Hey everybody in the wide world of Internet-dom.
This is the much loved and under appreciated husband of our beloved author/friend Jesse Kimmel-Freeman. She can't be with us tonight due largely to the fact that i broke our Internet access and she can't walk the mile down a dark rural highway in the middle of the night to put up this posting. But never fear, she gave me a nice vague set of instructions on how to do it for her tonight! Joy! So here goes, we'll see if i don't get it too wrong.
Thanks, Jesse, for having me here today and for letting me talk about one of the least talked about subjects when it comes to sex. I'm going to suggest that anyone who is underage needs to stop reading. This is an adult topic, and maybe in another ten years, there will be better treatments so by the time you need to even think about any of this, all info will be outdated. I promise there's nothing exciting in what I'm writing.
Stand in any grocery store line and you will see a half dozen women's magazines, each with articles about pleasing our man, but they almost never run articles about erectile dysfunction or ED. Men don't want to talk about it. They don't want to think about it, and they certainly don't want anyone to know that they have it.
The cause of erectile dysfunction is not singular. It can happen at any time for any number of reasons. Three the leading causes are raised blood sugars tied to diabetes, the side effects of various medications, and damage as a result of treatment for prostate cancer. All of these tend to happen to older men.
But it can happen to a younger man, and when it does, it often sets up a chain reaction. What couple hasn't attended a backyard barbeque? The guys have a couple of beers, eat a few hamburgers or hot dogs on rolls slathered with ketchup, downed a handful of potato chips, had a scoop of beans and macaroni salad. They've scoffed down a few brownies and had a hefty slice of that birthday cake. It's a carbohydrate load that they normally don't get. They come home feeling frisky from all that beer, and then nothing. It fails. They laugh it off to cover their deep-seated fear, blame it on the beer, and avoid their spouse for the next few weeks.
They don't want to talk about it. It failed. And it is tied to their masculinity. An erection is a difficult thing for a woman to understand. We have nothing with which to compare it. But for men, it's a part of their life, just as breathing is a natural function, so are erections. They have them from the time they are infants. It's a feel-good sensation. They expect it. Along the way, they learn to control it.
A failure sets up a mental state that makes them think it will fail again. They assume it will. They look for it, wait for it, and then it does. They are certain it's over for them. In their minds, they have become eunuchs. They are no longer men.
What they need to do is see a doctor. They just might be pre-diabetic. They probably need to lose a few pounds, get a little more exercise, and stay away from those brownies and potato chips at the next get-together with friends and relatives. They also need to stop worrying about it, and they need a supportive spouse.
I could give you a long explanation, but you probably don't want it, so I'll give you the simple version of the male anatomy. The penis consists of a sponge-like tissue that fills with blood during an erection. But the blood must stay there to maintain an erection. The smooth muscles control the blood flow like tiny dams that close and hold the blood in place. Ejaculate is made in the prostrate. Sperm, made in the testes, goes to the prostate, and is released in the ejaculate. The Cowper's glands (tiny pea-sized glands) provide the lubricant/droplet prior to ejaculation.
It's a rather complicated and sensitive system. If anything happens along the way, failure is always a possibility. The older men get, the more likely they will experience failure. There are drugs and other things to help men depending on the reason for the failure.
But let's start at the bottom, with the least expensive treatments for erectile dysfunction. There are rings that can be applied. A vacuum tube pulls the blood into the penis and the ring is applied to keep the blood in the penis. It creates what is often described as a "floppy." The penis structure begins deep in the pelvis and the ring is applied only to the base outside of the body so the penis won't stand up. But it will work and remain hard enough for penetration. It's reasonably inexpensive, and won't interfere with other medications, the way the pills do.
Pills are next when it comes to expense. We all know about the pills: Viagra, Levitra, etc. Viagra is short term and Levitra has a longer life within the system. Viagra was the first and discovered by accident. When used in clinical testing for high blood pressure, several men discovered that they had erections shortly after taking this new medication. Surprise, surprise! Many of these men hadn't had an erection in years. That sent it back to the drawing board and it was reworked. Since it tends to lower blood pressure, it can be dangerous when mixed with other medications.
There are suppositories made with strong chemicals like the pills. They don't enter the full blood stream, but they do work on the smooth muscles in the area. They are much more expensive than the pills. They must be kept refrigerated, which means, the guys are inserting something very cold into their penis. I'm looking around my office to try to find something to explain how big this tube is and the only thing I see is my necklace that I removed earlier. (The kind with beads strung on a sturdy wire, but that is actually too thin. I'll say less than the thickness of the lead in a pencil or the tube that holds the ink in a cheap pen.) I promise, it seems worse than it is. The first time is the most difficult, because guys can't imagine it fitting inside them. Remember the first time you inserted a tampon? Remember thinking it wouldn't fit in there? Men have those same feelings.
There are also injections. Seriously, most men balk at the idea of sticking that part of their anatomy with a needle, no matter how tiny the needle is. It is a very sensitive area. Want to see a macho man cave real fast? Suggest he that he sticks a needle in his penis. It's also expensive.
I don't want to get into insurance, but most insurance companies think that three times a month is sufficient for a man. Now if you've had a normal sex life, you've probably being doing it at least twice a week. There's a reason they call Wednesday hump day! I've known of cases where people have gone back to their insurance and been allotted more per month.
The easiest thing is to pop a pill. It's not exactly romantic to watch your man use a pump and snap a ring into place. Nor is it romantic to watch him insert a tiny tube that contains a suppository or stick himself with a needle. Most all of the treatments give between twenty to forty minutes to enjoy sex. But for millions of couples, this is the only way to have any sort of sexual relationship.
Now imagine that male being single and on a hot date. "Excuse me, while a pop a ring on my ****." I promise she's out the door in a heartbeat. And there goes his ego further into the trash.
There is another possible route, and that is an implant. Most people won't even consider it because of insurance coverage. The joke has become, "Honey, would you like me to have an implant or would you rather have that new kitchen you've been dreaming about?" "I'll take the new kitchen."
The implant consists of two very soft flexible tubes, erroneously called rods that are inserted into the spongy material of the penis. There is a saline filled "tank" that is placed in the pelvis and a "ball," that is placed in the scrotum that can be squeezed to inflate the tubes with the saline solution. It is a closed system. For some men, this is the only way they will ever be able to experience a "normal" sexual life. But it's horrendously expensive. It is also considered a last resort.
For years, I was part of an all-male, except for me, support group. I think I've heard every excuse a wife has given her husband. And I think I've heard every soulful cry for normalcy, plus I've lived with a husband who has gone through it. ED is not the end of a sexual relationship.
I was one of the lucky females. I loved my man enough to stand by him, and we tried everything, short of the implant. I was willing to learn, and do whatever I could to make sure he was able to enjoy sex. I read everything I could get my hands on. I talked with any doctor who was willing to share his knowledge. And I learned that the biggest sex organ was between the ears. Attitude is everything!
I am not a doctor, just the wife of man who discovered he had ED. If your man has ED, talk to a doctor. Look at all your options. Discuss them. Never give up! Stay abreast of the newest, latest treatments. Don't let your spouse rollover and ignore you. Kiss him, touch him, and encourage him to reciprocate. Sex is more than Tab A in Slot B. It's an expression of love between two people.
I took the knowledge I had gained and applied it to Maxwell Hutton in Coming Out of Hiding. He's a young man who's been badly burned as a result of an IED during his military service. His erectile dysfunction is the result of scarring, which causes Peyronies disease, a painful twisting and curvature of the penis. It is believed that some medications such as calcium channel blockers and beta-blockers might also cause it, but the most common cause is injury to the penis. The injury usually occurs during sex, leaves scars in the soft tissue, preventing a full erection. In Max's case, it is the direct result of burns from the explosion, which left scarring.
The what-if played in my mind. Who would love him? What kind of female would accept a man who not only was covered with scars, but also had ED? Erectile dysfunction forces a couple to look beyond what is considered normal sex. To express their love takes patience and planning.
Max had to get over the fact that he wasn't the handsome hunk that he'd once been. His scars aren't going to go away. He'd lost a few fingers and toes. There's no magic to make him whole. Even after surgery, the most he could manage was what is called a "stuffy." (A semi-hard erection that requires determination and patience to stuff it into the vagina.)
ED is not the end of a sexual relationship. If your man experiences it, then stand by him. He can still have an orgasm without an erection. (That usually comes as a shock because they've never experienced it.) He can still enjoy sex and provide you with sexual enjoyment.
As we age, the lack of hormones tend to decrease the desire, but it also allows us to focus more on the enjoyment with less worry about things like pregnancy. It's quality time. Toss the inhibitions into the trash. Enjoy the whole body. The feel of his legs against yours, flesh to flesh, savor the intimate moments, his lips traveling over the collarbone and the lower, these are the moments that you can treasure. There's no pressure. No great surge that must be met. Just two people who love each other, and want to express that love. Look into the possible medical treatments and what is available. Go together to the urologist and ask questions.
Men need to be checked for prostate cancer. It's easier than our mammograms. For men, it's a simple blood test. If their dad had prostate cancer, their odds are higher that they will have it. If their mom had breast cancer, they have higher odds. This tends to be a hormone driven cancer. If the doctor says he's too young, find another doctor. Most urologists and general doctors are male, and they don't want to think that this can happen.
I didn't write Coming Out of Hiding as a how-to manual. It's a love story. I was warned that I couldn't have a hero who was that damaged. All heroes in a romance must be sexy, virile men with egos that fill a room, and they must be packing at least 8 inches. Nonsense! Maybe Max does have an ego that would fill a room, but he was still a wonderful man. Why couldn't he find love?
I also wasn't expecting the stir it has created. It's not erotic. It is honest. But if you love your man, you've got to go the extra mile. I don’t want to give away the whole story, but Tae proves that he's more of a man then he thinks he is. She's willing to go the distance. Love is more than skin deep, and she loves the man he is on the inside.
Excerpt from Coming Out of Hiding.
She put her fingers over his mouth. "Shhh, I think it was perfect. I don’t think what we just did falls under the heading of wild sex. And something tells me that we’re never going to have that. I don’t care because what we just did was phenomenal." She made a cooing sound. "Oh, how I love you."
He rolled her onto her back and ran his fingers over her body. The faint scent of flowers from her bath lingered on her as he caressed her soft skin with his lips. She was everything any man could ever want, and she was in his bed. He knew in his head that his performance was pitiful, yet she made him feel as if he’d filled her entire well. Knowing he'd been inside her fueled him. His orgasm was as strong as any he’d ever had, and he had no pain, just pure pleasure.
"Do you know what you do to me?" he asked. "Do you have any idea the spell you cast over me?"
"No, it’s what you do to me. Lie down so I can snuggle to you."
He drew her body next to his. What they had done was far from normal. He knew it. Maybe she didn't, but he did. Could he content himself with something less? Anything was better than nothing, but would she continue to accept a pathetic performance? The talons of pity once again seized his masculinity.
Just so we know, once again this is Jeff the hubby, and if anything is not right I'm very sorry. I'm doing the best I can.
If you wanna send happy healing thoughts towards Jesse so she can get over the Strep Throat infection currently dragging her down it would be appreciated. and you should buy Elizabeth's book so i look like i did a good job! ;)