I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.” ~ Pablo Neruda.

“We’ve not made love in years.” I listened with empathy to a woman whose husband suffered from erectile dysfunction. “It’s come to the point where we no longer need it. We’ve just accepted it. The older you get the less sex matters anyway.”

I left the conversation feeling sad that it no longer mattered to them.

Perhaps I should have abandoned good manners and asked her if she truly believed that or if it was less painful that way.

What struck me as most sad is that they not only were deprived of the joys of intercourse but had also given up on all intimacy.

“More than 18 million men in the United States over age 20 are affected by erectile dysfunction, according to a study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction was strongly linked with age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a lack of physical activity. The findings also indicate that lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity and measures to prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes, may also prevent decreased erectile function.” This study was published in the February 1, 2007, issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

I imagined two scenarios. One, a couple for whom intercourse was of small importance, due to things like hormone levels or illness (not everyone is highly sexually charged) and another couple who thrived on their sexual relationship. No matter which couple erectile dysfunction were to affect, intercourse is only part of sexual satisfaction.

More important, and the focus of this article, is how to maintain a level of hot intimacy with one’s partner despite erectile dysfunction.

I know that whenever my partner and I slip into a few days away from lovemaking, we both experience a distance that neither of us likes. Maybe it’s because we’re used to twenty years of a steady diet, or maybe it’s because our love language is physical contact, but either way, when we’re not intimate, we’re less connected emotionally and spiritually as well. Arguments start easily, we’re grumpy, less tolerant of each others quirks.

Intimacy is so much more than physical contact. I’ll share a few synonyms:

Closeness, togetherness, affinity, rapport, attachment, familiarity, friendliness, friendship, amity, affection, warmth, confidence.

So you see, there is much to lose when at the drop of intercourse we also abandon intimacy. And there is much to gain by keeping things hot and intimate in the bedroom despite erectile dysfunction.

Much of intimacy is about vulnerability, openness, a willingness to be fragile; a descent into a connection at soul level. Intercourse aside, we can still enjoy the best of our partner and offer the best of ourselves exposing what is tender yet fiery within us.

More here, my lovelies…Keeping Sex Hot Despite Erectile Dysfunction {Adult} | elephant journal