In their most recent Sex Talk, Dr. Pat and Dr. Hilda discussed the physical and psychological benefits of sexual pleasure, especially in tough times. Here, the conversation turns to men as sexual partners: their physiology, their concerns, and their responses.
Dr. Pat: I have a patient whose husband is on a new prostate drug. It’s a drug given to men who have prostatic hypertrophy, which means the prostate’s enlarged. They try to shrink it so that the bladder doesn’t become enlarged, because then there’s difficulty voiding. The first drug that he used had broad-based receptors. This new one was more narrow in its focus. But the unexpected difference in the two drugs, which was not explained to the patient’s husband, was that in some men it actually caused an increase in the number of erections and the, you know, the—
Dr. Hilda: Hardness?
Dr. Pat: No—how erect they actually were and how long they could sustain an erection. So this was a happy surprise for the man, and a surprise for the woman. It’s an interesting situation. Suddenly she has a more active sex life than she’d become accustomed to.
Dr. Pat: However, I think that every woman would acknowledge that an erect penis that’s hard is a lot more fun than an erection that is not predictable and may become flaccid and cause performance anxiety. So given the alternative, this woman is actually delighted.
Dr. Hilda: I’ve heard that some women don’t necessarily like that poke in the middle of the night—you know, when he kind of comes up behind you and there’s something hard in your backside begging for attention. [Laughter]
Dr. Pat: But you know, it all depends on how smart the man is. If he expects that simply by poking his partner in the middle of the night he’s going to get anything more than a quick, “Would you mind moving back?”—
Dr. Hilda: Or totally ignored.
Dr. Pat: Well, it is very hard to ignore the presence of a hard penis poking you in the back. But I do think if the man is romantic and very good at getting his way, then he would have developed some techniques that are more romantic. And I think that while no woman wants to be awakened at 3 a.m. every morning, an occasional and unexpected sexual encounter during the week is actually quite wonderful.
Dr. Hilda: Well, I would agree that an occasional surprise is wonderful. But I’ve heard that there are some women who are awoken on many occasions at 3 a.m. by something hard in the middle of the back.
Dr. Pat: I would suggest that those women have a serious conversation during the daylight hours, preferably while taking a walk—since we know that men do not like to be spoken to with the direct eye contact.
Dr. Hilda: Well, I would agree that communication is extremely important. Some of my patients have said that they—the women—begin to snore when they get poked in the back, as a sign that “I am sound asleep, and I am not going to wake up simply because you have an erection.”
Dr. Pat: So I think communication in the daylight hours. I suggest to patients, when we have these conversations about their sex lives, that the conversation be staged—that they take a walk or a drive in the car so there is no direct eye contact, or do it after their partner has been well fed.
I encourage them to always be positive. To say something like, “How wonderful it is that in our time of life, after we have been together for 30 years, that we are as romantic as a couple who only met six weeks ago. I am such a fortunate woman. But you know, I do need a little attention—a little nuzzling, a few sweet words in my ear, telling me how you just woke up from a mad and passionate dream in which I was the star.” I mean, what woman could resist that?
Dr. Hilda: But she needs to be warmed up before the main event.
Dr. Pat: Of course. And the ‘appetizer’ is not grabbing the tatas or the bush. Why do men think that foreplay means grabbing a body part? I would suggest there are stagings of foreplay.
Dr. Pat: But they can be re-taught.
Dr. Hilda: Yes, they can, and should be, re-taught!
Dr. Pat: And that is our job as their partners.
Dr. Hilda: Our jobs as women who would like to have a happy sex life.
Next: Erections, Foreplay, and Morning Sex.