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A PILOT STUDY OF THE BLAKOE ENERGISER RING'S EFFICIENCY IN SECONDARY IMPOTENCE

Materials and methods

The study population consisted of thirty males who attended a psychiatric outpatient clinic complaining of 'secondary' impotence (previously sexually competent).


At the time of referral the mean age of the subjects was 35.5 years (S.D. 8.2 years) and the mean duration of impotence was 5.25 years (S.D. 4.4 years). 25 of the subjects had previously undergone various treatments including psychotherapy and male hormones, without significant improvement. At the time of entering the trial none of the patients had received therapy in the preceding six months. The trial, an open pilot study, was set up as follows, each patient acting as his own control:

a. A 'run in' appliance-free period of four weeks (to establish stable line conditions and data)
b. Four weeks wearing the Blakoe Energiser Ring
c. Four weeks follow-up period

The 3 phases ran consecutively.

At the initial examination each patient was measured, so that correctly sized rings could be manufactured. The measurements were made using a graduated paper tape and circumventing the scrotum, testes, and flaccid penis. This was taken as the inner diameter of the ring.

At the end of the 'run in' period (four weeks) each patient was provided with a made-to-measure Energiser Ring. It was stressed that since the appliance's effect was probably cumulative it should be worn at all times during wakefulness but, if for any reason this proved to be uncomfortable, full time wear could be dispensed with, although its use during coitus and/or masturbation was mandatory. No other advice or drugs were offered, and apart from the patient explaining to his spouse that 'the Ring was aimed to help his sexual performance' no further information or treatment was provided.
Each subject assessed himself daily using a specially constructed but simple sexual rating scale. At the end of the 12-week study period the mass of data was processed to arrive at a simple 'improved' or 'same or worse' statement for each clinical parameter. The results for the Energiser Ring were compared with the 'run in' and follow up period respectively.

Table 1

Clinical Parameter   Run-in period without appliance 4 weeks with the Energising ring Follow-up period
Strength of erection during coitus


Improved 4 23 6
Same/Worse 26 7 24
Sexual intercourse


Improved 10 20 12
Same/Worse 20 10 18
Sexual desire during coitus


Improved 8 20 11
Same/Worse 12 10 19
Morning erection on awakening


Improved 7 16 10
Same/Worse 23 14 20
Masturbation


Improved 6 22 11
Same/Worse 24 8 12

Results and discussion

Thirty patients who agreed to wear the device concluded the study and generated data for analysis. As can be seen, (Table 1) there was statistically significant improvement on all but one clinical item (i.e. sexual desire during coitus) at the end of the Energiser Ring phase, as compared with the 'run in' period. Moreover, by the end of the four week 'follow up' period (when the Ring was no longer being worn) significant clinical deterioration towards the pre-trial level had occurred, suggesting that improvement is specifically related to the wearing of the device.

There would seem to be three possible underlying mechanisms for the Ring's efficacy. Firstly, the small spontaneous electric currents generated between the plates and the moist skin may have vasotonic effects on the penile blood vessels.

Secondly, the undoubted tourniquet effect of constraining blood in the corporation of the penis would tend to encourage stronger and more durable erections.

Thirdly, the Ring may provide an element of additional (frictional) stimulation for both partners. Some evidence for this proposition was adduced by talking to both spouses at follow up. In particular, the majority of wives had found the device rewarding because it had provided direct mechanical stimulation to the labia and clitoris. This had done much to maintain their co-operation throughout the treatment period. Initially, some patients expressed reticence about wearing the device, but, with increasing familiarity and experience, this was soon replaced by enthusiasm. In some cases both male and female spouse found the Ring visually stimulating, remarking that "... it added something" to their lovemaking sessions. Although the majority of patients had agreed to wear the Ring constantly, as the trial progressed most lapsed into using it only during coitus and/or masturbation.

It can perhaps be hypothesised that, had the subject taken the trouble to employ the device as instructed, the improvement experienced would have been even better. An attempt was made to assess the Energiser Ring against previous treatment methods. Although this is necessarily retrospective and anecdotal, the majority felt that it was as good as, or better than, previous approaches. The consensus was that it made them feel more confident and secure when wearing it; with most adding that they would continue to use it. That no side-effects were reported in the present study is an important advantage, as treatment with androgenic steroids can cause obstructive jaundice, and alleged aphrodisiacs, such as Yohimbine and Strychnine can be seriously toxic (Goodman and Gilman, 1965).

In conclusion, there seems little doubt that the Blakoe Energiser Ring may be expected to benefit a proportion of impotent men and is worthy of inclusion into the armament of therapies for sexual inadequacy.

References
LYDSTON Cited by Hastings, D.W in And Frigidity. Churchill: London. GOODMAN S.G. and GILMAN. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. New York: McMillan.

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