ED is something that Barry and I are learning to live with. It is also something that we each agree we should share in this blog, because we know we are not alone in this journey. However, it is something that most couples aren't comfortable talking about. I'm extremely proud of Barry for being supportive of us talking about what it is and how we deal with it. We each feel it is important to share.
The most important thing that we have learned is that ED can be a precursor sign of higher risk for a heart attack. We wish we knew that before Barry experienced his heart attack over a year ago. He had been periodically experiencing ED prior to that and had discussed it with his primary care physician. However, the physician never mentioned that this could be a preliminary sign of heart issues. So if your lover is experiencing ED, please be alert to other possible indicators or risk factors with respect to heart disease. That is probably the most important thing I can share. We were lucky. Barry had a heart attack and is still here!
What is ED?
I'm sure the specific symptoms can vary between different males. However, for Barry, it has involved difficulty in achieving a firm erection and the inability to sustain a firm erection for any significant period of time. He still has sexual urges and desires. He can still ejaculate (although it usually requires significant and prolonged stimulation). However, he frequently can not achieve or maintain an erection of sufficient firmness to penetrate and stimulate me for more than a moment or so. That is particularly frustrating to him, and also to me.
So, how do you deal with ED?
The answer to this question is an ongoing process for us. I don't think there are any hard and fast answers. We've had to find our own path, and we are continuing to learn new things. I'm very thankful that we had previously learned about "devotional sex" and practiced some aspects of it. That has helped us be more attuned to wanting to please each other. That has also allowed us to be more open to exploring different ways to please each other that do not involve Barry penetrating me. In fact, prior to the ED issue, Barry became quite adept at providing me with an orgasm without penetrating me. I've had a bit of a higher learning curve with respect to finding appropriate ways to please him, but I'm getting there.
In many ways, it is beautiful that we've had to adapt and find new ways to please each other. We each realize that providing that pleasure is the most important aspect of a sexual relationship. And, we are each committed to doing that. We have learned that sexual pleasure can come from many different types of loving acts, and it doesn't have to be limited to what we have always done before.
In some future posts, I will try to share some of what we have learned. I'm not yet clear how detailed we are willing to get. However, I will do my best to share some meaningful information.
I hope that others can benefit from what Barry and I are experiencing.