TALK BOX, with STEPHEN L. BRAVEMAN LMFT, DST and BOB, the THERAPY DOG,
JULIE FROM SANTA CRUZ WRITES:
My husband and I have been married for 2 years now. He is impotent and after numerous discussions he has started getting a little intimate with me. Every time I have to make the initiative to draw him towards me and it happens less than once a week! His erections only lasts for a minute or two. He also does not know ways to give pleasure to me and so whatever little he does is not satisfying at all. This makes me feel very frustrated.
Can you recommend ways to give him pleasure, or tell me what I should be saying to get him involved, or that will bring him close? I am sad and frustrated as my marriage is not consummated. It is hard, but I love and trust him and that is what keeps me going, that someday I will have a baby from him… I long to start a family but unless his arousal stays longer it is not possible. Can you help me?
Your frustration and sadness is well founded. While there is much more to intimacy and sex than intercourse, most couples feel intercourse is a vital part of a healthy and happy marriage. Many would agree that since it has yet to occur after two years then the marriage has not been consummated. A change in terminology may be a useful place to begin. For example, the term “impotent” does not accurately apply as your husband is getting erections, though they may only last a minute or two when he’s with you.
Men have biological clocks that cycle an increase of blood into the penis on the average of every ninety minutes both while awake and asleep. Erections while awake are frequently limited in the adult male due to self imposed inhibitions which tell the penis that it would be inappropriate to become erect at certain times as the erection may be seen and lead to embarrassment. Men may also block erections due to non-medical issues, such as perceived pressure to “perform”, anger, a history of being sexually abused as a child or stressful distractions.
Many men find difficulty obtaining an erection with a specific partner, but have no problem obtaining them while sleeping, masturbating or while fantasizing about someone else. Since your husband is wiling to discuss these issues with you, ask him about this. If his answers are consistently “no”, then he may have a medical condition due to illness, accident or as a side effect of medication or illicit drug use. If any of these medical conditions or substance abuse exist, then talk to your husband about seeing a urologist for medical treatment as this may well be the answer.
For example, many men with such medical conditions as diabetes find taking Levitra or Cialis does the trick quite nicely. as he seems to also lack motivation to initiate sexual contact, your husband may have a deficient testosterone level. Doctor prescribed supplements may, in this case solve the problem.
Regardless of the problem stemming from medial or non-medical causes, it sounds like your husband lacks knowledge and confidence. there are some excellent sex education books, sexual difficulty self-help books and educational videos which may help lead to greater skill and confidence.Tools of this kind come from two basic approaches. The first being a western medical, clinical approach in which people learn about extending foreplay, using sexual enhancement items, such as vibrators and medical treatment options.
The second approach is based on eastern spiritual, sacred sex practices and are generally referred to as Tantra. In this approach couples work on awakening the God and Goddess within, treating each other with great respect and utilizing rituals. Both approaches can increase confidence, skill, connectedness and prolong both intercourse and orgasm. Many couples are able to find their way through these options and discover satisfaction on their own. Many need more assistance navigating this terrain to find their path and turn to a professional sex therapist.