ED: The White Elephant in the Room

ED: The White Elephant in the Room

Greetings to all our readers! I hope your days have been full of positive experiences despite the pandemic. With this being my first year in our nation’s capital, I genuinely enjoy the drives to look at the historical buildings and monuments. While it is fun to spend time with the person you love, things start to happen as couples get older. Women can lose their sex drive when entering menopause, and men suffer from the two-letter condition no one likes to talk about.


A Problem That No One Talks About


Naturally, I am referring to Erectile Dysfunction, otherwise known as E.D. I am sure some of you are looking at this article muttering, “Marlene, this is a magazine for women. Why are you talking about a condition that is exclusive to men!”

Well, dear readers, I have a logical explanation. Americans, in my opinion, are prudish when it comes to talking openly about relationships and sex. We do not acknowledge a sexual partner is not able to enjoy intimate times with their partner. Let us be honest with one another for a moment. Our culture defines men as sexual creatures who consider sex a main staple of life, while women are innocent, delicate creatures. I giggle as I write this because it reminds me of a stand-up routine discussing this very topic in the 1980s. I will spare everyone the vulgarity of the comments but rest assured he made it known that women enjoy sex as much as men. Again, I can visualize some of you saying “Marlene, how do you know if E.D. affects others besides the patient”? Let me say generally I have experience in this matter and leave it at that.


An Unwanted Diagnosis

When a diagnosis was given for the person I know, it was a shocking blow for both of us. My partner was only 38 years old, and the doctor was telling us our sex life was over. They gave him testosterone shots, patches, an assortment of drugs, but nothing ever works. You can only begin to imagine the embarrassment this has caused my partner. I did my best to reassure him, but it is no use. He feels like a failure as a partner, and as a man. What about my feelings? He might be the patient, but I do feel as though it has negatively impacted my life. Allow me to give you insight into this problem from my point of view as a woman.

At the time of the initial diagnosis, I was 34 years old. We both were trying for a child and suddenly, he could not perform. I was empathetic the first month, but then I begged him to go see his doctor. I know E.D. is a physical condition, but over the last decade, I have considered his inability to be my fault. I was significantly obese (as he is) and figured he just no longer found me attractive. We try to play together using marital aids, but he is uncomfortable doing so. I try to just cuddle next to him and it does not interest him. Every once in a while I will catch him looking at porn on his phone and trying to “make something happen”. In some ways, that makes me question whether the porn turns him on, and he does not want to admit it in front of me. You try to lose weight and it does not work. I admit I have cried myself to sleep countless times because I feel ugly and unwanted.

A Look to the Future

This is the point where I expect you, dear reader, to question why I stay and have I thought about taking a lover on the side? Yes, honestly, I have thought about taking a lover, but it is simply not in my character to do so. Besides, I did not marry him for his abilities in the bedroom. This person makes me laugh, puts up with my nonsense, and has stood by me through every health issue and mental breakdown. There is no way I could leave him. Also, I would have to train a new man if we got divorced; I am 47 years old and do not have time for that. I will keep what I have, thank you.

I would like to leave you with some final comments. Intimacy is different from the act of sex. If your partner has E.D. or a related condition, please be patient and understanding. I understand how a person can feel about this issue, but if you love that person, sex should not matter. There are numerous alternatives for couples enjoying some adult playtime. Just being together should be enriching enough. And ladies: talk to your partner’s physician if you want more information. Being knowledgeable about E.D. can improve your relationship.

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