6 December 2019 Now I know I most likely have prostate cancer, and that my preferred treatment is radical prostatectomy surgery. I am reaching out to close friends and family for support. What looms large is that the treatment is likely to create (at least temporary) urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Preparing to meeting a group of my oldest friends tonight, I ask myself
What do I want to hold onto as I accept and adapt and improvise with my body, my sexuality and my identity?
What comes to me is this:
- My sexuality is not limited to my erections
- My libido is not limited to my sexuality
- My manhood is not limited to my libido
There’s more to my sexuality than my erections
So grateful that my wife and I have already explored some of this territory, including ten years ago when I briefly experienced erectile dysfunction for a different reason. I cried when she said “don’t worry, we can still make love.” Time for me to let go the male myth that I am not a man without a hard-on.
There’s more to my libido than sex
Deep within I know that libido is actually about love of life, not some specific sexual act or practice. This energy is a gift that comes from beyond, and it’s my mistake if I narrow it down and limit only to a particular kind of expression.
My head has known this for a while … now my body is going to have to know it in a much deeper way.
There’s more to my male identity than all this sex & libido stuff
I see that the world has reached the end of a road for manhood. The kind of command and control model that was passed down to us no longer works for the good of all. There are other roads, maybe older roads, we can uncover or recover, that still embody strength and drive but not domination, and don’t claim exclusive rights to any particular form of “manliness.”
This feels like an opportunity to open up and explore new territories, as both a man and a human being.
In months to come these principles will be tested. For now, let it be my mantra, a belief to hold onto while everything is up for change and some things dear to me will be lost.
Follow up posts: Physicality and Manhood