Friday, May 17, 2013

Dear Sheila: Erectile Dysfunction

Summer 2012

What to do when a relationship encounters Erectile Dysfunction? How can we be supportive of them while feeling like we are supported in our sexual needs in return? How can we (gals) feel optimistic that we'll have penetration-sex with them (ED boys) some day, or continue to have penetration-sex? Ir us this about giving up attachment to that?
--Edie Limpdick

First off, thank you for writing in and sharing your experiences with me, and the C.L.A.P. readership. As we say in school, if one person has a question we can be sure that other people do, too. There seems to be a few components to this dilemma-his experiences of ED, your experience of ED, and your shared sex life. Vis-a-vis his experience--has he been to the doctore?
ED is a medical and psychological  phenomenon; smoking, drugs (both prescribed and not), and alcohol are major contributing factors. So, to is anxiety and stress related to...well, we could fall into a rabbit hole of conjectures about the whys and wherefores of anxiety. And that's best explored in the safe and well-trained confines of the therapeutic office. And a second (real) medical opinion and talking with a psychologist is well advised because effective treatments are available for ED.

But your questions is about you, and your experience! You seem to be struggling how to make sense of our disappointment and unslaked desires, and asking, ought I be optimistic that the reality of the situation will change and I'll have the sex life that I want? Maybe I don't want the sex life that i think I want and thus really need to want what I can have? Open communication with your lover about your desires, and his desires would go a long way to giving you the information you need to sort out how you feel. Your caring and patient demeanor rings through your question, and you seem genuinely interested in how to move forward together. Whether you should feel optimistic you'll have penetration sex again, or ought to give up your attachment to it, will be negotiated between you and your partner. Perhaps, when you know more about the situation at hand, you'll have a better idea how you feel and want to move forward. While dealing with Ed may seem loaded and fraught with potential landmines, approach your shared sex life as you would with other aspects of dignity, and a spoonful of realism...and you'll be able to hold your head high and trust yourself and your decisions. 

1 comment:

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