I have a very strange problem. I'm in a long-term relationship (7 years) with a man I love very much.
We've had our rough spots, but overall we do very well and our love for each other deepens over time.
Here's the strange problem: the last few weeks I've lost interest in sex. I still find him attractive, but
just don't seem to be able to translate that into action. This has never happened before and I feel
awful. It hurts him because he's afraid I've lost interest in him. I've tried everything I can think of and
can't seem to make it work. I'm pretty freaked out. What should I do?
When something happens that's never been a problem before, it's natural to be upset and imagine the worst.
That's why I want to begin by reassuring you there's nothing very unusual about your problem. Many men have
occasional periods of impotence. However, few men feel comfortable talking about impotence, so it's easy to feel
like you're the only one when it happens to you.
Here's what I suggest you do:
1. Find a good physician and have yourself
thoroughly checked out for possible medical causes. There are all kinds
of possibilities. For instance, have you started taking any new medications?
Impotence is a side effect of some medications.
2. If the impotence is not due to a medical
problem, then find a good psychotherapist. Make sure it's someone who
is competent to treat the problem and will consider all possible reasons
for it. Also, make sure it's someone who will not jump to the conclusion
you are not really gay after all.
3. Finally, be gentle with yourself while
you look for solutions. Blaming yourself will only make you feel worse
and won't solve the problem.
Author and psychologist Gail S. Bernstein,
Ph.D. has a psychotherapy practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Bernstein speaks
and writes about gay, lesbian and bisexual people for both general and professional
audiences, and is the author of the new audiotape, NOT
HETEROSEXUAL: An Educational Program About Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.