Erectile Dysfunction: No Laughing Matter

Written by Clem Boyd

life_erectiledysfunctionIt’s a very delicate topic – one that couples are often reluctant to discuss openly. Indeed, former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole’s admission that he was a sufferer of erectile dysfunction (ED) quickly became fodder for the likes of Letterman and Leno.

But for anyone who’s experienced ED, there’s nothing funny about it. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, about half of adult American men have occasional erectile difficulties; one in eight have a chronic ED problem. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, about half of adult American men have occasional erectile difficulties.

While the possibility of erectile dysfunction increases with age, researchers are learning that growing older may not be the only reason for trouble in this area.

Other possible explanations include:

  • ED as a side effect of blood pressure medication and other prescription drugs
  • An unhealthy diet and lack of exercise
  • Other marital issues

If you are experiencing symptoms of ED, your first step should be a thorough medical examination. And just because your doctor prescribes Viagra™, don’t assume that’s the end of the matter.

“Viagra helps with the sexual mechanism, providing more blood flow to the penis,” says Dr. Mark Yarhouse, who teaches a graduate-level course on human sexuality at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. “[But] even with the ability to have an erection, people are still seeking help on how to delight in each other sexually.”

Yarhouse suggests that a bout with ED may actually provide husbands and wives with the motivation to be more creative in their lovemaking, which should also increase physical and emotional intimacy.

There’s a major psychological element to ED, notes Dr. Doug Rosenau, co-founder of the Institute for Sexual Wholeness in Atlanta, Ga. “Some of it is just facing our mortality – ‘I can’t do what I used to.’ You can get into self-pity and depression. You may even choose to shut your sexuality down totally rather than work through to another era.”

Rosenau points out that it’s vitally important for the husband and wife to band together emotionally and spiritually to maintain their sexual life. Says Rosenau: “Making love is more than intercourse. If having an erection is the end all and be all, the husband will experience performance anxiety.”

And, we should add, provide an unsatisfactory experience for both man and wife.

Dr. Rosenau concludes: “The Almighty wanted to reveal who He is, and sex is a picture window to Himself. Lovemaking isn’t just about an orgasm but making an intimate connection. Being lovers is something you should keep through the aging process.”

And that’s something worth smiling about.

Used with permission from “Focus Over Fifty,” a Ministry of “Focus on the Family.”

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