On Not Being Able to Have Sex

by An Ordinary Man (the novel)

In a CNN.com article regarding penile implants for men non-responsive to Viagra, etc., Dr. Drago Montague, director of the Center for Genitourinary Reconstruction in the Glickman Urological & Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, and professor of surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, is quoted as saying:

“There’s a real need for penile prosthesis, but this isn’t generally recognized by the public and even some medical professionals.  Not being able to have intercourse has been shown in numerous studies to cause low self-esteem depression.”

The article focuses on the medical basis for erectile dysfunction but I submit not being able to have intercourse simply because your mate isn’t interested has a similarly destructive impact.

Dr. Richard Wilson reflects this in his discussions with a marriage counselor in the novel An Ordinary Man in which he grapples with the problem of an unsatisfactory love life:

    “What’s your reaction to this diminished sexuality?”


    “Of course.” Of course.

    “It angers me.”

    “Why is that?”

    “Well, the conclusions I can draw from it aren’t pretty.”

    “What conclusions would those be?”

    Richard drew in a deep breath. “That she’s fallen out of love with me. That she’s getting sex someplace else. That I’ve become physically repulsive.” He paused. “Or, the worst one, that I’m not really worth having sex with anymore because I’m not a good provider.”