Dear Doc:I forgave my cheating wife, but ...
Q Doctor, a strange thing has happened to me. Ten years ago, very soon after my wife and I got married, she cheated on me with an insurance salesman from St Andrew.
Well, I forgave her, though it was very difficult. We love each other, and our marriage has been pretty happy since then.
But six months ago, just after our wedding anniversary, I suddenly found that I seemed to be losing my nature. Whenever I try to have sex with her, I just could not keep up my erection.
We have not had intercourse since then. My wife is puzzled, and clearly frustrated. I know she has been masturbating when she is on her own, because one day I came into the bedroom just as she was 'discharging'. But we have not discussed the problem of my virility at all.
What is going on, Doctor? Why have I lost the ability to have sex with her? Do I have some serious physical illness?
A. I guess you are only in your 30s and erectile dysfunction is very rare in that age group. So when a man in that age group loses his 'nature', the most common reason is some emotional or psychological problem. Could there be one in your case?
I would definitely say so. This erection problem started just after your 10th wedding anniversary. Perhaps more important, you 'lost it' almost exactly 10 years after your wife cheated on you.
There has to be a high chance that your condition is due to the fact that you have been thinking about her infidelity. It is to your credit that you forgave her, but it is probable that your unconscious mind has been dwelling on the past.
So what should you do now? The first thing that you must do is to start talking to your wife about your difficulty. Please make sure that you inform her that you really do love her and that you do not wish to abandon the sex life which you two have.
It is possible that the two of you might find it helpful to discuss the question of her masturbation. You may find what I am going to say rather surprising, but these days that sort of frank discussion about female masturbation is often quite effective in bringing a couple together.
Next, you really do need to see a counsellor or a therapist. The idea of this is to bring out your innermost feelings and to help you come to terms with any subconscious resentment you may have about your wife cheating a decade ago.
Finally, I think a course of Viagra (or similar medication) may do you well for two to three months. This would almost certainly give you good erections, so that you can make love to your wife - and also get your confidence back.
I think that the outlook for you and your wife is good. But you must get used to speaking frankly with her about these sexual matters.
Q. I am 25 and have very irregular menses. So I went to a doctor, and she thinks I have 'polycystic ovary syndrome'. It is not definite yet, but I have some of the symptoms, like facial hair.
I looked it up on the Internet and I have found that there is a risk that I will have a poor sex life. There are women who have posted remarks like 'polycystic ovary syndrome makes me unable to climax' and stuff like that.
Is this all true, Doctor? I have only had a few sexual relationships, but they seemed to go OK. I occasionally find myself rather slow to orgasm when I am with a partner, but I can easily manage to do it on my own.
What do you think are my prospects? I hope that, in the next year or two, I will get married and start a family.
A. Well, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is extremely common. But bear in mind that it is not yet certain that you do have it. Please be advised about that diagnosis by your own doctor, and do any tests that she suggests.
As you have seen, there is a lot of stuff on the Internet about how PCOS can affect a woman's sex life. But I think you should ignore them.
You see, I have studied all the recent major scientific publications about PCOS and I can assure you that there is no definite proof that this disorder affects a woman's sexuality. The best piece of research which I have found shows that there is no significant increase in sexual dysfunction among 'PCOS women'.
However, PCOS-sufferers who are overweight may possibly have slight difficulty in achieving orgasms. But you have demonstrated that you can orgasm without much difficulty, so it sounds like everything is OK in that department.
To conclude, I must add that PCOS can seriously affect your ability to have children. But the first thing to do is to find out whether you really do have it or not.
Q. I am a 41-year-old man and, in recent months, I have found that I keep having to rush to the bathroom to urinate. Also, I frequently 'dribble' during the day.
What is going on, Doc? And will it affect my sex life?
A. There are two main possibilities here:
You may have a urinary infection;
You may be developing prostate gland trouble.
Either way, you must see a doctor right away and have a prostate examination. When you go to see him, take with you a specimen of your urine in a sterile container.
I think it is unlikely that your urinary problem will affect your sex life.
Q. For a year now, I been involved in a kind of 'secret threesome' with my boyfriend and another female friend of his.
Please don't think badly of me, Doc, but it has all been pretty exciting. To be honest, the three of us have had some real wild action together.
But guess what, Doctor? The other woman has now told me that she has developed what she calls 'increasingly warm feelings' for me. And to my astonishment, I seem to be getting strangely attracted to her.
Now she wants the two of us to meet up for 'dates' without my boyfriend. I am confused, Doc. What is your advice?
A. Well, as I have explained in this column before, these 'threesomes' have the potential for trouble!
In particular, three-way sex can make people develop powerful feelings for one of the other participants. I once encountered a case in which a married couple invited a young man into their bed and the husband ended up by running off with the young man.
My advice: Don't go on any date with her and bring this threesome arrangement to an end now.