Viagra Left Hugh Hefner Deaf But He Said Sex Was Worth It

Hugh Hefner's death at age 91 was preceded by his life full of sex and parties, thanks to the help of Viagra in his older years.

The erectile dysfunction treatment pills have been linked to sudden sensorineural hearing loss. For Hefner, the medication apparently left him almost completely deaf.

In his later years, the Playboy founder was entirely deaf in one ear and used hearing aids, his former twin girlfriends Karissa and Kristina Shannon told The Sun in 2011.

"You have to lean down and talk into his good ear for him to understand you," Karissa said. "We could sit right next to him and he wouldn't have a clue what we said."

But for Hefner, this was just a drawback of his lavish lifestyle, not a regret.

"He said he would rather have sex than have his hearing," Karissa said.

A month after the twins' admission, Hefner's widow Crystal Harris told Howard Stern a similar story weeks after breaking off her first engagement to the Playboy mogul.

"He tries not to take Viagra any more because it makes him lose his hearing," the then 26-year-old said.

In the interview, Harris also revealed that her ex — who became her husband a year later — lasted "about two seconds" in bed.

As for the male enhancement drug's effect on Hefner's hearing, published studies led the Food and Drug Administration to require the PDE5 class of erectile dysfunction drugs — including Viagra — to list sudden hearing loss as a potential side effect on its labels after 2007.

"Though no causal relationship has been demonstrated, FDA believed that the strong temporal relationship between the use of PDE5 inhibitors and sudden hearing loss in these cases warranted revisions to the product labeling for the drug class," the FDA wrote.

Even after these warnings, Hefner sang the praises of his sexual accessory.

When asked if sex changes as you age, Hefner told New York Daily News: "Well, not particularly. Thank goodness for the arrival of Viagra. It breaks down that wall. But I think you gain some experience over the years and that helps. Woody Allen said, 'If you don't think that sex is dirty, you're not doing it right.'"

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Hefner died Wednesday in his Playboy mansion at the age of 91.

Photo credit: Instagram / @hughhefner