Overcoming prostate problems

It is an unfortunate fact that many men eventually experience problems with their prostate. Sometimes this comes in the form of the prostate enlarging, other times it may not function as efficiently as it did. In some difficult situations prostate cancer may set in and require radiation treatment or surgery.

In whichever form prostrate troubles arrive, they can foreshadow additional problems to come. The prostrate is a gland which hangs out inside the male body between the bladder and the penis. The glad basically has two functions. It switches the man's inner plumbing to adjust between urination and ejaculation. Imagine a man's inner plumbing as being like a set of train tracks. When the track's switch is in one position the bladder can empty and the man can urinate. When the switch is thrown the other way, he can ejaculate. The operator throwing this internal switch is the prostate.

The prostate's second function is mixing fluid with sperm. As a man reaches orgasm the prostate sends out the fluid we know as semen, helping to carry and protect sperm on their incredible journey.
Pictured: a dramatization

Men often notice issues with their prostate when they have trouble urinating or experience lingering pain around their groin. This can indicate the prostate is inflamed, infected, or simply expanding with age. These symptoms can, I'm sorry to say, also be an indication of cancer.

In cases where a man has had prostate cancer and the offending cancer has been removed, either through surgery or radiation, the treatment can result is reduced function or nerve damage in the prostate. This can make it difficult to gain and maintain an erection.

Hello, I'm Jay, a sex-positive gentleman from Nova Scotia. This week I'd like to talk about how men (and couples) can address erectile dysfunction issues following prostate problems.

Emotional element and support

Perhaps one of the more significant elements to dealing with prostate troubles is the emotional component. Tragically, the emotional aspect of prostate and erectile dysfunction tends to be overlooked with more focus placed on practical considerations and physical treatments. However, I feel it is important to consider how prostate woes can affect a person emotionally.

When the prostate is enlarged (or operated on, in the case of cancer treatments) it has some noticeable side effects. One of these is that men tend to need to urinate more frequently and spend more time doing so. This results in distractions during the day and interrupted sleep at night. It's frustrating and can lead to getting less rest. None of us are at our best when we are tired and frustrated.
We've all had mornings like this.

On top of this, none of us like feeling our bodies change. The discomfort, the frequent trips to the bathroom, and the distress of going through medical procedures takes a toll. If you are a guy going through these things, it can be rough and I empathize. Please keep in mind that most men go through this at one point or another. The difficulties and frustrations you are dealing with are something most of us experience eventually in life. It's not easy and it can be scary, but you can get through this difficult time.

If you are really having a hard time processing the changes (and many of us do), then your doctor can refer you to literature and support groups where you can learn about how other guys got through this tough time.

On the other hand, if you are the partner of someone going through prostate problems, this is a time in which he will likely need a lot of caring and support. None of us like having our bodies give out on us or show their age. Prostate woes affect key functions, such as erectile performance and urination, which are important to men. Biologically and socially, we place a lot of emphasis on having a working, healthy penis and it can feel like our bodies are letting us down. Please be patient, supportive, and remind your partner of all the other (non-penis) ways you love them and all the non-penis-related ways they are beneficial to you.
Everyone needs some tender love and care.

As men we are often judged (or made to feel as though we are judged) based on what we can do for others and our sexual prowess. When prostate issues knock us down it's easy to fall into an emotional spiral, wondering if we're good enough, man enough, if we have a positive purpose in our relationship. This is an important time to let your partner know why you are about them, why they are special to you, and how much you enjoy being intimate with him in ways that don't involve just his penis.

Getting things going

When facing prostate problems and the common side effect of erectile dysfunction, there are a number of practical tools to help a man gain an erection. There are some forms of medication, such as the legendary Viagra, which can help. Personally, I like to focus on non-medicinal options. Some popular sex toys take less preparation time to get working than medication and have fewer side effects, so I'd like to focus on the toys.

In particular, penis pumps (sometimes called cock pumps) are a good place to start. A pump is a device which is placed over the penis and then sucks out the air around it. When the air pressure around the penis is removed, the penis expands to fill the space. This draws more blood into the penis and helps form (and keep) an erection.
Prepare for launch!

Popular penis pumps can vary quite a bit in style and price. There are classic, hand-pump devices which sell for under $30. They're fairly basic and simple to use and a good starting point if you're looking to try a pump for the first time. There are fancier pumps too which will automatically suck air from around the penis and which have a softer interior that feels nicer. If you know a penis pump works for you and want to give yourself the best experience possible an automatic smart pump is a great option.
The Cadillac of penis pumps.

A penis pump is a popular, classic device for getting the male member to stand up and get involved, but there are other approaches. You may have heard of the Satisfyer line of toys for women which massage and suck on the clit? Well, there is a similar product for men called the Arcwave. The Arcwave uses air pulsing pressure to stimulate the head and shaft of the penis. It has multiple intensity levels, allowing the experience to be customized to suit your needs. One of the reasons I recommend it for men who are struggling with erectile performance is this toy can be used to get the penis hard, not just bring a man to orgasm once he's hard.
Better living through technology!

In situations where you find a full penis pump or pulsing toy is more stimulation than you need there are other toys which can help provide a little extra sensation without being overpowering. Tenga makes a series of products which feel really good and provide a soft textured sensation The Tenga Egg in particular is a toy I like a lot. The Egg provides a small, soft sleeve that stretches over the penis and massages the male member. When a little warming lube is added to the inside of the Egg's sleeve it feels especially good and can help launch an erection.
Small, simple, and pleasurable.

Speaking of warming lube, there are a number of lubricants which can bring some extra sensations to a sexy session. Sutil Rich in particular can provide an extra kick and help encourage an erection. Likewise, the Sliquid Spark tingling lube provides cool, minty sensation that many people find arousing.

Keeping things going

Once erection lift-off has been achieved, it can still be challenging to keep the randy rocket in flight. One approach to maintaining a hard-won hard-on is to use a cock ring. A cock ring is a band which wraps around the penis. The band squeezes the shaft slightly, slowing the flow of blood leaving the penis. In effect, a cock-ring is like a reverse tourniquet, preventing the blood from returning to the body. Trapping blood in the penis keeps it harder, longer.
They're like life savers for erections

Earlier I mentioned the Tenga Egg which can help jump-start an erection. The Egg has a big cousin called the Tenga Spinner which offers a similar sensation. The Spinner turns as your penis penetrates it, rubbing your shaft as you enter it. Using the Spinner can tease more life out of an erection.
Warm water and a Spinner makes for a fun evening!

Finding alternatives

Since achieving and keeping an erection can be difficult when suffering from prostate problems, I believe it's helpful to find other ways for couples to enjoy themselves and maintain intimacy. When an erection is being shy or fades it's still possible to explore a wide range of intimate experiences. These can include, though certainly are not limited to: kissing, oral sex, cuddling, massage, groping during make-out sessions, dancing, taking baths together, talking dirty, and trying out new sex toys together.
Maybe all of the above at the same time!

When faced with a sleepy shaft you can view this as an opportunity to try some kinks. Ever wanted to try tying up your partner, what about getting spanked, or blindfolding him and rubbing hot and cold items across his skin? We've talked before about BDSM and how to negotiate kink scenes. Kink can be an intimate outlet when a guy's penis isn't rising to the occasion.

Suffering from erectile dysfunction is frustrating and it can be scary, especially when the prostate is on the fritz. However, there are a number of avenues to finding support, keeping sex alive, and finding intimate alternatives to sex to keep the spark alive in your relationship. The penis may no longer be the star of every sex show you engage in after dealing with prostate issues, but it can still play a part. Try to be open to other activities you can try and take a broader view of sex and the toys involved to keep the passion burning in your relationship.