Impotent With His Wife

He lost all sex interest in his wife, though not in sex. He became impotent specifically with his wife.

Patrick, a 29-year-old physician, has been married for three years; and already he is losing desire for his exceptionally good-looking 24-year-old wife. For the several months that they lived together before marriage, they’ve had sex two or three times, almost every day of the week. Honeymoon stage if I do say so myself. For the first year after marrying, despite his busy schedule at the hospital where he was taking his residency in pediatrics, they almost kept up this pace. But then Patrick began having trouble ejaculating, and would sometimes have to pursue active intercourse for 45 minutes.

Later, though he had no trouble in erecting, he started to climax soon after vaginal entry. Finally, he began to lose all sex interest in his wife, though not in sex. Indeed practically every nurse at the hospital, from 18 to 58, looked like the greatest piece of ass he had ever seen, and his mind was rarely far from contemplating what lay beyond her white uniform.

Sexual Inadequacy

Photo by Alejandro Maestre

Patrick suffers from feelings of sexual inadequacy. How long will it take for him to reach orgasm? Will he, sometimes, have one at all or will he lose his erection? Is it just his wife with whom he is likely to fail—or might it not be, especially after the first few times, almost any woman? Dare he experiment outside his marriage, and find out? Could he take it if he proved to be impotent with all females? Patrick is not only worried about what other people might think of his sex failures: he has a serious ego problem, as well. For Patrick has only been able to win his own acceptance, during his entire life, on the basis of outstanding achievements. He invariably succeeded at sports, at school, at parties, at… well, you name it. He is unusually competent, and if you are competent, says his value system, you are a good person. If you are incompetent, or even averagely competent, you are a slob of sorts.


This is a hard philosophy to buck—particularly since almost everyone in the United States and in most other countries in the world appears to accept it. Though such a credo is palpably, if you think about it, false. For how could a total person be a slob just because some of his aspects, his traits, are slobbish? How can ineptness at sports, business, socializing, sex, or anything else, make anyone a rotten being? Yet this is how Patrick still insists on seeing himself, despite all my rational protestations to the contrary. He condemns himself his totality, his being, just because one of his important acts, maintaining an erection and having an enjoyable orgasm with his wife, is frequently substandard. 

So Patrick's impotence predictably got worse, for sexual adequacy depends on thinking and feeling sexily, and just as soon as one thinks and feels un-sexually or anti-sexually, it disappears. This is what Masters and Johnson emphasize in Human Sexual Inadequacy.

Νeeds Female Initiative


Patrick, is enormously egoistic and success centered. But he gradually learned to enjoy himself rather than to prove himself, eventually after some hard work and cognitive behavior therapy, his sex life with his wife improved though he still innocently enjoyed those tight nurse skirts at work. Cognitive behavior therapy is not all talk. It includes homework assignments, which help the individual change his overt behavior, as well as his thinking. 

Sex fear symptoms like berating himself mercilessly for this inadequacy, exaggeratedly claims that he can never overcome it, and viewing himself as a failure are all part of the symptomatic process. He perceives that he is below par in some aspect of sexuality, indicative of what his own biased mind calls "true manhood."

Is psychotherapy the only answer to severe sex fears? No, not entirely. Probably people have overcome their sexual panics by reading, talking to their friends, and experimenting. But for a quick and professional diagnosis it is always best to see an expert.

Now Reading
Impotent With His Wife