Not By Choice Pt 1

I didn't end up here by choice. My wife is the most stunning woman on the planet. Then why am I here? I survived prostate cancer. I'm cured, if you want to call it that. Really, it has only made me a drone. In reality, It probably has gone on for sometime prior to my diagnosis and treatment. In hind sight, I probably had it then, and just didn't know it.

As I look back, I can't really recall when the sexless phase began. It wasn't anything I thought of. And that's the problem. The thought, or drive isn't there. Post medical tests show that my testosterone level is that of a 100 year old. It's about 330. I don't know many that age trying to get jiggy. But because it's within the bigger picture, read non-aged adjusted, it's normal. Sure it is. I can't have replacement therapy because that may cause the cancer to return. The outlook should it return isn't the best. It's almost a bad movie plot. Gamble the future for a few years of normality.

However, in the last few months, there have been 2 occasions where I felt a strange almost vibration in me, and the drive returned. Sadly, both were while I was at work, and it was gone by the time I got home. I didn't like the feeling. It was down right scary. Although my wife doesn't believe me, she was all I thought of.

But, I'm post treatment almost 3 years now. Including the time prior to my beginning treatment, it's been almost 6 years since either of us had a 'normal' sex life. I did have a moment, 4 years ago and it produced our son. I can't say that I accept it. It just is. Nothings there, regardless of stimuli. I don't think about it.

Then what is the problem? I'm 15 years her senior, much too young to have developed it, but it happens. She's mid 30 now. I don't know how much she thinks about it for the most part. During mid-cycle I hear about it. She believes that it's just her, which it isn't. I have a whole list of side affects from the treatment. She is aware that this is one of them, but I don't think she has accepted it. When we discuss it, she speaks as if I've made a choice. Usually, we both get angry at what's said and become silent.

She read the PC and ED boards. Will point out that "others" seem to be concerned about what their wives were going though and would find alt ways of insuring her needs are met. That's simply grand. I take it in this context. Your legs have been cut off, why can't you run too. They do. She doesn't understand that it's like thinking of food after a holiday meal. It's just not there for me. I'm happy the ' others' concern is present, that means a reasonable T level. It's amazing how much that one hormone defines males. Hell, even the hair on my face is really soft now, and what used to be a days growth now takes almost 2 weeks.

I'm not sure how to handle it. Nor am I sure how much more she can.

CallmeL CallmeL
51-55, M
17 Responses May 23, 2012

My neighbour, at my previous home, and his wife enjoyed each other a great deal. They flirted and played, in public, and "got very frisky" in private...<br />
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He developed prostate cancer, which eventually took his life... and even when he knew he was dying, he continued to alternate the treatments that fought the cancer, with testosterone replacement therapy. His nerves were severed in the operation to remove the cancer, so he was left permanently and completely unable to gain an erection.<br />
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At the time, my ex and I had been sexless for several years, and one day my ex came home and told me that the neighbour had told him that he used an injection, directly into his penis, to gain an erection, so he could still have full on sex with his wife... whom he loved very much, and both wanted and needed to satisfy.<br />
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...and he was dying...<br />
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I had never really the liked the guy much... he was a bit of a jerk... always trying to move the property line over, wanting us to cut down 40 year old trees...<br />
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I came to admire him.<br />
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...Oh, and he was 59 when I met him... they had an active sex life well into his 60's (she was about 5 years younger than he) and this occurred when he was nearing 70.<br />
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Age and menopause didn't stop them either.

Oh, and my husband, thought he was nuts... said he would never do that...

By that time, I wasn't surprised., isn't that something? wow


....And I can't even get my H to take a bloody Vitamin!

I know... mine was an out of control diabetic, and even his doctors were fed up with him actually taking pride in the fact that he was walking around with blood sugar levels that should have incapacitated him.

I firmly believe that his diabetes, and his refusal to make any effort to control it, caused the breakdown and eventual failure of our relationship.

2 More Responses

....FOIA "I think you are being unrealistic no matter what way YOU look at it,"<br />
Saying " I am beginning to feel sympathy for your husband" is a despicable thing to say to a woman who's been through so much, especially since you don't even belong in this group, and "That says an awful lot about you as a personality" and what an ******* you are.<br />
Yes these are your own words....

I still like this LOL

So she's stunning but because of the effects of your treatment you have no inclination for sex?<br />
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Can't you just go down on her, that'll keep her happy.

There's an old song that goes, " I want you to want me". My wanting to please her isn't enough. I have to be "in the mood" and desire her in that way. Or don't bother.

I mean I empathise about your situation with the absence of the sex drive, but you know she has needs, you love her and think she's stunning - so do you not think you're being selfish by not taking care of her in that way?

In a true and comitted relationship, It isn't about yourself, It's about your partner. When two people share this same attitude it is a recipie for a lasting and sustainiable future. When either partner is only concerned about themselves, the future is limited and ultimately finite. I have ED and untold sexual anxiety difficulties, but I would NEVER deny my partner intimicy and passion. I get turned on by giving her pleasure. As a few other posters have mentioned, full body massage, oral and finger stimulation, plus a never ending dialouge of affection makes up for any disabilities that i have encountered "not by choice"

Give her a divorce.

On the flip side, may years ago, I was the person wanting sex while my wife had no interest whatsoever. Sadly, this lasted for at least two years. Eventually, I moved myself to a separate bed when I discovered that, when I would lay next to my wife, watching her sleep, not only was I horny, frustrated, and sad, but that I also began hating my wife for not wanting me. I decided then and there that I would change the only thing I could - I would remove myself from the bed so that I would not be as likely to be hurt by and angry with my wife. I used a lot of **** to help with my own frustrations.<br />
Eventually, we discovered that the birth control pill my wife was using reduced her sexual desire to the point where it was virtually non-existent.

Just read your post.<br />
I'm no medical export.<br />
I haven't done much research.<br />
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What I can tell you is this:<br />
- I am 41<br />
- I had a partial prostate removal when I was 37<br />
- in the last two years, my sex drive has decreased from wanting it every day and multiple times a day (simply laying next to my wife would arouse me) to rarely even thinking of sex, even when cuddling naked in bed. <br />
- now, we may have sex once or twice per week, but I usually make a conscious decision to "go the extra mile" to become sexually stimulated enough to want to have sex.<br />
- when I discussed the much lessened sex drive with a family physician (whom may not know about my prostate removal), he said that a reduced testosterone level is normal for 40 and over. In fact, he said testosterone levels in men steadily decrease from about age 22 on, but that the decrease isn't as noticeable until some time after age 40.<br />
- hormone therapy is available, but involves placing a gel on your back nightly<br />
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My wife hasn't mentioned missing sex unless it is in response to my querying her about it.<br />
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While I would really like my sex drive back, I do not want the hassle of a gel on my back (and wearing a t-shirt at night!). If therapy were available via pill, I'd give it a try.<br />
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It hadn't occurred to me that a partial prostate removal could affect my sex drive. The surgeon certainly did not mention it. He said "everything will be like it was before (the surgery)." He is a liar. There are several other issues which develop with prostate removal.<br />
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Good luck with whatever you decide. I hope that you and yoru spouse work together and communicate with one another to understand one another's feelings, desires, needs, and fears.<br />
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A few stories back, a chick offered up a story about her husband in a similar dynamic to you.<br />
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Find it. Read it. You'll get HER perspective on the situation.It might give you an insight into how your missus is feeling about this.<br />
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Maybe shoot her a pm.<br />
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Tread your own path.<br />
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PS - the story is called "Celibate Life After Prostate Cancer" by saintly.

It would seem that the fact that you're here, asking questions, is a good sign. But if you're really married to the most stunning woman on the planet, and can't satisfy her needs, then it's just a matter of time before she stumbles upon the phone number of 'filtermachine', or someone similar.<br />
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Are you trying to do anything physical at all? For example, I give my spouse full body back rubs which last 20-30 minutes. Believe me, it's a lot better for her than it is for me. But I can tell that she enjoys it. So is there something that you can do for your wife that would satisfy her needs? Maybe you could give her oral sex on a regular basis. Or maybe something else? Sure, it may not be as great physically for you, but you'd feel better knowing that your 'gift' is well received.<br />
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... then again, you could always hand out her phone number.... Just say'n :)

Listen to ring2ring3.

Guys like me are everywhere. If your wife is as you say, or even half that, I would not hesitate to lend a hand or other body part. When she says "my husband won't have sex with me hardly ever," I don't think "bad girl for looking around." I think, "you poor, let me help you."

Listen to Ring2Ring3. Unless you want someone like me boning your wife, you need to step up to the plate. Eventually she will call, and I will not hesitate. If that thought does not bother you, your marriage is beyond over.

I am honestly not trying to be abrasive here, I understand what a cruel taskmaster cancer can be, and I do have sympathy.<br />
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What bothers me though are statements like:<br />
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..."Will point out that "others" seem to be concerned about what their wives were going though and would find alt ways of insuring her needs are met. "...<br />
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Why shouldn't alternate ways be explored? That is giving up, and I don't have sympathy for that. For instance I know a very happily married paraplegic. His body might be wounded, but his brain still wants to satisfy his wife. They work around it. It's the mindset of "well, I don't FEEL sexy, so I am not going to try to enjoy my partners feelings" that bugs me.

I'm truly sorry for what you're going father faced the same a few years ago, but is now fortunately cancer-free. I'm glad that you didn't take it in anyway but in the spirt it was meant, and glad that you and your wife are still being intimate despite the wishes for your recovery.

FOIA, as you know, I am usually one of your greatest supporters. I see much value in almost all of what you post. But on this issue I have to disagreee with you. It seems you think we are asking "too much" of the poster. I on the other hand think that HE is asking "too much" from his wife.<br />
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I like your advice to him that includes seeking possible positive outcomes and honest sharing with his wife. Those are good ideas IMO.<br />
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But I also agree with Msdamgoode who says "Because HE feels no desire, he won't enjoy mine." It seems to me that he is unwilling to try anything because he cannot complete the act. And she is unwilling to believe he cannot complete the act . . . So BOTH of them are contributing to the problem.<br />
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If they BOTH genuinely desire to hold their marriage together, they need to make a joint effort to "get on the same page" and at least afford themselves the opportunity to move forward together. At present their opinions are nowhere near sufficiently aligned to allow that to happen.<br />
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Also, whilst three years is a short time in the recovery period from cancer, it is NOT a short time for a healthy young woman in her thirties to remain sexless! In her case I imagine she sees this period as interminable - and with no end in sight!

Dude, <br />
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I know the solution to your problems.<br />
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All you have to do is give her something very special.<br />
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Just what is this special thing? <br />
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I will make sure she does not bother you again. <br />
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Can I get an Amen?

Omg, I choked on my tea.

I'm afraid you are not going to get sympathy or understanding or a cup of tea here.<br />
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Apparently, you are just supposed to suck it up and pretend you have a libido and behave as if nothing is wrong. And woe betide if you let the mask slip such that it looks as if you are going just going through the motions, Too bad too if your partner is a penetration person because you will have to come up with something believable to substitute for that as well. This may all seem ridiculous to you. That is because it is. Apparently it not permissible to either have no libido or to let yourself be affected in any way by having no libido even though everyone recognises that it is fundamental to everyone's sexuality, man or woman.<br />
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All I can suggest to you that as a sexually frustrated and depressed male prostate cancer survivor that you aren't the first and you won't be the last. Perhaps you can find the willpower to resist, deny, your unwelcome state, to be less accepting of it. It might actually be good for your psyche. Ask yourself why you maybe had those transient and rare 'stirrings', what caused them, is it replicable. Ask yourself to what degree low testosterone may have an affect, or not, on a man's sexuality. Ask yourself whether men who have a testosterone count such as low as you still participate in sex and if so how and why. Ask yourself whether your depression over being a cancer 'victim' and the ensuing consequences is maybe having an effect on your libido. Ask yourself whether any other medication you are having may also be impacting your libido. Ask whether your general state of health is affecting your libido. Ask yourself whether you can adjust to a state of mind that sees you more as a giver than a receiver. And three years is still only three years. Maybe a long time in abstinence terms but not much as a cancer survivor. Don't give up on yourself. Maybe then others won't give up on you.<br />
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Above all include your partner in your thoughts and concerns fully. Try to describe how you feel, what your frustrations are, your fears. However, do be tactful, she is mourning a loss as well, presumably one that was and still is important to you both.<br />
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And above all try to hold out some hope.<br />
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P.S. Is your wife's attitude to the issue off-putting to you into the bargain?

Of course it's permissible to have no libido, wtf?
As a woman, I've certainly had my share of sex without fulfillment. But just because I didn't come, doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable on another level. But the male version all too often is no sex at all without if I can't come, then it's not worth it! Bull. Just because both partners don't have the same physical reaction to sex is no reason to not have it at all.

So, sex is not all in the mind then? I think you are being unrealistic no matter what way you look at it. Sure, I have heard it said that woman should just lie back and think of England but never men. Apart from which, as a mostly emancipated man I have always thought that missive to woman was unreasonable, selfish and just abusive. But that is just me. I think if you read all the OP's responses you may find he is being asked to achieve the impossible. In terms of what his wife is hoping for, not demanding I expect) he just can't do it. Pretending to moan and groan just won't cut it. He feels guilty, frustrated and depressed that he can't do the act. She feels guilty about expecting him to ham it up for her sake. He is just talking about it, reflecting on it, voicing aloud his deepest fears and regrets. Try to cut him some slack. It will make you look like a better person to everyone else. By the way, the biological process that gives men a wish for sex is independent of their ability to have an erection. That's what makes morning wood and actual rape possible.

First, I'm not trying to "look like a better person"".
Second, no where did I mention that anyone should ham it up, as you put it. I do feel for him, however, when someone says they can't satisfy another because if their own lack of libido, I say bullshit. Anyone can curl up with their partner and help please them regardless of thier own physical response. I stand by that. The desire doesn't have to be for sex, the desire has to be to please.

Well said!!! Yes, I know that one. Husband has ED and so for a long time if we tried intimacy it was all focused on whether he could get hard - and if he didn't manage to come then it wasn't sex. To the extent that all he would do was keep his eyes tightly shut and rub his ***** against me for hours to get it stiff. Incredibly boring and not much fun for me.

You are accusing me of saying things about YOU that I did not but as it is I am beginning to feel sympathy for your husband which is not what is supposed to happen. But there you go, it that won't matter to you either, so it is a by-the-by. As far as I am concerned your lack of empathy and understanding is blatent. You decided to pick a fight and make it personal when I had no wish to do so. That says an awful lot about you as a personality.

....FOIA "I think you are being unrealistic no matter what way YOU look at it,"
Saying " I am beginning to feel sympathy for your husband" is a despicable thing to say to a woman who's been through so much, especially since you don't even belong in this group, and "That says an awful lot about you as a personality" and what an ******* you are.
Yes these are your own words....

Warning, your hypocrisy is showing, FOIA. I didn't make it personal, you did.

Check your time stamps, dude.

You are just being absolutist and unforgiving and that is your nature. It is not a problem to me. It never will be. You reacted to my response in your pre-programmed manner irrespective of what the OP was saying. That is a manifest lack of insight. That is a problem for you, not me. If I am being hypocritical you should be prepared to point out how, not just make a bland assertion. That is not proof of anything.

OS. Whether I belong to this group is irrelevant to what my opinion is or not. That is a cheap and worthless retort. Vacuous in fact. It makes no difference to me whatsoever. The woman had a go at the OP in a way that show lack of understanding and empathy and it was valid to point it out for because all I know it may be pertinent to her situation. If you and her wish to dismiss it out of hand because of who I am or what I am, so be it. It is no skin off my nose.

...This is a support group, you are an *******....

OS. It appears that your opinion and your values are the only ones valid. Calling me or anyone else names achieves nothing and only goes to undermine your own personality. I gave up calling people juvenile and rude names a long time ago. You are inferring that compassion should be unconditional. Compassion that is unconditional is valueless. If you can not recognise that and accept it then you have issues all of your own. You can shoot the messenger if you like. That will not alter the truth.

8 More Responses

Then make yourself "into it". The physicality you might not be able to control, but the mentality is a different thing alltogether.<br />
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I think you should ask yourself why you're not mentally wanting to satisfy her instead of moaning about why you can't physically. Because unless your fingers and tounge have dropped off, unless you can no longer read her an erotic passage in a book, unless your brain has atrophied, you CAN still statisfy if you so choose. A penis doesn't have to be involved. Your brain does.

And for the record, this exact thing is why my husband is an utterly selfish ***, despite his ED. Because HE feels no desire, he won't enjoy mine. He still doesn't get that it's not always what you feel, it what you do.

You own the sexual problem. It is not your fault - it just "is". But is certainly up to YOU to find and explore every possible solution if you love your wife and want to stay married.<br />
I can pretty much guarantee you that you will be single within a year (at the most two) if you fail to recognise that her needs are valid and justified.<br />
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I strongly recommend you seek advice from a specialist in prostate cancer on the issue of sexual disinclination. ASK about treatments, both physical and mental.<br />
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Seek out a sex therapist (qualified) to discuss the options available to you. Encourage your wife to see the sex therapist with you.<br />
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Your perception of how your illness has affected your sex drive, and your wife's perception of the same thing, are vastly different. IMO you need professional help to come to the point where you are both on the same side of the fence in this issue.<br />
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It is very unlikely you will achieve any harmony in this until you can both see reality clearly AND be empathetic to the other partner. A good sex therapist can assist you achieve this.<br />
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OTOH, it may be that you and your wife have reached the end of your marriage. A sexually active woman in her mid thirties cannot give up her sex life even if she loves her partner to the highest degree. You may need to recognise that your illness has also been the death knell of your marriage . . .

You don't have to have a raging hard on to satisfy your wife occasionally. It's the mentality that because you don't want it, she shouldn't either that is killing your marriage and her self-esteem. <br />
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You didn't choose to have cancer, but you are choosing to ignore your wife's needs.

I get what you're saying about thinking about food after a holiday meal. But think of it from her perspective. You're satiated, but she arrives tired, cold and hungry from a long walk in the snow after her car broke down. She's starving, but she's too shook up to fix something for herself. Do you say "Hey, I'm full. I've just had a great meal - I can't even think about food. I can't be bothered to fix you a sandwich and cup of cocoa" She's not asking for you to make the full holiday meal or to even eat it with her. She just wants some comfort and sustenance.<br />
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That's the consideration she's talking about.<br />
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Just make her the damn sandwich.

Wish it were that simple. It goes back to the part about her not really believing it's not there. She wants me to be into it, otherwise doesn't want me to bother. It's a catch 22.

She wants you to get pleasure from you pleasing her. She wants you to make that sandwich out of love, not slamming cupboard doors and sighing and rolling your eyes. Maybe it's just not in you. If it's not...well, maybe you need to set her free to find her needs met elsewhere.