My partner is impotent.
The medication he is on makes his penis small and tucked away, as if he is constantly cold. With the nicest attention, it will peak its head out before limply pulling back. Sex is entirely out of the question.
But this article is not about it.
It is about me.
When he first was on the medication, sex was the last thing on my mind. He had been sick and both of us were more in the mood to snuggle and count our blessings than romp between the sheets.
But days turned into weeks. Sometimes I would be feeling amorous again. My gentle flirtations were rebuffed but it was fine, he was still recovering.
Of course, it still stung. I had never been turned down for sex before. Why was my partner turning down a gorgeous, willing woman?
Then weeks turned into months. I stopped flirting about sex and we started talking about it. My partner still wasn’t in the mood. I could take care of myself in that department but I began to miss the connection between the two of us.
I needed more assurances that he thought I was sexy, that he desired me, that he wanted me.
This made him sad. He thought I doubted how much he loved me.
I began to feel like a nurse.
Jealousy reared its ugly head. I’ve never been insecure before but suddenly I was noticing every woman he spoke to, every time his eyes lingered. I felt diminished. I felt unwanted and put upon.
One night I woke up and he wasn’t in bed. I got up and found him masturbating to online porn in the living room. I was furious.
“How can you do this to me?” I yelled. “I’m lying naked in the next room and I would do anything for you, but you would rather look at these women.”
I just stared at him. I was too humiliated to think. It was the ugliest I had ever felt in my life.
“It didn’t work,” he said, his head hanging low.
“What?” I barked.
“You’re yelling at me and it doesn’t even work.”
I replied that it didn’t matter, that he still chose porn over me. All the terrible feelings from the last few months bubbled to the surface. I felt worthless and I was angry about it.
I burst into tears. It was not a good moment. I was standing naked in the living room with bed head and sleep still in my eyes. My eyes were pouring tears and my nose was pouring snot and and my face was wet and red. I was about as vulnerable as a person could be.
He didn’t fold me into his protective arms. I didn’t want him to.
He just sat and glared at me as I explained why I was feeling the way I was. It looked like he hated me. I even worried for a moment that it was over between us.
I ran out of steam and slowly the impassive face began to take on gentler lines.
“I don’t want you to see me like this,” he said, gesturing down at his penis that was hiding sheepishly.
I said I didn’t care about that. I’d seen him so sick he could not move. I’d seen him crying on the toilet. I’d been though hell and back with him. What was a limp dick to that?
“Part of me thinks you’ll leave if you see that my penis doesn’t work,” he said. “I just wanted to get it working again and once it’s working you’ll be the first person I tell. Of course, I would, I mean I want to … I miss it too.”
While my homo erectus brain was telling me that lack of sex must mean infidelity, his brain was telling him that if he couldn’t demonstrate his manhood, I would find another mate. No amount of gentle discussion or sincere expressions of feeling could erase the code red warning bells going off in both of our brains.
That night didn’t make things all better, but it did make them a little easier. We’d discussed the things lurking in our subconscious and now we could talk about them.
He made the very unsexy suggestion of picking days to fool around. His package was still off-limits but he was game for everything else, which meant I was a very, very lucky girl.
At first I felt like it was a chore for him, like he was only doing it to keep me happy. I felt guilty that I couldn’t reciprocate. Sometimes, afterwards, I felt lonely, because although he was there, it was not a shared experience. In some ways I wished I could switch my libido off.
But he kept on at it. He told me time and again that he wanted to—that he was getting something out of it. Eventually I believed him.
He is still on the medication and I still miss having sex with him. Nothing can replace that connection. The upside is that my partner has had a crash course on foreplay and now knows everything there is to know about this female’s anatomy.
There are only twenty-six days until he stops taking the medication, but who’s counting?