Is 'sex' making young men anxious?

Posted by Nick Dutton - Internet Producer

(CBS) -- Are the more demanding, powerful modern women out of the "Sex and the City" playbook so intimidating and threatening that a growing number of younger men are using Viagra and similar medications to help them cope?

Many therapists say it's happening -- more and more men aged 18-30 using "the little blue pill" and other drugs of its ilk to deal with performance anxiety stemming from the nature of the women they're dating.

The men say today's empowered women are very vocal about what they want in terms of intimacy, creating pressure that's leading to problems in the boudoir.

And, the therapists report, the overexposure of perfectly-proportioned and functioning male models in advertising, Web porn and elsewhere, which can create unrealistic fantasies, isn't helping any, either -- making men feel even more insecure.

"Absolutely," one young women on a Manhattan street told CBS News, "I think women know what they want, and are able to really speak their minds. And it's a fabulous thing!"

"Definitely," said another. "Girls do talk about their sexual lives and what they want in relationships more and more."

And a young man observed that, "There's more pressure on it these days."

On The Early Show Wednesday, sex therapist, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, author of "Generation Sex," told co-anchor Harry Smith, "Guys are threatened. They're threatened. They can't take the powerful woman. ... They want the woman who is powerful, but they're threatened by her."

But relationship expert Steve Santagati, author of "The Manual," was having none of it. "Any guy who's gonna be intimidated by a strong woman -- she's not gonna be interested in, anyways," he said. ... "The characters in 'Sex and the City' -- the average guy does not look at these women as powerful. We look at powerful women as the doctors, the lawyers, the writers -- that kind of woman. These women are just high-maintenance, that's all. Men are not emasculated by strong women if they're a real man in the first place."

His advice? "Don't medicate if you're under 80!"

CBS News

contributed this report.