mixed in with numerous other extracts and compounds. Still, that uncertainty is the cost of admission not just with horny goat weed, but with all supplements on the market in the U.S. 

Either way, the allure of potentially enjoying some of “nature’s molly” with my boyfriend was too strong to ignore. Sure, it might not work, but also, it might.

I proposed a romantic evening. We’d enjoy a home-cooked dinner for two with a couple glasses of a nice full-bodied Cab Sav. From there, I’d turn off the lights and pour us some after-dinner Madeira to enjoy by candlelight. I would then change into something a little more comfortable. And my lover would take me into his arms so that we could take the last step of our journey together: sex modified by two fistfuls of Dorado’s Maximum Strength Horny Goat Weed capsules, since that was the first brand I could find that didn’t pull up a strongly worded FDA warning when I Googled it.

My boyfriend was on board, but raised an interesting philosophical question: “How do we know it worked? Do we measure?”

I’m not the, ugh, dick-measuring kind of gal, and so, I decided that we’d have to stick with that least reliable of evidence: the self-reported kind. So without further ado, here are my self-reported, only-lightly-tampered-with results from my Evening With Horny Goat Weed… (As with all the experiments I perform on my body for MEL, don’t try this at home.)

The dosage instructions on the bottle were to “take two capsules a day,” and to “take an additional serving 30 minutes prior to activity.” We hadn’t been taking two capsules per day and didn’t know what a sudden jolt of 2,000 milligrams of horny goat weed would do to our systems, so we compromised with three capsules each. I thought it would be romantic to serve the capsules in champagne flutes, but then I remembered I don’t own any. I put them in shot glasses instead, which lent the project an air of, how shall I put it — Jonestown-ishness.

We took our doses together at 8 p.m. My boyfriend rejected the suggestion that we ingest them by wrapping our arms around each other wedding-toast-style, which was fair. He grabbed a beer from the fridge but then put it back, reasoning that “I shouldn’t drink tonight so that we have controlled data.”

“Does that mean I shouldn’t smoke weed tonight?” I asked.

“No,” he said. “You smoking weed is the controlled data.”

We spent the next several episodes of Midnight Mass in full “kids taking acid for the first time” mode: “Do you feel it yet? Do you feel it now? How about now?” Back and forth we went for well over an hour. The instruction to take this stuff a mere 30 minutes prior to Activity was starting to feel like a prank. I did note that I felt particularly horny for the sheriff character on Midnight Mass every time he appeared onscreen, which was an encouraging step in the right direction, until my boyfriend pointed out that I probably just felt that way because he was so handsome.

Finally, at 9:30 p.m., a full 90 minutes after “dosing,” my boyfriend suggested that we go ahead and fuck. “Maybe the horny goat weed doesn’t kick in until the Activity starts,” he said. This sounded insane to me, but I also know nothing whatsoever about pharmacology, so I agreed.

The post-Activity verdict is that I’m not convinced the horny goat weed did anything. But I’m also not convinced that it didn’t! I engage in this stuff with a hearty degree of skepticism. On the one hand, I do believe in the research that tells us most of the salutary effects people claim to experience from their supplements are primarily attributable to the placebo effect, maybe with some lifestyle boosters thrown in if you also believe that the sorts of people who religiously take supplements are more likely than the average person to exercise regularly and forswear heavy smoking and drinking. (I certainly believe this latter hypothesis, based on my highly scientific study of the B-complex-poppin’ broads in a barre class I took once.)

On the other hand, something was going on with the Activity we had after taking horny goat weed. What the experiment lacked in measurable physical effects, it more than made up for in over an hour of wild sex. Maybe the sex was so heightened because we knew we’d taken something that was intended to enhance it, and felt duly enhanced as a result. Or maybe there really is some magic in that old silk hat that is horny goat weed. It’s played its part in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Would people really do the same thing for thousands of years if it didn’t work? 

Well, yes, probably, so that line of thinking doesn’t help me conclude this experiment, either.

Nonetheless, the next day, my boyfriend said, “You know, I’d be down to take that stuff again and have more sex.” I agreed. And surely any experiment that ends in me having more sex is a successful experiment, right? 

So my conclusion is, horny goat weed: The world is burning, so I guess I might as well. 

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