hindsight

Man who injected his penis with Viagra calls it “one of the worst decisions of my life”

Danny Harrop-Griffiths in a hospital bed

Last August, Danny Polaris checked into the hospital because of a painful, never-ending, three-week erection. Now, in a new essay published by Vice, he’s looking back on the horrifying ordeal that nearly left him penis-less.

Quick backstory: After popping two Viagra before going to the club last summer, the Berlin-based performance artist met a guy, who took him back to his place and gave him a mysterious “erection-enhancing injection” in his penis.

“It was one of the worst decisions of my life,” Polaris writes today.

He ended up developing priapism, which the American Urological Association classifies as a relatively uncommon disorder but one that can be unpredictable and is considered a medical emergency.

“I should have gone to hospital after four hours of my erection not going down,” he recalls. “I really should have gone to hospital after eight hours of my erection not going down. Instead, I waited over 30 hours, due to a mixture of bad advice and not wanting to miss Berlin’s Pride celebrations. I had no idea how serious it was.”

After several weeks in the hospital, Polaris was eventually released, but his recovery was far from hour.

“Not being able to use my dick for the next three months certainly made me look at myself as a human being,” he says. “I think it’s made me kinder, more patient and more resilient, too.”

Among the many lessons Polaris learned from his ordeal, one of the most important was that sex isn’t everything and size doesn’t matter.

“Not being able to use my dick for three months made me feel depressed and kind of lost,” he writes. “I realized that the identity I’d built for myself as a gay/queer man was largely based on my expertise as a top. When, suddenly, I could no longer f*ck, I felt as though I’d lost a chunk of me.”

Sounds devastating.

He continues, “But due to the effects of my injury, I started meeting guys who’d say, “I don’t care if we fuck or not; I like you anyway. Meeting a different type of guy in a different context opened up a different side of myself that I wasn’t used to seeing.”

“Anyone who’s ever been blocked on Grindr after sending a dick pic should realize it says more about them than it ever could about you.”

He also says it taught him how to prioritize his friends over his paramours.

“While recuperating, the masses of time I’d usually spend looking for sex was suddenly freed up,” he writes. “So instead, I focused on building closer relationships with my friends.”

“Before, I’d often cancel time with friends in favor of a hook-up. The chance to get laid is often seen as a higher priority, but that’s obviously fucked up. I’m no saint and never will be, but now things are at least a bit more balanced.”

Finally, Polaris says, he’s learned that “there is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

In addition to almost losing his penis, Polaris says he lost his job the day he was released from the hospital. And two weeks after that, his boyfriend dumped him.

“After six months without work, I’m in debt, but I’m thinking of 100 ways to pay it off,” he says. “I can’t spontaneously have sex anymore–ironically, I need to take Viagra first–but I’m getting stronger each day.”

He says there is a new electric shock treatment that may help his penis recover from the trauma he put it through. He can’t afford it right now, but he hopes to save up enough money to have it done eventually.

“I’m not giving up,” he writes. “I’ll find a way to get the electric shock treatment I need. If you stay positive, there’s always a path out of the darkness.”

Related: GoFundMe page launched to cover hospital expenses for man’s never-ending Viagra nightmare