Meds and mads


Dear Andrea:

Is there any hope for my husband, who is not able to launch since he's on tons of meds (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.)? He's too embarrassed to ask the doctor, and asking would mean yet another pill. Could he be depressed? Are you the one to speak to?


Nothing Happening Here

Dear Haps:

I can be spoken to, but your husband is going to have to speak up for himself. The doctors should ask, but they often don't want to or just don't. Specialists especially tend to be interested in the parts they're assigned to and may not remember that your husband has a penis or a wife or anything unimportant like that. If you're concerned about something that just isn't that doctor's pet thing, you may have to nag a bit or call them and ask if they've looked into that thing they said they'd look into. (Doctors enjoy looking into things.) You may have to get a new doctor.

There may be hope for your husband (and you! don't forget you!), but it may take a while to unsnarl things. Diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction all by itself, as can blood pressure meds. There's another intriguing possibility that may be worth at least a mention: both forms of diabetes, although they are otherwise dissimilar, can cause low testosterone in men. It can be hard to determine because they have to look for "free" — unbound by the protein that carries sex hormones around in the blood — testosterone, which requires a special test, and the whole issue is still a little controversial, but it's worth a look, since it's a pretty simple fix. I found about a zillion articles on this by looking up "diabetes testosterone," and so can he, if he 's so inclined.

And finally, you ask, could he be depressed? Oh, very likely, I say, but if it's situational it's at least worth a try to fix the situation, isn't it? It's possible that there is no combination of meds that will help, or it may be that there is help but it is irksome and invasive, like a penile implant or shots. One thing I know for sure, though, is that sitting around feeling broken and hopeless never gave anyone a hard-on. (Yeah, yeah, I know. Somebody, somewhere. Sigh.)



Dear Andrea:

It was love at first sight for my husband, but not for me. I tried to dump him but realized that I couldn't live without him — he was the most wonderful human I had ever met, period. I still wasn't in love, and he was OK with that. Sex was great in the beginning but quickly became a chore. I meet other men to whom I am attracted but never have been tempted.

The sex is bad because (don't scream!) he's overweight, really has no clue about basic things like kissing, and comes after three minutes. We talk about feelings and dissatisfaction constantly. I give clear instructions, but he forgets them immediately (funnily, we have exactly the same problem with cleaning!). But in every other way, he is beautiful, kind, and the person I was looking for all my life.

I make no effort because he lacks skills and endurance and can't or won't fulfill my needs. He swears he will get fitter and will try harder to fulfill me psychologically and physically. I know I have become a bit castrating, but he expects me to pick up where his mom left off in other parts of our lives, which is not helping our sex life.

I'm not sure that I can rebuild a hot sex life that barely existed to begin with. Maybe he just isn't right for me and I can't accept it. We need a sex therapist but have no idea of how to find one who's legitimate.

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