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Sunday, January 31, 2021

The elephant (part 1)

This will be another two-part post since there simply is too much to load into one. 

During the interview with Nickki, I revealed that I have suffered from some degree of ED ever since 7th grade. My frankness shocked some I’m sure, but perhaps out of politeness, or awkwardness, not too many addressed the issue itself. Even Nickki admitted a “wow” moment at hearing me out myself, but then went straight to another topic. ED does that to people. Even me. But despite my reluctance to reveal too much on this in the past, I must admit that I actually have alluded to it many times in other places. However, it occurred to me that now that the ‘cat is out of the bag’ (or perhaps ‘dead mouse’ is more accurate), I feel emboldened to own this and explore it with you all in a way that whisks away the cobwebs and opens the drapes to let the sunlight in…..even if that sunlight illuminates some misshapen monstrosities. Nothing will be sugar-coated, no feelings spared. ED is the epitome of the “elephant in the room” and specifically the bedroom. But I’ve had enough of hiding it and being embarrassed by it. My recent Covid experience truly changed the way I look at a lot of things. One was asking myself what I want to be in the next ten years. But to answer that question maybe I first needed to examine who I used to be, currently am, and why. 

There are several aspects to explore, and I wish to deal with a few I think are important to understanding the shame and difficulties associated with ED, namely the common and frankly accepted denigration of it, my own strategy of  how to live with it in a way that cuts through some of the ugliness, and finally, my own story from the start of the issue until now. 


There is simply no other impairment whose routine mockery is as unapologetic as impotence. My impotence is as much my fault as being mentally or physically handicapped. And who knows? Maybe some quadriplegic got that way by reading the “Shallow Water-Don’t dive” sign and laughed it off as stupid? But me? I did nothing to deserve this problem, yet I seem to be fair game. Whereas in the distant past, alcoholism was a rampant source of humor, and later obesity was the one to pervade a lot of swathes, now it is quite UN-PC to ridicule the addicted or overweight. But I feel that even those who sympathize to a degree, still can't suppress a snicker at ED jokes. 

On a public billboard. Imagine a similar public joke at the expense of the blind.

In the past, even when women had few if any rights, they could seek divorce or annul a marriage due to impotence. Spouses of men who became impotent due to injury could sue the person who caused it. Men are revered for potency and derided for impotence. Imagine doing that with any other handicap. “Ha ha, look at that blind guy! Can’t even see where he’s going. What a chump!” Switch that to impotence and you may well have both women and men laugh along. Laws, mores, and human nature all clearly sent the message that being impotent meant you were "less than".

A monument to failure.

So horrible is the problem of ED, that the discovery of “the little blue pill” was sensational…….yet opened the door to a whole new flood of “Viagra Jokes”.  And yet? I don’t think I’ve ever heard an “insulin joke”  or “antibiotic joke”. 

Not cruel, but clearly indicative of the fact that Viagra is 'fair game' in a way that is funny to all but the ones who need to use it.

I can’t think of any impairment that reflects as negatively on the sufferer as ED. People sympathize with the depressed, the handicapped, and even the addicted, but with ED, people sympathize more with the sufferer’s spouse.  Such rampant denigration results in a lot of things besides embarrassment. There is anger, depression, and after being subjected to years of being the butt of jokes and target of derision, you begin to be conditioned in feeling inferior. 

Even with ED, I am not without a sense of humor though. While 'about' Viagra, the joke is not really about making fun of the guy's ED....and it's funny.

Then there’s erotica. Even the softest romantic novel for women describes the phallic ideal…..and it’s not me. Spanking stuff shows rigid penises. And the frequent common, almost universal dirty talk of wanting a “hard cock” coming out of the mouths of even the most modest of women all show its importance. Wives brag about their potent husbands, envy the more potent, and fantasize about the elusive extremes. No one lays awake at night dreaming of a limp noodle. Just look at candids of women of all ages at a bachelorette party with a male stripper. Long, hard cocks are magnets for attention. Basically: Potency=admiration and impotence=derision.

The ideal I will never live up to.

And the massive erect penis you see in a modern Kami Tora cartoon is dwarfed by ridiculously well-hung, ceramic, fertility figures going back hundreds and even thousands of years. The penis is, and always has been, revered… long as it works. Those of us with the non-functioning variety have little to celebrate.

A well-hung fertility 'huaco'  from the Larco Museum, in Lima, Peru. This guy is doing very well for himself.....especially since he's supposed to depict the dead. Imagine how I felt as someone still breathing looking at this lucky guy!

----My strategy…...which almost works

But if the public can be cruel about ED, imagine what can go on privately. What partner ever wants to be unable to satisfy the woman they love? What woman expects this to happen? Who would choose to be this way? My experience with this has been varied, mitigated by kinkiness, and by a certain alternate approach to sex, and these quirks have helped my unique situation more than they’ve hurt or complicated it.

This is clearly a gentleman likely close to my age and yet he has no problem impressing this young lady. I would not fare as fortunately.

Because I had this issue from an early age, and because I was kinky from an early age, I eventually realized that if I was ever going to be happy, I’d have to work to overcome the prejudice against both. I would simply need to find women who were not only open-minded to kink, or better yet, kinky themselves, but for whom intercourse was not a preferred activity. Fortunately for me this combination is not that uncommon. In fact, I have noticed that women with issues over male-dominated, penetration-oriented relationships, often gravitate to enjoying being in charge and being sexually pleasured without having to submit to unsatisfying intercourse. Conversely, from what I’ve seen, the more traditional and submissive females who seek more dominant men, also seem to like being penetrated. Penetration is a dominant and almost aggressive act, and the types of ladies who prefer it are often turned on by that. 

The key here again for someone like me is knowing what is likely to work and bring satisfaction and then being selective in dating to find someone who would benefit from it, even if it means passing by some lovely ladies in the process. The alternative of just seeking out lovely ladies, keeping the unpleasant stuff a secret, and hoping it will all work out in the end is a strategy I consider doomed from the start.

Another quirk of mine whose origin seems to coincide with the peak of my ED issues is my interest in chastity and denial. I wonder if my inclination towards chastity play is rooted more in my overall kinkiness or in my ED? It would make sense my ED played a significant part, even though it was never a conscious association. Being locked up takes away the stress of having to perform genitally. A dominant female can have the thrill of controlling her guy, even making him crazy with desire, and still enjoy an orgasm, or string of orgasms, from his oral or alternate attentions and not expect him to leave his cage. Chastity also eroticizes “not having sex”. Making a lack of sex desirable and enjoyable in its own right. I’m not a psychologist but even I would presume a connection of some kind.

I'm sure teasing with this result is more gratifying to the teaser than what happens with me. It's rough to find alternate avenues and still have them tainted by ED.

The thing is, I have managed to live with ED with some special women who don’t seem to mind it, but still found that even they have their moments when they just want intercourse for feelings of intimacy …….even if they rarely orgasm from it. And it is in those instances when all of my alternate efforts are as useless as I then feel I am. 

(to be continued in Part 2: with "My Story")


  1. to respond...
    My ED developed after radiation therapy for prostate cancer, 15 months ago, and probably before that, as the cancer went unchecked, other than Eligard treatments to stop my body's production of testosterone. I've only been with the one woman in this time, and Merry has been, by all appearances, very understanding. She claims to not need penetration, yet she certainly enjoyed it, the one time sildenafil actually worked. I really do feel less of a man. Merry says she does not care, but I maintain my doubts. Is she just saying that out of respect for my feelings? I just have to trust her, but, damn, it's, um, HARD.

    1. Yes, Shilo, I did enjoy the time we engaged in intercourse aided by Viagra. Seeing you happy/excited by the erection added to my enthusiasm.

      I want you to understand that whether or not we engage in intercourse is entirely up to you and the Viagra, and that BECAUSE it's YOU, I will always be enthusiastic, but it's not the end all-be all of our marriage and relationship.

      Anything we do that brings us closer together makes me happy and brings me joy, so whatever we do, it's because of YOU. My priority within our marriage is for us to be honest with each other and good to each other.

      Yes, my polyamory "allows" for me to be with others, but my demisexuality severely limits who and what, and my choice to not pursue other relationships beyond our polycule is best for us.

      As you know, I have turned down others because my heart must be in it, and you know where my heart is. You are my Center, my Chosen One, and it will always be that way. After our conversation on Sunday afternoon, I hope you have a better understanding of my relationship(s) with Stitch and "B."

    2. Shilo, thank you for your post and admission to your own issues. It sounds like you are managing it though. That's really all we can do, right?

  2. I've never experienced a sustained period of full-blown inability to get an erection. But, I have had periods in which I had a very hard time maintaining one. It got progressively worse over the last couple of years. Lately, with work and stress and over-indulgence receding as chronic problems, I feel like there are encouraging signs that maybe it was just a temporary problem. But, it was significant enough that I did get a Viagra prescription, and it did generally work though it took me a while to dial in the right dosage to get the beneficial effects without some of the side effects. Even without full-blown ED, it was nerve wracking wondering if I would be able to get and keep an erection during sex, and now I almost always take some amount of Viagra in advance, even if I'm not sure whether I need it.

    1. I really do believe that going back to when I was much younger, even with my issues, things would have been different if my ex had just gone on the pill or something else. I seriously considered a vasectomy but was talked out of it. It's like before I had too many subsequent operations, I had a disadvantage but not a total shutdown. Perhaps the condom was just the 'straw'?

      As for you using Viagra, do you get any side effects? Mine, as I wrote, are severe.

    2. See my comment on Part 2. I did get side effects, but not nearly as severe as yours. Adjusting the dosage down made a big difference, and was still effective.

  3. I've also wondered whether there is anything to porn consumption being correlated with ED? Unfortunately, I've never really cut myself off from nude pictures and other mild pornography long enough to find out.

    1. Please explain this supposition. It sounds interesting, but I'm not sure what you mean.

    2. I've seen some claims out there that part of the explanation for increasing rates of ED, particularly in young men, may be linked to the amount and type of porn consumed. The gist of the theories seems to be that consumption of "too much" porn may (a) desensitize the sexual response such that the man loses interest in sex in general and doesn't respond as readily to real-life stimulation; or (b) consumption of porn creates unrealistic expectations about performance that in turn lead to performance anxiety. I have no idea whether there is any validity to the theory, and the medical data seems to be mixed. Here are a couple of articles that seem to have a balanced treatment of the subject:

    3. I see, I thought they might mean the first one, but my pattern was a little different. I DID use a kind of "masturbation plus" technique when I was young and free. And that I think definitely contributed to a degree but it was also indicative that I had a genuine issue down there.

      Then later as he problem continued, I was NOT masturbating to porn or anything. I was on a shot leash. LOL. But if their second point in watching it is the point, then I REALLY must say "not me" because even the porn I did watch or look at never depicted intercourse. So I had no stud giving me unrealistic expectation, but rather sexy dommes making me frustrated.

  4. Currently choosing to NOT reply to Shilo's comment, but I will say that you discussing ED has prompted yet another discussion (Thank you) with Shilo.

    In my mid-30's after leaving the father of my children, I moved "back home" because as a mother of five, I couldn't handle living alone, and my Mom, knowing this, offered to take us in.

    Moving back home after about 15 years of living by the Air Force Base that I was stationed at, put me in a sort of time warp, because many of my friends from back in the day still lived in the area. Several months after that, I bumped into a guy I casually dated (more like a friend) during High School. "R" was the kind of guy my steady boyfriend(s) liked because he was nice and respectful of the relationship, but during breaks would take me out and show me a good time, but he kept his hands to himself, and never even kissed me. But now, here we were, and all I could think about was "What if?" and then over coffee at Denny's he told me how he really wanted to be with me, but was afraid of the "M brothers" and that they'd beat him within an inch of his life, so he never tried. I made another date with him, knowing that we'd finally do the deed. What I didn't know was that "R" had become a heavy drinker, so when the time came, as much effort as I gave, he couldn't get an erection. I told him it was okay (it really was) and very politely suggested that maybe we should go out for coffee in hopes we could just leave the bedroom and I could take his mind off of his feelings of inadequacy.

    I guess he was more embarrassed than I thought because he declined, and I told him we should get together again, but he never called me after that. This was a completely vanilla thing, so to say I was disappointed by his not calling me really hurt, but I can look back and understand his reasoning. My being nice about it didn't earn me any brownie points.

    And here I sit at my computer, telling you that "R" was the first of many who either never got an erection, or who had the occasional ED. I've always been nice about it, because I understand performance anxiety. Along those lines, when Shilo and myself first engaged in sexual activity, he was embarrassed because he was unable to climax. My theory was that he was so used to masturbation that actual intercourse had a different "feel" to it, so it would take him getting used to it, so I told him to stop masturbating, or only masturbate with my permission, which, by the way is completely opposite of what I told all my previous subs. Again, it was HIS concern, NOT my concern, because I know these things take time. Almost three months of frequent intercourse (SEVERAL times a day) later, while accompanying me on a business trip, he climaxed for the first time ever. He was no doubt relieved, and I recall saying something along the lines of "I told you so!"

    Am I special because I'm patient when it comes to sexual dysfunction that men experience, or does it help the man when I'm patient and don't make (pun on the way) a big deal about it? It's a double edged (pun again) sword. In fact, I'm starting to feel it sometimes adds to the feelings of inadequacy, because here again, Shilo doubts my sincerity when it comes to my patience.


      My opinion, not that it seems to matter, is that a man is taught from boyhood that his penis and its functionality is all that matters and it defines him as a man, and when it doesn't cooperate in some way, it makes him "less" of a man. Naturally, I feel it's utter bullshit to teach a boy such things, and I did my best as a mother of 5 boys to teach them that kindness and respect for a woman is what defines their manhood. Child #2 was 29 years old when he was diagnosed with a type of leukemia that is common and treatable in kids but kills adults (ALL). The treatment is a long hospitalization with very strong chemotherapy, and if after several rounds of treatment, it doesn't work, a bone marrow transplant might work to save your life.

      Prior to his first chemo, he decided that it might be a good idea to freeze some sperm in case he decided to have children some day. He knows he is unable to father a child the "natural" way, but he also knows that it doesn't make him less of a man because of what I taught him. Yeah, I did my best to be a good mom, but I really believe in what I taught my boys.

      Hopefully, this will open some eyes.

    2. Thank you for that very candid and moving post.

      I would say that you are not alone in how you handle ED but also not like others. There are plenty of people who deal with their frustration with more hostility.

      Sorry to hear about your son too.

      Happy I was able to prompt discussion that turned out helpful. I guess that's the best compliment a writer can get for their work.

    3. Merry: I also want to add that you seem VERY understanding and quite sincere about ED's importance to you. It's difficult to explain how sometimes the woman's reaction and feelings are devastating but it's just as likely to be the guy's feeling that fuel his disappointment. If erection is the goal, and a guy fails at achieving one, that IS a failure. And guys don't like to fail at anything. We measure ourselves by our ability to providers, as advisors, fathers, AND lovers.

    4. Child #2 (Jon) has been in remission for 5 years now. The rounds of chemo didn't work, but fortunately, child #4 was a 100% match (a miracle!) and he was able and willing to donate.

      You really have given me much to consider.

    5. Merry, you certainly have had your share!

      Glad to have provided some food for thought.

  5. I was overwhelmed by your admission about the Ed situation. You said it to me a long time again ago but to read it left visual impressions of the severity of your plight.
    I regretted putting you in the position of explaining that. I know Rosa so I don’t feel sorry for my freaky girlfriend. I however felt so sad for you that I wanted to lock the door on that answer. It seems that this was extremely positive for you and your readers. I’m glad you were honest and just know we all suffer in some form or way throughout our lives with sexual abuse issues. Love you for being you once again.

    1. You did much more good than harm, my dear. In fact, when it comes right down to it, I could have easily just answered with the hairiness and left this a secret. The choice was mine and I'm glad I answered as I did.

      Thanks for your support and concern, I like the feeling of being cared for.