The Lovin' Ain't Over
Chapter 4 Regaining Intimacy
Earlier we said that knowing your partner could make
loving better rather than worse. The key is that it should
be easier to talk about loving, and your likes and dislikes,
with a person you are comfortable with.
One woman told us that the security of the relationship lets her "do things with her body" that she would
not dare do with a new partner. She said she feels "free
to explore new ideas." Prostate cancer therapy forced this
couple to rethink how they made love and to share their
Start with the idea that when suddenly faced with impotence, you have to relearn how to make love. The best
place to start is by learning what your partner likes. In the
course of talking in support groups, as well as in private
conversations, men have commented that they "don't
know how to begin." When they were younger, erections
came easily; the erection seemed to be the "switch." After some kissing and playing, the "switch" turned on,
and they would go directly to intercourse. This may have
taken just a few minutes.
Now, they find that this method is no longer enough
to give them an erection. So "what do we do?" This lack
of knowing what to do reflects the fact that many couples have forgotten "how to make love."
Making love is an art. It is like painting. The painter
uses brushes and paints to create an effect on a canvas.
He or she has to know what will happen when a certain
brush is used. The painter decides on the effect he or she
wants to create and selects the right brush. The brush is
the means by which the painter creates the effect with
one or more paints. One may think of the "loving"
brushes as the kiss and different kinds of touch. For ex-
ample, a kiss on the neck may produce one effect. Running the tongue from the lips down the throat to the
breast will produce a different sensation.
The other variable in all of this is the partner. One approach to loving does not work for all men or all women.
Each of us reacts to different stimuli, humor, certain
touches, etc. Each one should know, and ask, what the
partner likes and doesn't like. Understanding what action
will produce what effect in the partner is one of the key
benefits of long-term relationships.