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Author Topic: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.  (Read 1647 times)

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Offline newday23

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Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« on: July 30, 2013, 09:36:00 AM »
There has been a lot of changes in my body and life since becoming POZ 4 years ago, when it comes to sex.  One thing I have had issues with is maintaining an erection for long periods of time.  I can get one, as well as I did before, but keeping it for a while after that is a whole other issue.  I'm not that old, 31, so I shouldn't be experiencing a little ED so early.  Can anyone else relate to this?  Additionally what's your opinion about the risks for a negative person giving a POZ person oral sex without a condom?

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2013, 09:40:37 AM »
There has been a lot of changes in my body and life since becoming POZ 4 years ago, when it comes to sex.  One thing I have had issues with is maintaining an erection for long periods of time.  I can get one, as well as I did before, but keeping it for a while after that is a whole other issue.  I'm not that old, 31, so I shouldn't be experiencing a little ED so early.  Can anyone else relate to this?  Additionally what's your opinion about the risks for a negative person giving a POZ person oral sex without a condom?

Hi New . There have been no fewer than three separate serodiscordant couples studies (where one person is HIV positive, the other negative.) These couples were tracked for three. five and ten years. The couples used condoms for penetrative vaginal and anal sex, but NO BARRIER at all for oral sex. Any kind of oral sex.

These studies yielded NO infections.

About your ED problem . I would see my doc and have your hormone levels , testosterone , thyroid and blood pressure checked out , in other words , get a complete physical and discuss the findings and options with your doc .     

Offline mecch

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2013, 09:55:00 AM »
Didn't you say in other threads that you are depressed or are prone to it.
Depression and ED go together and unfortunately they sort of feed each other.
One easy "fix" is to get a script for cialis or viagra and see if that changes your mindset.  Sometimes just getting your mojo back for a bit helps with the depression and also you don't even need the drugs cause your mojo is back.
Otherwise, yeah, go through the docs.
I had some ED when I was depressed and went to neurologist etc etc. All said and done all I got for the money (insurance) paid for all that was a script, as described above. 
I begged for testosterone (I'm 50, not 30!) and they said NOPE.

But the script did change my mindset. 

Another thing is, probably if you are with someone you like a lot and the sex is good and there is energy and exchange, you'll find there is no ED.  ED can happen when the supposed to be "hot" situation isn't ideal, and even more so if the mind or ego isn't in top form in a situation which isn't all that hot to begin with.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline newday23

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2013, 10:28:35 AM »
Hi Jeff,
Wow I need to share these types of studies with my partner.  He is still leery about doing oral sex with me, even though I'm undetectable and he's taking Truvada (as an extra barrier for himself).  I've tried to explain to him it's not going to happen, he's not going to get HIV from me like that, but he hasn't been able to accept it.

And yes I got a physical earlier in the year and everything can out fine.  Might just be my brain that is the problem or lack of energy.  I'm not sure.  I'll look into it though.

Offline newday23

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2013, 10:34:22 AM »
Mecch,
Yeah I'm still undergoing depression.  I suffered from depression through in my early 20's and never had any erection issues.  Maybe it's just a matter of getting older too.  I've tested out ED drugs before and they worked of course.  It was only sample stuff though, I don't think I'd want to take it regularly unless I couldn't even get it up.  It's sounds like if I went through the thread that you did, I'd probably get handed a prescription too for all the time and work.

You're right though about the partner mindset.  Maybe that has a part to play.  I'll have to figure out on fixing that.  I've already been trying too actually.  And hopefully it'll help.  Making sure my partner does everything to keep me sexually happy and we're connected and such.

Offline mecch

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2013, 10:36:27 AM »
Ok so you are in a couple. The situation you described seems like it needs to be hashed out a bit. Its a sexual exchange filled with some fear and ignorance.  Why is your bf taking truvada as "extra barrier" - safesex and you being undetectable, that's enough to ensure that he's not going to get HIV from you.  This is overkill! 

IMO you may have rightful feelings of rejection and even a bit angry and sad and fearful, that your partner may not be fit to be in a healthy relationship with an HIV+ person. This would effect many things, maybe contribute to your depression, and/or ED, and at least not help the situation at all.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2013, 10:38:38 AM »
I think you may have hit on the reason for the ED , possibly . If your bf is on PREP and still concerned , then counseling probably is a good idea . You may find when both you and your partner are secure and reassured the ED thing may resolve .

Offline newday23

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2013, 02:29:24 PM »
Jeff and mecch,
I agree with your response mecch about overkill.  He was very paranoid and ignorant to so much in the beginning that it caused myself a lot of harm.  But we have had unprotected anal sex, me receiving, and he's allowed that to happen.  We have been protected though about 95% of the time.  We have never had unprotected anal sex with him receiving.

I agree that not feeling like I'm in a more open, accepting sex space with my partner, has done our relationship harm.  I think he could definitely use some counseling and some serious informative sessions with a professional.  It definitely doesn't help with my ED because even if I don't think about all of this, it's there before and during sex.  Therefore making me lose my erection at points.

Offline mecch

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 04:17:42 PM »
I had sero-discordant relationships in the 80's and 90's when I was HIV-.
We had safe sex and that put me in a relaxed space. Your bf definitely needs a reality check. Is condomless penetration so important to him (or you), at the price of his own ease of mind?  Is that why he's on the Prep - for the few times he (you both) want to do it without condoms? 

IMO he should either embrace the protections of PREP and you should be having condomless sex all the time, profitez-vous, i mean isn't that the point?  Or, he should go off Prep, get smart about the non-risks of you being undetectable, and have 100% protected sex. 

Sex seems like its ripping your relationship apart, rather than cementing it and also giving you both a good time.

It seems too complicated, the way you two have set it up.

Whats a game plan to get him in a better mindset? He has any ideas?  You? 
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline mecch

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2013, 04:43:13 PM »
Maybe you can enlighten me. Im probably ignorant and definitely not in your generation.  Doctors prescribe PREP to sero-discordant couples if they are having safe sex and the HIV+ partner is undetectable?   
I dunno. I guess my own history may not relate all that much to 2013 situations.
We didn't have such options but then again, once we committed to safe sex the mind seemed ok with the tiny risks.
I wonder if the existence of PREP might sometimes, maybe not that often, but ironically, increase anxiety in serodiscordant couples.  I mean, maybe since it exists, someone thinks it must be necessary... And would worry if they were not on it. 

“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 04:52:51 PM »
I had sero-discordant relationships in the 80's and 90's when I was HIV-.
We had safe sex and that put me in a relaxed space. Your bf definitely needs a reality check. Is condomless penetration so important to him (or you), at the price of his own ease of mind?  Is that why he's on the Prep - for the few times he (you both) want to do it without condoms? 

IMO he should either embrace the protections of PREP and you should be having condomless sex all the time, profitez-vous, i mean isn't that the point?  Or, he should go off Prep, get smart about the non-risks of you being undetectable, and have 100% protected sex. 

Sex seems like its ripping your relationship apart, rather than cementing it and also giving you both a good time.

It seems too complicated, the way you two have set it up.

Whats a game plan to get him in a better mindset? He has any ideas?  You? 

Thank you. I just wrote an exhaustive missive on this very topic in AM I, and I really didn't want to fo it again or copy/paste.

As Andy Velez points out, feelings are not facts.

But of course feelings are important. This area of your life needs to be explored, maybe through couples' counseling or in sessions with your doctor (assuming your doctor is up to date and not holding his own prejudices, as they sometimes do).

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline newday23

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 05:28:14 PM »
Mecch,
My bf's on the meds to ease his mind in general.  He used to even not allow me to kiss him after I brushed my teeth (nonsense, I know).  Now he doesn't care and he's loosened up about a couple things since being on the meds.  Even has been ok with unprotected sex sometimes, although I know he feels all sorts of bad things about it after the fact.  I just wish I could tell him, "We're both on meds, I'm undetectable and we're both in great health, so let's just be unprotected across the board." I don't know if this will ever happen though.  It's taken him 9 months to get to the point where he is now as it is.  I'm sure there are a lot of psychological components involved.  I personally would rather him not be on the meds at all because I think it makes things worse.  If that means no unprotected anal sex then so be it.  I do think it's ridiculous that he won't give me oral sex without a condom even with all of the precautions.  This IS all way too complicated and not good for me in this relationship, prob him either.  I'm not sure what else to do besides get him to some people that seriously know what they are talking about.  My doctor is gay and works in the gay community, his is not.  Maybe that's the direction, take him to talk to my doctor next time I go.

Offline mecch

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 05:34:26 PM »
Yeah take him to your doctor. That's a step.
Sounds like his doctor is indulging an irrational anxiety... Maybe he doc isn't up to date, maybe he is.  Maybe your bf misunderstood the point of PREP.
Do you think your bf can be persuaded by the science?  Does he say he loves you? What kind of future have you discussed, if any?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline newday23

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2013, 08:37:50 AM »
Mecch, yeah I know his doctor is somewhat knowledgeable because he's talked to my bf about a gay couple he's friends with that is in the same position.  But of course, he's not as far along as my doctor.  I think my bf just doesn't get it/is too paranoid of a person.  I don't know if he can be persuaded.  If he was that type of person, he would have already taken in what I have to say alone.  And yes we say I love you to each other.  And we have been planning on a future together.  At least the possibility of it, if we can work through all of our differences.

Offline mecch

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2013, 10:28:34 AM »
What a dilemma.  :(
Sounds like couples therapy, or you both going on your own.

You're trying to get the relationship moving and break this impasse.  This holding pattern isn't good for you - i suppose not good for him either but you're here and posting and HIV+, so mostly I'm worried that you are getting a bad deal, as it were, and that you deserve better.  In your shoes I wouldn't wait years. 

Solid couples have a deep and I think somewhat natural and easy symbiosis.  Twists, turns, challenges, the couples deals with it together.  Everyone knows couples where something comes along and one of the partners simply cannot get over it, try as they might, so the only choice is split-up, or a miserable bitter couple.

How long has he been on the Truvada?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Buckmark

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2013, 10:42:35 AM »
Newday,

I think you've been getting good advice here.  I don't have much to add, except to remind you that HIV+ people deserve to have good relationships -- and a satisfying sex life -- as much as anyone else.  In my experience, if there are sexual issues / tensions  between partners in a relationship, it will really build a wall between the two of you if left unaddressed.  So kudos to you for reaching out, and doing something about it.  Hopefully your partner will do the same, and you can work on it together.  It may be very telling of how you and he will handle other problems that come up in the future.

Cheers,

Henry
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
     One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
     The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock, Musician, The Flatlanders

Offline newday23

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2013, 11:13:17 AM »
Mecch,
Everything that you are saying hits home.  It's not just this subject but everything in this relationship has NOT been a symbiosis from day one.  We're talking about almost everything being on different pages.  So you can imagine how many fights we've had.  This definitely isn't good for me at all.  And I feel like he's dealing with it all the way he has, but deep down inside he wishes he didn't have to.  We haven't dealt with any of our challenges together, it's been constant war.  There are things that I'm not sure either of us can go over on either of our ends.  But we love each other and have sacrificed and been through so much to this point, it feels like a mistake to just give it all up.  I honestly want to try until all options have passed us.  If even after it we don't fix this, then we will separate. 

He has been on Truvada since February of this year.

Offline newday23

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #17 on: July 31, 2013, 11:23:52 AM »
Buckmark/Henry,

Hello and thank you so much for your words :).  I agree completely and I think that maybe since I've become POZ I've let myself settle in ways that I never should have.  I still deserve the best, even with this disease.  I think I've really started to believe this in myself for the 1st time, this past week or so.  It's taken me a while.  I've just really been thinking about how short life is and that I need to be doing all that I can to make myself happy and have a fulfilled life.  These issue have created a wall between us.  To the point that I'm not completely happy with the sexual part of our relationship.  I can't change him though, so that leaves me at an impasse.  From day one I've felt like my bf is adverse to a lot of me and my feelings.  So as your saying how this is telling about how we'll handle problems in the future, it's true.  Because this is how things have been since the beginning.  It makes me worried for the future, since I've always felt my partner has never really been on my side.

Offline tednlou2

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #18 on: July 31, 2013, 08:46:51 PM »
How long have you been together?  Has it been the full 4 years?  If it has been a shorter amount of time, I would think he just needs time to adjust.  If it has been 4 years, then it would seem he is unlikely to progress more on this issue, without some kind of counseling.   

It is odd he will top you bareback, but won't do oral.  That is some odd thinking.  Does he think you being UD won't necessarily mean UD semen, but it would mean UD for your rectum?  Does he normally like giving oral?

I would definitely try to address this now, before you both get settled in the status quo, and end up 10 years down the road having feelings of resentment and not being fulfilled.  As mentioned, this could be the cause of your erection issues.  Feeling like your penis can't be used in the sexual relationship could make you psychologically feel you may as well be soft.  Or, his reaction makes you feel your penis is tainted.  Of course, I'm no doc or psychologist.  I do think our partners need time to adjust, and we should allow them that time.  But, if this has been a long time already, then I think it is time for being more proactive. 

I wish you both the best. 

Offline newday23

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Re: Men's sexual health - what I'm going through.
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2013, 09:15:58 AM »
Hey tednlou2,
We have only been together for 9 months.  He has adjusted more over time but he still doesn't have the correct way of thinking.

Yeah it is odd.  I guess he's stuck in the mindset that my semen is the worst part (has the most HIV content) and he needs to stay away from that as much as possible.  And no he doesn't like giving oral.  So that's obviously a part of it too.

I'm trying to get out a lot of things over time, but he doesn't like hearing the lot of it and gets defensive.  Plus it would mean him having to change who he is, and I have mixed feelings about that.  And yes this is not helping my erection issues because I can't experience things and use my penis the way I would like.  I love oral sex and it sucks that I haven't been able to experience that at all in this relationship.  I do feel like my penis is tainted sometimes, and it becomes deflated the second those thoughts start.  I'm not sure how much time is enough time, but I would think 9 months, 7 of which we've been living together, would be enough.  I know that I'm not being fulfilled sexually, and that's a big issue for me.  Considering I'm a very sexual person.  I always thought that "the relationship" that you will be in forever, you'd experience everything together and experience all that sex has to offer.  This hasn't been the case here.

Thanks so much :).

 


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