For most young men, sex is a driving force for just about everything in their lives. Once we get past the basic need for survival (and sometimes even before that) sex is the underlying motivation for almost everything we do. Looking good, becoming educated, getting exercise, working hard, acting funny, making money, wielding power, even just being nice are often done in the hopes that they will somehow get us laid.
Women, on the other hand, have different priorities. They know what’s important – love, family, health, and all the other things that make them smarter than us. Sex is not as much of a defining part of their lives, as it is ours. Some women claim that their sex drive is just as strong as any man’s and, of course, there are many highly sexual women. But there’s really no comparing the male sex drive to the female sex drive. To quote comedian Larry Miller, “It’s the difference between shooting a bullet and throwing a bullet.”
This is why it is so difficult for men to adjust to our diminishing sexual prowess as we grow older. After a lifetime of obsessing about sex all the time, it’s a huge shock to the system to suddenly realize that your stick shift is stuck in neutral…that your little soldier stopped taking orders…that your pleasure pump is no longer performing at its peak capacity.
The first time I became aware of this phenomenon was when I was in my late teens. My father, who was in his 60s, sadly admitted to me, and I quote, “I can’t even get it up anymore.” Outwardly, I tried not to show any reaction to this very sensitive subject and personal confession. But inside I was thinking, “Holy shit! I can’t believe my father just told me that!” And then my hormonally raging mind went to, “Holy shit! That’s like the worst thing I could ever imagine!”
Of course, now there are all these erectile dysfunction medications that make impotence practically obsolete. If only they could have invented them in time to help my dad. How lucky are us Baby Boomers to be the first generation that benefited from these miracles of modern science? But as great as Viagra and Cialis and all the other brands are, they can’t fully recreate the raging, uncontrollable hard-ons we used to get in our younger days.
How often do you wake up with “morning wood” anymore? (I remember hurting myself just rolling over in bed.) When was the last time you had a wet dream? (I actually miss those.) How long has it been since you popped a boner just from watching a pretty girl walk by? (The damn thing used to work like a divining rod.)
When you’re young, nobody ever warns you about what’s going to happen to your love muscle later in life. For example, having a large schlong is usually a source of pride and confidence in a young man. But as you age, it just kind of gets in the way. The same thing happens to women with large breasts. They’re great when they’re young, but as they age they can cause problems. At least women can have breast reductions. A penis reduction is not an option that any guy I know would ever take.
I remember hearing stories, and dirty jokes, about how after women reach menopause their vaginas get dry. But I never heard anything about how penises can dry up. In his prime, a young man will cum like a Super Soaker water gun. By the time he reaches middle age, it’s more like a leaky faucet.
Perhaps the worst part of all is, while our bodies are saying, “I think I’ll turn in early tonight,” our minds are saying, “Come on! Wake up! I want to party!” I know this is nothing new and I’m not the only guy who feels this way. Over 400 years ago William Shakespeare wrote, “Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?” That’s right, even the Bard had trouble getting hard.
Maybe it’s a good thing that our bodies don’t let us keep carrying on the way we used to. Maybe, at this stage of our lives, we’re supposed to find more constructive ways of channeling the energy we used to put into our sexual conquests. Maybe it’s nature’s way of saying, “It’s time you stopped acting like a horny teenager.”
Besides, there’s not much we can do about it. We can live healthier lives, we can take the prescribed medication and we can stop being ashamed to talk about it. It happens to all of us who live long enough. So don’t be afraid to share your experiences with your friends, don’t try to hide it from your partner and remember – it’s okay to laugh about it.