Despite drugs to treat erectile dysfunction (ED), the reality is that there are many men who will never respond adequately or have erections that are firm enough for sexual intercourse, including men who:
There are also men who may choose not to use devices to achieve erections, including:
Many books, web sites, and prostate cancer forums recommend that couples turn to other forms of intimacy, such as:
These are all wonderful suggestions when erections are not possible and may be helpful for many couples. But for other couples it is not enough.
For that reason, we report about an interesting approach that has appeared in medical literature: a strap-on penile prothesis.
An article written by Warkentin et al provides a detailed account of an impotent prostate cancer patient, who uses this device (also known as a dildo) to achieve satisfying, orgasmic sex for both himself and his partner.
He was skeptical
The man — who was completely impotent due to androgen deprivation therapy — was very hesitant to try it.
But once he did, he was surprised to find that in addition to satisfying his female partner through intercourse, he was also able to also achieve orgasm.
He reported that the device gave him a new confidence, because he had no fear of losing his “erection.”
While his partner was also initially apprehensive, she reported that she was able (for the first time) to achieve orgasm through intercourse.
The couple attributed this success to the fact that they were able to have intercourse for a much longer period of time than even before prostate cancer.
It is important to note that the couple had no expectations the first time they tried this approach. They were simply experimenting.
But they had such a positive experience that they continue to use the device with great success.
From a psychological perspective, the authors of the article suggest that part of the reason this approach was successful was because the device felt “real” to the man.
It was strapped onto his hips, so he was able to use the same movements during lovemaking that he did before treatment for prostate cancer left him impotent.
During lovemaking, the woman was stimulated directly with the device. The trick for the male was that his partner simultaneously stimulated him with her hand, allowing him to receive the direct stimulation he needed to achieve orgasm.
Not for everyone
While this approach may not appeal to every couple struggling with impotence, we felt it was worth sharing.
It is also important to note that only one couple that we know of has benefited from this approach.
Thanks to Richard Wassersug for his help in writing this article.
Warkentin KM, Gray RE, Wassersug RJ. Restoration of satisfying sex for a castrated cancer patient with complete impotence: a case study. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. 2006; 32:389-399.
Always consult a medical professional.