During our weekly counseling to harassed husbands we learned that one of the most common complaints from their beloved wives is impotence, which is besides of all other allegations. Wife complaining on men’s sexuality despite of living with him and knowing him for a long time is embarrassing. A man who lived with his wife for 12 years and had a child aged about 10 years is also charged with impotency, of course, this man is now confused of his sexual identity. The word ‘impotence‘ was derived from the Latin term impotentia coeundi describing simple inability of men performing sex with women. Best of my knowledge, no man ever received comments on his sexual ability as long as he remained either a boyfriend or a partner/mate. However once he becomes a husband and a responsible person, he learns new things about his own sexuality. Many does not even know what exactly impotence means, men feel ashamed of being called impotent hence they simply avoid talking about it.
Man’s first instinct is life (to live) and the second instinct is sex, thus sexual personality and its positive reception is important for men in the society. In India though there were yet no proper statistics on male impotency, in developed countries like in America there were 30 million men are reported suffering from impotence. Impotency is of two types, primary impotency and secondary impotency: Primary impotency occurs at early sexual life where as secondary impotency is associated with mental health, a problem that aggravates other physical problems. Surveys say that men who suffer from impotence or being framed of impotence will have lower self-esteem, relationship turmoil, less motivated at work, embarrassment, feeling ashamed and poor self-image.
Hyderabad-based andrologist and impotence expert Dr. Sudhakara Krishnamurti told to Outlook that a decade ago couples would come to him after failing to consummate their marriages for 10-15 years. Today wives often drag their husbands into the clinic within the first week of their marriage. “With women being more demanding in the bedroom, it puts a lot of pressure on normal guys,” he said (As written by Sultan Shahin in Asia Times). Indian civilization is on the move as every one agrees, which includes the urge for sexual exploration. Let’s learn about the factors that are affecting men’s sexuality.
Sexual dysfunction disorders can be broadly classified into,
1) sexual desire disorder (hormonal imbalance),
2) sexual arousal disorder (impotence),
3) orgasm disorder (delay or absence of orgasm), and
4) sexual pain disorder (painful intercourse).
Sexual dysfunction arises due to certain health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease (atherosclerosis, uncontrolled high blood pressure), possible side effect from medications (beta blockers, antihistamines, certain antidepressants, and others), nerve or spinal cord damage, obesity, lack of physical fitness, fatigue, and complications from smoking, substance abuse (marijuana, heroin, cocaine and alcohol). Too much alcohol can cause “shrinkage of testicles,” leading to decreased production of male hormone, testosterone. Some of the men’s common sexual problems are premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction (impotence), libido, retarded ejaculation, and male menopause (andropause).
It is always not true that the impotent men are infertile. Present day sexual problems or otherwise called as impotence causing problems (as per medical records) are focused mainly on two dysfunctional ties,
a) erectile dysfunction, and
b) emotional dysfunction. “Erectile dysfunction” can be diagnosed using techniques such as, ultrasonography, neurological evaluation, cavernosometry, cavernosography etc. suggesting that the problems are associated with bio-physical and bio-chemical mechanisms. Erectile dysfunction though starts only in 5-6% of male population, it grow with age and 25-30% men are victimized by erectly dysfunction by the time they reach the biological age of 65. Erectile dysfunction can be cured with oral medication using drugs like, Viagra, Levitra, Cialis and many more. As mentioned above, fertility problems are not always due to impotency. In majority of men the actual infertility problems are associated with azoospermia, varicocoele, failed testicular functions and hormonal imbalance. Plethora of treatments and methods are available for treatment and to enhance vigor/vitality.
Diagnosis of “Emotional dysfunction” is rather tricky as problems mainly arise due to combination of medical (health issue) and social (substance abuse) or emotional factors. Emotional stress (depression, anxiety, failed relationship, guilt, mental stress or exhaustion) leads to the addiction either to drugs, alcohol or smoking, all of them are known factors for impotency. Emotional factors affecting sex and men’s ability include both interpersonal problems and psychological problems within the individual. Interpersonal problems are mainly marital or relationship problems or lack of trust and open communication between partners. Psychological problems include depression, sexual fears or guilt, or past sexual trauma. However the emotional dysfunction is transient and repairable with either simple counseling or treatment.
Unfortunately the present day married men is always challenged for his manliness (potency) in all aspects if he is childless. Many men these days (even after having children and with proven medical records of virility) are suspected for potency. Many young men due to lack of medical knowledge in physiology and psychology of sex are subjected to severe humiliation by their wives. While infertility may be as much a problem for men as for women, it is still the women who almost invariably raise the subject. In fact many women often confused with impotency and fertility. Since sex is no more an interpersonal subject as it involves society, it deals with life. By looking at the population growth rate no one would dare to comment on potency of an average Indian man. But it is true that Indian men are also suffering from impotency, however the rates are low compared to the other parts of the world. Unlike in rest of the world, impotence in India is psychogenic thus unsatisfied women here are using impotence as a weapon to harass/humiliate their husbands.
Impotence is a ground for divorce (Indian Divorce Act and The Hindu Marriage Act). Similarly denial of sex with spouse is sufficient ground for divorce in India. Recently in Indian courts (as per unpublished data collected from different High Courts) also there is a rise in divorce petitions on the grounds of impotence. Since proving impotency is rather trivial, many further added that their husbands are homo or bi-sexuals. However the guilt and shame of being accused of one of the above said and further considering the society and social status, many men suffer in silence and compromise for their wives deal. The legal meaning of impotence is man’s inability to copulate and inability to propagate.
Most of the cases impotence is curable (85-90%) and many cases it is temporary (associated with psychological disturbances). If a women seeking for divorce on legitimate grounds i.e. husband’s potency, she should be granted divorce. But using fake impotence as one of the grounds to get quick divorce by humiliating men is unbearable and compelling. As stated by many, the main reasons behind such allegations was/is incompatibility, ego clashes between the career-minded husbands and wives. If men know where they stand and realize their standards and sexuality, no wife can batter him and charge with impotence. Even if she does, never be ashamed of with false accusations; try proving yourself as there are some medical standards for the same. Since sex is secondary to life, and marriage is part of life and not just life, stop worrying about false allegations. Don’t hide yourself, don’t feel being locked up in the cage, speak out and seek advice and timely help from appropriate counselor, then you be able to see how small your problem is. After counseling we found that men who were left stunned and bristled with resentment earlier now show a generous dose of emotional courage. Are you joining them?