My name is Virginia Laken, and my journey into intimate storytelling began during a crisis in my marriage.
At the age of 49, my husband Keith had surgery for prostate cancer and as a result of his operation, he was no longer able to achieve an erection. He felt humiliated, isolated and emasculated by his condition. For months he didn’t want to talk about “it”, nor did he want anyone to know. Dealing with his condition was so difficult for us that for a long time we weren’t certain our marriage was going to survive.
He didn’t want to talk about it, and it seemed no one else did either. As a writer, I was appalled by the silence and decided to reduce the stigma associated with male sexual dysfunction by telling our journey of how we learned to re frame and regain intimacy in our marriage. Making Love Again: Hope For Couples Facing Loss of Sexual Intimacy, was published in 2002 and has been reprinted three times.
In the years since our book was first published, Keith and I have shared our story far and wide. We’ve spoken to cancer support groups, medical students, nurse associations and graduate students majoring in sexual health. We were featured in numerous newspapers including the Washington Post and Minneapolis Star Tribune.
While I am very pleased our book has helped many people and is still relevant, I gradually realized that our book was really the beginning of a journey, one that Keith and I are still on—because life doesn’t just give a person or a relationship only one challenge in a lifetime. Living means change, adjusting, altering, forming new paths, abandoning old ways, creating and adapting: an ever-evolving discovery of exploration, failure and success.
On this website you will find a blog, where I regularly write about our experiences with intimacy and aging—a continuation of the story we began in our book. It is filled with the things I want to share: the lessons we’ve learned, the experience we’ve added and clarification of the questions we constantly get during our talks…particularly, the unexpected and continuing bumps, stumbles, and hurdles of re-framing and maintaining intimacy as we’ve walked through the unknown territory of middle age into being aged.
My hope is that this site might begin to establish a dialogue between and among those of us experiencing this condition, and those who treat conditions of loss of intimacy, as well as those looking for the causes and cures. So please send me your thoughts, reactions, comments, and insights. We need to be talking and sharing, because silence doesn’t serve us well. If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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Use the list below to read some of the most popular posts:
- Introduction to Intimacy & Aging
- Our story on video
- The real secret to making love without intercourse
- Introducing Community Stories: Healing the impact of sexual dysfunction on society
- You don’t ‘get’ married…
- My “woman’s straight talk” to men suffering from erectile dysfunction