Note: yes, I realize that by putting this out there, I open myself up to a lot of ridicule and scorn, but it's also something that's been weighing heavily on my mind for a while and I want to be able to not hide from it anymore.
One of the less desirable side effects of the antidepressant meds that I've been taking is a reduced sex drive. That actually sounds simple, but it's not, and it's not exactly accurate either. It's more sporadic than that, and it affects different things differently.
For instance, I hit on something purely by accident (link from a link) that just turned me into a raging horn-dog for about the past 15 minutes or so, like at the exclusion of almost everything else. That's difficult when you're at work and trying to concentrate on something. And it was completely unexpected, as it just came in out of the blue, and whammy!
I'm better now, but I did save the link for future reference. :)
But the wonkier downside is that it also affects erectile function. And they don't necessarily sync up.
Right now it's not exactly a huge problem-- I'm not exactly keeping Mister Stubby well-exercised-- but there are times when it would be nice to take him out for a stroll around the park, and when he just doesn't want to play, it gets frustrating.
(Sorry for the metaphor there, but I'm trying to not be graphic.)
A few weeks ago, I decided to stop taking the antidepressants, and I ended up going back on them because of the original symptoms that caused me to go on them in the first place. It's a tradeoff between depression and anxiety and sexual frustration, and sexual frustration loses.
Usually it doesn't bother me as much, but when the whammy comes, it comes hard.
Er... well, you know what I mean.
It's also complicated by the diabetes, and some damage that was caused by a bad infection a few years ago. No, not that kind of infection. And yes, it does affect my dating resolve. Because as much as it shouldn't matter, it does.
Are there things I can do?
Short answer is yes. Long answer is "wow, that's a loaded question".
For my own gratification (and since I'm not currently sharing Mister Stubby's Playtime, that is kind of primary), it's hit-and-miss (I won't go into detail because either you don't want to hear that level of detail, or you want to hear in a lot more detail than I want to go into here, and there is a better time and place for that kind of thing). Choosing the right time, the right enticements, the right mood is critical.
For the gratification of my partner, there are certainly more creative options, and I am well-versed in more than a few of them. However, there is a psychological component, a barrier on both sides that says if you can't get it up, you're not a real man. That is the message that sells a lot of Viagra, and it's not just men that have that impression.
(And yes, I have tried Viagra. I have a prescription should I need it, but the effects are sometimes more frustrating than they are sproingy. It seems to be a lot more having to do with timing and mood again.)
So for me to take on a partner, it has to be somebody who is understanding of my "special needs" little pal. And you know, that's just not good first-date material. It's also not real good for random sexual encounters, not that I'm busting at the seams with random sexual encounters, but the dream is nice.
It's not without a bit of trepidation that I talk about this, as it is something that I've kept pretty private for a while. There are a few friends who know-- a few more now I suppose-- but in general I've kept it private.
But if I don't talk about it, who will?
So yeah. Open to questions, I guess.