~ kusala
[ ku-sa-la: Pali term meaning wholesome, skillful, good, meritorious. ]
[ Action characterized by this quality (kusala-kamma) is bound to result (eventually) in happiness and a favorable outcome. ]


2004-10-21 - 5:56 p.m.

[Entry from "Savage Love" by Dan Savage. Why is this relevant? YOU do the math!]

A little background to begin with. I am a 44-year-old male. Clean and sober five years now, nonsmoking three years now, I spent most of the '80s and '90s drinking and doing a lot of drugs and having anonymous (but safe) sex. I may have been stoned, but I knew to play safe.

Now to the present. I have met a wonderful man. He's 40 years old and a nondrinker and nonpartier now, too. He's also had his issues in the past and has successfully dealt with them. We connect on so many levels. We have so much in common. He's everything I've been looking for in a man.

What's the problem, you ask? I can't get an erection when I'm with him. I can when I'm alone. I can even have an orgasm when I'm alone. So why can't I get hard when I'm with him?

In my uneducated opinion, I think I associate sex with being anonymous. It almost seems like I shouldn't have sex with someone I love so much. Kinda like sex is supposed to be dirty and not with someone you love. Am I explaining myself clearly?

I have an appointment to meet with my doctor. He has given me Viagra, but it doesn't seem to help. I'll ask him how much I can take without harm. Go figure, I'm probably the only man it's not working on.

Am I odd? Please help me. My partner is being understanding, but I can't ask him to hold out much longer. It just wouldn't be right.

-- Need a True Hard-On Now

My uneducated opinion jibes with your own, NATHON: I think you've trained yourself, like many gay men who habitually seek out anonymous sex partners, to associate anonymity with arousal. An inability to get it up for guys whose names you actually know and (God forbid!) actually feel something for is the gay-male version of straight men's tiresome "Madonna/Whore" complex.

Some straight men will do things with a mistress or a whore that they won't do with their wives. Why not? Because they love and respect their wives, which they demonstrate by getting their sexual needs met elsewhere. Nice way of showing your respect, huh?

Madonna/Whore can be a hard hang-up for straight men to break, NATHON, and so can a gay man's anonymous/first-name-basis hang-up. What you need more than a hard-on, NATHON, is a therapist, someone who can help you root this out. In the meantime, you should beg your boyfriend to be patient. If he sees that you're working on the problem, he may opt to hang in there.

[SIGH. If only it were that easy.]

= = = = = = = = = = =
previous entry
next entry