peacocks.jpgHappy Valentine’s Day to you all. 

On the subject of love:  I get letters now and then from men who are not in a loving relationship at the time they are diagnosed with PC, and they wonder if they will ever be “marketable” again.   My guess is that, yes, if  they have the right attitude, they will be. 

According to Dear Husband, prostate cancer goes to the heart of a man’s sexuality — his genitals (not meant as an insult!), and in DH’s humble opinion, it will likely be the *man* who will retreat first from a promising relationship, because of insecurity.   I think women have less of an issue with a lot of the relationship and sexual problems that PC may engender.

To underscore this point, I want to repost a conversation that took place in one of the online PC support groups some months ago.  A man named Jim brought up some issues in response to an article I had posted about PC actually *lowering* a couple’s risk of divorce.  Jim asked if a woman can love a man whose sexual functioning has been impaired by PC. 

Carol, who just calls herself “A Housewife From New Jersey,” responded.  Her letter should provides some reassurance.  It is a tribute by a woman to all the men here (and vice versa).

Hope all of you, “pink and blue,” take out of this what is intended.

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From Jim:

“If PCa lowers the risk of divorce maybe it’s because of the insecurities that we are newly saddled with in our sexuality, besides the need to stay close and the caregivers’ sense of obligation that kicks in.

It is a tough thing on the head to not respond physically to the loving attention of a sex partner. The thought of dating again if things between us don’t turn around soon is pretty scary. The thought of introducing a new woman to the world of shots, rings and VEDs is also very scary. That first “talk” about ED and options would make the “safe sex” talk that I got so good at not all that long ago seem like child’s play.

I won’t even mention the no-longer-getting hard just watching her take her clothes off or stepping out of the shower.  Can a woman truly become OK with dating a guy who has to introduce a pump into a hot lovemaking session?

The end result can be the same or better, BUT to not have a guy respond to your loving physical attention is probably like making love to a woman who  is trying to decide what color to paint the room while the guy is really trying to make love to her and take her to a higher plane of pleasure.

This insecurity and vulnerability is tough for most of us guys to overcome. I’m not saying we totally identify ourselves by our erectile function, but it is a  huge part of what makes a guy a man. I know we have to be alive to have quality of life issues. However, being otherwise very healthy and fit, ED issues should not become a factor to discuss during the hot newness of a relationship.

It would be very helpful to get the female perspective on this topic.  How seriously does it affect the woman’s mind to be with a guy that didn’t respond physically when she hugged and kissed him? How does it  feel for a woman to be doing lots of intimate things to a man and not have the guy become hard as a rock in nonverbal appreciation?