The Chernenkoffs are feature columnists in
the magazine "The
Boomer". (formerly the Wealthy Boomer)
Please click on whichever title from the
"Sensuous Boomer" that you wish to read.
Erectile Dysfunction |
The Dual-Income Couple
When the big 'O'
goes missing | Rapid
Living with Erectile
"When the darn thing won't stand up…"
Why will VIAGRA be a success in Canada? It's the answer to a grown man's
prayers. No more fumbling with pumps, rings or urethral suppositories,
treatment is as easy as a pill slipped into the pocket of his sports
jacket ready to be taken one hour before intercourse.
Erectile dysfunction (ED) affects 52% of males between 40-70 years of age.
This is the fellow who comes into our office and says, "The darn thing
won't stand up." Clinically ED occurs when there is an inability to
achieve or maintain an erection for satisfactory sexual performance.
For a male to think he will never have difficulty with erections is the
same as him thinking he will never get a cold or the flu. But if he has
difficulty with his erections for 2-3 months he should see his physician
to have an assessment to find out what is causing the problem.
The ED can have a profound effect on the male, his partner and their
relationship. It can have a devastating effect on the male. Males tell us,
"I feel inadequate. I don't feel like a man. I wait for my partner to go
to sleep before I even come to bed. I'm so afraid she is going to want to
have sex and I am going to fail."
He develops fears of performance, where he thinks… "I’m afraid I'm not
going to be able to respond the way I would like to or the way I think my
partner would like me to." This develops into a fear of failure where he
thinks… "I know I'm going to fail so why should I even try?" He avoids the
situation, and there are less and less sexual approaches. When we ask
these fellows how often do you think of the problem? He says, "I think
about it all day long, every five minutes it's on my mind."
ED in the male also affects his partner. When she is first aware that her
partner is having difficulty, she is usually very supportive, but she
often blames herself. Women tell us that they think… "What am I doing
wrong? Am I less desirable? Does he still care for me? Is he giving at the
She begins to question her own sexuality. If nothing changes and the
problem continues she next can become angry at the situation and at him.
She says to her partner, "It's not me, it's you. It's your problem, do
something about, go and see your doctor." One woman said to her partner in
anger. "Don't start anything you can't finish." The last stage the female
experiences is one of indifference. She may have been left frustrated so
many times that she willfully prevents herself from getting aroused and
stops approaching him, and she says. "I don't care if I ever have sex
Some female partners are supportive and positive, but even that may be
interpreted by the male as pressure. A gentleman told us that one time he
was finally able to get an erection, his wife stood by the side of the bed
and sang "Happy Days Are Here Again."
On the other hand if the female has a low desire and interest for sex and
she has sex with her partner out of a sense of obligation, her reaction to
him having ED may be one of relief. This lady is not too interested in him
reversing his dysfunction. Her message to her partner is, "Not tonight
dear, or to-morrow night either if I can help it."
The decision of wanting to reverse the ED and having treatment needs to be
a mutual decision of the couple. Relationship issues of anger,
frustration, and resentment need to be treated first, otherwise the
treatment failure will be high.
If the couple previously enjoyed their sexual relationship then the effect
of the ED on them is that they miss the closeness and intimacy that they
once had when they were able to have intercourse. They may compensate by
enjoying themselves with oral or manual stimulation.
For the majority of couples with a good relationship, the hope of being
able to reverse the erectile dysfunction simply by taking a tablet will be
celebrated. For them it will have a wonderful positive effect on their
lives, and their relationship will be enriched.
As soon as the couple focus on sensations rather than goals and fears,
that is when Viagra will work the best. It will enhance the natural
underlying ability to respond to sexual stimulation. One gentleman who
successfully reversed his ED summed it up this way. He said, "You know
I’ve learned that erections are like city buses, if you miss one there is
always another one coming around the corner."
"The Sensuous Boomer"
Sex and The Dual Income Couple!
"Don't forget the sizzle when you bring home the bacon…"
"What sex? We have a flawless relationship, we just don't have sex." This
is a common statement we hear from dual income couples. The scenario is a
good relationship, great jobs, and no sex. One couple explained. "We
haven't had sex for so long, we feel like two virgins trying to make out."
In 25 years of counselling over 3800 couples, the pattern that we have
seen develop in couples where both are working is Inhibited Sexual Desire
in the female. Women tell us. "I could live the rest of my life without
sex. The trouble is I'm married and it's creating distress in my
relationship." Yet once she goes ahead, she is responsive and orgasmic.
She is working eight to10 hours a day, the same as her partner. She comes
home… what does she do? - everything! He may help with some household
responsibilities, but more as an assistant. She is still in charge. What
does he do? More likely he comes home watches TV or reads the newspaper.
He is shifting gears, deprogramming from a work-orientated to sensory
What is she doing? She is looking after the children, doing the laundry,
getting dinner on the table, cleaning up after. She has three jobs:
career; homemaker; parent. One woman told us. "Sex with my husband is less
appealing than brushing someone's else's teeth. When I hit that pillow I
just want to sleep."
She is suffering from time-and job-overload. Too much to do in too short a
time. Sex is the last thing on her mind. About 10:30 p.m. guess what he's
become interested in? He pokes her and says, "Do you want to? Do you want
She says, "I'm not in the mood!" She's waiting for feelings of desire to
surface first and then she will follow with the behavior. Why? Because
every other aspect of her day is scheduled and organized … whereas this is
the only segment of her life that she hopes will be spontaneous and
romantic. She is waiting for the feelings of desire to overwhelm her and
she will stop her housework and follow with the actions. Unfortunately,
the feeling does not come for one week, one month or many years. We hear
from young career couples, "We haven't had sex for one or two years." The
couple gradually spends less time together, crossing paths at mealtime or
during the night. Their communication begins to whither and very often
power struggles begin to develop. Other reasons for lack of desire may be
distress in the relationship, depression or medications. All of these are
not conducive to closeness and intimacy and sex is not likely to follow.
The good news, however is that once she does allow herself to become
involved in a sexual encounter with her partner, she is likely to be
responsive and orgasmic, because she is confident, not afraid to touch and
she knows what her body needs. How can this couple prevent or get out of
the problem once it is there? First, they need to have effective
communication, which is the blood supply to the relationship. It brings in
the nourishment and takes out the garbage.
He needs to back off. When we ask these fellows, "Why are you constantly
approaching your partner many times a day? Is your desire for sex that
high?" Their answer is "No. I just want to be sure that I don't miss the
one time she may be interested, so I'm checking all the time." She of
course thinks she is married to a walking sex machine. The woman says "
I'm sure my husband could have sex every 20 minutes. He's poking me all
The couple needs to delineate all the household responsibilities into
three groups, his, hers, and hire out. The working couple needs almost an
army of people to help with household responsibilities in order to have
time together. Getting rid of the stress from goal-oriented jobs will
allow her to get more in touch with sensory intimate feelings. They need
to create pockets of time together without the expectations that all
touching must lead to intercourse.
And Voilà...the chances for sexual activity increase dramatically. A lock
on the bedroom door is essential so that they can create a cocoon, and
ensure privacy. When they are enjoying some weekend afternoon delight, it
is essential to know the kids won't come bursting through the door. We
also recommend that every couple have a get away weekend alone together
every three months just to recharge the batteries.
To bring back the sizzle there are three magic words that any man can say
to his partner, which has the potential to increase the woman's desire for
sexual activity and certainly will set the stage for closeness and
intimacy. That is when he lovingly looks into his partner's eyes and says,
"I'll make dinner!"
Volume 2 Issue 2
When sex is a pain!
"I think I'm made differently than anyone else. I'm sure there is a bone
there; intercourse is impossible!" is what women experiencing vaginismus
tell us. It often occurs in healthy, successful, hard working women who
are usually able to succeed in everything they set out to do except to
have comfortable intercourse.
Vaginismus is the involuntary contraction of the muscles surrounding the
outer one third of the vagina; the more she tries to relax those muscles,
the more she feels they want to contract. The result is that intercourse
may be very uncomfortable or even impossible.
Women say: "It doesn't fit, I think we're sexually incompatible."
Some women with vaginismus feel they have been cheated. "I waited to have
sex; studied to have a career; got married in my 30's; and then, wham! I
am not able to enjoy sex! I did everything right; and look what I have!"
Vaginismus is a common problem that caring, committed couples may
experience. Mild to moderate vaginismus, is where one or two fingers are
possible to be inserted; hers or her partners, but not the penis. This
usually occurs within the 30 to 50 age group. In severe cases of
vaginismus, marriages are unconsummated. Usually these are diagnosed in
the ages 20 to 40, where the couple has never been able to have a finger
or tampon inside the vagina, let alone the penis. One married couple
finally sought treatment after nine years of trying unsuccessfully every
week to have intercourse. They optimistically explained: "We always
thought, maybe it will work next time."
When we ask women with vaginismus, how they visualize the vagina they say:
"Like a test tube, it is fixed and rigid but it should be large and wide
open, so that my partner's penis can fit inside, Mine isn't like that."
There is a fear anticipating intercourse.
After remaining celibate until her wedding, one woman's well meaning (but
naïve) friends at work offered advice prior to her wedding : "The first
night of your honeymoon, you will need to put a pillow in your mouth for
your teeth to clench because the first intercourse will be intolerable!"
Guess what? …Misplaced, well meaning suggestions can have a powerful
long-lasting effect. The woman had a tremendous fear of being hurt in the
vagina, so whenever something approached the vagina the muscle around the
opening went into spasm.
Other causes may involve gynaecological problems, past sexual abuse, or
simply very negative attitudes about sex in childhood; where touching
oneself is forbidden, thereby denying the normal incorporation of body
structures into one's own body image. The vagina becomes something "down
there." The spasm becomes a protective mechanism to prevent anticipated
discomfort: The gate remains closed." The woman has a normal desire, is
responsive and orgasmic; "If I rub against my partner, I can reach an
Her partner's frustration and resentment may come out in various ways that
adds to the problem.
The treatment consists of teaching the couple skills in developing
touching and exploration, unleashing their sensuality and changing
negative attitudes about sex to positive ones. This is combined with her
utilizing graduated dilators - the first smaller than her littlest finger;
the largest one about the size of his penis - to retrain the involuntary
vaginal muscular contractions.
She generally has been trying to relax her muscles, while feeling anxious
about inserting. The anxiety increases the muscle spasm; this is what she
has been describing as "the bone." Instead, she learns to voluntarily
contract her vaginal muscles for four seconds, and Voilà, when she lets go
of the contraction, there is a brief spontaneous relaxation, which allows
her to insert the dilator. There is a natural apprehension as the woman
progresses to the next size of dilator. One lady asked: "Is the last
dilator going to be delivered in the back of a Mac truck?" Women often
nickname the dilators, "my buddy, my friend or the little wonder." They
feel great accomplishment as retraining of the muscles occurs. At the
largest dilator, she makes a transition to the penis as a dilator and she
learns that she will always be in control of the penis insertion.
As therapists we have a dream - we say this facetiously - of being able to
rent billboards in every major city across Canada advertising: "It should
always be the female who inserts the penis in the vagina!" Signed
If you see this message posted, you will know it's us. This should
apply to all couples, vaginismus or not. It is her body and she needs to
be in control of what is inserted.
When the couple are able to insert the penis and enjoy it, a variety of
exciting emotions surface. Women often relay to us that they jumped up and
down on the bed, shouting "Yahoo." A 50-year old woman who reversed her
vaginismus after experiencing thirteen years of uncomfortable intercourse
told us," I feel like a new bride, only better. Now I can be an active
participant in sex."
Along with the freedom and self-confidence they develop after reversing
the vaginismus, these women often develop a delightful sense of humour.
One woman summarized her elation by telling us: "I would like to have the
largest dilator on a gold chain, around my neck and have inscribed on it:
"In case of vaginismus, please insert!"
Volume 2 Issue 3
When The Big "O" Goes
The Missing Orgasm!
Rob and Nancy are in a new relationship, very close and committed to one
another and they just finished having sex.
Rob: "Nancy, did you - did you - reach it?"
Nancy: "No, but it was exciting and I enjoyed it."
Rob: "Oh, no! What am I doing wrong? I never had this problem with
Nancy: "You aren't doing anything wrong. It's fine for me, but I feel
I'm letting you down."
Rob: "The day you have an orgasm by intercourse, is the day I'll be
The question we're often asked is: " Why can't I reach an orgasm
The orgasm is a result of the build up of sexual tension, which at a high
enough level results in rhythmic muscular contraction throughout the
pelvic area perceived as pleasurable sensations.
Having difficulty having an orgasm most commonly happens in women. One of
the reasons is that 50% of women need more stimulation then the penis
inside the vagina to be orgasmic - and they may not be getting that
stimulation. It's like "Look Ma, no hands". Often there is the expectation
that orgasm should happen with intercourse alone. Nancy was orgasmic
manually and orally half of the time and happy with that.
Rob felt it was his responsibility to give Nancy an orgasm - using only
the penis inside the vagina. Otherwise he felt he had failed as a lover.
Often it bothers the man more than the woman, and he begins, "a search
party for her orgasm." One fellow told us, "It's like putting in the crop
and never seeing the harvest."
Sometimes there is a hidden agenda. "If my partner had more orgasms maybe
she'd want more sex and I won't have to work so hard to get her
After a period of time, Nancy began to feel a tremendous amount of
pressure, from Rob. Instead of being in tune with her own sensations and
pleasure, she switched over to please her partner to build his ego and she
began to "fake it." She was trading her own pleasure for his approval.
For Nancy to reach her full potential of her sexual response, Rob needs to
take away the pressure. He can't give her an orgasm like a "gift wrapped
present." She gives herself permission to respond and the orgasm will
surface as a result of the interaction between them. If the woman has been
able to explore her own body and finds out what is appealing and
interesting for her to be orgasmic on her own, it's much more likely she
can make that bridge to be orgasmic with her partner.
Although women are now generally more confident in knowing what to do to
turn themselves on and be orgasmic, sometimes there is still the romantic
idea that " the knight in shining armor" will get them aroused and meet
all their sexual needs. As one woman said, "Some day my Prince will come,
and I'll come too!"
Often young women are expecting, "body-shaking tumultuous daytime
soap-opera orgasms," but instead they may have warm fuzzies or a feeling
of release and an after glow and that for them is an orgasm. Sometimes she
may not even be sure if she is orgasmic. One young woman was sure she had
an orgasm, but when she told her boyfriend he said, "No you didn't. You
didn't look or sound like I do."
Some women hold back because they are afraid of their partner's reaction.
"I want a dignified orgasm. I don't want my partner to think I'm a dirty
Do men ever "fake it?" Yes, men can feel "under the gun", and on occasion
will fake orgasm. If he's aroused, has an erection and he feels
ejaculation is "emission impossible" he may fake orgasm in order to draw
the situation to a conclusion. It's his way of saying, "that's all,
folks." He quickly flees to the bathroom and his partner is not aware of
anything being amiss. Sometimes he is afraid if he can't reach an orgasm,
his partner will feel rejected. She says: "If you really loved me, you
could reach an orgasm."
Alcohol can delay orgasm. Not one drink, but one drink too many. He feels
he will not be able to be orgasmic. She's lost interest and is counting
sheep. He fakes it to save face.
Other reasons for both women and men to have difficulty with reaching
orgasms are medications, low hormone levels or organic causes.
If the individual is able to reach orgasm on their own, but not with their
partner, the relationship may be the problem. One lady explained: "I have
no problem reaching an orgasm as long as my husband is not in the room."
Often sexual feelings may be shut down due to distress in the
relationship. The bedroom is a reflection of what's happening in the rest
of the household.
To reverse the problem, couples learn to take responsibility for their own
sexual feelings and emotions. Learning to touch their partner for one's
own enjoyment takes away the pressure to perform. When the couple stop
"working at sex," that is when the response will be there spontaneously.
Couples who are responsive are the ones with effective communication. Sex
is a 13 letter word…communication. The communication is the blood supply
in the relationship. It brings in the nourishment and takes out the
Intimacy and closeness are not just having a response and putting the
genitals together, it's the whole interaction of two people. That's the
greatest erotic stimulation of all.
One woman said, "I have never reached an orgasm so I don't know what I'm
missing but I sure know when I'm having a good time."
(Names have been changed to protect the orgasmic.)
"And you thought your money was going fast"
"My husband has a lot in common with superman… they're both very fast."
This is a remark that we hear from women when the ejaculation is
consistently occurring too soon.
Rapid ejaculation is the most common male sexual dysfunction…. but it is a
female distress. The intense frustration is experienced not only by the
male but also his partner. As one woman described, "It always seemed to
happen before I was in the room!"
For some couples rapid ejaculation is not a problem because they enjoy
fast passionate sex and both can reach high levels of arousal and
satisfaction. But for others fast ejaculation leads to embarrassment,
anxiety, and anger. One frustrated woman described the scenario, "he's
like a rabbit, he starts-- he finishes, he has an immature ejaculation."
Timing of the ejaculation is of little benefit, but as a guide if the male
can have intercourse without ejaculating for 3-5 minutes he is not a rapid
ejaculator. The difficulty occurs if there is no love play and the only
stimulation the woman has is the 3-5 minutes of intercourse.
Virulent rapid ejaculation is when the man ejaculates before the penis is
inserted into the vagina. One woman complained, "He scratches my back and
he ejaculates." Often there is no time for movement before ejaculation
occurs. A woman described, "I feel like a sperm bank. He comes, he makes a
deposit, and he leaves."
Ann and Ron typify a common scenario:
Ann: "If you really wanted to Ron, you could do something about this. I
feel frustrated and used every time this happens."
Ron: "I'm sorry, Ann…. I 'll try harder next time."
Ann: "There may not be a next time!"
The pattern of the ejaculation occurring too soon is a learned response,
often beginning with the man's first experiences. Either in a backseat of
a car, or a parent's home where he feels he must get it over with quickly.
He may even be encouraged to be fast. "If I wasn't fast, my partner would
loose interest, and I anticipated the dreaded words, I think I hear my
mother coming." There is a feeling of guilt and fear of discovery. This
sets the stage for the ejaculation to continue to be rapid.
Later in life when he wants to delay the ejaculation he is not able. Like
Ann, his partner blames him," You're just selfish, you're only interested
in your own pleasure." Each time he apologizes and feels inadequate. He
develops fears, "Will I be able to satisfy my partner, and will I be
He tries novel home remedies to slow down ---but none of them work.
He develops ways of distracting himself so he wouldn't get so aroused. One
boomer said, "I think of all the money I owe." Another fellow said, "I
think of baseball to delay the ejaculation but…. I can't keep thinking
about baseball." This may slow down the ejaculation but the difficulty is
that it also decreases his level of arousal. As he conditions himself to
not get aroused he has the potential to develop loss of erection. He may
ejaculate through a partial erection.
The couple has little holding and touching because he feels it will get
him too aroused. He has a tremendous urgency to get right to intercourse.
His partner has little chance to get aroused. She complains, "There is no
love play. We just have intercourse. Each time I'm left frustrated and
there are five fingernail marks down the bedroom wall." This leads to
nitpicking, put-downs and an unfriendly atmosphere outside the bedroom.
The fellow develops more anxiety that makes the response even faster. He
says, "I feel like I'm falling down a mountain, and I can't stop."
There is less desire and interest in both. She stops approaching because
she's not getting anything out of the experience. He avoids sex because he
doesn't want to feel like he is failing. They may end up with a sexless
Fortunately treatment for this problem is very successful. The couple
needs therapy to neutralize the anger, frustrations and fear of
performance. She needs to have optional ways of experiencing arousal and
orgasm that will not depend on intercourse alone. The increased amount of
love play will allow her to get aroused, and it will also take away the
pressure from him.
The couple needs to understand that this is not something he is willfully
doing. He says," I'll do anything to please my wife." Once the pattern of
rapid ejaculation has been established it is difficult for him to change
by himself. But there is an effective technique called the squeeze
technique that the couple can learn together. It is not something the man
can do himself, but the woman can learn to utilize so that she can delay
the ejaculation. She is doing this for herself, not for him.
The pressure of her thumb on the frenulum and her first and second finger
on the coronal ridge for four seconds in the early stages of his arousal
delays the ejaculation. Women learn the technique with great enthusiasm.
They say, "finally there's something I can do, I have some control over
the situation." As she takes on this role to delay the ejaculation, the
pressure is taken off the man; his fears and anxiety are removed. As she
uses the squeeze technique, she is more involved in touching, and her
arousal surfaces. One woman commented," I learned the squeeze technique to
delay the ejaculation, but in doing so I actually turn myself on." Her
partner's response was, "I love the build up…. and it's true that nice
guys finish last."
Spadina Medical Clinic
2 - 806 Spadina Cres. East
Saskatoon SK S4K 3H4
Phone: (306) 955-3030
Fax: (306) 955-4202