The following article was published on The Guardian’s website where a reader tells of their partner’s struggle with erectile dysfunction.
I was disappointed at first that we could not experience the ultimate closeness.
When I suddenly fell in love in my 70s, I was surprised to rediscover my libido. Having been widowed for several years, I had not expected to feel a sexual urge again.
My new partner’s desire is equally strong and we both looked forward to satisfying physical intimacy. However, this has not been possible because of his erectile dysfunction, caused by a combination of factors: age, health issues and medication. We were both a bit nervous and clumsy in our first attempts at lovemaking and my partner’s problem quickly became apparent. His reactions were predictable and understandable: embarrassment, shame and fear that not being able to consummate our love might undermine the relationship and make me feel undesirable.
I find it difficult to know how to reassure him that this in no way diminishes my attraction to him. I was disappointed at first that we could not experience the ultimate closeness, but we still give each other enormous sensual pleasure through caressing, massaging and hugging. I feel as much yearning for this expression of our attraction as I would if we were we able to achieve full intercourse. What we are experiencing is so life-enhancing that people smile at us on the street when they see us together. I hope he can accept all that is radiant about our love, and not let the fear of losing his “manliness” or letting me down spoil what is such a precious gift: all the giddiness of youthful love at a time when we could so easily be living on memories and nostalgia.
Source: The Guardian