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Male Sexual Dysfunction is Serious

There’s a lot that has been said, and certainly much more to say, about the vagina. The female sexual organs, and female sexuality as a whole, have been regarded as taboo subjects for ages-whether as a result of calculated systems of oppression and repression on the part of patriarchal society or because of the mystifying secrets of femininity which rest within the vulva’s many folds.

But in recent years, with events such as V-day and an increasingly open clime of sex-positive feminist dialogue, the vagina has been properly revealed and celebrated as more than just the pearl to the mini-skirt’s oyster or some mere penis receptacle. This culture of sexual openness, however, has rarely addressed the male sexual organ.

Now, I’m not saying that every dude should lock himself in his room, grab at his groin and write on off-Broadway play about cocks and balls as some petty act of retaliation. But the problem is that male sexual health still remains a formidable taboo. Sure, the disgrace associated with erectile dysfunction has been alleviated by Viagra, Levitra and any number of other erection-bolstering miracle drugs, but men are still timid to broach conversations about their sexual health in the locker room.

Maybe the problem lies with the penis itself. I mean, it’s a fairly simple and ingenuous design, no? You get aroused, the little fella (ideally) rises to full salute with all the vigor of one of those adrenaline-jacked moms who lifts up a Dodge Caravan to save her kid, and then you jam that guy in a warm, tight space until, well, you know. It’s utilitarian, it’s wholly instrumental and, well, it’s a good way to spend a rainy day. But the penis is governed by more than mere physical stimuli. Like so much else, it falls under the control of the psyche.

The seriousness of male sexual dysfunction, in a time where smiling salt-and-pepper haired pillars of potency seem to dominate television advertising, is nearing the point of psychosomatic saturation. For the record (and at the risk of revealing myself as some terminally flaccid shrinking violet) I don’t consider losing the occasional hard-on necessarily symptomatic of some larger psychosis-unless recreational alcoholism and the resultant cases of brewer’s drip constitute a psychosis.

But when the concept of erectile difficulty is so heavily advertised in Viagra, Levitra, etc. commercials, and at the same time so removed from a healthy public discourse-in fact, the very phrase “male sexual health” is often employed exclusively in reference to erection quality-the potential for generating.