Losing the ability to get and maintain an erection goes to the very core of masculinity, and it can be easier to just stop having (partnered) sex than risk embarrassment. And, by the way, only a small percentage of men who could benefi t from Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra get prescriptions. Impotence is that diffi cult to discuss, even with a doctor. It seems probable that it is underreported even in an anonymous online survey.
Although 30 percent of the male respondents acknowledged problems with ED, 39 percent of the women thought it was a problem. The men who were willing to admit it was an issue rarely commented further, and when they did it was often to transfer the source of their "problem" to the woman they married, suggesting that her lack of adventure, interest, or even her appearance was the real reason.
Later in the book we will explain the physiological and psychological reasons for erectile dysfunction, as well as the closely related problems of premature ejaculation and inhibited orgasm, and explore ways to approach and solve this problem with compassion and tact and help you or your partner stop suffering in silence. It is an extremely common problem, and, importantly, one that usually can be easily resolved.
Clinical sex therapist Della Fitzgerald believes depression is one of the main reasons men stop being sexual with their wives, and the majority of our female respondents agree. Dr. Fitzgerald states: "Many times the man may not even be aware that he is depressed over the stressful things in life—economic stress, career stress, not achieving the things he wants. He is not even aware he has responded [to the stress] with anger, and the anger has gone underground and moved into depression. He is not enthusiastic about anything at all." He is not enthusiastic about having sex with his wife if he thinks she's depressed, either. That was the case with almost four out of ten men.
Ironically, just as depression lowers libido, so do many antidepressants. There are new ones on the market now that are supposed to have less of a libido- lowering effect; however, everyone reacts individually to these drugs, or combination of drugs. It is imperative they be prescribed by a specialist such as a psychiatrist or psychopharmacologist.
Often, if a drug reduces sexual desire, it can be switched with one that won't. It is extremely important that you inquire about any negative side effects that may occur, and discuss them fully with the physician, pharmacist, and your spouse.
SSRI = So Sorry, Romance Impossible?
Dr. Helen Fisher believes that some of these drugs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, such as, for example, Zoloft and Prozac) may not only lower libido, but also prevent the development of romantic love and attachment. They may even eliminate the ability to have those feelings, making a person in a committed long- term relationship suddenly and inexplicably feel no longer in love with his or her partner.