British Man Hospitalized with Life-Threatening Priapism

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday August 15, 2019

A British sex writer living in Berlin found himself in the hospital after combining Viagra and another ED medication, which interacted with his HIV meds to produce an erection that has persisted for weeks - and might leave him unable to attain a natural erection or have sex in the future, according to multiple media reports.

Danny Polaris had gone to a club on the evening of July 26 where he met a man he had variously described in social media posts as a "nurse" and a "medical professional." The man took him home and offered to inject Danny's penis with a drug used for erectile dysfunction.

The reaction Polaris suffered produced an erection so persistent that despite efforts to drain the blood from his penis using large-bore needles, diverting blood from his penis, and surgical procedures, the condition - known in medical language as priapism - had not resolved after two weeks, Newshub reported. Polaris has been in the hospital for much of that time, and, reports said, he may have the face the prospect of having his penis amputated.

Even if Polaris' condition resolves without such drastic measures, however, he might still face a lifetime of impaired sexual ability. Such sustained erections can damage the penis, leading to long-term or permanent dysfunction. The Mayo Clinic's website notes:

Ischemic priapism can cause serious complications. The blood trapped in the penis is deprived of oxygen. When an erection lasts for too long, this oxygen-poor blood can begin to damage or destroy tissues in the penis. As a result, untreated priapism can cause erectile dysfunction.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Polaris and notes that the condition is extremely painful - to the point that Polaris sometimes has "blacked out / fallen unconscious, even with strong pain relief." Text at the page also characterizes Polaris' condition as potentially life-threatening, which media reports indicate is not an exaggeration: His doctors have expressed concern that blood clots could form in his penis and then travel to other, vulnerable parts of his body via his circulatory system. Such a blood clot is called a thrombosis, and can endanger life if it moves to a person's lungs, heart, or brain.

Polaris has said in his social media posts that he wants to shed light on the dangerous condition, reported the Vancouver Sun. "I'm happy I've been able to shine a light on the taboo subject of Priapisms and I hope that lots of you will now be able to avoid the agonizingly painful and psychologically traumatic times I've had to go through these past few weeks," he told his Instagram followers.

But he also has spoken about the financial and physical effects that the medical crisis could have on his life.

"I don't know how much it's going to cost to get my penis working how it used to be working," Newshub reported him as saying. "Sex is very important to me. I'm a sex writer, I write erotica and edit erotica. I need all the help I can get."

Not everyone who left comments at Polaris' Instagram account offered supportive messages.

"How u can ask for money for something what u did yourself... You are so so stupid and you not deserve money help!" one person castigated hm.

"Ultimate me me me millennial story of the week," another posted.

But Polaris also received sympathetic messages from well-wishers who shared their own stories about experiences with priapism and offered advice and solace.

An update Polaris made at Instagram on August 14 reported that he was doing somewhat better.

"It's STILL erect, but much softer than it was," Polaris posted.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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