unhappy woman thinking

Partner of over 20 yrs recently begun having bouts of ED. Went to doctors. All tests ok. Not really a talky person. Tried softly approach and says not interested in sex really. Problem is I’ve seen porn on phone history—videos etc. and weekly so know he’s looking. We also manage to get intimate and release together twice a week, sometimes more, and are occasionally having full intercourse. I find it hard to accept he has ED when it’s hard for oral and occasionally intercourse. He won’t admit any porn viewing, swearing that he’s never looked at it. I imagine he feels embarrassed but my worst fears tell me maybe he’s gonna go to an escort as I saw that he’d looked at a site. He hasn’t been out for years at night so maybe he’s just curious, but I’m feeling ill. My self-esteem is gone and I’m convinced it’s me. He’s loving, attentive, kind, and plans for holidays and a future together, yet in my head I feel like he’s living a double life. I get that porn is a release. I’m ok with that but concerned he hasn’t got ED but made it up. I’ve gently suggested a doctor for ED if he has it, but he won’t go. I can’t say I’ve snooped in his phone because then he’ll just delete history. Please help.

Responses

  • Michael Castleman says:

    Let’s start with the good news—and there’s lots of it. After 20 years together, you still have a robust sex life, and he’s loving, attentive, kind, and clearly plans to spend the rest of his life with you. You would be the envy of many, many women.

    About your skepticism regarding his ED: In mid-life and beyond, erection loss typically develops slowly. It’s a process—first some balkiness, then more. Sounds like he’s on the front end of ED. He can still get it up sometimes during fellatio and intercourse. But his erection capacity is starting to fade. That’s totally normal, but also very disconcerting for many men. He’s not a talker, so he’s not telling you, but believe me, I bet he’s filled with self-doubt and his self-esteem is suffering. He isn’t making up his ED. If he’s over 45 or so, he’s on the slippery slope. Please recognize this.

    About his porn viewing: Many women can’t stand porn and believe that only bad men—misogynists, abusers, rapists, etc.—watch it. This is a huge mistake. ALL men view porn, saints and sinners alike. Don’t believe any man who says he doesn’t. Canadian researchers wanted to explore the differences between men who did and didn’t watch porn. They couldn’t find a single man who hadn’t. Not one. I’m guessing that over the years, you’ve expressed disdain for porn and men who view it. That’s why he refuses to admit it to you. He doesn’t want arguments or condemnation.

    Men view porn for two reasons, to enhance the pleasure of masturbation, and among older men, to convince themselves that they can still become aroused. This is especially true of guys who are developin ED. They want reassurance that they can still become turned on and porn allows them to experience that, which can feel very reassuring.

    About the escort site you found: Do you ever window shop? When you pass a shoe store, do you look? Of course you do. Everyone does. My guess is that he’s just seeing what’s out there, and using those photos and come-ons to see if he can still become aroused. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it. You say he’s a home-body, so he’s not chasing women. And men developing ED generally don’t patronize sex workers. They’re embarrassed that they may not be able to get it up and don’t want to feel embarrassed or be ridiculed.

    He won’t see a doctor for his ED. Many men feel exactly the same. Men are less inclined than women to consult doctors for anything, and visiting a doctor for ED would mean admitting he has it, and maybe he’s not there yet. If he ever gets a prescription for an ED drug, keep your expectations low. They don’t work for around 25 to 30 percent of men.

    You say your self-esteem is gone. I’m sorry to hear that, especially when you have so much to feel thankful for—see my first paragraph. Instead of getting stressed about his developing ED (totally normal), and his porn viewing (ditto), I urge you to take the lead in evolving your lovemaking to sex without intercourse. That’s what older couples who want to remain sexual do. In later life, intercourse becomes increasingly problematic. Men get ED, and most women develop vaginal dryness that can make intercourse uncomfortable even with lubricant. Older couples who remain sexual usually jettison the old in-out for all the other marvelous ways to make love: mutual whole-body massage, hand jobs, oral, toys, and if you feel inclined, perhaps a bit of kink (blindfolds, spanking, etc.). The good news is that men with semi-flaccid or total soft penises can still enjoy marvelous orgasms. For more on this, read my low-cost e-article, Great Sex Without Intercourse. It comes with a money-back guarantee through PayPal so it’s risk-free.

    Finally, there’s the issue of your spying. Do you walk in on him when he’s in the bathroom? Probably not. People deserve some privacy. Personally, I think that extends to phone history. So he won’t admit he views porn, and you won’t admit that you spied. Both of you are deceiving each other. Is that the kind of marriage you want?

    He sounds like a marvelous husband. He’s not doing anything out of the normal range of behavior. Instead of stressing about his phone explorations and having that destroy your self-esteem, I suggest you focus on supporting him through the transition to increasing ED. Show him he can still become aroused, even with his erection problems.

    The two of you can still enjoy wonderful lovemaking together. I wish you great sex—for a long, long time to come.

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