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Okay, I can't help but start this post with a very funny "man-on-the-street" interview clip Jimmy Kimmel did recently.
He was showing people a picture of the new Olympic mascot to see if they could identify it.
Not surprisingly, most people thought it was a penis.
Which it does. If you haven't laughed yet today, the video is bound to make you chuckle.
I'm not trying to tarnish the Olympics by any means, but it's almost as if the Olympic committee... or whoever comes up with these things... was at a frat party when the mascot idea struck them. "Dude, I got it... let's go with this."
Anyway, on a more serious note, the penis is worthy of discussion (the legitimate penis, that is. Not the "mascot-that-looks-like-a-penis.")
I've written about the penis before in my surprisingly popular post 3 Things You Should Know About Your Husband's Penis.
I think the penis is worthy of another post.
We have become numbly accustomed to ads for erectile dysfunction medications... so accustomed, in fact, that we no longer find verbiage about "4-hour erections" good fodder for jokes.
And whose email spam folder isn't overflowing with ridiculous claims about penis enlargement creams, pills, potions and contraptions? Pa-lease. Enough already. When can we finally put to bed this idea that penis size is an indicator of great sexual prowess?
Obviously, when it comes to the penis, our societal conversational boundaries seem to no longer exist. Lots of background chatter out there about penises.
For all of our society's pre-occupation with penises, one would think that a married couple talking about the husband's penis would be easy, right?
Ironically, though, many couples really do struggle when it comes to talking about the penis with regard to their own sexual intimacy.
When the penis is not functioning as a couple "think it should" or "prefer it would," then there can be a tendency to not talk at all. Or to make assumptions.
Or for one spouse to arbitrarily shut the door on any sex at all. (Maybe the wife stops initiating, for fear her husband will feel embarrassed he can't get an erection. Maybe the husband stops initiating, because he is embarrassed he can't get an erection).
A sad downward deterioration of the intimacy follows. Heartbreaking.
And even from a positive angle -- when a husband or wife wants to embrace new ways of the penis being touched or being used during lovemaking (for lack of a better way to say it) -- a couple can feel too hesitant to initiate a genuine conversation.
So this isn't just a communication problem when there are erectile problems. It can also be a communication problem when passion is moving along fine, but could be taken to more creative levels.
Your marriage deserves the best communication possible.
You and your husband need to be able to talk about his penis, just as you need to be able to talk about your breasts,vagina, clitoris and so forth.
A couple becoming comfortable talking about their bodies -- every inch of their bodies inside and out -- is vital to nurtured sexual intimacy.
As far as the penis and...
Impotence or Performance Anxiety.
Wives, if your husband is struggling with getting an erection or maintaining an erection, please encourage him to see a doctor. (Guys, if you are the ones reading this -- take some initiative and go to the doctor without waiting for your wife to ask).
Sometimes age is a factor, but difficulty getting or maintaining an erection can be a sign of health problems, effects of certain medications, low testosterone, etc. At any rate, go to your doctor to explore those possibilities. There's a reason those docs went to medical school.
Even if you can rule out physical reasons, you still need to nurture conversation that can get to the heart of other struggles playing a role -- stress, anxiety, pornography, relationship struggles.
Paul Byerly wrote a incredibly insightful post I think you should read that really digs deeper into erectile problems.
This can be a struggle for some couples. Some people think it is just an issue for young husbands, but premature ejaculation is not restricted to an age range.
Premature ejaculation doesn't have to cast a sad tone over a couple's intimacy. I was enlightened greatly by this post that clarifies what premature ejaculation really is and what it is not (thank you again, Paul Byerly).
Please go read that post and then come back.
Our bodies are complex and simple at the same time. We may think we know quite a bit about the penis -- or we may be afraid we don't know enough.
Either way, if you want nurtured sexual intimacy, you and your husband have to become deeply aware of your own bodies and each other's bodies. And you have to be able to talk about that.
There's just no way around it.
And the exciting and encouraging reminder we all need to cling to is that the penis was God's idea (I know... many of you are cringing that I just wrote that in a sentence).
Your husband is beautifully and wonderfully made.
Do you really know his penis?
Use this post as a springboard into a vulnerable conversation, with the goal being enriched intimacy. (The Jimmy Kimmel video is bound to break the ice a little, right?)
Copyright 2012, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.