Thursday, February 17, 2011

She's Afraid He Now Finds Her Unattractive

LeAnn knew what Gary's impotence meant.

He'd watched so much porn, had masturbated to so many airbrushed goddesses, that he wasn't excited by her body and making love with her no longer appealed to him.

LeAnn thought she knew what Gary's impotence meant. She couldn't have been further from the truth.

The truth she discovered as they explored the issue together was this: Gary's conscience was so harrowed by his digital daliances that he felt guilt and anxiety when they were together. He was afraid that he didn't deserve her. He was afraid that he didn't measure up for her.
Gary had always wanted to measure up for LeAnn. He had always wanted to help her feel loved and cherished. He had a porn habit despite adoring his wife, not because he didn't love her, not because he wanted anyone else.

However, after discovering his struggle, LeAnn was afraid that it meant he could easily dump her and run off with someone else. She needed reassurance that he wanted to remain true to her. She sought that reassurance in the bedroom.

That was when a bad cycle got going between the two of them. She initiated lovemaking. Gary wanted intently to perform because he saw how much it meant to her. The more pressure a man feels to maintain an erection the worse it usually goes.

Losing an erection is a common occurance for men. When a couple is not in crisis, not overinterpreting the commonplace, they relax together and try again later. Or they go on with lovemaking. (After all, none of his other body parts have gone limp! His voicebox hasn't siezed up! He hasn't lost bloodflow to his imagination!)

After a while his erection may return again. It's amazing how exciting he can get watching her when she's lost in pre-orgasmic delight. Or they enjoy caressing or clinging to each other.

But a couple in crisis like Gary and LeAnn have a hard time relaxing and moving on. LeAnn thinks she knows what his limp penis means. Gary wants to badly to show her she's the only woman he loves. He doesn't find sex with her boring, he finds it too intense. He puts too much pressure on himself.

The good news is, Gary and LeAnn's situation is easier to resolve than chronic desensitization.

I could tell Gary's love for LeAnn was sincere, so I thought he'd be willing to take on a difficult assignment. They always spent time together in the evenings, so I told him to approach her every night between then and our session the following week.

"Your job is to spend a half hour or so making love with your wife. The catch is, you need to do it without an erection. You've been overly focused on that, on making sure that happens, that you've ignored LeAnn. So we need to remove that as an option for now."

I turned to LeAnn. "Before we go ahead with this, I need to check something out with you. There are two kinds of women. Some only feel loved if their man has a rock-hard erection as he's making love with her. To the other kind of woman, a hard penis is not her main way of feeling loved. She can feel attractive to him because of the way he gazes into her eyes and appreciates her body. She can feel cherished because of the words he whispers. She can feel adored because he doesn't want to stop touching and caressing her. LeAnn, before we go on with this assignment of Gary not having an erection this week, I need to make sure it won't devastate you. I need to make sure that your this second kind of woman."

LeAnn readily assured us that she would feel loved if Gary moved toward her rather than away from her, even if he didn't have an erection.

Now Gary had something he could do that he actually had control over. It would be a challenge to initiate being together when he had come to fear it. However, I also knew that he could respond well to this kind of pressure.

(He could handle intense pressure. He'd seen combat in Vietnam.)

Gary just needed to have a way of improving things that would go better under pressure instead of worse.


  1. What was the result of the week-long assignment?

  2. Thanks for asking Michelle. It's fun to remember back to the sheepish look on his face as he let me know they had" failed." He ended up getting an erection when he was trying to focus on expressing his love in other ways and they broke the rules of the assignment and had intercourse. They thought they were out of the woods and went back to life as usual. Pretty soon he was struggling again (going limp) and they had to start over with the assignment, shifting his focus from performing to relating.