From what I understand, there is no problem using Erectile Dysfunction medications for ED. I am wondering if there is anything problematic about using a drug like Viagra for the purpose of extending cohabitation for pleasure (of either party).

Possible issues that come to mind are kishuy lada'as (intentionally arousing one's self) or overindulging in sexual matters, although I confess to not really know enough about the parameters of either topic. I also don't know very much about how ED drugs work.

On-point sources would be most appreciated.

  • "Recreational" use? Was a doctor consulted on whether this is okay health-wise? Was the prescription/medication obtained legally? – Shalom Dec 11 '17 at 8:07
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    @Shalom I don't know if you are referring to a specific event. Questions asking for answers to specific situations should not be asked on this site. I am asking a general question about the halachic permissibility of use. For an actual real-life case, your questions seem important, but they aren't my question. – jim Dec 11 '17 at 18:55
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    "kishuy lada'as"? If that were prohibited even for the purpose of sex, then wouldn't all sex be forbidden? – mevaqesh Dec 11 '17 at 19:35
  • @mevaqesh I readily admit that I don't know much about it, but in my ignorance I'm entertaining the possibility that intentionally having kishuy which is not intended for being mazria is prohibited, or that intentionally having kishuy which extends to after tashmish (I think Viagra causes kishuy for quite a while) is prohibited. – jim Dec 11 '17 at 20:26
  • which is not intended for being mazria that's the critical line. Consider editing it in (although perhaps it was obvious from context). – mevaqesh Dec 11 '17 at 23:47

First and foremost, there are two people in a relationship; we're assuming both are okay with this.

Any time someone mentions "recreational use" of a prescription medication, the critical questions are whether there are any health concerns, and whether it's legal to use and obtain in such a fashion.

"Kishuy l'daas" -- if primarily in a marital context, probably not an issue; Rabbi Moshe Feinstein has a responsum where someone was concerned about this when hugging/kissing his wife, he said that's not a problem. (Assuming it goes no further than "kishui.")

Broader context of "is too much marital indulgence a bad thing" -- lots of different philosophical views on this one. The late Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein zt'l addresses it in a Tradition piece entitled: "Of Marriage: Relationship and Relations." In short, there are many ascetic voices starting in the medieval period, but Rabbi Lichteinstein cautiously argues that the voices of the Talmud itself have a more positive attitude to marital relations. (With the caveat that Torah scholars still have enough time and attention dedicated to Torah study.) People like to point to Ramban's comment on be holy (start of Parshas Kedoshim), that includes not indulging oneself in everything that's technically allowed; but if you look carefully at his examples of someone who "keeps the letter of the law but is a disgusting person" [naval birshus haTorah], he's talking about someone who is marrying with only one thing in mind.

  • Maybe I am missing something, but everything except your third paragraph seems irrelevant to my question, and the third paragraph seems to be a vague and loose comparison. – jim Feb 22 '18 at 22:36

I would like to present a more Hassidic approach, instead of minimizing "Sur meRah" to increase "Ase Tov":

Things are not good or bad by themselves but in certain context. Having pleasure is not a sin by itself, it is a subject to own intention. Many rulings in Torah and Gemmora and Meforshim obligate us to turn all our thought and intentions to Hashem's work (I.e last Rashi on Eccl. "מה שתוכל עשה ולבך לשמים").

As long as your intention is to use it for "holy" purposes of Mitzvos, like pleasuring your wife and increase Shalom Bait, or extend your fatigue so you can learn Torah better in the rest of the day, or whatever else, it would be allowed and recommended.

Once you fail finding righteous intentions for that and sink in lust, you override numerous moral rulings as "קדושים תהיו", "קדש את עצמך במותר לך", probably hurting your wife ("לא תאנו") and more.

  • This would be a very nice post, if there was no such thing as halakha. Given that there is such a thing as halakha, the question is whether halakha has anything to say about the topic. If not, it is a dvar hareshut, in which case this post is relevant. The question is, though, whether or not halakha has anything to say about it. This post does nothing to address that. – mevaqesh Dec 11 '17 at 19:34
  • I think it adds a lot of alternative outlook on the question. Most people focus on "סור מרע" and if it is not explicitly forbidden they will sink in it. I try to offer a way of going further and wight additional considerations, like intentions. – Al Berko Dec 11 '17 at 19:39
  • Most people focus on "סור מרע" and if it is not explicitly forbidden they will sink in it. But who says it isn't explicitly forbidden. That's the OP's question, and it remains just as much a question after your post, which is why AFAICT, this is not an answer. – mevaqesh Dec 11 '17 at 23:48
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    I think if you're a hammer you see everybody else as nails. As you're Halakha-minded you see it in in every question. The guy asked "Possible issues" I gave him possible issues. The guy is not familiar with this approach - fine, you're not familiar - also fine, but why saying this is not an answer? – Al Berko Dec 12 '17 at 0:06
  • You are incorrect. I am not saying the question is limited to halakha. But the first step to addressing propriety, is determining if it is permitted or prohibited. Only then can you state that "As long as your intention is to use it for "holy" purposes... it would be allowed and recommended." This is predicates on the assumption that it is permitted. (Unless you are such an antinomian that you think that averot are ok when done for good purposes). And that, is precisely why this is not an answer. – mevaqesh Dec 12 '17 at 0:10

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