Monday, June 14, 2010

Viagra "not a sack of cement installer"

I'm writing the chapter about cancer and sexuality for my new book, Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud about Senior Sex. The stories people sent me about reclaiming their sexuality after cancer treatment fill me with admiration. I looked back at some older posts on this blog that deal with sex & cancer, and decided to bring back this one from 2006. With the prevalence of Viagra use, I think BillyBob's experience and his thoughts about it are important. - Joan

BillyBob, age 62, has told some of his story previously as a comment here. He recently sent me an email detailing an experience that he wants to share -- and he makes an important point:

I started dating a lady I have known for a year, mostly through phone conversations. I knew that she likes sex. Last weekend we went for dinner. After dinner she wanted to go back to my place for a while.

Well, as it turned out, it was the most embarrassing time I have ever had, all because of a misconception some woman have about impotency.

I took a Viagra after we got back to the motel hoping it worked fast! It did its normal thing and got me sexually aroused but not 100%. She knew I had to take it because of the prostate cancer killing my prostate.

Here is where the misconception comes in. It seems that women who do not know about Viagra seem to think if you take it you just get ramrodding hard, and they do not need to do any stimulation. Well that’s just plain wrong. Men still need stimulation along with the Viagra. The drug is not a sack of cement installer.

And I was not about to masturbate myself in order to get it hard. Not in the presence of a woman.

So as it turned out she turned me off instead of on. What a bummer. It was so disappointing. I had looked forward to our meeting for some time. And the possibility of finally enjoying good sex with some one that likes sex.

All a woman needs to know about the drug is that you do things as normally, using stimulation together. So please tell your readers what my experience was.


BillyBob, thank you for sharing this experience. Viagra helps when there's a physical cause for lack of erection, as you know, but it doesn't increase libido, or substitute for all those other crucial components of good sex that you (and I, and probably everyone reading this) crave -- touching, kissing, bonding, stimulating each other physically and emotionally, enjoying each other's pleasure as well as our own.

It sounds like most of this experience was missing for you. What a bummer, I agree. I'm sorry you didn't feel you could communicate your needs and desires to your partner -- I don't know, maybe she would have been happy to help you get aroused if she had understood. It's hard to understand why she didn't seem interested in stimulating you just as part of the sex play (with or without Viagra), since that's a good part of the fun of sex.

I know you were too embarrassed to masturbate in front of her when she didn't help arouse you, but as a woman, I find it very pleasurable and exciting to watch a man stimulate himself. I don't know if your partner would have reacted this way, but I'll bet she would have.

If you see a future or at least a repeat date with this woman, I hope you'll communicate candidly with her before you get to "the act." And please continue to write.

Thank you again, BillyBob.

-- Joan

9 comments:

  1. I have a somewhat opposite experience. I met a wonderful man several months ago online, educated, brilliant, professional, financially stable. We are sort of part time living together, and have traveled together extensively. Even though I am 83, I am a very healthy, vital, and sensual woman and multi-orgasm quickly, often just with breast stimulation. My partner cannot maintain an erection and I really, really want the complete experience with him. We are both very much in love and look forward to spending what's left of our lives together. The problem is that he will not even consider Viagra or testosterone injections. He still is occasionally erect, and can orgasm with masturbation if not done too often and I can cause him to orgasm using a vibrator. But honestly, I want him inside! He feels there are unknown longterm after-effects. Anybody have any suggestions? My friend is a very generous lover and sees to it that I am satisfied by other means.

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  2. Welcome, Anonymous, and thank you for posting your comment. I understand both your desire to feel your man inside of you and his reluctance to use Viagra or injections. Has he seen a doctor to find out the cause of his infrequent erections? I know, you'll say, "Age!" But age in itself isn't a cause; it can be lowered testosterone, or any number of medical conditions or side effects of medications. It would be great if your partner would see a trusted doctor and work out both cause and solution with this.

    I'm happy that he is "a very generous lover" who satisfies you by other means. Several of the women I interviewed said they were very happy with "other means" when erections weren't possible, and it was important for the health of the relationship to adapt to changed expectations.

    I'm not saying that this is your situation -- we don't know whether Viagra or testosterone would help him.

    Would you ask him this: "Have you consulted your doctor about the cause of your infrequent erections? Has he/she told you that Viagra or testosterone would or would not be a good option for you? Would you be happier if I were satisfied with non-intercourse ways of pleasuring each other?"

    If you feel like asking him these questions, I hope you'll share his answers. Or encourage him to write in, if you feel comfortable letting him know that you're sharing this issue with us.

    I hope other readers will weigh in on this topic, too.

    -- Joan

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  3. I have erectile problems but I love my sex. I find most older women are not capable of even even thinking sex.

    I live in a Hi-rise apt complex. The women here are too old and decrepid to want sex. I have one lady that is 61 years and loves her sex.I have a vacuum pump that works good.

    Nothing beats the good old lust. I have to have her lie on her back, get her legs up so I can insert my penis in properly.

    I can't use Viara because of Nitro which I rarely take.

    Maybe I am too old at 86 to carry on like this, but I love it.

    What's your opinion?

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  4. My opinion is that you’re fabulous, and I’m happy that you’re enjoying your libido. Too old? Never!

    Have you tried the Wedge (a marvelous kind of well-shaped, firm pillow that supports your partner in the position you prefer to provide easier access)? I really recommend it. See it at http://www.liberatorshapes.com/products_wedge.php.

    I wouldn't dismiss women your age as "too old and decrepit," though. There are plenty of women your age who still enjoy sex, but they may need a lighter touch (so to speak) and a different technique.

    Please continue to carry on!

    -- Joan

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  5. GratitudeMay 05, 2007

    This is really good information, and I love the metaphor "not a sack of cement installer." I always thought that using Viagra equalled automatic sexual excitement, so it's good to know otherwise.

    As a woman one of my greatest fears is losing my desire for sex and/or not being sexy to others anymore. I would feel like a big part of me was gone. I think many men interpret using viagra as having to admit that this is the case, even though the desire may be there and the viagra is just an aid to better sex. Being able to get erections is very tied up with being a man, being a whole person, being okay, just like being sexy is for women.

    Speaking for my ego, I have to admit that a man with an erection for me is a huge turn on and oh so validating.

    Many men I know and have known seem particularly resistant to any sexual aids be they viagra or vibrators, and I think the reason is they've been fed the idea that a good and worthy man should be able to satisfy a woman all on his own, every time. I wish somehow that I could convey to some of them that this is unrealistic and that we still need them and want them, and they're still sexy as heck, even if we bring along a vibrator and they bring their viagra. As it is I just do my best to tiptoe around these issues with great caution.

    I've never tried havng the man use a strap on, but my lesbian friends like this a lot, so I would be open to experimenting.

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  6. GratitudeMay 05, 2007

    While we're on the subject of men and erections, I want to share my perspective as a student of natural healthcare. Our life energy (also called chi, prana, and other names) is usually strong when we're young and can decline as we get older. Things like stress, illness, drug use, overwork, difficult children, and not enough fun will take their toll. The body has priorities for what it does with vital energy if we don't have enough of it. Sex is not a high priority, so erections in men are one of the first things to falter as vitality declines. The good news is that there are ways to replenish life energy no matter what a person's age. This is too detailed to go into here, and I'm no expert, but there are herbalists, acupuncture specialists, and other complimentary healthcare practitioners who can help. The body is dynamic, and what we chalk up to aging is not necessarily written in stone.

    For some men -- and women too -- a combination of conventional and complimentary therapies might be effective. Many family practice docs today are supportive of this. If we want to combine therapies it's important to remember that it's our body and we're in charge of our health. Individual practitioners tend to get territorial sometimes, and may tell us their way is the only way, and they're not always right. Bottom line, I believe that the body has its own wisdom and will tell us what it needs if we pay attention. We are blessed to have so many healthcare choices these days.

    Needless to say most MD's will be mystified if you go in and tell them you want to rebuild your vital energy so you can get more erections, but a Chinese acupuncturist or a naturopath will know exactly what you mean.

    I guess one word of caution is in order. There are folks claiming to offer complimentary healthcare who are undertrained and not very ethical (and may be only after our money). To be fair there are also some pretty bad doctors out there too. It's important to check things out and use our intuition to find someone ethical and qualified.

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  7. I love watching people masturbate! That's part of the turn-on for me.

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  8. This is a great article which touches on all the issues we've accumulated over the years about our own sexuality.
    The story about BillyBob had me wondering about the woman's expectations.. she could have changed the mood by caressing him and using other techniques to help get him fully aroused. And, he could have guided her to doing that. If this was the first sexual encounter then the reticence is understandable.
    AS we age, and I'm 55, we have to shift our perspective on sex in order to continue to have fun!

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  9. I can say that I agree that it's difficult to masturbate in front of a lover. Recently I've begun dating a more mature partner, I'm 33, she is 62, and we were having difficulty with penetration. After some advice on a previous post to this blog, I tried a different technique which involved holding my penis while trying to penetrate. It felt alot like masturbation for me but it aided in achieving penetration ultimately. We weren't able to kiss while I was doing it...but ultimately I was able to enter my lover, and it was very intimate and we hadn't been able to achieve that before. What I'm trying to say is that...masturbation doesn't have to feel like a solo act when you're very close and touching.

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