What's an erection?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/28/2007 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
No, I'm not that naive, but I am curious when discussing ED how much of it is absolute and how much is just relative.  I gather the accepted definition of ED is inability to achieve an erection sufficient for intercourse.  Does that mean that if you were able to achieve penetration that you don't have ED, or that you have a milder case of it?  I am now one month post op found myself having intercourse once just to sort of prove a point and achieve a psychological victory.  I have taken Viagra (25 to 50 mg) intermittently on the advice of my urologist just to help blood flow.  Ironically, it was 8 or 12 hours after taking it that something of an erection just seemed to happen, got my wife's attention and my first instinct was to try it out, which we did.  It didn't last very long, but it met the definition of intercourse and did serve as an encouraging psychological boost for me, although it definitely wasn't like high school.  I guess I'm like most everyone else here, looking for encouragement in a frustrating situation, but then it occurred to me that there are all different degrees of success in this field (as there  were before the cancer) and I don't really  know how to "measure" it (no pun intended, and please don't answer with anything about rulers eyes ).  I recall at one point reading about results of various ED treatments, and it seems that there was some kind of objective data used to compare short and long term (again, no pun intended) results of various treatments.  Most of the discussions here seem to hint at degrees of success, without conveying much of an idea of how much success that is.
A related thought.  I've found an interesting side effect of all of this.  My incentive to succeed at this and my wife's understanding about the challenge has had a peculiar way of altering but maybe even enhancing our sex life in the month since surgery.  I was blessed with having zero problems with incontinence after the open surgery, and so I immediately focused on the next hurdle.  I want to please her, and obviously there are other  options for that, and she recognizes that we both need to let our own needs be more flexible (is there a tax on puns?) in the process.  I wonder sometimes if I'm just playing mind games with myself and maybe adding more stress to the equation by feeling I have to succeed at this.  With a wife who's nearly 20 years younger than I am, the pressure might be even greater.  Anyone else have the same concerns?

M. Kat
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 715
   Posted 6/28/2007 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Aviator, speaking from a wife's point of view, I think I understand what you are saying. there are different definitions of getting an erection, like you said. I think a lot of us want an erection worthy of satisfying intercourse. and then of course there are different definitions of satisfying! oh boy..... yes, we wives want a good sex life and you husbands want to satisfy us, but I think you put too much pressure on yourselves. this is what Jeff and I have experienced so I'm only speaking from our thoughts. yes, our sex life has changed. we've actually had more fun in the past 10 months and Jeff just said the other night that he's had more oral sex (on the receiving end) and is thoroughly enjoying that. :) so we continue experimenting with positions and the pump, get frustrated at times, but are enjoying each other in many ways. thank you for opening up some of your thoughts and feelings. kat
Husband Jeff 56 years old diagnosed July 27, 2006
PSA 6.5, 2 positive areas in biopsy, Gleason 3+3=6
Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy August 30, 2006
pathology report - all clear - cancer gone
1st post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 2nd post-surgery PSA test <0.1, 3rd PSA <0.1
no more pads Oct 12, 2006
first "real" erection with use of pump 12/16/06
3/07 - occasional dribbles and erections with Cialis and pump

Rick Roma
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 37
   Posted 6/28/2007 1:01 PM (GMT -6)   
I am almost positive my parents did not have sex in their older years.... and they seemed to grow old, very happily.....lol

There is a special church here nestled deep
in the forest.... a beautiful bell hangs at the very top.... it only stops ringing.  When you come through the forests for your voice takes its place....   Richard

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1464
   Posted 6/28/2007 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Aviator,

Yep, our sex lives change after PCa. Ours got better because we had to start talking about what pleased us again. Being married for 51 years put us in kind of a rut. It was just sex. Now we make love again, not, as you say, like in high school but making do with severe ED. Sometimes I have a "flat tire" and other times I can get something like penetration with a ring. We had to free up our thinking and do some experitmenting which is actually fun. There are positives to this experience and we are looking to full function again.

Hey Rick, I bet they did...

Age 72. Diagnosed 11/03/06. PSA 7.05. Stage T2B Gleason 3+3.
RRP 12/7/06. Nerves and nodes okay.
Pathological stage: T2B. Gleason 3+4. Cancer confined to prostate.
PSA on 1/3/07 - 0.04. 
PSA on 4/4/07 - 0.00  T level - 48  Restarted T therapy.
Next PSA on 7/18/07.
 "I have cancer but cancer does not have me."

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 400
   Posted 6/28/2007 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   


I'll take you up on that bet and I'll win!!!  We "old" folks have alot of fun under the covers.  One more point I wish to make - when we reach our "golden years" it's not the great sex we remember in most cases - it's enjoying just being together, a special touch, a gift for no reason, wanting to satisfy the other before ourselves, etc.



Diagnosed Feb 2001  (Age 65)  Currently 72
PSA 4.8      Gleason 3+3=6      Stage   T2b
Completed Proton Therapy @ Loma Linda - Aug 2001
Have had no side effects.
6yr PSA - 0.19

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 621
   Posted 6/29/2007 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Isn't it funny how we grow up and figure our own parents couldn't possibly be having sex. I too always had that impression and find it to be such a common thought among us 60+ group. As our 3 kids grew up we always had open discussions about sex and life and I really feel if any of them were questioned to day they would all say their parents are sexually active.

Dutch and Biker you are so right with your posts on sex as we age. It still remains a very important part of a relationship, even as the dynamics change.

:o) Linda & Bob
Bob (61) - Laproscopic Prostate Removal Sept 27, 2006.
2 of 12 malignant biopsy samples - gleason 3 + 3 = 6.
Pathology - cancer completely contained, even a second more aggressive, previously undetected cancer)
PSA UNDETECTABLE Nov 2006, Feb and May,2007.

Bob also has two secondary conditions -- Polycythemia (elevated red & white cells & platelets) and . . Myelofibrosis) -- If anyone has experience with or information on these, please email us.

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