I am engaged to a man I love dearly and deeply, but as the thread title suggests. He is impotent. The first few times we were together, I noticed that he had trouble achieving and maintaining an erection, but didn't think too much of it....put it up to age... he is about 7 years older than me andhe made it up for it with other skills.
. We were fairly active sexually for about a year and then any sexual contact stopped.
Anyway, after numerous discussions, he admitted this has been a problem with him in long term relationships. Whenever he becomes close to someone and begins to care, he becomes impotent. We are both in counseling, separately trying to figure this out.
Can any man here please give me some idea of what you might think he is feeling and why this happens. My couselor won't comment...he doesn't know my finacee and my fiancee just says he doesn't know why.
Any ideas on what I can do to help him get past this? His therapist has suggested that we need to just "fool around", without worrying about what happens in the end, but he has been reluctant to take it further than just kissing. Should I initiate something more? And if so, how?
Appreciate any insight or advice. I love this man with all my heart.
Ever since I started dating as a teenager I found that after 3 or 4 sexual encounters with the same woman, no matter how I felt about her, I would suddenly shut down sexually, unable to perform experiencing various sexual dysfunctions. For many years I attributed this to being easily bored sexually and when the sexual dysfunction symptoms would crop up, I would simply break off the relationship and move on to another until the pattern would repeat and I would move on again and again. None of these relationships ever lasted for more than a few weeks, at most a couple of months depending on the frequency of sexual relations.
I was mainly concerned with building a career in my 20's and 30's so the lack of any kind of romantic relationships didn't bother me. As long as I could have sex a few times a month I was satisfied. Luckily I was fairly good looking so never had a problem getting women to go out with me.
It wasn't until I married at age 40, wanting to have children and be part of a family that this loss of sexual arousal after just a few times having sex began to complicate my life. It happened while dating my wife and although I wasn't going to tell her it was because I was bored with her sexually (what I believed was the cause) I played dumb and and told her i didn't know what the problem was that was causing me to be unable to get an erection during sex with her.
My soon to be wife, ever the optimist, said not to worry that we would seek therapy after we married. We did just that but the months of therapy turned into years and one therapist turned into three all of whom threw in the towel as did my wife who found the various treatments and exercises the Sex Therapists gave us (what they called "homework") to be frustrating and very damaging to her self esteem. This was because after awhile, with therapy obviously not working, she began to blame herself and her own sexual attractiveness. So after three years in an unconsummated marriage my wife gave up on therapy and settled into a sexless marriage the best she could.
I continued on in therapy with various psychologists and a psychiatrist but again none of them could figure out what the problem was. My sexual functioning was fine when I masturbated alone. And I did have two very brief affairs in those first 5 years of marriage and again the functioning was fine until after less than a half a dozen sexual encounters with these women then again I would lose sexual arousal and be unable to perform and I broke off the relationships.
In our 6th year of marriage we decided to seek fertility treatments so we could have children. The fact that I could have success masturbating alone meant we were able to have artificial insemination which worked great and we had two children in the space of 4 years.
After the last child was born (he is now 17) we never spoke of our sexual difficulties again and the marriage has now been sexless for a quarter century.
I really miss skin to skin sexual contact with women but after my kids were born I gave up on affairs and accepted I probably would never have sex again for the rest of my life. To me keeping the family together was more important that having sex although I was (and am) angry that it has to be one or the other. This despite a strong sex drive that hasn't grown any less as I got older. Masturbation alone has been my only sexual outlet. I'd love to be able to seek sex outside the marriage.
A couple of years ago I read an article about intimacy anxiety and how a childhood full of trauma and family of origin dysfunction (my parents were violent alcoholics who hated each other and fought constantly) can cause what is called an "attachment disorder" which in turn causes intimacy anxiety. At first I was skeptical because I never felt any conscious anxiety at all when having sex, even when I was dating and would suffer from an inability to get an erection with a partner. Thinking it was simple boredom I would apologize, get out of bed and never see the woman again. Apparently, according to my research, this is a fairly common problem for adult children of alcoholics who have been traumatized while still very young.
But the article I read went on to say that often intimacy anxiety is subconscious and any time I began to get close to a woman in a relationship my intimacy anxiety alarm bells would go off causing my body to release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline that shut off sexual arousal like a light switch.
Sexual boredom was all I ever thought it was but after reading more on intimacy anxiety I now feel that this is what was causing my sexual difficulties and what has caused my marriage to remain unconsummated and sexless for so many years.
I simply cannot function sexually in a relationship unless I can keep the partner at arm's length emotionally. Something that is impossible when you live with someone in a marriage. I talked to my wife about having an open marriage explaining there was no way I would ever have any feelings for my extramarital sexual partners because if I did it would mean total sexual shutdown physically and mentally. But she would have none of it and refused dooming us both to not having sex for the rest of our lives.
It is too late for anything to be done as I am now in my 60's. But I hope my story might cause someone else who suffers from this to take this information with them to their Doctor or Therapist.