I am sitting here, trying to think how to approach this subject. It is -1 outside and I have a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at my side. It is not easy as it is rather personal, but so many men suffer the same things in silence. I feel I must speak out on their behalf. We accept surgery, radiation and hormone therapy because we believe it will save our lives. Maybe it does. Maybe it makes little difference in the long term, time will tell.
What it does do, is ruin our quality of life, in particular, our sex life. Most of us just accept that we will never be the same again and just get on with other interests. But deep down is a sense of loss that we mostly keep to ourselves. At age 50 I went to university and ended up with a degree in rehabilitation counselling. I worked in this field until my diagnosis at age 62, later, part time casual until I was 67. So I have learned a thing or two. One is to explore all avenues and don’t just accept something because a doctor says so.
Unfortunately the doctors don’t say anything about taking care of that which is private and precious to most men. They don’t say “use it or lose it!” because they think you have already lost it. Surgery causes the penis to lose 1-2 inches of length. Some surgeons deny it is so. Besides, if the erectile nerves are damaged, you won’t know as you won’t have erections again. Of course your testosterone is still normal and so are your urges. You want to continue to satisfy yourself and the lady in your life. Not easy to do with a limp piece of meat where your proud member once stood. Some men spend a small fortune and endure pain having implants and pumps surgically implanted. The surgeons love to do this, great for business. Some try things like vacuum pumps and penis injections. Both feel weird to do and are definitely not romantic. They require a truly understanding partner in order to achieve anything like an acceptable outcome. Many women give up, and so do their men.
Speaking of outcomes. It is possible, but not very inspiring to have an orgasm without an erection. It feels strange, is dry (no wet sheets!) but does provide some sense of release. Of course the lady is turned off by this as it is a lot of hard work, so she sleeps in the other room. The man feels about as useless as that boat in the heading photo. In time, what is left shrinks. In my case I tried for many years, but then for around 4 years I had no erections and no orgasms. That was OK because I was on hormone therapy that took away any desire I might have had anyway.
Then I found my love from the past. I explained my situation, that I was “half a man”. She didn’t care about that. We could still be happy. We connected on so many levels. It didn’t seem to matter.
Oh, but it does matter. Since we have been together we have discovered that physical intimacy is really important to any relationship. We need it to connect in that special way and we know that it is a real need, not just a want. We are not going to give up easily. It is hard work and we have to be serious about it in order to achieve any kind of sexual intimacy that is satisfying for both of us…..