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Monday, February 1, 2021

The elephant (conclusion)

This next and last section details the specifics of my own experience with ED. It is not a pleasant story. 

 


-----My story..........doomed from the start

My ED started around 7th grade with me worrying about an apparent size difference in my testicles. I did some research on dissimilarly-sized testicles only to be reassured it was quite common for one to be bigger than the other. It took a while before I realized that what I had going on was different. One day, with a shaking voice, I revealed to my parents, (not without ample embarrassment) that I thought there might be something wrong with me down there. I remember them asking me to show them, and how at the age of 12, it wasn’t easy. But I lowered my pants and their reaction was enough to at least reassure me that the worry I had was not unwarranted. They knew immediately that what I showed them was abnormal. That actually lessened my embarrassment since I was able to see my exposure as something truly serious rather than having just shown my privates to both mother and father only to be told, “you’re fine.”

We went to a doctor. I was diagnosed as having a hydrocele…...a kind of water-filled cyst surrounding my right testicle, but mine by this time was big. An operation was scheduled. To this day I don’t know whether there was some sort of botched job, an unfortunate reaction on my part, bad luck, or just the inevitable result of cutting in that area, but I remember having complications that sent the surgeon rushing to deal with me in the recovery room. After that I had a long recovery. And after THAT I realized that things were just very different down there. Not only did I have a lot of testicular scar tissue, but a propensity for my penis to always go to one side….the side opposite the incision.  I was young so erections still occurred pretty easily, but they never felt the same as they once did. Imagine pulling on a sock with just one hand. Research on my part has been inconclusive in solving this mystery, but the fact is that something was missing from the side with the incision scar that helped keep my erection centered, stable, and somehow helped with staying erect. A particular tightening sensation, like voluntarily contracting a muscle, that used to 'pull' on my erection was just gone on my right side forever.

This is a recent photo of the scar that dates back 50 years. Based on my own research I can't see why its location would lead to the problems I have, but the lack of connection on that side is not imaginary.

Years later I found I could have an erection and masturbate as frequently as any teen, but I needed to do ‘other things’ to make it work. Things that would be impossible during intercourse. To this day I don’t know how much of my early issues were physical, psychological, or some perfect storm of the two, but opportunities for early penetration adventures with willing young ladies, never bore fruit. I was becoming increasingly insecure and dreaded situations where a willing young lady seemed to be interested in intercourse above other sexual activities. And keep in mind that LONG before that operation I had already developed kinky inclinations!

Through practice and by virtue of needing a 'replacement skill', I had become quite accomplished at cunnilingus. But, despite this expertise, many females just sometimes flat-out desired something hard and pole-like inside them. And I simply could not deliver. It was a hard lesson, but I did learn from it.

It doesn't matter if you're the best carpenter in town, if what the person wants is a plumber.

Sometimes, I would get lucky though. I could get erections, just not maintain them for long. But if I managed to get myself inside someone quickly, I could often do well. This was the case with my first wife. We managed  a bit of intercourse when dating but our wedding night was asexual….mutually written off to being ‘too tired’ and …..’.there was no rush’. We had had sex previously and we had our whole lives ahead of us. But when our honeymoon ended up devoid of intercourse, she became upset. She embarrassed me and even scolded me, flipping the limp penis she had unsuccessfully tried to coax into rigidity aside dismissively, saying “what good is this to me?”  That was in 1985 and I have never forgotten it ………..and it didn’t help. I should have known then what type of person I was married to, but I was too much in love. And the odd part was she was a woman who admittedly did not prefer intercourse nor felt capable of having an orgasm that way. She had plenty of orgasms. I made sure of that. They just didn’t happen with my penis inside her. Yet this was her honeymoon and I had yet to “consummate” the marriage and that seemed important to her in some legal/technical way. (She was a lawyer)

Eventually, in those pre-viagra days, we experimented and found the regimen that I mentioned earlier worked at least often enough to remain optimistic. If I either woke with an erection, or conjured one up and I could get it inside her quickly, I could not only maintain it, but it would get pretty stiff. The trouble was my ex was not willing to employ any birth control method beyond condoms, so this meant that to reach conclusion I would have to eventually pull out, don a condom, and get back in quickly before the erection faltered. This was like some cruel, stressful game for me, and one I often lost. Even if I executed the operation with the skill and speed of a pit crew and made it back “in” in time, with a condom on I just felt nothing and could rarely stay hard for long. Sometimes. But rarely. It was horrible.

Then came my next operation down there. More cuts, more scarring, and less blood flow.

But interestingly, after a few years, when we decided to have kids, and I didn’t have to worry about the deft switch to a condom, everything worked pretty well. I was no stud, and things still needed to be just right…..but with just a tiny bit of luck, I functioned.  These were the only times in our marriage where we had frequent intercourse and each time I grew more confident so that each subsequent time became more reliable and enjoyable. We had two kids. And between them and after the last, I asked her to please consider another form of birth control. She looked into a few and then demurred to the method that made intercourse return to being a nightmare: condoms. 

Things went back to their pre-child state, and then to add insult to injury, I needed yet another hernia repair. The second operation now contributed to things being a little more challenging still. After that I developed hypertension. It seemed all circumstances were conspiring against me, including, I'm sure, a growing psychological component. We experimented with cock-rings. Again....sometimes they helped, sometimes they didn't. (sometimes even now they can help a bit, though not to the degree necessary for intercourse.)

This shot is from a couple of years ago but is still accurate for what I can expect now with a cock ring as an aid. Plump enough for 'fun' but not rigid enough for penetration.

This was my life, until…………………... Viagra! One would think this would be the long-awaited solution to all of my problems …..and in some ways it was. I went to a doctor, got a prescription and tried it. I was still pretty young compared with now and it worked! In fact I don’t recall ever having such a rigid erection…….and one that wouldn’t relent. But at what a price! Not the monetary cost, but in terms of side-effects. Blue-vision is a common one and frankly…..if after being impotent for years you can now be a poster child for erections, except you’ll see blue tint everywhere? Who the fuck cares?! Hell, I could see in psychedelic LSD-like rainbows and I wouldn’t object, but the headache?  While listed as a side-effect, for me this was no ordinary headache, but a devastating, migraine-like killer that hurt like a spike through the skull while robbing you of any ability to think. And it would last for hours, both during sex and after! And yet? Faced with the opportunity to offer intercourse to a deprived loved one? I did it willingly and just suffered the consequences. 


One of the many injustices of my divorce was my feeling of how little all my trying in so many areas meant in the end. And this was certainly one. But eventually I saw the necessity to end one chapter of my life and start another. And the best part of that decision was eventually meeting someone with whom I managed to have both regular and even anal intercourse (courtesy of the brain-skewering Viagra). This relationship made me wonder how much of my issue with my ex was more psychological than I thought. It was not that I no longer had ED, I most certainly did, but with my ex, even Viagra didn't always 'work'......but it sure worked with this person.....along with a list of other things. And even if my ED wasn't cured, my confidence certainly was restored since she would praise my oral skills as uniquely talented and even exceptional. Unfortunately this relationship was never going to be a permanent thing and eventually we moved on amicably.

After a few more short relationships, I met Rosa......for whom kink was ‘natural’ and intercourse an annoyance to be avoided.  She was actually relieved that I would not be the kind of boyfriend or husband to insist upon it. After marrying Rosa intercourse was reserved for special times when she was in a particular mood and  achieved only with medicinal aid which by then was already becoming hit-or-miss. An erection with staying power again became difficult and unreliable, but my side-effects remained extreme and could always be relied upon. I was getting older and I think everything was taking a toll. Eventually Rosa asked me how bad the headaches were and I told her. She said she rather we use other means of having fun, feeling that such extreme pain was hardly worth it. And then? Another hernia operation. 

At the time of this one my surgeon said frankly, “I hope you have all the kids you want, because you’ve been cut so many times down there that even if I go in from your abdomen this time, you are probably going to have a lot of difficulty sexually.” He was not wrong. I am practically useless as far as erections go now. I can get plump with enough stimulation, but never truly rigid…..even with the excruciating side-effects of Viagra or Cialis. If I took one now I would get the blue vision and almost migraine-like headache…...and STILL not achieve a working erection. 

Now at this point in my life a lot of this is moot, but when you look at my life, there is an unmistakable pattern of me employing compensatory behaviors to offset my limitation. I have always been interested in a lot of things, but when I look at how many of the things I routinely do that also benefit a spouse, I wonder how much of who I think I am is really me, or a ‘me’ looking to compensate for a significant shortcoming?  Have I accumulated skills with genuine personal interest, or have I obsessively added them to tip the scales back in my favor and away from this mocking inadequacy?  How many perks to a spouse are enough to make up for being impotent?  How many pedicures? How much obedience? When is it all enough to fill the gaping hole? And when it comes to my interests and abilities, another issue steps forward. How many of the things I am capable of would I happily trade away to just be capable of something so many other men never give a single thought? Quite a few. 

Looking at it all, I wonder if I have ultimately learned to deal with ED, or has ED managed to influence every aspect of my life in some way from early on, and create the me people see? Did I 'make it through' and defeat the demon through determination and effort, or is the one ugly, embarrassing thing I hate most about myself more responsible for me being who I am than any other inspirational influence? At my best, am I merely the product of a gross deficiency? Not the "monster" created by the "mad professor", but maybe the "mad professor" created BY THE MONSTER. And is THAT the real reason why I never wanted to talk about it?

------the end

19 comments:

  1. At the risk of making you sick of hearing praise from me - Holy freakin moley K.D. What you put out there on your blog is shockingly personal, intimate, and courageous.

    All I can say is that I have NO DOUBT that you are not only healing yourself by writing like this, but you are to some extent, lifting the misery of isolation for others as well.

    I have heard people who had "something wrong" with them that they hid and did not even understand say that they got relief, at least to some extent, from finding out that they were not alone with it.

    And truth be told, no one on this planet, not one person, gets to make the journey undamaged.

    I am not qualified to comment on the "why" question. But I'm not a big "why" guy anyway. I deal with "what".

    Your gifts (talents) are many and for whatever reason you strive to be kind and generous - The world needs more of that ..period.

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    1. Thanks, Tomy. Praise is nice.....just not my main goal in posting. And you are correct, this is part of my post-Covid determination to deal with all sorts of debris, whether it's an unfinished model, or straight-up clutter, or emotional baggage. And I did think being open about ED might be helpful to others. I think that the degree to which no one discusses this is proof enough of the allegations I made about impotence and our society in the initial post.

      And speaking of models (and at the risk of inviting more praise LOL) ......I am surprised you didn't treat yourself to the past post I put up with you in mind: "Sexy Models" from a few days ago. Enjoy! And thanks again.

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    2. Your creative modeling is always impressive. I, on the other hand, was not even successful at following the instructions for in model kits as a kid.

      Maybe if it was a 30 - 40 piece model I had a chance ( but the glue still ran over the joints.)

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    3. I was just surprised you didn't seem to comment on that January 29th, (2021) post. I wasn't fishing for compliments as much as I really wanted you of all people to have enjoyed it. I mean, models (which you like) OF kinky or sexy women (which you also like)? How can you go wrong? LOL

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  2. "I have always been interested in a lot of things, but when I look at how many of the things I routinely do that also benefit a spouse, I wonder how much of who I think I am is really me, or a ‘me’ looking to compensate for a significant shortcoming? Have I accumulated skills with genuine personal interest, or have I obsessively added them to tip the scales back in my favor and away from this mocking inadequacy?" It's an interesting and insightful question. Though, I wonder if it presumes that adding those things was bad and that the "natural" state is good? Taoism talks about how "the obstacle is the path," and I think there is a lot of truth in that. Is the natural state really the best state? You've learned to keep women pretty happy without using a hard dick to do it. Conversely, how many women complain that their boyfriends or husbands are all about using their hard dick for their own pleasure but couldn't make a woman cum if their life depended on it because (a) they don't know how; and (b) they don't care?

    One "down in the weeds" observation -- I wonder how much of the Viagra side effects might be about the dosing. I never experienced the blue vision or headaches, but it did other things like making me very congested and screwing with my sleep. Then, at some point I renewed my prescription, and the pharmacy was out of the 25 milligram pills, so they gave me 5 mg and told me to take 5 at a time. I decided to test and see whether I really needed 25 mg, so I started taking one or two pills instead of five. Surprisingly, even one 5 mg pill was often effective, and two almost always was, And, the side effects were much, much milder.

    Though, if you are prone to migraines, it may be that class of drugs is just always going to be a problem for you. One of the few areas in which I really luck out physically is I'm all but immune to headaches, and I've never experienced a migraine. On the other hand, my wife gets them constantly, and I can see how no matter how good the intercourse, there is now way it would be worth risking a migraine.

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    1. I completely agree with this. I just felt yet again that going into the philosophy of being molded by inspiration or molded by adversity would take the post in yet another direction. Better to address that separately......which I might.

      Well, the advice on dosage is moot now. Nothing really works, I'm just too damaged as the surgeon warned. But I still think my inclination to headaches would put me in a separate category than you. But I'm glad you posted that because it might help someone out there.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  3. KD I feel your pain and please know you are not alone. Although my ED started later in life it came fairly suddenly. I had been married to my new wife about 3 years and she is a woman who really enjoys intercourse. Talking to my doctor got me a well you are getting older and here's a prescription. I am a migraine suffer and have been my entire life, do not get the blue vision and the headache is delayed but inevitable and intense. To make things worse the pill does not always work even at 100mg. As others have said you have many great talents and I know it is difficult but that is where your focus needs to be and that is why at 65 I started a new business, to refocus myself also why I do not comment much. Stay strong my friend.

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    1. Thank you for all of that, Joe. The balance of talent to worth is an interesting one. And it does come into play. Unfortunately it is not a lot of consolation in those awkward bedroom moments. Maybe later, but not during. But then again, that's life, right?

      Thank you so much for participating so candidly.

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  4. Honestly, I'm feeling more than a little speechless, so I'll just say Thank you for sharing this. It couldn't have been easy.

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    1. You're welcome. It got easier once I made the decision to do it and because of my reasons why. I am like that. If I put my mind to something, I can do some unpleasant things. And once I decided to free myself of the crap and tell my story honestly, it was fairly easy to write.

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  5. Brave man - many wouldn't write so honestly. AND boy did I need to read this. When Sir Steve and I re-connected you couldn't get us out of the bedroom!! One of the things I struggled with was he would get as hard as a rock -- and would go for hours! without ever having an orgasm...... oh he did occasionally but it was more often not. It used to worry me - but he said he'd always been that way. Then no one knows why -- but his orgasms became more regularly - especially from oral.
    Right after we moved in together he changed jobs - and our sex life dwindled. It was still REALLY good when it happened but it was down to about once a week.

    THEN - stress became our enemy -- and Sir Steve started suffering from anxiety and stress and ........... ED raised it's nasty head around here. He promised to talk to his doctor... I waited and waited ........

    Finally about 2 weeks ago the truth kinda came out -- we were being intimate - he got hard enough to enter me -- but that's where it stopped. He tried a cock ring....... and nothing. As we lay side by side - me wondering what I had done wrong... blaming myself.. my insecurities raising their nasty lil heads.. he finally admitted he had never talked to the doctor... that it as an ego thing....... and he kept hoping it would miraculously improve. He promised to call the doctor.

    I waited and waited. I even asked a couple of times if he had heard from said doctor. Then I shut up - I figured if it wasn't important enough to him I wasn't going to push it 'cause DAMN I wanted him to do it for himself not for me ya know?? I just got really good at using my vibrator locked in my bedroom during home school reading cause she would have her headphones on,

    THEN yesterday he called the doctor in front of me -- and honest to god he sounded like a shy per-pubescent boy. BUT he finally choked out his problem and she agreed to prescribe some Viagra.

    Now reading what you wrote about migraines I feel my heart sink He's prone to them ........ and I don't want him to suffer :(

    BUT at least I understand a little better about the taboo about talking about ED - the elephant in the room and I thank you for that.

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    1. You are quite welcome. Believe me, this was as therapeutic for me as I hope it might be helpful to others.

      Keep your fingers crossed on the headache issue. It is very under-reported in my opinion.

      And yes, this is a difficult issue. Society makes it worse. Our partners are the single biggest thing besides our own adaptation, to help. Good luck with this!

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  6. Well look at that, you've already helped Morningstar!

    When I read a post I try to see if I can identify with it in some way. B hasn't ( yet) had any serious ED- though it has happened on a couple of occasions in the last 10 years. I of course won't pretend to understand the pressure a man has when ED is something they contend with, as an observer of young men, ( re mother of 3 'boys') I have seen the pressures of sexual prowess placed upon men in society- I cannot fathom how challenging and intimidating it must have been for you prior to Rosa, based on my observations alone.

    The questions you asked and your comment to Dan had me seeing an area where I could identify. Obviously not with the cause, but being someone 'unique' in abilities or not and questioning whether that formulated who one becomes. To be brief, I have a LD. mid 30s then). It didn't actually come out of nowhere because my older brother was diagnosed as a child. My issues were not as prominent and apparently I was able to come up with coping strategies in areas where he struggled. The thing about LD's are they don't just present in the Learning aspect- they have a way of altering your view on just about all aspects of life, both figuratively and literally. Anyway, when we started Ttwd, I began to reflect on behaviours and the whys of my life. I had many epiphanies back then, most coming from my earlier life and my LD. In my case it was very obvious from that point on the who I am today, and how I was then, was very much because of living with an LD. I can still recognize how it shapes my thought process and new interactions, the limitations I put on myself etc. In some areas I have learn to let go of things like fears, and in other areas, I probably never will- but the negative power isn't as strong now that it has been given a voice.

    Thanks for sharing your journey. I hope you can find answers to your whys.

    willie

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    1. Ooops sorry, somehow a sentence was deleted. * I was diagnosed in my mid 30s when seeking answers concerning our oldest son

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    2. Very interesting and here you are making an admission of your own. We will need a circle of chairs soon. ;-)

      I do think adversity makes us who we are, but it is not what most people want to hear or what you see printed on those ridiculous motivational posters you see in meeting rooms and HR offices. I always wanted to graffiti a sarcastic comeback to every one I ever read!

      I do think I will do an entire post on this sometime in the future. My last lines were more for effect in challenging the 'warm fuzzies' people gravitate towards and the reality of how we develop than a huge personal issue of realizing that adversity shaped me more than aspiration.

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  7. How brave you are, KD, to share your struggle with us. I salute you!

    My husband also takes viagra; a half tablet is enough for him. He does suffer a bit from the side effects, but I've never heard him mention blue vision.

    Hugs,
    Hermione

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    1. Thank you, Hermione. I suppose it was a conversation whose time had come.

      As for your husband? I am glad he needs only such a small dose. And that his side effects are mild. It seems nothing is ever mild with me LOL.

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  8. ‘The highest aim of art is to cultivate your mind’:

    Recently awarded the Gian Ratna by the Vice-President of India, world-renowned art historian and an authority on miniature art in India, BN Goswamy.

    Miniature art expert cool eh?

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    1. Oh my. I took an entire semester of Aesthetics! You'd be amazed at how many people put their two cents in on what art is and what it should be and do! It could fill several volumes......and does. LOL

      As for the quote? I'm not sure I completely agree. I think the highest aim of learning might be to cultivate the mind. Art is a little......different. (and many philosophers, artists, and thinkers have said so in different ways ) I've studied art, and what others have said about it, I've engaged in it from an artist's perspective, and I have found even my own opinion has evolved over time. ( when I was in school I agreed with Schopenhauer that art is play ) I now think that is also too narrow a view. So is Tolstoy's and others.

      All I can say is that I think Art with the big "A" encompasses too many things to be able to be explained simply. Certainly not in a single quote even from the most deep thinker.

      (I do like the area of expertise, and know of miniature work. It's a thing unto itself and very specialized, and I definitely appreciate the quote. But you know me.....I have to analyze EVERYTHING to death.) ;-)

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