Erectile Disfunction and Intimate Relationships

The word Intimacy written in white against a black background

Love Lounge Question

Hello I’m not sure how to ask this question but here goes. I’ve had cancer twice, which resulted recently in a complete prostate removal.

I still think about sex a lot but cannot get an erection, I’m told this will resolve once the nerves repair. It is really frustrating as my wife does not want sexual intimacy any more. But I would still like some warmth in my life.

I’m not promiscuous and I’ve been faithful in all of my 20 year marriage, but would love to meet an understanding person. Or get advice where I could relax and enjoy another’s body and they mine.

I am straight but have even considered bi-sexual. Either way I’m not a lot of good to anyone with erectile dysfunction.

Hopefully I have not embarrassed myself by contacting you.

G.

Our Answer

Thanks for getting in touch with ETUK. Your situation definitely sounds a sensitive one but one we hope to help with. On reading your message I’m not sure if your issues are around the ethicacy of seeking intimacy outside your marriage or the ‘barriers’ you may feel erectile dysfunction (ED) puts in place. But I will attempt to touch on both.

Firstly, and I hate to delve where I shouldn’t, but having a “wife that does not want sexual intimacy any more” does, to me, sound like the more pertinent matter here. The fact that you’ve emailed in to seek advice on how YOU can overcome certain medical barriers to obtain intimacy suggests to me that it isn’t an impairment causing her not to desire/be capable of intimacy. I may be wrong, and apologies if I am, but this is something the both of you need to tackle.

Together could you seek marriage counselling or at least have a frank and honest conversation about the trajectory of your relationship? The bedroom is, in many ways, the engine room to a relationship and if things just aren’t firing, or even just ticking away in there, I suggest there’s trouble coming and things you need to address.

Moving on though, I’m utmost sorry if I’ve misunderstood your situation so I’ll get to what I feel you want me to tackle. ED may seem like a big problem to you but it really isn’t and there are countless ways to get around it (here’s a blog we wrote with practical advice).

Just because you may not (at least without medical aid) have penetrative sex doesn’t mean you can’t engage be creative with your partner/s in a sexual activity, and it definitely doesn’t make you undesirable. And, if you are thinking about your own needs, the male body has several erogenous zones other than the penis. Have fun discovering them or ask your lover/s to help you discover them – this will both give you pleasure and maybe be ‘kinda hot’ for the other person too!

And lastly, please don’t let your impairments make you feel you have to fake a different sexuality. At ETUK we promote diversity to every extreme and if you know you’re gay/bi, or even just have an inkling, we couldn’t say “Go for it!” loud enough. But you’ve said you’re straight so I have to deduce it’s women whom you desire, therefore you must feed this desire! If you are definite about your sexuality (and please ignore this completely if you’re not) short-changing it will only feel unsatisfying and unrewarding. There are women out there who will want you (not to mention the one at home!), you just need to be confident you can give them what you want. And you can!

I hope this helps and good luck!
Ted 

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