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I was writing moody short stories and living in a tiny house with six girls by the river in Exeter. She (let’s call her F) was living in the uni’s second fanciest halls and working on her Harry Potter Society presidency campaign. It was a classic love story.
We’d been seeing each other for a couple of weeks before we found ourselves on a group date at the SU bar. I soon struck up a conversation with a shifty man sporting a patchy beard.
It wasn’t long before he steered the conversation to a favourite topic of his. “First of all, it’s not Viagra,” he said. It wasn’t the most reassuring line I’d heard, but I was intrigued.
He offered me a small white pill. “They’ll change your life,” he said, describing them mysteriously as ‘herbal male enhancers’.
I thanked him and took the pill on the spot. Back in the spray-on-skinny jeans era, this was not a wise move.
The friends ducked out around midnight, leaving me and F to go clubbing alone. I handed in my coat, a blue corduroy number, at the door – but in my alcohol-fuelled state, I placed the ticket inside the coat. We would never meet again.
The ‘not-Viagra’ I had taken was starting to take hold.
Visually, the pills had done their job, but they came with a pins-and-needles sensation that didn’t help the mood. I was understandably alarmed at this, and ran to the loos to inspect at regular interviews. You can imagine the looks this got, pulling out a raging boner in the urinals of an SU nightclub at 20-minute intervals. I didn’t tell F what I’d taken, but she might have hazarded a guess from my trying to dance with crossed legs.
After about an hour, F and I bailed on the club and found ourselves in my room.
It was about two hours after the pill’s consumption when we finally attempted some unenthusiastic missionary. We gave up swiftly and went to bed. I would give more details, but thankfully my memories of this ordeal are fuzzy.
Next thing I knew, I woke up at 6am in a cold sweat. I was shivering and still, miraculously, rock hard. F woke up, asked if I was okay (her tone more of repulsion than concern) kissed me on the forehead and went home.
At that point I realised I’d made some bad decisions. I have not taken anything stronger than ibuprofen since, and the blue coat still haunts my dreams.
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