Gender Gender

Plight of impotent men

Gender Focus with EMELDA MWITWA
ONE great writer, Karen Madewell, once said: “Family strengthens each other during storms. They help us to be strong. After all, it is family tradition. Our roots are deeper, our hearts are stronger, we never give up.”
In agreeing with her, I would say that a loyal family is a pillar of strength. A man, woman or child can face any situation in life with confidence, knowing that a loving and supportive family is holding their back.
When storms of life rage or life-threatening sickness strikes, a supportive family could re-energise someone and give them the willpower to beat what may seem like a dead-end situation.
But surprisingly in our society today, we see many couples at loggerheads and marriages disintegrating when one partner is smitten by misfortune.
Of particular concern to me is how failure for one to perform bedroom duties on medical grounds is a source of marital conflicts in many homes.
Many marriages have actually broken down, while once upon a time faithful spouses have gone wayward because their partners cannot consummate the marriage to their satisfaction.
The local court has many tales of marriages breaking down on account of infidelity and irreconcilable differences triggered by failure by one to satisfy the sexual needs of one’s partner.
The case in point is of a Lusaka pastor who has divorced his wife because she mocks him about his low sexual power caused by a medical condition he has no control of.
The 34-year-old pastor, an overseer of Crossover Miracle Embassy, lamented to the Matero Local Court last week that his wife has no regard for him and teases him about his sexual impotence in front of their children.
“I want the court to grant us divorce because I am tired of being disrespected by my wife. I have a problem of low sexual power and sometimes I go up to a month without sleeping with my wife because of the same problem,” Pastor Owen Banda lamented to the court.
The pastor’s case is akin to many men and women whose marriages are on the rocks because of problems bordering on poor sexual performance due to circumstances beyond their control.
This is one common issue that often pops up at the gathering of couples, and one of the most topical issues on public forums on reproductive health.
Agony aunts and marriage counsellors are frequently beset with questions like: “My husband can’t satisfy me sexually… what should I do? Or my wife can’t do this and that to make me happy, what should I do?”
Low sexual potency due to numerous medical factors is a common problem in marriage. Perhaps the misfortune of the pastor and his now ex-wife is not knowing how to handle it.
Couples that have handled this problem well and sought the help of medical experts have been helped and saved from the blame game that could potentially lead to irreconcilable differences.
Those who opt to fault their partners and resent them over problems they deliberately did not inflict on themselves may end up in unnecessary conflicts that could tear down their marriages.
Well, I am not a doctor, but I do know that reproductive health specialists are always on hand to handle problems that affect the sex life of couples.
There are so many diseases, conditions and disorders that may affect one’s sexual performance which affected couples cannot handle on their own.
Some of these conditions are triggered by advancement in age, psychological problems, birth defects or sudden malfunction of our imperfect bodies.
Reproductive health specialists could help us to manage certain conditions, sometimes just with professional medical advice. Certain disorders may not necessarily go away completely, but affected couples need some level of maturity to make necessary adjustments and learn to live with each other in harmony.
But many couples suffer quietly without seeking medical help because in our culture, people don’t easily talk about low sexual potency or any malfunction in their reproductive system.
For example, an impotent man becomes a laughing stock of his peers, and so is a woman facing similar problems, which is why many opt to remain mute about it when help is available.
And for similar reasons, many childless couples are shy to consult fertility experts in healthcare facilities.
Apparently, it is more difficult for a man to visit the hospital on issues to do with low sex drive, than it is for a woman because strong sexual prowess is seen as a mark of manhood.
But medical personnel are not judgmental like the other members of society, rather they take delight in attending to the needs of their clients.
Perhaps the Matero pastor who was experiencing low libido is one of the many men in similar situations who can’t seek medical help because they are shy to admit that they need help.
I bet his story could have ended differently had he sought professional medical help together with his wife.
Maybe they could have received professional counselling on how to go about their sexual life given his condition.
In my view, couples experiencing any form of ‘bedroom issue’ should seek medical help or professional counselling together.
Problems of infidelity and unnecessary quarrels over low libido and related limitations occasioned by diseases, advanced age and psychological issues could be minimised if couples stuck together during such difficult times.
Strong families stick together during stormy times. Real men and women remain loyal to their partners come what may.
“The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other,” says an inspiring quote by Mario Puzo.
Email: emeldashonga@yahoo.com/eshonga@daily-mail.co.zm. Phone: 0211-221364/227793

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