I’m not sure if there is an equivalent in the female world, but a man’s inability to get and maintain an erection is actually worse than just not getting it up. Why? Because besides the shame, there’s almost always another aftermath … knowing your partner thinks it was somehow their fault.
All men will experience this at some point. Some more than others. And sometimes it can become a routine occurrence. Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is an all too common condition, and one which virtually no man will admit to having. Especially to other men. So the recurring struggle to produce a simple Hard Johnson almost guarantees that a guy will have numerous opportunities for failure in the bedroom.
Let’s take the average guy who has ED and see how the scenario usually plays out. The man either gets an erection and quickly loses it, or he never gets it in the first place. He’s mortified, screaming inside his head for his Willy to work. Which only makes it worse, because Willy never listens to what the brain says. The man will slink away from his partner, mumbling something about it being an oddity. That it never happens. Or he’ll blame the cocktails he’s had, or the bad week at work. This will happen a few times, until he’s forced to admit that he has a problem. A medical condition that limits his ability to perform.
At this point, as embarrassed as he is, he’s thinking that with his admission they now have an explanation for when things go awry. And then his partner asks … “Is it me?”. And that question is worse than all of the lies of pretending he didn’t have ED.
If someone were blind, and you tried to show them a rose, would you blame yourself because they couldn’t see it? Would you think that you could somehow overcome their physical limitation, and if not, that you were to blame? It’s really no different in this situation. ED isn’t a “mental condition”. It’s very much physical. It can be assisted with medication and sometimes “devices”, but even with that help … it’s still an issue at times. Big Pharma hasn’t come up with a perfect cure yet.
I know of women in the medical field who have asked their partners if it was them, when they knew about their men’s physical condition. So someone “in the know” can even react this way. I suppose it’s natural, but it’s not something men in general will ever experience coming from themselves. Thinking they somehow caused their partners to fail. So we don’t quite understand the reaction. We just know that our bodies didn’t just embarrass us and let us down, they profoundly hurt someone we care about. And there wasn’t a damn thing we could have done to stop it.
At this point, you might be wondering how much research I’ve done into this. Is Ole Rick writing this post based on what he’s read in other blog posts? Well … I’ve never spoken of this before. Not a single person who has not seen me naked knows this about me, but … yea, I’ve got ED. And all of those words above came from direct experience.
Mine started in my 30s. One day it just became harder to get hard. Eventually, it was nearly impossible. Yes … in my 30s. I was prescribed antidepressants whose side effects were supposed to be an increased libido. I’ve been prescribed all sorts of things in the hopes that my mental governors would override my body. (Bear in mind that ED meds were not quite available yet when this was happening). Then in my 40s, I tried something new, Viagra. And … the heralds and angels sang. It wasn’t a perfect solution, but IT WORKED!
Remember … Big Pharma is out to make money, not a perfect medical solution. So even with drugs like Cialis, it still requires a touch of luck.
But … let’s get back to the subject. Yes, there are times when men are not turned on. When they are marginal in their desires. And yes, it may even be considered “your fault”. At least in our eyes. But that’s not the norm, and it isn’t any different from what the other side experiences. Alcohol and drugs are a serious detriment to getting an erection. Which is a pain, because those same intakes are telling us that we’re Men Of Steel, all the while undermining our abilities. That argument we had earlier in the week may still be weighing in our subconscious. There are quite a number of reasons why failure happens, but regular failure … especially to someone with ED … has nothing to do with the partner.
Which, I know, opens up another can of worms. As in … “Why doesn’t it have to do with me?”. 🙂
ED medications have other issues, and I’m not talking side effects. (Although the lower back pain associated with Cialis can be a killer). It’s timing and spontaneity. With drugs like Viagra, you take it and three hours later you should be able to perform. But it only lasts for a short time, so you have a limited window for sex. Being forced to combine a calendar, a stopwatch, and your sex life is a drag. There are other meds like Cialis which last longer, up to 36 hours, but each man will respond differently to each. Oh, and all of them are expensive as s***.
Here’s a story … a decade or so ago, my insurance company covered Cialis. I was allowed six pills a month for a co-payment of $15. Yep, my insurance company figured I should only have sex once every 5.1 days. Then the next year they decided (without telling anyone) that ED meds were not to be covered at all. So I’m standing there at the CVS counter and the helpful salesperson tells me the price is $50 A PILL! Yes, you read that right. Aetna decided, again without notification, that every time I wanted sex it was going to cost me fifty bucks.
Well, that sucked. And for the record, I did figure out a way to have affordable sex. Which I’m not going to get into because Big Pharma is in some deep political pockets. And that isn’t really the point of this story anyway.
There is also another price for ED. Men, for whatever reason, associate their ability to perform directly with their masculinity. Actually, let me restate that. Men associate their ability to perform with their entire being. A one-time failure is horrifying. ED and a life of permanently broken equipment is almost debilitating. But one day, it does just become only horrifying again. So there’s that.
I suppose if I had to finish this with any message, it would be this … the experience of male sexual failure is excruciatingly painful for a man. It robs him of every ounce of himself. And just when we think it can’t get worse, our partner asks “It’s me, isn’t it?”, and we discover an even deeper level of hell. I’m not saying you shouldn’t say it, I’m saying you shouldn’t feel it. Because the answer is no, it’s NOT your fault. You are attractive enough. We do desire you. We do enjoy being with you. It’s just that we can’t see the color red sometimes, so we can’t appreciate your rose.
Ladies Ask Me Anything
Men are supposed to be cool, suave, collected, and strong. And sometimes we are. But usually … not so much. Yet the one thing we do reliably is keep things bottled inside. Well, I’m breaking the code of silence. Parting with the old boys network and answering your questions. Maybe I can’t speak for all men over a certain age, but I can speak based on what I know and what I’ve experienced. Let the games begin.