When We Stay Connected We're Free to Explore a New Sexual Reality

Thu, 05/31/2012 - 10:29
Submitted by The ED Coach Pa...

I got an email the other day from a lady who was asking for advice about how to deal with her new fiancé and his ED. I get quite a few letters from women, actually. (We really do need to start a support site for them). They were both in their 50s and had recently become engaged.

He started experiencing ED problems and began to withdraw and avoid sex and any physical contact. She was wondering what to do. He did not want to talk about it. He said he loved her, but would not discuss THE problem, or the bigger problem of not talking about it. She was now worried that she had made a mistake in getting engaged.

I tell a lot of women to try to think like a guy. (That usually involves not thinking a lot, period, but that’s beside the point.) For many guys, every physical contact is either a nice reminder of sex, or a first step to sex. So, with every touch, he reminds himself, almost wounds himself, that he can’t have sex like he wants to. So, the way to stop those stabs of pain is to stop touching. It’s simple. And it works.

The problem is, it leaves the other person out of the equation. They still need touch. They still need connection. And the wall of protection he has built for himself becomes a wall of rejection for the partner. As challenging as it is, guys in this mode have got to force themselves to still meet the sexual/emotional needs of their partners. The amazing thing is that this is exactly the path to escaping the mental and emotional barricade they have built. By staying connected despite the lack of a dependable erection, both partners are free to explore a new sexual reality. But it’s a lot easier to say than to do.

Sadly, after talking to Carlin about this, my advice to this woman was that she did need to break off the engagement and end the relationship if he was not willing to do the hard work necessary to stay connected. For some guys, the mere threat of this will snap them out of their self-imposed exile. For others, their relationships crumble, their fortress becomes stronger and they enter a monastic world of isolation.

It takes a lot of patience on the partner’s part since there is a period where a guy needs to go to lick his wounds and figure things out. But after that, it’s time to protect the focus of his sexuality – his partner. I work with far too many men who have let ED destroy relationships when sex had to change.

The rules may change but it’s still the same game. I’m so glad there are places like Dodsonandross.com where people can see a very expanded view of sex and sexuality – and none of it is settling for second best!

Helping Men Regain Their Sexuality

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ED and relationships

Thu, 05/31/2012 - 21:45

I wonder whether this woman would be okay on a long-term basis with her fiance if intercourse was never a frequent occurence, as long as she could share affection and other kinds of sexual pleasure with him. If he became willing to discuss these issues and see a therapist with her, would this go a long way towards resolving her reservations?

When one partner has a sexual problem, it becomes a shared problem. My wife has had long periods of illness that, at times, have affected what we could do together, sexually and otherwise. I could have ended any frustration I felt by simply leaving her. This would certainly have solved my problem, but it would have created huge problems for her, which I wasn't willing to do. Not knowing either of these people, I would not be comfortable suggesting that they break up unless everything else had been tried.

Support group good idea

Thu, 05/31/2012 - 23:02

It's hard to give advice if you don't know the whole story, but based on what is said here, I would say she should break off the engagement, NOT because of the ED, but because he is unwilling to communicate about it.
I think Paul is correct here, that men who are having erection problems tend to withdraw, because it is so painful for them to deal with that they do everything to avoid it. Much of a man's self esteem/self image is related to his virility.  In my case, my husband didn't want to talk about it, try to do anything about it, and he stopped touching me in any way. He got very angry one day when he saw me reading the book, He's Just Not Up for It Anymore. I would have been glad to explore other ways of getting sensual and sexual pleasure, but husband has no interest. We sleep in the same bed, he pets the cat, but won't touch me beyond an occasional foot rub. It's been like this for years, still painful for me. I don't know what he thinks or feels. He won't talk about it.
Yes, a support group for wives would be an excellent proposition.

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